Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who's Norton II?

I have had more than a few people ask me about a person I refer to as Norton, or more precisely Norton II. Norton II is not my alter-ego, but rather the person I wish to be, and am capable of being when emotion is taken out of the equation.

Eric, the fallible one, often let's his emotions grab control of his mouth, or even his fingers, as he routinely makes an ass of himself. Eric plays poker poorly. Eric does not know when to let a conversation, aka mini-argument, end. Eric makes rash decisions based on whatever need he wishes fulfilled. Eric is undoubtedly the fallible one.

The whole idea of Norton II was derived while Eric was in one of his more calm and inquisitive states. If I recall Eric was looking for a link via the interweb about the theory of chaos. Most likely because something in his life at that moment was giving him great consternation. I'm sure he felt as if there was only chaos, and by learning more about he he could somehow control it. He's not bright, that guy.

Norton I lived in San Francisco in the mid 1800's. He had a small fortune, but lost it in the Peruvian rice business. I find that to be interesting because it is through rice that I believe the world could be rid of hunger, but that is for later. Back to Norton, the first.

Norton I was thought by most to be either insane or at least highly eccentric. He declared himself Emperor of the US and demanded the army take control of Washington. Since we are where we are today it can be quite obvious the army ignored this request.

Norton I also thought a bridge and/or tunnel should be built across the San Francisco bay. Obviously, someone listened even if Norton never saw it to fruition. He died in 1880 on a street corner in San Fran. The next day 30,000 people attended his funeral. In 2004 a proposition was put forth to rename the Bay Bridge Norton Bridge. The idea did not progress farther.

I tend to believe Norton I wasn't all that crazy. Eccentric sounds like a better term for this man. He had radical ideas, but I like to believe he thought them out. Norton II is a thinker. Norton II has radical ideas.

One of the first thoughts I had, as Norton II, was to relieve the world of hunger. Some would say we are already doing that, but my idea puts a small twist on the matter.

For instance, as Emperor I would have the US gov't provide free rice and beans for all people currently living in the Unites States. We will get the rest of the modern nations on board once they see the results, and hopefully end world hunger. But, you may say, we already provide food and shelter to all who need it in this wonderful country. I would respond that you are correct, but we do not do it fairly.

Picture this, there are no more soup kitchens. There are no more places where a homeless, hungry person can go to get a free meal. The idea of a soup kitchen is noble, but it is not fair. Instead, why not allow person freely walk into any grocery store and pick from the shelf rice and beans for his, or her, entire family.

The person may be poor, rich, or sick, handsome, straight, or even a child. It could be a nursing home responsible for the care of the elderly. Anyone can have rice and beans, free of charge, on the US gov't. That is fair. I'm sure a wealthy family, or possibly most families, would opt to supplement this diet, but that is up to each of you. It's your choice.

Wait, wait, wait... I can hear you now. I swear, the money for such a program will be plentiful, as will the problem of where the people will actually cook their rice and beans. This country can be so much more than it currently is, and it is very good comparatively speaking, right now.

I have ideas for paying off the debt, for ending homelessness, for keeping a strong military, for continuing space exploration, and for helping us all to love one another... I'm serious. (and many more, but let's go slowly).

All I ask of any of you is for you to please keep an open mind. If the ideas don't appear to you to be able to attain their purpose, please say so. But, and this is a big but, I would challenge you to come up with something better.

Norton II lives under two axiom's.

1. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (star trek fans may recognize it)

2. Life isn't fair, but we can try. (that is my own)

The Constitution of these, The United States of America, is a wonderful document. It states we have certain inalienable rights. These include the PURSUIT of life (not starving), liberty (freedom of choice), and happiness (gaining contentment through love, whether it be familial or brotherly).

I, at the recommendation of a friend, have decided to eat nothing but rice and beans for five days. I am currently midway through day two. Rice and beans are boring, and I never realized just how much I looked forward to eating a variety of foods and flavors each day. But I am not hungry, not in the least. I am ready to take on the day.

It's a good start, and I don't feel crazy.

Norton II out.