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Thread: Politics questionnaire (specific to Americans, but anyone can weigh in)

  1. #41
    Senior Member Array INTJMom's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    France also has difficulties moving the spent uranium somewhere else.

    Should nuclear power be totally safe, there is still nowhere to store its waste. In the US there Yucca mountain in nevada, but the costs are tremendous (hasnt even opened!), and while many reactors are "temporarily" storing their spent fuel at the power plants, Yucca mountain would be full in its second year of accepting waste.
    Thank you.
    That's my point.
    Wind and solar doesn't impact the environment so harshly.

  2. #42
    almost half a doctor Array phoenix13's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by G-Virus View Post
    Where do you personally stand on the following? All the topics were left purposefully vague for you to feel comfortable on elaborating your own personal opinion with as much detail as you like, and whether you would apply it to yourself only or to others also.

    1. The 2nd amendment.
    2. Gay marriage
    3. Abortion
    4. Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
    5. Foreign policy
    6. The war on terror
    7. The War in Iraq
    8. Corporate tax cuts
    9. The financial market bailout
    10. Middle class tax cuts
    11. Social Security benefits
    12. Public health benifits like a two tier system or other ideas
    13. Welfare Benefits
    14. Funding for higher education
    15. Funding for K-12 education
    16. Programs for children like public pre-K and Head-Start.
    17. Energy, from solar cells, drill baby drill, to nuclear plants, etc . . .
    18. Any other topic you would like to chime in about that better clarifies your own personal/political stance.
    1. No opinion
    2. Should be legal. I don't understand why anyone cares enough to outlaw it. Religious conviction should not be imposed on others.
    3. This is a hard one. The key is determining when life begins... at what point would you consider killing the baby/foetus/whatever "murder". I can't answer this... people should just do everything they can to prevent such a decision. Passing out condoms in school and sex education would be helplful.
    4. Should be legal. Outlawing alcohol didn't work the last time we tried...
    5. I'm not an expert here. Our foreign policy as it now stands seems to not be working... anywhere.
    6. It's vague, absurd, and not accompanied by a military policy (like containment). It seems worthless outside of propaganda.
    7. I didn't understand why we were going when this whole thing began, and I still don't understand why we went. Naturally, I'd like Americans to stop dying, and I wish we never went in in the first place, but when it comes to how and when it's best to pull out, I simply don't know.
    8,9,10,etc. I'll fill these out later... maybe.


  3. #43
    Senior Member Array Lateralus's Avatar
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    May 2007


    The 2nd amendment.
    Ideally, guns wouldn't exist, but that cat is out of the bag. Prohibiting ownership only prohibits ownership by lawful citizens. Criminals will still find a way to get their hands on weapons, regardless of the law.

    Gay marriage
    The government shouldn't be involved in marriage, gay or straight.

    I'm personally against it, but don't believe the government should outlaw it. The decision is economic more than anything else. Children are economic liabilities, not assets.

    Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
    All of these substances should be legalized. I'm not against some regulation.

    Foreign policy
    I prefer non-interventionism to playing the part of the world's policeman.

    The war on terror
    Absurd. You can't execute a war against an idea.

    The War in Iraq
    I have never supported this war, but an immediate withdrawal would be a waste of resources, at this point. We've already invested so much and success is in sight. Further investment offers a much better return than previous investment.

    Corporate tax cuts
    US corporate tax rates are pretty high. I support a corporate tax cut. I wouldn't necessarily be against a graduated corporate tax rate.

    The financial market bailout
    Stupid. The bailouts only delay (and sometimes intensify) the inevitable.

    Middle class tax cuts
    Class warfare is a political strategy that does nothing to improve anyone's life (except politicians).

    Social Security benefits
    I expect a 0% ROI. It's a waste of money.

    Public health benefits like a two tier system or other ideas
    This is the wrong direction to go. Only catastrophic insurance actually works. General health insurance introduces inefficiencies because entities (doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc) never see a reduction in profit when they raise their prices. Instead, consumers just see an increase in premiums and get mad at the "greedy" insurance companies. This disconnect is one of the primary causes of the spiraling health care costs in the US.

    Welfare Benefits
    I don't believe this is the responsibility of the government.

    Funding for higher education
    No one can argue that higher education isn't important, but the immense amount of money in the system (due to cheap federal loans) has caused prices to rise much faster than inflation. Federal student loan qualifications should be much more strict.

    Funding for K-12 education
    Primary education is important, but parents need a lot more choice. Right now, the system is a dictatorship. Parents and their children are at the mercy of teachers and government.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #44
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2007


    2nd amendment: support

    gay marriage: support, but I don't think the courts should be involved

    abortion: against

    alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs: I hate smoking bans (despite no longer being a regular smoker), I love alcohol, and I support the legalization of marijuana and other soft drugs. I am reluctantly opposed to the legalization of hard drugs; I do not think our current society and culture could handle it.

    foreign policy: the preservation of American sovereignty is paramount; hell no to the ICC and other intrusive international treaties-the President/Senate does NOT have the authority to amend the constitution through international treaties, and such treaties are not "living documents" subject to the ever-changing whims of UN bodies-signing statements apply internationally (but not domestically). Multi-lateralism when possible, unilateralism only when the probable costs of inaction greatly exceed the probable costs of unilateral action. I think a large military is necessary, but the current budget is too high.

    The war on terror: too many disparate aspects to give a unified opinion, mention a policy and I'll tell you if I support it.

    The War in Iraq: reckless and irresponsible, but not immoral. The damage is already sunk costs, and I think a premature withdrawal would not be a good idea.

    Corporate tax cuts: support, our corporate tax rate is much too high, hurting our ability to compete with other high-productivity economies.

    financial market bailout: undecided, too many factors at work in which I do not adequately understand.

    Middle-class tax cuts: generally support, but probably not a good idea right now (income taxes have a different affect on the economy and immediate government revenues than other forms of taxation).

    Social Security benefits: Social Security was never intended as a welfare policy-no new payroll taxes on those earning 102K+ a year.

    I have things to do now, I'd just like to add that the tenth Amendment was supposed to limit the federal government, and the commerce clause was never intended to be all-encompassing. That is all for now.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Array Eileen's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Funding for K-12 education
    Primary education is important, but parents need a lot more choice. Right now, the system is a dictatorship. Parents and their children are at the mercy of teachers and government.
    Teachers are really at the mercy of the government.

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Array bluebell's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I'm liberal - my views are mainstream among my friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

    The 2nd amendment.
    What Falcarius said: "Against. I am glad I live a country with some of the strictest gun laws. I don't know about everyone else but I find the thought of people having access to guns apprehensive, and I will even include the security services guarding high risk buildings (Airport and landmarks for example)."

    I believe that police and the defence forces should have guns, and perhaps some farmers need shotguns (for killing wild animals or humane killing of farm animals that are suffering). But that's about it.

    Gay marriage
    I support it - same rights obligations as hetero couples. Also, I think non-married gay couples in LTRs should have the same rights as hetero defacto couples have in my country.

    I liked Kelric's paraphrased quote from Bill Clinton: "Abortions should be safe, legal, and as rare as possible".

    Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
    I'd like to see tobacco eventually phased out (even though I smoke a bit). Alcohol in moderation. I don't have rigid opinions about other drugs other than I think it's important to minimise harm by providing services like needle exchange programs (to keep people alive and healthy until if/when they decide to give up drugs) and for ambulance officers to not be obliged to report drug overdoses to the police (again, to keep people alive).

    Foreign policy
    I don't have particularly strong views about this - there are so many shades of grey and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

    The war on terror
    Counterproductive and likely to have the opposite effect.

    The War in Iraq
    Again, I agree with Falcarius (I think it was him who said it, I've kinda lost track): "Obviously based on lies at the beginning, and has only gotten worse. Not sure how we can get out of it now, but we need to look in that direction."

    Corporate tax cuts/Middle class tax cuts
    Taxes are important for providing services, such as healthcare, education, roads, public transport, police, defence forces, etc etc. Tax laws needs to be uncomplicated as possible (it's insanely complex and confusing in my country) to reduce administration costs but I support paying tax and I don't ever resent paying my tax. Closing loopholes is important as well.

    The financial market bailout
    In hindsight, I would have preferred to have seen more prevention in terms of sensible regulation (I read the restrictions that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were under and my reaction was - I'm pro-regulation but only if it makes good policy sense). I think letting the banks and other financial institutions collapse would have risked a world-wide Depression and possibly political instability in some countries. While I dislike companies not having to face the consequences of their actions, letting them fail had the potential to punish the rest of us as well.

    Social Security benefits
    I support this. I think the risk of a small percent of freeloaders is worth it in terms of supporting those who are going through rough times and need help to get back on their feet, or for the permanently disabled who will never be able to work etc. There are shades of grey in the middle where you can debate what policies should be in place and mistakes can be made, but that can fine-tuned and tweaked over time.

    Public health benefits like a two tier system or other ideas
    I think it was Falcarius who said this and I agree: "I'm in favor of a single-payer (government) health system. Works for almost every other industrialized nation. In my mind, every health-care dollar given to "profit" is one that could have been spent helping someone, and I'm most absolutely not convinced that "competition" in the health care arena makes up for in efficiency what it loses in profit. And that's not even going into the disgraceful situation where people can't get coverage, or get dropped as soon as it's determined they might need to use it to protect the profits of the insurance industry."

    Welfare Benefits
    I have no idea what the difference between this and social security is - I use the terms interchangeably.

    Funding for higher education/Funding for K-12 education
    I support quality, well-funded government schools. I don't support government providing funding to private schools. I see private schools as a luxury, not a right - user pays.

    Programs for children like public pre-K and Head-Start.
    I don't know much about this so I don't have an opinion.

    Energy, from solar cells, drill baby drill, to nuclear plants, etc . . .
    Energy efficiency is by far the most cost effective solution - there's often a greater upfront cost but payback times in terms of saving on power costs tend to range from several months to several years. It makes sense in purely economic terms, as well as being environmentally sound. Energy efficiency includes buildings which consume less energy, fuel efficient cars, energy efficient appliances, industrial energy efficiency as well as reducing power distribution losses.

    I think electricity should be supplied by a mix of coal or gas (as in natural gas, not what you put in your car) fired power stations supplemented as much as possible by renewables such as solar (not just photo-voltaics), wind, geothermal and tidal energy. I don't really support nuclear power because of the problem of storing the nuclear waste.
    Last edited by bluebell; 11-29-2008 at 04:02 PM. Reason: verbosity much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Array Darjur's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Thank you.
    That's my point.
    Wind and solar doesn't impact the environment so harshly.
    Nuclear is cheap and efficient. If we're talking about trouble some waste, then the energy gained from a single kilogram of waste from a nuclear plant equals a few tons of waste for the same amount of energy made from your standard combustion plants. 2/3rds of the total electricity created in this planet comes from Nuclear power, we are not in a position to stop using it, because there are no real viable alternatives to create THAT much power.

    Wind and Solar doesn't make enough energy to make them viable primary power sources. While I do imagine solar panels to be viable in 50 or 100 or so years, they are not as of yet.

    The only "green" energy resource actually viable as a primary energy source would be Geothermal energy. Which is a thing that only a few specific areas can use.

  8. #48


    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    ^ that.

    I'm lazy like iwakar
    It's not laz-eh! It's an efficient use of available resources!
    "There is no god; there is only us. Savage and fragile."

  9. #49
    Senior Member Array ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Darjur View Post
    While I do imagine solar panels to be viable in 50 or 100 or so years, they are not as of yet.
    I actually disagree with this. I haven't done hardcore math on this, but even if we get to 100% efficiency, solar power will never be terribly efficient, and the amount of materials and energy required to make them will always be relatively high (if only due to the maximum efficiency of the energy delivered/area).

    We are going to have to look at non-solar sources of energy (including oil), such a geothermal and tidal, IMO... although I would be seriously looking at fission and fusion to keep up with demand. I tend towards green, but... I think the market should sort this out - I don't think we have a clue what forms of energy generation will work out in the long run.

  10. #50
    it's tea time! Array Walking Tourist's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    Here is my commentary... interspersed with your questions.
    [COLOR="Black"]Where do you personally stand on the following? All the topics were left purposefully vague for you to feel comfortable on elaborating your own personal opinion with as much detail as you like, and whether you would apply it to yourself only or to others also.

    [*]The 2nd amendment.
    I don't know. It's so badly worded that I don't know if it means individual ownership of guns or the maintenance of a militia. It is a good example of why editors are valuable people.
    [*]Gay marriage
    I really don't care. Sorry. I can't get excited about this.

    ]I'm in favor of the consistent life ethic.
    [*]Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
    Alcohol: Reduce drinking age to 18... if you can go to war, it's only fair that you can have a drink. Drunk drivers should lose their licenses. They are a menace on the road.
    Tobacco: I like smoke-free restaurants. I'm highly allergic. I don't care if people smoke, just don't do it around me.
    Other drugs: End the war on drugs. It's a waste of resources. I've been in prison and I've seen what the war on drugs does to families. I was in prison with women who had endlessly long sentences for "conspiracy." What the heck is that? Their children suffer without a mother.
    Focus on rehabilitation for drug addicts and concentrate on demand, rather than supply, for drugs.
    Legalize marijuana. It's good for cancer patients and anorexics.
    Another negative side effect of the war on drugs: doctors are so afraid of legal charges if they give their patients strong narcotics that they don't. People who are seriously ill with cancer or other conditions may need a strong pain reliever. Let them have it.
    [*]Foreign policy
    We are one country among many countries. Diplomacy is the key. Also understanding other cultures is important to prevent misunderstandings and international incidents.
    [*]The war on terror
    When we attack other countries pre-emptively, we are actually recruiting people to become terrorists. Also our tactics (extraordinary rendition, torture, etc.) makes us look like a pack of terrorists.
    [*]The War in Iraq
    End it. Now. It's all based on lies.
    [*]Corporate tax cuts
    Balance the budget first and then, maybe, that might be a good idea.
    [*]The financial market bailout
    That's a lot of money. I have doubts about whether or not it will work. I kind of think not. On the other hand, I'd be happy to test out the effectiveness of it. The government can send me a few billion, and I'll happily stimulate the economy all by myself!!!
    [*]Middle class tax cuts
    No. Bad idea. So they pay lower federal taxes. They'll pay more in state and local taxes to make up for the shortfall in funds. State and local budgets must be balanced. The federal income tax is (sort of) progressive, but property taxes and sales taxes are regressive. It's better to pay federal taxes.
    [*]Social Security benefits
    Is this an issue???
    [*]Public health benifits like a two tier system or other ideas
    Congressional health plan for everyone.
    [*]Welfare Benefits
    Help people get training for jobs and then help them get jobs. Welfare benefits ought to be temporary because people generally feel better about themselves when they are working. They feel even better about themselves when they have a living wage and can support their families and know that they have health care coverage and good child care.
    [*]Funding for higher education
    Yes. That's very important. It's an investment in our future.
    [*]Funding for K-12 education
    Absolutely. All children need to be well educated so that they can grow up to reach their potential. Music, art, and physical education are not frills, as some would say. They are integral components in education. All children should learn foreign languages to become better citizens of the world.
    [*]Programs for children like public pre-K and Head-Start.
    Yes, good idea. Start kids on foreign languages early, when their brains are most receptive.[
    [*]Energy, from solar cells, drill baby drill, to nuclear plants, etc . . .
    More research!!!![*]Any other topic you would like to chime in about that better clarifies your own personal/political stance.
    More funding for mass transit... it would be great to have high speed rail, like they have in Europe and Japan... an extensive system of bike paths and walking paths. The one person per car routine is a waste of energy resources and is an inefficient way of transporting people. Also, if people walked and rode bikes more and drove less, they would get a lot of health benefits. Other issues... global warming, nuclear disarmament, a ban on landmines, a ban on torture... homelessness... that's all that I can think of for now...
    Last edited by Walking Tourist; 12-01-2008 at 12:16 PM. Reason: add more information

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