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Politcal Views

 
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 07:45 pm
CdK you know I suppose its a matter of environment, my first gun was a 22, a present from my grandfather at age 12, The only gun I own now is a 30-30 winchester I haven't fired in at least 15 years. I am not a gun nut so I guess it's just a sense of tradition with me.(I wish I still had my '48 Packard I drove in high school) btw the las time I fired the 30-30 was way over the head of a puma stalking a new-born calf in my barn, I later found the same puma in my garage and quickly called animal control to catch and release him back in the hills cause I truely love wildlife.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 08:05 pm
running on at the mouth, I notice I get equal flak from the left and the right--I am not a centrist so what could that possible mean?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 08:28 pm
dyslexia wrote:
CdK you know I suppose its a matter of environment, my first gun was a 22, a present from my grandfather at age 12, The only gun I own now is a 30-30 winchester I haven't fired in at least 15 years. I am not a gun nut so I guess it's just a sense of tradition with me.


Dunno. Lots of the pro-gun positions of Americans would be at least incongruous in other places. But you said you were an expat a lot.

Sometimes I think the pro-gun position is more about tradition and culture than just the issue.

I grew up without guns (couldn't even make one with my fingers without being punished) but always had a fascination. Not just guns but bows and arrows and sling shots as well.

Quote:
I notice I get equal flak from the left and the right--I am not a centrist so what could that possible mean?


Hellifino, but I do note that in some ways the issues on this thread would put me to the left of you.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 09:17 pm
Abortion
Pro - because of the havoc wreaked if it is not available.

Welfare
Has to be there - and to be good - needs to be lots of help for people to try and get off it, too. (Sadly, just for interest's sake, research on Oz unemployed folk suggests that the folk being educated and trained to within an inch of their lives to get off benefits, do worse than those left alone! Haven't heard critique of this yet - so I do wonder if they pick the longest-term folk for the programs...still, it is easy to THINK you are helping, when applying social policy, and find you are not...)

Gun Control
Yes - and strong.

Foreign Policy (briefly)
Not to follow US policy so slavishly as we are doing at present!!!!!!!!!!!

To be much more open to refugees.

We are so small and insignificant, that ours hardly matters, except regionally - but I do like it that we are responding to regional requests for help - like the Solomon Islands - that we (finally!) - supported the people of East Timor - we did play quite a big peace role, under the previous foreign minister - eg in working out peace in Cambodia - but our policy then was way too subservient to Indonesia.

As a small power globally, but big regionally, I would like us to be a focussing a lot of our aid and assistance locally - while not neglecting world needs.

I agree that we maintain strong bonds with the US - but we need to be way more independent - as New Zealand is.

This IS a hard topic to keep little! I will shut up.

Education
Critical importance. Needs more resources for kids at risk educationally - including early intervention programs in infant mental health. Needs more resources for maths and science teaching - and for the Oz government to get back into funding research and development - we are falling way behind in these areas - and losing lots of folk OS. etc etc

Death Penalty
Absolutely not.

Environmental Policy
I am medium green - I believe it is of great importance and should be high on the political agenda - but I recognize the difficulties for governments in balancing different areas - and for third world countries in particular (who should be given assistance re such things by first world countries, since we want them not to do lots of the awful things we did to the environment in order to get rich.) Be interested in hearing more from Craven re the bad science he speaks of later.
Terrorism
It's here in the first world at last - gotta deal with it. (It was here before for some first world countries - but you know what I mean)

I would like to see us doing more to try to stem the causes - where we can - like the pressure the US is putting on in the Middle East with Israel and Palestine - but would be happier if you folk had a leadership team I had more faith in!

Military Spending

Well, we need a military - I am no expert in what we need, exactly. I wish we wouldn't go to places like Iraq, which cost a lot, though. Of course, that is, to some extent, the price we pay for YOUR military - we hope.

Drugs
Decriminalize for users. Decriminalize some (eg marijuana) completely.

Homosexual marriages

Of course, whatever they want. No difference. Why shouldn't they be miserable, too? Just kiddin'.
0 Replies
 
Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 11:25 pm
Abortion- personally opposed. As a matter of public policy, for choice.

Welfare- a safety net to prevent starvation and homelessness is a national social obligation. Workfare, job training, and educational opportunities need to be part of the process.

Gun Control- the right to own a gun is of paramount importance to a lot of Americans. The number of guns in this country are a sign of how far away from an ideal society this nation is. I support the right to own guns, but I am disappointed that this is the only constitutional issue that many Americans care about. I only hope the day will come when they devote as much energy to issues of greater significance. I'm not holding my breath.

Foreign Policy (briefly)- the government should support democracy movements, human rights, the protection and wise use of the world's natural resources, and the concept of the United Nations. We have thrived for 200 years by not becoming an empire. We don't need to become an empire now.

Education- funding should be divorced from local property taxes and local control. That a school board can ban the teaching of evolution on religious grounds is appalling. That poor districts cannot provide the same opportunities for children as wealthy areas is unconscionable. Vouchers, and anything else that detracts from the mission of providing equal educational opportunities for every child, and not just the child whose parents are concerned or wealthy, is wrong.

Death Penalty- opposed. If taking human life is against our philosophy, governments need to demonstrate their belief in the principle by not doing it.

Environmental Policy- resources must be managed. Irreplaceable resources must be preserved. Private industry's track record in the area of responsible management is so abysmal corporations should have no further say in the matter.

Terrorism- terrorist activity must never be rewarded. However, the root causes of terrorism -religious and ethnic fervor, economic and social injustice, and hatred- must be combatted on all levels. The true battle is for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised, before they become terrorists.

Military Spending- a necessary evil.

Drugs- like guns, something I personally have no use for. But legalization would drive down prices, and reduce the power of the dealers and the cartels. The money saved from policing the "criminal" users should be funnelled into treatment programs for people who wish to control their addictions. Prosecution should be reserved for those whose drug use harms the innocent (minors and crime and accident victims).

Homosexual marriages- no objections whatsoever. A legal reform that is long overdue.
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 12:15 am
Hmm... the people here aren't as liberal as I thought.

Abortion: Fedral said it best "I think its wrong. But personal freedoms are paramount, so I have no right to keep you from access to one."

Welfare: I believe the state has a responsiblity to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, and care for the health of its citizens. Even the laziest of bums. They can attach all the conditions they want as long as we don't have Americans starving on the streets.

Gun Control: As long as police have guns I believe private citizens should be able to own them too. If they want to ban all guns, ban them from the police too. Otherwise I'm for very strict laws. But concealed weapons bans makes no sense to me.

Foreign Policy (briefly): Ends sanctions on Cuba, talk with the North Koreans, apply more pressure on Isreal, and redo this whole broken UN security council system. France with veto power?!

Education: I hate to admit it but I think Bush had the right general idea. It was just a poor implementation. The system needs more accountability not money.

Death Penalty: Could not be more opposed.

Environmental Policy: Yeah go ahead and try to save it as long as I can drive my gas-guzzler and have enough parking spaces.

Terrorism: Like the war on drugs it can't be won with force. The underlying problems have to be addressed.

Military Spending: Keep it at a minimal to ensure military supremecy.

Homosexual marriages: For civil unions. Against marriage.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 07:58 am
dyslexia wrote:
running on at the mouth, I notice I get equal flak from the left and the right--I am not a centrist so what could that possible mean?


Not sure what you mean here, Dys, but I identify with it so much, I had to comment.

In my case, I get lots of flak from the left and right -- and also am not a centrist. I like to put it this way:

On a continuum with 1 being extremely to the left and 10 being extremely to the right -- I can normally be found at position "P."
0 Replies
 
Evince
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 08:54 am
Abortion: Should only be used when absolutely necessary.

Welfare: I also believe this should have a specified time period. You shouldn't live your whole life on Welfare. Is it really that hard to get a job?

Gun Control: I think that a background check should be use. Maybe all high-profile weaponry purchases should be put into a database? Just a thought.

Foreign Policy (briefly): If the other country(s) want our help, we should help them. If they don't want us there, leave them alone and let them deal with it.

Education: I don't believe you can really put the government at fault for some education problems, when a lot of that responsibility falls on the parents. A better school isn't going to "lure" an unwilling child back to school, especially if their parent(s) doesn't care one way or another.

Death Penalty: Only in extreme cases, when keeping the individual alive is a risk to many people.

Environmental Policy: Yes, we should be more conscious about the effect we are having on our environment, but the truth of the matter is that if our technology keeps advancing as it is, more resources will be lost, but also others will be gained.

Terrorism: Erm, against terrorism? Haha. Again, not much else can be done about it, it is going to happen, and unless there is some great equilibrum that can be reached on all differences between people, I don't see it going away any time soon.

Military Spending: Here's a plan, lets have the military protect our country with absolutely no funding!

Drugs: They're already illegal, what else can you do? Drugs are very readily available, and will continue to be.

Homosexual marriages: All for. It's really a non-issue for me, two consenting adults should be able to marry.
0 Replies
 
CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 01:36 am
Big props to everyone who responded. Thanks for a truly fascinating read.
Keep em coming.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 02:16 am
ABORTION: as somebody has already said, it's not my business, not the government's business.

WELFARE: There will always be some who need welfare and they should get it, based on their needs and physical health, with time limits for some, but not necessarily all.

GUN CONTROL: Pro

FOREIGN POLICY: the opposite of Bush.

EDUCATION: I favor support of public schools as the best alternative (special classes or schools for some), no vouchers, no religious monetary support.

DEATH PENALTY: I have always favored the death penalty, but am wavering, seeing how the courts are easily manipulated and the poor get less consideration than the rich.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY: We are not trying very hard to protect the Earth.

TERRORISM: We have to get to the source of terrorism and defuse the root causes. Blindly striking out with the full military will always have mixed results - creates more terrorists/creates more situations of massive retaliation.

MILITARY SPENDING: The military takes too much of the budget.

DRUGS: I find their use repugnant, but I also believe the war on drugs is a farce. Too many in prison for use, not enough treatment, corrupt antidrug policy. (The government lets some get away with it, but not others).

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE: If they are partners they should have some marriage rights. I don't know how far it should go.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 02:16 am
ABORTION: as somebody has already said, it's not my business, not the government's business.

WELFARE: There will always be some who need welfare and they should get it, based on their needs and physical health, with time limits for some, but not necessarily all.

GUN CONTROL: Pro

FOREIGN POLICY: the opposite of Bush.

EDUCATION: I favor support of public schools as the best alternative (special classes or schools for some), no vouchers, no religious monetary support.

DEATH PENALTY: I have always favored the death penalty, but am wavering, seeing how the courts are easily manipulated and the poor get less consideration than the rich.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY: We are not trying very hard to protect the Earth.

TERRORISM: We have to get to the source of terrorism and defuse the root causes. Blindly striking out with the full military will always have mixed results - creates more terrorists/creates more situations of massive retaliation.

MILITARY SPENDING: The military takes too much of the budget.

DRUGS: I find their use repugnant, but I also believe the war on drugs is a farce. Too many in prison for use, not enough treatment, corrupt antidrug policy. (The government lets some get away with it, but not others).

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE: If they are partners they should have some marriage rights. I don't know how far it should go.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 03:54 am
Abortion- Every woman should consider the Pro-Life argument before making her decision. (Also see Phoenix's answer).

Welfare- Should be used sparingly and only when Workfare is impractical.

Gun Control- The criminals shouldn't be the only ones with guns. 3 day law is sufficient. Besides, they are our last line of defense against enemies and possibly our own government at some point in the future.

Foreign Policy (briefly)- Iron clad policy to systematically rid the world of state-condoned human rights violators with preferred trade status for non-violators. Parallel import/export tax laws with all countries enforced.

Education-Lower- Total overhaul: Eliminate most of the school board bureaucracy. Learn at your own pace and test out of grade levels on a computer. In all possible subjects; self teach, or form your own study groups, with teachers there for questions on an individual basis. Gifted students can earn college tuition in exchange for assistance. Separate students based on behavior.
Education-Higher- Guaranteed student loans for everyone. Automatic 10% wage garnishment until paid.

Death Penalty- If you don't kill the bastards, how are they going to learn? Trial begins 90 days after charges filed. Appeal begins 90 days after Trial is over. Final appeal begins 90 days after first appeal is over, in front of a jury made up of Military Personnel in their 15th year of service. Execution is carried out on the one year anniversary or the following day (whichever is later). 1% of proceeds from pay-per-view go to the guilty person's choice of beneficiaries, if he agrees to have it televised.

Environmental Policy- Impose escalating taxes on fossil fuels at a rate so that 10 years from now it's cheaper to use green energy. Tax breaks for individuals who use renewable energy. Increase penalties for violations, at least, to the point where it isn't cost effective for violators to violate.

Terrorism- No quarter! Provable collusion/membership = party to the crime = Execution. Amnesty for cooperative whistle blowers, but only if they were never actively involved. If you belong to group xxxxx and xxxxx commits an act of terrorism, you better turn yourself in to the authorities, cooperate, or you will be considered collusive.

Military Spending- Open bidding on every job. All competent companies allowed to bid. That should make our current budget more than sufficient, butÂ… spend as much as it takes.

Drugs- Doctors are dealers. Legalize everything for all adults. Harsh penalties for sales to minors. Use, is no excuse in courts of law. This government was never intended to protect me from me. Use excess law enforcement to crack down on violent crime (including domestic).

Homosexual marriages- Mind our own damn business.

I will be happy to expand on, or debate the merits of any of these positions if requested. Send me a PM if you'd like to because I think we should begin a new thread out of respect to CerealKiller.
Great idea Cereal Killer. I'll bet this thread becomes a point of refference to many on A2K. I know I'll be keeping track of it. Thanks.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 06:54 am
Bill is right.

I have already decided to keep this thread marked for future reference.

Jeez, I hope that doesn't inhibit anyone!
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 03:13 pm
Just had a thought about welfare: I wonder if the problem really isn't with the people at the top of the economic heap rather than with those at the bottom. As a member of the working poor, I think the captains of industry could loosen up a little, stop eliminating jobs and forget about age discrimination and allow more people to share jobs requiring some intellection. I personally would rather flirt with the poverty level as a part-time teacher or editor than as a substitute teacher and sales clerk.
0 Replies
 
CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 01:30 am
Bump. Would like to hear more from any newcomers or anyone who hasn't been heard and wants to be.
0 Replies
 
agrote
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 04:09 am
I haven't developed views about everything on the list, but on these I have...

Abortion - pro-choice

Gun Control - pro-slowly getting rid of them all

Death Penalty - never an appropriate sentence, never has been and never will be

Terrorism - terrorism agaisnt the western world is an indirect result of the west being selfish and rich

Military Spending - should be kept to a minimum

Drugs - nobody should be punished for using/possessing drugs, addicts should be rehabilitated rather than imprisoned, alcohol should be treated as another drug with its own share of dangers

Homosexual marriages - I don't see what's wrong with them
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 04:36 am
Re: Politcal Views
Abortion: Generally pro-choice, but I'd prefer to have some restrictions on third trimester abortions.

Welfare: I think there should be a basic public safety net, with the emphasis on basic. The idea is to protect against catastrophes, but everything beyond that is up to the individual. To that end, I'd like to see the earned income tax credit expanded. I'm against the minimum wage because I believe it creates unemployment among lowly qualified workers. At the very least I don't want it to be raised. In general, I prefer cash payments over patronizing non-cash payments like food stamps etc, so I think it was a good idea of Bill Clinton to "abolish welfare as we know it."

Gun Control: As a matter of policy, I believe the 2nd amendment is an anachronism. As a constitutional matter, I think the 2nd amendment does protect an individual right, and no creative re-interpretation can change that. The proper response is to amend the constitution to curb or abolish the 2nd amendment, not to pretend that a text doesn't say what its authors understood it to be saying.

Foreign Policy (briefly): Hands off.

Education: Voucherize the school system, have the vouchers cover the entire cost of educating the child. That way every child gets sufficient funds for its education, and control over the fund passes to those who are in the best position to judge the quality of a school: the parents.

Death Penalty: I'm against it

Environmental Policy: Don't ratify Kyoto, because global warming is an overhyped problem. Do raise the gasoline tax to discourage air pollution and reduce oil dependency. To discourage pollution, I generally prefer cap-and-trade or effluent taxes over detailed engineering regulations or minimum gas mileage standards.

Terrorism: grossly overhyped as a threat to Americans. The major killers of Americans are other Americans (through careless driving and shooting). Preventable diseases like lung cancer and type 2 diabetes are also much greater threats to American lives than Saudi terrorists.

Military Spending: Freeze at 2000 levels. The war on Iraq was a tragic mistake.

Drugs: Legalize them.

Homosexual marriages: I'm for them.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 06:26 am
Re: Politcal Views
Thomas wrote:
...In general, I prefer cash payments over patronizing non-cash payments like food staps etc, so I think it was a good idea of Bill Clinton to "abolish welfare as we know it."


It wasn't Bill Clinton's idea - the phrase was his, but that's all. It was a Republican issue and the main impetus was in the Republican controlled Congress. Clinton merely (albeit cleverly) made a virtue of necessity.

Quote:
Education: Voucherize the school system, have the vouchers cover the entire cost of educating the child. That way every child gets sufficient funds for its education, and control over the fund passes to those who are in a best position to judge the quality of a school: the parents.


Fully agree.

Quote:
Terrorism: grossly overhyped as a threat to Americans. The major killers of Americans are other Americans (through careless driving and shooting). Preventable diseases like lung cancer and type 2 diabetes are also much greater threats to American lives than Saudi terrorists.


The mortality data is correct but you are evading the point. Both America and Europe are indeed faced with a serious threat from the radical Islamists emerging from a very unstable Moslem world, badly in need of political and exconomic reform, but so far mostly unable to deal with its own backwardness.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 06:44 am
Abortion -- Should remain legal and safe

Welfare -- Should not be permanent

Gun Control -- Where needed. If you live in the woods you need guns.

Foreign Policy (briefly) -- Lead by example, not by force. Abide by international treaties. Do not be fair weather friends. Respect human rights at home and abroad.

Education -- A moral and economic imperative. Needs major reform. Should be free for all.

Death Penalty -- Against, but not firmly. Studies have shown that death sentences with automatic appeals cost taxpayers more than life sentences.

Environmental Policy -- Abide by international treaties. Encourage business through tax incentives to do the right thing regarding pollution and land use.

Terrorism -- A symptom of a larger problem. We need to attack it with more than just military force.

Military Spending -- While we need a national defense, it seems that the current 40% of our budget we are spending on defense has made our economy dependent on war.

Drugs -- Legalize

Homosexual marriages -- Pro marriage
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 07:43 am
Re: Politcal Views
georgeob1 wrote:
It wasn't Bill Clinton's idea - the phrase was his, but that's all. It was a Republican issue and the main impetus was in the Republican controlled Congress. Clinton merely (albeit cleverly) made a virtue of necessity.

Point taken. Thanks!

georgeob1 wrote:
The mortality data is correct but you are evading the point. Both America and Europe are indeed faced with a serious threat from the radical Islamists emerging from a very unstable Moslem world, badly in need of political and exconomic reform, but so far mostly unable to deal with its own backwardness.

In this case, we probably disagree on what the point is. In my opinion, the point is about setting priorities. As serious threats go, gun and car accidents threaten more Amerians than islamist terrorism. Everybody in their right mind thinks that civil liberties take precedence over preventing car and gun accidents; preventing these accidents neither merit curbs on civil rights such as the PATRIOT act, nor the bending of international law as practiced in Guantanamo Bay, nor war. And since we're talking about bigger threats than islamic terrorism here, I think these measures aren't justified in the war on terror either. (Edit: I do think the war on Afghanistan was justified, as one can reasonably argue that Afghanistan attacked America on 9/11, using an irregular army.)

Concerning what you think the point is, I agree about the backwardness of (some) Islamic nations, but I disagree that the United States' should -- or even can -- push them forward against their will. This is something the Arabians and Iranians have to figure out for themselves. And the examples of Turkey, Indonesia, Bahrein, Quatar, and the United Arab Emirates look encouraging enough to me to take a hands-off approach.
0 Replies
 
 

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