A new year is coming and I hope that 2017 brings you joy.
2016 turned out to be a good year for me, and Donald Trump’s election portends positive change in our declining nation. It will be a year of change for me, and while that always brings some trepidation, I’m looking forward to it with great anticipation. A friend asked what I thought of life in general today and I replied as I always do:
Every meal’s a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation is a parade — and every day above ground is better than a mouth full of dirt!!
Here is my PARTIAL prescription for the nation.
Congress needs to repeal all of the regulatory executive orders that Barack signed over the last 60 days of his presidency.
In 1994, Republicans gained control of the U.S. House for the first time in 40 years, largely on the strength of the “Contract with America,” written by Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. The document outlined a GOP agenda that included reforms intended to make Congress more accountable and transparent, while preaching fiscal discipline and regulatory restraint.
One of those reforms was the Congressional Review Act
, which created a 60-day period during which the House and Senate could overturn Executive Branch rules so long as the president did not veto such resolutions. The tool has been used successfully only once, because it’s highly unlikely that a president who imposed an administrative rule would sign a bill to kill it. But there is a new sheriff in town.
If Congress uses the act to strike down a rule, the issuing agency is barred from reviving the regulation in the future.
Senate Republicans should use the Congressional Review Act to have something on President Trump’s desk within hours after the inauguration.
THE TRUMP AGENDA – I agree with the program so I’m not going to go into detail on that. The legislature is onboard, the Supreme Court will be fixed and we might just be able to see improvements in the country with the badly needed exit of Barack from the national stage.
COMMUNICATION – Cell phones and the Internet are fine but living abroad or studying abroad are keys to understanding different cultures and different customs. Visiting on an organized tour may be good entertainment but it’s completely worthless in terms of “communication”. If you want to understand the world, you have to live in the world and not in the town where you were born. Fellow blogger Euripides, and I, had this discussion over a delicious “pig-dip sandwich” this past year. Understanding the world and its people requires effort and exposure.
Example: Having said that, you’ll never understand the Chinese and they will never understand you, but you can learn to get along and to appreciate the culture. The Chinese are predictable. Westerners are not, which is what terrifies them about us. We can switch from Barack-the-Magic-Muslim to Donald J. Trump with a single plebiscite.
Many things that Americans do and say when it applies to the world at large is done and said out of ignorance. Go somewhere unfamiliar, stay there for sixty days, eat where the locals eat, do what the locals do, go to their churches, attend sports events and then go somewhere else. The educational value exceeds what you will ever manage to achieve in a classroom. I’m not suggesting a life of aimless wandering, but communicating in a real way out of your comfort zone, builds skills, understanding and compassion. It’s easier if you can start while you’re young.
CITIZENSHIP – I’m at odds with the Founding Fathers here. They made a grievous error in the one-person-one-vote system of democracy. You can be born a “citizen” (small c) but for voting rights, you should have to serve. Whether it is in the military, or in a civilian capacity emptying bedpans at an old folks home or planting trees, you need to earn it in an environment of discipline. The term of service should take four years of your life. There are people who read this very blog whose lives were profoundly changed for the better through military service. However the key is service at a low wage and learning discipline. Once you’ve completed that, you have the right to vote. No service, no vote. The process brings rich and poor, black and white, city people and country people together where they can better understand the value of teamwork, mutual hardship, and brotherhood. No entitled may vote without service.
EDUCATION – It’s the great ladder that allows the poor to ascend in any society. The access to education needs to be universal. However only the valuable courses of study should be rewarded with a student loan. Unless you are studying hard science or business, no loan. No encouragement for grievance studies (womyn’s studies; racial studies; basket weaving; social justice, etc.). I don’t care if you want to study in a grievance major, the government should not encourage it with loans.
I’m sure that you who follow this blog have ideas as well, please feel free to add them to the list by commenting below: