Thursday, January 3, 2008

JMO - Dear Candidates

Dear Presidential candidates.

So I don't have to listen to the diluge of political rhetoric and stump speeches written to sell yourself to voters - I'm already tired of the campaign and there still another ten months to go - I'll give you my views on the issues. And if you are so generous and like some, or even many, then I'll listen to you sometime in the fall of 2008 if you win your party's nomination. Otherwise, I'll save my ears and you can save your breath. Fair?

So here goes. My views on the issues, in no particular order, just as I think of them.

One, Iraq. I've already written why we should end this war. It's about the soldiers and troops. Nothing more and nothing less. We've exhausted our soldiers in an endless unwinnable war of attritution. If we don't leave in 2-3 years, we'll be there another 2-3 decades. Americans want a plan to resolve Iraq and come home. It's their country and nation, not our territory for oil or global power.

Anything less and you don't get my vote. It's very simple. I'm a veteran and know it's time to bring them home.

Two, Social Security. Leave it alone except to tinker with the income for contributing. It's solvent for 30 years and longer is if you add people and raise the contribution. Do NOT reduce benefits in any form or manner. I will fight you tooth and nail as a citizen and voter of this. Ok?

Three, EPA. Please return this agency to the real purpose and mission, protecting the American environment and people, and not corporations. Stop polluters. Clean up waste site. Enforce current laws with (more) staff and lawsuits. If we don't, we lose.

Four, education. Kill the No Child Left Behind Act and restore local education quality with tearchers, resources, schools, and whatever else it takes. It's about America's future, our children. How hard is that to know and believe in?

Five, people. Support equal rights and protections for all Americans. No discrimination allowed. I don't care about their sexual orientation, gender identity, human expression, or whatever. We're all Americans. That means in marriage, hate crimes, workplace, and so on. It's about all of us.

Six, civil rights. Undo the Patriot Acts and restore civil rights and liberties to Americans. We're not the enemy! Make the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use the tools they had. They failed in 9/11 because of human communication, not techology or laws. They didn't need the Patriot Act then and we don't need it now.

This means prohibiting warrentless searches and wiretaps on American citizens wherever they are without a court order, even it's a FISA court. No massive indiscriminate Internet traffic surveillence programs on American citizens. Give us our privacy in our daily lives.

Seven, torture in Gitmo. What don't you understand about the Geneva Convention we signed? That's all you need to know. Follow it. Shut down Gitmo and give the land back to Cuba. If you have a terrorist, try federal court with real, honest evidence, not false evidence obtained by inhumane torture. Be a world standard for the rights and treatment of prisoners.

This is about America and our global reputation. Restore our global leadership, integrity and ethics.

Eight, immigrants. It's simple, legal is legal and illegal is illegal. What don't you get about that? Solve the problem of the latter without amnesty programs or putting them at the head of the line from their country. This country had and still has a front door into legal immigration. Demand everyone go through it.

And by the way, pay all the states the money you owe them for the cost of the problems they've encountered taking care of the illegal immigrants the federal government is supposed to do or pay for. Write the damn checks.

Nine, abortion. It's simple to me, as I've explained. It the right of a woman and mother to the full range of choices about herself and the life of her fetus/baby. It's her right and our government's to ensure access. It's also a decision made solely by the mother and her doctor. No one else!

Ten, government. Restore the prestige of government workers. I spent 4 years i the Air Force and 27-plus years in the Department of Interior. Government workers are the best. Support them.

Eleven, federal lands. What don't you understand about land in the public interest? It's our land, the people's, so manage it accordingly, not for private profit.

Twelve, China. Can we find an answer to them taking jobs, products, and seemingly everything else we have to not just save but restore American jobs. If all of many of our products come from China, where's the global advantage for us except shipping money and jobs there?

I would like to hear some longterm ideas to deal with them on a global scale for jobs, their environmental problems, their lack of human rights there and countries they trade with (we do too), their government owned corporations disguised as capitalism, and on and on. I want a policy that helps America and Americans.

Thirteen, taxes. What are you allowing corporations to get away with almost no taxes on incomes? Most of government is paid by the lower and middle classes. Can't we get some fairness here?

Fourteen, American workers. It's about fair wages which can suport a family. It's not about cheap illegal immigrant wages taking good jobs. It's about affordable health care. It's about affordable housing. It's about living. You would know that if you weren't so damned rich above it all with all your money and financial supporters. Get real!

Ok, that's it for now. I add or modify my issues as time goes by. If I have to listen to you, you can listen to me. If not, and you only want my vote, then there is a plethora of street slang I could recite along with a lot of text message acronyms. Get the picture? Pay attention to the people, as people, not votes.

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