Sunday, November 17, 2019

If I were to run for state office -- platform

 I’ve been fantasizing about running for state office -- not that I'm really likely to do that.

That leads me to thinking about laws that I want to have changed. It’s funny when you read campaign literature they seldom have specific proposals for laws they want to have changed. They mostly emphasize that they’re cute and smart and have lots of wonderful experience. I have lots of laws that I want to have changed.  Is this bad?

This is going to be a long list. I’ll probably bore you to tears. This is probably why I would never be elected.

Aid in dying

I am in remission from cancer. Under the right circumstances I want to have this option. I’m not appreciating those people who want me to stay alive during a long, torturous, painful death.

I know from having watched my father that morphine is no solution. In older people, it causes painful constipation and distressing hallucinations. Morphine is addictive for some people, but very unpleasant for others. I had it after surgery, and I hated it. So did my father. I personally don’t like having cloudy thinking.


There is an epidemic of tailgating on our highways. This is very dangerous. There’s virtually no enforcement. It’s particularly dangerous when it’s a semi truck tailgating a passenger vehicle.

I want to see penalties for tailgating upgraded. Especially if a semi truck tailgates a passenger vehicle -- trying to force the passenger vehicle to pull over so that the Semi truck can exceed the speed limit. That should be an offense that mandates prison time. It’s too dangerous

I’d like to see more cameras on the road, also, to issue tickets to tailgaters.

Election security

I am appalled by the ongoing revelations regarding the vulnerability of computer systems that are used for voting and voter registration. Want to go back to all paper systems for voting and voter registration. It will take more time and be more expensive, and it may be vulnerable to small scale corruption, but it will be impenetrable to foreign nation states. I read that the Netherlands has adopted this approach.

Plurality take all  voting

The system is very undemocratic. It allows people to be elected, when the majority of voters voted against them.

Moreover, it basically forces voters to choose based on negative criteria.  In other words, they have to vote for the strongest candidate opposing the one they hate most. For instance people would vote for Hillary, even if they didn’t like her very much, because they hated Trump, and Hillary seemed to be the strongest candidate running against Trump. If people didn’t have this motivation on the first round of voting, they could vote for some other candidate.

Eliminating plurality takes all voting can have several forms. One form is the jungle primary, which has been adopted by several states.  Jungle primaries resembles the run off system that they have in France. Another possibility is ranked choice voting, which has recently been adopted in New York City, and was previously adopted in Maine. This saves the expense of having a runoff election. I feel both systems have some advantages, though I prefer the former.

In the 2016 presidential election, in 12 out of 13 swing states, there was no majority winner. Allowing someone to win, who does not have a majority of the votes, is not democratic.

Entrapment of young people

There has been a long tradition of convicting suspected drug users and dealers by entrapment. In other words a police officer offers to buy or sell drugs from or to a suspect. If the person goes along with the deal, the person can be convicted of a drug offense.

I find this procedure completely unacceptable for people under 25. Sure, you can convince young people to do dumb things. But it should not be police officers who are doing the convincing.

Especially if there is no violence involved, I would like to see this technique stopped for those under 25

Drug war

The drug war has completely failed. In any case, drug addiction is a disease not a crime. We need to have an entirely different process for addressing this problem. This process should focus on a medical approach, not a criminal approach.

Expunging criminal records

If a person was convicted of a single non-violent offense when they were under 25 and they have remained crime free ever since, then that single conviction should be expunged when they’re 40. It should not remain on their records forever.

 Public restrooms

I believe that using the toilet should be recognized as a constitutional right. Currently there is no guarantee of access to a toilet. Yet, people can be convicted of relieving themselves in public.

A very large group of people have disabilities relating to urgency in needing to relieve themselves. This includes virtually everyone under five, most people over 60, and most women who’ve born children. In fact, it may be the majority of the population. This requires accommodation.

I believe every retail merchant should be required to make a restroom available to the public. I do think, though, that they should be allowed to charge for these restrooms, so long as they don’t do so in a discriminatory fashion. Moreover there have to be restrooms available at night when merchants are closed.

Excessively long adhesion contracts

Whenever I get a software update for my cell phone, or indeed any piece of software, I am asked to agree to an adhesion contract. Sometimes I’ve downloaded these contracts and looked in Word to see how many pages they had. One time I found that the agreement came out to 43 pages. It is unconscionable to expect consumers to read this much legal verbiage. I would like to see it illegal for any adhesion contract to be longer than two pages, 12 point type, single spaced.

Procedure for licensing of plumbers and electricians

Currently, in order to become a licensed plumber or electrician, you first have to be a journeyman working for a master plumber. This type of requirement is not present with most other professions. To be a lawyer or a doctor, for instance, you need attend a professional school and take a licensing exam.

The requirement to work as a journeyman for a master plumber leaves these professions open to corruption. It’s an old boy system. It promulgates incompetent plumbers and electricians. We have a shortage of people in these professions, and my experiences that they frequently break things when they come in to do work at my house.

We need a new system, which makes these professions open to everyone, not just members of the old boy network.

Online time limits
I was interested to see that China has enacted legislation to limit the amount of time that an online computer game can allow a child to play. They set the limit to 1.5 hours.  I think this seems very sensible and would like to see a requirement like this in NY.

As a parent, I’ve been particularly frustrated when my kids say they can’t stop playing a game to attend to something around the house, because they’ll lose something or let down fellow players.  Games, both online and local, need to be configured so that they can be quickly paused, so that the player can attend to reality when needed.

I feel that legislation to protect families in this area would be a good idea.

#politics #platform #politicalplatform #westchestercountyny

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