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Solving Everything

February 10th, 2011 by skippy

Human society is a series of interconnected complex systems, with so many deferring layers of information and interaction that any attempt to find simple and elegant solution seems naive.

But I’m going to do it anyways.

Patent Reform:

Patents Are For Inventors Act

You can only file a patent on a physical object.  You must have a  working prototype, or a set of schematics that can be followed to build a working prototype.  Specifically illegal to attempt to patent anything that was not created yourself, or by an authorized representative of you.  Attempting to patent something that you did not invent will now be a felony.

No more patenting software, game mechanics, or ideas on how to accomplish things.

Patent Trolling will result in Federal Prison.

Lawsuit Reform:

Frivolous Lawsuit Act

It is illegal to file a lawsuit where you know that the suit has no legal merit.  This includes SLAPP suits,  or any suit where it is reasonable to assume that a competent legal professional should have been able to recognize that the whole thing was bullshit.  First offense, six months prohibited from practicing law.  Second Offense 1 year prohibition.  Third offense, banned from practicing law for life.  This prohibition applies to every lawyer serving on the plaintiff’s side, as well as the plaintiff.

Yes that means that a citizen can be required to hire a lawyer, because they have been banned from filing legal papers for themselves.  But to be fair, only people who keep wrecking the legal system for the rest of us.  This also means that lawyers will have to turn down cases that they know are bullshit.

Final definition of a lawsuit not having merit will be determined by a jury.  If all twelve think you’re full of it, then legally you are.

Victim Protection Act

All citizens are forbidden from filling a civil suit for any situation upon which they have been convicted of a felony.  If you hurt someone, or broke into their house, or even think that the police were too rough when they arrested you, too bad.  No lawsuit for you, see Part 1.  Assuming that you were convicted of a felony.  So police officers, do not rough up a suspect unless you are *positive* that they are going down.

Note: Criminal charges can still be filed.  Just not lawsuits.  So if a cop breaks the law when arresting you, you can’t sue, but you can have him arrested.

Copyright Reform:

The Enough Already Act

Fifty years after the death of the original creator is plenty.  Corporations cannot be consider an original creator.  Extensions are available, but the tax on any product associated with the copyright goes up 1% per year.

The We Can Do Math Act

Compensation for  copyright violation cannot exceed 500% of the retail value of the object in question.  So no, the MP3 you sell for .99 isn’t worth 11,000 dollars if someone pirates it.  Larger compensation can be asked for, provided the copyright holder can prove actual damages.  Such evidence must be demonstrated at the time any suit is filled, and any attempt to  falsify such evidence will be considered a felony.

Pharmaceutical Reform:

The Incentive For Honesty Act

If a company sells a pharmaceutical product that they know does not meet safety standards, or promotes it for an unapproved use, one patent owned by that company will fall into the public domain.  The specific patent will be chosen by Medicaid based on whatever drug they currently spend the most on.

Political Reform:

Informed Voter Act
There will be a national standardized test covering US Law, US History, and the Constitution.  No essays, no short answers where people have to interpret things.  Just multiple choice and true/false.  No gotcha questions, nothing based around any political ideology.  Nothing but verifiable facts.  And anyone who wants to run for offices has to take this test.  And their score has to be displayed in all political ads, and on the ballot.  Their full results will always be available.

Government Ethics Act

Every year one hundred random military personnel will be selected to serve on “Federal Ethics Jury Duty”.  Being thus selected they will be sequestered for the next twelve months.  Basically it will be like a deployment, but in nicer circumstances.  They will be treated well but prevented from accessing any current events based media.  In the event that investigation is needed against a high ranking member of one of our three branches of government, these are the people that will examine the evidence, and make a ruling.  All evidence will be stripped of identifying information about the defendant before being turned over.

So they may know that they are investigating a Senator who was accused of laundering money, but they won’t know who he is, or what political party he is a member of.

Civilians can volunteer to be added to the random drawing for the Jury pool.

The Who Do You Think You Are Fooling Act

If you give money to an elected official, and they vote for, or propose legislation in your favor, it’s a bribe.  Period.

Law Enforcement Reform:

The Ready For Your Close Up? Act

All law enforcement officers consent to be recorded in any way shape or form, in any medium, as long as the recordings are of some sort of police business.  Attempting to prevent, or destroy a recording of any sort of police business will be a felony.  Anyone being interrogated by the law enforcement can demand a recording in addition to the more traditional rights of a lawyer and a phone call.

The No More Violent Attention Whores Act

Pedophilia will now be defined as  unlawful sex with a child and/or mass killing of civilian’s.  Which means that people like Jared Loughner, Timothy McVeigh, and Malik Hasan will all be publicly referred to as “Kiddie Diddlers” every time they get mentioned on the news.  Calling them pedophiles will actually become mandatory.

I’m sure that many of my readers will be able to suggest areas I may have overlooked.  They may also come up with reasons why my ideas are unworkable, silly, or dangerous, BUT THEY WILL BE WRONG!

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98 Responses to “Solving Everything”

  1. Phelps Says:

    The Franchise Surrender Act

    Any person who accepts government largess in either direct payments or refundable tax credits surrenders his or her franchise for the next four years. This shall apply to all officers and directors of any corporation that accepts largess.


  2. kat Says:

    You win the internet for the day! but I have an addendum.

    The Less Babies Act:
    Any woman applying for, or already on state assistance (including but not limited to: WIC, TANF, Medicaid, Food Stamps and Section 8) must be able to prove that she is on birth control (not pills, IUD, depo or norplant). Failure to continue her birth control regimine indicates that she feels financially secure enough to have another child, and thus has no need of state assistance.

    Alongside this, Any woman over the age of 15 should be able to get birth control for free, perscribed by a doctor with or without parental consent. (Note that I am ONLY talking about birth control, ie: pills, depo, nuva-ring, norplant NOT abortions or ANY other health services)


    kat reply on February 10th, 2011 7:21 pm:

    In reading my comment I realized I was unclear in the first section when I said not pills, IUD, depo or norplant. What I meant was, pills don’t count because it’s easy to “miss” days, she should get an IUD, depo or norplant because those must be administered by a doctor and leave a clear record.


    SPC Hyle reply on February 11th, 2011 11:33 am:

    Who’s going to pay for all of that? They’re poor enough to need state assistance for children–do you really think they can afford reliable birth control?

    Historically, poor women have leaped at birth control when it is available for them because of the burdens of having another child.


    Maven Koesler reply on February 11th, 2011 11:52 am:

    It’s not cheaper for Medicaid to give them birth control than it is for Medicaid to pay for pre-natal, birth, and all health care/CHIP for any new babies until they turn 18, PLUS any WIC, food stamps, TANIF, or other aid for that new baby? Sounds like a plan to me. I think women who qualify for pregnancy Medicaid should be offered free birth control after post-partum anyway.

    SPC Hyle reply on February 11th, 2011 12:05 pm:

    Will that count against their Medicaid limit? Also consider that Medicaid, like many programs for poor people, is frequently underfunded.

    I know you’re looking at this rationally. I agree that it is cheaper for the state to provide that kind of assistance, and probably better for society as well, than to not.

    Something else I’m concerned about is how effective this will actually be, overall. Is the cost of implementing this greater than the costs saved? I’m not sure at all. It is entirely possible, given certain statistics regarding welfare in the US, that this will cost more than it will save. I’d like to see the relevant numbers before making final judgment.

    jmireles reply on February 10th, 2011 10:58 pm:

    Another addendum to this one: The exception to this rule will be for military families. If you or your spouse is serving, you are exempted unless said service member is an officer. ( I should note that there is a reason why the Commissary accepts Food Stamps and WIC.)


    Susan reply on February 12th, 2011 4:32 am:

    Kat – Fewer Babies Act, not less! If you can count it, you’re supposed to use fewer.


    cfgregory reply on February 14th, 2011 2:50 pm:

    But if you did this, where would the majority of our military come from?


  3. Timothy Covington Says:

    “The Who Do You Think You Are Fooling Act

    If you give money to an elected official, and they vote for, or propose legislation in your favor, it’s a bribe. Period.”

    One question on this. Do you have a dollar limit? Otherwise, any politicians who votes and received any campaign donations will be guilty of accepting a bribe. Also, anyone who makes a political donation will guilty of bribery. Of course, this could be good if you had government pay for campaigns. Then, anyone who voted for anything that furthered the government and/or increased its power would be guilty of bribery.


    skippy reply on February 11th, 2011 2:22 pm:

    Dammit Tim, this is a political discussion. Stop trying to drag reason and logic into it.


    Kristopher reply on February 11th, 2011 4:25 pm:

    Australia uses part skippy’s idea already.

    No election ads are allowed during the lead up to elections. Candidates can post the equivalent of yard signs on public property, with a limit to how many they can post in an area.

    They have no excuse for taking “advertising” donations, since it doesn’t take more than a few hundred dollars worth of ad bills to cover their standing.


    Old Sarge reply on February 11th, 2011 9:56 pm:

    This won’t work in the US, even the Smallest Congressional seat is HUGE relative to an Australian Standing, Senators come 2 per state… etc.

    Sean reply on February 17th, 2011 4:04 pm:

    It’s easy enough to address the problem.

    “No person elected or appointed to an elective office may campaign for or be elected to any elected office during the term of the office to which they were elected or appointed.”

    In simpler terms, you get elected, you serve one term, then you’re out; you want to get back in office, you run as a private citizen, not as an incumbent. You want to be able to run on your record, do something that the voters will remember two, four, or six years down the road. As a consequence of this, you would also be able to remove all term limits; since no one would have an ‘incumbent advantage’, someone who can keep getting reelected is genuinely someone the voters want in office.

  4. Phil Wong Says:

    “Skippy’s Victim Protection Act” IRL:


    AZ Senate Continuing Resolution(SCR 1020)


    1. Excludes crime victims from civil damages claims by a person harmed while attempting to engage in, engaging in, or fleeing after having engaged in or an attempt to engage in, conduct classified as a felony offense.

    2. Titles the measure as the “Crime Victims Protection Act of 2012.”

    3. Requires the Secretary of State to submit the proposition to the voters at the next general election.

    4. Becomes effective if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor.


    Phil Wong reply on February 10th, 2011 8:39 pm:

    *ahem* should read “AZ Senate *Concurrent* Resolution 1020″…


  5. Ulfgaard Says:

    The Welfare Reform Act of 2011

    All welfare recipients will be drug tested each month, prior to receiving benefits. Any positive result will invalidate any eligibility for the following 30 days.

    All welfare recipients will be assigned 1 mile of roadway to keep clear of litter. Bags, safety vests, gloves, and removal of full bags will be provided. If that mile of roadway is not clean, benefits will not be provided until it is.

    Assistance for substance abuse recovery, high-school equivalency training & basic health care will be provided free-of-charge so long as the above items are adhered to.


    SPC Hyle reply on February 11th, 2011 11:41 am:

    You’d spend far more than you save with drug tests. That’s just outright. Then you have the fact that you have a poor, potentially drug addicted person, with no income for at least 30 days. What the hell do you think they’re going to do for that money? Miracle it into existence? They’re going to steal or prostitute themselves, or even slide to selling drugs–all to survive.

    What actual good will come of this?

    Also, how would you actually verify that the road is “clean”? Who would check it up? When? How much litter invalidates it? If it’s any, basically, you’ve doomed them since a mile is a large are for one person to constantly patrol.

    Then you have the fact that it is probable that there are more welfare recipients than miles of road to clean in a city. What will you do with overlapping areas of responsibility? That seems to utterly ruin this proposal. Or will just you push it further and further out?

    If you push it further out, how will they get there? They’re poor, remember.


    Ulfgaard reply on February 11th, 2011 10:37 pm:

    SPC Hyle –
    Evidently you weren’t issued a sense of humor.


    SPC Hyle reply on February 12th, 2011 12:46 am:

    No, I’ve spent far too much time on the internet.

    Susan reply on February 12th, 2011 12:07 am:

    You’re probably right about the cost of the drup tests. About 10 years ago, I worked for a company that decided to start drug testing new employees. They also required all current employees to be tested – several thousand people. A year or so later, they dropped the requirement for new employees. I heard on the grapevine that it was due to the cost.


    Maven Koesler reply on February 11th, 2011 11:54 am:

    As long as this doesn’t punish children for their scumbag parents.


    Kristopher reply on February 11th, 2011 4:28 pm:

    Just make participation in road crews mandatory for receiving aid.

    If you are permanently out of work, you can pick up this broom or shovel a few times each week.


    Susan reply on February 12th, 2011 12:12 am:

    What if the recipients aren’t physically able to go out and pick up litter? Also, who will watch recipients’ children under school age while recipients do this? Who will take recipients’ children who are school-age to school and pick them up and watch them after school? Sounds good, but I think too many problems with this.

    My goodness, are you trying to re-invent the government employment programs of the 1930s? Tsk, tsk. Bad Ulfgaard!


  6. The Henchman Says:

    I do believe Skippy is getting my write in vote next time.

    Skippy, run for a state office so I can vote for you.

    Two areas I want to hear you on: Tort Reform, and immigration.

    Captcha: Scamm Immigrant


  7. jmireles Says:

    All of this makes sense. Which is why I have to pointout that it won’t work. The reason why has to do with that fact that pulling it all off requires some kind of logic.


  8. Sgt. Spooky Says:

    The Public Office Wage Act:

    All public officials (ie congress, state senate, governors, etc.) salaries shall be set at federal minimum wage.


    M578Jockey reply on February 11th, 2011 8:54 am:

    Said govenment officials shall have basic medicare as their sole health insurance and social security as their sole retirement plan.


    Old Sarge reply on February 11th, 2011 10:00 pm:

    This will simply guarantee a preposterously high Federal Minimum wage.


    Tyr reply on February 13th, 2011 9:22 pm:

    Better to set it to the mean private sector salary, including jobless people.


  9. Artanis Says:

    That Informed Voter Act would not stop politicians from cramming for that test, and then disregarding the Constitution (business as usual) once elected.

    It would eliminate the “stupidity” possibility for violating it–leaving only “malicious disregard”–so it gets my support.


  10. Pheonixfyre Says:

    The only problem with Patent one is that for some reason I think that will murder the video game industry. I could be wrong though, as I am not exactly clear on how patents are involved in that industry.


    Phelps reply on February 11th, 2011 10:31 am:

    Software isn’t patented, it’s copyrighted. Even then, I think we can lower it from 50 to 15, like it was for 150 years. The current 75 years is absurd (thanks Disney!)


    Squab reply on February 11th, 2011 1:22 pm:

    Ah. That was actually my real issue with it. Right, you cannot PATENT software, but you can COPYRIGHT it.

    Personally, for the copyright one itself,I’d say corporations could copyright stuff, but because they’re a corporation and hence, not living, the 50years starts the second they copyright it.

    And the Frivolous Lawsuit Act would prevent the corporations from trying to make a lawsuit saying they ARE a living thing and thus the copyright exists until the company sinks.

    Oh and to SPC Hyle, that’s why Skippy made the whole “Enough Already” act.


    Ihmhi reply on February 11th, 2011 8:41 pm:

    I don’t see why it should be any more than a year or two these days. Most movies, games, etc. make 90% of their profit in the first few weeks and then it drops off. A second burst comes around the time of DVD release and that’s that.

    Keep in mind this doesn’t apply to Trademarks. So someone couldn’t, say, make a Harry Potter book without J.K. Rowling’s approval because she owns the trademark.

    The whole purpose of copyright was to protect the owner’s interests, but in exchange it gets released into public domain. The whole “public domain” part has kinda been lost.


    Gdog4evr reply on March 17th, 2011 7:16 am:

    Software itself isn’t patented, but concepts of gaming are. For instance, SEGA owns a patent for “Using a floating arrow to indicate where you should go or who you should talk to.” If you want to use directional arrows in your game, you have to pay SEGA for that right. That’s why the patent office should be funded by the Government rather than on patent fees; it would enable them to reject things like this.


  11. SPC Hyle Says:

    Software being patented rather than copyrighted is actually somewhat beneficial. A copyright extends as long as the creator lives, plus an addition period of time. Patents expire after a fixed period of time.


  12. Alex Says:

    Skippy for Congress


  13. M578Jockey Says:

    How about if you get elected to office and immediately leave to pursue other opportunities, you pay the entire cost of the special election to fill your seat.


    Old Sarge reply on February 11th, 2011 10:03 pm:

    If you decide to run for another office while in office, you MUST immediately resign your current office and loose your salary and benefits. This holds for ANY public office.


  14. Axiluvia Says:

    I agree with the women needing to be on birth control if they want government assistance.

    To Offshoot the balance is this:

    IF a family has more than two children, they must pay MORE on their taxes per child, rather than less. Even if it is for religious reasons.

    1. Separation of Church and State, anyone?
    2. This would also help cluttered schools, etc.
    3. If you can afford to feed, clothe, and house that many kids, you should be able to afford a bit more on your taxes.


    Phelps reply on February 11th, 2011 3:49 pm:

    If you do that, you have to scrap Social Security and Medicare. Both rely on the population continuing to expand, because they are essentially ponzi schemes.


    SPC Hyle reply on February 12th, 2011 12:55 am:

    No, they are not Ponzi schemes. They are insurance pools, and they do not really require an expanding population. Social Security will readily remain solvent, except under the absolute worst case scenarios (which are fairly unlikely), and it will take fairly minor changes to insure that, even in worst-case scenario, it will still have a cushion. The trust was built up specifically for the boomers. Stop perpetuating the myth and mischaracterization of Social Security. I know the Republicans have spent quite some time lying about it, but that doesn’t mean you have to take their word for it.

    The real problem with a shrinking population is the greyhead problem. China is fast approaching it. Your workers begin to retire, and there aren’t people to replace them. Your economy starts to necessarily shrink, and often will decrease in per-capita terms. Your options then are to import workers, as Germany did with the Turks, or accept a withering of your economy. China’s painted themselves into a corner with this, as their one-child policy has caused a great number of abortions and infanticides of girls (as the male is what brings honor to the family), leaving them with far more men than women. Also, many Chinese girls are adopted out of country by Americans, further skewing the figures. So not only is their population not adequately replacing itself, it has been set up to almost incapable of it.


    Phelps reply on February 12th, 2011 9:12 am:

    They are the very definition of a Ponzi scheme; current revenue is used to pay returns to those who paid in earlier. Social Security not only won’t remain solvent, it went insolvent this year. It’s already paying out more than it is taking in, and the remainder is coming from the general treasury. There is no trust. That bears repeating. There is no trust. Congress spent any money held in trust long ago.

    There’s no lying going on. Math is very resistant to lies, and this is simple math.

    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 12:15 am:

    That is wholly factually incorrect. The general treasury does not pay for a dime out of Social Security. The trust does exist, and it is a substantial portion of the outstanding treasury bonds. Everything you have said is incorrect to the point of being nonsense.

    Phelps reply on February 13th, 2011 12:28 am:

    Fine. You’re right.

    The government has magic money that it can spend over and over and still keep.

    I’m obviously a lying asshole.

    skippy reply on February 13th, 2011 1:04 am:


    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 1:30 am:

    No, you just don’t understand the budget or social security and have taken the word of other people who don’t as the truth.

    Phelps reply on February 13th, 2011 9:27 am:

    No, you just don’t understand the budget or social security and have taken the word of other people who don’t as the truth.

    You realize how ridiculous that sounds from a guy who’s argument boils down to “the government says they are good for it,” right?

    This is a real simple situation that a lot of people find themselves in. This is the same as the guy who has a $1,000,000 401K fund… that he’s borrowed $999,999 from. And every time he makes a payment, he borrows it right back out.

    Does that guy have a $1,000,000 for retirement? Sure, as long as he makes a $999,999 balloon payment the day before he retires.

    Do you really believe that the guy who hasn’t managed to actually put back a dime in 40 years is suddenly going to be good for it?

    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 12:35 pm:

    They never have taken money from it. All revenues greater than their payments went to the purchase of government debt. They have over two trillion dollars of government debt in their hands. Every bond that comes due gets its value.

    If any of those bonds ever were defaulted on, the US and the world at large would have far far bigger problems than anything involving social security.

    Your analogy is utterly false. The SSA runs almost entirely independent of the rest of the US government. Unless your position is that the US government will default on all of its bond obligations, a situation utterly unprecedented, then you have no basis to make that claim.

    Furthermore, every bond that has come due that the SSA owns has, in fact, been paid. Your analogy is false in premise and assumes a false sense of facts.

    You do not know what you are talking about, not in the slightest. You would do well to refrain from discussion.

    skippy reply on February 13th, 2011 12:51 pm:

    For be it from me to stop a good “You’re wrong.” “No you are.”

    But do either of you have any evidence backing your claims?

    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 12:55 pm:


    The only way his statements are true is if the US government defaults on its bonds. Not only has that never happened, and there is scant indication that it ever will, but Social Security would be the smallest of all problems involved.

    Phelps reply on February 13th, 2011 1:09 pm:

    You do not know what you are talking about, not in the slightest. You would do well to refrain from discussion.

    I understand that you would rather shut down an argument you are losing than continue, but even the SSA doesn’t agree with you.


    “The long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and those that remain for Medicare should be addressed soon.”

    In other words, “should be addressed before we actually have to start redeeming the trust fund IOUs and find out that the well is dry.”

    Even at that, the solvency is based on assumptions that have failed for years, like this one:

    “Nearly all of this improvement in HI finances is due to the ACA. The ACA is also expected to substantially reduce costs for the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) program; projected program costs as a share of GDP over the next 75 years are down 23 percent relative to the costs projected for the 2009 report.”

    Here’s the problem. The ACA is never going to go into effect. First, it’s been ruled unconstitutional and non-severable, which means that if the SCOTUS agrees, the whole thing is kicked out. Even then, the provisions discussed are the cost-controls — a reduction in payments to doctors — that are never going to happen. Cost-controls on Medicare have been on the books since 1997, and every year Congress passes another act to postpone them… for just one more year. Every year.

    Social Security is a welfare redistribution program. It always has, and always will. The payments going out are entitlements. They aren’t dividends from a pension or savings plan. They are government largess. The courts have been clear on this. They flow at the whim of Congress. When Congress doesn’t have the money to pay them, then they either end the entitlement (and the courts have been clear that this in their power) or they borrow more, by expanding the money supply, thereby driving inflation, which is effectively the same as lowering payments.

    Furthermore, every bond that has come due that the SSA owns has, in fact, been paid. Your analogy is false in premise and assumes a false sense of facts.

    Because the SSA has only drawn a deficit a handful of times, in relatively small amounts. And those bonds have, in fact, been paid from the general fund. We’re entering a new, untested era of sustained SS deficits. You’re betting on Congress being moral, intelligent and upstanding. I’m betting on Congress being stupid, venal and incompetent. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide who has a better record there.

    My analogy is a false premise? Your entire argument is infantile. It boils down to “money doesn’t matter, because if Congress declares it, it is.” I think that the laws of mathematics and economics trump the laws of Congress. We got a dose of that in 2008-2009. I think that we are going to get a much bigger dose sooner than later.

    Phelps reply on February 13th, 2011 1:23 pm:

    The only way his statements are true is if the US government defaults on its bonds.

    Actually, you don’t understand what I am asserting.

    I’m not saying that the US will default on it’s bonds. I am saying that the US will end the Social Security program. The bonds will get paid. The “beneficiaries” of Social Security won’t.

    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 2:30 pm:

    You’re saying that the US government, for no reason whatsoever, will end the most popular program in United States history abruptly–for no reason whatsoever?

    Phelps reply on February 13th, 2011 3:12 pm:

    I would say, “it is impossible to continue” is a pretty big reason.

    skippy reply on February 14th, 2011 1:13 pm:

    1) Excess money for Social Security is issued to the rest of the government as a bond. That’s where some of the national debt comes from. We’ve been able to pay the interest on it up until this point. In order for the social security to specifically default, we’d basically have the whole government default, rendering this pretty much moot. Having enough money to continue functioning means that this program will keep going.

    2) SS is the most popular program the US has. Making the argument that it is currently untenable isn’t the same as presenting an argument that it will go away. The government will modify it if they have to. Or even increase payroll taxes, which is what happened last time there was funding issues for this program. Because no one in congress is willing to risk the wrath of the AARP. It’s not going anywhere, or politicians have too much interest in keeping it going.

    3) The ACA going away thing seems more like optimism on behalf of it’s opponents. Yeah a judge declared in unconstitutional. Another judge declared the opposite first, which people like to ignore. And the Supreme court almost sides against congress’s ability to pass laws. I get your point about how the forecast looks way better with the ACA, and there is a possibility of the ACA going away. But I’m pretty sure something similar is going to replace it if that happens. Honestly, give it a few years and the politicians fighting against it will be taking credit for it.

    Phelps reply on February 14th, 2011 11:24 pm:

    If I understand your arguments, it is, “yeah, it’s a Ponzi scheme, and yeah, it’s out of money, but it won’t go away because it has a suicide pact built in.” Sorry, but I don’t buy it. That’s about as realistic as a teenage girl screaming, “I’ll DIE if I don’t get a new Mustang convertable!!!11eleventy!!” Sorry, girlie, I know you are really convinced that you’ll die, but the. Money. Isn’t. There.

    Will we still have another BS program that we call Social Security? Probably. It will end up being means tested. You know what you call “means tested entitlements from the government?” Welfare. So, yeah, we’ll still end up cutting checks for old people, but it won’t be a “breathing and XX years old” check anymore. And the checks will get progressively smaller, and work-for-welfSS programs, etc.

    And the ACA thing is optimism only if belief in representative government is optimism. It was a bill that was unpopular when it passed, has failed to even start becoming popular, was passed with legislative chicanery, and led to a massive electoral turnover. Honestly, it is supposed to get overturned, and will probably get overturned the way it is supposed to happen — by the dumbasses who rammed it down the throat of the People being tossed out of office, and the next set in 2013 repealing it.

    In reality, the only thing a SCOTUS decision before 2013 will do is spare us a year or two of regime uncertainty and its effects on the economy, and maybe give us some actual federalist-oriented case law.

    skippy reply on February 15th, 2011 12:01 am:

    No, I’m not conceding the ponzi scheme thing. Excess funds aren’t invested in a ponzi scheme, which is one of the fundamental differences. Also you teenage girl analogy doesn’t work because this isn’t a tantrum over a fancy car. This is old people becoming homeless and/or dying.

    Stating the money isn’t there, doesn’t magically make the money we have go away. Bonds were issued. When has America defaulted on bonds before? I’m not going to say that our governments spending habits don’t need to change. Actually I’m have a good analogy. You’re saying we can’t afford the mortgage because we’re spending all of our money on comic books and candy. I’m saying we can stop buying comic books and candy to pay for the mortgage. Because if the politicians don’t the old people, who have nothing but time and bitterness on their hands, will wreck things for the politicians if they don’t.

    Also the ACA thing…let’s see Obama got elected platforming on health care reform, and won by the largest margin since Regan’s re-election. When presented with the individual parts of the ACA most Americans were for it, they just weren’t for the imaginary scary version FOX news kept yelling about. As it stands the height of opposition we were still at only 47% against. Only about 1 in 4 want it repealed now. And most of the people that don’t like it want it changed, not repealed. Hell I want it changed, but I want it to stick around. Health Care reform was passed the same way that a lot of bill get passed, when one side doesn’t like them. It’s how the system works. The Dems lost some seats this election, but I think it’s an oversimplification to claim it was all about HCR, although it was a factor.

    Phelps reply on February 15th, 2011 12:30 am:

    Writing yourself an IOU and spending the money is not investment.

    We can agree on the candy and comics and mortgage analogy. The problem is, we can’t afford even the mortgage in a few years. We’ll eventually have to move to a smaller house.

    The rest of the ACA argument, we can’t even agree on the facts about. 1 in 4 isn’t a credible number. There are outlier polls out with that number, but the majority are in the 40% range, with 60%+ opposed in general.

    I guess one major factor is that on ACA and SS, you seem to define things by, “you can change it fundamentally, make it into something that it probably should have been to start with but never was, and say that it was OK all along.” I just don’t buy that. You can’t take the SS ponzi scheme, fold it into welfare, and say that you still have SS. You can’t take the ACA, take out everything but some stuff about 26 year old minors and medicare spending cuts that Congress is going to push off One More Year every year, and say that you still have the ACA. We’re getting into real Jabberwocky territory with that thinking.

    skippy reply on February 15th, 2011 2:35 am:

    “Writing yourself an IOU and spending the money is not investment.”
    Which isn’t what happened. A bond was issued. Interest is being paid. How does the government pay back it’s other bonds?

    “We can agree on the candy and comics and mortgage analogy. The problem is, we can’t afford even the mortgage in a few years. We’ll eventually have to move to a smaller house.”

    Or to continue the analogy, we can get a raise. And while the boss might not want to pay more, the fact is the a large chunk of the board of directors really like the house we are in, and would rather see other parts of the business suffer than change now. (bear with me the analogy is getting tortured a bit….we can raise taxes, old people vote guarantee that is what will happen if the government can’t afford to keep payments up any more)

    Bear in mind that “opposed” isn’t the same thing as “Support repeal”. And trends have been shifting since the election. Why don’t we just agree to disagree on the ACA polling facts then. We both know poll numbers can be presented in a deceiving manner and I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to go dig up all the old and new data and go over it line by line with you. It’s not worth it to me to go to that much effort to play “I think some guy on the internet is wrong”.

    And I’m not saying “you can change it fundamentally, make it into something that it probably should have been to start with but never was, and say that it was OK all along.”
    I’m saying you can change a government program to what it should be and it will be all right now. And I’m saying that if you can change a program to keep it functional then it is okay. Okay in this case means “Will not collapse.” In the 80’s we had the same problem we are facing now when it comes to payroll taxes vs SS payouts. They raised payroll taxes. Why do you think that won’t happen again? Because the government loves you too much to take your money away?

    I mean, if you are making the argument that increasing taxes is morally wrong, that’s one thing. But you’re making the argument that the government can’t extract more money from the people. As has been stated repeatedly, there are not enough politicians in Washington who are willing to be at the switch when SS dies. The old folks voting block would devour them.

  15. Enigmatick Says:

    Robert A. Heinlein proposed a “Plain English Amendment” basically proposing that any law that was not worded in language that could be easily understood by the average high school graduate, would be invalid.

    Anyone else think that one deserves to be added to the list?


    jmireles reply on February 11th, 2011 7:06 pm:

    Problem with that. High school graduate level vocab might be too high for most high school graduates, given the current standards in public education. That no child left behind thing was a joke. Do it the way the Army does it, “Barney Style”. As for the Less Babies thing, I’m not giving up on the exemption for military families. That or give a pay raise across the board that makes it so that military families DON’T need some kind of public assistance. My wife and I were both floored when we found out that the commissary we shop at accepts food stamps and WIC. Says a lot about the kind of pay there is to be found on active duty.


    M578Jockey reply on February 14th, 2011 10:10 am:

    When I was in, a SGT with two kids (me) qualified for WIC, a SPC with two kids got food stamps. While congress gets paid junkets to wherever they feel like going.


    jmireles reply on February 15th, 2011 7:00 pm:

    We’re assisted by both foodstamps and WIC. It sucks that we have to live like that, but such is life. I just don’t get it.

    Timothy Covington reply on February 12th, 2011 9:21 am:

    You also have to compare the average high school graduate in Heinlein’s day compared to now. Let’s put it this way, today’s average high school graduate might be the equivalent of a high school sophomore in his day.


    Enigmatick reply on February 12th, 2011 12:03 pm:

    Well, Heinlein proposed this in 1980, when the standards for education had already begun to slip, but I see your point. Of course, a parallel law clearly defining the minimum standard to which a High School Graduate must meet before they can earn their diploma would help. The problem is, once that standard is defined, DO NOT LOWER IT! Although I’m a Canadian, I see the same thing happening with education here:
    If the majority of students fail to meet a minimum standard, the answer has been to lower the bar, not push students to work harder. The saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” not “… redefine success.” Our societies seem to have forgotten that.


    StoneWolf reply on February 15th, 2011 9:29 am:

    I hear you on that one. My mother is a public school teacher and has been reamed by angry parents more than once for giving kids the grade they deserved…an F. “It hurts poor little Timmy’s feelings to know he doesn’t measure up, so lets give him a “C” to make him feel better.” That’s pretty much what happens. I was mostly an A/B student but I pretty much failed the poetry section of English. Did I feel “bad”? No. I just learned that I don’t understand poetry.

    But I talk to people my age (mid twentyies) now and am amazed at the simple things they don’t know about math, science, history, geography, etc. Hell, I thought the process to make black powder was common knowledge until I got to high school.

    The problem as I see it is that this society, and apparently Canada (feel free to correct me if I’m off base here), is that people are so worked up about everyone’s “feelings” that nobody is required to achieve anymore. Well, Darin don’t care how you feel as long as you can keep breathing.

    I don’t know how many of you are aware, but as recently as a few decades ago, there was a whole class on Civics. Now its been nerfed and rolled into “social studies”.

    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 12:54 pm:

    Well, I know for one thing history, geography and…civics, I guess, HAS all been rolled into social studies for me.

    ALso, this is a line from Bill Gates at a Highschool Graduation Ceremony or something. (if you don’t believe me, well it’s still an awesome line.)

    “Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.”

    Or hell, just google Bill Gates High School speech. Although, according to the first site I found, he apparently stole it from a book. It’s still pretty good either way.

    jmireles reply on February 15th, 2011 7:10 pm:

    Does anyone remember a movie from back in the ’90s? It had Danny Devito in it. He plays a guy who was sent in to teach Army recruits “how to comprehend”. There was a scene in there that seems appropriate to this conversation. Devito’s character was talking to the Commander about the recruits and says, “When what’s left of their schools…” The premise is, where these kid’s families and schools failed them, it fell to the Army to fix it. That’s how it seems these days. Educators are focusing more on their student’s self-esteem, to the detriment of their educations. Don’t get me wrong, I think we need to instill some kind of confidence in them. But, I think that that confidence would serve them better if it comes through pride in accomplishment, rather than through their teachers pandering to them.

    Phelps reply on February 15th, 2011 8:16 pm:

    Renaissance Man.


    “A down-on-his-luck businessman desperately takes the only job offered – a teacher in the U.S. Army. His mission: keep a ragtag bunch of underachieving misfits from flunking out of basic training! Be on alert as this unlikely new teacher and his underdog class unexpectedly inspire each other to be all they can be!”

    Remember, the only safe stereotypes are “white guys who can’t dance or jump” and “stupid uneducated soldiers.”

    jmireles reply on February 16th, 2011 11:20 pm:

    Stupid uneducated soldiers?? LOL I’ve met a few. I’ve met some who had me wishing reproduction required a license, and penalties for producing bad ones. However, most of the soldiers I’ve dealt with are well educated. I will say this, I’ve met living examples of people who were totally abandoned by society in general. People who joined up because they didn’t have any other way to get out of whatever situation they were in. Some of them I just wanna grab ahold of and say, “Did you seriously sleep through English, or are you really that ignorant??” Then there are the ones who seem to have forgotten that they are no longer in whatever neighborhood they came from. Had one go to Iraq with us. He became such a huge detriment to the unit, he had to be sent home a couple months in. Haven’t seen or heard anything of him since.

    SPC Hyle reply on February 13th, 2011 1:33 am:

    Unfortunately for supporters of Heinlein here, we have a common law system, and actual clarity and restraint of the law cannot be had with plain language. There are myriad ambiguities that would instantly exist due to precedent. Something like that would have major problems.


  16. Leon Says:

    Skippy for God-Emperor of the known universe.

    I’d add the “Faith in your product” law:
    All executives and their families must and exclusively use products of their corporation. So tobacco execs must smoke, as do their wives and children. Don’t sell us something that you won’t use or trust.


  17. Gwenyvier Says:

    The Sex Offender Act

    You no longer can be forced to register as a sex offender for grabbing somebody to save them. Ex: Pulling somebody out of the way of a car and accidentally grabbing their breast. “Sex crime! Sex crime!” and you end up on the list no longer works.

    If you accuse somebody of a sex crime and it is found that to be false, they are not forced to register as a sex offender(currently if you are even accused you have to register as a sex offender) and YOU do, since it is obvious sinking that low is not below you.

    And finally…

    If you are found guilty of rape, with DNA evidence proving it, you are killed upon being found guilty. No more of the “rehabilitating” that never seems to work, your life is forfeit.

    First 2 are because I have heard of far too many people getting fucked over like that. The 3rd is because the rape rehabilitation thing never seems to work, they get out, and it happens again.


    StoneWolf reply on February 15th, 2011 9:32 am:

    Seconded. But I suggest ONE appeal on the rape charge. If you’re found guilty TWICE, the bailif takes you out back and puts one through your head.


    Phred reply on February 15th, 2011 7:30 pm:

    If our justice system were totally infallible, I’d be behind this – but I’ve read too many cases of mistaken identity (and no DNA evidence available at the time) to be entirely comfortable with a capital punishment solution. While I agree that “rehabilitation” is often a pipe dream, I’m far more comfortable with life in prison (no parole) for any case in which there’s any remote possibility of mistaken identity, crap investigative work, jury tampering, etc. etc. etc.


  18. Ian M Says:

    Most of this stuff, I like.

    However, I have real doubts about the simplistic assertion that “rehabilitation never works”.

    At least some of that mindset, I blame on the media. A story about a former sex offender who turns his life around isn’t likely to “sell” (except maybe on Page 23 of the Weekend Liftout). On the other hand, any / all sex offenders who strike again will ALWAYS get the full media treatment. Every Single Time.


  19. jmireles Says:

    Ian, I disagree with some of what you’re saying. I believe the death penalty for rapists. My reasoning is simple. Strange as it may sound, rape is a far worse crime than murder. In the case of murder, the victim is no longer in a position to care. However, rape victims have to spend the rest of their lives dealing with the damage done to them. Not to mention the fear of their attacker one day being let loose, potentially allowing them to re-commit their crimes. I read an article that the rate of recidivism among sex offenders can vary from 52% to 88%. That isn’t very comforting. I know that I’m not willing to take that chance, especially where my children are involved.


    Ian M reply on February 13th, 2011 9:48 am:

    Just to be clear, I also consider rape to be a reprehensible crime deserving of severe punishment.

    I am also a father.

    HOWEVER, I am also very very skeptical of sweeping statements like “rehabilitatrion never works” or any other …. stuff that MAY well have originated with some media type just out to grab quick ratings with a lurid headline and dubious facts.

    Or, for that matter, “articles” that may gave been fabricated by anyone with any old axe to grind. Way too much of that happens as is.

    I’m going to opt out of any further discussion about this, because it is an emotive subject at best.


    jmireles reply on February 14th, 2011 11:15 am:

    Ian, you’re right. This subject is a little too touchy to approach for too long.


  20. Squab Says:

    Why not just castrate them and be done with it? Hell, you don’t even need jail time then!

    Captcha: erestry arousa….somehow, that sounds so, so very wrong when thinking of castration…


    StoneWolf reply on February 15th, 2011 9:35 am:

    Because the idea is not to punish them, the idea is to make sure they are never a problem again.


    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 12:56 pm:

    I can guarantee you, castrate them and they WON’T do it again.


    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 1:03 pm:

    Or at the very least, when the police are releasing a high-risk of re-offending rapist, who is known to randomly break into peoples houses and rape them, castrate THAT bastard. Read about that in the paper not that long ago. In Canada, but I can’t imagine this being much better in the States.

    Better yet. Why don’t we pass a law forbidding the release of high-risk offenders? There’s something WRONG about the police issuing a warning that a high-risk sex offender is on the loose because we unchained him.

    StoneWolf reply on February 15th, 2011 2:54 pm:

    They will not have the biological capability to rape again true, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still hurt people. I’m sure there are plenty of rapists who would blame the victim for their loss of genatelia, then retaliate on the already abused victim. I plan to curtail this problem by burying the asshole.

    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 3:04 pm:

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. I’m not expert on this and could be completely flat-ass wrong, but without genetalia, I think there would be a lot less agression due to a lot less testosterone. I’ve also heard claims that neutered dogs end up a lot more passive afterwards.

    Again, keep in mind, I could just be completely flat ass wrong.

    Phred reply on February 15th, 2011 7:33 pm:

    And again – if you can ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE that nobody convicted of such crimes is ever falsely accused, railroaded by overzealous investigators and/or prosecutors, mistaken for the actual rapist, etc. etc. etc., then I’ll be right there with you.

    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 8:35 pm:

    Well, ideally we’d set something up to ensure only the people we’re 100% sure about have the gruesome punishment… But I’m not naïve enough to believe that would always be the case. I think Skippy posted something once saying he supported the idea that certain crimes should be punishable by death; but conversely, the death punishment is a bad idea because the justice system makes mistakes.

    How about my other idea, not releasing high-risk offenders?

    jmireles reply on February 16th, 2011 11:26 pm:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard that rape isn’t actually about the sex. It’s about the control and power it give the rapist. It’s an act of anger and rage. Therefore, castration may well do nothing more than pour gas on the fire, and cause the now impotent rapist to find other ways to sate their need for power and control.


    Phelps reply on February 17th, 2011 12:19 am:

    If rape wasn’t about sex, then rapists wouldn’t get off on it. And they literally do. There’s other factors, but it’s dangerous to ignore the obvious.

    jmireles reply on February 17th, 2011 11:27 am:

    http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/3/81.03.06.x.html A very interesting article.

  21. wkwillis Says:

    I like workfare instead of welfare because you can always get it. No denials.

    Doesn’t matter if you can’t get someone to watch the kids. You can play the special workfare very boring video game and break to change the baby whenever necessary.

    Doesn’t matter if you’re an alcoholic. You can play the workfare very boring space invaders game when you sober up until you have enough to get bombed again.

    Doesn’t matter if you can’t pay child support because you can’t get a job or don’t make enough money. Not only can you play the very boring workfare space invader game on Saturday, we’ll pay you time and a half if you can prove you are already employed.

    How about free vasectomies for unemployed guys that want to avoid child support payments? Why concentrate on the women when men are half the problem?


    Susan reply on February 15th, 2011 9:07 pm:

    YES, wkwillis! Free vasectomies are an excellent idea. Remember guys, this is the only way to be certain you won’t have to pay child support.


  22. Keyoke Says:

    On the “who do you think you are fooling act”, I assumed that you are refering to “campaign finance”, as bribery is already illegal. Assuming that is the case, I’ve a much simpler idea:

    All campaign donations for individuals running for a particular position are divided equally amongst them.

    This way, not only do we lessen the effect of large “donations” (since all participants share it equally), but third party and independent candidates are more readily heard. Its advantage over Skippy’s suggestion is that there is less need to track who donated what in regards to what the politicians do while in office.

    Of course, this might lead to companies making large donations expecting that whichever candidate that wins supporting them, but at least its not a straight “I support you, you support me” deal.


  23. cfgregory Says:

    I like the idea that ever both federal and state governments should be require to repeal one law for every two they pass. Lets clean up the law books.


    Squab reply on February 15th, 2011 12:59 pm:

    No, no, that’s just a bad idea. Besides, aLl they need are one or two stupid, pointless laws, possibly involving mars and the moon, that they just constantly pass and repeal.

    First law: pass a law, find one stupid law, pass a urination on the moon law.

    Next law they pass: repeal the moon law, pass a law forbidding urination on mars.

    Rinse and repeat.


  24. steapunk'93 Says:

    These are brillent ideas!!!!!


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