May 5, 2010

Possible new government initiatives

The claim to US ownership of space, made under the Bush administration, has never been recanted or withdrawn, and must therefore be regarded as still operative. Exactly where space begins is something of a grey area, and the simplest and easiest option would be to regard it as beginning at the surface of the earth. Charging people for rainwater they have collected has already been tried and was not very successful; apart from the necessity of discovering the exact source of any water found, a new body of “revenooers” is necessary to enforce the charges made. Ownership of the air would be a much simpler, because all-embracing, measure, and could be charged for much as airlines charge for extra seats to overweight passengers.

Whoever forms a government after today’s UK election, according to Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, “will be unelectable for a generation” because of the draconian economic measures they will have to take. (The UK’s situation is slightly worse than that of Greece, though with six hundred trillion dollars in Credit Default Swaps sloshing around between the banks, national debts are peanuts by comparison.) If the conservative candidate, Mr. Cameron, wins, as is widely predicted, he will certainly wish to imitate whatever useful techniques he can glean from his allies across the Atlantic, with a view to making hay while the sun shines and putting together a decent retirement package. Certainly improvements in technique exist. The invoice sent by a member of the UK House of Lords to a large company for influencing legislation in their favor was a ramshackle affair. The US government’s drafting a lady from Wellpoint, a leading healthcare insurer, to write the famous healthcare legislation, (which left healthcare where it was but forced every one to buy healthcare insurance) is an object lesson for Mr. Cameron.

Of all the possible new government initiatives, it is a comment from Senator Charles Schumer that is the most promising. The Israeli pressure on Gaza was justified, said Senator Schumer, “because voting for Hamas should not be without consequences.” Those voters deliberately corrupting the democratic process by declining to vote for incumbents, or for those entrusted with high office by the government, could perhaps be given the chance to explain and justify their actions under enhanced interrogation techniques. The standard voter exit poll can be tightened to identify how everyone voted – well within the bounds of current technology – and one of the many benefits would be a great reduction in the cost of getting elected. Some quite illuminating results can be expected: it was during waterboarding some eighty plus times in a month that Mr. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed that he was Jack the Ripper, and that disguised as an iceberg he had sunk the Titanic.

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