Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: I have been given sweeping, Ataturk-like benevolent dictator powers ...

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,572
    Blog entries
    3

    I have been given sweeping, Ataturk-like benevolent dictator powers ...

    ... and here's a little bit of what I'm going to do. (This is local to the US, of course.)

    Telemarketers, unsolicited commercial e-mail, and cell phone spam - Banned. Completely. $1000 fine if anyone recieves an unwanted solicitation from a business, political campaign or non-profit organization by telephone, e-mail or fax. End of story.

    Metric system - As of 1 January 2003, the United States will undergo a quick, "cold turkey" conversion to the metric system. Highway signs will change, consumer goods produced after that date must be sold with metric untis shown predominantly, weather forecasts on television will use degrees celsius and kilopascals, and we'll be buying liters of gas at the corner Texaco. If you don't like it, you can move to Myannamar, the last country on the planet that still embraces such quaint measurements as hogsheads and chains.

    Gun control - Guns will be treated in a manner similar to motor vehicles. You must pass a rigorous a gun safety, use and marksmanship course to earn a "gun license." You must renew your license every ten years if you want your right to gun ownership to continue. Guns will be registered much as cars are, and "fingerprinted" by noting unique markings the weapon makes on bullets and shell casings. Felons are permanently barred from gun licensing or registration. If you have a license and properly registered (and renewed) registrations, you can own as many guns as you want. C'mon ... you can only hold two, anyhow, so the rest won't do you any good.

    Domestic pet breeding - Puppy mills and catteries are banned. An animal owner cannot breed more than four litters per year. Domestic pets will not be sold in retail or wholesale outlets.

    The New National Highway Beautification Act - Billboards visible from the public right-of-way of any federal, state or local highway are banned. Freestanding signs taller than 15 feet ... ahem, I mean five meters ... banned. Excepted areas include Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip, and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Fuel taxes will pay to buy out the assets of remaining outdoor advertising companies, at an uninflated fair market rate.

    Drinking age - Old enough to vote, old enough to die for your country, old enough to drink. The national drinking age is 18. Minors may consume alcohol in the presence of their parents or legally appoined guardians.

    Health care - People have the right to decent health care. Dig up Hillary Clinton's proposed single payer/universal coverage plan. Stamp out plastic cards that say "Health Care America." They're insurance cards. One will be given to each American citizen and gainfully employed foreign national in the United States. Tort limits will be imposed.

    National service - Every American citizen must serve at least two years of "national service duty" while they are between the ages of 18 and 25. National service duty can include the military (if they're good enough), Peace Corps, and VISTA.

    National defense - The military deserves our nation's best and brightest, and those serving deserve more than our thanks and respect. MIlitary personnel will get paid a decent salary, comparable to that of other federal employees engaged in defense-like operations (i.e. Capital Police, Border Petrol, etc.) -- after two years of service.

    Those who are fabulous will also be allowed to perform military service. It might upset some, but think of the wonderful choreography that drill formations will now have!

    Immigration - Immigrants can come to the United States 1) like now, theough marriage or blood relation; 2) by scoring highly on a "point" system, similar to that used by Canada and Australia; 3) through the "green card" diversity lottery, or 4) through the "point" system, with extra credit given to those who agree to live in federally designated areas such as declining Rust Belt cities, or, for medical professionals, small rural towns, for at least ten years after their arrival in the country.

    Media un-deregulation - Radio sucks. Large radio conglomerates (Clear Channel, etc.) will be broken up. At least 50% of all radio stations in a market must be owned by a real company (not a holding company) within 50 km of the center of the market; 25% may be owned by companies or individuals located up to 100 km from the market. A company may not own more than five radio stations,with no more than two in one market.

    The IBOC digital broadcasting standard proposed by the NAB will be dropped, and the United States will follow the rest of the world with digital terrestrial radio broadcasting using the Eureka standard. All existing AM and FM radio stations will be given Eureka bandwidth, and room will be made to double the number of radio stations in a given market. New community and collegiate broadcasters -- not religious -- will be given priority for slots in the expanded bandwidth.

    National Vehicular Low Frequency Noice Emination Act - Drivers of vehicles where sound systems are are playing so loudly that they can be not necessarily heard, but felt more than five meters from the vehicle will be subjected to at least four hours of noise aversion therapy. This includes confinement to an acoustically perfect room, where they will be subjected to polka, bhangra (Tunak Tunak Tun!) and Bollywood/Indian pop, 1970s era soft pop (Bread, England Dan and John Ford Coley, etc), 1920s era vocal 78s ("My Darling Clementine" in a clipped nasal accent, etc), instrumental Muzak, and The Kids of Widney High, at volumes just below a threshold that would cause permanent hearing damage. No potty breaks, either.

    Slavery reparations - No. We cannot deny our past. However, most groups have, at some time or another, been held in bondage or oppressed unjustly. Immigrants to the United States, while acknowledging their heritage, have put the past behind them, and looked forward to the future. Those whose decendants were slaves or indentured servants -- black and white -- must do the same.

    Eschew obfusication! - All federal, state, county and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions, as well as all all legally binding contracts, must be written (or re-written, as the case may be) in plain, jargon-free, legalese-free English, with prose as short as possible to get the point across.

    Business welfare reform - No more government handouts -- federal, state, or local -- for private businesses. Economic development incentives must not include tax breaks or other actions directed at one specific employer. A government may prop up a threatened business sector by purchasing its products, though; i.e. advance purchase of airline tickets to help troubled airlines, instead of direct subsidies or handouts.

    Tort reform - Loser pays. It's that simple. No more people suing McDonalds for getting fat from their food, or making coffee that could possibly scald you if it was spilled.

    Election reform - The Electoral College will be eliminated.. One man, one vote, with instant runoff voting instituted in every election, from dog catcher to president.

    All local elections departments will be eliminted. A new "Bureau of Elections" will conduct all local, state and federal elections, using the same touch-screen electronic voting machines nationwide. No more punch cards in Florida, no more 1930s era mechanical voting machines in New York.

    Redrawing the map - States will be consolidated or split as follows:

    Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut - consolidated.
    Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware - consolidated.
    North Dakota and South Dakota - consolidated.
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan - given to Wisconsin.
    Vermont and New Hampshire - consolidated. Should be fun to watch.
    Oklahoma and Texas - Amarillo/Texas Panhandle area joined to Oklahoma. West Texas split from remainder of Texas.

    Cuba - Fidel Castro will probably outlive my unborn children. Enough is enough. Lift the embargo, and let Americans enjoy the right to travel wherever they want.

    Drugs - Marijuana, hashish, mushrooms, and other such drugs that are not refined or processed will be legalized and regulated in the same manner of the Netherlands. Processed drugs, such as cocaine, crack, and heroin, will remain illegal. The growing, harvest, sales and distribution of legalized soft drugs will be closely monitored, to ensure there is no influence by organized crime.

    Taxes - 15% value-added tax (VAT). 15% federal income tax. 15% capital gains tax. 50% sin tax (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs). 25 cent tax per liter of gasoline, to increase with the rate of inflation, with money specifically earmarked towards transportation projects. No inheritance tax. No tax on lottery winnings. No exemptions, period. Taxes may be raised temporarily, in times of dire national emergency, but every year, the emergency tax must be re-approved.

    College tuition - State colleges are free ... one year of tuition for every year of national service. If you perform service after college, your tuition is refunded.

    Foreign aid - No cash handouts. My Ataturk-like benevolent dictatorship will follow the example of the Bush administration, and make foreign aid conditional upon good governance. The emphasis of foreign aid will be the provision of physical and technological infrastructure that will stimulate economic development, the quality of life, and self-determination. For instance, my post-Taliban Afghanistan aid will be in the form of an extensive paved highway system and a high-speed wireless telecommunications network. Military aid will be rare, and given only when a country's soverignity is under constant threat; i.e. Israel.

    Foreign policy - No enemies, except those that seek the destruction of the United States.

    Canada - My administration will have an "open border" policy with Canada. In return, Canada must implement a similar open-border policy (allowing gun checks, in a manner similar to California's agricultural border inspections), and cooperate to form a bi-national agency that will work to secure the perimeter of our countries. The United States will work unilaterally to address issues that result in negative externalities on our friend to the north, such as acid rain.

    Privacy - The United States will cope the European Union's efforts to ensure the privacy of its citizens, with regards to medical and employment records, credit reports, consumer product preference tracking, and so on. However, cameras will be used in public places not to spy on or track people, but rather to prevent crime. Gun licensing and registration records will be available only to law enforcement agencies, and not to the general public.

    Space exploration - My benevolent dictatorship will set goals that will continue the legacy started by Eisenhower and Kennedy.
    Return to the moon: 2005
    Functioning space plane: 2007
    Mars landing: 2010
    Moon colonization: 2010
    Mars colonization: 2020
    Landing on any Jupiter moon: 2020


    I'll be adding more throughout the weekend. Stay tuned.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2

    NZ

    Invercargill here I come!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,953

    Re: I have been given sweeping, Ataturk-like benevolent dictator powers ...

    Oh, where to start...

    Originally posted by Dan
    ... and here's a little bit of what I'm going to do. (This is local to the US, of course.)
    The US has never been bashful about forcing its opinions on others. Why start now. Hear that, Canada! Your going metric, eh? What? Since the 1980's? Oh, then, never mind.

    [Metric system - As of 1 January 2003, the United States will undergo a quick, "cold turkey" conversion to the metric system.
    Mostly OK, but just don't mess with my woodworking tools and can't we skip on the Celsius thing. Like it or not, Farenheit has more range, or rather, a narrower increment between degrees.

    Gun control - Guns will be treated in a manner similar to motor vehicles.
    What about carrying guns?

    National defense - The military deserves our nation's best and brightest, and those serving deserve more than our thanks and respect. Military personnel will get paid a decent salary, comparable to other federal employees.
    It's about time. But then again, some of what you have serving now can't really be called bright.

    Those who are fabulous will also be allowed to perform military service. It might upset some, but think of the wonderful choreography that drill formations will now have!
    I had a hard enough time keeping in step, now you want me to learn dance routines? Still, I have known gay veterans and serving lesbians. It was never a problem as far as I'm concerned. If the military's leadership is concerned about their ability to maintain discipline in a diverse unit including gays, then it is time to get new leadership. They used the same arguments used to keep out blacks and women.

    National service - Every American citizen must serve at least two years of "national service duty"
    Will you count non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, PETA, Earth First! and the NRA?

    Immigration - Immigrants can come to the United States
    We should be sending people to other nations and pleading with their scientists, skilled tradespeople, and other talented people to come to the US!

    National Vehicular Low Frequency Noice Emination Act - ...polka, ...
    So what is wrong with polkas???

    Eschew obfusication! - All federal, state, county and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions, as well as all all legally binding contracts, must be written (or re-written, as the case may be) in plain, jargon-free, legalese-free English, with prose as short as possible to get the point across.
    Be it herefore enacted that any municipal code, ordinance, act, or other communication of, by, or to the City of ____ , its boards and commissions, its elected and appointed officers and employees, contractual employees, vendors, businesses, citizens, and all other persons, living or dead, with whom any of the heretofore mentioned persons, civil bodies, businesses, or other persons or entities not specifically mentioned but implied, may have contact, shall immediately and from this point hence be written, spoken, signed, or otherwise communicated in a manner so as to enjoin the greatest clarity reasonable to be achieved. Furthermore, these same heretofore mentioned persons, civil bodies, businesses and others either specifically mentioned or implied, shall at once undertake the writing and re-writing of any and all codes, ordinances, and other communications in such a manner as to eradicate obfuscatory language and to transmit the intended message or information with a charachter of simplicty so as to enhance the overall clarity of the communication to its intended recipient. This Act shall be hereafter referred to as the Tasman Act.

    Business welfare reform - No more government handouts -- federal, state, or local -- for private businesses. Economic development incentives must not include tax breaks or other actions directed at one specific employer.
    I already live in a state that does not permit tax breaks. I do support providing assistance to individual businesses, provided there is a substantial public benefit as a result, and claw-back provisions exist if the business fails to live up to its commitments. At the same time, I agree that the wisest economic development investments are those that improve the underlying capacity of an area to support the kinds of business and development activity it desires.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    Why not count working for a state or local gov as serving time for our nation? hell we dont make crap, we work horrid hours and put up with abuse that would land most companies in court?

    what do ya say graet leader Dan?

    D
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    1,460
    Hear me now oh great Ataturk

    I recycle lots, have a rain barrel and plant native species. AND I pickup trash where I ever I see it too. I had 2 kids to keep the population from declining and I try to buy locally produced products. and choose all others based upon their corporate green policies.

    Don't I deserve a tax break or a quality of life dividend?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604

    Kids

    Thats something that gets my "goat" if you will

    i have no kids, dont want em, cant have em and i will forever be penalized for it. What about those of us DINKs out there that contribute but dont kids?

    Not that i have any problem with kids but each week i see some urchin runing loose in a metro or resturant *usualy pulling my red curly hair* and the parents dont even take time to notice* reminds me more and more i dont want kids.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075
    Dan,
    Sweet Platform,
    1 Question. This geographic spot-welding; where the hell did that come from?

    I could live in your "Reich" - Sorry BKM. Even with the gun control. I'd trade gun registration for the upcoming mass lawyer starvation.

  8. #8

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Master - How can I serve the cause of bringing you to power?

    Thank You, Dan, I thought I was the only "liberal" left here \

    Off Topic: How do I change my e-=mail notification address. The ever-replicating viral spam at work was crossing the line (nasty porn advertising on a work computer =unemployment) So I had IT change my email account

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Originally posted by BKM


    Off Topic: How do I change my e-=mail notification address. The ever-replicating viral spam at work was crossing the line (nasty porn advertising on a work computer =unemployment) So I had IT change my email account
    You can change your email address by clicking on the Control Panel and editing user options.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,572
    Blog entries
    3
    Off-topic:
    Off Topic: How do I change my e-=mail notification address. The ever-replicating viral spam at work was crossing the line (nasty porn advertising on a work computer =unemployment) So I had IT change my email account


    Send me an e-mail message at cyburbia {at) cyburbia d0t org. I'll set you up with a cyburbia.org e-mail account. (The same offer extends to anyone else reading this.)
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Eschew obfusication! - All federal, state, county and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions, as well as all all legally binding contracts, must be written (or re-written, as the case may be) in plain, jargon-free, legalese-free English, with prose as short as possible to get the point across.

    While at home yesterday, recovering from a Thanksgiving Dinner, I heard an interesting interview / segment on the CBC about the plain language movement. Here are some of the links associated with the story. The story may still be online as well.

    "Plain Language: Our quest for Canada’s stupidest memos got us thinking about why language in the workplace is so convoluted. Nick Purdon drops by the studio to report on the Plain Language movement. Find out the role language played in the Challenger and Three Mile Island disasters."

    plain language link at CBC page

    link from story

    another link from story
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  12. #12
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,586
    Dan, it might just be simpler for you to move to Canada instead of trying to change things in the U.S.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Why not count working for a state or local gov as serving time for our nation? hell we dont make crap, we work horrid hours and put up with abuse that would land most companies in court?


    D
    NO!!

    Service to your country means visiting some God awful town, country, etc where the only commercial businesses are pawn shops, tatoo parlors, and strip joints, and the "townies" have less teeth than you have fingers.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    God awful town, country, etc where the only commercial businesses are pawn shops, tatoo parlors, and strip joints, and the "townies" have less teeth than you have fingers.
    You are describing where I live, except for the strip clubs.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  15. #15
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Kids
    PG's comments, combined with some mindless surfing found these items about other people's children.


    Kids Art
    Moderator's edit from bturk: You might not want to view this at work.

    OOPS sorry, i forgot. donk


    The million dollar question, why is it OK for people with kids to take time off of work to take their kids to the Doctor, but when you have to go it is not?
    Last edited by donk; 15 Oct 2002 at 4:04 PM.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Originally posted by donk
    [B]

    PG's comments, combined with some mindless surfing found these items about other people's children.


    Kids Art
    I just got this in email from a friend of mine.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  17. #17
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    I can't open it, my connection keeps timing out. what is it?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Kelly - It's a critique of kid's art....the kind that people post on their walls at the office. PM me your email address and I'll send you the Word document if you're interested.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  19. #19

    Registered
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Westerly, Rhode Island
    Posts
    25

    Back On Topic!

    I have been given sweeping, Ataturk-like benevolent dictator powers ... Gosh, all you folks have gone off topic, but if I ran the place, our national system of land measurement would revert to the highly efficient standard of chains, rods and links. Also, I would require that property legal desciptions reference permanent landmarks such as the "spike in the chestnut tree," or a "cairn of rocks" whenever the landscape is littered with such features or when a state boundary needs to be defined.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,953

    Re: Back On Topic!

    Originally posted by biha
    I have been given sweeping, Ataturk-like benevolent dictator powers ... Gosh, all you folks have gone off topic, but if I ran the place, our national system of land measurement would revert to the highly efficient standard of chains, rods and links. Also, I would require that property legal desciptions reference permanent landmarks such as the "spike in the chestnut tree," or a "cairn of rocks" whenever the landscape is littered with such features or when a state boundary needs to be defined.
    Good one. Of course, the 1830 public land survey for my city is based off of an oak tree as its reference point. That oak tree is still visible from my office window. Then again, I am working with a property that has an extra ten feet of land between it and the neighbor.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Powers needed by transit and why
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 12 Jan 2008, 12:29 PM
  2. Super Powers
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 37
    Last post: 18 Apr 2007, 12:01 PM
  3. Street sweeping
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 20 Mar 2007, 11:52 AM
  4. Abu Ghraib eye for the dictator guy.
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 02 Jul 2004, 1:29 PM
  5. How would you abuse god-like powers?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 22
    Last post: 18 Mar 2003, 12:57 PM