Who Wants To Be CEO of a Red, White and Blue Kakistocracy*?
Richard Sauder, Ph.D.
©2008 All Rights Reserved. Contact author for permission to repost or mirror
*Kakistocracy is government by the very worst, least principled, and most incompetent people. You will be forgiven for thinking that the word, kakistocracy, perhaps derives from the word, "caca", itself derived from the Latin, "cacare". In fact, kakistocracy derives from the Greek, kakos, meaning "bad".)
Let me make myself clear from the outset: I am not running for President of the United States, I just am *not doing* it, though I am constitutionally fully qualified, and, truth to tell, would be much better for the country in many ways, on many levels, than the current, thug occupant of the White House (notice that I do not refer to him as "President"). But, no, I really and truly do not aspire to be President of this godforsaken Kakistan masquerading as the USA.
Now that that crucial non-announcement is out of the way, permit me to set forth a couple of the many reasons for my subdued, cyberspace non-campaign for the Oval Office.
To begin with, I find that I am simply unable to be like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, and go running after obscenely big bucks from the Fortune 500, and to go suck up to NeoCon-Zionist PACs like AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), and to participate in those silly, so-called Presidential "debates", where a great many, extremely important policy issues are rarely or never mentioned, and where the level of debate is usually so jingoistic, shallow and superficial, that the level of the discussion usually doesn't even begin to address fundamental, substantive issues of cause and effect on a whole broad range of pressing policies.
Moreover, it is obvious to anyone who cares to see that the entire electoral political system in this country, as presently constituted/instituted/arranged/rigged by the Democratic and Republican parties, is so massively, criminally corrupt that whoever attains the White House is more akin to a Mafia Don, than to an enlightened, well-intentioned leader of a fair, free and open Republic. In the present system, the President is basically the boss of a national criminal syndicate that aspires to totalitarian, global control. The Attorney General (someone like Alberto Gonzalez, for instance) is so mobbed up that he's akin to a Mafia consigliere. The IRS and the federal courts and prison system are like the mob's muscle. The FBI and Homeland Security are like hit men and street corner punks and toughs, carrying out the violent wishes of whatever Ivy League thug or goon currently occupies the Oval Office. The Federal government itself is a sort of vast, global, money laundering operation, spewing out paper money, fiat dollars, aka Federal Reserve notes, by the hundreds of billions and trillions, resembling nothing so much as a Federal Mafia or National Criminal Syndicate, headquartered in the District of Columbia, with a self-issued, self-validated "legal" license to maraud, ravage and plunder whoever, whatever, whenever and wherever it pleases. These thoughts are not unique to me; many millions of people in this country and right around the world have come to similar realizations.
So who wants to be a Federal Mafia Don? Certainly not me. I am reminded of the work of Laura Knight-Jadczyk at Sott.net who has tirelessly pointed out the great harm that psychopaths and sociopaths have done throughout history, including in the present day, and how they insinuate themselves into positions of power and influence, by hook and by crook, using guile, deceitfulness, mendacity and outright wholesale theft and murder, to clamber to the top of the heap in government, the military, high finance, industry, marketing, journalism, academia and religion. And there they wreak their terrible will and hatch and carry out their violent plots and schemes for exploitation, destruction and global control and plunder.
You know who I'm talking about. The names and activities of these people are regularly splashed across the pages of daily newspapers and television broadcasts, and drip bloodily off the pages of our history books. What they do and who they are are clearly apparent, to one and all. They are a minority of the population and yet they lord it over the rest of humanity - who acquiesce in their power plays and exploitive policies, or even outright support them in their harebrained rantings and ravings and cockamamie schemes of national domination and world conquest. We keep tossing up these maniacs, century after century, millennium after millennium. Alexander, the Caesars of Imperial Rome, Attila, Genghis Khan, The Roman Catholic Popes and Inquisitors of the Middle Ages, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, George Bush, Dick Cheney - the karmic wheel of history keeps turning and churning and we, the human species, keep spewing these monsters out of our loins. And they raise armies and set off to conquer and spoil, filling their torture dungeons and prisons with hapless victims of their iron rule, leaving behind a mountain of corpses on the killing fields that trail behind in their ignominious wake. And, alarmingly, these monsters never lack for legions of fawning lickspittle toadies, sycophants, desperate "wannabes", and obsequious brown nosers, eager to go along, grateful to get along, who conspire and cooperate with them to carry out their hideously dark plots and nefarious schemes. You can see that in the United States right now - people like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, John McCain, Barack Obama, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez, General Petraeus, Ben Bernanke and Michael Chertoff are just that sort of individual, and there are literal swarms of other lesser knowns who aid and abet these dark underlings in their myriad, ongoing, unconstitutional, massively criminal endeavors.
Massively criminal? What's he talking about? I can hear you thinking the question aloud. Permit me to illustrate my point with an exquisitely simple civics exercise: take a dollar bill out of your wallet and read all the wording on it very carefully. You will search in vain for the words silver or gold. Now take out your trusty U.S. Constitution and read Article 1, Section 10, Paragraph 1:
"No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility."
Got that? "No state shall ... make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts..." This article of the U.S. Constitution has never been rescinded or abolished, so it is still in force. Yet though the modern Federal Reserve Notes plainly state that they are legal tender for payment of all debts, public and private, you will search in vain for any wording pertaining to gold or silver, because the Federal Reserve Note was removed from the constitutionally mandated gold and silver standard decades ago. Ergo, the Federal Reserve Notes are unconstitutional money, which is to say that they are COUNTERFEIT currency, because they are not silver or gold, or backed by silver or gold, as legally required by the U.S. Constitution.
Which is another way of saying that in a profound sense our entire economy is counterfeit, based as it is on mounds of counterfeit, fiat paper dollars, endlessly printed up by the billions and trillions. In fact, that ominous creaking sound that you hear out the window, that bone chilling popping and crackling sound you hear gaining volume in the distance is the impending collapse of this entire fake, sham, counterfeit economy based on fake, counterfeit, fiat Federal Reserve bank currency.
Think I'm wrong?
Just wait. Wait for the mortgage crisis to reach full gale force. Wait for the credit (really massive debt) crisis to swamp other sectors of the economy. Wait for the trillions of dollars worth of incredibly intricate, fake, counterfeit, bogus financial instruments and paper investments to collapse of their own insane weight and utter and total, intrinsic worthlessness. Wait for the hurricane of runaway inflation and debasement of the U.S. Federal Reserve Notes to hit the domestic economy, as $4.00 per gallon gasoline becomes a wistful, nostalgic memory. Wait for the trillions of dollars of phony-baloney Federal debt to drag the economy down and strangle it to death. Just you wait. That's what happens when a country relies on phony, paper, counterfeit currency, like the U.S. Federal Reserve Notes - which are backed by nothing more nor less than high speed printing presses cranked up into hyper-drive, spitting out dollars by the hundreds of billions, and trillions, and inflating the currency beyond all reason. That's what really forms the bedrock of our national economy at present: high speed printing presses churning out paper money by the ton. That's it in a nutshell. All the rest is commentary.
That's the reality of where we are and it's all about to come crashing down around our ears. That's my exhibit "A".
That one, salient fact by itself conclusively demonstrates that this country is not now under Constitutional rule and has not been for decades. We're in the twilight zone, where down is up, black is white, and false is real. Almost no one even mentions this glaring reality, or its profound implications. Gatekeepers of both Left and Right have been totally silent on this issue for decades, as befits their bought and sold political status. The mainstream news media, and a good portion of the alternative news media, as well, remain absolutely silent on this issue. And so the massive criminality rolls onward toward the inevitable catastrophic, crash ending.
I wrote my Congressman a nice letter, asking him to please explain what a U.S. dollar is, from a legal standpoint. HE NEVER REPLIED. He cannot, because he cannot tell the truth. No one in the government can, because the modern U.S. dollar (Federal Reserve Note) is an illegal, unconstitutional, counterfeit sham, and has been for decades. And they cannot admit that, because it would mean game over, pandemonium, revolutionary chaos.
So, for these reasons, and many others, a few of which I will enumerate below, I find that I cannot offer myself as a candidate for President of the United States of America at the present time. Notice that I explicitly reserve the right to also *not run for President* again in the future. Judging by the fact that so very few sane, rational people make a serious bid for the Presidency, I can only surmise that virtually everyone else in the country who thinks about any of these solemn issues in any depth is in essential accord with me and arrives at much the same conclusion. To wit: if the United States federal government is a massive con, a counterfeit sham, a huge, global, murderously violent, criminal enterprise operating under questionable color of flagrantly unconstitutional, so-called "law", then what person in their right mind would aspire to be Top Dog and Chief Executive of that insanity and mayhem? The answer is: most normal, sane persons assuredly wouldn't. And that is why the psychopaths and their hangers-on have the political field wide open for themselves.
Still, it is fun to play the game of "What if?" and muse about the possibilities, if the situation weren't so diabolically, chaotically, murderously, criminally corrupt. Supposing the political playing fields were not criminally rigged, supposing that elections were not fixed, and that a person with instincts of genuine service to the nation and the planet were able to get near the levers of power, as in: to be elected to the Presidency of the United States of America; and supposing further that such a person would not be physically exterminated as John Kennedy was, as Dr. King was, as Robert Kennedy was, as Malcolm X was, as so many others have been .. in that unlikely scenario, what might occur? Because, you see, we all know that there are a lot of rules, both spoken and unspoken, and if a President, especially a President, gets too far out of bounds of the ruthlessly violent status quo, that he will be blown away. The CIA or the FBI or the Mafia or any other of the violent players in the political arena will send an assassin or team of hit men and will take care of the "problem". They'll make a scare crow out of him, like they did to John F. Kennedy. They'll blow his brains out in prime time. And then the "cleaners" will enter the scene to "sanitize" the obvious, murderous power play - the whole bloody hit will be "laundered" by mainstream journalists, law enforcement authorities, other scheming, lying, corrupt politicians, and academic historians at the nation's major universities. And that will be that.
So that is yet one more reason that: I am *not* running for President, and if *not* elected, will *not* serve.
But why should I let such a minor detail stop me from telling you some of the sorts of policies that I would pursue if I were to mysteriously awaken one morning sitting behind that big, Presidential desk in the Oval Office? Why let such a trifling triviality prevent me from presenting for your consideration some of the eminently qualified and really good, decent, talented and intelligent people that I would most assuredly call to government service, as I set about righting the ship of state, after so many years of malicious, nay, darkly malevolent misgovernment?
My First Official Act
As President, I would order the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately make preparations to resume issuing Constitutional dollars backed by silver and gold, and reinstate gold and silver coin as lawful currency. For Secretary I would most certainly call on someone like Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and founder of solari.com She has the requisite professional formation in the world of high finance, and has the best interests of the working people of the United States at heart. I agree with her philosophy of building a strong national economy based on strengthening the economic well-being and viability of local communities. She has demonstrated that she possesses the grit and determination required to coordinate policy at a high level. Her vision of what constitutes a sound, functional economic order is the direction this country needs to turn. If the nation's communities are not flourishing, then how can the nation possibly prosper? Catherine Austin Fitts also has a thorough understanding of the depth of the criminal corruption that exists at the heart of the present political and economic system. She understands the ruthless nature of the Federal Mafia that currently holds the reins of power in Washington, DC. She knows the players and their violent propensities. She is no shrinking violet. I like her moxie. She would be in my cabinet.
I might appoint Congressman Ron Paul, of Texas, to work closely with Catherine Austin Fitts to oversee the orderly, and expeditious dismantling of the Federal Reserve systems, the issuing of a sound, Constitutional currency, and to work under Secretary Fitts' supervision to facilitate the creation of an ethical, constitutional banking system that meets the life needs of the working people and productive classes of this country. Congressman Paul has demonstrated time and again that he has a profound grasp of how the Federal Reserve system, and the big banks, have jointly conspired to take down the economy from the inside, for the extreme enrichment of the ultra-wealthy few, to the tremendous detriment, and relative impoverishment of the many. He understands better than most what is broken, and he knows some of the steps that need to be taken to address the problem.
Concomitantly, I would also ask Congressman Paul to put together an expert team to dismantle the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), and to set up an equitable tax or revenue department in its place that complies with the letter of the Constitution. The IRS has become a huge, rogue bureaucracy that has overstepped its constitutional, tax gathering bounds and has become an oppressive agent in conflict with the people of the United States. So my administration would abolish the IRS effective immediately. Several innovative policy changes that I set out in the sections farther below would more than make up for the loss of revenue occasioned by removing the IRS' jack boot from the people's collective neck. (For example, trillions of dollars would be saved by putting an immediate halt to self-destructive, imperial warfare. An enormous chunk of the Federal budget is devoted to massive military spending in support of ruinous imperial projects - think wars in Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.)
Notice that while the first two appointments are Republican, they are not from the NeoCon wing of the party, and that is crucial.
The Problem of Corporate Government
There has been an unfortunate drift in public policy, over the last century and a half or so, towards government that is increasingly "of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations". So much so, that at present the system of governance in the United States is really a corporate government. We see this on every hand, in the enormous and still growing multi-trillion dollar military-industrial complex, in the way that huge agricultural concerns such as Monsanto, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland drive food and agricultural policy, in the way that the petroleum industry influences foreign policy and plunders the national economy through extortionate pricing, and in the way that the Federal Reserve Banks have hijacked the national currency, and thereby exercise effective control over the national economy. These few examples could be multiplied and extended in great detail, but they suffice to illustrate the point.
In a Sauder administration, the policy emphasis would be shifted away from catering to the interests of mega-corporations and their perceived need to earn a huge financial profit at any social or environmental cost, and would be redirected toward meeting the life needs of flesh and blood human beings. This doesn't happen in our political system at present, because of the enormous power that large corporations have over policy making. The headlines are saying that Barack Obama will likely spend $500 million dollars on his presidential campaign. In the real world, who has that sort of money, outside of George Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? Answer: practically speaking the only place you can get that kind of money is from large corporations, because outside of a relatively small number of individual multi-billionaires, it is only the big corporations who control huge chunks of money like that. So if they give Senator Obama, or John McCain, half a billion dollars, will they not have an inordinate influence on policy-making and policy implementation if he becomes President? Of course they will! In the real world, in the political world as it actually is, that is how the system currently works. Does that dynamic constitute bribery? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking it does represent large amounts of cash in exchange for personal political favors. It is another way of saying that the Federal government is up for bid, that it can be, and is, bought and sold, that mega-corporations buy the policies and politicians that they desire. It is political prostitution. You can think of the Federal government as one huge, multi-trillion dollar brothel, where for $500 million you can dally in luxurious leisure with the occupant of the Oval Office for four long years. Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen are also for hire, for two year, or six year dalliances, according to your pleasure. And thus we have Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, and so on.
I would instruct my Attorney General to aggressively clip the wings of the Fortune 500, using every anti-trust provision, and every other provision of the Federal Code available, to ensure ethical and fair business practices, including environmental regulations, fair lending laws, truth in advertising laws, and more. I am inclined to give someone like Ralph Nader first crack at the job and instruct him to clean house on Wall Street. There are laws on the books now that could curb many of the excesses we see in the business world. The problem is that unconstitutional Corporate Government (Corp-gov) is in cahoots with the corrupt corporate world and both sides benefit from their mutual criminality, and it is, indeed, mutual criminality on a mind-numbing, massive scale.
One of the biggest economic engines driving the corporate and banking industries at this juncture is massive profits from narcotrafficking and black market weapons smuggling. The reality of the situation is that in excess of $1 trillion dollars per annum from narcotics and arms trafficking are being laundered through the operations of the big banks and corporations, many of them in this country. Massive profits from the illicit drug traffic are a major source of capital in the present economic order. Narcotrafficking is enormously huge business and both the corporate sector and the government sector have their hands in the cookie jar, working closely with criminal syndicates of all nationalities and ethnicities - Colombian cocaine cartels, Mexican narcosyndicates, the Japanese Yakuza, the Sicilian Mafia, the Russian-Ukranian-Israeli mob, etc. And the international smuggling of black market weaponry is closely tied in with narcotics trafficking. The tentacles from this nefarious mess reach into government and intelligence agencies, corporate boardrooms and glass-and-steel banking towers all over the country. I would give my Attorney General a broad mandate to clean house and aggressively prosecute black market weapons and narcotics trafficking, because the criminal syndicates who mastermind these operations are so destructive of constitutional government, the national economy and civil order.
I want to add parenthetically here, that, paradoxically, at one and the same time, I would move to decriminalize personal use by private individuals of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and the like. Where individuals have chemical or substance abuse issues my administration would place an emphasis on treatment, as opposed to incarceration. That is to say, the emphasis would be primarily on addictive substance abuse as a public health issue (see health policy section below for more on addict rehabilitation), as opposed to a law enforcement issue. To be sure, individuals committing crimes as a consequence of substance abuse would still face the consequence of their crimes, but the mere possession in and of itself of, say, an ounce of marijuana, or a hit of LSD, would not be automatic cause to send someone to the state penitentiary for a lengthy prison term. There are very large numbers of people rotting in jail in this country right now for just that sort of so-called "offense", and it's insane. Smoking pot, as one example, is no more a danger to society than drinking a martini or a shot of whiskey - in fact, hard liquor is very damaging to human health. Countless crimes are committed each year by people who are intoxicated by alcohol, and thousands of people are slaughtered on the highways every year by drunk drivers, yet alcohol consumption is legal.
So I would want to greatly draw down the numbers of people who have been incarcerated for essentially victimless crimes such as marijuana possession or entheogen use (more about entheogens below). More than two million people are incarcerated at present in the USA, a great many of them for nonviolent drug or narcotics offenses. That is a senseless waste of human potential. We need those people on the outside, contributing their life energy to society. I hasten to say that I recognize that prisons do have a place in the social order; that there are some people who are criminally incorrigible and who absolutely must be shut away from the rest of society, for the greater good. People who murder, who rob and steal, and so forth, are deservedly physically separated from society. And the criminal justice system will take care of them.
By legalizing substances such as marijuana and cocaine, and treating addictive problems as a public health and public education issue, as opposed to a criminal matter, criminal activity associated with the drug trade will be sharply diminished, and when the market adjusts to the new juridical reality supply and demand will be met as they are with other commodities on the open market. Cocaine and marijuana were legal in this country for a long time earlier in our history, and I don't see why people who desire them should be subject to criminal arrest. I suppose the state could put a luxury or consumption tax on their commercial sale as it does with liquor and tobacco products. Those who don't wish to partake of marijuana or cocaine can restrict themselves to cigarettes and booze (whiskey, beer, wine). If they overdose from cigarettes (lung cancer, emphysema) or alcohol (cirrhosis of the liver) they will simply have to suffer the painful consequences.
You see, the sort of business model that currently prevails on Wall Street is vulture capitalism. One of the darkest secrets in high finance is that some of the most prominent businesses and banks in the country have made a killing laundering vast sums of money derived from the illicit trade in narcotics. This type of business model is predatory, it does not foster economic development or strengthen the nation; on the contrary, it has greatly weakened the country and created great suffering for many people here, and all around the world. By unleashing someone like Ralph Nader to clean out the corruption on Wall Street, the rushing torrent of narco-dollars would be stanched and profit in the world of high finance would have to be generated by the provision of genuine goods and services that answer to real, human life needs. That is what business is supposed to do. At present, unbridled greed and criminality, theft and banditry, on a vast, globe-spanning scale, have run amok in the business and banking world.
A great, international crisis is presently descending on the Earth as a direct consequence of this deeply flawed business and economic model which has as its prime directive the predatory accumulation of astronomical amounts of capital in very few hands without regard to wider human and environmental costs. And so we see that about one-third of the human race are barely eking out an inhumane subsistence on just two or three dollars a day or less. A couple of billion people are suffering miserably like that, on a planet that has so much natural abundance.
A Sauder administration would act creatively and proactively to begin to turn the economic tide away from centuries of deprivation, slavery, indebtedness and hopelessness, to better the living conditions for the great masses of humankind, billions of whom are suffering unimaginably, as we head deeper into the 21st century.
How Would I Do That?
Epidemic, rampant warfare is one of the single greatest factors standing in the way of the full flowering of the human species' potential on this planet, in all of its manifestations. War wastes material resources, fouls the environment, slaughters millions of people, creates enormous anxiety and suffering, contributes to international chaos, and creates a species-wide spiritual malaise that redounds to the detriment of the entire planetary order. Accordingly, one of my very first acts as Commander in Chief of the military would be to unilaterally pull the plug on the insane, counterproductive, imperial wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USA unilaterally started those wars; the Pentagon unilaterally invaded two sovereign nations that had done nothing to the United States government or the people of this country. So I would issue a direct command to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Secretary to begin pulling out of both theatres. Just begin drawing down the troops and leave. Period. End of discussion. Would that leave Iraq and Afghanistan in fragmented turmoil and at the mercy of warlords and rival armed factions? Yes, it would. But, realistically, that is the case now, with the Taliban resurgent in Afghanistan and an anarchic equilibrium in Iraq, where the Pentagon forces withdraw to their bases at sundown and cannot even totally control the streets of Baghdad after years of fighting. Besides, if there is chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan the situation is chaotic precisely because of the military invasion and continuing military occupation by Pentagon forces. So I would withdraw the troops. The invasions should never have occurred in the first place. I would assuredly not attack Iran, and I would not waste any time in bringing the madman of the Caucasus, Mikheil Saakashvili, to heel. I might invite him to the White House and and lay out the geopolitical facts of life for him, right there in the Oval Office.
There is a place for a national military force, and that place is at home, defending the national territory and borders. As President I would move vigorously to shore up constitutional, republican government against the neofascist, police state excesses and inroads of recent decades and eliminate the unconstitutional, imperial governmental apparatus and militaristic excesses that have so damaged the Republic and our constitutional system of governance.
I might appoint someone like Maj. General Antonio Taguba as my Secretary of Defense. He has shown an understanding that torture is illegal and unethical, and morally wrong. He addressed the issue from within the military while still in uniform. I want a man who has this fundamental understanding to instill this in the entire chain of command, from top to bottom, down to the front lines, all the way from Annapolis, West Point and Colorado Springs, right down to the level of the fox hole, cockpit and enlisted personnel's quarters.
National self-defense is justified; aggressive, imperial invasion of other sovereign nations is not. Nazi war criminals were hanged at Nuremburg for waging aggressive warfare; i.e., for the same class of crime as that committed by the current Bush administration. I would order the Attorney General to send the U.S. Marshals Service to arrest the principle architects of, and official apologists for, the invasions and military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the accompanying torture at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other secret prisons, and remand those miscreants (George Bush, Dick Cheney, David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzalez, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, et al) under heavily armed guard to the custody of the International Tribunal in the Hague to be brought up for public trial on war crimes charges and crimes against humanity.
Torture is inhumane and illegal under international law and the United States Constitution. I would order the Secretary of Defense to ferret out all of those who gave the orders for, or carried out, the torture at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and elsewhere, and hold court martial proceedings. Those who were found guilty would be jailed in the military's brigs and prisons, and in some cases turned over to International Tribunals for further trial and punishment. My administration would not shrink from imprisoning flag officers, if they countenanced torture. The ordering of torture, and the commission of it, constitute a grave, criminal violation of the officer's code of conduct. My administration would honor the international treaties pertaining to the laws of war, including the provisions guaranteeing the humane treatment of prisoners of war. Any officer who cannot abide by those solemn obligations has no business putting on the uniform and should seek another line of work.
As Commander in Chief my military policy would be focused on effective national defense, not on profligately expensive, never-ending imperial warfare. I would begin returning troops from Korea, Japan, Germany and elsewhere immediately. The Korean and Second World wars ended in mid-20th Century. A sovereign Republic, secure in its own borders, has no need to garrison a standing army abroad. I would halt all military aid to Israel. Why should the United States subsidize or support in any way the ongoing Israeli pogrom and aggression against the Palestinian people and nation? A nuclear state such as Israel, with a modern military, has no need for billions of dollars of military assistance from the USA. The Koreans, Japanese, Germans and Israelis will have to make their own security arrangements.
Barack Obama has recently announced his intention to pursue global nuclear disarmament if he is elected President. I applaud those sentiments, if he is sincere. I would attempt the same thing if I were President. In fact, I would conspicuously, publicly expose the Israeli nuclear arsenal as a first step before organizing any global, nuclear disarmament regime. As long as there are undeclared nukes floating around, any nuclear disarmament accord is subject to spectacular failure. I like Ronald Reagan's line about nuclear disarmament accords: "Trust, but verify."
I would want to draw in Gene Sharp, perhaps the greatest expert in the world on the theory of the politics of nonviolence, and have him work with other experts in developing creative, nonviolent methods and institutions dedicated to resolving political disagreements short of armed conflict. War is an incredibly destructive human institution and I am biased towards sharply reducing its incidence to as close to zero as possible, while simultaneously exploring ways to foster the development of international regimes and structures that emphasize mutually beneficial cooperation as a means for nations to achieve their objectives. We are all on this planet together. The military technology that has been developed over the last century is so destructive, and the consequences of its use are so dire, that the time has come for human societies on this planet to establish a new way of relating to one another. We categorically must find ways of resolving our disagreements and squabbles short of blowing one another to kingdom come. I am inclined to have Gene Sharp establish a National Institute for the Nonviolent Resolution of International Conflict. In theory, that was the sort of thing that the United Nations was established to carry out, but the U.N. is so riven with corruption and infighting that it presently has limited utility as a mechanism for fostering world peace.
I have to emphasize that I am opposed to the Big Brother approach to planetary peace, wherein tranquility reigns because everyone is cowed into fearful submission to the transnational, technocratic elite who control the Big Brother surveillance computers and data banks, and have their fingers perpetually poised to taser, shoot or imprison anyone who gets out of line. The type of planetary peace that I envision springs from a global order that is not violently imposed by Big Brother tyrants, but, on the contrary, stems from a mutual, rational, conscious decision of the global community as a whole to join together in a spirit of international cooperation, so that the entire human race can advance together in harmony, prosperity and joy to realize the innate potential of all individuals and peoples on Earth. The truth is that I am not alone in that view! Untold millions of people on this planet share that same vision. Regrettably, however, there is a tyrannical, sociopathic element abroad in the world who have injected themselves into positions of disproportionate influence and power in many countries, and who are hell bent on continuing and intensifying an endless cycle of war, chaos and international mayhem.
I am mindful that George Washington himself, before leaving office, strongly warned against entering into entangling alliances with foreign powers. The United States sends billions of dollars of foreign and military aid to the tiny nation of Israel every year. With George Washington's sage counsel in mind, I would summon the Israeli ambassador and personally inform him that there had been a change in policy, that all military and foreign aid to Israel was being summarily halted, due to continuing human rights violations by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people, and due to massive, illegal theft and destruction of Palestinian land, property and resources by Israel, as well as for repeated, illegal aggressions against the people and territory of Lebanon. I would immediately open a direct, diplomatic dialog with Hamas and Hezbollah, and seek to normalize relations with the Iranian government. I would also open diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba. The embargo against the Cuban regime lacks common sense and is counterproductive to our national interest.
I would send Jimmy Carter to the Middle East as my personal delegate, as a special ministre chargé d'affaires carrying a specific Presidential brief to dictate the following: 1) withdrawal of all Israeli military and police units from Palestinian land; 2) repatriation of Jewish settlers from Palestinian land back to Israeli territory; 3) return of every last bit of stolen Palestinian land and property; 4) major reparation payments by Israel to the Palestinians for six decades of ethnic cleansing, and here we're certainly talking about a great many billions of dollars; 5) unconditional surrender of Israeli political, military and police officials responsible for the genocidal pogrom against the Palestinians and the illegal invasions of Lebanon, and the delivery of those individuals to the International Tribunal in the Hague for public trail on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes; 6) and, finally, to carry out all of the foregoing as a prelude to full integration of both Palestinians and Jews into a new society, after the Jews have made all required reparations and restitution for the havoc they have caused, a new society in which Palestinians and Jews both enjoy full civil liberties, a new Palestine, yes, Palestine, free of the insidiously racist, corrupting influence of Zionism. The simple truth is that the hyper-violent, political experiment known as Israel is a racist, terror exporting state and it has run its hideous course. The United States has both a unique right, and also an unfortunate historic responsibility to act in this manner, given the massive military, intelligence and foreign aid that the U.S. has poured into Israel over the last sixty years. It is likely that many Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity would have been lesser in severity, and some of them might not even have occurred at all, without the massive support of the USA for the Israeli state and its appalling, criminal policies against the Palestinian and Lebanese people. My administration would act decisively to begin righting these wrongs.
The Black Budget Problem and the Missing Trillions of Dollars
The work of Catherine Austin Fitts, and others, has revealed that trillions of dollars have been "misallocated" in Pentagon accounts in recent years. There is rampant criminality at the Pentagon. The scale of the theft is so massive that it is absolutely unparalleled in the history of this country, or of any other. I would instruct the Attorney General to begin an immediate, high level, criminal investigation to recover the missing funds and criminally prosecute the thieves who stole it.
It is well-known that the world of so-called Black Operations operates off the books, out of effective Congressional oversight, or even out of effective oversight by the official military chain of command. I would put a stop to this. This shadow military structure cannot be permitted in a free Republic. Not only is it destructive of the common purpose of the public treasury, but it is unconstitutional and threatens the legal foundation of the Republic itself.
Recently we have seen the barest inkling of this problem in the mainstream news media, with disturbing allegations in the alternative media of a separate nuclear chain of command in the military, allegedly under the directionof Vice-President Cheney's office. As Commander in Chief I would have such insubordinate officers court martialed. If officers want to operate outside of the lawful chain of military command, they have no business wearing the uniform and I would weed them out, pronto. If I had conclusive proof that behind my back my Vice-President had set up a separate, secret, illegal, unconstitutional chain of military command answerable to himself, and was secretively flying nuclear weapons around the country without my knowledge or consent, in violation of his oath of office, as appears likely to have happened last year in the infamous Minot AFB-Barksdale AFB nuclear missile flap, I would instantly have him summarily arrested and physically confined as a clear and present danger to the Republic. If the Vice-President wants to be Commander in Chief, there is a lawful, constitutionally mandated process for attaining that title, and if he cannot abide by the Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold and defend, then he has no business occupying the Vice-Presidency.
The Shadow Government, the 9/11 Attacks and 1960s Assassinations
The matter of the missing trillions of dollars at the Pentagon naturally raises the question as to just how far the Shadow Government's reach extends, and how grave the damage is that it has done to constitutional government in the United States of America. A huge body of evidence suggests that there is a shadowy, sinister group working behind the scenes in the USA and internationally to set in place a global, totalitarian system of rigid social, political and economic control. They have been hard at work for decades. It is not easy to subdue an entire planet and bring it under the absolute control of a relatively small group of self-selected controllers. Nevertheless, if you look at history you can see a definite trajectory down through the years where greater and greater wealth, and greater and greater power, is slowly being aggregated and concentrated in just a few hands, and where the great masses of the population, by the hundreds of millions and billions, are being systematically politically corralled and economically exploited and controlled - all in the name of preserving and defending their security and freedom, of course.
Much evidence suggests that a shadowy nexus of fascist political interests (it matters not one whit, whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans or Socialists or Communists or something else), criminal syndicates, Fortune 500 corporations and military industrialists, powerful banking dynasties, mass media and telecommunications conglomerates, nefarious intelligence agencies and various powerful religious and fraternal factions have jointly conspired to slowly, but surely, destroy pluralistic, free and open social and governmental systems and structures in order to establish an iron authoritarian or totalitarian rule over as much of the world as possible. Their project has its fits and starts, it lurches forward, suffers reverses, makes big gains, and then loses ground, but it is relentless. These people never stop coming, they are sociopathic and their urge to acquire and retain power at any cost is draining the human race of its life force and promise, and turning this world into an open air prison planet. There is a pronounced unfeeling, inhumane or even non-human quality to their agenda. The assassinations of the 1960s, when John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm "X" were gunned down, was part of their drive to planetary control. They had to rip the guts out of the body politic of the United States for their push for global domination to go forward, and so they did that. They sent out their assassins and gunned down prominent public figures right in public, in prime time so to speak, as scare crows to others looking on. They sent a bloody telegram that would be universally understood. And they have committed assassinations and caused mayhem in many other countries around the world, in Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and so forth.
The same group, or one or more factions of it, carried out the so-called 9/11 attacks in the USA in 2001. Many websites and books have sprung up that definitively put the lie to the absurd propaganda spouted about 9/11 by the Bush administration and the mainstream news media. There can be no question that the United States government is lying about the attacks that occurred on 11 September 2001. I am thinking of websites such as Pilots for 911 Truth, Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth, Scholars For 9/11 Truth & Justice, Patriots Question 9/11, 9-11 Review and authors such as David Ray Griffin, Jim Marrs and Laura Knight-Jadczyk who provide a wealth of data and information that lay bare the total mendacity and deceitfulness of the United States government.
The intent behind the 9/11 attacks was the same as before - to eviscerate and weaken constitutional government, and traumatize the mass mind or mass consciousness of the public, the better to consolidate and extend authoritarian social control over the USA, and as much of the rest of the world as possible, via insidiously misnamed measures such as Patriot Acts I and II, the Military Commissions Act, and a host of other draconian laws, regulations, Executive Orders, judicial decisions and police actions, which, taken together, have effectively neutered the United States Constitution and rendered it null and void, for most practical purposes, introducing to the United States a novel form of government which at this point is best described as a kind of red-white-and-blue police state or dictatorship, with a thin, rapidly decaying, cosmetic veneer of constitutional legality. Many commentators and figures in the alternative Internet media have described this slow motion coup d'etat. Alex Jones, of infowars.com and prisonplanet.com has been in the forefront, as have Laura Knight-Jadczyk of Sott.net and Uri Dowbenko of conspiracyplanet.com as well as Michael Rivero of whatreallyhappened.com and Jeff Rense of rense.com I would be remiss if I failed to mention the prolific David Icke, as well, at davidicke.com who has described in great detail the international, global dimensions of the dictatorship that is being clamped down on the whole planet.
On the fringes of the mainstream, Paul Craig Roberts, Ronald Reagan's former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, has also been very outspoken about the collapse of constitutional government in the USA and the take over of political power by NeoCon brown shirts and thugs. His essays have been appearing in recent years at such sites as Justin Raimundo's antiwar.com and Alex Cockburn's counterpunch.org Paul Craig Roberts has had the courage and intellectual honesty to admit that the 9/11 attacks appear likely to have been orchestrated from within the power establishment of the United States. I admire him for having the starch in his spine to break with the mainstream media pack and tell the truth about the ugly pall that has come over this country and this planet.
Of course I would want this man, Paul Craig Roberts, in my administration. I would want him by my side as I move quickly to rescind Patriot Acts I and II, rescind the Military Commissions Act, restore Habeas Corpus rights and strip the telecommunications companies of their immunity from criminal prosecution for violating the people's Fourth Amendment rights to be secure against unlawful intrusion into their private affairs and personal communications. A civilized country absolutely must guarantee its citizens the right to legally contest their detention by the police and judicial system, and to prevent unwarranted violation of the sphere of their personal and private lives.
I would put a stop to the childish, mindless, ridiculous emptying of pockets and taking off of shoes before boarding an airplane, and throwing out of bottles of after shave lotion and tubes of toothpaste and shampoo as threats to national security. To be sure, there are extremely dangerous terrorists in this country, and they are the thugs responsible for the 9/11 atrocities and the illegal wars and egregious violations of civil liberties and human rights that they have unleashed on this country and the world, using the 9/11 attacks and other false-flag provocations as justification. These terrorists have known names and addresses; they are entrenched in the National Security (sic) apparatus of the United States and Israel and various NeoCon-Zionist think tanks and organizations. They are of both Democratic and Republican party affiliations and hold both Israeli and U.S. citizenship. In fact, a fair number of them are of dual United States-Israeli citizenship. They have many violent accomplices of other nationalities. The Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderburger meetings, the Knights of Malta, the Trilateral Commission, the Bohemian Grove fraternal gatherings and other similar conclaves and organizations around the world are attended by, and/or made up, of the wealthy, influential individuals who jointly comprise what many have labeled the so-called "Illuminati elite" who are behind the drive to enslavement of the global population into an international, Big Brother type of totalitarian control system. You do understand the ultimate purpose of the spy cameras that have popped up all over the world like mushrooms in the last ten years, do you not? And of the tightening control of travel, both domestically and internationally? And of the global debt squeeze which is driving untold millions of people to rack and ruin? And of the pervasive surveillance of the Internet and telephone networks? And extortionately high rates of taxation? And of the steadily growing intrusion of the state into more and more areas of daily life that were formerly private? And of the imperial warfare raging in the Middle East?
I therefore propose to establish a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission and give these thugs and goons an opportunity to make a full and complete confession of all of their murderous crimes and evil plots against constitutional order and public safety. For those who renounce and repent of their misdeeds, confess fully, and show contrition, we will offer conditional pardons and conditional amnesty on strict terms dictated and monitored by the state; to them we will show conditional mercy. For those who do not avail themselves of our gracious offer of conditional mercy in exchange for a full and contrite confession, we will offer swift criminal indictment and a fair trial, and if found guilty, the state will not shrink from imposing lengthy prison terms and even capital punishment, where the offense is sufficiently notorious and heinous.
I want to have people like Paul Craig Roberts, David Ray Griffin, Wayne Madsen, Cynthia McKinney, Francis A. Boyle, Peter Dale Scott and Jim Marrs on the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and others whom they might recommend. I want them to be rigorous, thorough and efficacious in their investigation and deliberation. The Commission will have full subpoena power and the authority to issue criminal warrants for felony arrest of any of its targets who do not cooperate fully and completely with its inquiries. It will have a broad mandate to investigate the 1960s assassinations, the Iran-Contra affair, the attack on the USS Liberty by the Israeli military in 1967, the 9/11 attacks, the anthrax attacks of late 2001, CIA and DoD torture, the missing trillions of dollars at the Pentagon, HUD and other federal agencies, and the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and military occupations. The Commission will have the full law enforcement power of the United States government at its disposal to seek out the guilty wherever they might be and bring them to justice.
Native American Policy
For centuries the U.S. Government has willfully exploited Native Americans and systematically violated the treaties it made with them. I would caucus personally with the Hopi Elders and traditional Native American leaders of the Cherokee, Navaho, Sioux, and other nations and seek their advice as to how to mend relations between the Native peoples of this continent and the Federal government and how best to improve economic prospects and living conditions on the many Native American reservations and lands sprinkled across the continent. Many of the so-called tribal councils are criminally corrupt, and working in cahoots with the criminally corrupt regime currently in power in Washington, DC, to the great detriment of countless thousands of people in Indian country all across the continent. Countless billions of dollars have been criminally confiscated and held back from Native Americans; this money is legally due to them as payment for timber, fish, oil, natural gas, real estate and other resources. I would order the Secretary of the Interior to aggressively search out these monies and release them to the individuals and families to whom they are due and payable.
I would want someone like Lila Bird as Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DoI). She is Native American, native to the West, where most DoI lands are located, and has professional expertise in water policy and the law. She has a unique skill set and regional knowledge that will be invaluable in discharging the tasks that I will call on her to carry to completion.
Many treaties between the United States and Native American nations have been egregiously violated by the government of the United States. I would order the Attorney General, Secretary of State and Secretary of the Interior to jointly meet, face to face, with legal delegations from aggrieved nations to address these issues and ensure that the government of the United States complies with both the letter and spirit of the treaty obligations it solemnly agreed to, when it signed bilateral agreements with Native American nations, even if the agreements are from centuries ago. Our word must be our bond, and if we have broken our bond, then we must right the wrong going forward. We are here together on this continent and I propose that we live and work together in a spirit of amity and cooperation. If we do not comply with our own government's agreements, how can we expect others to honor theirs?
Federal Election Commission
The present electoral system in the USA is beset by such an extensive degree of illegality that not even a multi-volume series of exposés would fully elucidate its extent. Suffice it to say that the rot is very deep and penetrates all the way from the Federal level and reaches into every state in the union, and snakes its illegal tentacles into thousands of cities, counties, towns, burgs, townships and hamlets all over the country. In many states of the Union millions of ballots are routinely thrown away and/or not counted at all.
At this point we simply do not have free and fair elections in the United States of America. I would call on Bev Harris, of blackboxvoting.org to head up the Federal Election Commission. She knows the deep extent of the corruption in the electoral process in the USA, and she is a tenacious fighter who won't back down. Bev Harris would enjoy my full support to implement a constitutionally sound and transparent electoral system, and to root out all systemic irregularities that militate against free and fair elections. My administration would give her the financial and technical resources to carry out her charge.
The massive corruption in the national election in the year 2000 was on embarrassing display for the entire world to view. Corruption and rigged results were also rampant in recent elections in 2004 and 2006. How can an honest individual be elected to any public office, minor or major, when the ballots are not fairly and transparently counted? What knowledgeable individual would even attempt to run for office, knowing the system is crooked and rigged to ensure the defeat of any and all who are not supporters of, or members of, the criminal syndicate that has the country in its crooked grip?
Therefore my administration will insist, at the bare minimum, on the exclusive use of paper ballots, transparency in the tabulation of the vote tallies, and secure storage of the counted ballots, should recounts be necessary. Incredibly, these simple measures are widely ignored and flouted in jurisdictions all across the country. Digital voting machines can easily be hacked and their results tampered with, compromised and changed. I would seek legislation prohibiting digital voting machines, or any other voting device or method that yielded anything other than a 100% faithful representation of the intent of the voter. I would also call for legislation outlawing the involvement of news gathering organizations in the counting process, and mandating open, publicly monitored and transparent counting of ballots and tabulation of vote totals, from the precinct level on up. The system we have now is steeped in secrecy, miscounting, outright vote theft, and forthright, organized lying. The dishonesty has to come to an end.
I would insist on legislation to make so-called third party access to the ballot routine and easy, at all levels, including local, state and federal, and to open political debates at all levels, including local, state, and federal, to all parties/candidates polling 1% and above. The Democratic and Republican Parties have strangled all the life out of our political system. We need new parties, new ideas, and genuine debate of important issues and policies. The way that public political debates themselves are structured and conducted also needs to change. Under current practice, a handful of candidates who are favored by the power brokers of the two major parties and the major, mainstream news outlets, are given the majority of the questions and the time to answer them, while other candidates are ignored. I would propose a new, national standard of allowing individual candidates in a debate to each have precisely the same amount of time to answer the same set of questions, and the candidates to be allowed to speak in a randomized order, so as not to favor any candidate at the expense of the others. This simple proposal seeks merely to be fair and polite to all participants in the process. Astonishingly, simple fairness and politeness are not part of the electoral process at present. My administration's philosophy would be that it is the voters, and not the debate format, who should determine the favored candidate(s). I would also lobby in favor of free-wheeling, free form debates, where candidates have the luxury of exploring their policy proposals in more depth. The system now is slanted too much towards producing 5-second, "gotcha!" sound bites that possess considerable emotional resonance and zing, but often lack substantive, meaningful, policy content. Candidates are often reduced to having to explain or present a complex policy to the public in 20 seconds, because that fits the network television news format. The national political discourse is rendered more superficial and cheapened as a consequence.
Sadly, in the current system, the Republican and Democratic parties have effectively conspired to close off the political process to candidates who are from other parties. The result is that we essentially have a two-party dictatorship that excludes views and policies not approved by the national leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties. As a consequence, the nation and the world are suffering from the depressingly regressive and poverty stricken political vision of the Democratic and Republican parties.
The old saw goes that, "You are what you eat." And most of the food we eat is produced by commercial agriculture. If the nation's population is to enjoy good health, the food supply must be wholesome and nutritious. What could be clearer?
For that reason, a Sauder administration would heavily emphasize natural, organic farming methods. Decades of industrial, factory farming have depleted the soil of nutrients, reduced its tilth and vitality, fouled the nation's soils and waterways with a witch's brew of chemically toxic run-off from our farmland, and denuded the countryside of topsoil.
A healthier agricultural model will emphasize natural mulching, and green and animal fertilizers, to build up organic matter in the soil. We also desperately need a continent-wide, non-chemical remineralization of our cropland, perhaps by widespread application to the nation's farmlands of rock dust derived from finely ground glacial till. Glacial till contains virtually every known mineral and when finely ground and applied to cropland greatly increases the land's productivity, and also the health, and therefore the nutrition, of the crops it produces. Many of the foods we eat are deficient in essential minerals, including important trace minerals that are vital to optimal human health, because the soils on the nation's cropland are so depleted. Remineralization of farmland is, thus, an essential component of a thoroughgoing agricultural and public health policy.
We also need to phase out the widespread, massive use of antibiotics, and growth hormone in agriculture. These practices are widely used in industrial or factory farming, to produce rapid growth of large numbers of animals, grown in close physical proximity, i.e., to maximize production on an industrial scale, in as short a time as possible, while minimizing the incidence of disease. But the massive use of antibiotics has had a boomerang effect, in that it has strengthened the very bacteria it is designed to counteract, thereby leading to the use of still more antibiotics, and the evolution of yet more resistant bacteria in response, and so on. This is a spiral that logically cannot have a pleasant ending, from an epidemiological standpoint. The use of growth hormone in the production cycle ineluctably leads to its presence in the human food supply, and human consumption. The ingestion of growth hormone in unknown, ever accumulating quantities equally poses unacceptable hazards to human health.
The widespread use of genetic engineering of organisms also poses unacceptable risks to human health and the long-term viability of the biosphere and the ecological chain of which humans are an inextricable part. I would work vigorously and assiduously to bring the agritech firms to heel and to outlaw the genetic engineering of crops and livestock, via recombinant DNA technologies, popularly known as gene splicing.
I would salt the Department of Agriculture from top to bottom with personnel with a bias towards general farming, family farming, and organic agricultural methods oriented towards building and maintaining healthy soils and producing healthy, vigorous livestock and crops. My agricultural policy would encourage general and family farming, local agricultural cooperatives, back-yard and community gardening, and the widespread use, cultivation and propagation of heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and other crops. Genetic diversity and hardiness is of fundamental importance to food security and agricultural security in general, and thus is, in essence, a vital national security issue. When the base of agricultural production loses its vitality and genetic sturdiness then the nation's food supply and crop production are potentially susceptible to catastrophic failure due to disease, predation or meteorological extremes. The large agribusiness corporations have done a grave disservice to modern agricultural by their mass production of, and commercial concentration on, comparatively few productive varieties of crops. They have made billions of dollars of profits for their officers, scientists and share holders thereby, but they have put the rest of us at grave risk.
I would immediately seek emergency legislation to ban Monsanto's so-called "terminator seeds" outright, which interfere with the age-old agricultural practice of saving seed from one crop to produce another crop the following year. Agricultural production must remain in the hands of those who directly work the land, and not be dispensed at the whim of agribusiness technocrats driven only by proprietary based considerations of monetary gain. I would also seek legislation to ban the patenting (and hence the legal ownership) of the genetic codes of biological life forms including all crops and all animals, including human beings themselves. The large agribusiness conglomerates are already well down this slippery slope and I would put a stop to it, pronto. I can see where this line of research is tending and there will not be any armies of cloned, proprietary slaves on my watch. Since the dawn of time, nature has provided the means to bring forth new life, and it suffices to replenish the biosphere in the time honored manner.
I would call on the expertise of the Rodale Institute, and Frances Moore Lappé, and people and organizations who share their agricultural philosophy. My administration would make a concentrated move to produce food locally and regionally, in so far as is possible, for purchase and consumption in the local and regional market, which would offer economies in transport and storage, and also contribute to a fresher, and hence more nutritious, product for the end consumer. The Amish have notoriously productive farms and they rely on animal and human power in their production cycle. By focusing on general, family farming and intensive cultivation using largely organic methods they often equal and even outproduce other farms - without massive capital outlays for huge machinery and other wasteful spending. There are centuries of wisdom in their approach to agricultural production. My administration would incorporate the best of that type of approach to farming and seek to replicate it more widely. The focus, nay, the overweening preoccupation, of corporate agribusiness has been to mine the land using an industrial mode of production, and to artificially manipulate or alter the genome of crops and animals to extract maximum financial gain; whereas, the focus of agricultural policy under my administration would be to nurture and revitalize the land using organic farming methods, and work with the creative life principle inherent in nature, to provide a high quality of nutrition to the nation, while simultaneously providing just compensation and an equitable living to farmers and their families, in exchange for the vital service they render to the rest of society through their food production.
I have to say something about the enormous importance of the honey bee. Approximately 30% of the food in our diets comes from plants that rely on honey bees for pollination, and that produce the fruit, vegetables and nuts that we eat. This matters a great deal, because the honey bee numbers are in sudden, sharp decline. Honeybee hives have been decimated by a troubling, mass die-off known as colony collapse disorder. Billions of honey bees are dead and the problem seems to be worsening. Can you imagine a diet largely devoid of squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, pears, strawberries, almonds, cucumbers, apples, cranberries, blueberries, cherries and much more? All of these foods come from trees and plants that rely on honey bee pollination. If honey bees continue to die off we will be facing a full-blown agricultural crisis with grave implications for the national food supply. It is no exaggeration to say that the health of the honey bee population is a national security issue of the first order. And yet, I see no evidence that the so-called "President" of the United States is even aware of the honey bees' worsening plight, and of the implications for the nation, if the honey bee decline causes food production to plunge.
So my administration would set up a Pollinators Bureau, within the Department of Agriculture, to ensure the care and well-being of honey bees and other pollinators, including other bees and insects, birds and bats. Pollinators are essential for a productive agricultural industry. We cannot do without them. We need to understand and protect them. Organic agriculture, with no synthetic chemical use, no genetically modified organisms, and natural habitat protection and restoration will go a long way toward ensuring the long term viability of the pollinators that are so crucial to healthy agriculture, and to the health of the biosphere in its totality.
Food and Health Policy
The policy here would follow seamlessly from the agricultural policy. Take a trip down the aisles of any supermarket, grocery store, convenience store or any other market or store where food items are sold and pick up the cartons/bottles/containers/boxes/cans and read the lists of ingredients. Our foods are laced with chemicals and artificial additives. It is not unusual to see fifty or more chemicals and additives listed on a label. Our bodies are ambulatory chemistry experiments. What do all these dozens and hundreds of chemicals do when they go into solution in our blood and bodily tissues?
Simple: they chemically react with each other and produce a wide variety of unknown chemical compounds that then circulate throughout our bodies doing God-knows-what to us and our health! Is it any wonder that we have so much cancer, so much mental illness? How could it be otherwise?
My administration would focus on dechemicalization of the national food supply, and emphasize the production and consumption of nutritious, whole, organic, fresh foods. I would actually use the bully pulpit of the Oval Office to promote removing the chemicals from the food supply, and eating natural, unprocessed or minimally processed, whole foods. The impressive health benefits of incorporating fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole seeds and raw nuts into the diet are indisputable. My administration would place strong emphasis on the value of dramatically increasing the ingestion of these health giving foods, while also widely publicizing the grave damage that overconsumption of sugar and sugary foods has done and is doing to the health of the people of the United States.
Some of the most enlightening work that has been done on the connection between proper nutrition and human health has been carried out by Stephen J. Schoenthaler. Simply by eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from the menu in youth correctional facilities, Dr. Schoenthaler was able to reduce violent and antisocial behavior by almost 50%. And Dr. Walsh discovered a strong link between poor nutrition and mineral deficiencies, and criminal behavior. Simply put, many criminals tend to have poor nutrition and suffer from mineral imbalances. Improving the quality of nutrition in the national diet would reap huge dividends, not only in terms of public health, but also in other policy areas such as education, law enforcement and corrections.
That is why my administration would concentrate much more heavily on innovative, fundamental, cost effective, proactive measures than present government policy does. As Bill Walsh and Stephen J. Schoenthaler have shown, poor nutrition is strongly correlated with criminal activity and antisocial behavior, so improving the general quality of nutrition for the society as a whole will yield enormous benefits in the way of a greatly lowered incidence of crime and antisocial behavior. Proper nutrition, regular physical exercise, and sufficient sleep, in and of themselves also greatly reduce the incidence of disease and the need for consequent medical intervention. Allopathic medicine has made many advances, especially in emergency medical procedures, but where degenerative disease is concerned it has far fewer answers. Its drug based bias often introduces a whole suite of harmful symptoms derivative of introducing the drugs into the body of the patient. Have you ever watched the drug commercials on television? First a mellifluous voice over tells you of the wonderful effect the drug will have on your health and quality of life - followed by a lengthy list of sobering qualifications and ominous warnings about possible or likely side effects should you be so credulous as to rush down to your doctor's office and have him/her write you a prescription for the drug. There is also huge, preventable mortality in the USA every year - due to the negligence and incompetence of M.D.s. Astonishingly, 250,000 people die needlessly every year at the hands of medical doctors, so many that doctors themselves are the third leading cause of death in the United States of America.
Widespread implementation of the few, simple, health policy guidelines above would, in and of themselves, vastly reduce the level of disease in society, and yield a huge net gain in overall well being and productivity of the population at large. This would translate into a more prosperous economic order, as many millions fewer work days would be lost due to sickness over the course of a year, and a larger percentage of the population would enjoy good health. Moreover, there are considerable economies that both the public treasury and personal finances would realize. Some of the largest expenditures that the Federal government has are moneys devoted to Medicare and Medicaid. As the health of the population improves, the cost to government of subsidizing their medical care declines in direct proportion, because the healthier people are the less often they are sick, and when they do fall ill they tend to recover more quickly and easily. The savings here could be on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars, quite possibly trillions of dollars over the longer term. Improving the level of the public's health also puts less strain on household budgets, as people lose less days from gainful employment, and spend correspondingly less money for medical treatment and medications. The savings for many households could run to thousands of dollars per year, freeing up that money for other needs and expenditures, such as savings, investments, home repairs, travel, leisure activities, educational expenses and more. Increasing the general level of health of the population would have important economic side effects, with a strongly positive net valence.
One of the innovative policy initiatives of my administration would be to develop an extensive system of hiking and biking trails all over the country, in order to a) promote a culture of physical fitness and b) appreciation of the natural beauty of the countryside. And, yes, outdoor leisure and activity have everything in the world to do with good health! The well known Appalachian Trail on the East Coast is but one example of the sort of trails that I would want to see develop in a national network from coast to coast, border to border, and within, and between cities. Some of these would be for hiking, others for biking. They could be paved in urban areas, or unpaved in wilderness areas. There would also be employment opportunities in building and maintaining the trail system, in providing security for the trails, as well as in providing for the many day-to-day needs of the bikers and hikers who used them. An entire leisure industry could develop around the trail system to provide clothing, foot wear, bikes, back packs, saddle packs, food, water, non-food supplies, rest stations, lodging, entertainment, etc. An inner city path system could greatly alleviate urban traffic congestion by making it easy for people to navigate cities by bicycle. Amsterdam, with its ubiquitous bicycle lanes, is a prominent European example of what I envision, and what has been done in Amsterdam is a model that could be replicated in many cities in the USA, making it much easier to move around by bicycle. A lot of European cities are a quantum leap ahead in their urban planning of what we see in most cities in the USA. We can learn from their experience.
There are many worthy candidates for Surgeon general, but someone like Dr. Mercola would surely be near the top of the list. He's an osteopath, not an M.D., and has a much more holistic view of health than many (most?) M.D.s. The pharmaceutical companies have an altogether greater impact on health care policy, and government policy in general, than is good for either the people's physical or financial health. The cost of health care is spiraling out of reach of more and more people. Tens of millions of people cannot even afford to see a doctor due to the exorbitant cost of medical care today. A great deal of this cost increase is driven by profit-taking by the pharmaceutical companies as they charge ever more and more for their pills, potions, tonics and injections-- many of which, moreover, are of decidedly questionable effectiveness. To wit: a senior executive for the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo, admitted in 2003 that most prescription medicinesdo not workfor most people who take them.
Dr. Mercola's emphasis on proper nutrition, exercise and healthful sleep, as the foundation of a healthful life richly merits a national policy platform. As Surgeon General he will have wide latitude and access to the national media spotlight to advance a more healthful agenda for the nation's population. For too long, the Surgeon General has labored in obscurity. In my administration, that would change. Sound health policy is fundamental to the wellbeing of the entire nation. If the people are not well, how can the country flourish and prosper?
I expect that Dr. Mercola would coordinate health policy to take advantage of other healing modes, such as naturopathy, chiropractic, meditation, massage and herbalism. Allopathic medicine has its place, but by relying so exclusively on the drug and surgery biased orientation of allopathy, we have arrived at a place where we have a very high level of disease in the society, and where tens of millions of people cannot even avail themselves of the treatments that allopaths provide, assuming that the allopathic treatments even address the fundamental, underlying causes of the medical conditions in the first place. Recent international surveys have shown that health care is far more expensive in the USA than elsewhere, yet we lag behind many other developed nations in a critical health index: life expectancy. This indicates fundamental, underlying problems with our health care system.
Clearly, we need a health policy that will result in a much lower incidence of disease, and healing modes that address root causes of disease when it does arise, as opposed to the drug and surgery oriented approach of the present medical establishment. There are obviously times when surgery and efficacious drugs are called for, but we need a health policy that vastly lowers the incidence of disease, by hugely improving the level and quality of health enjoyed by the people at large, such that recourse to drugs and surgery is much less frequent, because less necessary.
Heavy metal contamination of the environment is a huge public health policy issue. I would direct the Surgeon General and the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate a task force with other agencies and departments to facilitate the removal or reduction of toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other harmful substances in the environment, in foods, in water and beverages and in people's bodies, using the most cost effective, environmentally and medically benign methods possible. Many people have toxic levels of mercury, lead and uranium in their bodies, and suffer a wide range of maladies as a result. Simply making low cost mercury, lead and uranium testing available to the population and detoxifying those who are suffering from heavy metal toxicity would yield an immediate, enormous public health benefit. Many military veterans are coming home from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans suffering from uranium poisoning due to exposure to depleted uranium munitions. As regards mercury, one of the principle causes of mercury contamination is mercury amalgam dental fillings. My administration would advocate banning mercury amalgam fillings as an environmental and health hazard, and would work with the dental profession to facilitate removing as many existing mercury amalgam fillings as possible, and replacing them with non-mercury composite fillings. Other sources of mercury pollution are fish consumption and the burning of coal in power generation plants. Where lead is concerned, many inner city neighborhoods continue to be contaminated with lead, owing to the lead based paints that were used on the housing stock decades ago. Chelation works well to remove heavy metals from the body, and we would work to make it more widely available and accepted as a treatment modality. Bentonite clay and spirulina are also potent body cleansers when used medicinally.
I think any advanced society must have a public safety net for those who suffer catastrophic injury or illness and lack the means to pay for their treatment. However, my health policy would seek to reduce to as close to nil as possible the number of people who spend fifty years eating hot dogs, cookies, cake and ice cream, swilling liquor, smoking cigarettes, who never or rarely exercise, who are grotesquely obese, and who then suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, gout and crippling strokes and become a ward of the state because they are unable to pay for their own care.
One of the important policy initiatives that the Federal government has gotten right is the WIC program. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is one of the best programs the U.S. government has ever developed. It provides food and nutrition counseling to low-income, pregnant women, and low-income women with infants and young children. Here's the reality: research shows that people who eat a nutritious diet are healthier, better adjusted psychologically and are less likely to engage in criminal behavior than those who suffer nutritional deficiencies. As a society we can invest early on a small portion of our resources in the welfare of infants and young children from deprived backgrounds, or we can neglect the needs they have in the formative years of their lives, and then devote a great deal more resources to deal with the havoc a certain percentage of them will cause when they turn to criminal or other anti-social behavior when they grow to adolescence and adulthood. The WIC Program is like a national insurance program, or investment in the human potential of at-risk-children. Under my administration the program would be strengthened, in terms of both the quality of the nutrition provided and the quality of the nutritional counseling that is provided, and expanded in scope, as an integral part of a greater national emphasis on healthful nutrition for the population of the entire country.
Last, but not least, I would support innovative, quasi-shamanic modes of treatment of alcoholics and others with addictive substance abuse problems. At present, herbal treatments using entheogenic substances such as preparations from the African tree, Ibogaine, are illegal in the USA, because Ibogaine is a controlled substance under federal law. I would have this law stricken from the books, because Ibogaine has been so effective in helping so many drug addicts and alcoholics to break the cycle of addiction, and regain some semblance of functionality, even normalcy, in their lives. Ibogaine does this, because, in some sense, Ibogaine understands us even better than we understand ourselves, and it plugs into our mind and body at a profound, healing level, to help make right what has gone so badly awry, and thereby, helps to nudge wounded lives back on track. The truth is that most individuals in this society, and the society in general, have made a big disconnect from the natural world of trees, forests, streams, lakes, verdant meadows and the broader life process on this planet. We have unplugged from nature and we're paying a heavy price for that disconnect. I love the Ibogaine tree for its hyperconsciousness. I do not know why or how or when it came to be so highly conscious, I only know that it is and I am deeply grateful to it for its profound knowledge and wisdom. There are many conscious plants on this planet; Ibogaine is only one of them; and it is a dramatic symptom of our profound disconnect from the natural order that so few people realize not only that plants can be conscious, but that some of them are hyperconscious, i.e., conscious to a high degree that lies well beyond the capacity of most humans on this planet to comprehend. My administration would accordingly continue and greatly expand the pioneering Ibogaine work of such organizations as the Healing Transitions Institute for Addiction, which treats individuals suffering from alcohol and chemical dependency. There are more such clinics, most of them outside the United States. Many millions of people in this country struggle with addiction problems that cause untold misery for them and others, resulting in relationship and family problems, inability to work or be personally productive, criminal activity, low levels of educational achievement, injury, sickness and death. I wouldn't hesitate to legalize Ibogaine and enlist this truly merciful and hyper-conscious tree as a powerful "ally" against alcoholism and narcotics abuse.
And, no, I wouldn't overly concern myself with the inevitable, negative remonstrations and criticisms from the fundamentalist religionists, and other know nothings, about coddling drug addicts, because I know that lots of them also struggle with alcohol and drug issues. I know with certainty that lots of "religious" and "respectable" people have to have sedatives to fall to sleep at night, like the ever popular Nyquil, or use tranquilizers/pills/booze to make it through the day and deal with all of the stress and anxiety of juggling job, kids, (foreclosed, or almost) mortgage and marital friction (yes, lots of "religious" and "respectable" people have problem marriages). I know that many "respectable" people have medicine cabinets full of all manner of Thorazine, Prozac, Valium, Xanax, Stadol, Oxycontin and much more. I can say this with confidence because drugs, both licit and illicit, are so extremely prevalent in the culture, in all social strata, in every socio-economic demographic, and in every racial and ethnic group. So I would legalize Ibogaine, making it accessible and acceptable to use to treat addiction issues and gain profounder insight into the human condition. We would enjoy a healthier, better balanced society with Ibogaine, than we do without it.
My administration would endeavor to literally make the country to blossom, by encouraging private individuals and organizations of all kinds, whether public or private, to plant a profusion of wildflowers, native trees, hedges and shrubs. I would continue on a national level and massively extend the wonderful legacy and work of Lady Bird Johnson, and the admirable efforts of such organizations as the National Arbor Day Foundation, by using the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency to foment a deeply rooted national ethic and culture of wildflower and tree planting. My administration would encourage neighborhood and community initiatives to beautify and vegetate the landscape, whether urban, suburban or rural, and increase natural habitat for songbirds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife. Some of my fondest childhood and adolescent memories are of wandering around, in, and through, the woods, fields, orchards and wetlands of my native Virginia. I vividly remember the brilliant green of the new leaves on the trees in the woods in springtime, the delicate, pink blossoms of the lady slippers, the dark green leaves and delicate blooms of the trailing arbutus and the sweetly fragrant perfume of the honeysuckle, the thick clumps of cattails in the swamps, the piping of the song birds in the underbrush, the tadpoles and minnows in the shallows of the Tidewater creeks and ponds, the earthy, organic smell of the loam and leaf litter on the forest floor, the peeping of tree frogs and call of the whippoorwill at night, the muted hooting of night owls, the box turtles and snapping turtles, the green snakes, black snakes and brilliantly colored king snakes, and the brackish, salty smell of the tidal marshes and oyster shoals with endless acres of thick, green marsh grass, the dragonflies, swarms of fire flies at dusk - and so much more. All of this natural beauty, this profuse diversity of flora and fauna and sheer upwelling of the universal life force as expressed in nature's sacred biological bounty is an inseparable part of the ancient heritage of the American continent and must be preserved, nurtured and cherished. Riparian habitats, and wetland environments in general, such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, swamps, bogs and marshes, tend to have the highest species diversity among ecological niches, because they contain water, and all higher, biological life forms must have water. There are more biological organisms in a rain forest than in a barren desert for that reason. My administration would accordingly make wetland preservation and protection a priority. I would initiate a national drive to clean up streams, rivers, lakes and ponds from coast to coast, border to border. We would have great national drives to collect trash and spruce up natural areas, but we wouldn't stop there; we would endeavor to reduce, and even eliminate where possible, toxic chemical contamination, so as to make the water more pure, and therefore more healthful for the native flora and fauna, and for humans too. A polluted country is not healthy to live in. So we would try to do some national yard work, so to speak, and have a real spring cleaning!
A further priority would be to create a crucial coastal buffer zone, as deep as several miles in width, from Maine all the way down the Atlantic coast to the Florida Keys and all along the Gulf of Mexico coast all the way around to south Texas. A similar coastal, ecological buffer zone would be established on the Pacific coast. These zones would include as many barrier islands and beaches as possible, and adjacent coastal marshes, swamps and forests. The objective would be to maintain as much of it as possible in the form of wildlife refuges, national sea shores, and nature preserves and national and state parks, with the aim of maintaining as much of this coastal area in a wild or semi-wild condition as possible. This coastal region of surf, sand, dunes, tidal marshes and swamps is tremendously critical for the health of the oceans and seas that cover the majority of the planet's surface. All ecosystems on this planet are inextricably interlinked - ALL OF THEM. And the coastal regions of the world's oceans and seas are the great connector. As goes the health of the marine ecosystems, so goes, ultimately, the health of most other ecosystems. This matters to me, and to the human race at large, because we are biological organisms and we absolutely depend on healthful ecosystems for our continued survival and wellbeing on this planet. Myriad marine organisms, as well as terrestrial organisms, depend for a portion, or the whole of their life cycle, on the beaches, dunes, marshes, tidal creeks, estuaries and swamps that border the world's seas and oceans. They may breed there, spawn there, feed there, or spend their larval or juvenile stages or entire life cycle there. These species include everything from marsh hens to seagulls to horseshoe crabs to sea turtles to porpoises to shrimp to eels and oysters and clams and herring and much, much more. If we continue to kill this ecologically sensitive coastal zone by building houses, roads, port facilities, petroleum refineries, commercial strip development, and the like, the oceans will surely die, and we will suffer too, as a consequence. We can have industry and housing and ports and other facilities, but we must do it sensibly and intelligently, differently than we do now, with proper protection and safeguards for the highly sensitive ecological role played by the coastal region that simply must be protected for the long-term health of the planet's biosphere, and as insurance for our own long-term survivability on a vibrant, living planet.
I would want to engage the nation's best Forestry schools in providing leadership and personnel to assist me in revitalizing the natural landscapes of the country. I would call on the professional expertise and advice of the specialists in native flora and fauna at universities such as Northern Arizona University, Yale and Berkeley, and other fine schools all across the land.
I would want the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to draw deeply on the expertise of specialists in biological conservation and ecological remediation, so as to rehabilitate the countryside and waterways and restore them to natural vitality. The evidence is conclusive that honey bees, many species of song birds, fresh water fish, ocean fisheries, bats and other varieties of wildlife are in sharp decline. Their decline is both a sober warning to us that we must change our ways, and also an opportunity to reintegrate our lives with the rest of the biosphere by cooperating with Nature in improving natural habitat for native plants and wildlife.
I would promote national campaigns to plant wildflowers and woody vegetation along roadways and waterways, on public lands, on farms, in public parks, in the yards of private homes, and to bring back in rural areas the traditional English-style hedge, linear tangled thickets, as it were, of shrubs, bushes, vines, brambles and small trees, prime habitat for all manner of wildlife.
I would want to facilitate and greatly extend the work of organizations such as the National Arbor Day Foundation They have labored in relative obscurity for many years, and it is a completely undeserved obscurity, since their tree planting mission is so important. Trees and other woody plants play a crucial role for myriad other organisms - birds nest and roost in them, squirrels eat their nuts and buds, bees collect their nectar and pollen when they bloom in the spring, and we, of course, breathe the oxygen that their leaves produce. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and their roots anchor the soil on hillsides and mountain sides and keep the land from eroding when it rains. This is just a partial listing of the many positive attributes of trees. A Sauder administration would be very tree oriented.
We also would continue and greatly expand the work of organizations such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. It would be a real priority for my environmental policy to inculcate an appreciation for the great beauty of wildflowers and other native vegetation and the necessity they are for wildlife such as bees, butterflies, songbirds, hummingbirds and many other organisms besides. I would order the land management agencies to coordinate a national effort to flood out wildflower seeds to individuals, groups and organizations for planting everywhere and anywhere - in the yards of private residences, in church yards, in parks, along highways and alleyways, along fence rows, in vacant lots, everywhere. This effort would have a dual purpose: 1) to beautify the land and lift the people's spirits, and 2) to provide critically needed wildlife habitat. Bees and butterflies are linchpin species; they are absolutely non-replaceable links in the ecological chain, because they pollinate plants thereby ensuring plant reproduction, and they positively must have blossoms and blooms to flourish the year 'round. They require nectar and/or pollen or they cannot survive. The flower-pollinator cycle is vital to the life process on Earth and must not be broken. Lady Bird Jonson's instincts were very sound when she first launched her national wildflower initiative back in the 1960s. The work she set out to do is of the utmost importance, and always will be, as long as the Earth and the biosphere endure. We would take the work of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the National Arbor Day Foundation, and other similar organizations, work with them all, and help expand their efforts and vision into a great national undertaking. The idea would be to develop a kind of national passion for tree, wildflower and hedgerow planting, and for environmental remediation across the board. When I say that my administration would make the continent blossom I mean that literally.
I would also want to promote the preservation of large tracts of land and habitat, on a sub-continental scale, in a naturally wild or semi-wild state. There are areas of the country, such as regions of the Plains states and the mountain and desert West, several swampy and marshy regions of the South, southwestern Alabama and many counties in Arkansas, most of Alaska, Central Appalachia in western Virginia and northwestern West Virginia, and most of Maine, that already have a comparatively low human population density. There are several hundreds of counties in these areas that have a population density of 20 persons per square mile or less. More than 250 counties in the lower 48 states have a population density of about 5 persons or fewer per square mile.
My proposal is not to use the stick of law enforcement to forcibly move people off the land, rather my policy would be to use the carrot of the market to buy out those who would freely sell their land, and many would take the offer, I am sure. For those who want to remain, I would propose to offer ecological training and education to as many as desire it, not to force it on them mandatorily, and from those who voluntarily complete the training to hire a select cadre to be caretakers of the land, as natural land managers. They would be offered the option of training in ecological principles, and ecosystem management and begin careers as nature stewards, as wildlife managers, reforestation workers, wetland conservationists and restorers, grassland restorers, and so forth. No one would be forcibly removed from the land. But those who opted to sell their land would be fairly compensated. The approach of my administration would be to set in motion a land management policy that over the course of a couple of generations would begin to accomplish some of the objectives espoused by the North American rewilding movement. I am not a card-carrying member of this movement, and have never met and do not know any of its principals or founders. However, I am sympathetic to several of their concerns.
It boils down to this: from the standpoint of deep ecology it is probably better for humans to substantially withdraw from large, subcontinental areas of the planet, and let vast tracts of forest, grassland, marsh, swamp and polar habitat to return to a nearly wild or semi-wild state, for the good of the long-term health of the planetary biosphere. Areas of the planet best suited to this that are still relatively unpopulated are found in sparsely populated regions of the Americas such as the North American Mountain West and parts of the Plains, several marshy, swampy or mountainous areas in the North American southeast, the so-called North Woods of Canada, large areas of Alaska, the Amazon, Patagonia, the Argentine Pampas and the Andean region in South America, the Kalahari, Namibian and Sahara deserts and the central rain forests in Africa, most of Siberia and the mountainous Central Plateau in Asia, parts of Insular Southeast Asia, the Outback and Great Coral Reef in Australia, all of Antarctica and even certain regions of Europe, such as much of Scandinavia, northwest Scotland, and parts of Spain. And there will be numerous, smaller tracts of natural habitat all around the planet that can also be conserved on a piecemeal basis - if only in units of several thousands, or even several hundreds, of acres. However, if large numbers of humans continue to invade and degrade large areas of formerly natural habitat, as has happened in the last one hundred years, the biosphere, and the human race along with it, are liable to both crash catastrophically, long before this current century is over. That's our predicament. Either we wise up as a nation and a species, and real soon, or we go the way of all flesh, which is to say that we are soon likely to perish in very large numbers.
Put it this way, we breathe oxygen and both marine and terrestrial photosynthetic organisms, i.e., phytoplankton and green plants, produce oxygen. Therefore, it is imperative that we safeguard the health of vast tracts of grassland and forestland, and safeguard the health of the oceans and seas, and the coastal swamps and marshes on which virtually the entirety of the marine ecology depends, directly and indirectly. It is in our vital, long-term self-interest as a species to do these things. Imagine that you were on a space ship on a thirty year, round trip voyage to Neptune. Imagine further that the space ship's oxygen supply absolutely depended on the green plants in an on-board hydroponic garden. Would you be so foolish as to destroy the plants in the hydroponic garden? Of course not! Because if you destroyed the plants in the hydroponic garden you would effectively sentence yourself to death, for the simple reason that in destroying the plants you would be destroying your oxygen supply. Our situation is just as sensitive: we are on a giant space ship called Earth, orbiting endlessly in the vastness of creation way out on an arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, and we have hydroponic facilities called forests, grasslands, and oceans full of oxygen-producing phytoplankton. If we foul the oceans, cut down the forests and plough up all the grasslands we are jeopardizing our own physical security and well-being, because we are destroying our oxygen production units.
So a radical environmental policy that seeks to preserve natural habitat is actually a national security, even a species security and planetary security, necessity. Those who argue otherwise have simply not thought through all of the long-term ramifications, or, worse, are sociopaths who endanger global society by their pathological lies and selfish grasping after corporate power at the expense of the planet's well-being.
Please note that I am not making a wild-eyed population reduction proposal. I am not advocating culling the human herd, or proposing a policy to that end, or any such thing. NO. What I am saying is that the humans that are already on this planet in the year 2008 must start relating to the planet in a different way, starting now, in the first years of the 21st Century, or really bad things absolutely will start happening, and pretty soon, and on a wide scale.
There is still a little time to take remedial action, and to begin to phase in more intelligent and environmentally benign policies, but we must begin very soon, or the biosphere runs the risk of such severe degradation that the quality of life, and maybe even the possibility for life at all, will become very problematic. If we foul our nest too badly, it may be the Earth itself that will cull our numbers, through runaway ecological apocalypse, until a new, very different ecological equilibrium is established.
My energy policy would put a quick end to energy wars. The universe is bursting with energy. Why fight over it? There's plenty for everyone. I would bring a wide range of technologies employing solar, wind, tidal, water, and geothermal energies on line. The earth is an energy dynamo. It's been spinning in space for billions of years. There are environmentally benign and energetically efficient ways to break the oxygen-hydrogen bond and have low cost water engines. You combine the hydrogen with the oxygen and from the ensuing combustion derive water vapor as the by product, which you can recapture and use all over again. The national labs should have been hard at work on this for years already. Regrettably, they haven't been, but others have. There are tinkerers and inventors out there who can make a better light bulb or mouse trap and I would unleash them, gladly! It would be a high priority of my administration to release and harness the power of American genius for the benefit of society at large. There are entrepreneurs promoting actual working devices that run car engines on water!- and dramatically increase gas mileage. If the United States government were not a ruthless, corporate, criminal syndicate dedicated to the enrichment of the wealthy few, at the expense of the exploited many, federal agencies such as the EPA, DOE and DOT would be out front promoting these technologies. But federal policy formulation and implementation are closely tied to corporate profit taking over other consideration, and so the Fortune 500 and the criminal mafia of Federal alphabet soup agencies continue to conspire to lock the planet into a self-destructive mode of imperial warfare and resource plunder.
A Sauder administration would embark on a radically new energy policy for a variety of reasons, among which national security, economic and ecological concerns would figure prominently. Al Gore is thinking along some of the same lines, but he is one of the comparatively few major political figures who are; moreover he is not President, and anyway his motives are highly suspect, given his life-long close ties to the criminal corporate-government. Parenthetically, I would observe that Al Gore also has a fatal flaw for a man who would be a national leader, to wit, he actually won the national election in the year 2000, but then he made a crucial, fatal blunder: he failed to ratify his victory and consolidate his control of the Executive Office of the President. A national figure who cannot muster the strength of purpose to claim his own Presidential victory is not worthy to exercise the power of the office. Al Gore ran for President, won the election, and then very meekly stood himself down from office. It was one of the most astonishing political suicides in American history. But I digress.
The problems of environmental contamination from coal-fired power plants and from the coal mining industry are very serious. Strip mining rips up the landscape and burning coal produces emissions such as carbon dioxide, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen and releases other pollutants like mercury and other heavy metals that pollute the air, water and soil. Nuclear power generation is phenomenally capital and technology intensive, and has the added problem that it produces nuclear waste that is incredibly toxic and well nigh impossible to dispose of or store in a safe manner. Petroleum based energy production also has attendant contamination and pollution issues, in addition to being reliant on huge amounts of imported petroleum, which makes the entire petroleum production and transport cycle a national security issue of the first order. We see how this dynamic plays out with the current ruinous cycle of imperial warfare in the Middle East. As petroleum reserves are drawing down around the world, the remaining petroleum has become the object of increasingly bitter imperial warfare, which is to say, possession, control and exploitation of the remaining petroleum reserves has become a national security, or, more aptly, a national "insecurity", concern.
Do you want to see the nuclear weapons come out and mushroom clouds billow? I surely don't, and the best way to avoid that is to begin a major transition right now, to alternate sources of energy that are cleaner, more environmentally benign and renewable, or virtually free for the taking. The obvious prime candidates are 1) wind, 2) solar and 3) tidal power. Geothermal energy may also offer promise, if it can be safely tapped on a long-term basis without destabilizing underlying geological strata and creating seismic, volcanic or land subsidence problems.
My administration would vigorously explore all of these technologies as urgent, national priorities. I would instruct the Energy Secretary to devote the resources of the National Laboratories towards devising the most efficient, cost effective, safe and environmentally benign methods possible of exploiting these sources of energy on a large scale and plugging the resultant production into the national power grid.
I have been favorably impressed with the vision and initiative of T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil man and multi-billionaire who has had the foresight to begin massively promoting and investing in wind generation of electricity. Of course I realize he has a profit motive - he's a wealthy businessman, after all. But I applaud his common sense approach to the conundrum we are in. He groks the multidimensional problem and he has begun working on the solution. What's not to like? If only the alleged "President" of the United States had even one iota of that sort of horse sense, we might not be facing Armageddon in the Middle East, but he doesn't, and we might be facing a real dark period in world history because he is so unalterably ignorant and churlish.
I would also encourage the R&D and mass production of efficient devices to dramatically boost gasoline and diesel engine efficiency using water. There are some very innovative tinkerers and inventors who have come up with promising water technologies that really work, and can be very easily adaptedto the family car, even by a weekend tinkerer, using simple hand tools, that dramatically increase gas mileage and are also environmentally benign. If there are working models of low cost systems that are environmentally benign, and that efficiently break the hydrogen-oxygen bond, using the ensuing gas as clean, efficient fuel, then why are these not on the market? Simple. They are! Just click the links above and you can have these things for yourself. The inventors and marketers have bypassed the Fortune 500 and the petroleum monopoly and are taking it directly to the street. My administration would expedite the development of these new, environmentally benign "water engines" and presto! -- bye-bye smog, bye-bye petroleum wars, bye-bye ugly petroleum refineries and drilling platforms. The only exhaust from a well-designed water engine is water and oxygen, which could be collected if desired, and cycled right back through the engine.
The boom in new energy technologies would have a number of major, positive economic spin-offs: 1) we would save hundreds of billions of dollars on petroleum imports and radically improve our national trade balance ; 2) the R&D, installation and maintenance of the new technologies would spark a boom in the manufacturing and technology sector of the national economy; thereby providing 3) more domestic employment, i.e., good paying jobs; and 4) because the new technologies are cleaner and more environmentally benign there would be much less contamination of the environment, and far less of a public health hazard than is the case with nuclear, coal and petroleum powered generating plants.
For the life of me, I do not know why this sort of common sense approach to energy policy is not a national security priority of the utmost urgency RIGHT NOW. But it isn't. I can only conclude that the people running the national government of the United States and making policy at the level of the Executive Office of the President are either really ignorant and incompetent, or deranged psychopaths, or quite possibly all of the preceding.
Bureau of Higher Consciousness
One of the strongest drives that humans have is to seek altered states of consciousness. One of the novel policy initiatives of my administration would be to foster a national climate of consciousness expansion, an atmosphere of personal exploration where it was an accepted life objective to seek out and develop higher consciousness. Every time I see another vacuous George Bush or vapid Nancy Pelosi news conference, I realize anew how desperately much a national, higher conscious policy is needed. Ideally, this is something that organized religion could do, and it ought to - but it doesn't. Instead, we turn on the TV and see entire channels devoted to the tiresome bloviations of televangelists who ceaselessly implore their audiences to send in money for this or that DVD, CD or book. Every time you turn around you trip over another mega-church preaching the gospel of material prosperity. However, the overarching reality is that in the larger scheme of things people are turning away from organized religion in droves. In the United States only about 20% of the people attend church services on Sunday. Congregants are fleeing the pews en masse.
People can't find expanded consciousness via the hollow route of organized religion, but that hasn't stopped them from seeking states of altered awareness. The rampant use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, legal and illegal uppers and downers of every description, cocaine, heroin, glue, spray paint, and more, by many tens of millions of people in this society, testifies eloquently to the powerful urge that great masses of people have for experiencing states of altered awareness. The shelves of the law libraries are groaning with laws, statutes and regulations forbidding the use of this substance and plant, or that herb, seed, or mushroom on pain of arrest, trial and incarceration. Our jails and prisons are packed and overflowing with inmates who have run afoul of such misguided laws, statutes and regulations.
It hasn't always been this way, and it is not this way everywhere in the world. But from where I stand it looks to me that those who administer the oppressive social control system in the United States greatly fear that if a dumbed down population wised up, they would lose their accustomed position of control. The prospect of an enlightened country full of people who see right through their devious, exploitive schemes terrifies them. And so they crack down harshly, criminalizing the mere possession of entheogens (psychoactive plant species), what to speak of their actual use, because one of the things that some entheogens do very well is to open the human mind and spirit to more expansive realms of awareness and knowledge, and thus facilitate greater analytical understanding of all kinds of things, including the violent, evil machinations of tyrannical social control freaks who wish to lord it over the rest of humanity.
Native Americans fought hard in the federal courts for the right to use peyote for sacramental purposes in their religious ceremonies, and there's a reason for that. Peyote is a traditional entheogen with a long history of use by seekers after enlightenment and spiritual insight. Other plant preparations such as ayahuasca, in South America, Ibogaine, in Africa, salvia divinorum, in Mexico, so-called Syrian Rue, in the Middle East, and many others have long been used for achieving expanded states of awareness, with the practice stretching back into the mists of time. For whatever reason, there are plants on this planet which when ingested by humans act as a sort of hyper-conscious mental modem, and plug into the central nervous system of Homo sapiens sapiens. These plants plug into the human mind at a very deep level and directly connect it to expansive and profound states of awareness that many people find spiritually enlightening, and psychologically and emotionally integrative.
Our culture lacks a spiritual core. The rampant sense of yawning emptiness is all pervasive. I can feel it. I see it on every hand. I'm suffering because of it, and so are you, we all are, it's stifling. Though we have organized religions, they have miserably failed to satisfy the deep human yearning for experiencing expanded states of consciousness, and most all of them have become little more than glorified social control mechanisms, officially registered with various and sundry governmental control structures, wearing their little IRS-controlled 501(c)(3) dog collars around their collective necks.
I would want people like Dr. Rick Strassman, a preeminent medical authority on entheogens and expanded states of consciousness, and Mark Plotkin, perhaps the premier ethnobotanist in the USA, to head up this new Bureau so crucial to assisting the nation to find its collective sanity. These men have extensive personal experience with DMT and ayahuasca, and I would put them in charge of establishing a national consciousness raising initiative, for the benefit of as many as possible who desire to expand their awareness and level of personal understanding.
My administration would also promote society-wide other techniques, such as so-called binaural beat methods, that take advantage of modern audio and electronic technologies to enable the human mind to enter higher and expanded states of consciousness. There is a veritable host of merchants selling tapes and CDs using the binaural beat technology. You can find them advertised on the Internet, in spiritual magazines, and also in some bookstores.
My administration would also foster research into extraordinary states of consciousness and enlightenment engendered by the kundalini and other exceptional hyper-dimensional modes of being. A new day is dawning, and a century from now the psychopaths who fancy that they control this planet will themselves have long been swept from power, and from all their petty delusions of power, and directly summoned before the Lords of Karma for their end of incarnation exit interviews. Super-conscious galactic forces beyond their comprehension or ability to influence are in play, and the more is the pity that they fail to understand this, because the Universe does have a deep and abiding well of compassion, and even now, even after all of their criminal excesses, if they were to contritely turn their hearts toward love and humanity, the Universe itself would rally to their rescue. But we are dealing with the worst sorts of sociopaths in our day, and as time grows short, it appears less and less likely that they will have a change of heart. And so, before they exit this chapter of history on this planet, they are inflicting some very heavy, parting blows. From their limited viewpoint, they falsely imagine that they are maximizing their own personal gain. In reality, from a long-term karmic point of view, the greatest and most perfect service that they could render to themselves, even now, would be to put themselves at the loving service of humanity. Because they have willfully failed to do this, the aftermath of their misguided rule will be a time of intense need for remediation and healing in every aspect of the human experience on this planet.
We will need all the help that Ibogaine and the kundalini can offer us. Some future President of the USA, if in the future there is even a country named the United States of America, will have the wisdom to enlist the guidance of these powerful life allies and write a new page in history. That day is coming, ineluctably, inexorably, as surely as the rising sun banishes the dark of night.
Bureau of UFOlogy and Extraterrestrial Research
I am perfectly serious. I would establish a Bureau of UFOlogy and Extraterrestrial Research. I would appoint Richard Dolan as the Director. Questions relating to UFOs and extraterrestrial life are actually mainstream cultural issues, right now, and my administration would make them the object of serious policy and scientific research. A scientific poll conducted in 2002 for the SciFi Channel revealed that the majority of the populationbelieve in UFOs and extraterrestrials. These are not fringe issues, though the Fortune 500, corporate controlled mainstream news media outlets do their lying best to make people think they are.
The problem for the Powers That Be is that millions of people regularly see UFOs. The conundrum for the growing numbers of the public who see UFOs is: who are they going to believe, the increasingly implausible denials of officialdom, or their own eyes? The majority of people are deciding to trust their own eyes more than the deceptive propaganda of the government and the mainstream news media. Stories and videos about UFOs are proliferating on the Internet, and the aliens themselves, who appear to represent many, diverse, intelligent species from elsewhere and elsewhen, have the niggling habit of not following established diplomatic protocol - they just drop in on anyone they want to visit, they go wherever they want to, and their technological prowess makes them and their craft as slippery as a fistful of Jello. So they are impressively difficult to apprehend and interrogate.
I have seen many UFOs myself. There is no doubt that the United States government has engaged in a decades-long program of systematic lying and cover-up where UFOs and extraterrestrial life are concerned. I would instruct Richard Dolan to assemble the best research team he could find from the academic world, private sphere and federal government agencies, and research UFOs and extraterrestrial species using any available ethical, legal and humane methods, not to exclude such parapsychological techniques as remote viewing and shamanic techniques employing entheogens, the plants whose use facilitates exploration of expanded states of mental, psychological and spiritual awareness.
I would issue an order to all executive agencies to release to the Bureau of UFOs all files in their possession that pertain in any way to UFOs and/or extraterrestrials. That means emptying out the CIA's classified files, the NSA's, the Pentagon's, NASA's, the FBI's, and so on. The time has come for the cover-up to end. It is clear that the agenda of the cover-up is no longer National Security (assuming it ever really was), but social control of the people, by keeping them in ignorance about our planet's true place in the galaxy and the broader universe.
Mass ignorance is not consonant with freedom, so my administration would open wide the floodgates and make as much information available as possible. Is it perhaps true that the Earth is only one of millions of inhabited or inhabitable planets in the galaxy? Are there human populations on other planets? So many people have seen UFOs, and so many people have had reported contactee experiences in which they saw seeming extraterrestrial beings who seemed fully human, that it may well be that the answer to both questions is "yes".
Infrastructure Remediation and Upgrade
The national infrastructure is crumbling and the national leadership are oblivious. They do not care. As a class they rival anything that the crumbling Roman Empire produced 1600 to 1700 years ago. We have a so-called ruling "elite" who are ignorant, incompetent, malevolent, intellectually lazy, larcenous and mendacious. Many of them are outright sociopaths, and of the rest, many, who are not actual sociopaths themselves, nevertheless acquiesce in the schemes of the sociopaths and willingly promote their harmful agendas, making many of these others sociopaths by default, as it were.
But that wouldn't stop me. A Sauder administration would set to work on repairing, maintaining and impressively upgrading the national infrastructure. The trillions of dollars that are now lavished on self-destructive imperial warfare (anyone who cares to see how that project will end just read Roman history, the blueprint is being followed by the U.S. government to a "T" -- right down to the present, ongoing military adventure in the Middle East, the very same region where centuries ago the Romans spent so much treasure and lost so many men fighting first the Parthians and later the Sassanids) will stay at home under my government. We will take that same money and invest it in this country and her people, who are the precious lifeblood of the nation. My plan would put millions of people back to work, and not at make work tasks either, but doing real work that is vitally needed to strengthen the country and shore up the economic health of communities in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and the other Territories. You see, spending those same trillions of dollars at home guarantees that the money will turn over multiple times in the domestic economy, and that multiplier effect will actually have a hugely positive economic impact over time that vastly exceeds the initial investment. Can you imagine what transformative effect a multi-trillion dollar investment in the lives and fortunes of the productive classes of this country would have on the national economy, as opposed to throwing away that same vast sum of money in counterproductive warfare on the other side of the planet?
Doesn't my plan only make sense?
To begin with, I propose an extensive program of environmental cleanup, a massive scrubbing of the nation's air, water and soil to remove chemical toxins, trash and destructive particulate matter, such as harmful levels of fine soot in the air and excessive silt clogging rivers, streams and lakes. We all breathe air, we all drink and bathe in water, we all eat food grown in soil, and so we all have a stake in cleaning up the nation's water, soil and air. We will need a large cadre of people to head up this effort, trained in the principles of ecology and environmental science, with cross-disciplinary expertise in conservation biology, sustainable ecosystem management, meteorology, environmental chemistry, environmentally benign industrial engineering, organic agricultural and soil science, marine science and hydrology. We will have to encourage many thousands of our young people to specialize in this new environmental remediation field, provide the resources for their professional formation and develop the organizational structure for them to apply their expertise for cleaning up the USA and the world. This is the direction in which we must move starting now, and my administration would immediately make bold policy initiatives along these lines.
If we don't, those of us who remain a century from now will be living on a poisonous, toxic, contaminated planet, with a severely degraded biosphere possessing a small fraction of the biological diversity that it has supported for literally millions of years - right up until the time that our allegedly "superior" modern way of life came on the scene, about 100 years ago.
As large numbers of people are mustered out of the military, and the military-industrial complex makes the transition to a more peaceful and environmentally oriented mode of production, millions of people will need to find alternative employment. I propose to put hordes of these people to work as engineers, technicians, equipment operators, clerical workers, administrative personnel, hard hat workers and service personnel, and have them build, operate and maintain a world class, national rail system, new, state of the art sewage and water systems, clean and efficient mass transit systems, an efficient, 21st century power grid, and a superior, high-speed Internet system free of government censorship and control. Many will also enter the growing fields of ecological/environmental remediation, and sustainable ecosystem management.
Water mains are bursting in cities and towns all over the country. Water treatment plants are outmoded and dilapidated. The national, electrical transmission grid is overtaxed and inefficient. Bridges are crumbling, sewers are in need of repair, gas lines and pipelines need to be modernized and replaced, thousands of our roads and highways are full of patches and potholes, and our airports and train stations (the few that remain) are showing their age. Toxic waste, trash and degraded ecosystems are everywhere. We need a massive, Manhattan-style project to clean up, restore and upgrade the physical infrastructure, and the landscape itself, of the entire nation. The economic stimulus that such a program would give to the whole country would be nothing short of miraculous, as the life energy and genius of the people are invested in themselves, in their communities, and in the long-term well-being of the nation, as opposed to being siphoned off by predatory, vulture Capitalism, as the Fortune 500 companies and the Federal Reserve Banks now do. But you will wait in vain for any such proclamation from the current occupant of the Oval Office. George Bush is a one man, national catastrophe. His unconstitutional, dictatorial reign has been an absolute disaster for the United States and the world. The President of the United States has tremendous executive and administrative power, and a historically unique, global platform that potentially enables him to do enormous good in the world. It is to George Bush's everlasting discredit and shame that he has purposefully squandered the awesome, terrible privilege that a President of the USA has, and consciously chose instead to grind the hopes and dreams of literally billions of people into the dust, plunging the planet ever deeper into a worsening cycle of economic exploitation, environmental degradation, ecological collapse and war.
Other countries are way ahead of us in transportation technology. The French, Germans and Japanese have trains that put our rail system to shame. Have you ever had lunch along the Seine in a Parisian café, then boarded the TGV to zoom south through the French countryside, arriving in time to dine in the evening on the Mediterranean coast? We have nothing to compare with that in the United States, because we have a damaging failure of leadership in this country, and our so-called national "leaders" are myopic, and lack vision and initiative. The whole country is suffering from the sheer incompetence of these people. I would make it a national priority to establish a national, high speed rail system, along the lines of what the German, French and Japanese have done. This makes more sense than ever, in this era of soaring petroleum costs. Airlines are struggling to remain solvent, and motorists are suffering from the high cost of gasoline. Rail travel and transport are efficient solutions to these problems, or could be, if we had a modern, efficient rail system - BUT WE DON'T. My administration would set to work on this problem immediately. In many cases we could make use of the existing rights of way and medians of existing railroad and highway easements, thereby holding the need to acquire additional real estate for public use to a minimum.
In the cities, we would bring back electric trolleys, and put in place an extensive network of bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths. In lieu of spending billions of dollars on urban expressways we would concentrate urban transit expenditures on light rail, subways and monorails. Reliance on the automobile has created suburban sprawl, which is an unsustainable development pattern when people cannot afford the gasoline they require to fuel their cars. We are fast approaching the breaking point of the suburban lifestyle as a sustainable mode of living over the long term. As the suburbs depopulate the people who live there will need to go somewhere, and they will need transportation. Most of them will migrate to the cities. The individual car will not be practicable for the masses in the new society that is already on its way. From a practical standpoint, there simply is not enough physical space in the cities, once the suburban culture declines, for everyone to have a car, and a parking space or garage, and to also be out on the road in large numbers.
And anyway, who wants to spend hours stuck in traffic, when a clean, modern subway, trolley car, or monorail is waiting to take you across town in greater comfort than inching through gridlocked traffic at walking speed? Or to spend hours driving on dangerous highways from New York to Baltimore, Houston to Dallas, Las Vegas to Phoenix, Seattle to San Francisco, St. Louis to Chicago, Boise to Salt Lake City, or Little Rock to Nashville, when there is a modern, high speed train that can whisk you from city center to city center, in greater comfort and ease, and in a fraction of the time, that driving would require? It sounds enticing doesn't it?
Well, too bad, you won't be having any such experience, because I am not running for President of the United States, for reasons I have made abundantly clear, and none of the establishment, Presidential wannabes who have thrust themselves front and center in the mainstream news cycle are even talking about, let alone emphasizing, the majority of the sorts of policies that I am advocating. And if you have been voting for Democrats and Republicans for, lo, these many years, then congratulations! -- you have gotten precisely the government you have voted for; we have come to this wretched fork in the road precisely because of the policies that the Republicans and Democrats have jointly put in place over the last 155 years. And if you have been voting for the politicians that these national criminal syndicates parade before the public every few years, and have not had the intestinal fortitude to hold back from returning them to power again and again, then you need look no further than your own mirror for one of the fundamental sources of our political system's problems: ignorant, fearful, weak minded, uninformed, timorous, credulous voters, who lack the vision and strength of will, individually and as a cohort, to just say "no" and to insist on more, and better options, when it comes to candidates for elective office, and public policy formulation.
E Pluribus Unum and the, uh, like, you know, Education Problem
I would establish fluent mastery of the standard, English language as a high priority for all citizens and legal residents. Equally, my administration would want to ensure that minority languages such as Texas and New Mexico Spanish, Puerto Rican Spanish, all surviving Native American languages, Pennsylvania German, Cajun French, New York Italian, Yiddish, Hawai'i Polynesian, and so forth, are respected as legitimate dialects and languages, studied, protected from extinction, and nurtured. These languages are all cultural treasures in their own right. The common social tapestry is enriched by preserving and encouraging our shared uniqueness. Wouldn't it be boring if we were all 100% alike?
That's what makes the USA such a unique social phenomenon. I very much like the Latin motto: E pluribus unum. One from many, unity from diversity. That is why a Sauder administration would emphasize the essential, overarching importance of achieving mastery of standard, cultured English for everyone in the society, and, at one and the same time, also mastering one or more other languages. There would be a strong emphasis in the education system, rather along the lines of the Dutch or Swiss models, of ensuring that as many of our school children as possible leave school with a fluent knowledge of at least one other major world language, besides standard English (in addition to whatever dialect or language some of them might already know such as Texas Spanish, Navajo, Pennsylvania German, etc.) I propose that such major languages as Arabic, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Hindi and Chinese be given priority. Like it or not, we now live in a global society. While on the one hand I am a strong opponent of oppressive, Big Brother-style world government, on the other hand I am a vigorous proponent of an informed, literate, well-educated citizenry with a solid grasp of world affairs and the ability to interact knowledgeably in a sophisticated manner in a challenging, dynamic international environment. To do that you simply must be able to speak the lingo fluently and with a high level of literacy, both your own and others.
It is a sad fact that the education system we now have in this country is producing a population of genuine ignoramuses. In 2002 the National Geographic Society conducted a geographic survey of 3,000 young adults in several countries, including the United States. The sobering results revealed that only 17% of young people in this country could find Afghanistan on the map - and the United States is fighting a war there. It gets worse, much, much worse. Incredibly, 11% of young adults in the USA (that's 1 in 9) could not find the United States itself on a map, and 29% could not even locate the Pacific Ocean on a world map. COULD NOT RECOGNIZE THE PACIFIC OCEAN!! But they were not finished, far from it. Sigh. A mind-numbing 58% of 18-24 year olds in the USA could not find Japan, didn't know where it was, and 65% couldn't identify France on the map, only 15% could find Israel or Iraq, and so forth. Dumb + Dumbo = Really Stupid. Oceans of printer's ink have been spilled on the subject of the dumbing down of the population of the United States, but it takes surveys like this one to bring the harsh reality home. The unfortunate truth is that a great many of the young people in the up and coming generation are not very bright - 29% of them cannot even find the Pacific Ocean on the map!!
We simply must have an emphasis in our schools on a solid grounding in history, English language skills, mathematics, logic and philosophy, geography and natural science. An ignorant populace is weak and vulnerable; the antidote to weakness is knowledge and awareness. How hard can it be to recognize the Pacific Ocean on a world map? And yet, almost 30% of our young people do not have enough voltage between the ears to do that. Vast segments of our population are just dumber than a post. Our schools and academies are producing legions of borderline mental retards. It's that simple.
The school system in this country is failing. It is broken, it is falling apart, it is collapsing. One recent study pegged the 1998 national high school graduation rate for Whites at 78%, for African-Americans at 56%, and for Latinos at 54%, with the African-American high school graduation rate falling to a mind-numbing low of 29% in Cleveland, Ohio. In many cities the high school graduation rate for Black and Latino students hovers below the 50% level. A recent report revealed that 24% of the high school students in California drop out and do not graduate. The Federal government's own polling estimates that 14% of the adult population in the United States lack basic prose literacy, i.e., one out of seven adults in this country is semi-literate. But the situation is actually liable to be far worse than that. A recent study has shown that an eye-popping 36% of the adults in Washington, DC and 21% of adults nationwide are functionally illiterate - that means they cannot read a map, cannot read and follow simple directions, cannot do simple arithmetic calculations. That's more than one out of every five adults you pass during the course of a day. Think of it. That is how very bad the educational system is in this country. We need to do much better. Every individual is part of the human capital of our society, so what does it mean for the prospects for success of illiterate/innumerate and subliterate/subnumerate people individually, and for society as a whole, when so many tens of millions of people cannot add 5+17? Or read the directions on a bottle of medicine? Or cannot even find the Pacific Ocean on a world map? A huge percentage of the population, maybe 20%-30% (or more?!), are walking around with their heads in a fog, not having much better sense of the world and their place in it than the average medieval peasant a thousand years ago.
What to do? At the very least we must begin by having a national debate about our stunning level of ignorance as a people. And we need an emergency, all out, national literacy and numeracy drive that has one single objective: to ensure that as many people as possible achieve basic prose literacy and basic numeracy, i.e., the ability to read and write at a basic level, and to count and do simple arithmetic, at a bare minimum.
Can we muster the smarts to do even that? Or is the situation so far gone that we cannot pull out of our downward educational spiral in time to avert absolute societal calamity?
I confess that I am at my wit's end contemplating the sheer scale of what has gone so very wrong and thinking of how best to remedy this deepening national catastrophe. I wonder if the hemi-sync system pioneered by Robert Monroe could help some of these people who have trouble learning? Would the educational system even be willing to try new approaches? We need to find out. We need to explore other ways of teaching, learning and mastering the basic core of knowledge necessary to survive, navigate and flourish in the modern world. So very many people are falling by the wayside and we need to have a crash, intervention program to address this alarming state of affairs. I am afraid that if we do not reverse the present course we are on that the current trajectory will lead us ineluctably to a sort of dystopian, Mad Max world where there are hordes of ignorant, illiterate, subliterate, uneducated, borderline mental retards who are lorded over and dominated by an educated, moneyed, sociopathic class that run the the nation and the planet for their own, personal benefit and to the simultaneous detriment of the rest of the human race, who are destined to generations of grinding, ignorant poverty and cruel exploitation.
I must say that I am intrigued and encouraged by the work done by Kanya Vashon McGhee at his bookstore and learning centers in Harlem, New York and Atlanta, Georgia. His Tree of Life Bookstore & Educational Center of Harlem was a rare gem burning brightly in the heart of New York City, like a beacon of hope, drawing in people like a magnet with Kanya's unique educational approach based on practical application of the universal laws of the ancient Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus. Large numbers of people whom society had relegated to cast-off status, junkies, drop-outs, convicts, were pulled into the orbit of the Tree of Life Bookstore & Educational Center in Harlem and began to read, to learn and to flourish, many of them for the first time in their life. Now that's an impressive accomplishment, both on Kanya's part and theirs. I would certainly want to have Kanya Vashon McGhee in my administration. He is a national asset of the first caliber, like a sparkling Hope Diamond, and I would turn him loose to establish a national network of Tree of Life Bookstores and Educational Centers from border to border and coast to coast, to replicate what he accomplished in Harlem in cities and towns all over the country. His emphasis has been primarily on the upliftment of downtrodden African-American people, but I am sure that his approach would benefit many other people, too. My administration would encourage new approaches like this, based on ancient wisdom retooled for changed, contemporary circumstances. Kanya has a demonstrated track record of success in Harlem, and in a saner world the so-called Department of Education would latch onto a program like his and take it national - for the betterment of society at large. Sadly, the Department of Education is currently presided over by an elite educational, technocratic clique who care more for institutional clout and bureaucratic power plays than they do about the life prospects and career formation of the nation's young people. The end product of our educational system is in sharp decline, with the result that tens of millions of people are ill prepared to meet the challenges of the dynamic, rapidly changing global society we are plunging and morphing into.
Finally, I cannot help but notice that in recent years many of the best performers in national spelling bees have been home schooled children. The home schooled kids often have a higher literacy level and have spelled circles around the kids coming out of the public schools. More and more families are home schooling as a means to avoid sending their children into a frankly inferior, public educational system that is in rapid, self-evident decline. We need to find out what is working in the home schooling environment, and apply that all across the country; at the same time, we need to find out what methods are not working in the public schools, and stop using them. So many public school systems have become nothing more than minimum security day-prisons where small children and adolescents are warehoused and institutionally socialized to be meek, compliant, dependably dumb, digitally tracked, surveilled and monitored wards and subjects of the corporate state. In many schools there are metal detectors at the entrances, regular locker searches, uniformed police on duty and roaming the hallways and play grounds, and more than a few students are carrying guns, knives and other weapons, whether for self-defense or to prey on others. Is it any wonder that in such a fearful, repressive, violent environment so little learning takes place? Is it any wonder that so many young people come out of our harsh, prison-like public schools deeply emotionally scarred and academically deficient?
In the old Soviet Union, political dissidents were singled out for coerced, involuntary psychiatric treatment by the state, because they were considered aberrant individuals. But the modern public school system in this country has gone one up on the Soviets - yep, school officials don't even let matters rise to the level those inept, 20th Century Commies did. You see, here in this country they spot the future difficult cases early on, while they are still young children or adolescents, and send them around to see the school psychiatrist or psychologist, who can then begin the process right away of drugging the young rebels before they even reach the adult, political stage. Maybe you've noticed that we've had a bunch of school shootings in recent years, and in almost every case, the troubled young killer was hopped up on pharmaceuticals dispensed by the school shrinks. Oh, it's a brave new world, yes it is, and we're raising up the new generation the chemical medical way, the school prison farm way, and large numbers of them are increasingly dumb and dumber, and emotionally wounded and they are not happy, no they're not. Can you see the future yet? Because it's coming into focus real fast.
To use a football metaphor, I'm strongly inclined to call an educational huddle, as it were, with the Kanya Vashon McGhees, Robert Monroes and Home Schoolers of this country, tell them all to sprint for the goal line when the ball is snapped, and then fling the ball down field, as far as I can heave it, and let them go up and gather it in for a winning touchdown, as time on the game clock ticks down. That's it, that's the way I see it, because the educational system of this country is in a serious mess right now, and fixing it will require a new mentality and a new approach. The old, industrial model, of herding children and adolescents robot-like, machine-like, into rectilinear ranks and files in classrooms, and then funneling them down the hallways and through the corridors from pen (classroom) to pen (classroom) at mechanically predetermined intervals regulated by the ear-jarring clanging of Pavlovian bells, is not working well. It has produced a veritable army of poorly adjusted, ill-educated individuals who have just enough training to ask: "Want fries with that?" and who frankly lack the preparation to do much more.
That's the hard reality. We must do better. I hope we can.
Family and Sexuality Policy
A Sauder administration would have decidedly different policies on family life and sexuality than is the case in the current political climate. To begin with, I do not understand why a secular state fears gay marriage. The marriage contract itself is just that - it is fundamentally a legal contract. And the contract is between the parties to the marriage and the state. Why the state cares whether the parties are heterosexual or gay or bisexual or transsexual or intersexual (some medical authorities estimate that perhaps one to two percent of humans are an admixture of both male and female to some degree) or eunuchs, or even completely genderless altogether, is beyond me. Personally, I don't greatly care one way or the other. I assume that most people, in the course of their life, engage in some degree of sexual activity with others. What exactly it is that they do, as long as all the parties are of age and voluntarily consent, and there is no criminal assault or coercion involved, does not matter to me.
So I say, if gays want to marry: fine, let them. Why should heterosexuals have all the joy of changing soiled diapers at 3 o'clock in the morning? Why shouldn't homosexuals and lesbians also be able to experience such precious parental rites of passage as toilet training, the terrible twos, or hysterical, four-year-old screaming tantrums for a bag of lollipops in the candy aisle of the local supermarket? Now that procreative science has evolved and we have surrogate motherhood, sperm donors, turkey basters and artificial insemination, not to forget good old-fashioned adoption of orphans - you don't have to be a fertile hetero to have kids. In fact, if you're honest you just may have seen, or know of, a fertile hetero or two or three who have children, and shouldn't, because they're lousy parents and their kids will suffer as a result. On the other hand, if there are gay people who want to have kids and are financially secure and stable individuals, why shouldn't they be able to marry and raise a family?
So a Sauder administration would not stand in the way of gay marriage. Besides, and here's the clincher, is it not fundamentally discriminatory to exclusively restrict the right to divorce, alimony payments and child support to heterosexuals? Well?
Polygamy would not be a concern either, whether speaking of polyandry or polygyny. Or a combination thereof. As I see it, from the point of view of the secular state, marriage is a legal contract. It's that simple. I should think that, from the standpoint of potential billable hours alone, divorce lawyers would have a field day with a broken marriage involving seven or eight aggrieved parties. As long as government is in the business of legally licensing sexual relationships, why should the number or gender of the parties to the marriage contract be a particular concern?
As I understand it, one of the reasons for licensing of marriages is for the government to have legal control of any progeny that issue from the marriage union. By dint of entering into a contractual relationship with the state, i.e., the granting of the marriage license, the government gains a legal, contractual interest in any and all aspects of the marital relationship, which would most especially include any children the parents produce or legally adopt. Which is to say, the state regards children as its property, because they are the product of a state issued breeding/family license. Seen in this way, it is easy to understand why for so long fornication was a crime in so many jurisdictions (and may still be in some places) - it was tantamount to unlicensed breeding activity.
The state of Texas recently went into a Fundamentalist Mormon community in west Texas and kidnapped hundreds of children from their parents at gun point. The immediate legal pretext on which the mass seizure of children was done ultimately proved to be a criminal hoax, and the informant was apprehended in Coloradofor making a false report. But the entire exerciseshould be very instructive for anyone who loves their own family, and cherishes their own freedom, because from a policy standpoint what the State of Texas was doing was establishing a legal precedent for the mass round-up of a civilian population at gunpoint. So before anyone gets too worked up, perhaps thinking that those weirdo, fundamentalist Mormons got exactly what they had coming to them, consider the future policy implications of what the State social control apparatus did. The bottom line is that the government regards children, any children, that includes YOUR CHILDREN, as the property of the state, and it will seize large numbers of them en masse, at gun point, under any (il)legal pretext, if it wants to -- because it can! So understand that if you approve of the huge, so-called "law enforcement" operation that went down in West Texas earlier this year, that you will have no grounds to complain when the cops show up in your neighborhood, and cordon off entire blocks, and start hauling children and parents away by the hundreds at gunpoint, because someone called in a hoaxed, criminal complaint. That's what's at stake here - first they come for the so-called misfits and weirdos. Then they come for YOU and YOUR CHILDREN, once they have established the legal precedent. Capisce?
A Sauder administration would let the Mormons practice polygamy, and, well, most anyone at all, if that's what they really want to do, so long as all parties involved were of majority age and gave their voluntary consent. The simple fact is, with a national divorce rate hovering in the vicinity of 50%, our conventional marriage tradition - one man and one woman marry each other and live happily ever after in conjugal bliss - just isn't working out that way for an awful lot of people. The reality is that in this society a great many people, perhaps most people, have multiple sexual partners over the course of their life, some of whom they marry or are married to, and some with whom they are not married. People may have multiple, sequential, sexual partners, or multiple partners simultaneously, and they and their partners may, or may not be married to one another or to others. Millions of couples are cohabiting; they're not married, but they establish a household and live together. Whether you think that that state of affairs is right or wrong, or moral, immoral, amoral, or doesn't matter at all one way or the other, doesn't alter the fact that that's the way it is in this society. Sexual activity begins for many (most?) people in their teenage years and continues thereafter well into adulthood.
In fact, my administration would want to have a thorough, very public national debate about what constitutes marriage (hetero/gay/intersex/bi/poly/whatever), and the licensing thereof, and the implications of state ownership of children. That's the plain fact of the matter, isn't it? Isn't that the ultimate implication of the current practice of tagging infants at birth with social security numbers, like cattle getting tagged in the ear by feedlot operators? I mean, does anyone seriously expect that social security will still be a viable, financially solvent government program sixty-five, or even twenty years from now? So isn't this business of tagging children in infancy really all about lifelong, cradle to grave, monitoring, surveillance and social control? In other words, isn't the social security number really a sort of slave number, a tracking number by which the elite controllers can manage and manipulate the human herd? A means by which the corporate government tags you in infancy, so they can easily find you and single you out for special attention, if the societal controllers feel at any time that you are escaping their control?
And what about single people? Many millions of adults are single. Marriage is not as common today as in the past. Being single, and remaining single, is seen by more and more people as a legitimate life choice. Also, what about the many millions of single parent households? The Ward and June Cleaver model of a nuclear family that we know from mid-20th Century popular culture is not nearly as accurate a reflection of families and households as it once was. Our whole society is in ferment and transformation, at a very fundamental level, socially, sexually and psychologically. The public policy implications are many and pressing. My administration would initiate a thoroughgoing public policy debate on these issues. Society changes, and government must adapt to remain relevant.
Prostitution should be decriminalized. Then we wouldn't be subjected to sad spectacles like the one the ex-governor of New York, Elliot Spitzer, recently subjected himself to, in a kind of ritual, über-public, political harikari, wherein he was forced to resign from office in disgrace when it became public knowledge that he had been regularly patronizing expensive prostitutes, at one and the same time that he had been criminally prosecuting prostitution rings with fanatical vengeance and righteous zeal. You can't make this stuff up.
So I would take a hands off approach. If people want to do it, as long as everyone involved is of legal age and freely consents, and no one is criminally assaulted or coerced, then the state has no interest in the matter. The policy would be similar to what you see in Nevada or Amsterdam or Germany. If you don't want to do it, then fine, you don't have to, and no doubt, probably most people will not want to. But if others do, equally fine, they can. It goes without saying that where human trafficking is concerned, or where people are forced into prostitution against their will, then the state has a legitimate obligation to act in favor of the victims. I realize that many prostitutes are exploited - unfortunately, so are many coal miners, sweat shop workers, migrant agricultural laborers, and untold millions of others all over the world who labor under health and life endangering conditions. The state has a legitimate interest in the welfare of anyone who is laboring under exploitive conditions. The mere fact of decriminalizing prostitution would immediately free many prostitutes, both male and female, from jails and prisons all over the country. It would also bring more pimps out of the shadows and expose them to labor laws and state regulation. Under a more equitable economic order the only people engaging in prostitution would be those individuals who desired to do so. Under the current arrangement prostitutes are doubly jeopardized by having to work in the shadows of society, which makes them more vulnerable and more easily exploited, and also being subject to arrest and imprisonment, adding the burden of jail time and a rap sheet to whatever other problems they may experience. Sexuality is one of the most pleasurable and intimate activities that humans engage in. Those who provide sexual pleasure to others should not need to fear arrest and imprisonment.
The policy on pornography would be similar. It's O.K. to graphically depict the nude human body or human sexual activity. Or to observe the naked human body or sexual activity. You can't go through the supermarket checkout line without passing racks of magazines and tabloid newspapers full of tits, ass and chiseled abs - emblazoned with headlines about how a girl can please her man, or how a guy can get a girl. Or which celebrity is screwing which other(s). And so forth. We're not living in the 1920s anymore and that's probably a good thing.
The information at wordcount.org is instructive. From the website:
"WordCount data currently comes from the British National Corpus®, a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent an accurate cross-section of current English usage."
In other words, the website simply has done a word usage frequency count from myriad English language sources to find the most used words in the language. Of course, the small words that are the glue that hold the language together predominate, words such as: the, of, and, to, a, in, it, is, was. But having collected and listed the 86,800 most used words, the project then went a step further and provided a search feature for the most used words, called QueryCount:
"Each time someone searches a word on WordCount, QueryCount
takes note. Every few hours, QueryCount refreshes itself, rearranging
its word rankings based on the number of times each word has been
queried by WordCount."
Go ahead, take a look:
The top 25 most searched words when I looked, starting with #1, were:
Well. To my knowledge, Google and Yahoo have not yet divulged what words people search most often in their search engines, so this project represents the best approximation that I have seen to date of what is really going on in people's minds, when they search information on the Internet. It turns out that the inner landscape of our group (or should it be grope?) mind is preoccupied with I, me, you, love, hate, God, dog, Jesus, shit and, most of all, sex. In fact, it looks like three of George Carlin's seven words that you absolutely cannot say on television are in the top ten on the list of most searched words. To cut to the chase, my administration would have the attitude that most everyone has hormones and genitals, that sexuality is a normal, vital part of the human condition, and what goes on in the people's pants is their own business. Unless criminal assault, coercion or other criminal activity is involved, personal human sexuality per se should not be the government's business.
Maybe Dr. Susan Block should be brought in to do a whole series of HBO specials or public service announcements on the state of contemporary sexuality in the United States. And no, as with Ibogaine (see previous sections above), I really don't care much what the prim and proper religious fundamentalists and the PC thought police have to say about all of this. Chances are good anyway that a lot of them are also typing words like "sex, cunt, penis, pussy and dick" into Internet search engines, right along with "you, fuck, me, vagina, Jesus and God." Wasn't it only last year that the very married, super-Christian, Colorado mega-church Pastor, Ted Haggard, was caught out as a regular patron of a homosexual prostitute -- the same Pastor Ted who just as regularly thundered from the pulpit on Sunday morning about how homosexuals would burn in hell for their sick lifestyle? Do you really think Pastor Ted is the only one?
So, as regards homosexuality, and poor Pastor Ted, my administration would take the common sense position that a certain percentage of the population are gay. That's just the way it is. We can probably hold a nature vs. nurture debate until the end of time about the causes of homosexuality, but at the end of the day, they're queer and they're here. So I say, live and let live. I would support decriminalization of homosexuality, with the proviso that public sexual activity be proscribed for gays, just as it is for everyone else. That means that gays like Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who frequent or cruise public restrooms seeking to get or give a little manly love, must either: a) rent a room, like other normal people, or b) take the object of his man-love-desire home to his bedroom, subject to his wife's approval, presumably. Which reminds me, why does a flagrantly gay, United States Senator have a wife, anyway? Only in America, I suppose.
And finally, the abortion issue is deeply divisive and troubling. I am opposed in principle to the taking of innocent life. I am mindful that all human beings go through a fetal, developmental stage in the womb. I was once a fetus myself, and if I had have been aborted, I wouldn't be here today and you wouldn't be reading this lengthy declaration of emphatic, non-candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America. Having said that, especially in cases of rape and incest, where criminal assault is involved, and the sexual activity was not consensual, how can a reasonable person deny the victim the right to abortion, if she desires it?
I must say that I am appalled by so called partial birth abortion, where a fetus is brought partially out of the birth canal and then its brains are sucked out, killing it. If the birth process were extended another minute or two, that same process would be premeditated murder. The whole procedure is ghastly and ghoulish. If the birth truly places the mother's life in jeopardy, and if the procedure is an urgent medical necessity, I can see the reason for the practice in those circumstances; otherwise it seems to me that it is just a sanitized method of infanticide.
So there you have it. Those are just some of the sorts of policies and policy proposals that will go largely, and probably almost completely undiscussed, by the candidates that the Democratic and Republican criminal political syndicates put up before the public for predetermined, rigged selection as National Dictator. You see, the present agenda of the United States government is so tangled up in social control, mind control, economic control, and incessant imperial warfare that there is just not much time, money or thought for anything or anyone else. That's the way it is. That's the American Way.
When (if?) you enter the phony-baloney, rigged, so-called voting booth (do you really think that your vote is going to be counted by that electronic voting machine?) pause a moment and remember: I am most definitely *not running* for President, and if *not elected* I will *not serve*.
So don't vote for me. So many of the voting machines are rigged that the status of the electoral process in the USA these days is a massive, criminal sham and I have absolutely no desire to preside over a massive, criminal sham.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support Richard Sauder's writing and simultaneously save some money, pollute less and decrease the power of the petroleum cartel, click here and here, for innovative ways to use water for fuel in your personal car or truck.