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`How about some change?

How about some change? Let’s serve it up with a full awareness that it is exactly what everyone wants. Lets just take what we believe needs to be done, with no connection to reality, but rather a storybook story where every body is the same as everyone else, where we all drive inefficient little clean cars with perfectly inflated tires, spend four hours a day separating our garbage into five or six different containers (Lest we be fined!), spend hours waiting in lines-everywhere, make nothing, buy just what we need (decided by an all-knowing government agency), possess no weapons, eat organically and as a vegetarian, don’t drink. do no drugs, and never overeat or become fat, all have access to a barely competent health care system, accept communal property ownership, realize that all you earn belongs to the state(They will take your money first take what they need and give you the rest), there is no rich or poor, the whole world loves us, there is no need for a Constitution, or a Bill of Rights(Because these are evolving documents), there are no criminals (Just misguided or ill people) - therefore no prisons, there is no need for religion(Clearly the root of all evil), count our carbon dioxide exhales and our carbon footprint calculations so that we can be taxed fairly…


Sorry, I may be the only person on the planet that really dislikes that John Lennon song. I despise the Pollyanna way that some folk have always thought that the way to a utopian world is to throw out the baby with the bathwater and create some ridiculous world that denies the human condition, or human propensities. There has been no end of human communal/governing experiments- from the small Shaker Communities in the mid-1800s to the failed Communist Society in the U.S.S.R. The hardest thing is to have the proponents get that it doesn’t work. In the last fifty years the progressive movement has spent most of its time pondering the ‘what if’ in their theories. That no concrete form is ever thought up is because they believe that their theories are perfect and correct – failure is not from the flaws in the thinking, but in any scapegoat available. I have even heard an acquaintance of mine explain that the only reason that Communist System failed was because the evil United States, through Cold War machinations, stressed and forced the system to spend its assets on defense rather than its people.

It may come down to a psychological conundrum- human beings do well in small tribal groups. The optimum number that I have researched being thirty. So with family and friends we all have approximately a thirty people tribe around us. Now in reality, if all your friends are on Facebook you need to get a real life. (All right – Facebook is pretty cool in a six-degree kind of way!)

In my hippie days the concept of a perfect world stemmed from the idea that my tribe is cool and wouldn’t it be great if the tribe could extend to all humanity.’ Hey man- pass the dub over here – I am having a moment.’ My friends went on to get their Degrees get tenure, and teach Marxism to empty headed naive young people- who grow up to be Lawyers, Community Action Folks (God Bless them each and every one!) and presidential advisors. Do they not have Liberal Colleges in Hawaii and Chicago?

Putting aside my snarky – probably construed as Right Wing hatemongering – all not true - comments. In my early years I was an Illinois Democrat (and a hippie California Democrat) , that’s right, the very Party organization that produced President Obama. When I saw the party hijacked by the ubber-socialists I backed out. When I found that a small businessperson was under financial attack from both parties I spent many years being anti-politics and pro business (Translate to ‘Let the individual succeed.’) I watched corrupt unions bled off their members and betray their trust over and over. I decided to join the GOP and work toward a centrist view and support for the little guy, ideals that the Democrats abandoned for the - ‘Take from the rich give to the poor (Wreck the middle class!)Everybody needs to work for the Government (We probably all will before long!) and every one who doesn’t is a ‘say no’ republican.’ - agenda!

So what do I believe? You may be amazed at how easily I roll from one side to another – something we should all do. Stop listening to the pretty news heads - they are all (FoxReb and CNNDem) lying!!!! Here it is in a nutshell.


Focus on jobs. I wrote a piece to Congress 20 years ago that used the metaphor of an old growth forest to describe where I believed the state of business would be in the near future. It was my humble belief that the old trees like the mega-corporations would kill off the small growth, or small businesses below them. Small business hires 80% of the people in our country and yet the Government continues to heed the needs of big business and ignore small business needs. Big business can afford large campaign funds and pay for lobbyists. Sorry - we lose!

Help small business grow. Not by taxing and creating a new bureaucracy, but by cutting taxes specific to small business and creating startup incentive programs in depressed areas and enterprise zones. Reduce Performance Bond cost amounts and create a small business surety fund to establish affordable guarantees – this will allow a larger base to participate in Government Contracts. The same Insurance program could also make SBA loans easier to acquire. For all the talk and politics the most difficult problem for small business is capitalization, an age-old problem. The mantra goes like this: ‘If I had the money, or credit, I wouldn’t need to borrow the money.’ Solve the capitalization problem and you put the country back to work.

Health Reform is a fraud and not because of my political affiliation. Here is what is true. We need to wrestle power away from the states and there is the rub. The individual States have authority over the health and welfare of their citizens , as guaranteed by the Constitution. Taxing and regulating Health Care within the borders of the State supply the coffers and the election campaign funds at the State level. Will the States give up this power so that we can all have affordable Health Care? If Health Care Providers could sell Insurance in all States the cost of Health Care could easily be cut by a third. (Business 101- the same simple system Wall Mart and McDonalds uses.) So why can’t we have it that way – because Congress really does know how much money is available and they want it. The States will not give up their revenue, just so Congress can fill its coffers, and if you think that the Feds, upon gaining this ability, will pass the savings to the taxpayer, you are an innocent, think the world is full of butterflies and rainbows, and I know you haven’t ever seen an ‘R’ rated movie. It is not in the nature of Bandits to give up their spoils easily.

3.Tort reform – this is a contentious subject. Some would say that big Business needs it ass kicked every once and awhile. Others would say if we controlled the payout by establishing a top-end amount it would create savings for the consumer. Why is medical malpractice so high? Because there are so many cases and so many people prove their cases. Negligence + successful lawsuit = $$$ Why do Big Companies get sued and end up paying out millions? Negligence + Successful lawsuit= $$$
Two things have to happen:

One – before there can be tort reform for medical malpractice there has to be a termed medical review board (Of Doctors) with the will and authority to police their industry. Hiding incompetence behind corporate veils and allowing an incompetent Doctors to continue to practice is a major problem. The same should be so Nurses, Hospitals, and Nursing Homes, but not Review Boards of unqualified bureaucrats, Politicians, prestige seats, and certainly not another tax sponging Government agency.
Lawsuits over a certain amount need to be reviewed by one of these boards before a lawsuit can be filled – there can be no power to stop a lawsuit, but it will shorten the duration of a trail by giving clear evidence and opinion.

Two – establish a fair top end for settlement and establish fair fees and profits for attorneys, taking into account that most cases are taken on without cost to the client. The chance of this happening is almost nil. The ‘Practice’ of law has become a drain on our economy. I don’t advocate its demise, but believe that the ‘gravy train’ as finally come to the station. It’s time for that’ Industry’ to begin reigning itself in. Will it? Probably not in any substantive way. - most of the Right Honorable Members of Congress are Attorneys.

The bill has passed, done with some very shady dealings and procedures. The States are gearing up, and deals will be made, and now comes another circus down the road - Republican or Democrat, all you need to do is follow the money (And watch Ron Paul go bonkers)!

That’s it for my two cents.I’m just an old guy sitting in a diner and this is my point of view.

ken lehnig(c)2010

Why is doing what you love the hardest thing to do? Is it because failing what you thought defined you would be too devastating a thing from which to recover? If so, we stay where mere accident has left us.


The following comments are for "How About Some Change"
by jonpenny

A 'perfect' world.
hey Ken
This is a juicy piece of writing and I admire anyone who spends more than one iota of time thinking about 'things' to a greater degree and am totally in awe of someone who can put their opinions down in a cohesive thoughtful manner. Good on ya.

Don't agree with all of it but that's the beauty of dialogue .. n'est pas?

My one wish is that everyone stop clogging up landfills with disposable diapers. I don't know why such a huge fuss is made about water bottles when nobody seems to label another wasteful [small pun] product.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 12, 2010 )

How about some changes
Thanks for taking the time to read and give such a kind comment on my little rant. I have come to believe that it has all become to complicated for us pea brained humans. I think we are all in a constant state of confusion and I also believe that good old Mother Earth has just about had enough of us. Maybe one day we will stop bickering and have a 'eureka' moment! Imagine!

I think the issue of the disposable diapers is that it is necessary to separate the contents form the diaper and 'they' can't find a way to sell us on the necessity of that action. One bin for cans- one bin for bottles -one bin for diapers - one bin for diaper contents - one bin for prescription drugs.(My pet beef! It is now impossible for fish to be depressed, in pain, diabetic, or flaccid!) ;)

Thanks my friend!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 12, 2010 )

Great article shifting from one side to another! I agree that we must take into consideration natural human behavior, greed included! But it is greed that drives "big" and bigger, in everything from Super Sized burgers to conglomerates that would first kill small businesses then eventually fail costing poor tax-payers bail-out packages, which only start a new cycle of the same old mistakes.
Yet, we have an urgent unresolved crisis coming fast. If we do not mend our "natural" behaviors, greed to start with, we are faced, as species, we extinction. Again, we are no danger to the Earth. We are just a danger to the balance which allows for our very existence.
So, what to do?

( Posted by: waelnawara [Member] On: April 13, 2010 )

of tribes, taxes and tribulations
That was a highly entertaining read..and food for thought..

The de-evolution of The United States appears to be quickening.

A manipulated locale is looking better each day.


( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: April 13, 2010 )

There is the rub...we seem unable to make any significant changes with out choosing sides and spinning wildly i80 degrees out. There are solutions - there are always solutions.

There is no power in attaining a viable solution when the tension created by incompetence and mismanagement is the spring board of political power. Conflict is power and it doesn't matter what side of the aisle or political theory you are on. No one person can address any issue when all the options given are a distraction or an outright lie. (They just sound foolish!) It is the nature of the 'Game' that something be more important than something else. Winning the Game is not solving the problem, winning is controlling the problem. The issues become unworkable and we turn to violence until a new Game can be activated - life and death are just factors/elements in the Game! It's the Game Board that needs be changed - and we can't see the board. Metaphysically one could say it is the Matrix we came in on - a pre-existent net on which human life is played out!

Perhaps the real problem is that there are too many of us and we are compelled at a cellular level to reproduce and wander around in various degrees of lucidity,struggling for a place, until we drive ourselves over the cliff! Is it in the 'Net's' design to strain and eventually break? (Our greed and hunger were instrumental in breaking two such strained nets - the Buffalo and Cod - more to come!)

As Mr. Scrooge said,"...should we not reduce the surplus population!" So who is more worthy to be here - and by what criteria? I fear Mr.Scrooge that we are all the surplus population.

And for a good steak
or a juicy hamburger
Cow farts fill the sky!

Hail oh, fields of Broccoli
and the rank lowly fungus
That makes tempting tempe

All tireing in due time
For guilt that chooses
And that we feel correct

'So what do we do?' - indeed!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 13, 2010 )

@ Bobby
Thanks my friend! But all I can say is, Yikes!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 13, 2010 )

Speaking of...
...throwing the baby out with the bathwater...

Just because something isn't practical at the moment doesn't strike me as a reason to destroy it. I'm not a huge fan of the song myself, but I think the point of that Lennon song lies in the word 'Imagine'. As a writer of science fiction, I have a great deal of respect for people who try to look far ahead, however much their ideas may differ from my own.

I would, I suppose, caution against going from one extreme to the other. I think we need imagination and blue-sky weirdness as much as we need practical thinking and nuts-and-bolts engineering to get us there. In all likelihood, 90 percent of the things we're worried about now will be completely obsolete or non-entities in fifty years' time, especially given the rate of information acceleration and innovation. But that stuff requires imagination as well. If some crazy idiot doesn't say 'Let's go to the moon', who will?

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: April 14, 2010 )

Ken and his rant...
I debated whether to comment at all on this because I'm just not very well educated on the subject.

For me, watching the news is depressing. I would rather live my life oblivious and happy than in fear. When I watch the news or pick up a newspaper, I am afraid for our country. Hell, I'm afraid for our world.

I don't really know a lot about big business vs. small business or most of the other stuff you were talking about. Some of it seemed to make pretty good sense and some of it was just beyond me.

The truth is that if our country is in sad shape we, as Americans, have only to look in the mirror for someone to blame because we are the ones who vote laws into being. In fact, I've been working for the last week or so on my own little rant about letting the government run us instead of us running the government. My humble opinion is that we as Americans don't take voting seriously. Just compare the latest census in your home town with voter registration or voting turn out during an election year and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, from a literary stand point, as always, this was top notch. I second Pen in saying that while I don't agree with everything you've said here I do think you have some excellent points and kudos for having the courage to put your opinion out there.

Much Love,


( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: April 14, 2010 )

2 Beckett Grey
I'm all for blue sky weirdness and magnificent idiots - I possess a pretty fair amount of that condition myself. The addendum to my response would be that those who can see, think, and operate outside this 'net/matrix' have and have always had the potential to create change. For the most part they are reviled in life and honored in death - such is the risk of new thinking.
Thanks for your thoughtful response.

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 15, 2010 )

2 Dave
Thank you for reading and commenting. I spent too many years playing at politics - I ended up learning and knowing a great deal and having no way to make any real difference. Having said that my judgment of what should be done is just an opinion.Like ***holes everyone has one! Like you I am concerned because honest debate and discourse, for all practical purposes, is being outlawed and replaced by political correctness and character slander. A good idea is a good idea whether or not it is said in a polite way or if the person presenting the idea has relationships with hamsters and sticks M&Ms in his ears.
Honorable colleagues and friends will often, and should, disagree or the subject isn't being well veted
Thanks my friend!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 15, 2010 )

Jonpenny for President!
Jonpenny for President!

You've got my vote my friend...well said!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: April 15, 2010 )

Oh No!
Yikes - that even frightens me! Thanks!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: April 15, 2010 )

RE: How About Some Change
A wonderfully written piece; it's scary that our elected officials can't learn, study or apply practical ideas, as you've graciously and generously shared with us here. Even when given plausible solutions to national problems, politicians are STILL more interested in lining their pockets with PAC money, rather than being true civil servants for making our nation and world a better place.

( Posted by: jjbreunig3 [Member] On: April 22, 2010 )

@ Joseph on Change
I'm sorry I missed your comment - thank you! I read this article and the comments now in light of the oil spill and can see clearly the 'Game' being played out. None seeks to resolve the problem they all just want to find a way to gain power in its happening. Too bad again for us wee folk. Human folly again reigns. God help us!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: May 28, 2010 )

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