New Ideas

Al Gore has challenged the U.S. to become independent of oil for our electrical energy production over the next ten years. Can it be done? Yes! Will it be? Probably not, because big oil and other energy-producing industries have such a strangle hold on both the Republican party and on our government as a whole. Besides that, I am no longer sure the American public has the will to do such an heroic thing.

Look at the war in Iraq. It has been a war resting on the strong shoulders of the volunteer military, with fewer-and-fewer members of that military coming from the higher levels of the socio-economic strata in our nation. The current administration has given us a war without a true call for national sacrifice, and the majority of us sit home in comfort. This is a far cry from the sacrifices of other wars.

The current administration, aided by a weak congress, has led us ever-onward into disastrous policies with lack of proper oversight in so many areas that financial crisis, energy crisis, and military crisis all confront us along with political infighting which freezes our national will because of partisanship. It is the most disastrous time in my lifetime of over sixty-five years.

What is needed? Resolve to do better, and a willingness to work together for the common good. We can become energy independent. We can develop new technologies which will make the planet clean and enhance the living of all humans. We can integrate the immigrants in our midst and stop using them for partisan pawns to garner votes through fear. We can strengthen our nation, but, will we?

Some solutions come to mind. 1. National Service for all who wish to vote, possibly hold public office, and have the responsibilities of full citizenship. Such service can be far broader than military, and strengthen our nation immeasurably. Hospitals, public services, transportation, etc. could be avenues for this service. Those who did not wish to serve would give us certain rights for life, with the option of service open throughout their lives, should they wish to serve. 2. No private financing of political campaigns. All have a level playing field, and the rich have no more sway than the poor. 3. A health care system of integrated public and private systems which works for all people. 4. Adequate taxation of the rich to solve some of the inadequacies of the present system. 5. Term limits for all political positions. Period! 6. Mandated equalization of salary-systems so the gap between poor and rich does not continue to escalate. 7. Modernization of our immigration law to provide ways for those here to stay legally provided criminal background checks are made, taxes are paid, etc. The calls for harsher immigration laws are insane in terms of just the economic impact of such laws, which would be disastrous. 8. Sane energy laws which will give us energy independence and which will protect the environment. We don’t need more oil, we need new ideas. 9. Open the race for outer space for the vast industrial wealth that lies there, as well as scientific advancement.

Those are simply some ideas. Give me your input!

Curtis Rivers

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