Assuming I were to run for public office – let’s say President since we’re being ambitious – these would be 12 of my major tenets. (Needless to say, I am not running for any kind of public office.) Some of these may seem rather extreme, but it’s just a function of our present societal situation in which poor people face heavy penalties for crimes they commit and rich and powerful people face virtually no penalties whatsoever, despite the fact that rich and powerful people can do much more damage.
1. Legalize all drugs under the present California model; i.e., licenses and federal oversight. All drug offenders will receive immediate release. All non-drug offenders shall be moved to federal prisons. All private prisons shall be closed. No person or corporate entity shall ever be granted the power to make profit from the imprisonment of others. Addicts will be hospitalized, of course.
2. Ban all drug advertisements, to include alcohol, in all media. No drug companies (which includes alcohol) can sponsor sports stadiums or anything of the like. They can stay in business – I like a Long Island myself from time to time – but the playing field is completely equal and we want to reduce the all-encompassing nature of alcohol in our society a bit.
3. All presidential candidates must pass a basic skills test, including general knowledge questions in economics and geography. There will be essays and an oral exam. It need not be excessively difficult – we could perhaps use a general knowledge exam designed for English public school students, for example. We just want to make sure anyone who runs for office isn’t a complete fucking toolbag. They need to know the Earth goes ’round the Sun. The question of whether a magical snake talked to Adam and Eve should not be something that requires heavy thought.
4. The death penalty will be federally mandated, with several important provisions and limitations:
- All people of color must be convicted by a jury of their peers; that is, the jury must be composed of at least 50% people of color as well. In certain areas in the South, this is raised to 75%. All current death penalty cases will be re-examined by independent investigators to determine the evidence used to obtain their conviction, and will be stayed until approval to move forward is received. The manpower to do these independent investigations shall be found in the local communities and there will also be more people available because all drug cases are going away.
- The death penalty will be greatly expanded to include white-collar criminals. For example, attempted bribery of a public official, whether by direct or indirect means, will be punishable by death. The CEO of any company whose products result in even one person’s death as a result of malfeasance or disregard shall be charged with murder and put to death. Any executive who can be demonstrated to be knowledgeable of any hazardous material being placed in an area such that it directly or indirectly causes the death of a single individual shall be charged with murder and put to death. Any CEO or executive who knowingly participates in a scheme wherein funds are mismanaged to a degree that 1,000 or more people are put out of work shall be put to death. Any less than that number is merely life in prison with no possibility of parole. All higher-ups shall be responsible for every accountant, so that they are held accountable for their employee’s actions; the “I was unaware” defense is invalid.
- With regard to war-making, any member of any government body, whether in the legislative, executive, or judiciary branch, who agrees to commit troops to any war under false pretenses shall be put to death. The “I was unaware” defense will also be invalid in this case. It is their responsibility to be aware.
- Any police officer convicted of using excessive force which results in the death of a person, accidental or not, shall face the death penalty. Police officers will receive no special protections in prison and will be among the general population; however, it will be made known to the other prisoners who among them was formerly an officer. Any police officer who is found to have committed perjury in the trial of any person, under any circumstances, will face the death penalty. Any police officer who is found to have planted evidence or otherwise aided the false prosecution of any person will face the death penalty.
5. All anti-sodomy laws are hereby repealed. All private sexual activities are legalized as long as they are between consulting adults.
6. Any public relations firm who is found to have knowingly provided disinformation or lied on the behalf of any individual or corporation shall be broken up and the funds used to rebuild infrastructure in the communities of the affected persons.
7. Corporations are no longer persons and have no person-specific protections. Executives must be responsible for their own actions under penalty of law.
8. The “three strikes” law is hereby dissolved.
9. Prostitution is legalized. Federal case centers are set up so that prostitutes can get health care, regular medical checkups, work standard shifts, and obtain their licenses.
10. All medical patents last for 5 years maximum. Minor changes in “medicines” which do not alter their constituent elements do not count for purposes of re-patenting. Anything naturally occurring shall not be patentable; i.e., animals, plants, and people are not patentable, and neither are their cell structures or DNA. Viruses are considered “living” for purposes of non-patentability. Terminator seeds are hereby banned and all patents to that effect are revoked. Any further experimentation along those lines will be punishable by death.
11. Investments can only be in tangible entities and for a tangible productive purpose. All derivatives-based gambling is hereby banned. Any funds invested in that manner and lost cannot be re-collected and all such debts are considered null and void. All companies who solely trade such entities shall be broken up and the monies gained used to rebuild infrastructure in the communities most affected.
12. Companies whose businesses are in the United States but whose primary holdings are in banks other than the United States shall be subject to increased taxation. Those tax burdens are lessened to the extent that the monies stay in U.S. banks. Those tax burdens are eliminated if those same monies are used to rebuild infrastructure in the communities they serve or fund programs that serve the inner cities. Small profits will be allowed in the operation of these programs for businesses who use this money in such a productive capacity. Businesses would also be allowed to discuss their funding of these programs in their advertising, so there would be an incentive to have the best and most productive assistance programs so as to engender people to buy their products generally.
Anyway, these are just a few of the ideas. It’s a start…