America Lite: An American Initiative
America needs a new advertising campaign to meet the world and Uncle Sam wants you to help!
The following is a creative piece intended as an open source community writing project. Please feel free to criticize, edit, contribute, expand ideas, flesh something out, suggest a better metaphor, anything to make it stronger and to develop the idea. Everyone will get the themes...have fun.
For Immediate Release
August 17, 2004
Department of Homeland Security
Secretary To Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge to announce: "America Lite"
Press conference 3:00 p.m. followed by tea and cucumber sandwiches.
Homeland Security is proud to announce a new American Slogan; "America Lite" to promote enthusiastic understanding of recent actions taken by congress and executed by Homeland Security. Many Americans have charged that the Patriot Act has reduced liberties and freedoms but such charges ignore the practicality and value it represents to most Americans.
"America Lite" is the new slogan for the United States as we move forward into the 21st. Century. According to Tom Ridge director of Homeland Security; America Lite says; were kind, we're friendly and we're slimming' down. For nearly ten score and 15 America has been waddling around bloated with liberties and freedoms that few Americans ever bother to use and even fewer Americans understand. These liberties simply don't have any practical value to most Americans in the modern age so why should all Americans be expected to support the expense of those liberties? They shouldn't.
America is slimming down and everyone will benefit!!! Homeland Security plans to cut American freedoms and civil liberties by more than half while still allowing Americans to enjoy the same great America that everyone loves. Americans will still be able to enjoy the Washington Monument, the Congress, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, Supreme Court, and the beloved Statue of Liberty albeit somewhat at a distance but all in their current larger-than-life scale. Tom Ridge says not to worry; "only the costly liberty, justice, and freedom, those monuments were erected to represent will actually be smaller. And, accordingly, these symbols of American ideals, therefore, will become 50% larger relative to the ideals they represent." Larger icons well above their already grand scale is an added bonus to all Americans and a drawing point for tourists around the world who haven't visited recently. Everybody wins!!!
The decision to reduce American liberties is based on two separate scientific reports the first by the General Accounting Office concluding that fewer than .05 of 1% of all Americans actually use all of their rights in a given year. In fact, the GAO reported that less than half of all Americans use even 25% of their constitutional rights in a given year. This represents an over-spending by Americans for unused, yet protected, liberties and freedoms by more than one-hundred-and-fifty percent. The second report by an independent polling agent concluded that few Americans understood their rights and even fewer recognized the value of those rights. Taking up the charge on behalf of Homeland Security, President, George Bush said; "This represents a huge waste of hard working American taxpayers money" while on the campaign trail in Portland, Oregon, "the government should be doing better by all Americans rather than wasting dollars protecting stuff we don't use anyway." Bush pointed out that most of that money is wasted in the judicial branches of government stating; "that money could be better spent prosecuting evil doers rather than protecting them by giving them rights that only helps them to avoid justice." Citing his success in rooting out crime as governor of Texas he stated; "...in Texas we know how to deal with evil doers and their rights."
The presidential administration in support of homeland security has identified several talking points intended to reach American audiences and promote and encourage acceptance of this novel approach to resolving the American deficit and keeping America safe. These talking points rely on traditional American values that appeal, in the great American tradition of Thomas Payne, to common sense and the folksy values of practicality, fairness, and self-reliance.
It's only practical:
Americans will still be able to access their rights as defined by the constitution but they will just need to notify the government of their intention to do so. Using the constitutional right of free assembly as example. Those who wish to assemble under the America Lite plan will simply need to obtain a permit and provide the pertinent details of the planed assembly. Organizers of these events including number of attendees and their identities, the nature of the assembly, the time and duration, and other information as required. This will assist local authorities to plan accordingly and assign appropriate personnel to allow appropriate security for these events. Issuance of the permits will be the sole responsibility of each local jurisdiction at their discretion and in coordination with Homeland Security and other security agencies. To ensure that individual rights are not violated permits may only be denied to organizations for legitimate cause as cited by the issuing authority based on their inability to provide adequate security for the assembly or due other commitments to other scheduled events and the compatibility of the assembly with the community and social standards.
It's only fair:
Under the current system everyone pays the same price for their liberties while only a few outspoken people actually use them. For example Al Frankin, Hugh Heffner and Wal-Mart are very outspoken public figures who use far more than their fair share of the American right to free speech when compared to the average American even though they contributes exactly the same as everyone else to protecting that right. It is like car insurance. Nobody would expect to pay the same annual premium for car insurance as a teenager and, likewise, nobody should subsidize the cost of free speech for giant free speech consumers; it just isn't fair. Just as everyone should pay their own insurance based on their use and risk the same is true for liberties. Under the America Lite plan liberties will be purchased according to their need and nobody will be forced to purchase any at all which will benefit nearly everyone since few Americans bother to use their any of their rights. Corporations will enjoy bulk rates under a system similar to that that U.S. Postal Service offers, as long as the message is all the same then it is very cheep, while non-conforming speech will be permitted only at the highest rates. It is simply unfair to expect all Americans to foot the bill for freedoms that only a few Americans bother to use and a few reckless and loud Americans, like Al Franking, choose to abuse. It's simply impractical, doesn't make sense, and it's not fair.
No-Cost Free Speech Zones;
As an added incentive to encourage Americans to adopt the new America Lite plan Homeland Security is encouraging some local jurisdictions to establish temporary Free Speech Zones at many large events. Free Speech Zones are special zones identified by chain link fences in which Americans may participate to say what they like, hold signs, chant, and sing among others who, hopefully, share their views. Security will be provided for the safety of those participating and no weapons or defensive clothing will be allowed so remember to leave those gas masks and chain mail at home. Free Speech Zones do not require advance permits but they may dissolve at any time depending on local jurisdiction working in coordination with Homeland Security. Remember; no need to sign up, just grab your state issued identification papers and come enjoy the fun.
In the tradition of Thom Payne America Lite will focus on self-reliance as the foundation for a strong America. While the old and tired Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of happiness won't be totally phased out for several years it's role as an American slogan will diminish. New phrases such as "America Yours for the Taking", "Patriotic Americans don't need rights", "You have nothing to worry over if you havn't done anything wrong", and the old favorite among police; "mirranda who?" Homeland security will be presenting several slogan writing contests to encourage Americans to participate in the new America Lite plan so get your pens ready and start thinking. And, watch for future updates as Homeland Security continues to identify other cost savings measures that increase the safety of every American.
In closing; everyone here at Homeland Security along with George W. Bush, and John Ascroft, and many others who have worked so diligently to bring America Lite forward are looking forward to this new and exciting time. Our goal is to have some fun with America and America Lite is the way we plan to bring that fun to every American. So we bid all Americans from sea to shining sea; "let Lite shine across America and let America Lite be a beacon to the world."
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