Abortion, Choice or Right to Life: An Issue of “Focus.”

Definitions:

1. Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy, other than by natural causes

2. Pro – choice (Democrat) or Pro-Abortion (Republican) are each evocative characterizations, designed to, unfairly I think, obscure the issue. The word “choice” as currently used by Republicans implies encouragement to abort, as opposed to encouragement to have the individual make an informed and independent choice (Democrat or Libertarian,) which must be juxtaposed against having a government make a moral choice, for its citizens, as a reflection of the then existing majority’s expressed will (Populist.)

3. Killing: terminating a human life 4. Murder: unlike homicide, any form of an unlawful termination of human life 5. Life: a. biologically – reproducing, ingesting, excreting organisms b. religio-spiritually – the divine spark present at inception c. legally – somehow related to viability (problematic with test tube babies and advances in medicine now and in the future)

Beliefs and Viewpoints:

1. All abortions are, if you accept “but for” reasoning, a Killing, but all Killings are not Murder for example killing in self defense, or defense of another, Murder is only what a particular society’s laws define as an unlawful killing etc.

2. The question itself is often determined by the observer’s focus.

a. If you focus on the mother, then until the fetus is “born” it is part of the mother’s body, and I believe she, and every other person, should have the absolute right to govern and choose their course of care, (and no, this does not mean that I accept that pregnancy is a disease to be treated.) Health, or lack thereof, so long as the individual bears the entire effects of their own choices, other than the moral consequences inherent in a society that acquiesces to any act of one of its members, is and should be an exclusively personal matter where the individual acts according to his or her own moral tenants and bears the consequences of their own actions or failures to act.

Thus, choice, which should, I believe, be informed, in this as in all decisions, here because of the moral consequences inherent to an acquiescing society, focuses ONLY on the mother. Society should, I believe, have the right to require that choice made be in an informed and timely manner. Say within the first trimester, and only by minimally competent persons under the law (as currently defined for criminal purposes – the ability to know the difference between right and wrong, not to say or characterize this as even remotely a criminal act.)

b. If you focus on the fetus, our society has irrefutably granted certain rights at birth. Although these rights, until very recently, did not vest in the child until a latter date i.e. majority, baptism, confirmation, bar mitzvah, etc. As to the question, why should the date be moved to an earlier time, and if so to what age, what logic can there be, in view of modern medicine, to draw any line other than inception, once and if you agree to any earlier time. Since the fetus will not be capable of communicating cognizance of its death, if this occurs before birth, what are the consequences to society of its death, other than the moral issue? And if it is solely the moral issue then do we really want any government making moral decisions by the majority expression of will? I do not!

3. Does this mean that the poor and/or ignorant are more likely to abort than the financially secure and educated – yes. But then the poor and/or ignorant are also more likely to be pregnant with an unwanted child and less likely to bear the consequences of their action and require that society bear the consequences of their individual choices, welfare etc. Is this characterizable as racial or class centric, possibly but anything can be characterized by “look-back” causality, the question is repeatability and whether the intent was somehow racial of class centric or whether there are concurring unrelated common causes of both effects or even if one is merely an unintended consequence of the other.

Proposals, what may be elected, and who makes the election:

1. If a single (unmarried) woman over the age of 18 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling).

2. If a married woman is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling), and either the written consent of her husband or a written acknowledgement that he has been notified.

3. If a single (unmarried) woman over the age of 14 but not yet 18 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with a requirement of counseling) and either written consent of her custodial parent or a written acknowledgement that he or she has been notified.

4. If a single (unmarried) woman under the age of 14 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling) and either written consent of her custodial parent or a written acknowledgement that the custodial parent shall as of the birth adopt the child and assume responsibility for same.

5. In the event that the election is made to terminate the pregnancy in any of the above circumstances, or in the case of incest, rape, or the health of the mother is endangered; the pregnancy may be terminated, at government expense at an approved facility.

Fixing the Postal Service

Fixing the Postal Service

The United States Postal Office is broken.  It is fixable.  As currently operated it attempts to survive in the unfriendly environment of 21st century communications with 18th century methods.  It is time to make a change, a leap, and move to an innovative platform supported by current technology that will result not only in improved service levels but perpetual break-even operations without additional cost or taxpayer support.

Definitions

  1. Recipient one who receives information in electronic or traditional paper format.
  2. Sender one who sends information in electronic or traditional paper format.

We propose the following solution to the continuing U.S.P.S. survival problem;

  1. All mail Recipients will be issued a personal zip code without charge.
  2. All mail Recipients may elect to; (a) have all of their mail scanned and forwarded to an Recipient’s email account; or (b) to a new email account, available without charge at the post office of the Recipient’s selection; or (c) may elect to receive all mail in paper form, as is, at a P.O. Box of the Recipient’s selection; or (d) any combination of the above.
  3. P.O. Boxes will only be available on a monthly or yearly rental, equal to the full cost of their maintenance (break-even.)
  4. There will be NO, Federally paid for, postal home or office delivery.
  5. There will be only one class of postage; equivalent to today’s first class.
  6. Special delivery will be available only through U.P.S., FedEx or a similar private service, with drop off available at any post office.
  7. Package delivery will be available only through U.P.S., FedEx or a similar private service with drop off available at any post office.
  8. Senders using electronic-to-electronic delivery will have all mail forwarded through a Post Office I.S.P. without charge.
  9. Senders using the post office to open, scan and deliver paper-to-electronic mail will be charged ½ the regular First Class Mail Rate to forward mail through a Post Office I.S.P.

10. Senders using the post office to print and deliver electronic-to-paper mail will be charged ½ the regular First Class Mail Rate to forward and print mail through a Post Office I.S.P. to a P.O. Box..

11. Senders using conventional mail will be charged the actual fully loaded cost of deposit, transmittal and delivery to the recipients P.O. Box.

12. The new First Class Mail Rate, to be automatically adjusted on a monthly basis, must be electronically charged by Postal swipe or credit card to the Sender.

13. In lieu of Stamps Senders will bar code their individual zipcode on the envelope of paper mail and enter their individual zip code on electronic mail.

14. Private industry will be authorized and encouraged to contract for P.O. Box-to-home or office delivery with mail Recipients.  As a new public utility awardees will be granted exclusive (monopoly) rights by current zip code or a portion thereof and will be required (part of the cost of doing business) to provide free to delivery to the disabled, and the aged.

15. Private industry will be encouraged to bid and pay for the right to place P.O. Boxes on their property (in their store, Home Depot, Kroger etc, for enhanced foot traffic.)

16. These changes are estimated to reduce the employment requirement from approximately 600,000 to less than 200,000 and reduce the number of vehicles used and maintained along with fuel used by more than 2/3rds.

17. The Postal Department will become a GSE and will proceed through a transition allowing current employees to retire under an early buy-out pension agreement providing, at their option, immediate or deferred benefits based on the net present value

Solution task Forces

Solutions Task Forces

The country faces a number of challenges, few of them small.  In recent history, our Federal government has been tasked with developing and implementing solutions.  One might suggest this approach has resulted in more bureaucracy, significant waste of precious resources, party bickering, and ultimately ineffective programs with little REAL progress toward solving the problems.

Indeed, solutions seem to work through the process in dribbles and bits.  A piecemeal approach will not solve today’s significant problems and in fact may only muddy waters further.  The scope of the problems is large; so must be the solutions.

At the same time, our country is blessed with a population of willing, capable people—a wealth of talent in the private sector, experts in their fields—who often feel impotent watching leaders in Washington (often with NO real-world experience in a particular field) trying to manage these complex issues.

To solve our nation’s ills, the vast resource of our citizenry must be tapped.  The development of solutions needs to move away from the experienced politicians and their cohorts and into the hands of people competent and experienced in industry, service or issue.  How might this be achieved?

  1.  Ask the President in cooperation with Congress to identify the key, broad problems/issues facing our nation.
  2.  For each issue, ask the President to recruit and appoint a citizen task force, a small, working body of approximately 10 – 20 members who bring special experience/qualifications relative to the particular issue.   Task force members are selected from the private sector to provide a year of service to government.  Task force members agree to serve VOLUNTARILLY and, so that they can invest themselves fully in this process, must not be otherwise employed during this period.   Those seeking to serve will provide for their own expenses, either through personal resources or sponsors, solely at the individual’s discretion.
  3.  Each task force is empanelled with the expectation that it will determine its own structure, order and plan of action.  Each task force is charged with four broad goals:
    1. To review and identify the Federal government’s limits and responsibilities relative to the issue in accordance with the Constitution.
    2.  To research possible solutions by consulting with/engaging a broad community of those with relevant, market-based experience
    3.  To evaluate possible solutions
    4.  To devise a recommendation, a comprehensive approach to solving or improving the critical issue facing our nation.

The Task Force reports should be made to the President, to Congress and to the American people.

While the results and success of the Task Forces cannot be guaranteed, at the very least, a large body of information and a wealth of knowledge is coalesced for the country’s good – at no cost to the taxpayer.  At most, workable solutions are put on the table for which Congress can be accountable.  It is hard to find a downside.