Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Simple Solution

Everybody's talking about what the GOP should do.  They only control one half of one branch, so we're fixin' to see just how much scrap they have in 'em.

If I had a magic wand, here's what I would do. 

1) Much smaller military footprint overseas.  Beef up foreign intelligence, specifically HUMINT.  Our spies need to get in bed with all kinds of stinking third world bad guys and pay those dirty rats and a moles to ferret out terrorist plots.  That's how the  recent plot was foiled.  And they need to do it without fear of some America-hating congressman blowing the whistle on them because they talked to a drug dealer.  If you wanna know what the bad guys are up to you've gotta rub elbows with 'em.

2) Stop domestic spying on innocent citizens, including the nude porn scanners and genital groping at our nation's airports.  No X-Ray vans, no drones (except on the border).  Profiling works:  do it.  That includes deciding who to let in to our great nation and what activities they can engage in while visiting.

3) Freedom of Religion.  Convince the religious right (with whom I generally agree) that they don't need the force of the federal government to push their agenda.  It's not even constitutional in many cases.  The federal government's only duty to Christians (or Muslims or atheists) is to protect their equal rights in the public square.  If God is so great (and I firmly believe He is) He can survive in the marketplace of free ideas without official sanction from Uncle Sam.

4) Bring back the 10th Amendment.  Dial back federal government involvement to the pre-Wilson days.  Let the states and local communities take care of education, the poor and society in general.  We are not a one-size-fits-all nation, but that is what the federal politburo continues to peddle. 
Janet Daley, conservative columnist at Britain's Daily Telegraph adds some key points...
If ordinary citizens are to be expected to take back more control and moral responsibility, then some pretty basic things will have to be on the table.
First, they must be allowed to keep significantly more of what they earn. The lowering of taxes cannot be a vague intention or a pious hope. It is a sine qua non of a more self-reliant, independent, morally resourceful private life.

Second, indigenous populations must not be forced to compete with unlimited low-wage imported labour. If working people are to fend for themselves and support their own families without help, they cannot be under-bid for employment by migrants who, as often as not, have no dependants and no permanent obligations in the host country. The uncontrolled movement of peoples around the globe is problematic for welfare states... (Telegraph - Janet Daley)

I would add to that...

A strong, stable dollar that isn't manipulated by politicians for political gain.  This would provide citizens a reliable store of value, reducing our dependency upon the state

A government that favors no industry over another and that makes simple laws that apply to all, and a government that punishes those who break the laws.

Remove the taxpayer-funded Wall Street safety net.  The dangerous gambling will stop immediately.

What would you do?


Rob said...

Maybe this is small potatoes by comparison, but I'd sure like to see some means with which to limit campaigning spending. We need to level the playing field and reduce the effect that some politicians' deeper pockets have. It's outrageous the amount of money piffled away on campaigning that could be applied to so many better uses.

(On a radically different tangent of course, I'm also outraged at the money we piffle away on athletic salaries. These guys are playing a game, fer Pete's sake!)

Fredd said...

I agree with beefing up our intelligence capacity, but this is where we part ways after that: as a former intelligence analyst, I can appreciate HUMINT (Human Intelligence), but it has a basic flaw: unreliability. People will say anything to each other, but it doesn't necessarily have to be true.

Silver, you suggest we emphasise HUMINT. I suggest we emphasize the more reliable forms of intelligence.

SIGINT (signals intel), ELINT (electronic intel), and other forms of intelligence gained from afar is more effective in determining the bad guy's plans.

We found that drug lord in South America a few weeks ago through SIGINT. He had diabetes, and we intecepted a phone call he made placing an order for special shoes because his feet were giving him problems.

We then placed a GPS device in the shoes he received, and then bombed the holy crap out of him once he put them on.

SIGINT at work. It's a beautiful thing.

Silverfiddle said...

I agree we need it all Fredd, but don't discout humint. Had the Colombians not had assets around the FARC commander, they would not have known about the footware need and would not been able to plant the device.

Also, mountainous terrain and triple canopy jungle, like in Western Colombia, can limit airborne collection assets.

Also, the air freight plot from Yemen was busted by humint, so each type of intelligence gathering has its utility.

And with people who live in caves and deliver messaged by goat, humint is the only way to get on the inside.

Leticia said...

I would secure our borders. Have strict guidelines to anyone applying for a Visa.

No more free handouts to illegals.

Strengthen our military.

I could go on, but what's the point?

Silverfiddle said...

Well Leticia, with the GOP controlling the house, at least we now have a chance to see these issues brought to a vote.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

I would like to see the U.S. get back on the gold and silver standard.

I would like to prohibit big business, Wall Street, Unions Banks from pumping huge sums of money into our elections.

We need to get back to States' Rights.

All those who we elect, must be removed from Office immediately upon first violation of the Constitution and their Oath of Office (not waiting until their term is up) and they must pay, either through a very stiff fines or prison time for those violations.

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