Chapter 6: Good government
We must protect the environment
The false idea that because God created the world we cannot harm the environment is unfortunately actually espoused by some people. Can man do no sin? Because God created man can man not break any of the 10 Commandments? Can we not harm ourselves with drug use and poor habits? Can we not even reject God and his glorious teachings? Any idea we cannot harm the environment just because God created it is false. God wants us to care for one another and the care for the earth and all its beauty. But all creation has a nature and reality to it and harm or no harm, good or bad, safety or danger are always things we have to deal with. The environment is not just automatically going to be okay, pollution and its health and economic consequences are very real and our responsibly to deal with.
Here are a few Bible verses to I feel apply to the environment. See appendix at the end of this section for some full verse. Genesis 2:15 & 9:13-16. Isaiah 27:10-11, & 29:17., also chapter 32. Revelation chapters 8, 9, 15, & 16. Please see the prophecy section for further explanation of these chapters in Revelation and chapter 32 in Isaiah.
The ability to govern
The ability to govern in America has gone way downhill. The over emphasis on minority rights is partly to blame. To problem solve people have to pursue ideas and laws (regulations). The least contentious way to do this is by majority rule. Therefore it is majority rights that are most necessary for good government. Overemphasis on minority rights neglects the majorities right to govern, and hampers the ability of democratically elected officials to apply problem solving ideas.
Another stumbling block to good government is the incorrect application of Freedom of Speech to things other than “political speech”, that is public debate and discussion. Historically political speech was what the 1st amendment referred to. For government to succeed in tackling critical problems in society we must allow laws and regulations aimed at solving problems to be tried, without being blocked by the overextending of freedom of speech beyond political speech into commercial speech.
Laws and the money spent on them are for problem solving. If our streams and rivers are polluted we pass laws and fund projects to clean them up. If a unsafe highway has too many traffic deaths we have a improvement project for that stretch of road. If mercury from coal burning power plants is polluting the lakes, we pass laws requiring scrubbers to remove that mercury. Taxes and government help not hinder our lives when applied with reason and in moderation. Unfortunately government can waste money, as can any organization or individual. I heard of a church that spent over a million dollars just to rebuild their steeple. And I know of people (you probably do to) that have 2-3 expensive vacations per year. However money spent judicially and wisely solves problems, and that saves money in the long run.
We have had much success in America, but we are somewhat out of touch now with what caused that success and how to govern ourselves as a nation and even as individuals. One problem is the basis for governing is not always broken down into simple logic which can be followed on a consistent basis.
This inability to govern is threatening our freedom and prosperity. Individual freedom- property rights, speech rights, etc. Freedom to do as you want as long as you do not directly physically harm others.
Then family rights, the right to raise children your way, especially the need for vouchers as indeed the right of educational choice is violated with the current mandatory system of education.
Freedom of School Choice
In the Bill of Rights, of The American Constitution, Article One states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The current Public School system does just that however. Everyone must pay taxes for public schools. Then the right to give your child a religious education is taken away, unless you pay a second time for a private education. This puts an extreme economic burden on people who want religious education for their children. This certainly constitutes a government interference with the free exercise of religion.
A legally acceptable, and fairer system, would
be to allow parents the freedom of choice of what school they would like their
portion of tax dollars to go to.
Freedom and Democracy
There has been and will continue to be differences of opinions among people, including but not limited to differences on how to govern. Respect for each other despite differences is very important, we need to find consensus by persuasion not violence, and need to learn from each other by letting each other have the freedom of speaking our minds. But the line needs to be drawn when it comes to violence. That is wrong, and greatly hurts the economic health of a community, directly by destruction of property, and indirectly my creating a society of fear rather than co-operation. Democracy is meant to be a means of resolving our differences peacefully, by majority rule, as a way to come to a decision of how to proceed with governing each election cycle. Only with respect for the rights of the majority can oppression be minimized, as not everyone is going to like every group decision, but unless a way is made to make decisions and do things necessary for coping with survival we will go backwards not forwards. So Democracy needs to be respected, free discussion allowed and co-operation relished. The limit to this is do you allow groups that advocate or use violence to have freedom of speech ? Probably not. But if they do not advocate violence, then is okay and we should respect there right to express opinions and govern when elected, even is we don't like their ideas.
Government has a role in leading all people, but especially children, the poor and other easily mislead people from self-destructive behavior. This is the golden rule. If someone could keep me from smoking or other addictive behavior I would be happy that they had done so. But this cannot be done with bossy behavior, as it is human nature to be to independent, but avoiding being saturated with temptations (in the media, public places, etc ) is a role government (ie society) should have.
You Cannot Make Money Selling Drugs
You cannot make money selling hallucinogenic drugs. You cannot create wealth with anything that harms a person’s health. Wealth is only created by meeting basic human needs, food, shelter, clothing, health care, etc. It instead is just a form of stealing. Stealing from a person’s soul.
Mandatory Simple Economics Education in High School
Most people are graduating from school without the ability or appreciation for prudent fiscal behavior. They don't know how to budget, they don't know how to save or the importance of it, and most importantly many people think money is just something to get (rather than an outcome of process of contributing to community), even by selling drugs or stealing. Drugs damage people’s health and ability to be productive. Selling drugs is a very negative thing for the wealth of a nation and makes everyone poorer. It’s the same as stealing, and unfortunately many people to not understand why stealing is bad for the economy, but it is, it disrupts people’s ability to budget and plan, and their ability to cope and be productive. Selling drugs or stealing is a selfish act, causing the communities we live in to become poorer, which hurts all people, even ultimately the thief themselves. Only work on providing basic needs of health, food, clothing, shelter, and the like, is able to make us wealthier as individuals and as community.
Some concrete suggestions
1) Time to rethink world trade, it is causing to many introduced species and environmental disasters. Regional “ecosystem” area trading instead would help cut down on this. Where the type of trade does not cause environmental damages it would be okay across regional borders.
2) Discourage eating of primates in Africa by the use of educational campaigns. This would help control the diseases that are contacted from this practice, as well as preserve endangered primate species.
3) Encourage China and other Asian nations to education it's people about using rhino horns as medicine, elephants tusks for ivory, leopards claws as medicine etc., so as to help save these species.
4) Get rid of nuclear power worldwide as start to getting rid of nuclear weapons. Make more use of renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, conservation, and bio-fuels(including wood).
5) Stop the overuse of Ritalin and other such drugs.
6) Constitutional changes.
Rewrite 1st amendment so freedom of speech is political speech not commercial speech (overturning the 1970’s court ruling). Also clarify the relation of government and religion, keeping it as the founders truly intended, but which is now misinterpreted as “separation of church and state” because of the outdated language and unfamiliar concepts expressed in the current law.
7) Make organ donation automatic unless people have say no beforehand.
8) Outlaw lead and “toxic” inks for printing, especially on food packaging.
9) Outlaw lead shot and lead sinkers.
10) Outlaw mercury based dental filings.
11) Have as many taxes as possible tied to the actual usage and expenses occurred. For example gas tax revenues going to highway building and maintenance. National Parks funded by fees to users. Even trash disposal is better funded by a tax on packaging that trickles back to the local communities, allowing "free" disposal at that stage. This would help also in getting people to dispose of there trash rather than letting it sit on their property, like happens in so many rural areas. This is very important for the long run as it keeps taxes and use tied together concretely rather than abstractly, and it makes the laws of supply and demand work better. However it has to be strictly enforces as to tax revenue going to intended end use or the benefit is not occurred in using this type of system.
Likewise, when appropriate, let taxpayers choses where there taxes go. For example State taxes used to support higher education (State Universities). Each taxpayer should get to choose which local institutions of higher learning they choose to support, religious or non-religious. This is important as ideology is becoming an issue at many Universities and the taxpayer should not be forced to pay for ideological teachings they do not support. This is imperative in the current situation where “separation of Church and State” is practiced, otherwise forced payment to secular institutions amounts to religious discrimination, and also violates the Constitution.
12) Fund research in to re-using all types plastics, not just #1 & 2 types which are recyclable now.
13) Weight limits should be set for football players, at least on the High School level. It is tantamount to child abuse to to encourage grossly overweight linemen for these football teams. And if there is a standard rule (a weight limit) every team will be on even playing field and the game would not suffer.
Many programs types, such as make work programs, some conservation programs, tourist promotion, local projects, etc etc , are better funded at the state level, and only get into the federal system because the money is easier to get there.
Cut out the Atomic Energy Nuclear fusion research. After 40 years and no success we need to cut this program.
Cut out the sending men to Mars program in NASA, a very expensive idea, and fund less expensive unmanned missions. Also more practical things like worldwide participation in a project to protect the earth from possible asteroid collisions.
Others know more than me on outdated programs to cut, and this is important. But government plays a very important role in society and should be adequately funded.
15) Public universities should not be advertising alcohol on there sports broadcasts. The money brought into the sports programs is offset greatly by the costs related to alcohol; health, lost productivity, criminal activity etc.
16) The penny should definitely be done away with (we could go to the nickel as the lowest coin). With inflation for over 50 years it is more expensive to mint than it is worth, and is a time consumer for people and businesses to handle.
17) Alcohol has been a problem with teenagers and adults for 50 years now with not much to correct this expensive trouble to society. Prohibition did not work, but we are now at the other extreme where we take no actions. I suggest these measures:
1. Banning all alcohol advertising of all types.
2. Restricting sales of alcohol, cigarettes and other tobacco products, lottery tickets and pornography to stores that can exclusively sell these items, or at least out of stores where children are commonly taken, such as grocery stores, drug stores, and other related stores. Innocent children are overexposed to these items in stores, with parents having little chance to avoid it. This might be done (so as to ease the physical need for new building all at once) by tax that progressively goes up over 10 years until a full ban in said stores (grocery etc ) is made. So say a 10% tax on the sale of such items the first year, which raises 10% more each year. This tax would be excepted in the exclusive stores, so this would make a gradual financial transition to said independent stores worthwhile for owners. If large grocery stores wanted to build independent stores adjacent to existing ones this is okay as long as there are independent checkouts and not in store access to the adjacent store. No storefront advertising would be allowed only a simple store identification.
18) Campaign reform. With the Internet there is no need for long expensive campaigns anymore. People can receive the information needed to make a vote so much more easily than in past days. Accordingly efforts should be made to encourage a shorter campaign season. One way is to end the constant and growing brew-ha-ha over who will have the first in the nation presidential primary is by having a rotation for the first primary among the States. We need a Constitutional Amendment structuring the Presidential Primaries. Say one State leading off, then three weeks later 3 States. Then two weeks later 6 States. Then every two weeks 10 more until the primary is complete. The states would be rotated every 4 years so a new state goes first each election. This would give the benefit of the candidates and voters getting to know each other well during the first state, followed by a system that would give some time for campaigning in other states, without the long drawn out process we have now. Currently the earlier primaries are being pushed back sooner and sooner. For one thing what happens if there is a huge snowstorm on primary day in New Hampshire (with the primary currently in January this is a very real possibility)? But more importantly the system is unnecessarily out of control and we must improve it.
Also allowing an individual to spend all they want of their own personal funds for running for office makes no sense. If we have a $5,000. limit for others, why should the candidate themselves be able to contribute an unlimited amount? This allows the super-rich to spend all the want on themselves, but a super-rich person is not allowed to give more than $5,000.00 to a candidate other than themselves. This makes for a unfair and inappropriate situation, where one super-rich candidate can dominate political advertising, unless another super-rich person of another political viewpoints legally counter spending them. This upsets the balance of power badly, an idea that has worked so well for the American system up to now. Instead one should have a limit on personal funds allowed. If not the $5,000 limit, then at least a $100,000.00 limit, (as opposed to the multi-millions of personal money some candidates are spending now).
UPDATE MAY 5 2016
Even before the current election I have come to the conclusion we need even more drastic change in our electoral process The system now is very time
consuming, costs way way too much; false advertising has too much of an impact
(it causes general public not to vote well, people are being swayed to easily. Further the current system leads to too much pressure on candidates, is a circus (has
been since way way back even) and breeds candidates who are good
campaigners but not good governors. And is very corrupted by big business.
So proposed new system for elections:
President elected by state legislators (who have been elected by general public).
Senators elected by town selectmen (who have been elected by general public).
Congressmen elected by general public
All campaigns regulated to a short time frame and paid by the public, no donations allowed. Websites. debates and personal campaigning only, no advertising.
Three Tier Election
Open ballot-all parties first ballot 2 votes per person, top 8 candidates elected
Second ballot, two votes per person, top 4 elected
Third ballot, one vote per person, one candidate elected
Three months total campaigning, one month between each vote.
One other thing this does is put the general public voting on a more local level, where they are more familiar with people to begin with, rather than voting on a national scale where one is out of touch with the situation and manipulated by and system, that is big donators
19) Why can spammers not be traced in an instant and put out of business. How about a 1c tax on each e-mail, that would slow them down and be a good user fee type of tax to go the government agencies that administer that type of stuff (like the FCC). Ideally it would just offset general taxes.
20) Now that the WWII is well over, we should get our military bases out of foreign countries. This will save money, and is VERY good politics as it takes away a big appearance of us being an imperialist, that is disrespectful of other nations rights and sovereignty. To win the war on terror requires international cooperation more than anything, and being about the only country in the world with military bases in foreign countries is bad for our image, and our ability to appear as the peaceful nation we are and should be, therefore our ability to win world public opinion which is so crucial for the war on terrorism. This is not a short term war, and not one we can win alone, nor is it a war we can win by just outspending our enemies, it needs to be fought on the moral front more that even the battlefront.
21) Banning or urging communities or states to ban new construction near or below sea level. certainly any NEW construction of 2 ft or less above sea level should not receive federal disaster relief if first warned it will not be provided in the future for these low lying construction subject to sea level raises due to global warming.
Appendix [my interpretation of meaning of verse in the brackets]
Genesis 2:15 [caring for the earth]
15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Genesis 9:13-16 [Gods care for animals]
“ I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
Isaiah 27:10-11 [ECOLGY –Desertification]
10 Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour
Isaiah 29:17 [Ecology, importance of forests]
17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 18And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Also all of Isaiah Chapter 32 is on modern western culture and particularly the environment in the second half of the chapter.