Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer: Thoughts to Ponder

1. Kudos to First Lady Michelle Obama for her “Lets Move” childhood obesity initiative, a problem disproportionately prevalent among African-American and Hispanic children. Perhaps the FL can use her web site to recruit thousands of fit, healthy volunteers among the African-American and Hispanic communities to periodically visit schools with large percentages of minority children to emphasize healthy eating and fitness.

2. It took the better part of a decade for the relevant culprits to throw the U.S. financial system and economy into the “Great Recession,” the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. Why do economists, politicians, and pundits think it won’t take the better part of another decade to put things right?

3. Iraq held its second national election, the first after the “Petraeus surge,” on March 7, 2010. Almost five months have passed and still no government has been formed among the contending parties. Would supporters of the view that U.S. intervention, which began in 2003, explain why they believe the departure of the remaining U.S. combat troops from Iraq will leave in place a stable democracy friendly to the U.S.

4. Why bother with Immigration and Customs inspectors at U.S. airports and seaports if the federal government doesn’t want to strictly enforce existing immigration laws on those crossing our southern border illegally?

5. Having begun with the FL, let me close with her husband. President Barack Obama could contribute to honest government by issuing an Executive Order which mirrors how Hong Kong eliminated widespread corruption in the colony’s police force. On February 15, 1974, the colony’s Legislative Council enacted the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, which established the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The ICAC engages in corruption prevention and community relations, and is overseen by four independent citizens’ committees. Under the ordinance, any public official found living beyond his means, who cannot prove his expenditures come from legitimate sources of income and wealth, can be arrested and prosecuted for corruption. An Executive Order should cover all federal officials. Congress should also establish a similar ICAC.