Monday, February 6, 2017

Is it time for a new Constitution?

Before I really start, to counter anyone saying that I’m anti-American because I ask if we should change our Constitution, we’ve done it before.  Our Revolutionary War ended in 1783 securing our independence, and our current Constitution took effect in 1789.   Was this a lawless land in between?  No.  We had the Articles of Confederation.  They were the first draft of government and they were revised and replaced by a second draft.  All I’m asking is it time for a third?


Several years ago as a bit of a project for a scifi story I was working on, I started updating the Constitution.  By updating I mean taking various amendments on who can vote and Presidential succession and just working them into the main body of the Constitution.  Other changes were completely scrapping the Electoral College and clarifying some things like in the First Amendment.  (Some people argue that a comma was added or dropped – I forget which right now – which gives a different reading, usually more favorable to whatever position they already have.)

It was a fun way to kill an afternoon, but in the last few years I’ve started thinking about it more and more.  Largely because in the last few years I’ve seen more and more people who love the Constitution but seem to hate the government based on that Constitution.  They’ll say that the current government has overstepped its bound and conducts un-Constitutional actions, even if the Supreme Court – which the Constitution says are the ones who determine what is and isn’t Constitutional – says otherwise.  

Is our current government perfect?  Fuck no.  Could it be better?  One would hope.  How sad would it be if this were the pinnacle of political achievement?  At what point are fixes no longer possible from within the system, and we need to start over?  Before anyone dismisses me as a raving fanatic, the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government ….” Of course in the next sentence they also said, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ….”

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Political Pies is free

I first published Political Pies, my collection of short stories with a political theme, in the early fall of 2012.  Besides hoping that people would buy it and I’d make some money off of it, is the hope that my stories would spark an idea and readers would reexamine some of their political beliefs.  Therefore, it made sense to get copies to as many people as possible.  Which is why since then I try to have it free to download on elections and the Fourth of July.  I think sometimes I forget, but I try to have my free promotions linked to some political/national event.  Which is a long winded way to say that to mark the Inauguration tomorrow, you can now download the Kindle version of Political Pies through Sunday.  So if you haven’t already, grab your free copy now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

An energy question

Let’s suppose there are only two energy sources.  We’ll call them Energy Source A and Energy Source B.  Pound for pound – if that makes any sense since these two are very different – you can get ten times as much energy from A than B.  A lot of people would then say, “We should use Energy Source A then,” without looking any further into the matter.

But those who do look further note a few things.  A vital component of Energy Source A – the fuel, a special metal needed for the power plant, something – is located at random areas around the globe.  This means that if your country didn’t win the geography lottery and has this vital component, you have to import it.  Meaning that foreign elements could disrupt your supply of it.  Also, some countries may go to war to secure a supply of it, only to disrupt the global trading of it.  On the other hand, you could set up an Energy Source B power plant pretty much anywhere.  Does the added cost of securing the supply of the vital component of Energy Source A diminish its superiority?

Also, the normal size of an Energy Source A power plant supplies enough power for an entire city.  You could build a massive Energy Source B power plant to supply power to a city, but you could also build smaller plants that supplies power to a suburb, or a handful of neighborhoods in the city.  Some people would say that Energy Source A is clearly better because you can supply more people with more power from one plant.  But what if something goes wrong, such as a mechanical failure or even a terrorist attack?  If it happens to the A power plant, you knock out power to an entire city.  But if it happened at a B power plant, you just knock out power to a few neighborhoods. 

Given these scenarios, is Energy Source A still better than B?