Monday, September 7, 2009

Erin For President

My lovely case manager campaigning outside the aquarium
My lovely case manager, Erin, is spending this fine Labor Day weekend down south, in San Diego, where there will be festivals and musical events to enjoy with her friends.
I was home ported in that city for four years, from 1978 to 1982, and have no sweet memories of the place.
Anyway, all of us here at Joyce's Take (me and my invisible dog, J.J. Gittes 2) are very excited by the upcoming visit of Erin's mother next week as she plans to spend a few days with her daughter. Her name is Patty, and I expect to meet her next Wednesday.
In the meantime I would feel remiss if all of us Los Angelians did not welcome this lone visitor from the mysterious east with a hearty hello.
Okay, all together now Los Angeles, "Hello Patty!"
"Hello Patty! Hi," Los Angeles shouted.
Was that all of you?
Oh come on, I want all of you. L.A.P.D.?
"Hi Patty. Welcome to Los Angeles."
Officer Madison? Come on.
"Hi Patty."
That's better. Let's stop being so parochial. I want all of California to greet Erin's mom. Alright California, "Hi Patty!"
"Hi Patty!" California exclaimed. "Hello. Have a nice time with your daughter."
"Hello Patty. What a girly girl, and these kind of things!" says Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Welcome to Californiea."
Thank you all. Thank you.
Now I will inevitably discover that Erin's mother spells her first name Pattie.
Next, as promised, Erin's list of the ten things she would do if she were President to make the country better.
My case manager actually took out 45 minutes of her valuable time to complete a list of ten things she would do. Thank you, Erin. And this list deserves serious discussion.
So, here we go with, Erin's List (periods, and use of capital letters added):

"1) Immediately stop production on any non-hybrid cars (tell all companies that they must switch over) and make at least one line of hybrids that are extremely low cost so that everyone can afford to keep our air clean and stop using so much gas (but keep producing the fancy expensive ones as well so that we don’t become communist)."
This first concern touches on climate change, which is exceedingly important, the economy and conservation of resources. And her parenthetical comment is a shining tribute to capitalism. Bravo!
"2) Make prostitution illegal in all states and crack down on all parts of the sex trade industry."
Whoa! Wait a minute here. Taking this position and running on this platform, although morally laudable, would guarantee she would never get elected. I tend to discourage the use of prohibitive legislation of all sorts, considering our country's history and experiments with them with alcohol and our current war on drugs, which has been a miserable failure. I agree with Erin in principle, but I would attempt to tackle this particular issue by improving the economy over all, lessening the gap between the rich and poor, and making higher education free as part of the common infrastructure of the country. Providing more opportunities for our children to gain education, and more good jobs for all of our people hopefully would decrease the incentives to enter into prostitution and the sex trade. And, like the victims of human slavery, I believe assistance programs and rehabilitative services should be strengthened and provided to those who may be coerced into the sex trade and wish to escape from it. Still, as long as there is sex in the world there will be a sex industry and those who wish to enter it of their own free will. I don't see a reason to criminalize them.
"3) Go by popular vote, instead of electoral (did I get that terminology right??)."
Yes you did, Erin! Good job. The Electoral College was put into place by the nation's founders to minimize the effect of states with larger populations controlling national elections. However, this has made smaller "battleground," states have an unprecedented voice in electing the President, with elections won and lost on the popular vote in Ohio and Florida, whose populations may not reflect the views of the nation as a whole, and it seems, where they can easily be compromised. I agree with Erin, get rid of the Electoral College and transform the country into a true democracy! Since this move will tend to favor the progressive vote I wholeheartedly agree.
"4) Have programs where people can take trips to other countries to work on a project, such as a medical outreach or building a school in a poor area. Similar to church members going on missions trips, but it would open up this amazing opportunity to more than just church-goers. It would broaden peoples horizons and spread awareness of life beyond the United States, while also strengthening our foreign relations."
The Peace Corps still exist, but I agree that more opportunities like the Corps and Doctors Without Boarders should be provided for the very reasons Erin has cited.
"5) Put more money into our education system so that we can have more teachers and smaller class sizes and get rid of “tenure” so that we can have newer, younger, brighter teachers who are happier to come in and teach instead the old terrible ones who can never get fired."
Seems dear Erin has run into some difficult professors. I agree that our teachers should be paid more, "No Child Left Behind" should be rescinded, and a broader, holistic approach to our educational system be adopted. And that every level of the educational process be free of charge. Like health care, education should be a right in this country, not a privilege. As far as "tenure" is concerned, that appears to be a freedom of speech issue, allowing those who gain it the ability to promote points of view that are not currently in favor, or that of the minority without fear of retribution, and I would be for keeping that system in place. Tenured "old terrible ones" can still be removed if need be. All that needs to be done is provide just cause.
"6) Make fine arts classes a mandatory part of the school curriculum again."
I agree with Erin that fine arts, and liberal arts in general, should be made available to all students in order to broaden ones entire educational experience. And I believe that emphasis be placed upon science and mathematics, rather than business and law. And that's it free.
"7) Create better after-school programs at all schools to help kids with homework, socializing, etc. especially in the poor school districts."
Couldn't agree more.
"8) Work on the foster care system, especially in the area of paying more attention to the homes that children are going into so that there is a lower chance of abuse of the children and of the system (ie. people who take in kids just for the money)."
"9) Make all places of employment give a minimum of 1 ½ months vacation time per year (like they do in most other countries) and you will see happier employees who do their jobs better and have less stress and less health problems."
A fitting position for this Labor Day! Yes, I agree, strengthen our labor laws and practices so the people who actually do the work have a better voice in the work space, and a better life. Improve workplace safety while we're at it.
"10) Make public colleges that are more affordable or even free, the way it is in some other countries, so that there is no excuse for anyone to not be able to go. But still keep around the expensive schools as well for those who want to attend them if they can afford to or if they receive scholarships to go there."
Again, free education as part of the nation's common infrastructure would eliminate the need for expensive schools and allow educational opportunities for all.

Well she has convinced me. I for one, dear readers, will spend what I can of the next ten years, until Erin reaches the eligibility age of 35, encouraging her to run for President.
I know she'll be a great President, and maybe the first female to get the job.
Now I need to see how she feels about free pie.

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