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Sunday, July 22, 2007

 
If I Ran for President -- Another Presidential election is pending in the United States, and I am forced to wonder if it's even possible that this one, unlike those in 2000 and 2004, might possibly be allowed to reflect the will of the people without the fraud and conspiracies that have tainted and corrupted the U.S. government for nearly a decade now.

There's a website that lists all the major candidates and their stands on the issues; at least, the issues as designated by whoever created the site. I wondered, as I looked at it, where I would stand on the issues if I were running for President?

* Abortion Rights -- While I want every woman to have the power to decide for herself, in every instance, whether she should or should not remain pregnant, I believe the issue would be far less troublesome if every citizen of the United States were educated about reproduction and human sexuality beginning at a very early age. And even before that, parents should be frank and honest with their children about these issues, so that by the time they learn the facts in school, they already have a solid grounding in reproductive ethics and realities. This is one issue on which the entire structure of the country is utterly broken, and we've been paying for it forever.

* Death Penalty -- I used to favour the death penalty in cases of extremely aberrant criminal behaviour in which there is no doubt whatsoever that the perpetrator is guilty. Not for revenge, not as a deterrent, but just to remove the most dangerous people in society from society. But as I have gotten older I have come to realize that no one ultimately has the right to end the life of another person unless that person presents a direct and immediate threat to their own life or the lives of others. So I am opposed to the death penalty.

* Education (No Child Left Behind) -- "No child left behind" is one of the many programs the current, illegal government created as smoke and mirrors to mask its true intentions. It has done nothing to improve the education of the nation's children, and it has allowed the military unwelcome access to private information about children for the purposes of coercing them into military service. It's a fraud and a disgrace.

* Embryonic Stem Cells -- I favour any and all ethically sound medical research that does not involve involuntary, uninformed harm to a living human being.

* Energy & Oil (ANWR Drilling) -- This is another issue on which the majority of citizens is hopelessly undereducated. We're at or past the point of peak oil right now, and there's every reason to believe that a catastrophic reorganizing of human society will be forced upon us within most of our lifetimes. No alternative energy or conservation effort can hope to change the one inarguable fact, which is that the lifestyle of the vast majority of United States citizens will change in ways few will enjoy. The solution is a return to more local economies operating at a human scale, and the fact is that this will happen eventually no matter what anyone says or does; it simply has to, there are no other possible outcomes. The only question is whether people wake up to the realities in time and manage to adjust to the difficulties that lie ahead. If not, the world is in for horror unprecedented in human history. Unfortunately, I expect the latter outcome, and I expect it within the next 10 to 20 years.

* Energy & Oil (Kyoto) -- See above, with the added comment that the U.S. flouting of the Kyoto Accords is another example of how the rogue government of the country has disgraced the entire nation before the eyes of the world.

* Guns (Assault Weapons Ban) -- No human being should be allowed to possess these weapons, and the companies that produce them are guilty of crimes against humanity.

* Guns (Background Checks) -- I am opposed to private ownership of guns of any kind, but if gun ownership remains legal in the United States, there should be a one-year waiting period during which the applicant undergoes extensive psychological testing, gun safety training, and pledges to never allow their weapon within a mile of anyone under the age of 18.

* Homeland Security (Patriot Act) -- This should be repealed immediately and anyone who voted in favour of it should be removed from office and put on trial for treason.

* Homeland Security (Guantanamo) -- This surreal nightmare should be closed immediately, and a full, U.N.-led investigation should occur in the run-up to war crimes trials for all involved.

* Homeland Security (Torture) -- Anyone who has tortured another human being for any reason should be put on trial in the World Court. If found guilty, they should be imprisoned for life with no chance for release.

* Homeland Security (Wiretapping) -- I'll profess ignorance of the details of this issue, except to say that wiretapping was always legal in the United States as long as a warrant was secured from a judge, and I don't see why that should not continue to be so, as long as the police agencies involved provide genuine probable cause that the wiretap is needed to prosecute actual criminals.

* Immigration (Citizenship Path for Illegals) -- If someone is living in the United States with a family and ties to their community, they should be allowed to become citizens, period. Ignorance and racism are at the heart of the anti-immigration movement, and it needs to stop.

* Immigration (Border Fence) -- Once a fair and workable immigration system is in place, this racist pipe dream should no longer be a viable idea. But solving the problem starts with educating those who are in favour of it.

* Internet Neutrality -- No one should have any say whatsoever in what legally happens on the internet, unless it is on their own website(s). There is no greater place to test the ideas of a free market and freedom of speech than on the world wide web.

* Iran (Sanctions) -- It's time to say no to this bullshit.

* Iran (Military Action as Option) -- It's time to say no to this bullshit.

* Iraq (War Support) -- It's time to say no to this bullshit.

* Iraq (War Troop Surge) -- It's time to say no to this bullshit.

* Iraq (War Withdrawal) -- Immediately and with all perpetrators within the government to stand trial in the World Court. If found guilty, they should be imprisoned for life with no chance for release.

* Minimum Wage Increase -- The entire minimum wage system needs to re-evaluated with an eye to determining what a true, living wage is -- allowing for all necessary expenses and basic human rights. The minimum wage should reflect this, and perhaps it's time to institute a maximum wage as well.

* Same-Sex Marriage -- The right to marry is a basic human right all consenting adults must be free to exercise.

* Same-Sex Civil Union -- The right to marry is a basic human right all consenting adults must be free to exercise.

* Same-Sex Constitutional Ban -- It's time to put an end to this ignorant bullshit.

* Universal Health Care -- Free, available health care is a basic human right every person is entitled to. It should be one of the primary purposes to which our tax dollars are spent. If this country cannot afford to look after the health of its citizens, it certainly cannot afford to wage war against other nations or provide obscene salaries and tax breaks to the country's wealthiest citizens.

In short, and as evidenced by many of my responses, I believe the resources of the United States have been criminally diverted away from carrying out the basic tenets under which this country was founded. It's time for the United States to actually allow its citizens to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I fear that a complacent and uninformed populace will not seize those rights for themselves until blood is running in the streets, if we continue on as we have. The coming end of the cheap-oil era means we'll see the ideals of America put to the test sooner, rather than later. I'd like to believe there's hope. I wish there was someone with a plan that suggests there might be.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Alan,

This is a thought provoking list of the issues that shape our political outlook. For the sake of discourse, I hope you won't mind my adding a thought or two.

* Abortion Rights -- While I favor absolute reproductive rights for women, the success of the pro-anti-abortionists has led me to reconsider whether Roe V. Wade was the ideal way to ensure them. Constitutionally, I've always felt it was pretty shaky and open doors to government involvement in private life that would be inappropriate and unneccessary if said government hadn't already claimed a stake in it.

* Education (No Child Left Behind) -- It will be the great failure of our generation if we can't come together and restructure public education to suit the changing needs of the 21st century child. That said, I'm a firm believer that formal education beyond the 8th grade is essentially unnecessary for many and serves little purpose beyond delaying their entry into the work force. This is not to say that I don't want more effective secondary schooling for those who show the initiative to pursue it. But I think there are many who could find a more useful and satisfying way to spend the years from 14 to 18 than temporarily memorizing stuff that will be of little use to them as adults.

* Guns (Background Checks) -- I know many Americans look at the idea of a total ban on private ownership of guns as somehow depriving them of rights but I agree with you on this 150%. Japan has a policy like this and, best I can tell, it works out great. Some might rebut that Japan doesn't have the history with guns that America does and so, culturally, it is a non-analogous argument but I think we could benefit from their wisdom more defensibly than we can suggest that it just doesn't apply to us.

* Homeland Security (Patriot Act) -

I'm satisfied with just repealing it and scolding everyone who voted for it, instead. Call me a centrist lol

* Immigration (Border Fence) -- Dumb. If you adequately find and properly train border guard personel, there is no need for a wall. The only reason to build one is to prove that you are a dick.

* Iran -

I think that the idea of a nuclear enhanced Iran is a really bad one. Two things will have to occur to stop that from happening and a war and/or economic sanctions are neither of them.

1. Israel must disclose and then dispose of their own nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, full details about when and how and from who they got it must be revealed and punitive actions must be taken against those parties.

Without this, the international community has not a leg to stand on in insisting that Iran, Pakistan, India, North Korea or anyone else who has or wants one should not be allowed.

2. The United States should reopen all diplomatic ties with Iran without the insistence of an apology for the taking of American hostages in the 1970s. Yeah, they owe us an apology and maybe if we can take steps towards renewing our friendship, the powers that be over there might find the political impetus to do just that. But, ultimately, what the hell is an apology anyway? Who cares? Grow up and stop killing each other in our name.

* Iraq--

I don't even know what to say about Iraq. Some part of me believes that a precipitous American withdrawal from the region will result in the immediate onset of a full-scale war between Sunni and Shi'ite nations. I don't think it will remain confined to Iraq. Iraq has been the faultline for centuries and we've detonated a giant bomb as far down in it as we could plant it.

My sense is that as we debate staying or going, we have no idea of the scope of the wave of destruction that is about to envelop the entire world. It is already in motion and, though the animals are running for high ground, we find ourselves clumping up on the beach, staring off into the distance and wondering if anyone else sees something...funny out there.

* Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Civil Union, Same-Sex Constitutional Ban

I'd like to see government recuse itself altogether from subsidizing marriage and children. No more tax credits. No more state issue licenses. No slogans. No bullshit education campaigns.

A union should be between the human beings who undertake its privileges and difficulties as equals. If people want to involve their family, their church, their community, their sex-club, whatever in that obligation, that's between them.


* Universal Health Care --

"Free, available health care is a basic human right every person is entitled to."

That should be the next amendment to the Constitution. Notice also that if we mandate universal health care, 95% of those arguments about who does or doesn't benefit from marriage evaporate like dust in the wind.

22 July, 2007 20:17  
Blogger ADD said...

I don't mind at all, Rob, and this is exactly the sort of dialog I was hoping to see.

I love the common sense and thoughtfulness of your answers, and if YOU run for President, you have my vote. :-)

23 July, 2007 02:43  
Blogger Roger Green said...

So Alan, when are you running? I'll be a delegate.

23 July, 2007 04:17  
Blogger Tom said...

Here is where I stand on some of the issues:

* Lite Beer -- definitely less filling. I was "tastes great" when I was younger, but I think getting older your perspective changes on things. Plus you can afford non-shitty tasting beer.

* Ian McKellan vs. Christopher Lee as geek idol -- it's pretty even until you get to Saturday Night Live, which they both hosted but Lee did it with the original cast.

* Willie and Lester vs. Waylon and Madam -- whoever wins, America loses. But since I don't know which one is Willie and which one is Lester, I'm going with couple #2.

* Jim Taylor vs. Steve Van Buren -- Taylor was a bit more versatile going inside/outside, but if I needed 4 yards for a first down I'd have to go with Van Buren. Plus in the head to head, Van Buren won.

* Favorite TV show character name -- Salami

* Mr. T vs. Alan Rickman -- Rickman is a better stage actor; he did an amazing turn in Les Liasons Dangereuse in like '85 or so. Mr. T had the better biography, including a story where he jumps out of a third story window in his underwear and chases somebody with a gun. They're both equally good in the Harry Potter films. Tie.

* President Eisenhower vs. Dracula -- Eisenhower used to take the trolley to work, so I'll go with Ike.

* Favorite childhood toy -- Tiny Mighty Mos, coming slightly ahead of "rubber cement" which I used to let dry on my hands and then rub into a little ball.

* Variant covers -- Con, but only because I've never actually seen one. They might be cool, I don't know.

* Favorite Super-villain -- Arcade, the world's least cost-efficient super-villain, and Brian Hibbs (tie)

* Iraq -- That place is a fucking mess. I think if we're humanitarians in any way, shape or form, we should invade.

23 July, 2007 18:57  
Blogger Kira XO said...

i'm proud to have you for a father!

27 July, 2007 02:29  

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