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Day 4: A Jeff Bezos for every agency
Like many of us, our states, agencies, and even the U.S. Postal Service are feeling the pressure. The U.S. Postal Service is hit particularly hard because they're both responsible for managing their own revenue and governed in what they can do by the U.S. Government (ouch!).
Rather than going postal, the always-surprising Jeff Bezos, billionaire founder of Amazon.com, is stepping in with a proposal: if the USPS will deliver packages on Sundays, he'll do a deal with them that will ease the hurt.
Since The Bez seems so able to help indigent postal services and aging newspapers, we gift to every agency, state, and school district their very own Bezos bobblehead. While a bobblehead isn't likely to solve all your monetary woes like a full-sized Bezos could, perhaps being able to look at your own bobbling Bezos-head will help you feel hopeful that someone or something will bail you out of decades of mismanagement.
Day 5: An army of grad students for the FISC judges
The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has eleven judges, each serving out a seven-year term. The court is responsible for judging what's an acceptable privacy intrusion and what's not, for each and every request made by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.
These requests number in the thousands, and the court has been accused over and over again of rubber-stamping the requests. Obviously with the level of technical and national security detail each petition contains, it's impossible for the judges to review each in anything resembling sufficient detail.
Our first thought was to gift each judge with one of those always-full stamps, so they wouldn't have to take time to first stamp for ink, then rubber stamp the petitions. But that seemed too small for eleven people with such enormous power. Then we thought we'd just simply let them out of their terms, so they could be subject to the potential of untold surveillance like the rest of us.
But then we hit on it. What they really needed was the ability to research each and every petition down to a level of detail that actually protected American citizens. They needed to do this fast, constantly, and without stopping.
A moment of thought and we realized there's an entire class of people who are used to working constantly, with no appreciation, doing research for others, and even paying for the privilege: grad students. So as a way to increase the FISC output and increase quality, we gift to the the FISC judges as many overworked, underpaid, nearly starving graduate students as they need to keep American safe and our privacy protected.
Day 6: A copy of the Constitution for all our lawmakers
The NSA disaster seems to have taken the wind from the sails of such inadvisable legislation as another CISPA attempt and a rewritten, renamed SOPA. After all, if the NSA seemingly can spy on everyone and everything (they can't) and can share all that with anyone they want (they can't), why should we have laws on the books that allow the US government to increase its cybersecurity surveillance and communication?
Even though we've had a relatively quiet period of congressional digital legislation stupidity, don't expect that to remain true. Behind the scenes, behind the backs of American citizens, lobbyists are searching for new ways to restrict Americans' rights, reduce our access to fair use, and tie us down to rules never intended by the original founding fathers.
So, to every representative and senator, to every congressional staffer, and even to every scumball lobbyist in Washington and L.A., we gift a copy of the United States Constitution. Not only is it interesting reading (who knew these were our freedoms?), it's the law.