Sunday, August 18, 2013
Just Another Opinion Part II
I'm an advocate of immigration, especially where we have skill shortages. We're a nation of immigrants that represents every country, culture, and faith on the planet. But, I do not support illegal immigration or "amnesty" for those defy and ignore our laws. We need to enforce existing immigration laws; secure the border; and hold employers of illegals criminally responsible, and that includes churches or other groups who hide or aide them. America is a melting pot. That means adding our cultures to the overall tapestry of this nation. Immigrants should not expect us to adapt to their culture, and by the way, we speak English here. Learn it. Use it. Anything paid for by US taxpayers should be in English only. There are plenty of resources, many free, that teaches basic English, which should remain a requirement to becoming a citizen.
I support the 2nd Amendment and right of every individual to protect home and hearth. I support the death penalty, and frankly, I'm more interested in the rights of the victims thank you very much. I believed the appeal process needs to be shorten, and I'm not bothered about whether the condemned feels any "discomfort" or not. It's a damn side more humane than what got them there. I don't think prisons should provide catered meals. Eat what's served or don't (a little "saltpeter" in their meals wouldn't hurt either. It would certainly cut down on the aggressiveness). There should be no air conditioning or absolutely no state of the art weight rooms or gyms. Who wants bigger and stronger inmates?
Prisons should strive to become as self-sufficient as possible, including growing their own vegetables. I favor bringing back chain gangs to do public projects or just pick up trash, and no, I'm not worried much about their "self-esteem". More attention should be given for misdemeanors in the area of rehabilitation. That includes helping them complete their GED, functional skills like reading, writing, and basic math, English language classes, and realistic job training. But it's a onetime deal. Those non-felon who did their full sentences should have their rights restored upon release. Finally, sex offenders. Rapists and especially pedophiles need to be given pink jumpsuits and put into the general population.
We also need to reevaluate our "War on Drugs". We've lost. More attention needs to be spent of prevention, treatment, and going after producers, not the "low hanging fruit". And yes, I think pot should be legalized; taxed it like liquor and packaged and sold like cigarettes. By the way, I think our health care industry needs a more holistic approach. It needs a greater emphasis on preventive care and alternative medicine as it does on treatment. However, government shouldn't step in and dictate what I do. Inform me, yes. Mandate me, no. If I want to eat unhealthy food or smoke, that's my choice. And while I'm at it, smoking in private establishments is up to the owners, not the government. The market place will reward or punish accordingly.
I believed we need terms limits of 12 years. That's 6 two year terms for Congressmen; 2 six year terms for Senators; 3 four year terms for the President. The Citizen's United ruling by the US Supreme Court was wrong. Corporations are not people. They should not have the same (or greater in this case) rights than flesh and blood humans. I believe federal campaigns should not exceed 6 months in duration. Since Primaries are partisan, they should be paid for by their respective party, not taxpayers. Since gerrymandering all but insures incumbents remain in office and prohibits challengers, an independent nonpartisan commission should be responsible for redrawing district lines. Real campaign finance reform would be nice too.
I would like to see ways to encourage voting; be it same day registering/voting, online or telephonic voting with specially issued PINs. The more who come out to vote, the better. However, I have no problem with people producing a picture ID, and no, I don't believe for a moment that it hinders any minority, including seniors.
Newspapers shouldn't endorse candidates. Should other media like NBC, CNN, AOL, or Fox endorse candidates? No. Their job should be to inform objectively about each candidate and let the public draw its own conclusions.
I don't agree with the concept of a "caucus" in politics. Once elected, public officials are no longer represent a political party or race. Their only "special interest" should be you and I. I don't necessarily believe in a small government. I do, however, believe in a responsive and efficient government. Ideally, in bad economic times, government should expand and take up the slack, while in good economic times, it should contract and let the market place do what it does best while maintaining a level playing field.
I believe our invasion of Iraq was wrong, even criminal. Our focus should have remained on those responsible for 9/11. We need to maintain a strong and effective military. Too often we have stuck our noses into the affairs of other countries, usually as the behest of powerful corporate interests. That needs to stop. I support foreign aid, but only if the aid goes to the people and not into the hands of corrupt government officials. We need to get out of the "nation building" business. We need to reduce our financial support to the United Nations.
So, to summarized, I believe in maximizing individual freedoms and responsibilities. I don't believe that, left on its own, business will necessary protect the public's best interest. It's responsibility and loyalty is to its shareholders. Therefore, while it should encourage to do what it does best, it should be monitored. I believe we should minimized our presence in the affairs of other nations. Not everyone wants to be "Americans". I believe we need to be forward and long term in our thinking and planning. I believe political correctness has gone too far and has diluted our self-concept of what it is to be an American. I think we need to accept people for who they are, and not what we think they should be. I believe government should answer to us, not corporations.
Part 1 starts here