Tag Archives: American

Three Ways to Fix America

Dr. Parag Khanna, a leading global strategist, CNN Global Contributor, and author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State, writes that America needs a change.  He says the American people no longer trust their government and the only way to restore trust is for Americans to learn from countries such as Switzerland.  According to Dr. Khanna, the best form of government for the 21st century is a technocracy, which is a government led by experts and/or panels of experts.  Therefore, he says the United States needs to do three things to fix itself:

  1. The United States needs to move to a seven-member presidency. Instead of having one President, the United States would be governed by a committee of seven presidents;
  2. The United States needs to abolish what Dr. Khanna calls an ineffective Senate and replace it with an Assembly of Governors. Under his plan, each state would have two governors who would jointly govern their state as well as represent their state in Washington; and
  3. The United States needs to build dignity back into civil service jobs by putting quality people – not friends, relatives, and people owed favors – in civil service positions.

Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea is very similar to Donald Trump’s campaign promises of placing the most qualified people in key government positions.  Unfortunately, with such block headed nominations and confirmations as Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, it is obvious the Trump Administration either has no intention of making good on that campaign promise, or they have yet to get a handle on quality control.  However, to be fair, I seriously doubt Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea would fair any better.

When it comes to quality control, more people involved in key governing positions and equity in hiring would not necessarily equate to fixing what ails America.  Seven presidents, two governors in each state, and government hiring void of nepotism and political favors might sound good, but would it work in the United States?  It’s doubtful.  Increasing the number of presidents and governors would do little more than guarantee nothing ever got done, and promoting hiring practices void of nepotism and discrimination would send shock waves from Washington, D.C. to Pumpkin Patch, Mississippi.  Simply put, Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea would not work in the United States!

Technocracy will not work in this country for three basic reasons:

  1. Technocracy Idea #1: Seven presidents govern by committee:

Reason it will not work:  Most everyone knows there is one thing a committee does well – NOTHING!  We can’t get things done with one President, so why would anyone believe seven people with seven separate agendas could possibly make things better?

  1. Technocracy Idea #2: The Governors Assembly:

Reason it will not work:   The reason this will not work is basically the same as #1.  Can you imagine having two Phil Bryants in Jackson, Mississippi? How about a Democrat and Republican governor sharing the governorship?  The Good Lord is struggling to help us with a single Republican governor.  Can you imagine the mess there would be if we had a Democrat and Republican in office at the same time?

  1. Technocracy Idea #3: Do away with nepotism and favors in civil service hiring:

Reason it will not work:   Point #3 makes some sense, but America is a nation of strokers – you stroke mine and I’ll stroke yours, so it is doubtful Dr. Khanna’s third idea would work any better than what we have now.  We are too deep into giving and receiving favors to stop anytime soon!

Whether Dr. Khanna’s ideas would work is something we will probably never know.  Americans are too wrapped up in themselves and personal agendas to risk changing anything before they receive what they feel they are entitled; therefore, the cycle will continue.  However, it is nice to see someone calmly offer solutions rather than screaming for change between obscenities and name calling.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 24, 2017

Are Syrian Refugees Our Second Chance?

People across America are scared, and rightfully so. We have always trusted our government to keep us safe from atrocities such as those brazenly embraced by Middle East radicals set on destroying the world as we know it. Unfortunately, due to our government’s limited involvement against the ISIS threat, America’s trust is wavering. American citizens, some of whom have never owned a hunting rifle much less a handgun, are arming themselves in record numbers, not because they are suddenly enamored with guns, but because they are scared for their safety and the safety of their families. They still trust in the ability of the men and women in the armed services to protect them; however, they no longer trust Congress or the President to unleash those men and women to do the job they were trained to do – protect American citizens!

A consequence of this fear is that we, a nation of refugees, are primed to turn our backs on the Syrian refugees fleeing for their lives; people searching for a haven for their families. Some call it “common sense” to shut out the Syrian refugees, and considering the senseless murders of 911 and the recent murders of defenseless innocent people in Paris, it is hard to argue against that point. Even so, in taking such a common sense stand, are we selling out what is morally right? Is such a stand what Americans do when confronted by an evil that goes against everything we value and believe, or is such a stand simply un-American? It is understandable that we must be cautious, and we must take steps to ensure the safety of American citizens, but is it morally right to turn people away who are trying to do the very thing “common sense” Americans are striving to do – protect themselves and their families?

Should the United States allow Syrian refugees to enter the country is a troubling paradox. Americans are a compassionate God fearing people who believe in God’s commandment to love our neighbors and care for our fellow man. However, our government’s inability to effectively handle the ISIS crisis has paralyzed our compassion and hardened our hearts out of fear of becoming their next victims. The terrorists have accomplished their goal of striking fear into the heart of America. As a result, we are poised to close our doors to Syrian refugees as we did in 1939 to Jewish refugees on board the SS St. Louis seeking sanctuary from the Nazi murderers.   In 1939, our fear sent nearly 1,000 men, women, and children back to Europe, where half of them died in the Jewish Holocaust that followed. Seventy-six years later, will our fear once again send the innocent back to death’s door, or will we trust in God, and accept the Syrian refugees as our second chance to do what is right?

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD. November 17, 2015

My Guardian Angel and a Root Beer Float or How to Count Your Blessings

When was the last time you stopped and offered your guardian angel a root beer float and a huge prayer of thanks?  If you are like me, the answer is probably never.  My guardian angel has been very good to me, but I have done absolutely nothing for her in return other than take her for granted?  I am thankful beyond words for all the times she has saved me from near disasters; yet, I have failed to say a simple thank you.  Like many people I get so caught up in all the negatives going on in the world that I lose sight of the blessings in my life.  I focus my attention on negative events and negative people who do not mean a hill of beans to me.  When I should be counting my blessings, I find myself worrying about things the network news or some person with their panties in a wad on social media tells me are important.  But, that is not their fault; the fault lies with me for allowing them to make me a willing participate in their misery.  I could turn off the television or disconnect from social media, but I am too afraid I might miss something.  However, I am ready for a change.  No, I am still too afraid I might miss something to turn off the television or social media, but I have resolved that I am going to reserve at least one day each week to celebrate my blessings.  If I don’t, I’m afraid my guardian angel will leave me, and then where would I be?

One of the best places to begin any celebration is by celebrating America.  As Americans, all of us should have something we can be proud of and thankful for – right? Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case.  Too many Americans today would rather bash our nation than sing her praises.  We have become a people with few qualms about giving credibility to the haters and the doomsayers who continually disrespect and tear down our country.  I understand we no longer live in the America of thirty, forty, or fifty years ago, and that everything was less jaded, dripping in honey, and just plain homey and nice back then, but damn people there has got to be something we can be thankful for today.  I know it’s hard to be thankful when every day we are confronted by name callers, bigots, conspiracy theorists, doomsday preppers, our way or the highway fanatics, limp wrists banana eating liberals, conservative left wing socialists, butt headed right wing elitist, sh#!* for brains instigators, bean heads, dope heads, “namby-pamby” do-gooders and a conniving government set on enslaving the people.  I hate to say it, but it is really hard to celebrate America when the news and social media constantly tell us that America is a really crappy place to live.

But, is it really?  Where else in the world can people worship as they please without persecution and fear of physical harm?  Where else can people speak for or against the government with equal guarantees of expression without oppression?  Where else in the world can regular people get a free public education with a chance to someday own their own business and home?  Where else in the world can law abiding citizens own firearms without fear of imprisonment?  Where else in the world do regular people have enough expendable income to blow on frequent trips to McDonalds and Walmart?  Where else can people go to sleep at night knowing they are protected by the greatest military machine in the history of the world?  Where else in the world can not only the wealthy but regular folks have money to take vacations at the beach and Disney World? Where else in the world can people jump in their vehicle and drive anywhere in the nation without first getting permission? Where else in the world do citizens have the right to elect their leadership and then openly criticize them and call for their removal from office without fear of arrest and imprisonment?  This list could go on and on, but the point is that as Americans we have a lot more to be thankful for than we have to gripe and complain about!  So, why do we spend ninety percent of our energy focusing on the dirt, the misguided ignorant, and the haters?  We should be climbing on rooftops and shouting, “I am a proud American, and I love my country!”

Lately, I hear more and more talk about climate change and the earth getting warmer, but the biggest climate change I see in America is in the people.  Everybody is hot under the collar about something these days.  We are hot because someone offended us!  We are hot because someone said something that was not politically correct!  We are hot because someone dared express themselves in such a way that we do not agree!  And, we are just plain hot about being hot because that has become the norm in America.  We complain about politicians who do nothing for the American people; we complain about the economy; we judge and condemn people for their religious preference, sexual preference, flag preference, political preference, the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes, the language they speak, and even what they eat and drink and where they live.  Maybe, if we stopped judging and worrying about everybody else and started concentrating on making ourselves a better person, we might actually change some of the things we gripe about.  Maybe, America would become a much cooler and calmer climate in which to live.

On some of these issues, I may be as guilty as anyone, so I am going to make a change.  I am going to initiate a “Count Your Blessings Day” one day each week.  On this day, I am going to ignore the negatives and pay special attention to my blessings, and I am going to start with my guardian angel.  I am going to give my guardian angel that long overdue root beer float and prayer of thanks.  I am going to say thank you for allowing me to be an American, and for being at my side when I need you.  I am not going to ask for anything; I am just going to say a simple THANK YOU prayer!  I am not talking about one of those long over the top “sermon within a prayer” prayers. I am not talking about one of those prayers where I map out a list of problems and issues I would like for God to resolve.  I am not going to ask to be protected from, saved from, or delivered from anything.  I am simply going to thank God for his blessings and thank my guardian angel for keeping me safe and out of trouble.  Maybe, if I start being more thankful and less needy, God will be more inclined to answer my prayers.

Having a “Count Your Blessings Day” each week may not dramatically change the world, but it will make me pause and give thanks for all my blessings including being an American. In spite of this country’s many faults and problems, it is still the greatest country on earth. We just need to stop complaining for a while and make time to reflect and be thankful we are a part of it. Yeah, I like that; one day a week where I concentrate on the positives and not the negatives. That’s a plan! I can’t wait to join my guardian angel for a root beer float; I think we both deserve one.

JL

©Jack Linton, September 6, 2015