This is not a typical blog. My posts will be edited and maintained.

Please note that these posts concern all levels of government, not just federal.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nuclear Weapons

My policies concerning US-based nuclear weapons, in absence of an alternate major deterrent weapon:

Have sufficient weapons in sufficient numbers and locations to be able to retaliate with a weapon strike on any site on Earth within one hour.

Maintain and replace these weapons as necessary to remain readiness.

Upgrade these weapons when possible to reduce the number needed to maintain full coverage and to reduce collateral damage without reducing efficiency.

If a weapon of mass destruction, that is, a weapon, nuclear or otherwise, with an estimated death count exceeding 100,000 or a destruction radius exceeding one mile, is used on us or our allies:

First attempt to neutralize the weapon prior to detonation or to intercept it prior to arrival at its target.

Second, strike the launch site with a weapon of similar yield. If the weapon was transported rather than launched, attempt to locate the origin and strike that point.

If a launch site or origin could not be located and an organization claims responsibility, strike their headquarters/base of operations/broadcast origin.

The primary goal is to destroy any additional weapons at the point of origin.

Third, use tactical/smaller yield devices on any additional locations controlled by the same force which intelligence reports probably have similar weapons. Take reasonable precautions to limit damage to the confines of the target facility while completely obliterating the entire facility.

The primary goal is to destroy any additional weapons the same enemy may have.

If other countries express concern that we may incorrectly believe them involved in hostile activities, we may simply respond that they need to make sure that we have no cause to do so. If they do not participate in hostile activities, do not permit hostile activities within their borders or by their countrymen, and do not ally themselves with those who do such things, they will have no need for concern. But we will do whatever it takes to maintain our peace and safety.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Political Contributions

Any legal person that is a legal resident of the United States shall be permitted to make political contributions to any political candidate in any desired amount. Such legal persons shall explicitly include corporations and other organizations.

A list of all contributors whose individual contributions exceed $200 or whose cumulative donations exceed $2000 per year and shall be compiled and posted in a readily-usable format on the candidate campaign website within ten business days of receipt of the contribution. The list shall be submitted to the state office of the Secretary of State for posting on an appropriate state website within ten business days of receipt of the contribution. The office of the Secretary of State shall post such lists within within ten business days of receipt of the list. The list shall specify both the name of the contributor and the amount of the contribution, and in the case of organizational persons, the organization mailing address shall also be included.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Voters Shall Be Unable to Vote Benefits for Themselves

Ideally implemented at the state or local level:

Inasmuch as it has been said that,
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship. (attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville)
citizens who receive and accept public funds in a personal capacity shall not be permitted to vote in elections for offices which directly influence such funds. Such citizens otherwise permitted or entitled to vote may participate in elections for offices unrelated to such funds.

An individual so banned shall have associated rights, permissions or entitlements reinstated after six months of not receiving such benefits.

Voting records shall record in which elections an individual is and is not permitted to vote. An election officer who knowingly or through gross negligence permits an individual to vote in an election who which the voter is not permitted shall be guilty of enabling and assisting election fraud.

Such records and enforcements shall be strongly encouraged though electronic means.

Examples, for purposes of clarification of intent:

An individual who receives a Federal housing subsidy may not vote for Federal Congress, Senate or President, as these offices create or approve such subsidies.

An individual who received state food assistance may not vote for state house, senate or governor, as these offices create or approve such subsidies.

An individual who lives in locally-subsidized housing or housing for which state or federal funds are directed by local officers may not vote in elections for such local officers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Random Checks and/or Tests

Government agencies have a reputation, deserved or otherwise, for being unreliable. As such, all procedures shall be tested and/or checked.

All government agencies, departments, and organizations, together with contractor organizations and other government-controlled or directly-employed organizations shall undergo random tests and checks. Non-governmental organizations shall have the scope of tests and checks limited to those directly related to contracted or instructed activities. Test and check failures will be categorized. Unacceptable numbers of failures will result in re-analysis of associated procedures and recommendations of corrections. Critical failures will result in serious punitive action against individual(s) and group(s) responsible.

As examples:

Any security agent monitoring a full-body scanner who does not notice and report a clear and obvious weapon in such a scan shall have his or her employment terminated immediately and without severance or other benefits. Should such a failure occur during a non-test situation, the agent shall be considered for more serious punitive action, including potential charges of accessory to any crime committed and enabled by the failure.

Any security agent who does not notice and report a major security breech shall have his or her employment terminated immediately and without severance or other benefits. Should such a failure occur during a non-test situation, the agent shall be considered for more serious punitive action, including potential charges of accessory to any crime committed and enabled by the failure.

A security screener who looks at the identification of the subject but does not look at the subject shall have his or her employment terminated immediately and without severance or other benefits. Should such a failure occur during a non-test situation, the agent shall be considered for more serious punitive action, including potential charges of accessory to any crime committed and enabled by the failure.

In the event a security monitoring system in a critical security area is non-functional for an extended period of time, any individual associated with the failure who is aware of but has not reported the failure shall have his or her employment terminated immediately and without severance or other benefits.

Any individual who through decision or indecision permits a security monitoring system to remain non-functional and without backup shall have his or her employment terminated immediately and without severance or other benefits, and shall be considered for more serious punitive action.


Government agencies have a reputation, deserved or otherwise, for being wasteful and unreliable. As such, all budgets and procedures shall be audited.

All government agencies, departments, and organizations, together with contractor organizations and other government-controlled or directly-employed organizations shall have all finances audited by an independent, neutral, third-party no less than once each year to establish fiscal responsibility. Non-governmental organizations shall have the scope of audits limited to those directly related to contracted or instructed activities.

All current and proposed budgets shall be analyzed prior to enactment. Audits should seek not only accuracy, but waste, over-complexity and favoritism. Reports must be published on a public location on the Internet in a standard format, and must be prominently publicized on the website(s) for the associated government organization(s). Issues noted must be corrected promptly. Issues involving accuracy must be corrected within one month. Issues of waste, over-complexity and favoritism must be corrected in the next annual budget; any subsequent budget which contains issues specifically noted from the previous version may not be enacted, and the committee approving, recommending, or passing such a budget will be cited.

All laws, regulations, procedures and codes shall be analyzed prior to final consideration or enactment, and re-analyzed no less than every six years. Audits should seek not only accuracy, but waste, over-complexity and favoritism, and consideration shall be taken for interaction and inter-relationships with materials not under immediate analysis. Issues of waste, over-complexity and favoritism must be corrected in draft form within one month and must be finalized within one year. Any subsequent versions which contain issues specifically noted from the previous version may not be enacted, and the committee approving, recommending, or passing such revisions will be cited.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Illegal Immigrants

Illegal immigrants are those individuals who were born in another country or who have forfeited United States citizen status. Illegal immigrants must not be confused with those immigrants who have followed procedures established by law to obtain legal residency. Any references to "immigrants" without clarification shall not include "illegal immigrants".

Any individual convicted of illegal immigration shall be guilty of a felony. Such an individual shall be deported to a point not closer than one hundred miles to the alleged point of illegal entry. The court has discretion, but is not required, to order deportation to the individual's home country, provided such point meets above requirements.

Any United States citizen found and convicted of assisting the entry of illegal immigrants shall be guilty of a felony and sentenced to a prison term of not less than five years for the first offense, not less than ten years for the second separate offense, and not less than twenty years for the third separate offense.

Any non-citizen of legal residency found and convicted of assisting the entry of illegal immigrants shall be guilty of a felony, shall have legal status revoked, and shall be deported to a point not closer than one hundred miles to the alleged point of illegal entry. The court has discretion, but is not required, to order deportation to the individual's home country, provided such point meets above requirements.

No foreign national who has been convicted of a felony in the United States shall be permitted to enter this country at any time or under any circumstances, unless such is done under court order, for a pre-specified length of time, and under 24/7 armed guard.

Any individual found entering, or with clear indication of having just entered, this country other than at an officially-designated point of entry shall be presumed to be an illegal immigrant and to be armed and dangerous with similar prejudice as a masked individual departing a bank after tellers have activated a burglar alarm. Any such individual shall be retained by law enforcement authorities for questioning and determination of legal status.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Charitable Contributions Should Be from Excess, Not Debt

Our nation has a long heritage of generosity. But we, as a nation, should not make humanitarian contributions to other nations unless we can afford to do so.

Individuals with sufficient means readily give to the needs of others. In times of many disasters, individual contributions have overshadowed even the huge amounts given by our government.

But as I write this post, our government is out of money. Our government is running at a deficit in the TRILLIONS of dollars. We cannot currently afford to give humanitarian aid out of the federal budget.

Each year, we, as a nation, give billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. We need to stop doing so, until we come to the point that we can again afford to do so out of our excess. It harms our country to borrow money, for example, from China to give to Haiti.

Again, individuals can -- and should be encouraged to -- give to those in need, whether domestic or international. There are many groups that aggregate funds and goods, and then provide them to those in need. A few examples are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Our government does encourage such contributions though tax deductibility.

You can give to the Red Cross via their website ( or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross. As I write this post, we are learning more about the earthquake in Haiti, for which you can contribute $10 directly via the Red Cross' International Response Fund by texting "Haiti" to 90999.

You can give via AmeriCares, either via their website ( or by calling 1-800-486-HELP.

Another humanitarian organization is Care. They can be reached either online ( or by phone at 1-800-521-CARE.

And Operation USA can be reached via their website (, by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by mail at Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

But our government should not give directly until it can do so without further increasing our debt.

(Links for relief organizations are courtesy of Neal Boortz, an Atlanta-based radio host with a website at; he has more information on Haiti relief efforts here.)

Cross-posted under Political Thoughts.

No Laws Concerning Special Interests - Either For or Against

Concerns of special-interest groups and individuals should not be enacted into law or tax code, whether the laws or taxes be for or against the interest.

Any taxes on named groups are already illegal, but Congress effectively skirts the letter of the law while violating the spirit by specifying details that limit the scope of a law to only such a group.



Taxes on executive bonuses over some arbitrary maximum and without regard to the individual's total compensation. This was the approach against AIG executives; Congress intended to tax away all of the executive bonuses, even though the bonus was the individual's ONLY income in lieu of any salary, and such was contracted specifically with Congressional approval at the time.

An exception so that members of unions don't have to pay taxes on high-value health insurance plans that everyone else has to pay.

An exception so that Congressional members do not have to use health care plans mandated on everyone else.

A provision that requires the Federal government pay large amounts of the state portions of Medicare and Medicaid that only applies to Louisiana.

A provision that requires the Federal government pay all state portions of Medicare and Medicaid that only applies to Nebraska.


Many other such laws and codes exist that target specific groups for either favor or punishment. These should be illegal, as was the original intent of the law.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ideal Taxation - a Flat Tax

The ideal tax/revenue collection idea:

A set-percentage sales tax.

Certain categories of goods would be excepted, such as staple foods. Also, used or second-hand goods, such as home sales, would not be taxed. Services, similarly, would not be taxed. But all sales of taxable items would be taxed, unless such products are purchased by an approved tax-exempt organization or are to be incorporated in a product that will become itself taxable. Any taxable good sold within the jurisdiction would be taxable and the taxes would be collected by the vendor. Residents would not have any reporting/remittance requirements, but may need to be cautioned that purchases from outside the jurisdiction for those other than the resident's immediate family could be deemed as conducting business without a license and tax evasion.

Discussion would be needed concerning restaurants and other service-heavy businesses. May they choose to pay the sales taxes themselves and provide a single inclusive price to the customer? May they pass itemized taxes to the customer? Or is food prep considered a value-add to the product? Would such a business need to distinguish value-add services from customer-oriented services? Remember, service charges are not considered to be taxable.

Ideally, the percentage would be around 20%. I would have hoped 15%, but many studies have been done that show a 20% rate is ideal.

And this would be the only tax or fee of any sort. No income tax. No water tax, gas tax, energy tax, excise tax, import tax, export tax, real estate tax, property tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, building permit fees, inspection fees, car inspection fees (though inspection companies may charge), car registration fees, car tag fees, car title fees, pet tag fees, so on and so forth.

Trial of Suspected Terrorists

Just like any other case, trials for terrorists should be held under the same jurisdiction as the crime.

This means that if an individual is apprehended outside of the country, he should be held outside of the country. The trial should be held outside of the country. If he is convicted, the sentence should be carried out outside of the country. And if he is acquitted, he should be released outside of the country.

In a war, captured enemy combatants should be tried in a military court. Rights of prisoners should be based on military code. And sentences should be carried out in military facilities.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nuclear weapons, Self-defense

This may be surprising to some. I have no problem with eliminating all nuclear weapons.

But only under one condition:

We must FIRST, and covertly initially, have superior weapons and in sufficient numbers to provide defense.

If we have a few thousand proton-based weapons to deal with any major external threats, or both ground-based and air or space-based energy weapons (laser or such) to disable incoming threats, then fine -- get rid of nuclear arms. They are old tech anyway.

We've had nuclear arms for some sixty years. We should be able to come up with something better that doesn't fall under some agreement that otherwise isn't in our best interest.

And if our enemies don't want us to have them, fine -- don't tell them. They'll find out if they test us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Government should not have enforced monopolies

No government organization should have - and enforce by law - any monopoly.

Examples two ways:

Locally, Bristol Virginia Utilities offers television, telephone and Internet services. I have no problem with this. First, it's not a matter of Constitutional authority, because it's not done by the Federal government - local government can do what it wants. Second, it's not a monopoly - alternative television and phone services, including traditional cable and wired telephone, are also available in the area. I use BVU's OptiNet service for Internet, because it's faster and more reliable, as well as lower cost. But I use ooma for my phone service, because they have one up-front cost for lifetime unlimited service (international calling and premier features are extra), and I use Dish Network for television because they had lower pricing for what you get (for the first couple of years, anyway; that has since changed).

In contrast, some want a "single-payer" healthcare system, effectively giving the federal government a monopoly on health insurance. This is not a short-term thing; people have been pushing for similar ideas for decades. Proponents want a government monopoly on healthcare where others are not allowed to compete - Hillary Clinton's 1993 healthcare plan would have criminalized any care by any provider that operated outside the federal system.

Similarly, the Postal Service has a law-enforced monopoly on mail service. Other services are not allowed to deliver non-priority mail, and other services are not allowed to use the mailbox - that is your own personal property - for any non-USPS use.

I received a mailing in an advertising packet that said that, if it were not for advertising, a stamp would cost $4. No it wouldn't. If a stamp did cost $4 but UPS and FedEx (and others) were permitted to compete, they would offer faster (and tracked) service for less. Right now, I can send a package by FedEx's standard ground service into other areas of my zone for $6.40; in addition, I will have an estimated delivery date before I send the package, step-by-step detail along the route, date and time of delivery, and name of the person accepting delivery. And the package is insured for up to $100 at no additional cost.

But others are not allowed to compete. A business tried once (they offered faster delivery than USPS at lower letter rates), and they were forced by the government to quit. This is not right. If others can do better, they should be allowed to do better. If they can't do better, then they should be allowed to try and fail.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Roads should have lines

Along similar thoughts as sidewalks, all roads of moderate traffic should have divider lines.

Locally, we have roads like the Fairview Street/Massachusetts Avenue route between Mary St and King Mill Pike and the Norfolk Avenue/New Hampshire Avenue route between different parts of the same areas. These roads that are considered two-lane, but have no middle lines despite carrying moderate traffic. Without a middle line, vehicles in each lane tend to drive way into the other lane and passing at posted speeds is risky; vehicles are forced to slow to a crawl in order to avoid an accident.

This situation is heightened by cars parked along both sides of the roads. While the road should be wide enough to accommodate the four vehicles, a lack of marked lanes leaves traffic unsafe unless extreme care is taken by the drivers. Simply marking both parking and driving lanes should resolve the problem. But, if studies determine the road needs to be widened, then it needs to be widened. This road, unlike the ones I referenced in a previous post, has sidewalks. And even though such is not necessary, these sidewalks have sizable buffers between themselves and the road, buffers that could be reclaimed for use in widening the road. Residents would probably have no problem with this use, as it would create larger and safer parking lanes. But if road traffic exceeds original designs and needs to be widened at the expense of purchasing frontage from the residents, that is what must be done.

Widening some roads and increasing their safe traffic loads should reduce traffic on other roads; for instance, widening Fairview may reduce traffic on Norfolk so that simple marking will be sufficient. While Norfolk does not seem intended to carry much load, the path it follows between Mary St and King Mill Pike make it an ideal route from the heavily-traveled Virginia Avenue on the Tennessee side to get to the shopping and restaurant areas at Exit 5 and 7 on I-81.

I'm afraid many of our local elected officials may not go in these areas often. I drive a church van route, and this route covers these areas. In some cases, modest improvements may significantly increase safety.

Roads should have sidewalks

All roads with moderate traffic, that is, anything bigger than small subdivision roads, should have sidewalks on at least one side.

Sidewalks on major roads (five lanes) do little good if people can't get to them. Locally, we have a road (Old Abingdon Highway) that is a two-lane windy road that goes between a major residential area and a shopping area. As it is now, the entire road is only 1.2 miles long, so it would be easy for local residents to walk or bike to stores rather than driving. My personal drive is about 2.5 miles, since I live up into the subdivision. But the road is windy with poor visibility in areas, has areas with no shoulders, and it passes under a narrow one-lane railroad bridge (recently modified with "Yield" lines and signs on each side, where it previously just had "Narrow Bridge" signs and lost the middle line), so walking would be dangerous at best. However, depending on property ownership (since the most dangerous areas are undeveloped, but may already be owned by the city, the railroad, or a plant that is nearby), most of this area could easily have sidewalks added. Even the railroad bridge crosses a creek nearby, and the sidewalk could route through that opening rather than needing to modify the bridge.

Other areas, like Virginia Avenue on the Tennessee side of town, had sidewalks in the past, but they have not been maintained and many have long since been lawned-over. And I can't blame the residents - an extra five feet of lawn looks better than a decrepit used-to-be sidewalk lumps of concrete. These should have been maintained, as maintenance costs less than replacement, but now that they are non-functional, they need to be brought back into service.

Many politicians talk about the need to reduce our carbon footprint, but they overlook simple steps like these that would not only reduce the need for vehicle travel but would also be beneficial to the residents.

Bike lanes would be nice, but not necessary; bicyclists are permitted on sidewalks. Unfortunately, more focus is spent on bike paths in parks and scenic areas where the leisure-minded can use them rather than in areas where they would be useful to everyday people.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Legislators should be subject to their own laws

Those who enact laws or regulations, be they local, state or federal, should always be subject to the laws and regulations they enact.

For instance, state legislators should be subject to taxes they impose, and federal legislators should be included in any healthcare reforms they implement.

This would seem logical, but legislators regularly opt themselves out of regulations they impose on everyone else.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Energy Independence and Economy

We need to "drill, baby, drill" for oil, develop shale oil production, build wind turbines, deploy solar panels and sea tide power generators, build safe nuclear and clean coal power generation facilities, and research new forms of power generation.

While environmental matters should be considered, we need to pursue energy independence in any manner such can be done economically, practically, and without undue harm to the local environment. This includes sea platform and underwater-based oil and gas drilling, petroleum drilling in ANWAR, and coal and shale mining. We need to research cold fusion, practical antimatter generation, and any other methods of power generation that can be developed and made practical.

Objections that a method may not have been practical, safe, or possible in an environmentally friendly manner twenty years ago should be discarded. Such limitations then do not equal such limitations now. Similarly, while animal populations and unique habitats (wetlands and such) in the local areas should be considered, they not exclude those areas from use; one goal does not preclude the other. Facilities creation and energy generation can be handled in a safe manner and local animal populations can be accommodated.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Healthcare reform, Part 2

The US military:
• Armed Forces retirees should be provided full coverage for all medical expenses from any available care provider.
• Active-duty Armed Forces members should be offered the best public coverage available with minimal copays ($10/visit), low patient percentage (90/10), low out-of-pocket maximum ($1,000/year), no lifetime maximums, and all the frills (included annual wellness exam, vision exam and correction, dental exam, dental correction shares percentage/maximum OoP with medical).
• Effects of duties should be covered in their entirety and separately from personal insurance for the life of the member. For example, a member who suffered loss of hearing in the performance of duties should be provided associated regular exams, correction, and any recommended supplies for life, without regard to length of service or discharge status.

Any reforms should be first enacted at a state level.
Any federal reforms must only be enacted after this point for the purpose of standardization ("regulation").

Public options of healthcare insurance:
• Any public insurance options should compete with private insurance with no subsidies or tax-based funding. No legislation should favor public options, restrict private options, or limit access to private options in any manner.
• Low-income households should be provided the lowest option offered in place of Medicaid.
• Unemployed individuals with a history of employment who are actively seeking employment should be provided the lowest option in addition to any unemployment insurance .
• Government employees under the jurisdiction of the coverage will be provided the lowest option. They may elect to increase their coverage level at their own expense. State representatives will be included in any state option, and federal representatives (United States Senate and Congress members) will be in cluded in any federal option..
• Coverage must be provided for all licensed service providers, whether they be public or private, and for any procedure such service provider advises as medically prudent or necessary. If such a licensed provider does not accept insurance, coverage must provide prompt reimbursement to the insured of any reasonable and customary costs when accompanied by an itemized bill.
• Precertification may be required for non-emergent situations. Procedures may not require more than one day (24 hour) precertification.

Private insurance reforms:
• Individuals and businesses may obtain insurance from providers in any state, provided such coverage meets or exceeds state minimum requirements.
• Lifestyle-oriented coverages should not be mandated. Examples include coverage for maternity, sexually-transmitted diseases, alcohol or drug rehabilitation, counseling, and elective abortion. Such coverages should be at the option of the insurer or subscriber.
• Pre-existing conditions may not prevent coverage or increase premiums.
• Any individual who leaves his/her present employment with employer-provided insurance may transfer any or all coverages to private plans at the same premium rates charged by the insurance provider. In clarification, in the event the employer paid all or part of any premiums, the individual will assume payments of the full premium amounts unless alternative arrangements are made between the parties.

Public and private options:
• If a procedure requires a second opinion, the insurer may not require specified providers be used for the second opinion. The expert opinion of the insured's medical service provider must be accepted and may not be overruled by employees, agents, or contractors of the insurer.
• New and experimental procedures must be accepted on the recommendation and second opinion of the medical service providers of the insured.
• Insurance providers must provide payment to service providers within thirty (30) days of billing.
• Rates billed or negotiated between the insurer and the service provider as part of a business relationship must be accepted as payment in full. If the insurer and the service provider are business affiliates, no portion of any bill may be passed to the insured as being in excess of reasonable and customary. Any disputes in relation to bill details or costs must be resolved between the insurer and the service provider. As an example, if an insurance provider partners with a certain healthcare organization, the details and fees of any member service provider must be accepted as reasonable.
• A service provider who operates in a relationship with a business partner of the insurer must be accepted as in-network with that business partner. As an example, services provided by an anesthesiologist in a partner hospital for a service provided by that hospital cannot be considered out-of-network. A doctor operating in a member office must be deemed in-network with the office unless such separation is clearly stated.
• In cases multiple networks may apply, the greater benefits to the insured will prevail.
• Details of precertified services may not be refused payment unless the care provider specifies such products or services were elective.

Edited 2009/08/16

Healthcare reform, Part 1

Tax deductibility.
All healthcare expenses should be tax-deductible to the taxpayer. Insurance payments, pharmaceutical purchases whether prescription or over-the-counter, vitamins and other non-medical health supplements, wellness exams, fitness equipment or club memberships should all be deductible, provided they are purchased for the benefit of the taxpayer's immediate household or as charitable gifts.

Tort reform.
Frivolous lawsuits should have all legal costs paid by plaintiff. Normal award is refund cost of procedure and correction. Awards for pain and suffering require gross negligence or harmful intent, not simple negligence, and must be directly related to the situation at hand.

Emergency care.
Provision of care:
All true emergency care should be provided at the state expense; hospitals are often not reimbursed for emergent care anyway. All services, tests and examinations performed by or on behalf of a licensed or registered emergency service provider as part of an emergency visit will be considered part of the emergency service.

Providers of care:
Emergency service providers will be licensed or registered with their respective states. They will be permitted to submit for reimbursement for emergency services at prevailing rates from the state government. All appropriate expenses will be reimbursed, and submissions will be audited at regular intervals.

User payment for non-emergency care:
Users of emergency facilities or their insurance providers will be charged for non-emergency services at prevailing rates for similar care. Patients can inquire at triage and before admission whether a particular situation is considered an emergency, and prices for services must be made available. Examples of both emergency and non-emergency situations will be posted. Several examples:

Fever of or less than than 101°Fever greater than than 101°
Small cutCut requiring stitches/other closure or tetanus inoculation
Surface bruise/abrasionBroken bone/sharp pain indicating possible fracture
Minor headache (advise visit to PCP)Serious headache, after injury, altered pupils/blood pressure
Cough (even if productiveChest pain
SneezingAbdominal pain (unless repeated ER history of gas)

Provider response time:
Except in overwhelming situations, all patients must have triage begun or offered within five (5) minutes of entry into the emergency facility. Guests must be greeted to determine if they are guests or patients. All emergency patients must be seen by a care provider within 30 minutes of triage, and all non-emergency patients must be seen by a care provider within 60 minutes of triage. Critical patients (unresponsive, extreme pain or other reaction) should be seen as soon as possible. Goal: All patients to be triaged within one minute of entry and seen by a care provider within five minutes of entry, whether or not emergent. (Care providers may be reminded that non-emergent patients are paying customers.)

Patients with possible non-emergent situations may be requested to provide contact information and insurance information (if available) prior to admission; if the situation is deemed non-emergent, payment may be due after care is complete. Critical patients will be requested to provide contact information only after the situation has stabilized, and insurance or financial information will not be requested; contact information will be used primarily for follow-up purposes.

Illegal Immigrants:
All charges accrued by residents without proof of citizenship will be charged to the resident's nation of origin, the resident will be charged with theft, and proceedings will be initiated for deportation.

All initial requests for payment must be fully itemized; initial presentation of costs may not be summarized in any way. For instance, if 20 bandages were required, a summary of "materials" is insufficient; if two analgesic pills were administered, they must be identified and not solely listed as "medications"; if a blood test is administered, the nature of the test must be specified. While code numbers may be used as well, literal descriptions are required on all items.

Records availability:
All documentation by health-care providers must be retained in an electronic format and must be made available in a readily-usable electronic format to the patient, the patient's guardian, and/or the patient's physician on request and without charge. Such records must include all diagnostic images, details of test results, and exam findings including recorded physician opinions; the only exceptions are those which state or federal law declare to be confidential to the source, such as psychiatric opinion. If printed copies of records are requested, reasonable costs may be recovered. All documentation must be kept as secure as technologically reasonable, and must be transmitted in a secure manner, including, but not limited to, encryption of file contents. Unprotected data, including file names, must not reveal any private information.

Edited: 2009/08/16

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bill clarity and openness

Bills should be limited to 30 pages in length, including all riders but not including reference data tables, unless specifically extended. Any length extension should be voted on and accepted by a simple majority, and each extension may not more than double the previous length.

All votes for or against bills should be recorded and publically published and posted online. All members' votes for or against bills, including show-of-hands votes, should be recorded.

All bills should be publically published and posted online in final form for 30 days prior to any final vote, unless the bill is voted to be urgent. Any bill to be identified as urgent should be voted as urgent and accepted by 2/3 majority, publically published and posted online in final form for 7 days, and the bill should be accepted by 2/3 majority; if either vote fails, the bill will continue as normal priority.

The only members who should be permitted to vote on a bill should have first read the bill in its entirety. All others will be counted as "Present."

Previous post title: "Only those who read a bill should vote on that bill".

Friday, June 19, 2009

Moon / Space Missions

Moon missions should cost less than $20,000 (initial concept, subject to change) in per-mission costs.

Equipment costs will not be included in this per-mission cost, but damage repair that is required due to design issues will be included. For instance, both replacement of foam insulation and damage caused by the insulation are included.

A good solution would be for all space missions to be privatized. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) could contract these missions, not on a lowest-bidder basis but on a cost/benefit basis. NASA may provide personnel to accompany on these missions to fulfil mmission priorities; the contracted trip in such cases will serve as a "shuttle" in the truest sense, with NASA engineers, scientists, etc., simply using the shuttle to get to their destination. The destination may simply be orbit, in the case of scientific experiments.

At first, all mission priorities should be used in public relations. Repairs of decrepit equipment does not serve well as PR material; as such, other objectives should also be achieved. As shuttle trips become regular, these will drop off the PR radar in favor of progress updates on station projects.