This Day in History. "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." - George Santayana

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Internet Age

In the internet age, we have never seen a time when so much information is available and yet everything must be scrutinized so much because there is a portion of the populace that will believe anything they read on the internet as long as it fits their pre-existing mindframe condition. How can we break free? Fact-checking seems to do a decent job of debunking, but it's only available to those who know it is needed; and furthermore, it's worth noting that fact-checking organizations (depending on their affiliation) could just as well be "in on the game." We must demand better.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton Said It All For Me

I don't consider myself terribly liberal. I've got pretty moderate view-points on A LOT of things:

1) I am not fundamentally anti-war, though I prefer we avoid it at most costs and approach "police-actions" as an international force with other support so we're not going it alone. Since World War II, there has not been a clear-cut war where evil has been as apparent as it was then.

2) I am not fundamentally anti-business, though I do think the Glass-Steagall Act should be reincarnated. Furthermore, while I think that while profits are a great thing, I tend to believe they should not be at the expense of the quality of products/services or at the expense of workers. I am not sure how we can or if we should legislate such a belief, however. Finally, I am not sure why we still subsidize industries that are doing fine (read: corn and oil/gas). It seems we could/should invest our federal/state dollars into helping develop and get-off-the-ground future industries and technologies.

3) I am pro-smart-regulations. I am intimately involved in environmental regulations. They are a twisting, turning masses of words that are essentially beginning to regulate minute quantities of pollutants. We should re-open the Clean Air Act and give consideration to the review/revise schedule of rules. I do, however, tend to believe that regulations - while claimed by some to be stifling to profits - actually work to drive some amount of innovation and create market niches. The company that I work for is one of those addressing such a niche-market. Companies we work with to help address compliance for our clients are also in niche-markets.

4) I am pro-nuclear. I place trust in the amazing things that come from science and engineering. If scientists and engineers have done their due diligence on where and how to store nuclear waste and how to make nuclear facilities the safest they can be, nuclear is an amazing "alternative" energy.

5) I am pro-alternative-energy

6) I am pro-smart drilling for oil/gas. I tend to believe that if we have the resources, we should extract/use them. Again, this goes back to my trust in science and engineering

7) I don't begrudge success [or reasonable amounts of money]).

8) I'm open to ideas on how to best structure the tax code and to ensure SS and Medicare are around for my generation.

9) I am pro-choice AND pro-life. I don't think the two have to be diametrically opposed. I don't LIKE abortion; I'm not sure there are many who do. There are fair arguments to be had on scientific, moral, and philosophical grounds to answer the question of "when does life begin?" That said, I think a moderate compromise between interested parties should be made that would continue to keep abortion legal. It's worth noting that I am also concerned with the life of all children once they leave the womb.

I have been truly following politics since my government class in high school. I remember being aware of politics as early as freshmen year. Over those 15+ years, I have danced around the political spectrum, first more socially conservative, then recognizing the merits of socialism/communism, then more libertarian/liberal in college, then moderate/centrist once hitting graduate school and beyond (as I exist now).

But, pretty much since 9/11, the GOP has essentially deemed me and anyone to the left of them as "socialists", "lib'ruls (in a condescending tone)", or "RINOs". Last night, Bill Clinton said just about EVERYTHING I've had on my mind for a while now. You can disagree with what he did back in the day (*cough* blue dress *cough* cigar *cough*), but he was a pretty damn good President, and an amazing speaker.

I believe in individual and collective responsibility. And I believe in positive reinforcement and cooperation. The GOP has essentially blocked in the House and threatened filibuster in the Senate on a number of things the President has come to the table with (willing to compromise and work together, mind you). And I'm supposed to reward THEIR lack of responsibility, lack of cooperation, and negatively reinforce their hyper-partisanship with my vote? Sorry, THIS moderate is not going to reinforce childish and party-first behavior. I'm sure I'll have friends who disagree with my positions or perceptions and that's the beauty of America.