Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Jobs! And More...

Well, key signals in the economy indicate that there may be an upturn, but we all know that the most important indicator, jobs, is still lagging behind. Critics of the current administration are raising a pretty damned good question: Where are the new jobs going to come from? Well, I think I know some of the answers to that. And I'll reveal them to you! But first, a couple of quick hits regarding issues I've raised before...

Health care. Okay, you're sick of it too. But here's a thought: We like our military, right? Certainly every conservative does. We know a strong military is necessary to protect our country. Well, actually, these days our military is necessary to protect OTHER countries, but that's beside the point. Ostensibly, the purpose of the military is to prevent our nation from being invaded by foreign attackers. Well and good.

Hang on, though. Just what is the difference, fundamentally, between protecting our nation's borders from invasion and protecting our citizens' individual borders from invasion? In other words, if we can protect our national boundaries, why can't we protect the boundaries of every citizen as defined by his or her skin?

You see, viruses and bacteria are invaders! They are foreign influences that want to seize United States territory (that is, the cells of its citizens) for their own purposes which are contrary to national goals. These invading attackers differ from foreign armies only in terms of size, and the fact that they bear no national emblem of identity. But hell, we've been fighting terrorists who have no national identity for almost a decade, now. If we can protect our national borders from invasion, we can protect our individual citizens from invasion. National healthcare IS national defense! If the Pentagon is to justify its expenditures, then we must, to avoid being a nation of hypocrites, completely fund medical care.

Chew on that!

Next up, Sarah Palin.

You know, I was actually willing to let the beauty queen have one more bite at the apple with her book tour. Yes, I know she's probably part of the "Left Behind" crowd of Tim LaHaye whack-jobs, but I thought I'd give her one more listening-to, just to see if she sounded like a competent leader after all. But then, during a Barbara Walters interview, she was asked about the issue of Israeli settlements into Palestinian territory, and the Obama administration's opposition to it. She then laid this incredible, colored egg:

"I disagree with the Obama administration on that. I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand."

In other words, she actually supports doing the one thing that is absolutely guaranteed to spark World War Three!

That does it! She's had her second bite of the apple, folks. This broad needs to put on her "sexist" jogging shorts and run straight back to Alaska. And STAY there!

Her followers see her as an instrument of God. But then, according to the Bible, so was Sampson. And like Sampson, Sarah Palin will pull the entire temple down upon our heads!

(Christ, how bad to you have to be to fail in front of Barbara Walters?)

Okay, that's off my chest. Now to the jobs issue. Where are all the jobs going to come from? How can we generate more jobs for people? Like, right NOW?

Let me start with a concession: The Republicans actually have a good suggestion about this. Built more nuclear power plants, they say. What a great idea! Sequester away more nuclear material under lock and key away from terrorists, and generate more power to free us from oil. Plus, it puts millions of people to work constructing, and creates millions of permanent high-paying jobs after the construction is done! It's a win-win-win-win situation! All we have to do to make it happen is stop being such pussies about nuclear energy. (Riiiight!) Still, way to go, Republicans! You came through for once!

The democrats also have a suggestion: Put people to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and power grids. Not bad, not bad. Certainly they need rebuilding. But that's a temporary solution, and one that involves only government spending. I say let's do it, because it's a job that needs to be done, but we might first want to spend money on things that will create jobs first before we turn to bridges and roads. They'll hold up for another year or two.

So here's an idea: Build trans-continental bullet-trains! A bullet-train is as fast as an airplane, but uses only a tiny fraction of the fuel! Once built, it leaves behind permanent, self-sustaining jobs, and adds to the economic vitality of the cities it connects! Since America emerged as one of the first national powers to have transcontinental railroads, our trains have died a slow death. Every other major industrialized nation has a bullet train of some sort. And we? We have outdated Amtrak connections that barely exceed 80 MPH using systemics that haven't changed since the 1970's. How embarassing!

Boy, would this one help out Milwaukee with Midwest Airlines getting mergered in with another airline, and possibly getting snuffed out of our city as a result. But any bullet transit connecting the Pacific Northwest with New York would logically have to go through Milwaukee. Just imagine jumping on a train and being in Chicago in 15 minutes! Or going to Las Vegas and getting there in five hours! Or to D.C. in four! Or Los Angeles in six!

Plus, trains hardly ever lose your luggage! Hell, that'll sell any member of congress!

Okay, good. But what else can we do? Well, the government could certainly grow a pair and start strong-arming state governments to release brainless restrictions on green energy, or outright order the building of solar and wind farms. There's precedent. The Tennessee Valley Authority was a government initiative to get bureaucrats off their lazy asses to generate power. It's time for more of the same. How about some huge tax cuts or outright tax forgiveness programs for companies which build more wind turbines or solar panels, and in so doing create more home-grown jobs? These things are long overdue.

Here's one: How about the feds put pressure on the oil companies to release patents they've been hoarding regarding green energy? We know they've been buying up these patents for years in preparation for the day when oil dries up. But those technologies are needed right now. Solar shingles, for example. Various breakthroughs in battery technology have also been sequestered. Enough, already! The government can go to any oil companies holding U.S. patents on green technology and basically say, "Fork them over, or suffer some severe tax penalties." Better yet, the U.S. Patent Office is an arm of the government, so the President has the power to declare a national state of emergency (which we certainly have) and simply take the patents and feed them to any private U.S.-based companies who are willing to develop them and create jobs with the products. That's an instant jump-start! I think that's exactly what President Obama should do!

And I have to beat upon this drum once again: It's time to legalize cannabis and prostitution. Let America be America for a change! Repeal of prohibition created jobs for people by adding the liquor industry. Adding the cannabis market will also generate jobs overnight. People will have living-room hydroponic victory gardens! And as for prostitution, well, I'd rather have well-regulated and disease-free call girls rather than pimps and crack whores on our streets. Wouldn't you? We can tax both and easily pay for government-option health care, eliminate the deficit, and pay off the national debt all in one stroke.

Those are short-term and intermediate-term solutions. The long-term solution is, of course, a firm commitment to fund education, especially at the high school and college level. We need to emphasize the proper and correct teaching of science so that colleges and universities don't have to waste so much time undoing all the damage done from the teaching of creationist and intelligent-design crap. Plus, I think that economics should be a required high school course, so that citizens can stop voting for economic boneheads.


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