If I Had A Magic Wand…
– by David Matthews 2
One of the more lesser instances of “Bushism”, notorious quotes of President George W. Bush, was when our Doofus-in-Chief said “Believe me, if I had a magic wand, I would wave it and have gas prices go down tomorrow. But I can’t.”
Of course what he failed to mention was that HE DID have a “magic wand” of sorts. In fact he had several of them, actually. He had a filibuster-proof GOP majority. He had the power of FEAR, as invoked by the powerful chant “9/11”. He had the power of “executive orders” and the power of “signing statements”. Those are some pretty powerful wands at his disposal and he used them for his own gains. He just chose to not deal with gas prices until it became a serious problem in the media.
It’s would be nice, of course, if we had some kind of great cosmic blue pencil, some great and powerful magic wand that could fix the problems of our society. So I figured now would be the perfect time to step aside from the talk about politics and sort of daydream about what I could fix if I had that “magic wand”.
Now let’s get brutally honest here… I’m not saying that some of these problems can’t be resolved any other way. Nor am I saying that the ideas I propose if I HAD this “magic wand” could actually work. This is just idle speculation on my part, and of course you’re more than welcome to chime in afterwards.
So here we go… If I had a magic wand…
* I would convert ALL automobiles to an alternative fuel system. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no future with oil. It is not an infinite source of power, it is in parts of the world too unstable to rely upon for the time of day much less prompt production, and for far too long, especially here in the United States, we have languished in the relative cheap costs, and we have allowed special interest groups like the environmentalists to make it even harder to keep the costs contained. My hypothetical magic wand would cut all of the red tape and the special interest blockades and make an alternative fuel system a reality so that people would be on the path towards energy independence. I wouldn’t give them complete energy independence, but I would certainly give them a major boost on it so that the rest would naturally follow.
* I would impose the FairTax Plan exactly as proposed. I really think that this is the only way that the idea outlined in the book by the same name would be able to be imposed and work. Instead of having a myriad of tax systems and tax breaks and tax loopholes and exceptions and exemptions and deductions and being so confusing that even a tax expert couldn’t figure it all out even WITH all of the books, I would get rid of ALL of them and have just ONE consumption tax along with the prebate. You tax spending, not income. You tax the trappings of wealth, not the acquiring of money. And the prebate would negate the tax that would be placed on the basic needs of society, so the poor and middle-class would zero things out. It’s not a perfect system, but it would be far more productive and far easier to manage than the current system ever could be.
* I would require Caller ID on ALL phone calls so they MUST display the phone number dialed. I would outlaw ALL “phone spoofing” technology, no matter the application, and I would require the phone providers to allow the receiver to be able to block ANY number on demand, no matter how many numbers must be blocked and no matter where in the world those calls are coming from. No more being told “this number is outside of our service”. Tough. Block it anyway. Telemarketers have thoroughly contaminated the medium to the point where these requirements are needed. This would also block ALL of the fax spam being sent to businesses and residents and it would kill the bullying tactics of disreputable bill collectors.
* Having that hypothetic magic wand would allow me to release EVERY computer under “zombie control” by hackers and spam-senders, and to make such hacking tantamount to identity theft. While the hackers and spam-senders would be wondering what happened to their “zombie armies”, security programs would be fortifying those affected computers from future exploitations.
* Speaking of security programs, that same hypothetical magic wand would make sure that such programs are not memory hogs. There is no reason for a security program to be essential to the safe operation of a computer and then require so much of the computer’s resources that you literally cannot run anything else BUT the security program without having the computer slow to a crawl. There is simply no excuse for that.
* I would make reverse-compatibility mandatory for both computers AND game systems. No more paying $300 for a game system and then another $1000 on games and then being told you have to shell out $600 more dollars for the next generation system which will not play the games that you already spent $1000 on.
* I would make blackberries and cellphones not work when used in the driver’s side seat of any vehicle in motion. They would work in any other seat, but not in the driver’s seat. It’s nothing short of dangerous to have some ditz with a blackberry juggle texting and driving their urban assault vehicle at 80mph down the freeway. I think that “smart phones” should be just that… smart enough to know when they shouldn’t be used!
* I would legalize prostitution and allow brothels be set up that would be regularly inspected. You want street walkers off the streets? Put them in brothels. Then at least you won’t have to worry about massage parlors and lingerie stores not being what they are.
* I’d change the prices of videos so they would properly reflect their worth. A 30-minute anime video should NOT cost $30, especially since they spend more time running trailers than the video itself!
Okay, sorry but I would have to use the wand on politics as well…
* I’d eliminate ALL so-called “blue laws”. You cannot legislate people into being moral, especially when they are being lobbied by slick salesmen claiming to be ministers and imposed by corrupt politicians that would sell their own mothers to secure another term in office.
* I’d put an automatic 5-year expiration date on all laws and regulations from the moment they are enacted. All laws and regulations would automatically expire after five years. Legislators would then have to enact new laws to replace the ones that expire and they would not be allowed to overlap laws. This act alone would keep politicians quite busy.
* I’d make the oath of office that politicians take subject to perjury laws. If they violate their oath, then they are arrested and charged with perjury.
* I’d hold politicians accountable for every bill that they approve into law and that they would have to know every detail of that bill and of the consequences of enacting that bill into law. Ignorance of the bill or of its consequences would be no excuse, just like it already is for the rest of us. If they didn’t know every detail of that bill then that would be a violation of their oath of office and they would be arrested and charged with perjury.
* I would outlaw asset forfeiture. I would also outlaw eminent domain laws from being used for anything OTHER that for immediate government use. And the politicians would have to PROVE that the property seized through eminent domain would be used for IMMEDIATE government use (i.e. bridges, roads, parks) before the seizure can take place. If it appears that the project they claimed to need the land for is not being used, then the politician can be charged with perjury for violating their oath of office. They also would be prohibited from selling any current land they have seized through eminent domain to private parties for ten years.
* I would make sure that any law declared unconstitutional is immediately removed from the books. People would not be subject to laws that have been declared unconstitutional and they would not have to worry about being arrested for a law that would, at that point, no longer exist.
* I would eliminate sovereign immunity from government so politicians and other government operatives would be held responsible and accountable for their actions.
* I would open political debates to include third party candidates. I would also prohibit all campaigning until the year OF the election, and prohibit any state from having a primary prior to February 1st of that year.
* I would also bar states from putting any kind of tax increases, constitutional amendments, tax breaks, or resolutions from primary or caucus elections. They also wouldn’t be allowed to have special elections for them either. Those things would have to wait until the general election.
Okay, that’s enough about politics…
* I would make neighborhood associations completely voluntary. If you want your home to be part of a communist organization that makes you responsible for your neighbor’s property values, that would be your choice completely.
* I would make the paparazzi live in glass houses, with cameras everywhere, and live camera feeds available exclusively to the celebrities so they can peer into their private lives. It’s only fair.
* I would require businesses to “opt in” for mailing lists instead of adding you in automatically and then having you “opt out”. And if you want me to “opt in” then you had better provide some kind of premium perks!
* I would give every person who asks “Do you know who I am?” amnesia so they really wouldn’t know who they are.
* I would make Net Neutrality the rule for all Internet access.
* I would eliminate DRM and allow “fair use” for all material that is not blatantly pirated.
* I would make Open Source the standard in software development.
* I would establish one royalty rate for ALL broadcasters, regardless of the medium, so whatever the terrestrial radio pays in royalties will be the same that Internet and Digital Satellite radio broadcasters pay. (BTW, terrestrial radio currently pays nothing in royalties.)
* I would make women be honest about whom they really want in a man. I want women to actually admit that they don’t want someone sensitive and caring and instead prefer to hang around bad boys that look like underwear models and have a million dollars to spend on a moment’s notice. (In other words, they apparently want meth dealers.)
* I would eliminate the following from the human condition: acne, cancer, obesity, sexually-transmitted diseases, tooth decay, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s (a.k.a. “Mad Cow”), body hair (except where it matters), obsessive-compulsive disorders, moralism, and male pattern baldness.
And FINALLY… if I hypothetically had a magic wand that could right the wrongs of the world…
* I would obviously make myself super-rich and super-successful! I mean, hey, why should I be wasting that magic righting all of the wrongs in the world without first making sure that I fix my own cosmic wrong?