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...in the hand is worth two...by Kirsten Wiking
"I wish you'd have given me
Just Do It: Legalizeby Katie McDaniel
The economic crisis plaguing Americans today is the root of overwhelming stress and the source of our need for a new budget plan. States are being spread thin with hundreds of unfunded mandates and the increasing demand for more prison space. With a rising population and crime rate, prisons are over-crowded and unsanitary. This problem negatively affects the criminals inside prison walls as well as taxpayers who provide for their room and board.
We can all agree on our desire to decrease prison populations and the spending that accompanies them; but no one wants rapists and murderers rampaging on public streets. Criminals of this intense nature need to be locked away. However, there are also thousands of prisoners in jail simply because of drug involvement. Twenty percent of prisoners in local and federal prisons are there under drug charges. Possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroine, and methamphetamines are all illegal in America. Smuggling of drugs into the country is a practice that is never going to cease. It is all too easy for teenagers and junkies alike to buy illegal drugs no matter what laws are in place. High schoolers know how to get marijuana just as easily as they know how to get alcohol.
Furthermore, when a prisoner is convicted with possession or use of drugs, it is often easy for the prisoner to get these substances inside prison. The New England Journal of Medicine states: "'Drugs, and sometimes needles and syringes, find their way inside the walls. I've seen the lifers that just don't care,' Mr. M said. 'They share needles and don't take a minute to rinse them. In the 1990's', he said, 'needles were coming in by the handful, but prison officials have since stopped that traffic, and inmates who take illicit drugs usually snort or swallow them.'" Junkies and others who are zealous about getting their drugs will find a way even after they are in prison. Putting these people behind bars and clogging jails and prisons does not even stop the behavior that put them away in the first place. Nearly 80% of prisoners who were convicted of drug-related crimes continue to use drugs in prison. Therefore, when they are released back onto the streets they will continue to feed their habit and use illegal substances. About 20% of prisoners released after serving their time are caught again and put back in prison. Obviously this system is ineffective and needs a makeover.
My plan, in order to make room in state and federal prisons, and to decrease the prison budget, is to legalize all dugs. People will not be convicted for the possession or use of any drug unless they also commit another act like murder, vandalism, or theft. This will downsize populations in all prisons across the country by at least twenty percent, making room for pedifiles, murderers, and all the bankers who screwed up American economic stability in the first place.
This plan may appear shocking, but the released drug offenders will not simply be allowed to roam the streets. Now that all drugs would be legal, Americans could start to produce pharmaceuticals to make a profit and to create millions of jobs across the country. The current unemployment rate is about 7.5 % and rising. By legalizing drugs, Americans would no longer need to smuggle these substances in from other countries like Mexico and other South American countries. Farms could be created in the proper climates for their growing requirements whether the drug is heroine or cocaine. The poppy is California's state flower, so why not start growing an opium poppy flower for the production of heroine? Also, by having people who are addicted to the drug help grow it, they will know how to correctly make the drug and produce it to higher standards of customer satisfaction.
Marijuana, or "weed" is the biggest recreation drug in America and will require a large number of new Cannabis farms. These farms can employ people who not only know how to grow the cannabis plant, but also people to manage the farms, cook for the farmers, sell and market the product, and distribute the weed. After all drugs are legalized, the employment opportunities are infinite.
Some may argue that legalizing weed, heroine, and cocaine are fine plans but legalizing harsh drugs like Methamphetamines may be too extreme. All the Meth addicts in prison will also be released to work at methamphetamine plants. The production of this drug requires harsh substances like tar, gasoline fluids, and cleaning supplies. These ingredients are largely why meth addicts loose their teeth and have such unsightly appearances. To keep them away from the general public, all meth addicts will be shipped to four various sites across the U.S. to produce the product. Fabricating this drug is exceptionally dangerous and it is very likely that these meth plants will explode within the first year of their creation, thus reducing the population of these low-life criminals. They will also be given guns in hopes that they will kill each other off and eventually eliminate all meth addicts.
I do want to make clear that my plan would in no way benefit my personal situation. I live in Idaho, and there are no federal prisons in this state, so my taxes would not be reduced. Also, I do not use drugs, so the legalization of illegal substances would not support my habit or help my social scene. This plan will support the masses through lower taxes in many states, and our economy will feel a boost from the new drug taxes and other economic profits of the legalized trade. The American legal system will not continue to be strained with incessant drug cases, and lawyers could begin to spend time on serious crimes like murder, rape, and fraud.
Girlsby Kathryn Pope
Oh wow! says she whose nose is in the air.
Of scorn I cannot help but feel the sting.
Happyby Jamie Valle
The big ol' hill, in the middle of town-
On that hill there is a lonesome flower.
Sittin' on my broken porch,
.A Comely Proposalby Kirsten Wiking
A dark cloud of depression has settled over our nation: with the stock market crash, the mass unemployment of our country's citizens, and the foreclosure of our cherished homes, our situation grows bleak. What many do not realize is that this collapsed economy has not only left us penniless, jobless, and homeless, but has resulted in other discouraging side-effects. Without jobs, men around the country have lost their essential identities as head of their families. Many are now forced to adopt the role of Mr. Mom-a hardly masculine position in the family unit-or to spend hours on end searching for jobs on the internet; this degrading new status has left unemployed husbands humiliated, which has in turn affected their entire families. Women can no longer afford the products they need to keep up their appearances, and children wander aimlessly like ragamuffins.
The United States Government, seeing the effects of this depression on Americans, is scrambling for a solution. Politicians have proposed legislation that would pump a substantial amount of money into various failing banks and business, believing that by saving these corporations, they are preserving thousands of jobs and saving Americans from a widespread panic. What politicians do not understand is that these seeds of panic and despair have already germinated within the hearts of Americans. These seeds of gloom act as a toxic mold that rots both our inner sense of wellness, and our physical demeanor: these difficult economic times have rendered our skin a dull pallor, etched frowns into our faces, and colored dark circles underneath our weary eyes. This toxic mold is especially dangerous because each person releases new spores that infect others. A perfectly content woman could be walking down the street and notice a man pathetically crying, clutching a box filled with his work belongings because he has just been laid off. Seeing this desperate-looking man then causes the woman to think about her own husband, and to wonder if perhaps today he has also lost his job; if he is perhaps waiting at home to break the news to her. Now, you see, a deep crevice of worry forms between her brows; perhaps her pace quickens as she twists anxiously at a handkerchief in her hands. Someone else will see her and wonder what is wrong: the cycle continues.
Our government believes that if enough cash is injected the economy, Americans will want to spend money again, which will in turn benefit businesses, who can then hire more employees, who will then have more money to spend, ultimately wiping this depression from our nation. Many critics, however, are skeptical of this plan, not only because it is against our core American value that government should not so heavily interfere in business, but also because there is some doubt as to whether this approach will, in fact, work. This is why I propose a plan that is guaranteed to improve the American psyche, to pull us out of this crater of debt, and to once again establish the United States as the most desirable nation in the world.
As Americans, we often evaluate our current situation according to the superficial aspects of the world around us. The word superficial has often carried negative undertones, but why should it? It is because Americans are so superficial that we have been so successful in the past: we are hardworking and ingenious because we want money so we can buy beautiful things. This focus on the outer also applies to our assessment of people-it is why Americans are so captivated by celebrities. We use the physicality of the world around us to judge our own circumstances: if we see depressed people around us, we must be depressed too. A gloomy demeanor on just one person is toxically contagious.
After many months of careful consideration, I have reached the conclusion that only one certain solution exists to save our country: instead of haphazardly throwing American dollars into our economy, we should instead invest this bailout money towards paying plastic surgeons to perform beautifying cosmetic procedures on all Americans. Specifically useful is a newly-developed operation that removes the muscles that permit the face to frown, thus fixating the patient's face in an everlasting smile. This procedure would cure not only the toxic depression that has spread from American to American, but would also solve the obesity epidemic, improve self-esteem, create new jobs, and make the United States the most powerful country once again.
First, a more beautiful, smiling face would make it nearly impossible for one person to spread his melancholy to another. Someone once pointed out that a human could still verbally transfer this sadness, but to this I can only point out that Americans do not really listen to each other anymore: with the advance of technological gadgets like cellular phones with texting and iPods, most Americans are content to exist within their own little bubble, only superficially communicating with the outside world through how we look. Our new outer appearances would also improve our own moods. Every time we look in the mirror after this procedure, we will immediately feel better as we gaze into our lovely new faces-we would not have to despair over our worry lines or stress-related acne. A wave of good feelings would wash over the United States.
Second, since people would be feeling so good about their faces, the morbidly obese would feel compelled to finally get their bodies into shape so that it could match the beauty of their faces. There would no longer be people who were ugly because of how their faces looked, so a person's body would be the only other factor in determining beauty. The overweight would feel the extreme pressure to be just as pretty as their fellow Americans, and would take the initiative to finally drop their excess pounds. People would also be compelled to take greater pride in their new appearance by investing money in products like make-up, sports equipment, hair products, and skin creams. This spending would further improve the economy.
Third, self-esteem would also dramatically spike and would create a web of good-will between Americans. Currently, people, especially women, spend a great deal of time comparing their physical characteristics against others'. This act of comparing is born from a general lack of high self-esteem: most people would say that they are uglier than others or have serious physical flaws, which creates an atmosphere of hostile competition between people to be prettier, or at least not as ugly, as other people. But if virtually all Americans had pleasant, beautiful faces, self-esteem would skyrocket since there would not be such a deep divide between pretty and ugly people.
Fourth, government money invested into this procedure would be a generator of new jobs in the cosmetic surgery field. Currently, there are approximately 400, 000 registered plastic surgeons across the United States. Each plastic surgeon requires a minimum of five people to sustain her business. This means that at least 2,000,000 Americans are employed under the current plastic surgery market. But with the economic downfall, many Americans are hesitant to invest in plastic surgery, and plastic surgeons have had to lay off employees and close their practices, resulting in even more unattractive Americans. But with the government order for every American to have these expense-paid beautifying procedures, plastic surgeons will have to hire more people to help them keep up in their work, thus generating jobs. In addition, more people will train to become plastic surgeons because it will have become a steady, government-funded market since new generations of Americans will require the procedure to maintain the beauty equilibrium. With so many new jobs, Americans will once again have money to spend, which will help pull us out of debt and pump money into our economy.
Ultimately, this proposal would make the United States the world power once again. With a strong marked rooted in a domestic business where only American plastic surgeons could be certified for the procedure, America could stabilize its market and make it strong. We could patent the procedure and sell it to other ugly, depressed countries for a high price and use our surgeons to teach others the procedure. Foreign nations will be intimidated by the “beautiful Americans”, which would give us an edge in foreign markets.
Now, it has been suggested by one plastic surgeon that it would be prudent to develop this surgery so that Americans could be made to look not just happy and pretty, but to look identically happy and pretty, stating that by making everyone fit an identical, uniform look; we could completely eliminate jealously over physical characteristics and reduce prejudice. This alternate proposal, however, is completely preposterous. Our aim is not to wipe out individuality; we aim solely to improve each American individual into her best possible self in order to repair the broken aspects of our society. It is in the absolute best interests of this great country that I present this proposal. My only intention is to relieve my fellow Americans of this heavy suffering and sadness due to our failed economy. Nowhere in this plan do I, solely as an individual, benefit: I am not a cosmetic surgeon, nor do I intend to join the field, and my face is already of such a beautiful nature that it is almost impossible to improve it in any way.
A River's Pathby Katie McDaniel
A raging river runs wild
carving the mountain sides like a sculpture. However,
Desire to merge with the ocean commands great ambition,
Be Coolby Jamie Valle
Cringe; a grotesque boy, the outcast kid
or risk exile for days and days.
Or maybe look past an unknown scent,
Or is change of heart worth your while,
Or wait... no. No Abercrombie, not the right style.
His Game, His Girlby Kelsey Mack
He handles the ball like he does his girl --
A Modest Proposalby Jamie Valle
By a recent series of mishaps, the economy of both the United States and the entire world has plummeted to an unprecedented low. People no longer have jobs nor a sustainable wage to support their families, and are consequently rendered destitute street dwellers. It is a sad face of the new world and the new era. People reduced to mere street rats wander the cities in search of jobs and food. Finding a cure to this epidemic (as it might be called) is one of the most prominent issues facing the world today. While efforts are being made to curb this problem, the future remains precarious. However, I may offer a solution that would act as an expedient to bringing America back from the pitfalls of our recession.
In 2008 the United States lost over 2.6 million jobs, leaving the total number of Americans unemployed at 11.6 million. There are about 300 million people living in America. While the number of unemployed seems relatively small in comparison to the actual population, these jobless could still have a huge impact on the economy and mental state of this nation. That is why my plan may utilize their abilities to revive America on many fronts, not just the financial arena. To do so, I propose, in all modesty, to legalize and mandate prostitution of both sexes. Through the legislation of the federal government, prostitution could be the staple, the stitches, in repairing the wounds of American life. The positive repercussions of such a colossal sea change in moral legislation would be numerous.
First and foremost, legalizing prostitution would bring jobs back. Many of the 11.6 million, of both genders, could get on their feet (metaphorically, if not literally) and start earning money. What was once seen as a taboo practice would become socially acceptable; those who are wealthy and were once fearful of ignominy from the public eye would no longer need to worry, investing their wealth in the ultimate stimulus package. Likewise, the poor and other unemployed persons, if they themselves decide not to become prostitutes, could spend what remaining cash they have left on enjoying the fruits of their leisure time. Doing so would not only add money to the economy, but would allow those jobless poor to rejuvenate their spirits or relax, alleviating the immense strain of a failing economy. And those jobless who take full advantage of the services provided by prostitution would, in a state of clear relaxed consciousness, begin to think more productively of their future and might begin to take the initiative to better their lives; the giving keeps on giving.
But the outcome of my plan is much greater than simple financial gains. Also occurring with the legalization of prostitution would be the abolishment of "pimps." As an underground service, prostitution has been relegated to the hands of pimps who are often noted for their abusive methods in corralling their "ho's." Upon legalization, prostitution would lose that nasty mark. The business would be regulated, and the assurance of the safety of the prostitutes ensured. "Pimps" would become respected business men and their employees people, not objects. It would be a win for both human rights and human morality.
Also advantageous to moral grounds, would be the lessening of lewd, unlawful sexual practices. Because prostitution would receive supplementary start up funds by the government, there would be mandates. All those entering the legal profession would be educated in "safe" methods and best practices. Parents in the profession would pass on their knowledge to their children. And because prostitution would be a business, kids would take less interest in doing "it." Children have a tendency to stray away from the boredom of their parents' jobs. Very few kids take part in the practice of cubicle life. This would mean fewer teen pregnancies and a general respect for "it." Sex would become less of a late night party activity and would rightly be honored as a job and means of procreation. This would help control the adolescent contribution to the population surge by late night party "accidents" and even slow down the rate at which STD's are spread.
Other areas of business would also benefit. To attract customers, prostitutes would need to look their best. Hygiene products would be back in action. Herbal Essence, Pert, and Garnier would be "feeling the love." Trojan and latex would also notice a boost in profits, as would Victoria's Secret and Camel. As other businesses grow, more jobs would be created and the economy stimulated. There would be a positive ripple effect.
A close friend and eminent philosopher of France once said, "love is the way to success," and he is absolutely right. He suggested a system in which everyone would be required to prostitute at the age of fourteen for at least three months. While I agree with his statement, I cannot totally say his plan is appropriate. Although there would be a plethora of middle-aged male customers in the market for such a delicate demographic, children should not be forced to work. Teens should, at their own discretion, choose the job that is to their liking.
Dissenters to my proposition may say that it violates the intentions of God. Being a religious man, I cannot help but sympathize with their views. But I feel that God's greatest commandment was "love thy neighbor," which is just what my proposition promotes; I want to save all Americans from the depths of poverty and uncertainty. My plan helps the struggling to walk and gently informs on moral life decisions.
It might seem reasonable, no doubt, to stimulate the economy by means of providing money towards education, business, infrastructure, and the environment. However, partisanship lines in government prevent agreement on many of these devices which leads me to believe the necessity of conforming on one reasonable moral imperative: prostitution. I am open to the idea of other solutions to help curb unemployment. But one must first show me the benefits of any other idea to be as numerous as those of my own.
It is solely my good will that drives this plan. My heart, my soul, tell me it is only right to save the country from further job loss, and that prostitution is the correct, and most morally beneficial, means of doing so. To my great displeasure, I cannot even take part in saving America, as I am sadly and unfortunately retired and old, and my body too frail to handle the pressures of the job.
Perhaps Timeby Kirsten Wiking
"Perhaps our dreams
Perhaps thought an old woman as she sat
"Perhaps it's not right
Perhaps this awareness of half-asleep, numbly-felt,
Perhaps I'm just so tired of feeling so desperately...unstable."
"Perhaps there's no point asking now,"
Man Power for Horse Powerby Kelsey Mack
Forever-growing landfills, increasing obesity, lack of jobs, and depletion of natural resources are just some of the many problems that plague America. While curling up in a dark cave and crying about the seriousness of our problems is one way to deal with things, it is not necessarily the most productive. The other extreme of ignoring the problem and completely taxing our earth until it can no longer support life is equally unsuccessful. Currently, twenty percent of the world's population owns eighty percent of the wealth, leaving twenty percent of the wealth for eighty percent of the population. It would be an extreme, but long-overdue change, if Americans were to live like the majority of the world's population. There is one solution that will fix all of these problems.
This solution will eliminate increasing obesity, as people begin to walk or bike to get to destinations or to jobs. People will begin to reuse much of what they currently view as trash, and they will compost to grow a garden for sustainable life. Factories and large plants will close, as there will no longer be energy available to keep them running or to ship their goods around the world. Landfills will automatically begin to decrease as people throw away less packaging used for shipping. This idea will eliminate the use of some natural resources as it would take too much energy to ship oil halfway around the world for Americans to use. Inevitably, life will become much more sustainable, and problems with pollution and greenhouse gases will disappear.
Many people have proposed that Americans should begin to take action. Clayton Winton, a respected environmentalist, says: "The Petrol Chemical Industry and the militaries of the globe have the means and capability to pump trillions of gallons of sea-water onto the poles and freeze it naturally. In addition, inland dry-sea beds should be pumped full of sea-water, creating new scientific Giant Aquariums and tourist facilities. The fresh-water rainfall created would turn arid lands into the robust farms they once were. New rain forests could be grown to replace all those that have been an environmentalist's headache. This would increase oxygen levels and cure the rising-CO2 Kyoto concerns." But how on earth is freezing water supposed to work in the long run? This solution does not fix any of the problems that created global warming in the first place. It is completely unreliable, as it would create more greenhouse gases trying to get ships to the polar ice caps, and how would the water freeze in increasingly warm polar temperatures? This idea is a remedy for only one of the problems that plagues America.
Instead of taking energy for granted, we must completely eliminate "horse power." If automobiles and electricity were no longer available in the United States people would be forced to rely on manpower for all needs. The wealthy will be able to hire the unemployed to generate electricity via treadmills to keep their appliances running. Those Americans whose new jobs are to run to generate power will stay fit, slim, and in shape. Even those who do not have one of these jobs will stay slender as they will be forced to bike or walk to town or to work. Communities will become closer knit since people will live closer to town. It takes 2,000 people to generate enough manpower to simulate driving at fifty mph for about ten miles. In The Party's Over, Richard Heinberg says: "Try running up three flights of stairs in twenty seconds. If you weight 150 pounds and the three flights are a total of forty feet, you will have done 6,000 foot pounds of work in twenty seconds, or 300 foot-pounds per second. One horse power equals 550 foot-pounds per second; therefore, you will have just generated a little over half a horsepower. But no one could sustain such a burst of muscle-energy all day long. The average sustained human power output is roughly one-twentieth of a horsepower." 1 Since it would take so much human effort to produce a minimal amount of energy, people will be forced to find alternatives and not rely on electric or gas powered tools. Carbon dioxide will no longer be produced as cars will become too expensive for people to drive since they will either exhaust themselves running or paying people to run for them. Thus the effects of Global Warming will no longer exist. Eventually, we will have a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly earth with a better future.
Composting and community gardening will become a necessity for life. People will use their old food scraps to create a good compost pile that will enrich the soil and provide for a better crop. People in general will be forced to eat healthier food as they will no longer be able to buy Twinkies and other processed sweets from the store. Farming and ranching will become far more abundant in America and people will rely heavily on Mother Nature to survive.
While there are some drawbacks to my plan, such as constant fatigue and overwork, it would help to solve numerous American problems. Now for this to entirely work, the entire world would have to follow in America’s footsteps and begin to make smaller environmental footprints, eventually saving our earth from a non-life supporting state.
By switching from horsepower to manpower, America could end pollution, become fit, and localize communities. All these changes lead to a better, more sustainable future that will allow for Americans to live on the earth without taxing it to the point of destruction. While this idea may seem slightly extreme, it is necessary to take action when future generations' lives are in danger. If action is not taken, then the oceans will continue to rise as glaciers melt and a majority of the fresh water supply on earth is frozen into the ice in the north and south poles. Personally, I will not be able to benefit from this plan, as my family does not have the money to pay others to run for us. Therefore, I would be forced to run for others as a job and this does not seem like a satisfying career goal for me.
Copyright © 2008 Marie M. Furnary All rights reserved.