Often have we all discussed the huge mess our President inherited from the last administration.. We have all been witness to a year of exceedingly high expectations for solutions to complicated problems… We watched as “Politics” became more important than addressing the issues in a honest and forthright manner… Sometimes the sheer stupidity and the ability to complicate matters is mind numbing…
How often in the course of discussion do we hear “If I was in charge____, If it was up to me____, All they have to do is____, and Why don’t they just do_____?” offering simple solutions to what appears to be complex issues… Or are they really complex? Is complexity a tool of obstruction?
I was inspired to write this post because of the diversity of articles posted and responses posted on the Planet in just the last 2 weeks alone… My curiosity has been peaked at what each of us would do if “we were in charge“… I think the obvious would be Universal Health Care and World Peace… So excluding those two issues, what else do you feel could be fixed with a simple/common sense approach to that issue/problem?
I will offer one and am looking forward to hearing yours…
Gun Control – This issue should be more about People With Guns Control, after all guns themselves are harmless… Forensics has taught us that almost every gun has it’s own fingerprint created from patterns on bullets from the rifling in barrel… My solution would be:
1. Make it mandatory for Gun Manufactures in the US and the Companies that import Guns to register that fingerprint to the serial # on gun into a National Data Base…
2. When a Gun is sold make it mandatory that the person/citizen selling the gun is responsible for recording the information of the person the gun was sold to and sending/registering that info to the Data Base…
3. Fine those who fail to do so impose a minimum of $10,000 for first offense and escalate the penalties for repeat offenders…
If these 3 simple rules were put in effect it would close the Gun show Loophole, make it easier for Law Enforcement to track down criminals who use guns in committing crimes, force the individual to be held responsible for the guns they own and sell, and force the Gun Lobby to show their “true colors” when it comes to responsible gun ownership in this country…
So what would you implement in a form of solution to an issue or problem if your where “On Top Of The World“?
It is really easy to change that “fingerprint” inside the gunbarrel. Just scrape the inside of the barrel with something.
That would be impractical since the rifling of the barrel is intricate in creating aerodynamic stability and accuracy…
Thank you for good sense, Tiger99. Thanks to all for noting that it’s probably never a good idea to say, “If *I* were in charge…” because we’d screw up for sure.
I spent New Year’s Eve with two men, both successful and self-identified as progressives. They are “done” with President Obama. Why? He has not fixed everything already. One claimed, in the height of solipsism, that HE had written a letter telling Obama that if Obama did not do what the writer wanted immediately, he, the writer was simply NOT going to vote again. And then he said to me, “The President ought to be very worried about getting such a letter from me.”
I wanted to post some of this, but what the heck – replying to good sense with my rant against so-called progressives should suffice. I am not “off” Obama by a long shot despite the fact that I want Bush and Cheney to hang by their thumbs, want Gitmo closed yesterday, want universal single payer health care if not today then tomorrow, want the religious right to be embarrassed enough about their willingness to embrace The Family to slink under their rocks, want-want-want-want things done MY way. Now.
But I lobby. I work with state and federal legislators, good, bad, and mediocre, every day. With some very notable exceptions, they are good people doing an amazing balancing act among competing demands. And they recognize that, like it or not, others DO have rights even if we dislike them. Walking the line among all the people tugging on their sleeves is actually HARD.
I celebrate Obama’s bi-partisan outreach because now that he’s tried, and they have failed, he does not need to keep doing it. It’s been months since he did that, and it’s because he needed to let them either show responsibility or hang themselves with their own rope. The Reeps did the latter.
I celebrate Obama’s outreach to religious conservatives because they immediately self-exploded on sex scandals, adherence to amazingly disgusting things such as the Ugandan demand for the death penalty for same-sex attration, and for rigidity in the face of outreach that shows them up as hypocrites.
I celebrate the man’s return to the rule of law, however creaky the apparatus may be. I celebrate his return to Congress as the rule maker, to the courts as the source of review, and for having the smarts to submit the Bush Doctrine law cases on torture, rendition, and other issues to the courts that have largely shot it all down, leaving the brand on Bush, not on Obama.
And I remain a progressive wanting much, much more – and am finding that most of my progressive allies – and I apologize but this is MY experience – at least the WHITE ones – are superficial narcissists at best. When push comes to shove, it’s really only about them, NOT about ideas, cooperation, community, uplift – certainly NOT about making alliances with the amazing and wonderful people in communities of color who are actually moving things forward, making some stupendous changes in their communities, raising up what Obama said was necessary – our all getting involved together. No, for the armchair critics, it’s only about their right to be forever cranky and disaffected.
AND I AM SICK OF THEM! At the core they have NO skin in the game because it really does not matter to them who is in office – they gain and lose very little. I look at them, compared to the breast cancer victim with no insurance, the family struggling to get off welfare, the communities that lost their last manufacturing plant, the men and women who were lied to about credit card interest, given aubprime mortgages when they qualified for conventional rates – and on and on and on. I see both Obama and Congress struggling with these issues that will, I deeply regret, take TIME to resolve.
In his first year, FDR got the CCC established, but it took until 1936 for the WPA to be started (passed in 1935 two years after FDR’s inauguration but ramp up took another year.) I think it’s not lost on Obama that the one big program, National Recovery Act of 1933, was shot down by the courts. Obama is moving much more carefully – this court is still not his friend.
OK -all that said, my fury at the idiots who style themselves as progressive but who are too good to dirty their hands by working collaboratively with others, by doing ANYTHING at all, or even by voting for someone who is, in their eyes, imperfect, is one of the most grossly evil acts of our time. When push comes to shove, too many look out for Number #1, just like the Wall Street magnates, and where does that leave us?
I have met several people, ranchers and farmers, who are gun rights supporters because guns are tools for them. I personally detest hunting for sport but understand it as a protein necessity in families living on the edge financially. I have a real sense that we need to look at the gulf between Saturday Night Specials/Semi-Automatic handguns in urban areas and rifles and shotguns in rural settings. I think the solutions here are quite sensible (only the Tim McVeigh’s of the world would see this as a start of gun confiscation and deny their personal responsibility I believe) but the urban professional pseudo-progressive whiners will tell you that guns MUST be banned, MUST be confiscated, MUST be done away with. They also hate the police – until they need them, of course.
So – someone talk me down. Obviously, I need a better set of people with whom to celebrate New Year’s Eve (the rest of the group was marvelous and quite put off by these two) but I fear I see this in so many people today. My way or the highway. Easy and cheap solutions. No quick fix, no support.
I fear Obama will not be given much of a chance to fix the 40 years – yes FORTY years – of the march to the right, the destruction of our economy, and the erosion of democracy. But what galls me is that it comes largely from people for whom whining has primacy over work and even democratic ideas. And I have NO idea what to do about it.
Good sense. I can no longer call it common sense because it is not very common. I just wish it were.
Your friend does sound incredibly irritating, choicelady! Wah wah wah! Bring a tape recorder next time and then play it back for him. It’s a lot easier to be a contrarian and play revolutionary and whine about lost principles than it is to do what you do — beat the streets and work for change.
Thanks, escribacat – fortunately, he’s NOT a friend at all. Just met him this time, and he so annoyed the hosts he is banned from future gatherings. It is my profound hope NEVER to meet him again, though his wife is lovely. But it is the tenor of the times with too many people I know, and it’s scary! My generation (I think you’re younger) embodies that line from “Postcards from the Edge” – “Instant gratification takes too long!” I disliked that about the 60s and see that unfortunately it’s survived into this milennium. Bah! REAL progress just is not a series of quick-fix feel good steps. It’s going to take TIME. And if we don’t support Obama in the process, we will lose a man who just may be one of the greats. Will we let him become great? Will we do our part to make our nation great as it could be? Damn – I hope so!
The real point is that Obama is just the start and to really move this country forward we need a generation of forward thinking leaders. That’s one of the frustrations with people giving up so soon. Can you imagine where they country would be if they gave up on FDR after 4 years? Based on the economic realities of the time none of FDR’s changes impacted people until his third term.
I wonder if the lefties in FDR’s day were threatening to abandon ship because he didn’t do it their way.
FDR had the country behind him because back then everyone wanted the president and country to succeed. If FDR had been president with a divided America, the right wing echo chamber, half corporate owned Congress and 24/7 corporate media Social Security would be a private investment plan that was optional.
Can you imagine Obama cozying up with someone like Stalin?
Obama can’t make Obama, Great.
Obama can’t make this country, Great.
WE have to make our country Great and Obama will
reap the reward in the process.
“At the core they have NO skin in the game because it really does not matter to them who is in office
“When I hear progressive just say kill the healthcare bill for example it
I am not going to talk you down, you are so right about the fair weather voters.
Did they hear Obama at all when he delivered his election night speech?
He was very serious and let people know up front that he needed them to
remain active in this process.
That energy that got him elected needs to be there now, backing him up all the way
AND pushing for that change.
Hey, Cheney could always run, do they want that or something just like it again???
You know, PatsyT, it’s almost as if they DO want Cheney because being a complainer is so much easier than building a better nation. I mentioned to the NYNW (New Year’s Narcissistic Whiner) that he might want to read Paul Hawken’s “Blessed Unrest” (dedicated to a beloved friend of mine who is amazing) about the global movements – plural, movements – to help people build small circles of comparative efficacy and autonomy that allow them to live better and determine more of their own fate. The NYNW brushed it off as irrelevant. Well, OK – simple people living in small villages in the jungles of unknown places may SEEM irrelevant, but there are millions of them. Here, too. We in the West and especially communities of privilege want BIG and IMMEDIATE solutions. Why? Then we don’t have to help.
KQuark – thanks for understanding my fury at the “no skin in the game” people. You and escribacat are always and forever in my thoughts as I work the federal health bill, try to move it forward, with, we hope a public option, but just move it for YOU both. I don’t even know you in person, and I care passionately about you and want whatever will make your lives easier, your health better, your financial future more secure. YOU are MY “skin in the game” because I have gold-plated insurance (for now) and don’t need to care if all I think about is my own condition. Why is it so hard for the NYNW to own up to the fact that he does NOT define the world?
I do NOT get it, and I’m scared of the ways these selfish idiots can drag us down. And yes, bring back Cheney or Sarah or both.
I NEVER say what I would do if I was “in charge” and there are so many scenarios occurring in O’s world, I believe, which we do not now nor may never be privy to and that directly effects policy and decision making that tere we TO know, it would likely blow some of the minds here, me nothwithstanding. HOWEVER, what I would have liked to see happen was an announcement from this administration that immediately if not sooner, all troops in the middle east would be called home and as far as the US was concerned, the war was over. Simply stated, any further turrist attacks like what we experienced on 9/11 would be harshly dealt with and that could and probably would include civilian casualties and mass destruction of homelands. I would have liked to see this administration explain to the american public that continuing this war would NOT necessarily terminate future conflict with the middle east, and that going forward, our shores and homeland security measures would significantly increase and remain our focus. That we were dealing with fanatical mindsets and remaining in the middle east only placed our young in ridiculous positions. That dealing harshly and quickly and methodically with these groups as attacks occurred was in our best interest, but until such time as their own elected clergy and officials were in place who demonstrated sound thinking, we would remain on alert. But we are not in a position to demand rights for their women, remove their resources (oil) or reconstruct their economy particularly when our own economy demanded our attentions. That we were open to dialogue, but that’s about where it begins and where it ends. And NO MORE money to ANY middle eastern effort until such time as our own men and women were back to work and our economy restored.
But no one asks me anything, so I just keep my mouth shut! 🙂
I agree that we should bring our troops home immediately…
I also think we should downsize our Military and stop the WWII mindset of mass invasions with ground troops when we are fighting small pockets of extremists… I remember a time when it seemed to be the prevailing idea to create a new more efficient Specialized Strike Force type Military to respond to the modern terrorist extremist organizations…
BTW the reasons the gun lobby keeps it’s power and is about to maintain loopholes are because of irrational fear that government is going to take their guns away when no one is trying to take guns away from stable and law abiding citizens.
The sooner we implement Emerald1943’s plan the better…
Great subject to discuss and so great common sense ideas. The real sad part is most of law enforcement favors more gun laws and we really only need a few common sense gun laws like the ones you describe to reduce gun violence.
I have yet to meet a responsible Gun Owner who objects to my idea…
Hmmm– this is real food for thought. This part year, one of my passions has become campaign finance reform. As Emerald said, it’s really crucial. I see all the corruption to our democracy from lobby money and corporate money, and I honestly feel we are in very serious danger of becoming a corporate state.
But what would be a practical reform? We must somehow get to publicly financed campaigns, and that means the campaign season should be shortened too. I actually think that most of Congress would welcome that, as I bet they hate fund raising. How we get there though– short of a referendum, I have no idea. I will be looking into that though, and this is the boost I need.
Heard a good thought on a NPR discussion this morning. Policy changes stay for years, politics last a week, a day,a month-year. The Dems need to get back to that thought.
Perhaps a little O/T. Minority Leader McConell said in his weekly radio tape today that real leaders put the country first and the party second. HUH? Is that what you have been doing for the last 2 years Mitch? How many cloture(over a hundred) votes and holds on appointments (over 30) has your party forced/had this year? All for the good of the nation? Huh?
And the hypocrisy continues by the buttheads.
Good points all, Tiger! But you can’t possibly expect “them” to do something that makes so much sense!! As far as guns are concerned, the genie is out of the bottle and we will never get guns off the streets. The ONLY solution is that control! But you know, as well as I do, that the republicans will come out with their hair on fire if gun control is even mentioned. “Thar goes our Second Amendment Rights”!! “See there, we told ya’ Obama was gonna’ take yur guns”! “It’s nothin’ but a gub-mint take-over!” etc., etc. ad infinitum!
If I were in charge, I would permanently and completely clean out Washington, D.C. of every single lobbyist working on behalf of ANY for-profit outfit! I would make it a felony for any Congressman or Senator to take ANY money or gifts from any for-profit company or lobbyist, or from any political action committee sponsored by a for-profit. I would immediately find a way to revoke corporate “personhood” which was the result of a clerical error to being with.
Those measures would go a long way, IMHO, to solving ALL the problems that we face in this country right now!
Very provocative article, Tiger! Good job!
That’s the beauty of my plan, it isn’t about controlling guns as much as it is about actual responsibility in ownership… I would create a conundrum for the GOP and NRA because it would be a viable aid to Law Enforcement…
I wholeheartaly support your anti-lobby plan!!!
Way to go! I’ve thought for a very long time that lobbying and lobbyists should be illegal. Regular folks can’t compete with the corporate money machines and are consistently being thrown under the big business bus.
Interesting question, Tiger.
I think I might attempt to tackle education. I have a good friend who believes that “Colleges of Education” at universities ought to be abolished. While that might seem really startling at first glance, there’s a case to be made for it. Kids (even young ones) might be better off being taught math by a math major, music by a music major, and English by an English major–rather than all of the above by an education major. Most teaching techniques can be learned by observing competency in the classroom and then just getting up there and doing it oneself. Four years in education courses doesn’t seem to be working. (My daughter once had a fifth grade teacher who could not pass her own spelling tests. She had to use a “key” to look at when grading them; otherwise she had no idea what words were spelled incorrectly!)
IMO, EDUCATION is the one major aspect in American society that is routinely overlooked ..!
The populace needs to be better educated in such areas as mathematics and science if we are to be competitive in the Global Market; NOW and in the future.
The populace needs to be better educated and utilize more / better logic and reasoning skills. [Something some (many?) in the religious community “may” be reluctant to. : ) ]
— NCLB was a joke. “Teaching to the test” instead of truly teaching..!?!
— We have students (and some teachers) who find it ACCEPTABLE to cheat on tests. [I’m like “Huh?”]
“Something” is seriously lacking in the Educational system and needs to be addressed..!
I hear you, Uncle B! Math and science need a lot of improvement and I think we need to really teach civics. Not false, sentimental “patriotism,” but real civics. How is the government structured? How does it work? How and why to vote. Real, actual history. What was the Civil War about? The Revolutionary War? The real civil rights movement. What did Martin Luther King really stand for? The Union Movement? Women’s rights?
And NCLB was a disaster. All it taught was how to push stress down the line of the pecking order until it hit the very last rung of the ladder: the kids. When you have seven year olds throwing up before tests because they’ve been threatened with being held back if they don’t do well, something is radically wrong.
I agree education needs a major overhaul, I think we should make a College Education much more accessible to the overall populous along with creating a Vo-Tech system that is basically free to our citizens…
Totally agree on both points!
I was taught under the William A. Wirt school system: Study, Work,Play. There were Vocational wings in every school starting in 7th grade. He was the first to introduce playgrounds at every school. Now it seems that every one thinks that charter schools are the way to go. No Vo-Tech, No sports or physical ed and study for the standardized test!
I would say that, based on reading your posts, b’ito, the William A. Wirt system worked extremely well. That’s a lotta W s, but you know what I mean.
Why do they toss out things that work?
He was known as “Billy Wart.” Never would have called him that if I knew what he did for school systems. Can you imagine a grade school without a playground? He also introduced adult high schools and adult language classes for all the immigrants. He was quite the innovator.
A year of “civics” was mandatory.
I’m in awe. The guy was a genius.
First of all, I would never want to be in charge!
Heck, I can barely handle being in charge of laundry or grocery shopping!
But if I had the ear of the person in charge, I would remind him of his promise concerning corporations.
Tax corporations that outsource and give tax breaks to corporations that bring jobs home.
I’d like to suggest that corporate welfare be reviewed.
It is outrageous the number of loopholes that exist in our current tax system that allow the corporations and the wealthy to skip paying their fair share.
I’d also like to suggest that the cap on FICA be raised to help fund SSI and Medicare, since both funds have been shamelessly ‘borrowed’ from to pay for wars.
“First of all, I would never want to be in charge!”
I had a discussion this past week with my brother and various friends on this matter. Who in their right mind would willfully submit themselves to the continual pressures of being the President of the USA? Whether a politician’s initial motives to pursue such an endeavor are based solely on ego (power trip?) or a true concern for their fellow Americans, such people must have deep-seeded masochistic tendencies (unbeknownst to them?). Look at before and after pictures of GWB to see how much his Presidency has aged him. Look at before and after pictures of BHO to see how much his Presidency has ALREADY aged him (a lot of new gray hair).
Personally, I work in the IT/Technology field. I have held Senior Staff Member positions and Manager/Supervisor positions. I would take the Senior position over the Managerial position ANY DAY — ANY TIME.!! There is TOO MUCH undue pressure (and undue nonsense) when one holds a position of greater responsibility.
[If anything, I’d like to be someone like Tom Hagen, in the “Godfather” movies. He was the family consigliere. He offered advise to the family bigwigs.]
Exactly right, UncleB.
KevenSeven did an article not long ago about people who strive to go into politics and what are their motives?
I agree about supervisory positions at whatever job, because it means much more responsibility and headaches, plus listening to the whining of employees about things that a supervisor has no control over.
Yes, I preferred being an under-appreciated underling in my career!
That was headache enough!