Monday, October 15, 2007

JMO - I am but one vote

But it's my vote. I'm not a typical party-line voter. I'm not an issue voter either, but like everyone, I have my views and interests on each issue, some far liberal, some almost libertarian, and some very conservative. They're not right or wrong, just mine, based on my experience, understanding, knowledge and perspective. So I don't listen to what someone says this or that group says or views an issue. Or about a candidate.

I view candidates in the whole, not just their views, but their experience and history. This means I'm not sold on something in a campaign speech or in a debate. And I judge them often for the lessor of evils, meaning what's least to like about them, their views or their history. It's the balance of the whole person, what I think I like and agree with and what I think our nation should have as representative or leader.

And this will put me at odds with even some candidates I agree with their views. Why? Because I won't vote for an asshole, even if I agree with them. It's also about their personal values and their character. It's why in 2000 I wanted to see John McCain and Bill Bradley with the nominations. That would have been a great campaign to hear the debates, and a tough one to decide, but I would likely side with Bill for his views on war.

And with issues, I'm not much different. Except that on some I will take a radical stand. Really? Yes, and those are?

For one, abortion. I won't compromise that it's a decision between a woman and her physician. Period. She should have all the choices to make the best decision for her life, health and family. But it's not anyone elses' right to restrict her choices or make them for her. Not the father, family, or total strangers who think they have a religious view to do so. I won't back down or compromise.

For another, guns. I'm for gun registration and license. If you list your guns for insurance why not to the police so they know if something should happen. I'm for the ATF andFBI to have the power to do its job in enforcing the laws with dealers, owners, criminals, and anyone having a firearm. We have more guns than people in the US and it's time we did something to stem the tide of violence.

I don't believe the Constitution guarrantees the right to own guns, just the right to have them under certain condiitions within the law(s). We need some reason with guns, from the production through the sale and to the ownership and use. And yes, I'm had and used guns through my life, including my military service, so I'm not coming from nowhere. There's a place for them in our society, but it has to be managed to protect people.

And that's the overriding issue with guns. It's not about guns, but about the violence and deaths from them when there are too many and too easy to get, own and use. It's about the right of people to feel free from violence and free of fear of being killed.

For another, civil liberties and rights. It's time to restore those and get back our privacy from government and corporate invasion into our privacy, along with their obtaining, compiling and selling information about us. We have rights to know who knows what and rights to ensure it right and we can change it. That's not hard to respect, and fair to do.

For another, freedom. We don't need all the internal security, like airlines and airports with individuals. We didn't need it before 9/11 and we don't need it now. We need to focus on the few who are the terrorists than the citizens making them guility for just being citizens. We're not a fear society but a freedom society. Let's restore that.

For another, environmental protection. I'm a 1970's activist here. The more the better. And even more wilderness with more restrictions to people. Let's leave some lands without access for the future. And let's leave the Artic to the Artic, not oil. There's not enough there to supply the US for more than a few months, so it's not worth the generations of damage for that.

We need to rebuild our entire water/sewer infrastructure, much of it built over a hundred years ago, and we need to build more and better facilities. There is no reason to run out of water, it's a renewable and reuseable resource, so we should and must work to that goal. Enough clean water for people and the environment.

We need to protect the air and work toward a pollution free environment. It's doable with all the technology and even politically viable if promoted right so everyone wins. But it's something we need do to for ourselves, the world and this planet. We can't live long without doing it and it gets bigger and more expensive every year.

For another, land. I'm for land management, and not the individual's right to do anything with their land. We're all neighbors, so let's find concensus to know we won't ruin each other's land or rights. And it's not just a local issue. National, meaning federally owned, lands are ours as a nation, not for individuals or corporations. It should be managed for all of us and if leased or used, paid by the user, but not damaged or reduced in value.

For another, marriage. There's a simple solution. All other requirements the same, people should have equal rights and protections to marry. It's not that hard and it won't destroy anything. It's build communities and people. It's about people, all of us.

For another, the campaign. It should be 3 months for the nominations and 3 months for the Presidential campaign. That's it, and restrict the money to federally provided money with individual donors but not lobbyist or special interests groups. Let's bring back a real campaign than a marketing tool.

For another, health care. I'm for it for everyone, and if necessary some balance between Federal and State programs and Corporations. But I'm for federal guidelines for minimal care within some reasonable costs. And more importantly I'm for tackling the real problem with health care, costs, especially for profit hospitals, HMO's, drug companies, and so on. It's about the health of the nation and its people.

For another, education. I'm not for No Child Left Behind. It was a ruse for privatization with federal money. Let understand our future is our children and their education is the most important thing after their health. So costs are relative but let's not scrimp because it's "too much" when we'll pay down the road in other costs. Let's support schools, teachers and kids. It's an investment in our future.

For another, the death penalty. It's not a reason to deter crime, it simply doesn't do that. But it is to ensure that if you commit a vicious or extremely violent act, the people have the right to take yours. We need assurances in the trial and appeals, but once done to establish wihtout a doubt the guilt of the person(s), then the death penality is, in my view, fair and reasonable. It's only more expensive than a life term because of the legal system. Fix that.

For another, government. Having spent a career on it, I can say it is the best way to run a nation. Not contractors or out-sourcing. The studies have shown government workers are equally if not more efficient and productive, and more cost-effective. And you get employee, individual and government responsibility. I'm against bloated government but that's rarely the case - mostly only for political appointees and their staff.

For another, taxes. I'm for fair taxes. People pay for what they expect from government. Everyone pays their fair share, and if it means more to corporations and rich people, so be it. They got their weath from working people. It's about supporting the nation and all its people. I've never refused to pay mine. And while I'm angry at the mis-management of money by Congress, I'm rarely mad at government agencies. They're doing what Congress wrote into their appropriations.

For another, military. And yes, I served my country during the Vietnam-era. I'm for less military and more efficient for the new types of wars. We don't need to be the largest and most expensive military in the world and spending more than many of the next nations combined. We need to focus on a military that protects us than is the bully in the world.

There are other issues, but I'll address those as I think of them and update this post. And remember it's just my view and vote.

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