If I Ruled the World – Low Tolerance Drinking and Driving Policy: Breathalyzers for All Vehicles

When opportunity that never seems to be addressed in society is the punishment and ramifications for driving while drunk.  There are too many stories of people drinking while driving, murdering others, and forever impacting innocent lives.  Additionally, we all know people personally that have driven drunk in high school, college, and as adults and were blessed to have nothing happen to them or anyone else.  Heck, we probably have even done it ourselves.  The law doesn’t seem to deter people enough from this dangerous behavior.  Its rare that person can get pulled over for drunk driving and lose their license forever even when they have killed someone.  Therefore, we continue to leave the results of drinking and driving up to roll of the dice.  If I ruled the world, I would enforce a new low tolerance policy for drinking and driving.  If someone were caught drinking and driving, they would lose their license for 3 years.  If they were caught a 2nd time, they would be imprisoned for 10 years minimum.  If they were caught a 3rd time, they would get imprisoned 25 years minimum.  If any of the offenses injured another party, they would automatically get at least the 10 years minimum.  If anyone of their offenses kills anyone, they would automatically get 25 years minimum in prison.  I feel I could implement something like this because I would mandate that all vehicles have breathalyzers installed in them.  This would require someone to have their alcohol level within the legal limit to start the car.  Additionally, anytime someone would stop the car for more than let’s 15 seconds they would have to breathe into the breathalyzer again to continue driving.  Therefore, someone would have to find some elaborate way to game the system to drive while drunk.  If they managed to be guilty of this action with this technology implemented on all vehicles the person deserves the harsher punishment.

If I Ruled the World – Parity with Criminal Sentencing – Part II: Federal Regulation

Part one of this handled parity in sentencing from a state standpoint.  We will assume that we are now after the initial 3-year directive and all states have complied mainly because they don’t want to lose federal funding.  However, I believe this initiative can be refined further.  The federal government would review the new state sentencing guidelines and have 2 years to come up with a universal maximum for each criminal offense that each state must not exceed.  Once this is established the states would have 2 years to update sentencing as needed to stay within the parameters.  Again, any state that doesn’t abide by this will lose some federal funding.  Additionally, states that are repeat offenders would have their percentage penalty doubled with the occurrences tally not resetting for 10 years.  So, for example, if in 2027 a state didn’t comply and fell sure 3%, in 2028 complied, and in 2029 fell short 3% again they would be penalized a total of 6% (3% x 2) in federal funding.  This is to deter states from thinking they can avoid the double luxury penalty by complying every other year.

If I Ruled the World – Parity with Criminal Sentencing – Part I: State Regulation

There’s a lot of talk about how the legalization of marijuana has changed the world.  Something that was once viewed as negative has now become legal in a lot of areas.  People have even built businesses and livelihoods off something that others are in prison for.  I’ve never used marijuana in my life or any drug for that matter, but I don’t think that its right for Alvin to be serving prison time for a quantity of marijuana that Michael is selling everyday legally in his cannabis shop.  It doesn’t make sense nor is it fair.  Additionally, this article isn’t just about marijuana sentencing let’s look at sentencing for everything across the board.  Whether someone is in jail for drugs, theft, murder, white collar crimes, and anything else you can think of, perpetrators of all ethnicities and ages should have a sentence within 10% of each other.  I know that something like that probably can’t be done overnight.  So, I would give each state 3 years to have parity in the sentencing within their state regardless of city, county, race, age, and gender.  States that don’t have 100% adherence to this will lose federal funding for every percent they are below 100.  Additionally, the state must have 100% of previous cases updated with new sentencing standard within that same 3 years.  The standards for these cases would be based on either the most lenient sentencing or an average of the most lenient versus most extreme sentencing depending on the offense.  For example, maybe theft would be based on lenient judgements while murder would be middle point average.  Once a baseline is decided by state government its locked in for at least 5 years.  Lastly, anyone that would now no longer be in violation of something that is now legal would be released from prison immediately within that time frame.  So, in summary if I ruled the world, I would create parity in criminal sentencing regardless of city, county, race, age, and gender.  I would allow each state to take on the initiative within their state.  They would have 3 years to have all sentencing within 10% of each other for any punishment they give out.  Any people that should be free based on a crime they committed that is now legal would be released within that 3-years.  Any state that doesn’t comply would lose funding.  They really isn’t any excuse on why sentencing is different between people of various races, ages, genders, or cities.  We’re all human beings and we need to start treating everyone as such.

If I Ruled the World – Make Juneteenth National Holiday

So, there’s been a big push to make Juneteenth a holiday over the past year and it finally is one.  However, I must admit it’s a little hollow for me.  Juneteenth has been made a federal holiday meaning the only entities that really have to honor it is banks, government employees, and usually schools.  Anything else is up to the states to decide.  Meaning regular companies can go on as business as usual which takes away the punch of the day being relevant.  As a kid growing up, I used to obviously observe MLK Jr. Day every year as I was a student.  Well, when I got in the work force, I thought it mattered at work too and didn’t show up.  Will when I returned Tuesday, I realized that the company didn’t observe the day.  Luckily, I was an intern, and no one noticed I wasn’t there on Monday.  However, that was an odd experience I’ll never forget.  If I ruled the world and decided Juneteenth should be made a holiday, I would make it a national one.  If you are going to commit to the action, do it!

If I Ruled the World – Infrastructure: Build Me a City

The pandemic has given me a chance to do a lot of driving across the country for work.  Some of those drives included driving thru the middle of nowhere in areas where I didn’t see a McDonalds for several hours and had questionably paved highways.  I was driving on more of a dirt road than street and look out the window to see nothing but grass and fields everywhere.  I would think to myself seems like the land is wasted and not be maintained.  I wonder what it costs to create my own city from scratch.  We’ll if I were running things, I would set up a new infrastructure initiative based on creating greenfield cities.  During that would allow people to spread out and make more use of land.  I’m not talking about tearing down forests, just areas where there’s grassy land or corn fields that are poorly maintained.  Think of middle of nowhere Kansas or Iowa.  This would be funded partially by government but also would ask corporations to invest money into these initiative in exchange for some property to build businesses in these new cities.  Each city would have all the basic facilities like city hall, post office, public works, etc. paired with some of the usual big brand companies and several tourist attractions like theme parks, museums, casinos, and much more.  When all establish some satellite locations for big universities as we know universities stay loaded with money.  Most of these cities end goal would be to get to the size of place like Minneapolis, Cincinnati, or Milwaukee.  So, a city that’s not too big or too small but people have heard of it.

For the existing infrastructures issues the country has I would look at the most critical paths of our infrastructure and the conditions they are in and address them first.  Quality of infrastructure really affects the economy of an area.  If businesses, goods, and services can’t reach a location there will be less activity.  Less activity means less tourists, restaurants, sports teams, and jobs!  We might conclude that more states must use tollways to help fund infrastructure replenishments.  I would look at the type of vehicles folks drive closer and tie license plate renewal more to the type of car you drive.  For example, a Toyota Highlander and Toyota Yaris owner pay the same price for license plate fees.  Do you charge the Highlander owner less because they have a bigger car that carries more people?  If so, are you creating another problem because people will trade in their more gas efficient Yaris for bigger car?  I think in the end less vehicles on the road is better.  Anyway, again I would fix existing infrastructure issues by prioritizing the most used areas that need attention, consider more tollway fees for those highways, and add some costs to car license plates that charge folks more for the size vehicle they drive and add that to infrastructure funding pot.

If I Ruled the World: Cameras for Cops

With all these police incidents both race related, and non-race related I think we can benefit from more cameras being available.  One of the first things we always hear when something sketchy goes down is we don’t know what lead up to the events.  Whether it’s a crooked cop planting something crack on someone, confrontation gone wrong, or transporting perpetuator from one spot to the next I think we can use more clarity.  Is there any reason that dashboard cams shouldn’t be on all the time?  If there is something a cop doesn’t want someone to see it probably means it isn’t right.  Same goes for body cams.  Anytime an officer responds and begins to engage a situation a body cam should be on.  I would challenge that maybe you tie the body cam to their walkie talkie.  Walkie goes out unless body cam is activated.  So, it’s basically saying if you don’t want anyone to see the situation you are encountering you don’t’ want help.  Or you are trying to hide your actions so much you rather go on solo mission.  Increased use of cameras would allow us to see things from an officer’s point of view.  It would also remove the guess work on details of situations.  Because I believe we all know that every cop’s interaction isn’t negative or fatal.  Heck, I’ve had 3 times in my life I’ve been pulled over by cops and got simple warning for speed, illegal turn, or busted light.  So, cops do give folks benefit of doubt at times.  There’s also times they overreact and there’s times the perpetrator escalates things.  We rely on technology for everything else nowadays.  Let’s take the human element out of the question and stop relying on people to remember the details if situations and get 1st person POV clarity ourselves when it comes to police matters.

If I Ruled the World: NBA Play-In Games Permanently Implemented

Several high profiles NBA players have spoken out against the NBA play-in games.  Mainly because it forces teams to not rest and tank the last 25% or so games of the season.  The point of the play-in games for the final two NBA playoff spots to be up for grabs via a few extra games at conclusion of regular season.  As a result, teams to have less incentive to trade away players and give up their seasons because they have a longer chance to still clinch the playoffs.  Additionally, if a team had an injured player during the season, it gives them more leeway to still be in the alive in playoff race.  I liked the fact that the last few weeks of the season you didn’t know who was going to make the playoffs.  I was checking the NBA standing on daily basis and I’m not even a big basketball fan.  Nor do I have a team I personally root for anymore.  If I were the commissioner of the NBA and or had vote on the future of the play-in tournament I would keep it as a permanent fixture of the league.

If I Ruled the World: DEATH to the Pandemic

Alright, so the CDC directive to drop masks for vaccinated people was sloppy.  It didn’t account for the selfishness we’ve seen from people.  It also ignored common sense.  Even the way vaccines has slowly been rolled out has been disappointing.  We probably won’t get the desired amount of folks vaccinated due to things like the mask mandate being eliminated and the “personal rights” people that feel the need to flex to protest getting.  However, there is still some things I would do if I were in charge.  Simplest of things would be to first bring the mask mandate back in general until let’s say 70% of all citizens are vaccinated or whatever herd immunity is.  Next, if the medical trials results already support it, I would open the flood gates for anyone that’s remaining to get vaccinated.  No more waiting to unveil a new age group a few months like we’re revealing hall of fame statues.  Open flood gates, come one, come all.  My kids are ready to get vaccinated but according to this slow schedule they will have to wait until anytime between September – December to get vaccinated.  Third, I would give everyone a drop-dead date for the free vaccinations.  So, let’s say the last day for non-infants to get vaccinated is 12/31/21.  After that date people would have to pay out of pocket.  Lastly, I would end the unemployment check boost.  There are a lot of people abusing that and not having to/wanting to work because it acts as a raise for them.  If people had to go to work, they be more likely to get vaccinated in my opinion especially for lot of these hourly service industry jobs. To summarize my steps if I ruled the world; I would reactivate the mask mandates for everyone, I would allow anyone to get vaccinated immediately, put hard date on when free vaccinations would stop, and I end the extra weekly unemployment check stipends to encourage people to get back to work and likely get vaccinated as result.