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February 1, 2011
Update
Site will be undergoing changes and updates in the coming weeks.
May 6, 2005
From Illinois?
Dear Fellow American:

First, I'd like to thank the Journal Standard of Freeport, Illinois, for supporting my idea to change the political landscape of America by the daily posting of all government finances at all levels of government to the Internet.

In an editorial published recently, the Journal Standard endorsed post the finances, saying it is "time for a radical move toward openness." See below.

I have many fond memories of Illinois, where I worked for a major healthcare company and attended college part-time. I lived in Naperville and the surrounding area, near Chicago, in the early 1980's.

Truly, I have always had a special place in my heart for the Chicago area since I lived there, and I also have a special place in my stomach for Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza at Nancy's, and Chicago Dogs anywhere, not to mention Jay's Barbecue Potato Chips---not Lay's, Jay's, a tasty treat, indeed.

In fact, just a year ago, I was on vacation in Chicago with my wife and daughter, visiting the many of the tourist attractions, including city's Navy Pier with my wife's friend and her family from Chicago.

It would give me a lot of pleasure if the Post the Finances bandwagon began in Illinois. Certainly, the time is ripe for the system to be implemented. 

Right now, there is a big corruption scandal in Chicago's City Hall, so I hope, at least, Mayor Daley, who I supported in the early 80's for his initial run as Mayor of Chicago, which, of course, he won, will take note. 

Additionally, I hope Chicago's politicians get the message and post daily the city's finances to the web.

The Journal Standard editorial points out that the system would require some financial outlay for the initial set up, but this would quickly be repaid many times over by the gains the system would produce.

The set-up costs for the Post the Finances system would be minimal.

All government accounting is already in electronic format at all levels of the government. Additionally, there are websites for all governmental entities.

Truly, it just takes a couple of keystrokes on the keyboard to upload the accounting information to the respective governmental websites.

The only ingredient in this fiscal recipe still needed is a software program to format the fiscal information on the website.

Relatively speaking, it would be pennies spent, for savings of millions, and at the federal level, billions.

Moreover, as American taxpayers, we would all have a feeling of security, knowing that every penny, nickel, dime, quarter and dollar spent was being accounted for with the Post the Finances system. 

Sincerely, 

Steve Mozena

The Editorial:

"Information can do what 'reform' can't

The issue: The stench of money in American politics

Our view: Put government finances and contributions online - daily.

Once in a while, a good idea comes out of left field or, in this particular case, the left coast. Given that much of what's wrong with government today is the corrupting influence of money and so-called 'pay to play' arrangements between politicians and those with money to be made from policy, it is perhaps time for a radical move toward openness.

Touted by a California activist and entrepreneur, Steve Mozena, the proposal calls for each state agency to post daily to the Internet all "relevant names, dates and amounts of every check, credit card or cash transaction or other agency expenditure; and revenue source, including but not limited to, taxes and fees, and the date and amount of revenue, and fund into which the revenue is deposited."

Such reporting - even if done only - weekly would go a long way to mitigate the enabling activities of government agencies and their accounting methods that too often serve to either obscure various expenses or needlessly delay reporting them to ensure individual lawmakers can't be connected to political favors, votes, appointments and other efforts to reward an outside benefactor.

Go a step further, and combine daily government expense reports with a cross-reference of campaign donors - already available online - and you have a new and powerful tactical weapon against the insipid influence of money and lobbyists on politicians.

According to a posting on Mozena's Web site at www.postthefinances.com, Gov. Rod Blagojevich offered to look into the idea.

Let's hope the governor follows through on his alleged promise. After all, despite lots of talk about campaign finance reform, the stench of corruption has ebbed little in recent years, both at the state and local levels. (Tom DeLay, after all, neutered the House Ethics Committee when he became the target of a pay-to-play probe.) 

Perhaps that's the real beauty of Mozena's idea - it doesn't count on politicians to play by the rules.

Of course there will be those who come up with myriad excuses, including how difficult and expensive it would to open up the books and put them online. But our courts have no problem doing that - case information for 20 Illinois counties is updated daily online, sometimes within an hour or two of changes to a case disposition. Banks do it for their online clients everyday, and many private and some savvy government enterprises use so-called "hosted" financial reporting applications already. And as every database engineer or accountant knows, the up-front costs and long hours of setting up such a database often pays off in spades once it is up and running.

While the Internet has provided added convenience and new worlds of information, it has also opened the average American consumer up to new levels of scrutiny as credit reports, background checks and shopping habits can be obtained with a single click. Privacy, too, has been traded for convenience and efficiency.

So perhaps it is finally time to subject our politicians and bureaucrats to the same level of scrutiny and let sunshine - the disinfecting power of openness - do its work on a government that is increasingly selling out our democratic soul to the highest bidder."

March 16, 2005
Honest Politician?
Dear Editor:

Just like the June "Gloom of Fog" that descends on Southern California, or the San Francisco fog, our government at all levels seems to hide behind the mask of financial fog.

We are the victims of secrecy in government, and that is bad for America.

That's why I support Sunshine Week, March 13-19, www.sunshineweek.org, which attempts to shine a light on issues of transparency and accountability in government.

We need fully open government and open books, with public officials accountable for what they do.

The Freedom of Information Act of 1966, which allows all public documents to be disclosed, should be scrupulously honored.

But we need to go further than this. Financial chicanery in government should not be tolerated. We need to shine a light on all government finances.

I have a plan that calls for the daily posting of all government finances to the Internet to thwart waste, fraud and corruption. See www.postthefinances.com

I have been campaigning hard for Post the Finances for many years.

But it's incredibly tough to persuade the politicians of city hall, and county, state and federal government, to do what is honest. They may give political lip service to the idea of honesty in government, but when someone comes up with a feasible plan to ensure fiscal honesty, they regard it as political dynamite and make sure they take no action. Many of the corrupt politicians know that to take any action on posting daily the finances would be like committing political suicide.

I have contacted all local Carson elected officials, City of Los Angeles Council, County Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles, State of California State Senators and Assembly, all 50 Governors, the top 200 mayors of U.S. cities, and all U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives. I have also contacted President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Posting the Finances is timely and even relevant in California. 

In the current run-off Los Angeles mayoral election, Mayor James Hahn's campaign has been dogged by allegations of financial improprieties. His challenger Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa says he is for fiscal transparency yet he says nothing of posting daily the finances to the Internet. I have informed both candidates of my plan, so they cannot have the excuse that they know nothing about it. 

Post the Finances is easy to implement. All government accounting is in electronic format, and all government departments have websites. Information can easily be uploaded to the relevant websites. Post the Finances is like online banking: a daily open check book of the government's revenues and expenditures.

In spite of the soundness of the idea, so far I have had no success in getting it implemented, but I continue my mission.

Where is our political superhero who will open the government's financial books and do what is right for the citizens? It's time, during Sunshine Week, to spread some sun light into previously dark corners of the government. Let's put the heat of the sunshine on corrupt Politicians by posting daily the finances to the web.

But unless one Honest Politician has the courage to act, it seems that as far as financial honesty and accountability in government is concerned, we, the citizens, are inevitably and perpetually lost in a financial fog.

Sincerely,
Steve Mozena
March 15, 2005
Political Dynamite.
It's "Sunshine Week"! See www.sunshineweek.org

I have been trying for years to create Sunshine here in California and all across our country. Read more about it here on my site www.postthefinances.com

Together, we can make our local, county, state and federal governments create the sunshine necessary to make our nation even greater.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
March 8, 2005
Today is the Day.
Today, Tuesday, March 8th, 2005 is Voting Day in the City of Carson, California.

Will Carson voters provide me a mandate by electing me to serve on the Carson Council today, so, I can implement the Post the Finances plan?

Then, Carson would be known as the first city in the nation to post daily its finances to the web for fiscal honesty and accountability. 

Time will tell.

See www.mozena.com for more information and watch for the election results.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
January 3rd, 2005
Dear Mr. Hearl:

I love all Pizza. Thick. Thin. Pan. Deep. With all the toppings . . . even anchovies. So naturally I'm a big fan of Pizza Hut.

I have a new idea for you. I recently submitted it as an entry to the Food TV Network.

It's a low carb Pizza. You can sell it at your drive thru with your mini-Pizzas.

It could be called "Portobello Pizza."

Here's the recipe:

Get a 3- to 4-inch Portobello mushroom. Break the stem off. Scoop out the gills. Clean it. Brush it with oil.  Fill in the cavity of the mushroom with Pizza sauce.

Add a heap of mozzarella cheese.

Add any desired topping like sliced button mushrooms and pepperoni.

Bake or grill it until the cheese melts.

I think you'll like the results.

And hey, if you want to, use my Italian last name and call it "Mozena's Portobello Pizza."  That would be fine with me---and I'd be first in line to taste it!

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
January 1st, 2005

In the wake of the terrible South Asia tsunami, in which many who have perished may never be identified, I suggest the U.S. Congress and state legislatures pass a new law requiring that DNA samples should be taken from all newborns delivered in hospitals in the United States. The samples should be placed in a central data bank for identification purposes.

This will be invaluable for identifying missing children, kidnapped children, and, over time, anyone who is a victim of murder or fatal accident. It would also help if in the future we are hit by a terrorist attack even worse than 9/11.

Eventually we will have a DNA data bank with samples from every U.S. citizen. There will be no more unidentified bodies.

This simple measure will result in many families in the future being comforted in the loss of their loved one.

We should do it now.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
December 30, 2004
Dear News Editor:


We all want good luck, love and prosperity in the New Year, but what little rituals do we go through to gain them?

How about reporting a story about all the New Year customs followed by the various ethnic groups right here in California. We are the most culturally diverse state's in the United States.

Here are a few customs I know of.

I'm of Irish descent. My mother was born in Dublin, Ireland. After midnight on New Year's Eve in Ireland, the men must go find a piece of coal, bring it home and toss it the fire for warmth and comfort in the coming year.

Filipinos place twelve different fruits in a bowl on their tables and burn three candles for good luck for family and home in the coming year.

Black Americans put cabbage leaves in a brown bag and put it above their kitchen cabinets for good finances in the coming year. The cabbage leaves are taken to represent paper currency.

Italians toss pots and dishes out of windows to bring good luck.

Peruvians swallow twelve grapes whole while sitting underneath a table. They also wear yellow underwear! Many other Latino groups eat twelve grapes, symbolizing each month of the year.

Koreans eat ttokkuk, a bowl of rice cake soup, on New Year's Day. They believe eating this soup will add an extra year to their life.

For happiness and good luck, Japanese people hang a rope of straw across the front of their homes. They believe it keeps the evil spirits away.

Mexicans turn on the TV and wait to hear the bell ringing twelve times. Each time the bell rings, they eat one grape and make a wish.

Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans often spend New Year's Eve cleaning their houses, yards and cars. After the floor is mopped, the dirty water is tossed out of the house, thereby ridding it of any lingering negative energy.

I'm sure a story like this would be interesting for your readers.

I hope to read it. Please feel free to contact me if you need any help.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
November 1st, 2004
Dear Editor:


Is the City of Carson stealing candidates' campaign signs in Carson?

It appears that someone, or a group of individuals, in the city is removing candidate signs all around the City of Carson.

They also appear to be manipulating the State of California's Caltrans into removing candidates' signs as well.

Who is doing this, and why? It didn't happen like this last time. When I ran for Mayor of Carson in March, my signs, placed in numerous locations, were left up for the duration of the campaign. In many cities, counties and states across this country, it is customary for political signs to be left up until shortly after the election.

Now, only seven months later, when I'm running for the Council, my signs are being taken down in droves. At first I thought this was maybe a personal attack on me
because whoever is doing this didn't like my innovative idea of showing me, my wife and our baby on my political sign.

But it turns out that I'm not the only one being targeted. I have spoken to several other candidates who are equally offended and angry by the removal of their signs. These
signs cost money. Though it is not unusual for some signs to disappear during the course of a campaign, in fact, to that end, I have stockpiled signs, this current
outbreak of sign-stealing is far worse than normal: it's an all-out assault on all candidates for Carson Council.

I told the other candidates that I had taken to placing gear grease and animal repellant around my signs to stop oily and stinky politicians from taking them down. In some
places, this has worked.

Is the removal of signs politically motivated? It seems so. The current Carson Council couldn't agree on an appointment to the 4-month unexpired term of now-mayor Jim
Dear, so they had to call this special election. Now are we witnessing an abuse of power by city officials designed to affect the outcome of this Carson election?

Moreover, the timing of the removal is also questionable because it coincides with the start of absentee voting, that is, voting by mail before the official day of the election.

Is the city stooping this low, or authorizing someone else to do so? Why? Who benefits? Are all the candidates being treated equally?

Has the City changed the rules in the middle of the game because they don't like the way the election is shaping up?

Who or what are they scared of?

Perhaps they don't like my campaign because it is all about helping ordinary folks rather than greasing the pockets of oily politicians. For example, if elected, I'd help my fellow Carsonites by negotiating with local Carson oil refineries for lower gas prices here in Carson. This might involve fueling up right on the refinery grounds or making
special arrangements with local Carson gasoline stations. Another idea of mine is for a citizen-owned NFL team from which Carson residents would receive annual
dividends, instead of one billionaire hogging all the profit for himself.

Perhaps they fear most my proposal to post all city finances to the Internet every day, so all the citizens can see what is being done with taxpayers' money. See www.postthefinances.com

I call on anyone who has removed candidate signs to re-post them or return them to the respective candidates.

There should be no dirty tricks in Carson politics.

This is why we need real reform in our city government.

This is an issue that should concern all Carsonites, not just those running for office. Our country is supposed to be a democracy, and the posting of political signs is a
long-established American tradition. People running for office have a right to get their names out there for the voting public to see. They are exercising their freedom of
speech.

Dictators always fear the people. Their power rests in keeping the citizenry down. Are the leaders of our city government acting like petty dictators?

If so, it's time for the people to elect someone who will stand up for their rights, and I am that man.

A vote for me is a vote for you. If I win, you win. See www.mozena.com

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
August 12, 2004
Hooray for Albuquerque!
It is a pleasure to report that finally, there is a city in our nation that is preparing to Post the Finances daily to its website. That city is Albuquerque, New Mexico. 
 
Steve Mozena was informed of Albuquerque's plans in a personal communication from Mayor Martin J. Chavez. The letter was in response to Steve's letter, sent to the mayors of many of the largest cities in the nation, informing them of the Post the Finances idea. 

Here is the text of Mayor Chavez's letter in full: 

"Dear Mr. Mozena:

The City wholeheartedly agrees that transparency in government is an obligation to our taxpayers and is currently posting its monthly financial records on our website cabq.gov. In addition, the City
s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), annual budget and performance plan are also posted on the web.

No doubt daily disclosure of financial data would be the most transparent disclosure possible. In support of that objective, the City has funded acquisition of enterprise resource financial software that will enable daily posting that can be accessed through the Internet. The City has already started on this important project.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Director of Finance and Administrative Services, Sandra Doyle.

Very truly yours,

Martin J. Chavez 
Mayor"
 
It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of this development in the ongoing Post the Finances campaign. Now we have something really tangible: one of the nation's largest cities committed to a daily system of posting the finances. 
 
Steve is certain that this is the first of many cities, and counties, and states that will soon be adopting the same system. 
 
Using Albuquerque as a model, he plans to redouble his efforts to convince the leaders of Carson to adopt Post the Finances, and to finally get a meeting with Governor Schwarzenegger to discuss the application of Post the Finances at the statewide level...and who knows.. just maybe U.S. Senator John Kerry and/or President George W. Bush will make an appointment with Mr. Mozena and discuss the system with him for the Federal Government and then make the "Post the Finances" system a plank of their respective Presidential campaign platforms.
August 10, 2004
Solutions for Violent Crimes?
Dear Governors and Mayors: 

In the American legal and justice system, it seems that criminals win and victims lose.

As you may recall, I recently informed you of my revolutionary idea of Post the Finances, designed to reduce waste and fraud in government. See my site at www.postthefinances.com  I would now like to share with you my ideas for curbing crime and improving homeland security. Like you, I have a desire to be a public servant, even though I may not be in as powerful a position as you are. Like many ordinary American citizens, I am deeply concerned about the dangers this country faces from enemies within and without. 

I hope the ideas I share in this letter may make you think or re-think about solutions to the problems facing our country regarding crime and terrorism.

First, my heart cries and bleeds for the victims of violent crimes in our country, and I become angry when I see the criminal justice system so often letting the guilty go free. We must stop this. It is the criminals who should lose, not the victims. I am fortunate in that I have never had a close friend or relative be a victim of a violent crime, but I have read about it, seen it on the TV news, and heard people who have been victims talk about it. The nightmare experience remains with them forever; they never get over it, unlike the criminal who too often is a) never caught, b) given too light a sentence c) paroled or released too early. 

These are my suggestions:

1. A DNA sample should be taken from all convicted criminals from this point forward. This will be an enormous step forward in solving crime, since so many criminals are repeat offenders. It will reduce the number of serial killers on the loose, and will cut down on the number of unsolved crimes. Twenty-four states already take DNA samples from criminals. Those that do not must be strongly encouraged to do so. 

2. Connect all law enforcement crime computers, including FBI, state, county and local police departments. How many criminals find it too easy to escape detection by crossing state lines and continuing to live their lives as if nothing had happened? We have seen in the report of the 9/11 commission how dire can be the consequences of having federal agencies that do not communicate with each other. I believe that a similar situation pertains to tracking and solving crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery within the United States. 

3. Encourage media entrepreneurs to create a 24-hour mainstream crime 
channel to root out all criminals, from murderers to the local rapists and
sexual predators, to the armed robbers and even suspected terrorists.
Unfortunately, there's enough material for this proposed crime channel from
all the law enforcement agencies across the country. Given the success of
shows like "Missing" and "America's Most Wanted" and the success of the
Amber Alert road signs for abducted children, this Crime Channel would, I
believe, prove even more successful. Moreover, I'd like to see, throughout
the day, not only photographs of missing persons, but also, as in the old
Wild West, "Wanted" posters: photos of criminals still at large, preferably
with a bounty on their heads.

4. Although Social Security numbers and cards were never intended to be used as part of a national ID system, SS numbers are in fact already used as one, from college ID numbers to security information for your credit card. It is time to accept this and make some necessary adaptations. I propose that all Social Security cards should carry a photograph and fingerprints. This ID system should be extended to everyone, including babies and children. All children, from the moment of birth, should have fingerprints, thumbprints, and footprints taken and identification cards issued. Think how this would help find missing and abducted children. 

If everyone in the nation has an ID card with that information on it, it will make it that much easier for police to do their work when people go missing. For children, the photo should be updated every year. This could be done in the schools. For adults, the photo should be renewed along with Drivers' license at least every four years. All the information should be entered into a computer database with an easy search function. Fingerprints will then be at your fingertips via a computer database.

5. DMV in all states must require an updated photo with all drivers' license renewals because people color their hair, gain weight, lose hair and so forth. Fingerprints should also be required, and at some point eye prints also. The patterns in the iris, the colored area around the pupil, are individual and impossible to duplicate, making them a virtually foolproof way of checking identity.

6. All visitors to the United States should be issued with a United States' Traveler's Card, containing photograph and fingerprints, and at some point an eye print, which they would be required to carry with them at all times, just as people are required to carry their driver's license when behind the wheel. It is not enough just to take fingerprints of visitors at the port of entry. We will not tolerate rogues and terrorists in our country moving around underneath the law enforcement screen.

These measures will greatly increase homeland security and make the work of law enforcement and immigration officials much easier. We all have enough to worry about in our daily lives without also being burdened with the feeling of insecurity in our homes and as we travel.

7. Make it a priority to eliminate homelessness. Being homeless drives some people to crime. Homelessness in this country was not a large problem until the 1980s. The fact that now, nearly 20 years later, it is still a major problem is a national disgrace. Unfortunately, criminals are able slip under the radar screen and assimilate into this crowd of unfortunates. We need to create homeless housing that low-income people can afford and encourage the building of clean, safe shelters for the homeless. This does not have to involve government money. We could enlist Hollywood's help. There have been a number of recent initiatives by movie stars to help the homeless, and these should be supported and extended. Also, law enforcement should be empowered to take homeless people to shelters if warranted. No one should have to or choose to live on the streets.

I believe that the measures I have outlined will help to reduce crime and terrorism, and make every American citizen safer. 
Sincerely,
 
Steve Mozena
August 1, 2004
Governors and Mayors respond to Post the Finances
Steve Mozena recently sent out letters to all state Governors and many Mayors of cities in the nation informing them of the Post the Finances proposal. 

Now the replies are starting to come in, it is clear that the idea is beginning to take root in fertile soil. 

Mayor Anthony A. Williams of Washington D.C. pointed out that his city already posts more financial information on the Internet than most other cities, and he added, "Your suggestion of posting information on a daily basis is intriguing, and I will ask the CFO to explore this option."

Mayor Bart Peterson of Indianapolis said he would consider the proposal, and M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut, expressed his appreciation for Mozena's taking the time to share his concerns.

From the State of Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich office wrote, "We have reviewed your idea regarding posting all our finances online and we will take this suggestion into consideration."

Another encouraging response came from State of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's office, the letter stated, "You have raised some interesting points, and therefore I have taken the liberty of forwarding your letter to our Policy & Planning Department."

Oscar B. Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, also took action, writing that he had "taken the liberty of forwarding your letter to our City Manager's Office for review." 

A telephone message from the office of South Carolina's Governor Sanford saluted Mr. Mozena for "this trailblazing undertaking." 

Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix, also responded in a positive fashion. He wrote, "Your idea of posting all city financial transactions on the Internet to increase accountability and fiscal integrity is very creative and interesting. . . . I have taken the liberty of forwarding your letter to our Finances Department for their review. I am sure that its applicability will be carefully reviewed by our city staff."

Due to Mozena's consistent efforts extending back since 2000, the idea of Post the Finances is beginning to bubble up in the national consciousness. It's becoming part of the public discourse. 

The day for a new kind of fiscal transparency and fiscal accountability is about to dawn, just maybe Presidential Candidate Senator John Kerry or President George W. Bush will start speaking about fiscal honesty and transparency on the campaign trail for the federal government. 

Schwarzenegger follows Mozena

Whether it is mere coincidence or if great minds really do think alike, Governor Arnold appears to be jumping on the Mozena bandwagon with his proposal for a huge overhaul of the state. Mozena has posted on his www.mozena.com, www.postthefinances.com, www.ifiwereprez, about "Simplifying  California and America" by streamlining, consolidating and even eliminating some departments, as well as posting daily all the finances. Mozena believes that although Schwarzeneggar has not contacted him or acknowledged his ideas, he has nonetheless made an important contribution to the Governor's new proposals. Schwarzeneggar and his senior staff are well aware of Mozena's proposals. Mozena wonders why Schwarzeneggar has failed to respond to his several requests for a meeting, nevertheless, Mozena hopes Governor Schwarzenegger will meet with him.

But personal recognition is not everything in life. 

Mr. Mozena believes the Internet is a sharing community that exists for the betterment of the entire system and world. Ideas are free. He puts his ideas out there for the betterment of all Californians and every other U.S. citizen. 

He has a paper trail going back many years of his commitment to make things happen as well as several websites that have posted his ideas. He is happy that the future is looking brighter for all Californians, whether his contribution is acknowledged or not.

July 31, 2004
Mozena's Vision for Education
Elementary to High School

Steve Mozena is concerned about the lamentable state of education in California and the nation today. His response to the recent unveiling of the California school summer reading program is that something far more substantial is needed to fix an educational system that is turning out functional illiterates rather than young people who have the knowledge and the skills to successfully deal with lifešs many challenges. 

His solution to California's educational woes is twofold. First, the school day must be extended to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will not only allow a more thorough learning schedule, it will also reduce the stress on parents and enable them both to hold down full-time jobs. In today's economic environment, in which it is common for both parents, or a single parent, to work in order to support the children, the longer day for kids would be extremely helpful.

Second, the school year must be extended. The 180 days kids spend in school is not enough. Research has shown that during the long summer break they regress, which means they forget the knowledge and skills that they learned. Schooling should be year round.

The introduction of mandatory all-year schooling would address the problem of regression, as well as cultivating life skills. It would also reduce gang activity, some of which arises from boredom, and other vacation mischief. We need structure in our schools.

These are the main lines of Mozena's proposal:

  • participation in team sports, right through to the senior year, should be mandatory. Team sports build social skills and the ability to be a team player in other contexts.
  • participation in academic clubs like speech, chemistry or drama would be a must, since these also develop teamwork.
  • a foreign language and culture class to begin in primary school, that teaches Chinese and another language that is new to the student. In other words, if the family speaks Spanish, the kids must learn a language other than Spanish, in addition to English.
  • a business class in which students learn how to write checks and manage their accounts, including how to manage a credit card. They should be taught financial responsibility and financial honesty, and why maintaining a positive credit rating is necessary for purchasing a car and eventually a home. In addition, the class should include the skills learned in the business program Junior Achievement.
  • there should also be a life-skills program. This should instruct boys and girls in the fundamentals of good hygiene, good manners, cooking, and home economics. This would also teach the principles of sound nutrition, which would be a step towards combating the growing obesity among the young.
  • since many students do not know how to study, there would be a mandatory class in study skills. Students need to learn the self-discipline that leads to success in life.
  • a mandatory outdoor environmental education course, in which students learn about such topics as animals, water, plants, and soil. This would include many of the topics usually covered at summer camps. Not all parents can afford to send their children to camp, but under Mozenašs proposal, all children would have the same opportunities.
  • starting as early as nursery school and continuing through 12th grade, there should be physical education courses, including swimming classes from beginner to lifesaver. This will reduce the number of child deaths by drowning. Athletics, gymnastics and other forms of exercise should also be offered, to promote health and reduce obesity.
  • more emphasis on online learning, making sure there is no digital divide. All children should have computers, and the best and brightest teachers in the state at all grade levels should teach online courses. This would create more equal educational opportunity, enabling students in impoverished school districts to have access to the best minds in the state. It would also cultivate the kidsš ability to work independently.
  • mandatory civics or political science class in which students would learn about our political system as well as those of other nations. It would emphasize the necessity of participating in the processes of democracy. This could be done by holding mock elections that would mirror elections taking place at state and federal level. This would educate students in the vital political issues of the day. For California students, this class would include instruction about the California constitution, including knowledge about how ballot initiatives are created and an evaluation of the achievements of recent ballot initiatives. 
  • the state should maintain a 24-hour study help web site.
  • there should be a yearly comprehensive exam before students are allowed to pass to the next grade level.
  • an overall review of the pay and benefits packages for teachers, and regular reviews of teacher performance. Teachers should not be underpaid, but they should not be allowed to continue in their jobs if they are performing badly. Incompetent teachers are harmful to the development of our children.

Like adults, children would be permitted to request a week or two weeks off during the calendar year for vacation, if a parent wished. Additionally, the teachers could have their two-week vacations or whatever they wished, and a substitute who was competent in the field would take their place.

Finally, the State's education website should show all its daily expenditures and revenues, broken down to each school and grade levels. This would create fiscal transparency and honesty in government spending on education. Mozena would also like to see the California Lottery, which allocates considerable funds to education, post its finances to the Web. See www.postthefinances.com

Mozena hopes Californian educational leaders will support this proposal, which will raise educational standards in the state and produce better citizens. It could also act as a model for adoption by other states.

For Colleges

For college level education, Steve Mozena believes that the era of brick and mortar colleges is coming to an end. He argues that we need to promote intellectually healthy and independent adults rather than prolong childhood by shackling students to a brick and mortar college. In the future, a college education will be largely conducted online. It is only a matter of time before electronic books entirely replace traditional books. The traditional library, with thousands of shelves of books taking up large amounts of space and needing large funds to maintain, will be a thing of the past. Traditional lecture theaters will be replaced; all computers will be equipped with cameras so professors and students can directly interact no matter where they are. 

While this transition to the electronic information age is going on, Mozena would like to see the following specific ideas incorporated in college education:

  • It is essential that colleges should not have to offer remedial courses to make up for an inferior and inadequate education that their students have received in grade school and high school. All college freshmen should be ready to tackle college-level work.
  • All college students should register to vote at the same time as they enroll in classes in their freshman year. Registration should be strongly encouraged, as it will help to reverse the steady decline in the percentage of the electorate that bothers to vote.
  • There should also be a mandatory class on the fundamentals of democracy and the U.S. political system. Students should be educated about their civic responsibilities in a democracy. If we don't learn to perpetuate our way of life, it will wither away and die. We must stay united.

In terms of administration, universities and colleges should opt out of the student housing, apparel, merchandise and food business. These should be operated by private businesses in university districts. Most university districts have died, killing off small mom and pop businesses, because the colleges have relentlessly pursued a vertically integrated monopoly of businesses catering to the students on campus. In doing so, they have lost, in Mr. Mozena's opinion, the sole purpose and focus of the academic institution, which is to teach our children. Again, he believes strongly that the purpose of a college education is to provide an education, not the superfluous amenities many state colleges now provide.

Mozena also believes that a centralized collegiate online bookstore system should be set up for states nationwide. In the case of California, because of its size, Mozena would set up two distribution centers for southern and northern California which would distribute books both electronically and/or by mailing them directly to students statewide.

July 20, 2004
"Girlie Men"?

"Girlie men"? Arnold will probably be taking flak for quite a while for this jab at his Democratic opponents.

If people object to the term, how about "childish behavior" as a substitute?

This school yard politics hurts everyone in California.

Senate Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) seems to be running for the title of school bully or child-in-charge. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the photo of Burton's sign on his Cappuccino machine stating "Closed until further notice" in the local newspaper. Doesn't this reinforce the stereotype of "girlie men"? Do real men drink cappuccino? I don't think so. Real men drink rock-gut black coffee.

The Democratic leaders are playing school yard politics: "I'm not going to let you play with my toys because you won't let me play with yours".

This flap over semantics is stupid. Remember the old adage, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

Lighten up!

Democratic leaders need to show that they are adults who can meet important deadlines, and who can show some discipline.

If not, it's time for the adults to step in. Come on, Senator Burton, live up to your representative responsibilities.

In adult life, we always have to compromise. No one gets everything they want.

So don't be a child. Pass the budget. It's already overdue.

Then the State of California can get on with its business and, Senator Burton, you can share your cappuccino again with Arnold.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena

July 13, 2004
Is there any hope?

Steve Mozena continues his quest to get all the government's finances posted to the web.

Recently, he has written to every Governor, and to the mayors of the fifty biggest cities in the nation, requesting that they take the lead and become the first to put post the finances into operation. He has even contacted Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry.

Is there a visionary leader out there who cares about the public?

Posting the finances is simple to do. Since all government accounting is in
electronic format, and all government departments have websites, all that
has to be done is upload the data to the respective websites.

Just as a family needs to know their income in order to make a budget, American citizens need to know all the revenues and expenditures of our government. We need to see how the money is spent so that unnecessary costs can be eliminated.

Contacting the governors and mayors is only the latest in an ongoing campaign for Post the Finances that has been in action since 2000.

During this time, Steve Mozena has contacted President George W. Bush, every member of the U.S. Congress, two California Governors, and all the California state senators and assembly members. He has made consistent efforts to enact Post the Finances for his hometown of Carson, California, and made it a main plank of his campaign for Mayor of Carson earlier this year. He has also contacted more the 50,000 college professors, and nearly 500 California pastors. He has approached political activists, and, for financing, leading philanthropists and Hollywood celebrities. 

So far no one has stepped up to the plate. 

But Steve Mozena believes it is only a matter of time before Post the Finances happens. 

As the motivational speaker Dale Carnegie put it, "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." 

Steve keeps on trying.

July 13, 2004
California's Educational Shipwreck?

Dear Editor:

What was Richard Riordan thinking of? Telling a six-year-old girl that her name, Isis, means "dirty little girl" was a disgrace. Riordan should resign. He may have served the city of Los Angeles well when he was mayor, but he should step down as Secretary of Education.

Looking beyond Riordan's cruel and ridiculous remark, it's clear that California's educational system has gone badly wrong. It's like a ship heading for the rocks, and it needs to drastically alter course.

Riordan's recent unveiling of the summer reading program is mere window dressing. We need something far more substantial to fix a broken educational system that is turning out functional illiterates rather than young people who have the knowledge and the skills to successfully deal with life's many challenges.

Recently, I asked a group of Californians, old and young, and from different ethnicities, who was the first President of the United States. Many of them didn't know, even though they had all spent many dollar bills with Washington's face on it.

My solution to California's educational woes is twofold. First, we need to extend the length of the school day to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will not only allow a more thorough learning schedule, it will also reduce the stress on parents and enable them both to hold down full-time jobs. In today's economic environment, in which it is common for both parents, or a single parent, to work in order to support the children, the longer day for kids would be extremely helpful.

Second, we must extend the school year. The 180 days kids spend in school is not enough. Research has shown that during the long summer break they regress, which means they forget the knowledge and skills that they learned. Schooling should be year round.

The introduction of mandatory all-year schooling would address the problem of regression, as well as cultivating life skills. It would also reduce gang activity, some of which arises from boredom, and other vacation mischief. We need structure in our schools.

These are the main lines of my proposal:

o participation in team sports, right through to the senior year, should be mandatory. Team sports build social skills and the ability to be a team player in other contexts.

o participation in academic clubs like speech, chemistry or drama would be a must, since these also develop teamwork.

o a foreign language and culture class to begin in primary school, that teaches Chinese and another language that is new to the student. In other words, if the family speaks Spanish, the kids must learn a language other than Spanish, in addition to English.

o a business class in which students learn how to write checks and manage their accounts, including how to manage a credit card. They should be taught financial responsibility and financial honesty, and why maintaining a positive credit rating is necessary for purchasing a car and eventually a home. In addition, the class should include the skills learned in the business program Junior Achievement.

o there should also be a life-skills program. This should instruct boys and girls in the fundamentals of good hygiene, good manners, cooking, and home economics. This would also teach the principles of sound nutrition, which would be a step towards combating the growing obesity among the young.

o since many students do not know how to study, there would be a mandatory class in study skills. Students need to learn the self-discipline that leads to success in life.

o a mandatory outdoor environmental education course, in which students learn about such topics as animals, water, plants, and soil. This would include many of the topics usually covered at summer camps. Not all parents can afford to send their children to camp, but under my proposal, all children will have the same opportunities.

o starting as early as nursery school and continuing through 12th grade, there should be physical education courses, including swimming classes from beginner to lifesaver. This will reduce the number of child deaths by drowning. Athletics, gymnastics and other forms of exercise should also be offered, to encourage health and reduce obesity.

o more emphasis on online learning, making sure there is no digital divide. All children should have computers, and the best and brightest teachers in the state at all grade levels should teach online courses. This would create more equal educational opportunity, enabling students in impoverished school districts to have access to the best minds in the state. It would also cultivate the kids' ability to work independently.

o additionally, the state should maintain a 24-hour study help web site.

o a yearly comprehensive exam before students are allowed to pass to the next grade level.

o an overall review of the pay and benefits packages for teachers. No longer do I want to hear that teachers are underpaid, and nor do I want to hear from parents about teachers who perform poorly. 

Like adults, children would be permitted to request a week or two weeks off during the calendar year for vacation, if a parent wished. Additionally, the teachers could have their two-week vacations or whatever they wished, and a substitute who was competent in the field would take their place.

Finally, the State's education website should show all its daily expenditures and revenues, broken down to each school and grade levels. This would create fiscal transparency and honesty in government spending on education. I would also like to see the California Lottery, which allocates considerable funds to education, post its finances to the Web. See www.postthefinances.com

I hope Californian educational leaders will support this proposal, which will raise educational standards in the state and produce better citizens.

It could also act as a model for adoption by other states.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
July 13, 2004
Snow Cones and Shaved Ice at 7-Eleven and AM/PM from Coke and Pepsi? 

Dear AM/PM:

It's summertime, and I'm betting that many of your customers, including me, would like to be able to find in your store a Snow Cone or Shaved Ice with their favorite topping.

Either of these would be a winner on hot days like these, and year round as well, since I'm told that ice cream sales are actually higher in winter. I am certain it would increase market share for your company.

Like a conventional refrigerator with a water and ice dispenser, many of these dispensers have the option of crushed ice as well.

It would be easy to convert a Coke or Pepsi soda fountain machine to include the option of ice crushed for a Snow Cone or Shaved Ice consistency. The soda fountain could also be adjusted to dispense a unique variety of syrups for little cost.

Wouldn't it be great for customers to have a Coke or Pepsi flavored Snow Cone or Shaved Ice not to mention Hawaiian Punch or Pink Lemonade available at their local convenience store? Now, that's what I call convenience!

And I think it could make AM/PM Mini Markets as well known for Snow Cones as it is for its gas.

I hope you'll give this idea a try, and you're welcome to contact me about it at the above contact numbers. I believe I'm a typical AM/PM customer, and I like to think I know what people want there.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
July 13, 2004
Look both ways, especially in Crosswalks

Dear Editor:

Summertime is approaching and that means the children of all ages will be on the streets and sidewalks in droves.

As children, we were all taught to look both ways before we crossed the street. 

I don't see today's kids doing that, and many adults don't do it either.

So for this summer I'd like to start a public awareness campaign entitled "Look Both Ways Before You Cross-Even at a Crosswalk."

We in Los Angeles County should be particularly concerned about pedestrian safety because 30 percent of total traffic fatalities in the County involve pedestrians.

Crosswalks can be hazardous for the old as well as the young. A study published in 2002 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that pedestrians 65 and older were three times more likely to be hit while crossing streets at intersections with painted crosswalks than at unmarked crossings.

Many of these accidents are caused by the false sense of security that crosswalks provide. Because of this problem, there has been a statewide trend in California towards the removal of crosswalks.

However, schools need to do more for students of all ages, even the adults, by educating them to look both ways even at a crosswalk. There should be more public funding for pedestrian road safety education.

Children as well as adults must learn that the lines of crosswalks are not like magical brick walls that can stop cars from hitting them.

California Drivers can get blinded by the sun, they can be drunk, they can be inattentive by talking on the phone or distracted by eating their hamburger and fries.

There is also a need for better designed crosswalks. California should develop a new minimum design standard that would includes "zebra" striping, "bot dots" lights and overhead lighting or flashing signals when a car is approaching the crosswalk.

In addition to these measures, sidewalks need to be wider in business and residential districts so families can walk side-by-side and together safely.

Especially, here in California where the weather is beautiful year around, we need to create intracounty bicycle and walking paths where anyone can bike, roller blade or walk around the entire city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County to get to work or enjoy our summertime fun in the sun.

Remember, crosswalks are only safe when they are used properly. 

So everyone pay attention this summer when you cross the street, look both ways, even in a crosswalk.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
July 3, 2004
Are we really the United States this 4th of July?

Fellow Californian and American:

As the fireworks explode this 4th of July in celebration of the founding of our country, what do those "bombs bursting in the air and the rockets' red glare" really signify for us this year? 

I fear that underlying all the spectacular displays, the United States is in danger of imploding.

Why? 

Because we have become too polarized. 

Democrats and Republicans are too concerned with waging sectarian warfare and less concerned about the public good.

There is too much extremism on both sides and too little willingness to compromise.

What we need is unity. If the divisions between different factions keep growing, it will spell disaster for us. 

We are better than this.

We need to eliminate the NIMBY, "Not In My Back Yard", syndrome, through which selfishness triumphs over the common good. 

ˇ It is fine to celebrate our various ethnic heritages, but not at the expense of our common nationality. 
ˇ It is fine to argue pro-war or anti-war positions about Iraq, but not to the extent that rhetoric drowns out constructive discussion about where we go from here. 

All this polarization attacks the delicate social fabric of our country. 

Remember, a house divided against itself will not stand, quoted from the Bible, as Abraham Lincoln warned the country in a speech a few years before the Civil War.

We need to restore a constructive, thoughtful political process which always holds the public welfare as the highest goal. This is what our government and our politicians should be aiming for.

What is happening now is the opposite. 

It is all knee-jerk reaction.

Everything the Democrats want the Republicans want the opposite, and no one is willing to compromise. 

Maybe it's time to get rid of party affiliations, or at least re-think our attitude towards them. 

There is nothing wrong with having political parties that espouse different policies. That's our system of government. 

But there is a poisoned atmosphere in public life today, one that has been growing for well over a decade. The other side is designated as "the enemy"; the attitude is "win at all costs."

What we have forgotten is that we are all American citizens. We are all individual members of the most powerful and successful republic this planet has ever seen. This nation was built on values we all share: democracy, freedom, self-reliance.

On this Independence Day, we need to remember this. We need to work together as one team for the good of America. 

We have enough enemies abroad without branding as enemies our fellow Americans who may disagree with us on some issues. 

This is no time for putting faction over nation. 

It is no time for those with big egos to promote their own agendas. 

The old adage seems appropriate here, "There is no letter "I" in the word team," and a team is what we as a nation should be.

So as the skies are sprayed with all those amazing colored fireworks this July 4th, let's remember what we are celebrating these United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
July 1, 2004
A letter to all the U.S. Governors, except Arnold.

Dear Governor:

I am certain that your state, in common with most other U.S. states today, is experiencing a budget crunch. Because of cutbacks at the federal level, difficult choices have to be made that may negatively impact many residents in your state.

I am writing to inform you of a revolutionary idea that will, both in the short-term and long-term, save the state a great deal of money.

It will also make a huge contribution to the laudable goal of accountability and financial transparency. 

This will help to restore citizens' eroding faith in the honesty of their government. 

The idea is a simple one, yet I believe it would be extremely effective. I have been promoting it in my home state of California since 2000.

This is my proposal: Post all government finances to the Internet on a daily basis. I believe this would effectively root out waste, corruption and fraud. It would bring all the State's financial dealings into the clear light of day. 

It would also, I believe, prove extremely popular with the voters, who are sick of the misuse of taxpayers' money at all levels of government, and the secretive systems that make such abuse possible.

In the Post the Finances system, each government department or agency would be responsible for posting its finances to its own Website. My website www.postthefinances.com gives more details of the system, and of my efforts in promoting it. 

So far, although I have approached all the leaders of California, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, no one has yet had the courage to come out in public support of this proposal, although I have received many private words of encouragement from influential people. 

It seems that everyone is waiting to see who will jump first, but no one wants to be the one who takes the plunge.

What Post the Finances needs is a visionary leader who is prepared to break out of the pack mentality and initiate a bold new system that will take government accounting into the twenty-first century. 

I am certain this will happen at some point in the future. The logic behind it is irrefutable: government money is taxpayers' money, so every taxpayer has a right to see, in detail, how that money is used. 

Up until recent years, such a goal has been impractical, but with the coming of the Internet and the almost unbelievable leaps in information technology that have taken place in the last few years, what was formerly impossible is now easily possible. So why not enact Post the Finances right now?

My suggestion to you is this: initially, implement Post the Finances in just one state government department. See how it works. Monitor it. Get people used to the idea. 

There is always resistance to change, but people will adapt to new realities. 

Then, after the initial sample, when the Post the Finances system is recognized and accepted, my suggestion is that you gradually convert all government departments to the same system.

Governor, I have confidence that you will be the person to take up this great challenge. 

I know that as a leader, you are open to new ideas, and I believe you have the welfare of all your state's residents at heart. 

With Post the Finances, I believe you can give those residents a gift that will long outlast your tenure of the governor's office. 

History always lauds the pioneers, and your work will be remembered.

I have thought long and hard about the Post the Finances idea, and have campaigned for it vigorously. I am confident it can stand scrutiny. 

If you need any more information, or if I can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
June 30, 2004
A request to TV Brass to create PSAs.

Dear TV Brass:

Is American democracy doomed? I hope not. The U.S. Presidential election is just around the corner, November 2nd.

In the last Presidential election, nearly 100 million eligible voters, just over half the electorate, did not vote. This time we should make sure those Americans cast their votes.

This will need a large and persuasive public awareness campaign supported by major television-network industry leaders. The efforts made by limited, viewer-paid cable companies' like MTV's "Rock the Vote," are nowhere near sufficient. 

We need the main networks and affiliates to stand up and be counted on this issue. I am sure you will agree that although television is a commercial venture, it also has a responsibility to serve the public interest. 

It is uniquely able to provide the lead in an important undertaking such as reminding Americans of their responsibilities to their nation and their democracy. 

I propose that every day and throughout the day from now through November 2nd, you present a series of 15-second, 30-second and 60-second public service announcements, PSAs, promoting voter registration and participation, especially for the upcoming Presidential election.

These spots could feature a wide variety of Americans: Corporate CEOs, military personnel, teachers, politicians, clergy members, movie stars, sports stars, new immigrants who have become citizens, as well as regular people like me from all walks of life.

The slogan could be something like "Vote: Itšs the Smart Thing To Do," or "Secure Freedom and Opportunity for all Americans: Vote," or "Democracy is a Terrible Thing to Lose: Vote." 

And democracy is a terrible thing to lose.

If people do not vote, no one is held accountable and the nation goes off course. If people do not vote, the powerful exercise more power with less care, and our freedoms are gradually eroded. If people do not vote, the very idea of democracy is doomed.

Former President Abraham Lincoln said that this nation was the last, best hope on earth.

But if 100 million Americans donšt care enough to vote, how can we hope to live up to our heritage and our core values?

So, here I am to ask you to adopt this idea if you care about the future of America, not only for yourself and your family, but more importantly, for all of your fellow Americans. 

Please implement this innovative idea to reinvigorate our political process. Please put this PSA, calling on all eligible citizens to register to vote and to vote, out across the T.V. airwaves beginning today and every day, throughout the day, from now until November 2nd. 

I call on you and your company to carry out your duty to America's public interest airwaves by leading the way and airing Voter Awareness PSAs to perpetuate American democracy. 

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena

CC: FCC Chairman 

FOR PUBLIC FILE

June 20, 2004
A thank you note to Dad on Father's Day

My Fellow Californian and American:

It's nearly 25 years since my dad died, and a tear falls from my eye every Father's Day.

He was only 58 years old.

My dad was an immigrant, and his story is an American story.

He came from Italy with his family when he was seven years old. In those days, in the 1920s and 1930s, there was a lot of prejudice against people who were different. Once, a gang of young thugs tied him to a tree and threw sticks and stones at him because he was a foreigner and didn't speak English.

That kind of thing didn't stop my father, though. He was, after all, a member of the "greatest generation." He was a determined man.

Dad was a straight "A" student through high school, and when World War II came along he enlisted in the Army Air Force and became a Staff Sergeant. It was when he was stationed in Coventry, England, that he met my mother, an Irish girl, at a St. Patrick's Day dance.

They married and had eight children.

When I was young, we ate out a lot. I remember that when the bill arrived, my Dad used to race me to see who could add up the figures quickest just to check the server's math. I think I must owe my math skills to those many trips we made to restaurants.

Dad worked hard to send all his children to private Catholic schools, all the way through high school. Then he would help us get through college by giving us part-time jobs with his company.

He was a good businessman. He worked his way up and eventually owned a medical and surgical supply and equipment company in Portland and Seattle, with about eighty employees. Once, through no fault of his own, he lost the company. But he rebuilt it. He was strong in adversity.

When I first reported for work there, he told me that first I had to learn to serve. Only after that could I think about becoming a boss. He also told me I had to respect all jobs. Then he pointed to the men's room and told me to clean it.

My dad was a deeply religious man, who never missed Mass on Sunday. He was also a man of regular, hard-working habits. He would be up at 5 a.m. to read the newspaper, and would not return home from work until 8 p.m., when my mom would always have a dinner plate of food in the oven covered with aluminum foil if we weren't going out to eat.

I have so much respect for my father who toiled so hard for so many years. Although Italian by birth, he was a true American dad. His story was America's story: A new land, hard work, self-help, love of family, service of country, abiding religious faith.

Now I am trying to follow in his footsteps. My own daughter is not yet two years old, so on this Father's Day I'm just beginning to learn how to be the kind of father to my daughter that my dad was to me.

"You're a hard act to follow, Dad."

Just before he died in September 1979, my Dad left a note for me that read, "Thank you for always being there at a beck and call for me and mother."

Typical Dad. He knew how to show appreciation.

But as I read the note, I knew it was really the other way round. It was Dad who was to be thanked, not me.

And thank him I do, on this Dad's Day, 2004, and on all days.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
May 25, 2004
America: The land flowing with Milk and Oil?

Dear Editor:

What do Mad Cow Disease and OPEC have in common? They both send prices skyrocketing.

Milk and gas are rapidly becoming luxury items.

Politicians say they will do something about it, but they never do. It is all political posturing.

Analysts tells us the economy is improving, but how can that be when a staple like milk costs nearly $5 a gallon at supermarkets and gas is nearing $3 per gallon at the local filling stations?

We can solve the problem of gas prices in the near future by drilling in our own country. We have untapped oil resources in Alaska that need to be exploited. We can also cut our dependence on crude oil from the Mideast by doing more business with China, Russia and Mexico for our oil needs.

OPEC is a monopoly that has been unchallenged for too long. It is time we sent a message to those men in the Mideast that we can and will go elsewhere for our oil.

As for that staple, milk, the prices are climbing partly, we are told, because of the ban on importing cattle from Canada, due to fears of Mad Cow Disease.

We are told there are now less cows in this country to produce milk.

So there are several problems here: High milk prices because of a shortage of cows, American Dairy Farmers struggling to make a living, and Mad Cow Disease.

Is it only a matter of time before there is an epidemic of Mad Cow in this country infecting our beef and milk? Might it already be here?

Should our children still be eating McDonald's hamburgers? Should we still be buying that jug of milk from 7-11 and feeding it to our babies?

When Mad Cow Disease hit Britain several years ago, the government never came clean about the risk to the public.

We need to ensure that does not happen here, and that the authorities give us full information about the danger of Mad Cow in this country.

To solve the price problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture needs to step in and stabilize milk prices so that American Dairy Farmers are able to make a living, people who might become farmers can be reassured that it remains a viable occupation, and consumers can still afford to buy milk that is safe.

In the Bible, Moses led his people to a land flowing with milk and honey. Well, our promised land, right here in these United States, is flowing...or should be...with milk and oil...I haven't yet heard of a honey shortage.

The Mad Men of the Greedy Oil Cartels and Mad Cows shouldn't be allowed to interfere with it.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
May 25, 2004
We should declare war?

Dear Editor:

I'd like to declare war on the three greatest enemies to our political freedom and democracy. No, that doesn't mean I'm going to march into Iran, North Korea and Cuba.

The three enemies I'm taking aim at are apathy, selfishness, and lack of patriotism. If they are not attacked and defeated, America will be destroyed not from without but from within.

Apathy is particularly disturbing in this presidential election year. I'm referring to the 100 million eligible voters who do not bother to vote. Given freedom, they choose not to exercise it. This amounts to nearly half the electorate. In November 2000, the turnout in the presidential election was a mere 51.3 percent. Why don't people vote? Is it laziness? Do people think they are too busy? Just too many other important things do?

Wake up, people! There's no reason not to vote. Don't take our democracy for granted. It's not. We have to work at it like a marriage or friendship. We have to participate if we want to preserve it.

What do I mean by selfishness? I'm referring to the selfishness of those who vote for their own special interests, or who lobby our elected officials for special interests, rather than being concerned with the common good. It's the NIMBY: "not in my backyard" syndrome: thinking privately that something would be good for, the city, the county, the state, the country as a whole, but voting against it because it might not have the greatest positive impact on us personally.

If we are to preserve our nation so our children, our children's children, and so forth, can continue to enjoy the freedom and the opportunities that are the hallmark of America, we need to re-educate people about their civic responsibilities.

I'd like to see voter turnout boosted to at least 95 percent of all eligible voters. After all, what could be more important than deciding who is to govern us, the people, and what policies that government is to pursue?

If 95 percent seems too idealistic, let's at least get back to the levels of voting that prevailed in the 1960s, when the turnout in presidential elections was always above 60 percent, with a high of 63.1 percent in 1960.

Voting is the patriotic thing to do, and I'd like to see more than the fair-weather patriot. We must think deeply about the values we stand for, at home and abroad. We must remember that although we have our differences of race and creed, we share common values, including our love of freedom, our entrepreneurial spirit, and our compassion for the less fortunate. Remembering that we are these UNITED States, we must think in a unified way, as one people.

Let's once again be proud to be American. Let's show our patriotism in every home, apartment and office building even our cars by flying or posting the American flag through the Presidential election in early November.

If you don't have one gathering dust in the closet, just buy one from Wal-Mart or Target. If you can't afford one, the American Legion is sure to provide one for free. It's the least you can do.

Flying the flag will show your gratitude for the sacrifice made by those whose flag-draped coffins we are seeing in the news todaythose brave young men and women who have fallen in our fight for freedom in Iraq now and those of the past wars.

So put away apathy and vote in every election, local to federal. Make a resolution today to go out and vote when Election Day comes around. It only takes a few minutes. Stop the selfishness and act for the common good. 

In the meantime, fly the American flag. Honor the fallen. Celebrate the American spirit.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena
April, 2004
 


Mr. H. Ross Perot, Sr.:

I am writing to inform you of an exciting new development in California that will dramatically change the political landscape of this nation, and its name isn’t "Arnold Schwarzenegger."

I also want to appeal to you for your support.

As a businessman and private citizen who is deeply concerned about financial waste and corruption in government, I am the proponent of a ballot initiative in California called Post the Finances. The initiative calls for every government agency in California to post its finances to the Internet every day, in the form of a simple checkbook register, showing all revenues and all expenditures. It would also include all requests for bids, awards of bids, and legal settlements.

The aim is to create total honesty and transparency in government. Posting the Finances will open up California's government in ways that have never been seen before, and shine a light on many a murky financial corner.

Financing a ballot initiative is far beyond my modest means. Politics, asyou know, is all about money. In my recent run for mayor of Carson, California, my main opponent outspent me by $100,000 and won the election.

I have approached many influential people, Democrats and Republicans, who are in a position to finance this initiative. So far I have had no success, although encouraging words have been plentiful.

Since the deadline for gathering signatures has expired, I am converting this initiative into a California Constitutional Amendment. Approximately 600,000 signatures are required to get the Amendment on the ballot. Using professional signature-gatherers, the cost works out at about $1.00-2.00 per signature.

As I am sure you know, California’s finances are in a crisis. Governor Schwarzenegger has taken some short-term measures to address the situation, but a more revolutionary, long-term approach is needed, something that will institutionalize a new standard of honesty and transparency in government. I believe that Post the Finances is such a measure, and that it is only a matter of time before it becomes standard practice at state and federal level. But it needs a big initial push to get it moving.

I am appealing to you for your public support and for financial support. I am sure you will appreciate the wider importance of what I am trying to accomplish. It is not only California that is facing huge budget deficits. The federal government is now running a deficit that is likely to be with us for a long time. I remember that the issue of runaway budget deficits was what inspired your own run for the presidency in 1992 and again in 1996. It seems that this issue will not go away, and the problems faced by California today will be those of the nation tomorrow, unless we take action.

Post the Finances will go a long way to alleviating this pressing problem. I firmly believe it will help to create a better, more stable future for our children and grandchildren. When I look into the eyes of my 1 1/2 year old daughter, I am inspired to redouble my efforts to push this proposal through, for the benefit of her and all the other children of America.

Mr. Perot, I know you are a man who appreciates tangible, structural reform, not the glib words of politicians. That’s why I voted for you in 1992 and 1996, and I think I must have had you in the back of my mind when I came up with the slogan "The Real Reformer for Real Change" for my recent mayoral bid. Will you join with me in this great enterprise of restoring fiscal sanity to California as well as the nation? Time is of the essence if this proposal is to make the November 2004 ballot.

I would very much appreciate an appointment to discuss this proposal with you, either by telephone or in person. I will call your secretary in a week to set this up.

I am of course also available at any time to answer any questions you may have or to supply more information about Post the Finances. Please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,

Steve Mozena

April, 2004
"New Crabito, Shrimpito and Churrito Chips from Frito Lay"


Dear Mr. Al Bru, Chairman of Frito-Lay:

Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos! I love them all. I also love the recent Frito-Lay innovations, a range of products for the Latino market and the ever-growing spicy Southwestern taste of all Americans: Southwestern-style chips from old Fritos and Doritos to the new Doritos Guacamole and Doritos Salsa Chips, with the assortment of chile spices, although I think my innovative ideas would garner even more of a market share and profit for Frito Lay.

I have a suggestion that would enable you to make big inroads into a largely untapped market. I’m referring to the growing Asian population in America, and Americans’ love of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines.

How about some fish-flavored chips from Frito-Lay?

To my knowledge, no fish-flavored chips are offered nationally by Frito-Lay, and yet the market is there for them. My wife is Asian and loves seafood; I am Caucasian and love chips. The marriage of chips and seafood would be irresistible to both of us, and many thousands, indeed millions, like us.

So here are just a few of my suggestions on the fish chips with an American twist. The names of the products could all end with "ito," which would supply the Frito-Lay name recognition.

  • "Crabito," Crab-flavored chips with the Japanese spice, Wasabi.
  • "Shrimpito," Shrimp-flavored chips enhanced by the spiciness of shrimp cocktail sauce. 

I also have a suggestion that would appeal not only to the Latino-American population but to all the American market:

  • "Churrito," A triangular tortilla chip. After it has been deep-fried, sprinkle it with lots of sugar and cinnamon. This would be similar to the Churros sold at theme parks, parades and other similar events.

I’m sure these new products would help Frito-Lay's bottomline and secure the lifetime loyalty of many thousands of Asian-Americans, and other Americans, as well as new immigrants, especially from Asia, who are arriving in our country every day.

In fact, I can’t wait to bite into them myself just "for the fun of it".

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena

 
April, 2004
 
Dear Editor:

I see that Mayor Hahn, in his upcoming bid for re-election as Mayor of Los Angeles, is talking about fiscal transparency and finance reform.

But will this go any further than talk?

With my Post the Finances proposal, I have given the keys of the car to any city, state or even the federal government, but not one politician has so far shown enough intestinal fortitude, foresight and initiative to turn those keys. See www.ifiwereprez.com.

Unfortunately, most of today's politicians are Internet neophytes. They are not savvy about computer information technology, and nor are most senior voters. This makes it difficult for them to appreciate the extent to which today’s technology can help to bring fiscal honesty to government.

But as the younger portion of the electorate, who are in general more computer savvy than their elders, matures and votes, Web posting of the finances will become a reality. People will demand it of their representatives, and all government finances will be posted daily so that they are accessible to the public.

When this web posting program is instituted, we will not only be able to ensure honesty for the future, we will be able to go back and dig out all the corruption that has taken place in the past.

There will be no more room for scare tactics by unscrupulous politicians who claim that there is not enough money for important social programs, or, for emergency services.

We will be able to look and see for ourselves what the financial situation is.

We will be able to manage our own government.

Will Carson’s Mayor Dear, L.A.’s Mayor Hahn, Governor Schwarzenegger or even President Bush or Senator Kerry support posting the finances to the web for fiscal honesty and accountability?

I think it’s unlikely, because the idea is still too new for them, and they don’t have the computer savvy to realize how important it is.

But I'll take a wait and see approach.

Maybe one of them will surprise us all and become a real political reformer.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena

 
April, 2004
Here are several "Letters to the Editor" submitted to the local newspaper by Steve Mozena.


Dear Editor:

As our soldiers die every day in Iraq, where is the clear and decisive action that will protect them?

The Japanese hostages were released because the Japanese government said any harm inflicted on them would be "unforgivable." The terrorists listened. They knew the Japanese meant what they said. Perhaps they knew their World War II history. The Japanese had their Kamikaze suicide bombers long before today's Islamic terrorists were even born. They believed it was an honorable thing to die for their country, just as today's Islamic terrorists want to die for their faith.

We need to show the same kind of backbone and take the ruthless action that is necessary to bring order to Iraq. We need to impose our will on those who are trying to disrupt our efforts at rebuilding that country. We did this in Japan after World War II. We hanged the war criminals, we imposed a new Constitution on the country, we occupied it for five years. And Japan was the better for it.

We must show a similar kind of resolution now. By all means involve the UN in devising a transitional government for Iraq, but remember that diplomacy does not work when you are dealing with religious fanatics. You have to be prepared to act decisively, with whatever level of force that is required. Only then, when the militants are cowed, will we be able to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we are genuinely on their side. We want them to live in freedom and we have to show them we are serious about it.

But we must be ruthless in destroying opposition, and we must impose our will on the defeated remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime. Over fifty years ago, President Harry S. Truman showed he had the guts to lead in the cause of freedom.

Will our present-day leaders match his example, or will compromise and retreat be the order of the day?

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena
 

 
April, 2004
Another "Letter to the Editor"


Dear Editor:

Tax day, April 15th, is over. But the threat of the I.R.S. still hangs in the air.

We need to audit the I.R.S.

The current tax code, and the way the I.R.S. behaves, do not encourage people to be honest. In fact, the reverse is true.

I know an African-American man who is scared to get a job that pays him above the table because he thinks most of his wages will be garnished by the I.R.S. He fears he will never be able to get ahead.

I know Persian-Americans who felt they had no option but to evade the attentions of the I.R.S., which was not only trying to enforce an antiquated and unfair tax code but was employing illegal bullying tactics to do so.

I know Vietnamese-Americans who set up a restaurant but called it a Christian Club until it could be fully established. Because of the tax code, this was the only way they could afford to get their business off the ground.

And of course, everyone knows about how large corporations exploit every loophole they possibly can to avoid, at times evade, paying their fair share of taxes. Just last week, a report issued by the government's General Accounting Office showed that almost two-thirds of American companies paid no taxes between 1996 and 2000, even as corporate profits reached record levels.

Simply put, I blame the convoluted and confusing tax code even many CPAs and Tax Attorneys don't understand that allows them to get away with it.

What's the solution?

First, an amnesty for all Americans who are not in good standing with the I.R.S.

Second, throw away the entire tax code and set up a flat tax and a national, round-numbered only sales tax. Eliminate all loopholes.

Keep it clear and simple.

Third, audit the I.R.S. by posting all the government finances to the Web on a daily basis. This will enable all citizens to see where all government money, OUR money, that is, comes from and where it goes.

In this coming election season, we need a leader who will take charge of these issues and ensure fairness for all tax-paying Americans.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena

April, 2004


Dear Editor:


Like millions of other Americans, I enjoy eating at McDonald's, and I applaud the company for introducing the Happy Meal for Adults nationwide next month. This is a positive step that shows McDonald's is responding to public pressure to create more healthful food.

I have been noting positive change at McDonald's for some months. Bottled water is now available, and my wife and I recently purchased at McDonald's a fruit salad with sliced apples, grapes and a container of yogurt. This is a refreshing change.

We need more of these types of fruit dishes, please! Get creative with it. 

There is no time to lose. Like many ordinary Americans today, I am concerned about the steadily rising obesity in this country, including my own, much of which is due to unhealthy diet, as well as lack of exercise.

According to the surgeon general, the social cost of obesity is about $117 billion a year. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that obesity could overtake smoking next year as the leading cause of preventable death.

I know that many of the other big fast-food chains, as well as McDonald's, are trying to adapt to public concern over the nation's eating habits. Smaller portions and low-fat alternatives are positive steps, and if they taste good people will buy them.

I have a suggestion for McDonald's that will take this trend further. 

Why not create "McFlowers," a combination of warm or cold broccoli and cauliflower in a McNugget-size box, available with a salt package, and a dipping sauce, if desired, of ranch, dill or cheese sauce. Or "McSticks," a combination of celery and carrots with a ranch or dill dipping sauce in a fry-size bag.

These items would be a big hit with consumers. It would put McDonald's way ahead of the curve as far as emerging trends are concerned. People want to start eating better, but when one has a busy schedule, or if one is on the road, it's not easy to find healthful food.

I'm not suggesting that McDonald's, that great American institution, turns itself into a health-food restaurant frequented by vegetarians, but I do believe there is an urgent social need that McDonald's has a responsibility to address. Addressing the issue in a bold way would also be good for corporate profits, since it's always better to be ahead of a trend than behind it.

Meanwhile, I'll look out for "McFlowers" and "McSticks" at my local McDonald's. If McDonald's doesn't do it, you can bet one of the other major hamburger chains like Burger King, Wendy's, or Jack in Box will.

Sincerely,

Steve Mozena

Dear Mickey Mouse:

Summer's just around the corner and I'm taking my family to Disneyland again-the Happiest Place on Earth.

But is it?

Over the years, I have enjoyed going to Disneyland in Anaheim. I love the show "Fantasmic," the aqua-screen, laser-light, pyro-technic show about Mickey's Imagination. To me, this is the best thing about Disney...next to Splash Mountain.

But I loathe the seating arrangements on the pavement for the Fantasmic event. It's a pain in my rear and I'm sure many Disney parents and patrons would agree.

The portions for sitting on the pavement are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Over the years, every time I have attended this event I have witnessed arguments among customers over spaces even though there are two summer evening shows.

Several years ago, I suggested to customer service that they fix this problem by selling seat Cushions and blankets with Disneyland and "Fanstasmic" logos. 

These items could not only mark the spaces, and make watching the show more comfortable for customers like me, it would also make additional money for Disney Corporation. The seat cushions could be like those used by the Anaheim Angels for seats at the baseball stadium.

I would certainly buy these cushions for comfort, and as a souvenir. Then rear end, mine, and bottom line, yours, would both be equally comfortable.

Now, that's a recipe for the Happiest Place on Earth!

Sincerely,
Steve Mozena


Monday, March 22nd, 2004
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger really the People’s Governor for California residents?

So far, yes, he is. Moreover, it is a pleasant surprise to see a politician do what he says he is going to do. Governor Schwarzengger is fulfilling his political promises.

Governor Schwarzenegger said he would repeal the car tax, and he did.

Schwarzenegger said he wanted to fix the deficit. He did this by winning approval for the Economic Recovery Bond Act, Proposition 57, and the California Balanced Budget Act, Proposition 58, in the March 2 ballot.

Schwarzenegger has also spoken about his desire to overhaul the state Workers’ Compensation system to reduce costs. He was in Torrance, a city adjacent to Carson where I live and work, last week, and he spoke about this issue again. It is well known that Schwarzenegger has told the California legislature in the past and now within ten days that if it does not act to reduce Worker’s Comp costs, he will take the issue to the people via a ballot initiative.

So far, so good. But we need total fiscal honesty from our Governor as well.

We particularly need to have total fiscal transparency.

This can easily be accomplished by enacting my initiative to post all government finances to the Internet every day. See www.postthefinances.com

I don't have the megamoney or the political clout to make this initiative or even a constitutional amendment most likely happen. Although I'll keep trying, the idea needs support from the Governor.

I have asked Governor Schwarzenegger’s staff three times for an appointment to present this idea to him. I have also tried to approach the Governor by talking to Congressman David Dreier, Schwarzenegger advisor Bob Smith, former L.A. Mayor and CA Secretary of Education Richard Riordan, and even Arnold’s good friend, actor Tom Arnold. But I have had no success.

These are all political insiders and have the political power to help make our government honest. Are they hiding fiscal improprieties?

Is my request for an appointment not getting through, or is Governor Schwarzenegger not quite the "People’s Governor" he claims to be?

Please, Governor, ask your staff to give me an appointment to speak to you, and help me get this proposal on the ballot, either as an initiative or as a constitutional amendment.

At the very least, issue an executive order to set up one California department or agency as a sample to show you how the post the finances system would work. This seems to be a reasonable request.

It's extremely difficult for a "little guy" like me to get this on the ballot without the assistance of someone who has considerable money or influence or both.

Come on, Governor Schwarzenegger, be a real hero for the people of California, let’s make our government honest and make this happen, for the good of California and all its residents.

You may remember that we have met a couple dozen times at Hollywood premieres and parties as well as St. Monica's Catholic Church. It's time we met again. We have a common goal to make California better for businesses and especially the people of California.

Give the people a chance. It's a truly honest and worthy idea.

Let's get all of the California finances out in the open and be honest.

Go down in history, make this a historic moment. This proposal is revolutionary and is worthy of what the forefathers' envisioned for our country.

Your relative Senator Edward Kennedy has been talking about a Constitutional Amendment that would permit a U.S. resident of more than 20 years to become President. I'd support that—if you posted all the finances, because then I'd know you are honest and are thinking of the welfare of the people. And if you ever were to run for President, I hope you would make posting the finances to the Web a prominent part of your campaign.


 
Thursday, February 19th, 2004
Mr. Mozena is in the process of converting the "Post the Finances" statewide initiative into a California Consitutional Amendment. This will ensure that the State of California will always post its finances daily to the Web or to some future advancement in technology yet undiscovered to keep pace with the ever-changing world and its technology. In this way, Californians will always be able to stop any waste and corruption instantly. Mr. Mozena foreseeing the future like the Founding Fathers of our country.

Just as Mr. Mozena spent more than $5,000 of his own money to beautify Venice, CA, his former place of residence, for the locals and tourists, he has now spent his own money promoting "Post the Finances" for the citizens of California.

He is not a rich man but he trying to help everyone.

And now, Mr. Mozena is the sole financer of his Carson mayoral campaign. He wants to make the City of Carson a model city for Posting the Finances.

The election is on Tuesday March 2nd, 2004.

Please ask your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone you know in Carson, to vote for Steve Mozena for Mayor of Carson.

He is the Real Reformer for Real Change. He's a man for all the people.

Surf to www.mozena.com for more information about Steve Mozena's Carson mayoral campaign.

 


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Steve Mozena, Post the Finances, P.O. Box 92679, Long Beach, CA 90809, (562)494-9606

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