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A Little Bantering ~ Just for Fun

Bantering is a non-serious, very serious, conversation, usually between friends. The purpose of bantering may at first appear to be an offensive affront to the other person. However, people engaging in such a conversation are often signaling that they are comfortable enough in each others' company to be able to say such things without causing any offense while they are attempting to educate or good-naturedly challenge a friend's beliefs and understanding.

For thousands of years most people have accepted as unquestionable and have diligently professed the religion of their parents; most people also follow in the political footsteps of their parents; and they associate with, vote and base their beliefs on the community within which they live, and they are convinced that the country of their birth is the greatest or the worst country in History.  Problem:~ as long as they do so - progress and advancement dies.

A Bantering is designed to make the reader think. To make them question their beliefs, or challenge the accepted wisdom of the day, to look behind the words to assess how they were used to camouflage the truth in a way that would benefit the speaker who uses those words. A Bantering can at first be seen as offensive or whimsical, humorous or ridiculous; but the reader who is used to such challenges of their long held beliefs must read between the lines and try to find qualified fault with the writing, knowing that it is meant only to promote thought.

Achievements of the 111th Congress

Beverly Hills, December 31st, 2013

I am pleased to report that the 112th Congress of the United States of America has, in my opinion, achieved more in the first twelve months of its term than any Congress since the 1st Congress of 1789 .  And, after the horrifying failures of the 110th Congress and the 111th Congress which plunged the country into the worst recession since the 1930's, the achievements of our Government in 2011 are all the more miraculous.  Good show all!

The Judicial Reform Act may finally remove the blindfold from the Lady of Justice.  I particularly like the clause that demands that all United States Judges shall take an examination proving that they know and understand the Laws that they will be enforcing before they are allowed to take office in our Courts. The clause requiring that every Judge shall take an oath "to fairly, faithfully and fully" hear all available evidence and witnesses may mean that we shall have to quadruple the number of Judges serving on the bench, which will be expensive now that we are paying the same salary to Judges as we pay to Senators serving in the Congress.  The clause preventing Judges from serving within a hundred miles of any place where they have practiced as an attorney will be controversial for many years to come, but it does provide a check on the old friends problem.  I particularly like the clause that prevents any Judge from hearing a case where one of their contributors is involved . . . and I love the clause that says that in Civil Courts "the loser pays the costs" with the attorneys of the loser contributing 50% .

The Prison Reform Act I feel is possibly the most important passed during 2011 for rehabilitating America's reputation on the International stage as a truly civilized nation, especially as long as with only 5% of the world's population the United States continues to lead the world in incarcerated citizens, with 25% of the world's prison population. The clause that dictates that the system shall in future be segregated into three branches; one set of prison facilities for violent criminals, one for non-violent criminals and one for the mentally ill is one that I particularly support.  The fact that non-violent prisoners shall be put to work building the new facilities at minimum wage (less the cost of their keep) is, I think, absolutely brilliant; for it means that when they are released they will have a small nest egg which may well reduce their need to go back to criminality to be able to support themselves until they can find employment within the civilian community.  The clause stating that after they complete the prisons they will first be set to building a forty foot high wall to defend our southern borders from illegal activity by human traffickers and drug leaders is very timely; and when that is complete to building housing for the homeless and those living in poverty in the United States I fully applaud and welcome.

The Immigration Reform Act in my opinion may need to be further reformed or tweaked from its present form of only allowing immigrants based upon family reunification or on expertise requests from American Industry, even so it is nevertheless far fairer than anything that has ever existed in the past. The concept of applying the terms of fair Affirmative Action based upon the present makeup of race and religion is the United States to the Law may also need further legislation in the years to come.

The Baja Peninsula Purchase Act probably qualifies as the greatest legal land acquisition by the United States since the Louisiana Purchase by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. However the concept of turning the whole peninsula into an international vacation resort and art colony perhaps needs some more thought.

The High Speed Train Project Act which provides the funds to buy the right-of-way and build a high speed rail link between the tip of the Baja Peninsula to Anchorage Alaska can be defended as necessary, but the fact that we will need to employ Chinese engineers and corporations to build it peeves me almost as much as our recent need to contract out our placing of communication satellites into orbit and supporting the Space Station to the Russian Federation.

But of all the reforms passed in 2011, I particularly praise the courage of Congress in passing the Fairness in Taxation Act.  It can honestly be claimed that Americans today finally understand their tax laws.  Had you asked me on New Year's Eve in 2010 I would have said there was absolutely no chance of it passing, but today it exists and we can only benefit from the foresight of our elected Government.  I ask you, if you could go back to December 31st, 2010 how many of your friends or family would have thought that the Fairness in Taxation Act could have gained the bipartisan support that it did to achieve the following clauses we now look forward to in the coming year.

  • There shall be no excise, value added, or usage tax paid by any American on any product or service produced within the United States of America.

  • All tax exemptions shall be cancelled as of January 1st 2012.

  • State Taxes shall be limited to a compulsory tax of 5% of every citizen's income over $20,000.  States shall divide 75% of its income from these taxes amongst the counties within the State (25% of taxes collected to each county and 75% of taxes collected to counties based upon the legal population within the county).

  • Federal Taxes shall be limited to 10% of every citizen's income over $20,000.

  • 5% of every citizen's income over $20,000 shall be used to provide Universal Health Care on an equal basis for every citizen. The President and his family may now look forward to the same coverage as the lowliest citizen in society.

  • 5% of every citizen's income over $20,000 shall be used to provide a pension of $50,000 per annum to every citizen at age 60 provided that they vote at every National Election from age 18 ($25,000 if they do not vote) inflation adjusted every year ensuring the citizens get the same treatment as their rulers. I understand that many union members and government employees are unhappy that all existing pension plans have been cancelled, but the repayment of contributions may well boost the economy even more than our elected representatives have promised. The idea of every citizen getting the same pension (Senator, Police Chief and Street Cleaner) to bolster their savings in the autumn of their lives will finally give every member of the aged of America his or her dignity in their old age.

  • 1% of every citizen's net worth on the 31st of December each year will be collected by the government to finance "free education" for every American from age 4 through age 25 and provide six months "learning experience" in any country of their choice after they graduate from college (along the lines of a foreign scholarship or the Peace Corps). I am not sure I believe that the Government can enforce the celibacy abroad clause. This clause was well thought out for it will provide employment for the army of lawyers and CPA's once employed to help the rich avoid paying taxes.

After the Fairness in Taxation Act possibly the most advantageous new law for consumers is the Usury Reform Act whereby every retailer and provider of services to the American Consumer must from January 1st, 2012 be restricted from offering "teaser rates or payments". In future the total per month cost calculated over five years is the only price they may publish.  I like this piece of legislation as it will protect the uneducated from themselves. And the idea of the Government creating a TV Channel devoted to exposing people, lawyers, governments and corporations charging in excess of 10% simple interest to anyone whose net worth is less than theirs I believe is brilliant and that it will soon be the most popular Cable Channel on TV. 

Having achieved all of this in 2011 we can now look forward to the Drug Rehabilitation & Prevention of Disease Transmission Act which comes up for a vote (we hope) in February 2012 which will dismantle the USAID program presently sending our tax money to other nations and devote its total budget to building and staffing Drug Rehabilitation Centers and Contagious Disease Isolation Centers throughout the United States to offer free of charge rehabilitation counseling and medical services to addicts and state-of-the-art medicine and care to patients with long term contagious disease. (Built by the non-violent US Convict Corps.)

In fact I have been so impressed by the work of the 111th Congress in their first year of office that yesterday I decided to contribute $100 of my hard earned income this year to the organization caring to "ex-Politicians Living in Poverty in the United States of America".  I truly hope you will do the same.

Wishing you and yours a Happy, Freedom Enjoying and Prosperous 2012


John Hathaway-Bates

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