Dean Clough

September 24, 2021

Portico Darwin: We Want Something Else

It's the weekend, so pull up a glass (after 10AM, please), and then, watch this.  We want something else.

Like Hawkeye Pierce, I can rant with the best of them, but I tend to focus on our problems as a country, vs. angst over having eaten a river of liver and an ocean of fish.

So for a change, I present nothing but solutions for what ails us.  Because I definitely want something else.

Climate Crisis
  • The built environment is about people, not cars
  • A big carbon tax, right now
  • Develop inexpensive batteries that can store massive amounts of electricity in a small space
  • Private ownership of fossil fuel-powered cars winds down to illegality by 2035, or when we solve the battery problem, whichever comes first
  • Revisit how and why we had electric streetcars in nearly every major city in America < 100 years ago and then build them again
  • Federally funded basic research becomes a thing again
  • An immediate end to all fossil fuel industry subsidies of any kind by the US government
  • Embrace small-scale nuclear power facilities and use them to power desalination plants on the West Coast
  • High speed rail replaces jet flights of 500 miles or less between major cities
  • Build water pipelines from the East Coast to the West Coast
  • Stop growing water-hungry crops in desert and Mediterranean climates, i.e., California
  • Junk mail must be sent at the prevailing first class postage rate, or preferably eliminated completely

  • A stakeholder (vs. shareholder-only) orientation; in general, a recognition that greed is not good
  • A simultaneous strengthening of labor unions while they also stop the bullshit
  • Facebook must divest WhatsApp and Instagram
  • Pharmaceutical advertisements are again illegal
  • Accredited, prestigious vocational schools become a thing 
  • Amazon must divest AWS and can no longer sell at retail its own products
  • Apple can't extract a 15 - 30% toll on essentially everything via the App Store
  • Alphabet must divest YouTube

  • Means-tested Social Security and Medicare benefits
  • Income is not taxed, but consumption is
  • If an income tax must remain, capital must be taxed at the same rate as labor
  • No personal or corporate tax deductions of any kind
  • The Federal government ends subsidies to Big Agriculture
  • We must start paying for the annual cost of the Federal government, and start chipping away at the national debt (the Federal budget was balanced when Clinton left office)
  • Cutting defense spending by at least 50%; America will move to a soft-power stance globally

  • Remembering that America is a secular, not a Christian, nation
  • Start teaching civics in school and make it matter
  • Republicans that have gone off the rails want to govern again and they re-discover democracy and our Constitution
  • Via Federal election and voting standards, stop the anti-democratic madness and make it easy to vote, not hard for every American
  • Tr*** goes away permanently (preferably to a Super Max, or to a funeral home in Queens) and is recognized by all Republicans and other true believers as the national cancer he is
  • Federally funded federal campaigns
  • Ending the security theater at airports
  • Somehow fixing the Electoral College and the fact that North and South Dakota have four senators to California's two
  • Washington DC is made the 51st state
  • An end to gerrymandering in every state
  • Senate filibuster dumped

  • Everyone is treated fairly such that we don't even need identity politics
  • Social media's negative impacts are curbed via subscriptions and identify requirements
  • Section 230 rewritten to hold Internet platforms more accountable
  • A secure national ID card
  • Our nation's diversity is seen as the strength that it is and always has been
  • Drugs are legalized and pharmaceutical uses are studied
  • Mental health care = physical health care
  • We evacuate Wokistan immediately and permanently
  • Real broadband (>= 100 megabits per second) at every address in America
  • Guns are licensed, registered, and insured exactly in the same way as are cars
  • 13th grade for every.  Single.  American.  No.  Exceptions.
  • Military draft for every.  Single.  American.  No.  Exceptions.
  • Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment

Wealth and Justice Inequality
  • Study the world's health care systems and design a new one here from scratch
  • $20 national minimum wage 
  • A financial transaction tax
  • Usury and rent-seeking are returned to the category of "wrong"
  • Businesses that can't exist without cheap labor don't exist at all 
  • We have Social Security and Medicare for older people in America; can we have something for preschoolers?
  • Create radical new development zones in places left behind, i.e., manufacturing and fossil fuel-oriented regions
  • Universities go back to being universities and not luxury brands
  • Build more housing, everywhere
  • A Truth & Reconciliation Commission on American genocide and slavery
  • Directly giving money to people to end poverty, vs. stupid bureaucracies and the benevolence of rich people
  • Global corporate income tax of >=15%
  • Anyone that wants a job gets a job; this is a giant list, we need workers, and it will also greatly reduce crime

OK, if you made it this far, you probably get I'm trying to make a point, and a sarcastic one at that.  The list is more apt for Fantasyland at a Disney park than for the reality of America and the world today.   

But we really do have A LOT OF FUCKING WORK TO DO.  The list above, while clearly an outburst of dreams, is rooted in our real problems, and I have a reasoned argument to make for each proposal.  Wasting time on identity politics, 2020 election delusions, fighting science, and owning the libs (or right-wing nut jobs) above all else isn't going to do it.

Have I missed anything?  I'd love to hear your ideas for addressing what ails us.

Because we're going to have to work together if we really want something - anything - else.   

The budding half-pipe shredder and fashion maven Nicki Vale arrived yesterday for the weekend.  Upon our niece's arrival, I whisked her away to the Killer Radhaus in SF's Diamond Certified Fort Mason.  Great launch to the weekend, but Nicki was just getting rolling.  She and Julie did a girl's thing here in the evening.  Having done it previously, I can highly recommend it.  As can I their final destination for the evening, the consistently Killer Delarosa on Chestnut here in the SF Marina.

Byron Browne IV loved the Joe Friday YouTube clip on drugs.  Agreed, and as a service to By and to society in general, I give you, via the wonders of the interwebs, over a FULL HOUR of Joe's lectures.  OMG this really is something else.  The actors aren't characters, but instead pure caricatures:  it's an anthropological time capsule.

The Best of Joe Friday on Dragnet

And we were all thrilled to hear of the safe arrival in Dublin of the always-dapper Gunther Strobel.  A guy's Rugby trip to Ireland?  Strobel?  That's a match made in a mash tun.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

Here is something else, for sure, and perhaps something you have not previously heard.  On a dreamy (some would say "stoner" - don't tell Sgt. Friday!) album that will make you forget the nasty world out there, here is Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow and "Eating Us". 

This is a great record with a sound and songs most people really like, despite never having heard of this band or often listening to this type of music. 


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.