Debate:Liberal beliefs

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Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by Rembrandt.ryan.
User:Rembrandt.ryan kindly supplied a list of liberal beliefs from somewhere, to which we've added our comments. it was originally on his talk page, where you'll find the edit history (and the history of my bungling attempts at moving it here!)

Contents

Liberals are assumed to be IN FAVOR OF:[edit]

A) Affirmative action[edit]

  • Not particularly in favour.--Bobbing up 11:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Depends how far it goes - drives to recruit certain under represented groups - generally good. Selecting people simply on the basis of an unrelated aspect - not so good. Silver Sloth 11:31, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Almost universially (in the US anyhow) misunderstood as "quota"s by those white men who didn't get a promotion. The reality is that the only time "minority" preference come into play in the hiring sense, is when "all else being equal" one is of a minority. But, white men have an "out" when they do not get a promotion saying "she only got it because she is a woman" "he's black, it's not like he really deserved it." At least that's what i see after 20 some odd years in the American academic and legal sector.--Waiting for Godot 11:44, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I've got no problems with it (note: I'm a white guy). --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Racism will always be around and needs to be counterbalanced. Quotas are probably a bit crap though - the candidate needs to be good enough for the job. Totnesmartin 13:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I understand the need for affirmative action, but I can't really support it. See Andy's "Affirmative Action President." It's used against any and all minorities who do succeed. I would like to find another method for dealing with racist hiring practices. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hundreds of years of systemic racism in the US makes some form of counterbalance necessary. It's an easy program to defend when you see the massive slide in admissions to Universities (California is an obvious case) the instant AA is removed - that's not a good thing for society. But admissions should be colour blind - so perhaps the best options is to preferentially overfund primary and secondary-level education systems in underprivileged areas? But without a shadow of doubt, no-one should be picked that isn't qualified for a given position. DogP 14:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a simplistic, Band-aid solution to a complex problem. I'm neutral on it, but I feel there has to be a better way. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree with it in terms of furthering equality, & as long as it is handled with common sense. Occasionally it does result in incompetent people holding a job just because they fill a minority quota. However, this does not happen very often ~ not nearly as often as critics of affirmative action suggest. Weaseloid 16:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Like any tool, needs to be used in the right way, at the right time. In the past, it was a good way to alleviate racial inequality by simply giving black people the opportunity to work, when otherwise inherent racism would have denied them this chance. Unfortunately, it seems that it now gives people the chance to claim a black person got a particular position or status due to 'affirmative action' rather than merit or hard work, even if this is not true. Zmidponk 17:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • AA must be applied carefully. Quotas, and giving positions to less qualified people for any other reason, are never a good idea. Helping disadvantaged people find opportunities is entirely fair and acceptable, but I generally believe such efforts should focus more on helping the economically disadvantaged (PC euphemism for "poor people") contribute more to society, rather than on helping minorities. OneForLogic 18:07, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am for it in entry level and educational situations. Thus I approve of AA in helping people attend first year university but not for mandating the number of people who should get government jobs. We should try to make the playing field more equitable but after that its up to the individual. --Damo2353 22:44, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In principle (i.e. helping groups who're being victims of discrimination), yes, though I'm not surely convinced aiding those who haven't been personally affected at the expense of others is a good idea, even if their group's background was plagued with discrimination. Personally, I think AA should end when, say, poor individuals from all group have it equally bad. Ultimately I don't mind much either way though. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:17, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Quotas and so on are a crap idea. Having anti-racism laws that can be used does work (like we have in the UK). Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 03:55, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Affirmative Action = Laws enforcing preferential treatment for one race over another = Enforced racism. --CPAdmin1 11:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Alternative view: Affirmative action = Laws enforcing fair treatment of an otherwise discriminated against group = enforced negation of racism. Zmidponk 13:23, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
      • There is the problem, it is not fair. Affirmative action forces the hiring, (or other benefit given to) a minority, even if there is a better qualified non-minority candidate. --CPAdmin1 13:58, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
20 years of an unfair system that attempts to counterbalance three hundred years of disgraceful treatment is hardly much of a price to pay for the sins of our father's, is it Tim? DogP 15:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
2 wrongs don't make a right. --CPAdmin1 15:36, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
So what's your plan to compensate them again? DogP 15:37, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Compensate who? I don't see a need to compensate anybody. --CPAdmin1 15:54, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
That's because you're a typical selfish right-winger. So - you think that it's OK to treat people like shit for three hundred years, then turn around and say "Oh hell, yeah, we were wrong about that. Suck it up and quit yer whinin'" DogP 16:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Ok, so you are saying that because some people's ancestors were treated badly by our ancestors, we should pass laws that give them preferential treatment over us? Take a random person who is getting a job over a better qualified person because he is a minority. That person was never a slave, never segregated, never lost anything because of his race. The person who he beats out for the job has never done any of those things either. You can't right the wrongs of the past by creating more wrongs in the present. --CPAdmin1 16:31, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
"you are saying that because some people's ancestors were treated badly by our ancestors, we should pass laws that give them preferential treatment over us?". Yes. DogP 16:33, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
That position makes no rational sense. The past is the past, and no amount of anything that we do in the present can change it. In the present time, there is no reason for preferential treatment. --CPAdmin1 16:36, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I stole your car last week, but that's the past. Shame really. Guess you'll just have to buy a new one. What you're proposing suggests that actions do not have consequences, and that bad behaviour is something that the victims just have to live with. That way lies madness - it's not a system of justice at all. DogP 16:55, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The difference is that it did not happen last week, and the people who were effected are no longer alive, and will not reap the benefits. Also the ones being penalized are not the ones who committed the crime. --CPAdmin1 19:31, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I agree with CPA. We must make hiring practices fair, not attempt to "balance" the injustice. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Let's go down the waterfall 19:38, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Ok, so now you're proposing some kind of statute of limitations on the notion of justice and recompense, right? Would the same argument have precluded you from seeking justice against Radovan Karadzic? And to suggest that the poverty-line children of poverty-line families that never had a chance since back when their great great grandfather was an indentured slave won't see the benefits of any attempt to rectify the damage done is naive in the extreme, and kind of insulting to them. "Actions have consequences", as conservatives are wont to say - and that applies across time too. (In some respects, it's the same concept that makes the global warming argument worthwhile. BTW, note that I'm not so much in favour of AA for employment, my particular bugbear is with college admissions). DogP 21:58, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't believe in enforcing punishment on one person for another person's crime. And don't tell me that people "never had a chance since back when their great great grandfather was an indentured slave." Anyone who works hard can succeed. College admissions is no different. They should take the one who worked their butt off to earn the spot regardless of whether their great-great-great-grandfather was a slave or not. --CPAdmin1 00:47, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
(these indents are getting crazy! We must reset soon) So you really genuinely believe that no restitution is due, none whatsoever? That crimes against humanity can go unpunished? And that people who've had their faces literally shoved in the dirt for generation after generation can just jump right up and be all shiny and perky American Dream-livers? The bubble you live in is remarkably opaque, it seems. DogP 04:24, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

[undent] I believe that you can't punish someone for a crime they did not commit. If I steal Somebody's car, is it fair for you to have to go to jail for it? --CPAdmin1 10:47, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

Do you believe your leader's mantra that "actions have consequences"? DogP 11:55, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I believe that actions have consequences. How could anyone not believe that? Do you believe in punishing innocent people for other people's crimes? --CPAdmin1 23:51, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Ok great. Now - how can justice and fairness best be served for peoples so disadvantaged for three hundred years? DogP 02:19, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
The people who would now benefit from affirmative action are not the ones who were disadvantaged. Are you going to answer my question? --CPAdmin1 13:08, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Oppose. The time-proven routes out of poverty include collective bargaining by independent unions, encouraging people to become entrepreneurs, government run infrastructure-building programs which provide good jobs, livable wage laws, and a strong manufacturing base with trade protectionism. The social engineering experiments that took hold in the 1970s like affirmative action seem more driven by crazy academic theories about "white male privilege" and a vindictive desire to undermine that alleged "privilege", than in a genuine desire to give a boost to the less fortunate. (I might on the other hand support affirmative action if it were based solely on social class rather than on race and gender.) Secret Squirrel 11:24, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • More or less in favor of it. I was a union negotiator once and management wanted to remove the affirmative action clause from the contract because (and this is a pretty close quote) "We want to be comfortable at work and we're just more comfortable with people like us." It's folks like that (opinion) who have forced AA on all of us. I do sometimes wonder as to exactly what the success, for example, of students admitted into university under AA guide lines has been over the last few decades. Must be stats somewhere. ? Oh yes, I'm also just checking out the links around here. Carptrash 00:15, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
PS. I also collect words or phrases that mean In MY Opinion, and I found a great new one here. - - " without a shadow of doubt "
  • OAs a short-term approach, it's the only way I can see to reverse centuries of racial and gender privilege. P-Foster (talk) 01:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

B) Anthropogenic Global Warming legislation[edit]

  • It's good to see the US slowly joining the rest of the world on this.--Bobbing up 11:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whether or not man caused Global Warming (we did IMHO) - it makes sense not to accelerate it. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Well, you aren't going to tell me that polar bears did it with farts, or trees did it from dying, are you?--Waiting for Godot 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I don't know - it's not my area - so I'll go with the majority of scientific opinion and agree. Silver Sloth 11:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I definately believe that use of fossil fuels by humans is a major contribution to global warming. Either way, we're the only species on the planet with a conscious ability to fix the problem. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:08, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Oh yes - this needs solving, fast. Totnesmartin 13:10, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree with Silver Sloth an Susan. Whether or not we "did it" is irrelevant. If we can stop it, why shouldn't we? --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Climates do fluctuate naturally, but we're making things far, far worse. And, again, even if we aren't the cause, can we all please stop filthying our own bath water? DogP 14:21, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The data is in. The focus should be on fixing the problem. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's always seemed daft to me that people did not realise pumping loads of exhaust fumes, and various gases from factories, etc, into the atmosphere was going to have bad effects. If we can alleviate some of those effects by doing now what we should have done years ago, let's do it. Zmidponk 17:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We need to be careful how we tackle this one, too. Less pollution is good; less fossil fuel use is good; geoengineering solutions like dumping massive amounts of iron in the oceans to increase plankton populations probably aren't so good. We definitely need to keep studying the issue and looking for potential solutions, but we really need to not do anything stupid. Our scientists also really need to quit dramatizing their findings to get stronger reactions from people. State the facts and do sound research. OneForLogic 18:15, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I don't know but I am inclined to go with the overwhelming majority of the experts so yes.--Damo2353 22:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Definitely yes, and the sooner the better. --Kels 23:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Certainly, though I don't mind too much about it. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:18, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. Today, summers are hotter, hurricanes are stronger than ever, and so on. JJ4eGuava marmalade! 20:37, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We did it, we should fix it, using laws where necessary. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 03:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If there was really "scientific consensus," there would not be a debate here. There is really not proof that it is caused by man. It is also telling that the ones who are supporting the claim, are the ones who have the most to gain from it being true. --CPAdmin1 11:33, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Weak argument. If someone utterly ignorant of the science starts a debate about something, does that mean that there is no 'scientific consensus'? If one scientist claims the evidence is not convincing, and starts a debate about it, but 1,000,000 others look at the evidence and are convinced, does that mean there is no 'scientific consensus'? The vast majority of scientists all agree that there is definitely global warming and there is very strong evidence it was caused by mankind. And I fail to see how ANYBODY gains from it being true - we have ALL thoroughly fucked up this planet, and we are ALL to blame. Zmidponk 13:32, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
      • see here. Think about it if you are getting a research grant to study global warming, and you say that it exists, there are more grants coming to study it further. If you say it doesn't exist then there is no reason to get another grant. so there is an incentive to find that it is happening. --CPAdmin1 13:45, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Let's say for the sake of argument that we agree that it's not anthropogenic. Do you still think that we shouldn't attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and limit the stripping of what are clearly finite resources? Do you think the Earth is perfectly healthy and that nothing needs to be done about it? DogP 15:15, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I am actually in favor of alternative fuels, we just can't force the issue. New technology takes time to develop. Until it is ready and affordable, we need oil. What I am against is the whole global warming alarmism, that says if we don't do something drastic then we are all gonna die. I think that we should try to limit pollution when possible. (just look at the air in beijing) I don't think that the earth is a living being that can be healthy or sick. But I do believe that we have to take care of it. (But not get extreme about it.) --CPAdmin1 15:42, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
So CPAdmin1 quotes a paper from three guys in Oregon who doubt AGW. Hundreds - or thousands - of scientists were involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Are you going to go with the scientific consensus or not?--Bobbing up 15:47, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
You mean over 17000? the link seems to not work, but try this. --CPAdmin1 15:58, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I agree with CPAdmin1 that the scientific community and, even more, all the non-scientists who've taken an issue in this have been overly dramatic about their presentation of the issue. This is a perfect example of the scientific community sucking at public relations, but that doesn't mean they're completely wrong. Global warming is happening, and an overwhelming number of scientists believe humans contributed to causing it. My previous post sums up the rest of my thoughts. OneForLogic 16:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
What - you mean 17,000 people sent in this bit of paper? And this is your proof there is no scientific consensus!!--Bobbing up 16:59, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Global warming could be solved overnight if globalization were abandoned. Instead we are being told to put American auto workers out of work, put American coal miners out of work, and switch from American made incandescent light bulbs to China-made compact fluorescents. We were also told to switch from cathode ray computer screens (made in the US, Japan, and UK), to Chinese-made LCD screens because they use less energy, and now it turns out the chemicals used in LCD screens are a major global warming culprit. I call bullshit. The problem is globalization. Global warming is just a symptom. Secret Squirrel 11:33, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We're all gonna die. P-Foster (talk) 01:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

C) ACLU[edit]

  • I do not know who or what this is.--Bobbing up 11:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Murcan - no opinion SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • What about it. Yes, I believe they exist. in fact i even have evidence that they exist.--Waiting for Godot 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As a Brit I don't have any strong opinion but, as long as they act within the law, I believe that organizations like the ACLU are good for a society. Silver Sloth 11:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I don't agree with everything they do, but I think that is a positive. It makes me feel as though they're looking out for more than just a singular point of view. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am a big supporter of the ACLU. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm an ACLU supporter. There's staggering amounts of corporate cash lined up against everything the ACLU fights for, so without them we'd all just be steamrollered over. They're not perfect, but they're a hell of a lot better than the forces of darkness. DogP 14:24, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Vitally important organization that does a lot of thankless work and draws much misunderstanding and unnecessary abuse. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". To me, that perfectly sums up the ACLU - I dislike some of the causes they've supported, but their overarching aim is to protect what is, to me, the most important Constitutional freedoms. Zmidponk 17:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

<Debate Moved to talk page>

  • Yeah, the ACLU generally does good work. Somebody's got to stand up to Cheney, Bush, and cronies. OneForLogic 18:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • A council to protect the civil liberties of everyone? Sounds bloody good to me. If we are going to grant freedoms then an organisation to defend them is a good a idea.--Damo2353 22:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Canadian, so duh. --Kels 23:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I've only heard good things from these guys, namely, their advocacy of rights even when they imply defense for unpopular (and rightly so) views such as nazism or whatever. "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" indeed. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:23, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • More or less support אנדי שלאפלי איז א פאץ What, you can't read it? Learn how to speak Yiddish 08:20, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I support the ACLU on everything except their position on the Second Amendment. That will probably make Andy's head explode. Stile4aly 17:49, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Uhm yeah whatever... :? Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Is the single biggest organization dedicated to eliminating our rights and freedoms. And they use extremist judges who make unconstitutional decisions to their advantage. --CPAdmin1 11:40, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Tim, could you give one or a couple of examples of the rights and freedoms that the ACLU has eliminated or attempted to eliminate? --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:21, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Public displays of the 1. Ten Commandments, 2. Intelligent Design in the classroom, 3. Prayer on school property. 4. Pledge of allegiance. 5. Gun control. 6. Abortion. 7. Any and all opposition to Gay-Marriage. 8. Affirmative action... --CPAdmin1 12:46, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Or, looked at it from another perspective: 1. Religious coercion. 2. A right to scientific denialism. 3. Religious coercion again. 4. Pointless, perfunctory display of patriotism. 5. Keeping instruments of death out of the hands of people who shouldn't be trusted with them. 6. The right of women to control what goes on inside their own bodies. 7. The right to deny a minority rights that most people already enjoy. 8. An attempt (if somewhat simplistic) to repair historic inequalities. Wanna go round two? EVDebs 12:54, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. Coercion: "the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance."' I don't see any force being used. A display of the 10 commandments does not force anyone to do anything. 2. It is not denialism. There is plenty of science on the side of Intelligent design. We are talking about liberty here. The ACLU is in this case standing up for the government's restriction of the rights schools. 3. Still no coercion. 4. Are you saying that the ACLU was somehow standing up for freedom? I don't get what you are saying. 5. Read the 2nd amendment. Still standing up against liberty in favor of government control. 6. That baby is a human life. The woman has no more right to kill it than she does to kill her already born 2 year old. Plus, it is her own fault that she is pregnant anyway. 7. I am talking about the attempt to silence all opposition to Gay marriage. Regardless of your opinion on gay marriage, you (or me, or James Dobson, or the guy down the street) have the right to speak out against it. 8. You mean the forced preferential treatment of one race over another. --CPAdmin1 13:13, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. Coercion does not have to be overt. Even if it's only marginal intimidation, it's still undue pressure on dissidents. 2. The "science" of intelligent design is beyond laughable. Please see talkorigins.org. 3. See 1. 4. Yes, I am. The Pledge of Allegiance is of little or no value and carries fascist overtones. I don't need to proclaim my patriotism on demand to actually be a patriot. 5. See my arguments on gun control. The entire Constitutional framework needs to be rethought in light of societal changes over the last two centuries. 6. It is a potential life. Actual life takes precedence over potential. 7. It's called freedom of speech. We who support the rights of homosexuals to marry have as much right to shout you down as you do to voice your opposition to begin with, and we believe the moral high ground lies in the direction of greater, rather than fewer, civil rights. 8. See my thoughts elsewhere on the page. I am not an out-and-out affirmative action supporter; I believe it's too simplistic a solution to a very complicated problem. I would rather open up opportunities than simply give someone a handout, since the latter accomplishes nothing useful. EVDebs 13:20, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. So if you see a display of the 10 commandments you are somehow intimidated into being a christian? I don't think so. That kind of logic is terrible. Am I coerced into being a yankees fan if Rudy Giuliani wears a yankee cap? No. There is no intimidation in a display. 2. see this. And don't say that it isn't science. 3. see 1 4. Nobody is forced to say the pledge of allegiance. 5. I'll get this in a minute after I read your arguments. 6. Don't give me that "potential" crap. It is absolutely life. What argument do you have that says it isn't life? How can you be in favor of killing an innocent baby? 7 Yes, you have the right to "shout" us down, but not the right to legislate or litigate us down. 8 I already made my point, and I think we somewhat agree. --CPAdmin1 13:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. I think what I'm trying to get across is that it's a matter of context. Time and place, and a building owned by the United States Government is neither. 2. AiG has been discredited over and over again, and uses the same tired arguments as almost every other creationist/IDist group out there. It's why the ID crowd has taken to mimicking the forms of science (peer-reviewed journals, PhDs like Behe and Wells) without really understanding it. 4. True, but there is no need for it to begin with, and certainly no need for the "Under God" clause. It undermines the "indivisible" immediately following it. 5. Fair enough. 6. But it isn't viable as an entity of its own. I can say that reasonable people can disagree on it, but I have to err on the side of the woman, not the fetus. 7. But it is totally reasonable to legislate or litigate the removal of religion from a science class. Again, it's an issue of context. 8. No point in being needlessly contrary. EVDebs 15:11, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. So the US Government owns the building. Does that mean that it is forcing people to follow the 10 commandments, or even read the 10 commandments. No. If you are so sensitive that a display of the 10 commandments is taken as coercion to follow one particular religion, then the problem is you, not the display. 2. It is still science, and even though some people try to discredit it (some may actually be bad, but there are bad results in all science creation, evolution or otherwise) does not make it all bad. The same arguments may be used often, but that does not make them less valid. And it is real science, not "just mimicking". 4. I agree that there is no need for it, and by extension, no need for any particular part of it. But I think it is a good thing. And the ACLU should not be trying to eliminate the "under God". I don't see how it undermines the indivisible part. 5. As for gun control, I can respect the opinion that gun control works, or helps in some cases. However, in the US the constitution gives the people gun rights. While I am against gun control in general, there are situations where guns could be not allowed without violating the right in question. 6. What about a newborn? a newborn is not viable on it's own. Viability "on it's own" is not needed for life. I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for the woman when she became pregnant by her own decision. 7. I don't understand... Are you conceding my point about gay marriage? you seem to be going back to the ID in the classroom. And I don't see how it is religion to say that there is scientific evidence that supports the idea that the earth/life could be intelligently designed. What about the "disclaimer" sticker that just stated that Evolution was theory not fact? that isn't religion. --CPAdmin1 15:33, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
1. No, but it does send a message about what the government is about that should be false. 2. No, it is not science. Creationism (and let's not pretend ID is anything else) has no predictive value and no coherent Theory of the Divine, nor does it seek to find one, but it claims to be scientific anyway. That is the very antithesis of science. 4. All Americans are Americans on an equal footing as citizens, or should be. Not all americans are theists, and therefore "Under God" misrepresents America. 5. The question then becomes: what is more important, principle or practicality? 6. You're conflating two different concepts of viability. A newborn, barring congenital defect or disease, can be expected to thrive given reasonable standards of care. Up until the mid-third trimester, the same cannot be said of a fetus outside the womb -- extreme measures are required to help a severly preterm child to survive, and they do not come with an automtic assumption of success. As for the woman, I still maintain that until such point as the fetus is born, it remains a part of her body. 7. No, I am not conceding on gay marriage; the arguments against are largely nonsense. And yes, the sticker is religious, because the scientific community does not accept creationist evidence; it does not say what creationists want it to say, and often it says nothing of value at all. If creationist evidence did have value, it would long since have been accepted by the scientific community. EVDebs 23:38, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good and bad. They're good when they oppose things like the Patriot Act, overzealous airport security, sobriety checkpoints, no-fly lists. But why in the world do they get involved in things like defending affirmative action, which has nothing to do with civil liberties and is a lost cause anyhow? Worse, they tend to come down against free speech when said free speech has to do with the use of government facilities (such as schools) for religious activity. Can't support them across the board, but if they would stick to purely civil liberties issues I would. Secret Squirrel 11:37, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I sleep better at night knowing that they are on the job. It's a nasty job and no one has to do it, but these folks choose to. Carptrash 00:27, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm, for the most part, glad for what they do. Sure, I disagree with them sometimes, but it's impossible to always agree with someone who is not your clone or slave or something. --Otend (talk) 00:43, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

The ever-popular Ten Commandments foofaraw[edit]

Let's turn that around, CPAdmin1. Imagine if you will, that somehow a Wiccan got elected to public office, or to be a judge, or school principal, or something. (A horrible thought, I know, but they ARE legally citizens, and it could happen someday.) They, in an effort to spread their Satanic taint well-meant effort to show their moral code to the world at large, tried to put up a plaque with the Wiccan Rede on it on public government ground, how would you feel about it? Because I'm pretty sure the shrieking from people like you would be clearly audible from orbit. --Gulik 19:05, 10 August 2008 (EDT)

D) Banning prayer at football games[edit]

  • Do people pray at football games? Why? For their team to win?--Bobbing up 11:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Don't give a damn - I dislike all organised sport SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • I'd just rather they ban the football games. it's school - you know, Education?--Waiting for Godot 11:46, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Don't care, up to them if they want to. Totnesmartin 13:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Umm... maybe? I don't know. This seems rather kooky compared to the first few of these questions. I've got no problems with it as long as it is the individual's choice. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whose prayer? "Hail Mary," while perhaps appropriate, won't jive well with non-catholics, will it? To whose god? Should we pray to Jesus, YHWH, nature, Ba'al? It makes much more sense to me to let everyone pray privately. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes - the crowd will never be all of one religion, and you can't be pissing off others with prayers they don't agree with. DogP 14:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's only ever been an issue at public schools, and in their case, yes. At private schools, who cares? EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Pray about the game? If God exists, why should he care who wins in a ball game? Or do people just make a general 'grace' type prayer? Either way it sounds kinda silly. Weaseloid 16:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Impossible - every Premiership striker does it after every goal. They run up to the crowd coming to a sliding stop on their knees. They then pull the material of their shirt to enable them to kiss the holy emblem of Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, or whatever. Oh, you mean praying to a deity - what a daft idea! Silver Sloth 17:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What kind of prayer? Personal prayer? That's no-one's business but the believer(s) and his/their relevant non-existant Sky-Daddy. A minister or someone standing up and expecting the crowd to follow them in a prayer? Sorry, that could very well cause offense to those not of that religion. Zmidponk 17:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think the non-residents-of-Jesusland are telling you that you should have explained the issue more, Rem. At (American) football games, particularly middle school and high school games in rural communities, in the southern US, it is traditional for some official at one of the participating schools to lead the spectators and players in a pre-game Christian prayer. I think Rem's asking if this practice, or similar practices involving public Christian prayer before sporting events, should be banned. I'm really not sure about this, as we really already have a law against this (1st Amendment, since it's often a public school official leading the prayer), and it's being blatantly ignored. All you would accomplish with any enforcement effort would be to piss off a whole stadium full of Jesuslanders. Most with guns in their F-250s in the parking lot. I don't see that ending well. OneForLogic 18:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This is not a big issue for me. If people want to pray that is fine, so long as I have the freedom to tell them they are idiots (if I want to).--Damo2353 22:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Banning football games? I'm in! --Kels 23:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What kind of (presumably American) Football games? Those ran by public schools or other institutions? If so, then yes, (group) prayer should be banned, otherwise no. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Ban it. Ban it *now*. Complete fucking morons. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 17:54, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I haven't heard about this specifically, but if it's true, it is a violation of our first amendment rights. --CPAdmin1 11:42, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I oppose (American) football games period. Are we talking about private- or public-sector events? --λινυσ() 22:41, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Go Steelers! Go Giants! Boo hiss to the Patriots! What was teh question? Oh yes, prayer. I really don't care whether there is prayer at football games. If somebody doesn't want to join in they don't have to. If somebody doesn't want to attend the football game to begin with, they don't have to. If somebody wants to say a public prayer before the game, that's their choice. If somebody doesn't want to, that's their choice too. Secret Squirrel 11:40, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm a firm believer in the 'moment of silence' compromise. It allows those who really care to to pray without coercing those who don't wish to to do so in violation of the first amendment. I'm not a huge fan of football or organized religion, but given the wording of the first amendment and our collective lack of political clout in comparison to the Christian right, I feel that compromise of this nature is not only the most constitutional solution, but the only one we really have a shot at implementing. Praise be to Henry Clay! Clayspeed!WilhelmJunker 12:32, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I get to decide whether on not other folks actions (i.e Christian prayers at public school events) irritate or annoy or make me crazy mad out of my mind. At my daughter's HS graduation (public school) the vice principal launched into what was clearly a Christian prayer and for his efforts received a standing ovation from the 300 or so graduates - and most of the audience too. All but my daughter. I was so proud of her at that moment, but didn't really give a rat's ass (can I say that here?) about the separation of Church & State right then. Certainly (another word for "my opinion") folks should not be denied the right to pray when they choose to. Did I say that basically I'm against it? -PS love the Ramones song of that title. Einar aka Carptrash 00:37, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Personal prayer at games? No problem. Forced group prayer (such is the case at NASCAR events), not so good. Aboriginal Noise Theist, barely hanging by a nail 17:10, 5 November 2008 (EST)
  • Ban Football? Hellz Yeah. Tyrannis (talk) 17:18, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

E) Banning smoking[edit]

  • About as logical as banning suicide.--Bobbing up 11:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If it stops kids starting to smoke. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Strongly support. The public health benefits are enormous. Every country that's tried it has deemed it a success. Silver Sloth 11:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • grown ups are grown ups. laws should be in place for kids, but if you want to do something that may or may not be healthy - like drinking, pot, ciggies, sex-till-you-drop, drugs, work-a-holics, playing guitar till you 'got blisters on me fingers', or play Doom 24 hours a day, i really could care less. Show up to work on time, do your job, and your free time is yours.--Waiting for Godot 11:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I assumed this meant smoking in public places. There is does affect you. Second hand smoke kills. Silver Sloth 11:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm not even sure i agree there. I mean I agree that it can be dangerous, yes. but I don't know if i care that a resturant has an *enclosed* smoking section, or that the smokers can go outside. Denver's new regs say they must be 25 feet from any door and 10 feet from teh building, and it can't be a special room provided for them. in otherwords. "during snow storms, suffer, damned smokers". that's outrageous to me (as a non smoker, that is).--Waiting for Godot 13:18, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
One year, yes, only one year after Scotland brought in their ban on smoking in public places heart disease fell by 17%. In England The Daily Mail, not a paper noted for it's leftist leanings, reported that the drop after one year was as high as 41%. That's a good enough reason for me. Silver Sloth 17:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For a ban, although over here the ban even extends to railway platforms, which are a) mostly outdoors and b) regularly visited by trains pumping out deisel fumes. Totnesmartin 13:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Although it has a little of that "smacks of heavy handedness" sort of thing, I have to say that I am for it. I really hate smoking. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think banning smoking in places like bars and restaurants should be up to the owner of the establishment. In places like parks etc., I don't really have a stance. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not a fan (ex-smoker). Although obviously smoking does no-one any good, banning it seems like the thin end of the wedge. What happens if they start banning alcohol? Bans are having terrible effects in rural Ireland - all the ould fellas who used to get together in the rural pubs now have nowhere to go to chat, on top of which strict drink-driving legislation is curbing their ability to go anyway. As a result, rural pubs are closing at a rate of about one a week, and rural society is being broken up. Nanny-Statism of the worst kind, I think. DogP 14:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I support curbing smoker's rights, but lately it's started to become punitive. That's just mean-spirited, and I hate the damn cancer sticks. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only in certain places, with administrative penalties. We all have rights. --JayJay4ever??? 16:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only in some public places. Also I agree with bans on tobacco advertising (like we have in the UK). Weaseloid 16:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think 'informed consent' should be the standard here. If you are aware of the risks, but want to do it anyway, no-one should be able to stop you. In enclosed public places (bars, restaurants, cafes, etc), it should be up to the owner - he can have a 'no smoking' section, ban smoking entirely or have smoking throughout as they see fit. If, as a customer/member of staff, you think the risks of 'second-hand smoke' aren't worth it, you walk out/quit. Zmidponk 17:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Smoking definitely should be banned in government/public buildings. Beyond that, I think leaving such a decision to the owner of the property or building in question is fair. It might be reasonable to mandate some kind of clear notification of the allowance of smoking or lack thereof inside businesses and such. OneForLogic 19:46, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. We should discourage young people from starting the disgusting habit, but banning it is too draconian for me and the resulting black market would have unpleasant social consequences.--Damo2353 22:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No ban of smoking in general, but banning it in any government building, office buildings, transit and so forth, and in cases where it clearly endangers children, I'm for. If someone wants to smoke on their back step, let 'em. Just no subsidies, etc. --Kels 23:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No ban in general, but it shouldn't be allowed in public grounds, and it should be clear to the smoker what the risks of smoking are. I think in general it should be left to the owner's judgement whether it's be allowed on his/her property, including his bussiness place. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:32, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban it in public places/hospitals/work places etc like we've done in the UK (I'm an ex-smoker)Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next...
  • Hospitals-yes, Government property-yes, anywhere else-leave it up to the owner of the property. --CPAdmin1 11:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
One of the main aims of the smoking ban in England was to protect the lungs of bar staff, who were obliged to work in smoky pubs, clubs etc all day - so some private property would need to come under the law if it is used by the public. There are limits though - the man recently prosecuted for smoking in his van has every reason to complain. Totnesmartin 14:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
When you work at a bar, you know what you are getting into. --CPAdmin1 14:35, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Crap! Bar staff are generally poorly paid and often don't have alternatives. They're not all middle class college kids earning a bit of pocket money. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:47, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm not buying it. No alternatives? Even so, it still isn't the government's job to ban smoking. --CPAdmin1 14:50, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The government sets standards about the water we drink, the food we eat and the air that we breathe. Removing known toxins from the air would seem to fall within their remit.--Bobbing up 13:35, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against (smoker) ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 19:54, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good lord, no. Strongly oppose. Secret Squirrel 11:41, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am very thankful that most restaurants don't allow smoking any more, Occasionally I run into one with a Smoking Section and it sucks. Carptrash 00:40, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Honestly, as the daughter of an ex-smoker, I have to say that smoking is extremely harmful to health. However, I believe that it should only be banned in public places. Second-hand smoke is dangerous. People have died from it. Fully banned, though, what will stop people from selling it under the counter like drugs are in present day? It's called "tobacco rolling", people, and it's almost free and totally unstoppable. People already get killed and stolen from with the reason being drugs or dealer-consumer schisms. Do cigarettes really need to be another cause? Especially when so many people are already addicted. What? Do you expect everyone to just get over it? I expect thousands of people to go into a little something called, "withdrawl". So, no, cigarrettes should not be fully banned. Crime rates will go up and people will just find ways to smoke anyway. Makki 16:56, 5 November 2008 (EST)
  • As much as I hate smoking, I don't see banning it altogether solving anything. Banning it in public places does make sense, however; just because you like your air smelling of smoke does not mean that the coughing man next to you approves. There's also health benefits to consider. tl;dr seconding Makki --Otend (talk) 00:47, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It's nobody else's business whether or or not somebody smokes.-Hagagaga

F) Democracy[edit]

  • There are people who are against democracy?--Bobbing up 11:31, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Duh! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Personally, I hate the idea. No one has time to be educated on the millions of things our local, state, and federal legislators have to contemplate every day. I say, let's vote for our representatives and let them do the dirty work ! oh wait, that's what we do.--Waiting for Godot 11:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There is no alternative I would wish to live under. Silver Sloth 11:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Totnesmartin 13:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy just doesn't work.- Kent Brockman
  • Liberals are against Democracy? Really? I haven't heard that outside of CP and Fox News. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Arcan, this is the "In favor of" list. Liberals are supposed to be for it which I guess that means Conservatives are against it. (Although I haven't heard many actually voicing that opinion.) Personally I think that barring myself being elected as some sort of galactic emperor, democracy is the best of all the poor alternatives. People may say democracy is crap but I say it is at least fairly crap. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I apologize - I hadn't had my morning irish coffee yet. Sorry everyone! --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 15:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course - it's anything but perfect, but what other reasonable systems do we have? Although, like Genghis, I'm quite keen on being made Overlord. I think that would be the best system for everyone. DogP 14:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course. Any government which exists without the express will of the governed is, de facto, totalitarian, even if the leadership is a bunch of selfless teddy bear types. EVDebs 19:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As Churchill said, it's the worst form of government, but from everything we have, it's the best. Or something like that. --JayJay4ever??? 16:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. I remember my A-level history teacher using that quote but I've never been able to remember who it came from. The way I remember it was something like 'democracy is the worst form of government - except for all the other forms of government'. Sums it up pretty well. The majority view isn't always correct, but a good democratic government should balance it with restraint & common sense. Weaseloid 17:02, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The best form of government, theoretically, is an absolute dictatorship by a completely perfect, selfless, utterly incorruptible person. Owing to the fact I'm busy with other things, I'll take democracy instead. Zmidponk 18:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Surely a better question is "what kind of democracy?".
  • Something democracy-ish would be nice, yes. Nice change from now, in any case. --Kels 23:38, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Fuck yeah! NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:33, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I lean more towards participatory democracy, rather than representative democracy, but yeah, voting is kewl. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:16, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The united states is a Republic, not a Democracy. Pure democracy is really not a good form of government. I like this republic thing myself. --CPAdmin1 11:58, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Well, you've got a point, and you haven't. Switzerland is almost a pure democracy, and it's good. JJ4eGuava marmalade! 15:59, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Switzerland is also a much smaller nation. --CPAdmin1 16:05, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Are you supporting Big Government, CPAdmin? You make Baby Reagan cry.
No I am not supporting big government. Our government now is much to big. Just because I believe in small government does not mean I believe in no government. There has to be some government, and I think that the republican form set up by our founding fathers is a better idea than pure democracy. --CPAdmin1 13:11, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Being the evil intellectual elitist I am, I'm against direct democracy because, by definition, half of all people are of below-average intelligence. Even wth the insulating layers of government we have now, or country STILL seems to be run by whoever can afford to buy the best attack-ads, and removing insulation wouldn't be an improvement. (For example, I'm pretty sure that in a 'pure democracy', it would have been totally feasible to get a law passed making it legal to hunt Arabs for sport on 9/12/2001.) --Gulik 19:00, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
I took a paper on democracy taught by a marxist, I said the Simpsons Monorail episode provided the best example of why direct democracy was a silly idea. He didn't give me a very good mark. By the way, this republic/democracy distinction is semantics. The US is a representative democracy, just like almost every other Western nation. --DamoHi 19:50, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We need more of it, and maybe even more of a shift in the direction of direct democracy as opposed to representative democracy. There are some U.S. states for example that do not allow for citizen initiatives and referenda. There are some U.S. states that still restrict who can vote. In both cases the laws should be changed. Secret Squirrel 11:44, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • A rose by any other name - - - so, pick your favorite democracy.
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
German Democratic Republic (East Germany -remember them?)

and so it goes. Carptrash 00:48, 15 August 2008 (EDT)

  • It sucks less than the alternatives. I'd honestly rather have it than most forms of government. Unless I was in control, in which case my bias would tilt my opinion to the "pro" side. --Otend (talk) 00:49, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

G) Enforcing political correctness[edit]

  • How would one do such a thing?--Bobbing up 11:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Common politeness should do. SusanG  ContribsTalk 11:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • "enforcing?" I think that if you kill some kid in wyoming cause he's gay, you should be tried for Domestic Terrorism.--Waiting for Godot 11:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • PC = treating people with respect - who'd be against it? Totnesmartin 13:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
    • People who regard certain other people with utter hatred and contempt, and don't want to have to hide it to pretend to be civilized? --Gulik 13:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm totally with Susan on this one. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:21, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree about common courtesy, but enforcing it? No. However, there is a difference between enforcing courtesy and prohibiting a hostile work environment. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Sometimes it is necessary to be blunt and even impolite, but not just because someone is of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, physical difference (unless they're just really, really fat), political persuasion or religious belief. And punching someone in the gob because you don't like what they said isn't on. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:10, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Like Susan said. DogP 14:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Political correctness is a problem all over the political spectrum. If everyone treated it as a matter of simple politeness rather than a grand show of righting wrongs, it wouldn't be an issue. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Enforcing political correctness where? Governments can't enforce what people say & think. They can enforce equal opportunity laws for employers & suchlike. The media should exercise political correctness out of respect for their audience. They shouldn't necessarily be forced to do so by law. Weaseloid 17:07, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Depends how far you go. If you go as far as banning certain words on the grounds that they are considered offensive, then you've gone too far - I've always been of the opinion that it's the intent that counts, not the words used to express it or accomplish it. Zmidponk 18:04, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The 1st Amendment prohibits this. That said, it still absolutely should not be necessary. People should be educated to ignore the hateful (or not so hateful) things other say. If someone were to say something like "OneForLogic is an idiotic goat-killer", I would simply ignore it, as their words have no effect on me. This should be the standard, not the exception. OneForLogic 19:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. We can't go around telling people to conform to one person's notion of political correctness, that would be politically incorrect.--Damo2353 22:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Er, no. Thought police is bad. Prosecuting hate crimes and racial/sexual/etc harrassment, yes. But otherwise no. --Kels 23:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Fuck no! Disagree both in terms of principle and practice. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:34, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not sure on this one. As a mental health professional I have to be careful what I say to/about my patients; I could lose my job for calling someone a loon/nutcase etc. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:19, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This expression has just about lost all its meaning through rampant overuse. As far as I can tell, saying something politically correct is to say something which would cause you the least political damage. These days denouncing political correctness has become the new political correctness. \approx\pi 08:29, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • First Amendment anyone??? Any legislation (or court decision) that infringes free speech is bad. For example, if someone wanted to say that white people are the best, and black people and jews are lower races, they should have the right to say that. (I obviously don't have a position anything like that, so don't blow up at me). --CPAdmin1 12:02, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What CPAdmin1 said, except that I hunt down white people that say that. ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 19:56, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
Who cares about the first amendment? The question is whether it's a good idea. Foreign countries' constitutions are neither here nor there. (Well ok, they are there.)--Bobbing up 16:27, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good lord, no. If a frat at the University of Maryland wants to hold a Halloween party where they all dress like stereotypical inner city gang members, that's their business without the campus bringing them up on charges or making them attend forced diversity training or sensitivity awareness sessions. Secret Squirrel 11:47, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

H) Ethanol production[edit]

  • Against producing ethanol? Is it highly toxic or what?--Bobbing up 11:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If it supplants food production probably not good. SusanG  ContribsTalk
Actually... I'm brazilian, and we are heavy users of Ethanol since the seventies. Food prices didn't skyrocket in any moment since then. Dunno what would happen in US or in the really screwed countries on the third world (Brazil is only halfway screwed). Anyway, I prefer to have more alternatives like wind, nuclear and even biodiesel (a Ethanol-like stuff some places are using).--Lgallindo (talk) 21:33, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • World Food Prices Skyrocket. how bout wind, water, even nuclear power, thanks.--Waiting for Godot 11:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I used to be for, but now it's bust. There's no point driving cheaply to an empty food shop. Totnesmartin 13:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • WfG is right. There are plenty of other things we could be doing to solve energy problems. Susan's point is very good too. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:24, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree with Susan and WfG, and I'm in the same position as Totnesmartin. Though, I have to say, I would like to learn more about non-corn based ethanol. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I was just now thinking of Back to the Future. Americans waste LOTS of food. Do we ever see a time when that wasted & rotting food could be turned to fuel?--Waiting for Godot 14:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
It's already being done I believe. Don't have a handy link but only recently I read about someone converting food waste into diesel. (Thinks - I'm sure I read that somehwere.) Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There's nothing wrong with ethanol production per se. However, what is important is how it is produced. Diverting resources from food production, cutting down rainforest or utilising petrochemical fertilisers are all gross stupidities. Using waste products like straw, grass or wood chippings is acceptable but not likely to major inroads into world petroleum consumption. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
PS I remember several years ago driving through the U.S. bible-belt (Alabama, Mississippi etc) and seeing gas stations proclaiming that there was no ethanol in their gas. I always presumed this was to dissociate themselves from the demon alcohol.
  • All it's done is remove resources from food production globally, destroy more rainforest, and jack up inflation. Terrible idea which started with the very best intentions. DogP 14:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Depends on the feedstock and the impact on the food supply. Brazil made it work with sugar cane; for the US it's been a disaster with corn because of the greater energy requirements for processing. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No opinion, as I haven't looked into it. Zmidponk 18:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Producing ethanol is only a good idea if we find a better source than corn or develop a way to refine it more efficiently. As it is, we're using almost as much energy to produce the ethanol as the ethanol being produced provides in the end, and we're driving up food prices in the process. Also, Genghis, I'm not sure where you're from, but most of my friends here in Jesusland are huge fans of alcohol. I doubt that had anything to do with it. How long ago was this? OneForLogic 21:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
OFL, I'm sure there are many fans of alcohol down there, they need something to brighten up their lives. It would have been in the early 90s and driving through the back roads of Alabama it seemed like the only buildings we saw were gas stations and churches. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic?
That seems about right, gas stations and churches. I wasn't really paying much attention to what people thought of ethanol in the 90s. You may have seen that in a community where they were worried about the potential negative effects ethanol can have on some kinds of engines, especially older ones. OneForLogic 12:21, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As long as it doesn't clash with food production. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:50, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's not widely available, it's not extensively researched and there's the chance it could supplant food production. Develop it more then let's see about it ... Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:20, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No thanks. It is, (1) Less efficient, (2) Costs more, (3) increases food prices which can lead to starvation around the world. (4) Why do we have to have %10 right now? too much regulation. (5) It takes about 70% more energy to produce ethanol, than the final product gives you. --CPAdmin1 12:06, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Where did you get that 70% more energy to produce than it gives? You are aware that he Egyptians use to produce ethanol without giant energy expense.\approx\pi 21:08, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Here. sorry I should have linked it the first time. --CPAdmin1 21:33, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
That is corn however which is a complex carbohydrate. If you use a simple sugar you should be able to produce ethanol at a sustainable level. \approx\pi 22:27, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Where do you get the hydrogen from?--Bobbing up 16:28, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Hydrolyzing seawater is one possibility, although I have to admit that I don't know nearly as much as I should about the complexity and cost-efficiency of getting H this way. It's my understanding you get a non-trivial amount of lithium out of the seawater in the process, too. If we are able to commercialize fusion power in the near future, a shift to using hydrogen as our primary fuel seems almost inevitable to me. OneForLogic 12:21, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Support. We have farm subsidies for a good reason, because ensuring the health of the agricultural sector (or any sector) through subsidies is a legitimate role of government. Yes, ethanol is heavily subsidized. The radical free-marketers argue it costs more money to produce ethanol than what one could get by selling it, and that it takes almost as much energy to produce ethanol as you get from the end product. Both of these are "so what"s. I'm not a radical free-marketer. Secret Squirrel 11:51, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Very strong for, just figure out how to use seaweed or switchgrass instead of corn. Also, any alcohol drinker is drinking ethanol, so of course we're producing it! Sterilesnore! 12:43, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

I) Fairness Doctrine (radio shows)[edit]

  • What is this?--Bobbing up 11:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I care not what anyone says on the radio - I,ve got a channel changer & an off switch SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • you have a remote control???? what a concept. By the way, can we tell fundamentalists that if they don't like certain show or that some tv uses violence--to make a point, can they just not look? Waiting for Godot 11:52, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What, and be deprived of WIGO material? Rush and his friends only have power because people listen. Totnesmartin 13:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I just wish that there were a lot more intelligent people who would do as Susan suggests and stop listening. Therefore making conservative talk radio go bust on its own. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a complex issue that interweaves technical, cultural and political issues. Broadly, yes, but it's impossible to give a short answer. EVDebs 15:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm a staunch supporter of Freedom of Speech, and parents should decide what their children can or can't hear/read/see. --JayJay4ever??? 16:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm on the fence here. I can see the underlying aim of it, which I generally agree with, but when there's as many radio stations as there is today, would it actually do anything useful to further that aim? I'm not sure it would. Zmidponk 18:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This was always a violation of the first Amendment. People always had the choice to not listen to stations broadcasting things they don't want to hear. I practice this rather actively while I commute to and from work; I listen to my favorite station while they're holding their morning talk show or playing music, and I switch to the CD a friend left in my car a couple months ago during commercials. The stations have freedom of speech, and I have the freedom to control the radio in my car. OneForLogic 21:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. There may have been some cause for this back when there limited tv shows and radio stations and people had no choice as to what they listened to. Today there is nearly every political opinion out there available to listen to. Sure some shows are biased, but then there are shows that are biased the other way. For instance I sometimes watch Fox news and laugh at the bias, but then I listen to the Young Turks and don't seem to mind the blatant partisanship.--Damo2353 22:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whut Susan said. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:21, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For those of you that don't know, the fairness doctrine says that you have to give equal time to all sides of debate. One of the main goals of the "fairness" doctrine would be to shut down conservative talk radio. Obviously an infringement of free speech. --CPAdmin1 12:07, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
It's an infringement of free speech if conservative views were shut down, which they wouldn't be. Free speech is for everyone, not just everyone who agrees with you. Totnesmartin 17:50, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As per Susan. People need to stop being so easily offended. Anyway, for some strange reason, conservatives on the radio are more entertaining than liberals. I'd rather listen to the total shit that pours out of the mouth of Rush than the maudlin preaching to the choir from some liberal radio. It doesn't mean I agree with him - I don't, I loathe him and his ilk, but he is entertaining, and somehow I like to listen to what the other side thinks more than hearing my own views thrown back at me. DogP 15:20, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There are certain things liberals just need to get over as lost causes that did more harm than good, and bid them good riddance. Affirmative action is one, the 55 mph speed limit is another, and the Fairness Doctrine is another. Why not work on something genuinely useful and genuinely liberal like union organizing Wal-Mart instead of these pointless lost causes?Secret Squirrel 11:54, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

J) Gun Control[edit]

  • I think that controlling guns is a good idea.--Bobbing up 11:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm so glad I live in a country where I've never seen a handgun. I hope I never do. Strongly in favour. Silver Sloth 11:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Silver said. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • I've hunted all my life. Guns can be sports. But there is no reason we can't get a rain in on weapons--Waiting for Godot 11:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT) used against humans.
  • Five American children are shot dead every day, mostly with legal, home guns. Time for this to stop, I think. Totnesmartin 13:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm of the opinion that there are certain guns that are only people-killers and no one should have them. On the other hand, a total ban (on most anything) is never a good thing. It just leads to black markets and more crime. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I like guns (though I wouldn't mind living without them) but I don't see why guns can't be "controlled." Trigger locks, waiting periods, I don't see the problem. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Strongly in favour. DogP 14:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Most parts of the world consider unfettered gun ownership to be a mark of a broken society. The real problem is the inflexibility of firearms advocates, who are trying to force a one-size-fits-all gun policy on a very diverse country. I think the 2nd Amendment is obsolete and the NRA/libertarian position is astonishingly irresponsible in a country with huge divides between urban and rural and a long history of ignoring or exacerbating race and class issues. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In favour. In an ideal world where everyone was nice, there would be no reason shooting enthusiasts couldn't own guns. In the real world, gun crime is too big a problem. Weaseloid 17:10, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Generally in favor, as guns are made purely and utterly to kill or maim, but, if implemented, it would have to be enforced on a country-wide basis, with the same level of control in every state, unlike the current system of different states having different rules. Zmidponk 18:20, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In favor. Too many disturbed/dangerous people out there. --JayJay4ever??? 20:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Where do you live, Sloth, Susan? It sounds nice. And unfortunately, while gun crime is indeed a serious problem in real life, it would become a much bigger one if the government tried to crackdown on gun ownership and add severe new restrictions. Seriously, my fundy Jesusland friends and their families would openly and violently rebel if the government tried to ban gun ownership outright, or if it did anything that they considered too close to a ban. The culture down here has to change first. I'm working on it. Widespread availability an effective, long range, nonlethal defensive weapon, like an electrolaser (we're only just beginning development on those), would go a long way toward solving the problem. OneForLogic 22:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm sorry but this is an absolute no-brainer. If you reduce the supply of guns then it becomes harder for criminals to get them. Sure serious organised crime and bank robbers will still get them but the petty thieves and low level crooks won't be able to. Also if everybody has guns for self-defence then criminals will be forced to carry them and more violent and semi violent crimes will result in murders.--Damo2353 23:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm with Susan and Sloth. I've lived in two Canadian cities, and the only handguns I've ever seen, ever, have been in the holsters of police, and in museums. That's it. --Kels 23:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm certainly in favor of SOME form of gun control, however, I really have no idea what should be acceptable and what is not or even know how loose/strict the laws are currently around the world (or care). NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:40, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against gun control. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of only people from the government having guns -especially given how America is slowly(?) drifting towards fascism אנדי שלאפלי איז א פאץ What, you can't read it? Learn how to speak Yiddish 08:24, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes to gun control. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 17:57, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Regardless of what your position on the usefulness of gun control, it is a clear violation of the 2nd amendment. (sorry if you live outside the US) Personally, even without the amendment I am against gun control. --CPAdmin1 12:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • The second Amendment in question reads as such: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It basically means that organizations such as the National Guard can exist. However, I am less for gun control, and more for gun education. Most crimes involving guns are caused by idiots who have little, if any experience with them. The problem is that people ignore pushes for legislation for stuff like that until you get cases like Virginia Tech and Columbine. You have no idea how much I cringe when I hear people talk about how they wish they had a gun so they could flaunt it around and intimidate people with it. I personally have no desire to own a gun, but I'm not stopping everybody else from being idiots and killing themselves.ENorman 10:56, 30 December 2008 (EST)
  • I am not an American, and I am for gun control. I would like to question the argument for gun ownership because "it limits the power of government." This argument seems to be extremely resonant with american conservatives, even more so than the argument from personal freedoms. However, thanks to media coverage of crime, we know what "the government is coming for you" looks like. It looks like 6-12 large men in bullet-proof gear toting an assortment of assault rifles and shotguns and trained in urban warfare knocking down your front door. It seems to me that if the government is going to abuse police power against an indvidual, it matters extremely little if the victim is holding a handgun or not. The other scenario is a fascist-style takeover using the military to suppress dissent. Supposedly if everyone had a gun, the "people" would be able to rise up and overthrow a military junta. This sounds like a fantasy to me. Authoritarian government is all about coercion and control. It seems wildly implausible that any fascist group would attempt to take control of a nation of 300 million hostile citizens with 2 million soldiers. Any authoritarian encroachments by the US government would need to have significant support from the people (see the patriot act). So any resistance would be numerically small, and again guns don't seem to give very much advantage. Am I missing something?-Antifly 12:45, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
No, you're not. You've hit the nail on the head, in fact. Conservatives are always banging on about "jackbooted Govinmint troops kicking in your door", but of course that's conservative argument style #2 - it's a straw man, as the US is absolutely NOT going to go on a fascist rampage into the homes of every American - the system could never accommodate it. And don't quote Waco and Randy Whathisface to me - they were crazy psychos and they should have known what was coming. DogP 15:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The argument is about rights. I'm not expecting the government to come knocking down my door. But if they did I would rather have the ability to defend myself and lose, than to have no choice. --CPAdmin1 15:44, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
See? You did it again, the moment you said "But". DogP 16:27, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The point is that every human being has a fundamental right to defend himself. I don't care who you are thinking about defending yourself from. I am not saying that the government is going to go doing that stuff. The point is about rights, not specific situations. --CPAdmin1 16:34, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I realize that there are other arguments for gun ownership, and that the argument from personal freedoms is probably the strongest. I was only addressing one argument, the argument from fear of the government. The only point I am trying to make is that the argument in question is weak to the point of being empty rhetoric. Furthermore, I think that the fact that conservatives in america make this argument repeatedly, and vigourously, says quite alot about the american conservative mindset.Antifly 20:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
If guns stop people being killed - how come the US has more gunshot deaths than any other western democracy? Logically, if guns protect people - and as the US has the most guns - it should be the safest country in the world.--Bobbing up 13:39, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I agree. I don't think CPAdmin1 is arguing that defending yourself with a gun is a good way to handle confrontation, he's arguing that there's no better way to handle some of them. Kind of like the problem with democracy. I also really like the idea of being able to defend myself and my property, even though it's unlikely I'll ever have to do so. I like the idea of cops being able to stop assaults, thefts, and other crimes without killing anyone even more. That's why I find the idea of an effective, less-lethal weapon appealing. I hope to spend some time, either in grad school or after, working on such a system as the electrolaser I described above for exactly that reason. For now, in the US, this is going to be a tricky issue. Too many people have, and feel strongly about keeping, too many guns. We can't simply ban them outright like some places have. We've got to use our information technology intelligently to make it hard for known convicts and the mentally unstable to get guns legitimately, and we have to work on making less-lethal, defensive technologies more effective and more widely available. I think that's about the best we can do. OneForLogic 16:10, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Another point. If owning guns makes place safer - why doesn't the US distribute guns freely to everybody in Iraq and Afghanistan? If guns make people safer they should give them to everybody shouldn't they?--Bobbing up 16:55, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Funny thing, that. Apparently, the general populace of Iraq were heavily-armed, pre-invasion. Strangely, despite what 2nd amendment fundamentalists keep saying would happen in the USA under similar conditions, they failed to rise up and overthrow the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. How odd... --Gulik 18:55, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good lord, no. You should have the right to keep just about anything you want in your top dresser drawer. Nor should the government be in the business of deciding who is fit to keep it in their top dresser drawer and who isn't fit, nor should they be in the business of registering what is in your top dresser drawer. This goes for drugs as well as guns, BTW. Secret Squirrel 11:55, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Agree with teh squirrel. It does have to fit in your dresser though. ТyTalk. 01:10, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • My opinion is that if you're not getting shot, it's none of your business what types of or how many weapons a person owns or carries, as the Constitution includes an implied right to privacy (defended in Supreme Court cases such as Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas, which I use as examples just to confuse the people who assume that all gun enthusiasts are politically conservative). Shooting people is illegal. People still get shot. There are laws against stabbing people as well Since gun laws started getting less restrictive in the USA (mid 1980's), violent crime has gone down, while the opposite has happened in Europe, where gun laws started getting more restrictive in the same time period. Besides, could Timothy McVeigh have killed so many people if he didn't have access to high-capacity "assault clips" that are being absurdly demonized right now?-Hagagaga
  • What, so Conservatives want control over drugs and sex, but guns are a-OK? This doesn't fit into any category- Mect.

K) Hate crime legislation[edit]

  • Seems a good idea to have legislation against crimes - hate or not.--Bobbing up 11:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Don't think that a hate crime should be any different from any crime. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • "hate crimes" are domestic terrorism. the intent is to cause FEAR in a particular society, group, gender, religion, etc., due to acts of violence or threats. It should be charged not as a so-called thought crime, but as domestic terrorism. We see what terrorism does to middle class american white families when Muslims do it, how is that any different than what gay kids in Wyoming feel after one of their own is scarcrowed on a fence - just cause he hit on the wrong person?--Waiting for Godot 11:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm with WfG. I'd much rather see these crimes labeled as terroristic. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:31, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Cautiously for - If you mean "hate speech" (crime is crime, whatever the motive) - then yes, stopping people stirring up riots or just-short-of-inciting attacks on minorities is a good thing - but watch that slide... Totnesmartin 13:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It depends on your definition of "hate crime." WfG is right, but when the definition/use gets too broad, the intent of the legislation is diluted to mean nothing. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Cautiously for. DogP 14:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Cautiously for as well, with the proviso that they should not be used as bludgeons just to get a longer sentence from a judge. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course restrictions on hate crime are necessary. The title doesn't make it clear what kind of specific legislation we are giving an opinion on. Weaseloid 17:13, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If used properly, in favor, but could be abused to create a Big Brother-esque 'thought police' situation. Zmidponk 18:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I thought criminal incitation was punishable. --JayJay4ever??? 19:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm glad to see such agreement that this needs to be approached cautiously. Things like assault and murder are already crimes, and we can never truly know the intent of the assailant/murderer. What makes a hate crime different from any other murder? How do you tell the difference? And I'd definitely not recommend broadening the definition of "terrorism" any further. We can all see what Cheney has done with it already. Regardless of who your "terrorist" is, though, allowing yourself to live in fear accomplishes nothing. We decide whether or not any so-called "terrorist" accomplishes their goal. OneForLogic 22:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm in two minds about this one, I agree in principle but am afraid that in practice it can result in the squealching of speech that vocal minorities simply dislike. Also it seems to me to be very hard to define.--Damo2353 23:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In principle yes, in practice however, this has the potential to get out of hand as paranoia may get in the way of proper judgment as overreaction on the part of groups would turn a case between a few criminals and a few victims into a case between a few domestic terrorists and a would-be persecuted group. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:47, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What WFG said אנדי שלאפלי איז א פאץ What, you can't read it? Learn how to speak Yiddish 08:25, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Glad we have various laws to cover this in the UK. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:23, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hate speech? No. I believe in free speech. If hate crime means tougher penalties if someone commits crimes based on hate. (vandalizing all the stores owned by jews for example) I think I am against it. I think that they should get equal penalty as if it was some other motivation. Too much like crimethink. --CPAdmin1 12:14, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
To me, this attitude misses teh point of what "hate crimes" or rather, domestic terrorism are about. the KKK is not doing "arson" or "graffiti" which is what the technical "crime" is. They are attempting to make sure that no one steps out of line for fear of KKK retribution. A guy who beats up a gay kid, or shoots a transsexual, or drags a black man down the road in a truck is not just committing murder, he is **with intent** telling all blacks, all gays, or all trannies that they better not come out of the closet, or walk on this side of town, or try to catch a bus - cause we are out there and we'll get you. It's also about literally punishing someone for simply being different. Treason is a so-called "thought crime". the level of murder (is it manslaughter, murder one, murder in the third degree, etc) that is based on intent and motive. So it's not like this is some how "thought police". we have always asked "why did the crime occur" when deciding what to charge the person with, and what penalty to ask.
  • Good lord, no. What is a "hate crime"? I am opposed to "enhanced sentences" in general, not just on this issue. Secret Squirrel 11:57, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I loathe hate crimes, as long as we're talking about things that are actual crimes and can be shown to have happened for hateful/bigoted/discriminatory/etc reasons. If, say, you're shooting someone who happens to be gay, but not BECAUSE they are gay, then just treat it like murder instead of bigoted murder. However, the issue with it is this: it's almost impossible to show or prove intent. It's a bit more complicated an issue than many think... --Otend (talk) 00:59, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

L) Helmet laws for motorcyclists[edit]

  • You could argue this one, but it seems like a good idea.--Bobbing up 11:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ever since an idiot motorist hit me on a roundabout I, and my family, have been strongly in favour. I owe my life to my helmet. Silver Sloth 11:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course- it saves money on the health services as an added bonus! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • in states with mandatory helmet laws, motorcycle accidents that result in death go down by (honest to god) 66%. http://motorcycles.about.com/b/2008/06/27/another-study-reveals-death-rate-increase-after-helmet-law-repeal.htm--Waiting for Godot 11:57, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hey, if you want to be a dumbass and ride a motorcycle without a helmet, go ahead. I just don't want to be burdened with the cost of scraping your brains off the ground. You can lay there and rot like so many roadkill deer for all I care. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Why is this "liberal"? It's just common sense, surely? Totnesmartin 13:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I don't think it should be mandatory, but I think it should be an "at your own risk" situation (for instance, not wearing a helmet would forfeit your right to sue over head injuries). --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
But in that case should the National Health Service put you back together if you have an accident?--Bobbing up 14:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Head injuries are so serious that a public health system needs ample protection against them. A relative nearly died in a serious motorcycle accident, but was saved by his helmet, so I'm all for enforcement. DogP 14:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, it's a public health issue. Dying of a head injury in a motorcycle accident -- or worse, not dying -- has ripple effects on family, emergency services, and health care systems. Helmets reduce those effects by reducing serious injury. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. It's a basic road safety requirement. Weaseloid 17:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. My own personal opinion is that you're an utter fool if you don't wear one, but my opinion should not be enforced as law. Zmidponk 18:24, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Few enough people ride motorcycles that I can't imagine the public medical costs of caring for the idiots that crash while not wearing a helmet are that substantial. I'm personally very much in favor of motorcyclists wearing helmets (I always do), but I'm not sure we really need to mandate it. OneForLogic 22:19, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, they save lives at little inconvenience. Saving lives has social and economic benefits to a society.--Damo2353 23:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Principle: No. Practice: Yes. Combined: *shrug*. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:49, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Same with seatbelt laws. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 12:16, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No brainer. I started my nursing career working on a head injury unit. Compulsory skidlids for all. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 18:02, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not the government's business. It doesn't hurt anyone else. If I want to risk bashing my head in, it isn't their job to stop me. --CPAdmin1 12:15, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm curious about your "it doesn't hurt anyone else" sentence. As one simple example; what about my higher than should be insurance premiums because motorcycle-riding jackasses don't were their helmets? --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:27, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I think that your right to not wear a helmet is more important than your insurance premiums. And I doubt that they are actually significantly higher than they would be otherwise. --CPAdmin1 12:49, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
No, it's not. It's typical right-wing thinking that puts your own petty needs ahead of that of the community. Without the community that surrounds you, you are nothing. DogP 15:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't believe for one minute that someone not wearing a helmet is in any way harming the needs of the community. That said, I believe that we have god given rights, and it is the not the role of any government to take them away. --CPAdmin1 15:46, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Look at it this way - it's not dissimilar to mandating insurance. Do you have a problem with mandating vehicle insurance? DogP 22:06, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
You've got a god-given right to ride a motorbike without a crash helmet? Which book is that in? Also you are harming the community because the NHS has got to put you back together again after your accident - and that's paid for by society.--Bobbing up 16:59, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Al Franken once asked Ronnie why he's against helmet laws, he replied "it's against personal freedoms", Al continued, why then are you against pot? Ronnie said "it does brain damage"... nuff said. I'm for the laws ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:09, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good lord, no. This is a pro-choice issue, and I'm pro-choice. Secret Squirrel 11:58, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only against if I can't be sued for killing a motorcycle driver for his or her own stupidity. Otherwise it's natural selection in action. Otherwise for. Sterilesnore! 12:46, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If somebody wants to do something stupid and invoke natural selection, I say we let him.-Hagagaga
  • Either way the motorcyclist pays for not wearing a helmet. However, at least the Government will be getting money, instead of paying to clean up a mess.

M) Humanitarian intervention in other nations[edit]

  • If this means - "should we help other nations?" then yes.--Bobbing up 11:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • By invitation or international (UN) consensus SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • GENOCIDE because no one looked. Starvation cause no one cared. anyone who thinks we shouldn't interveen as some of the most powerful nations in the world, is simply no human.--Waiting for Godot 11:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Therefore you should agree with the Iraq war. --CPAdmin1 12:16, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • yes, we should help out the less fortunate. Totnesmartin 13:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree we should help other nations, as long as we don't lose sight of our own people's needs. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. It's just like public healthcare - a civilised global society cares for all its citizens. DogP 15:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • With great power and wealth comes great responsibility. Even if it's just a possible exchange of favors, humanitarian intervention tries to raise the standard of living as a whole; if you've got, someone else wants, and hundreds of millions of lives throughout history have been lost because of wars over resources. Better to share and be a good neighbor. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. Many of the developing world's problems are at least partially caused by economic manipulation by us wealthier nations. Helping out in a crisis is the least we can do. Weaseloid 17:19, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If you mean like the 'humanitarian intervention' in Iraq, no. If you mean things like supplying food aid, or protecting people being subjected to 'ethnic cleansing', yes. Zmidponk 18:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As long as it is humanitarian. No country or organization has the right to infringe another country's sovereignty for the sake of particular interests. --JayJay4ever??? 20:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It must be done correctly, which means that mostly it shouldn't be done at all. If emergency relief from the aftermath of a natural disaster is needed, we can, should, and often do help. That, we can (sometimes) get right. If the humanitarian intervention is needed due to some kind of genocide or civil war or similar conflict, we need to be careful. The people that would provide the aid on the ground must be protected as well as possible; better would be to help the affected civilians (PC euphemism for "the poor bastards getting their asses kicked") find somewhere else to go. The "lightly-defended refugee camp" approach doesn't work and is consistently a waste of time and resources. If we could trust our leaders and military to plan and execute effective military interventions to end this kind of fighting with minimal collateral damage, I'd support it. We've unfortunately proven many times in the last 100 years or so that we suck at that kind of thing. OneForLogic 22:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Sure, provided it is mandated by the UN.--Damo2353 23:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes if there's no international disagreement with the process, preferably if under the approval of the UN. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 03:53, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, even if we don't agree with the politics/have a grudge against that country (e.g. Cuba) אנדי שלאפלי איז א פאץ What, you can't read it? Learn how to speak Yiddish 08:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes but there needs to be some military teeth behind the humanitarian aid. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Totally in favor. --CPAdmin1 12:17, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Define humanitarian intervenion. If this means military intervention, then no. The U.S. shouldn't have troops anywhere for any reason. On the other hand: emergency (not normative, but emergency) food or monetary aid? Sure, I support that. International diplomacy and brokering peace treaties? Absolutely. But if U.S. troops come into the picture, my former support turns to strong opposition. Secret Squirrel 12:01, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

N) Marriage Equality[edit]

  • Okay, why wasn't this here? - Mect

O) Penalties on companies that hire offshore[edit]

  • Why?--Bobbing up 11:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Err ... No? - don't really understand this. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Dolphins deserve equal pay. Look, as long as we are saying "no immagrant labor forces", and demonizing aliens - then we should hold corporations accountable for spending money in places where not only will the US lose employment taxes, but the bread winners are bying foreign bread. either it's ok for us not to get taxes from employees or its not. you can't have it both ways just cause you like cheep products and hate mexicans.--Waiting for Godot 12:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's either an open market or its not - I say, those who wish for open global trade get what they wished for. The argument is a bigger one. DogP 15:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a far more complex issue than that. I'm certainly not a fan of offshore outsourcing though -- it shows a lack of understanding of the "human" part of "human resources". EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Overseas outsourcing is often exploitative, but redressing this would be very complicated, & 'penalising' companies or forcing them to stop outsourcing may not be the answer. Weaseloid 17:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • 'It's either an open market or its not - I say, those who wish for open global trade get what they wished for. The argument is a bigger one.' Totally agree. Zmidponk 20:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No, but it should be well regulated to avoid the abuses that usually come with it, especially when it's carried out in poor countries. --JayJay4ever??? 21:08, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely not. Our immigration laws must make sense and must be enforced, but being xenophobic and protectionist doesn't help anyone. What's more, the world's wealth is currently distributed very unevenly, and I consider it basically inevitable that things will even out. Since the world doesn't have enough resources to support all 6.7 billion of us at even a low-level American (U.S.) standard of living with our current technology, it makes sense that as things level out, Americans and residents of other developed nations will feel some economic pressure. Without some serious tech breakthroughs (fusion, anyone? Interstellar space travel? No? Darn.) and stabilization of the population, this can't be avoided. Stabilization of the world population can't really be avoided, either, it's just a matter of how painful it is. OneForLogic 22:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. Capitalism and foreign trade are based on the concept of comparative advantage.--Damo2353 23:13, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whut? Don't understand this one. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Nope. --CPAdmin1 12:17, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hell yeah! Tax the motherfuckers! ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:10, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely support. If anything, companies that move U.S. jobs offshore should have their corporate charter revoked, their assets siezed by the government, and their CEO and Board of Directors criminally prosecuted. Secret Squirrel 12:02, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If we support the kind of measures which invariably increase the cost of American labor, or reduce its output (Essentially, anything that increases the quality of life of the American laborer at the expense of corporate profit), we have no choice but to enforce such rules. Otherwise, manufacturing jobs (and apparently a limited category of service jobs) fly to the far reaches of the third world as fast as they can book tickets.WilhelmJunker 11:15, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

If we are trying to keep businesses and workers in our own country, it would seem unwise to make it even less desirable to do business here. Hiring offshore seems to me to be a natural result of ever-worse govt economic policies.

Higher taxes, higher prices, tougher regulations on business, and more unfunded mandates create a scenario in which the American worker is being priced out of the market. Simply clamping down on business won't solve any problems. -- RemBeau 23:36, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

P) Penalizing oil companies[edit]

  • Why?--Bobbing up 11:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For excess profiteering or poor environmental activities - yes. Otherwise No. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • what are we penalizing them for?
  • Ditto to Susan --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As per Susan. DogP 15:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto Susan. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Another ditto. We seem to be 100% on this one. Silver Sloth 18:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto. Is there an echo in here? Zmidponk 20:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. And yes. --JayJay4ever??? 21:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If they break a law, they should suffer the penalty proscribed by the law. Otherwise, no. And I absolutely oppose creating laws to penalize them for making too much money. That's an extremely blunt way to deal with a very complicated problem, if it turns out that "excessive profit" is a problem at all. OneForLogic 22:46, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I agree entirely with OneForLogic.--Damo2353 23:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Susan said אנדי שלאפלי איז א פאץ What, you can't read it? Learn how to speak Yiddish 08:28, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Susan said. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No, No, No. Excess profiteering my foot. Free market capitalism. If you don't like it, don't buy it. --CPAdmin1 12:19, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Even though consumers of oil products are essentially a captive audience? EVDebs 12:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Exactly. Where are the fuel-cell or hydrogen powered cars, Tim? Oh, right, no-one's invested enough money in the research, right....see point (S) DogP 15:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Are you advocating government price controls? what exactly are you going to do to the oil companies. The problem with oil prices is that we are stuck buying from OPEC because we refuse to use the oil we are sitting on top of. --CPAdmin1 15:48, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
"What exactly are you going to do to the oil companies." Nationalise them? Maybe then the gigantic profits they're digging out of the Earth that we all live on can be more fairly distributed? DogP 22:07, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

Similar to (N) in that it is counterproductive to punish the companies that are most needed.

-- RemBeau 23:38, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Q) PETA[edit]

  • I don't know enough about them.--Bobbing up 11:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In theory - Yes. Don't agree with their extremist actions though. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Don't agree with most of their policies - they are far to extreme for me. That said, I am for the ethical/humane treatment of animals. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes - we hideously mistreat animals and abuse our role as their safekeeper. I say it's a good thing someone's fighting for the critters. DogP 15:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • They're a complete con job. They are irrational extremists. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This is hard, as much as I love animals. I wish that barbaric treatment against animals should be criminalized, i.e. punishable with prison (or something worse, honestly), but from a strictly legal point of view, that's not possible. --JayJay4ever??? 19:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Agree with their general aim (the humane treatment of animals), but disagree with some of their methods. Zmidponk 20:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I also agree in principle that taking good care of animals is good and mistreating them is bad. I take good care of my pets. I really wish we had better ways to do things like test medicines and surgical methods than to use lab animals. But we don't, and I'd rather not die from a treatable condition because the cure/treatment hasn't been tested. On PETA's methods, though, I can't really say much. I've seen headlines come up every now and then, but don't remember any of the details. OneForLogic 23:02, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Call me a bad person if you want, but I don't really care about animals. I would prefer they weren't mistreated, but I certainly won't give money or start protesting on their behalf.--Damo2353 23:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Can I just say there is (nearly) nothing that pisses me of more than PETA. Animal rights in general I like in principal, PETA are morons and animal rights in practice usual ends in people wanting to ban farming. Do you know what happens if we stopped eating meat? Cows, sheep and chickens will probably go extinct as they need humans to survive the life they have. But back to PETA they have to be the most ridiculous animal rights organisation of all. \approx\pi 03:17, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes to not wearing fur/treating animals decently/killing them humanely to eat them etc but no to firebombing HLS employee homes. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:27, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No thanks. --CPAdmin1 12:19, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • A bunch of animal liberation nutters. Against. ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:12, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Good lord, no. Idiots. I'd love to take a few of them hunting though and give them a demonstration of how to field dress a deer. They might learn something. Secret Squirrel 12:04, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Sure, these guys tend to be over the top, but i am pleased (just my personal view -- nothing to do with Libertarianism) that there are people out there that make treatment of animals a high priority. If they have some influence in protecting pets from gratuitous maltreatment, i'd say they would be a very positive factor in society.

Now when they start to encroach on the sports (and palates) of hunters and fishermen by bringing along the force of law, they have moved into the realm of arrogant authoritarianism and will have to be stopped.

-- RemBeau 23:39, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

  • They do take things to the extreme, but I support humane and ethical treatment. Aboriginal Noise Theist, barely hanging by a nail 17:18, 5 November 2008 (EST)
  • I like them in that "oh, you" sort of way. If you take them seriously, however, the idiocy is pretty blatant. --Otend (talk) 01:02, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • No. ТyTalk. 01:11, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd like to let PETA know about that wonderful steak I had.-Hagagaga

R) Progressive tax system[edit]

  • On income, progressive systems are good.--Bobbing up 11:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes - as long as income differentials are as obscene as they are now. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Yes, rich people can easily afford to pay a bigger relative slice for things. Totnesmartin 13:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto to Totnesmartin, but my support is predicated on a reasonable system. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:52, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Tax the fuck out of the rich. They can absolutely afford it. DogP 15:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If you can afford more, you're obligated to give more. I do think the tax brackets ought to top out at 50%, but the flat tax is a scam. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yep. People who earn the most should be giving the most back. Weaseloid 17:25, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. And a more streamlined code, plz. --JayJay4ever??? 20:15, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hell, yes. Zmidponk 20:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I remember reading on CP that in the US the top 1% earn 22% of the income and yet paid 39% of the tax and that somehow this was unfair to the rich. It absolutely is unfair that the top 1% earn 22% of the income, so yes. I also should point out that in a large proportion of cases, rich people's children have a better chance of being rich themselves so it is fair for society to try to square the ledger somewhat.--Damo2353 23:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The friend I'm IMing now says that we should tax fast food at 50% or higher. Sounds fair to me. Other than that, I'd be very careful about making a progressive tax system. How much more are we talking about the rich paying? Keep in mind that most of you (and I) are likely employed by rich people. It's kind of unavoidable. And until I develop some kind of amazing new tech of my own and commercialize it and become independently wealthy, I like being able to get a job and get paid my pennies to their millions. It's better than nothing. OneForLogic 23:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yah tax dee rich. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No thanks. --CPAdmin1 12:20, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • TAX THE RICH BASTARDS!!! ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:26, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely support. If anything it isn't progressive enough - too much emphasis on regressive taxes like sales taxes, lotteries, and cigarette taxes. Shift to mainly heavily graduated income taxes, luxury/asset taxes on the very wealthy, and import duties and tariffs. Secret Squirrel 12:06, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As one of the rich in question, I say tax us. My family is actually in the lower portion of the top tax bracket, but we can sure as hell afford a bit more of it. However, I don't feel that that's the magical solution to closing the widening gap between the poor and middle class and the wealthy (if such were the case, the gap wouldn't be widening as it is). As the above poster noted, there are far too many consumer taxes which effectively target the people that can afford it the least; sales taxes, additional taxes on cigarettes, and state lotteries especially should be abolished, and have the income expected from them rolled into a higher tax bracket.WilhelmJunker 12:53, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Agree with teh squirrel and WilhelmJunker. ТyTalk. 01:13, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

It has the name 'progressive" in the math sense, and it sounds positive, but instead of moving us toward progress (greater prosperity), it has a negative impact on an economy, which amounts to it actually being regressive. Let's examine it.

It is hardly possible to raise taxes on any one group without adversely affecting all groups. You are a doctor, and the freemarket tends to pay you well, comparatively speaking. Hence the PTS hits you harder, directly, than those that have less discretionary income. You are sending your kids to the best schools, and are loathe to bring home less money than is needed tosustain their education.

So what do you do? Just like all those that are most highly taxed, you raise your rates to compensate. Those higher rates hurt which group the most? Those poor people that believed the pols promising to soak the rich would raise their standard of living at the expense of the rich. For some of them, rising medical expensives will break them financially.

Getting the other guy to pay taxes at a higher rate than you, may feel good, and get pols ignorant of the simplest economic principles (or demagogues) elected, but it won't change this reality: EVERYbody pays EVERYbody else's taxes. And businesses don't pay taxes -- they collect them from consumers.

-- RemBeau 23:40, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

S) Public funding to develop energy alternatives[edit]

  • Yes, or some kind of encouragement.--Bobbing up 11:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Yes. Yes. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Yes. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Private companies are slacking on this one, so yes. We need to find alternatives to oil and coal before they run out, not after. Totnesmartin 13:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. Private investment was never going to put a man on the Moon. DogP 15:07, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course. There are certain projects that can't be done without government support; the free market won't support anything that can't be monetized semi-immediately, and science doesn't work like that. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Weaseloid 17:25, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Now more than ever. --JayJay4ever??? 20:15, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. There's only so much oil in the world. Zmidponk 20:43, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a no brainer to provide public funds for projects that are necessary, but that private industry won't provide due to vested interests.--Damo2353 23:25, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • At least in the research and development stage, yes. I'd avoid the "Manhattan Project" and "Going to the Moon" comparisons people toss around when talking about energy, though. Completely different situations. OneForLogic 23:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No brainer. If the government wants to tax the profits of companies developing alternative energy sources then the government should help pay for the development. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:29, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ummm... I don't think so. If it is going to be economically viable, they should be able to develop it without govt. funding. I am in favor of some funding of scientific research. --CPAdmin1 12:21, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The problem is that this kind of new research will be very expensive, and unprofitable for a long time - a company could go bust trying to get it right. Thomas Edison had 3000 attempts at getting the light bulb right, but that was light bulbs are cheap. You can't expect a business to build power stations that may not work. Totnesmartin 18:06, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Well, I think (and haven't thought much about it really) that support in one way or another (say, smaller taxes for private companies indulging in said research) is a better solution than the aforementioned alternative (with exceptions, of course). NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:17, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes! Yes! God Almighty yes! ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:27, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely support. Secret Squirrel 12:07, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes! We ain't drilling our way out of this. Sterilesnore! 12:47, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No, the post apocalypse will be fun and totally bad ass, like Terminator or some shitWilhelmJunker 12:54, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. ТyTalk. 01:13, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

This is a faith issue. Govt would do the job poorly and expensively, if at all -- the freemarketplace will do it best. Your faith may have you believe the opposite.

-- RemBeau 23:40, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

  • Coal is toxic, with pretty strongly radioactive emissions. We need as much nuclear power as we can muster (its emissions are barely any more radioactive than air). The fact that that there have only been two events that even approached being a major disaster should be a positive for nuclear power. However, other sources should be used as a secondary system (but they tend to be highly inefficient, with wind plants often taking decades to pay for themselves).

T) Seatbelt laws[edit]

  • We insist that cars have working brakes - why not insist that they have every available safety measure working. Silver Sloth 11:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Again, there is a civil liberties argument, but in general I think we need these. --Bobbing up 11:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Of course - be selfish & think of the health costs if nothing else. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • And the benefits to children! Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • My answer to L above seems to cover this enough. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think this is more clear cut than the helmet laws. Yes to seatbelt laws. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Comments as per helmet laws - yes. DogP 15:07, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Public health issue, same as helmet laws. I've nearly been killed twice in car accidents, and I am therefore a fanatic about seatbelts. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Basic safety issue. Weaseloid 17:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Perhaps this clashes with civil liberties, but yes. --JayJay4ever??? 20:15, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes - if you're not wearing a seatbelt, and the car crashes, it's not just you at risk, but, potentially, other people in the car, too, by being hit with your flying body. Zmidponk 20:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto as for helmet laws--Damo2353 23:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This isn't quite the same as the motorcycle helmet issue, as once the motorcyclist has lost control of his bake, it's all over. In a car wreck, the driver has some chance to keep some control and steer/brake to avoid secondary collisions, but only if they remain in their seat and don't have back-seat passengers flying around the cabin. Seat belt use should definitely be required by law (it's definitely required in my car). 199.46.199.232 11:58, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No civil liberties issue here: wear the seatbelt, it's the law. No brainer. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:31, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only for minors. Otherwise: See helmet issue. --CPAdmin1 12:22, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
So you value the lives of youth more than the lives of those who actually run society? DogP 15:29, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
No, I believe that adults are able to decide for themselves. --CPAdmin1 15:49, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
As per helmets above, it's basically the same as mandated insurance. DogP 22:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

Similar to my response on Helmet Laws (L), no one is justified into forcing other adults to wear them. Govt making it a punishable crime has resulted in ladies being handcuffed. Fewer people see it as a safety problem and more of a legal problem. Obesity is a bigger killer. Should govt make fat people law-breakers? (Some of you are thinking "yes", no doubt.)

-- RemBeau 23:41, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

  • Less money spent for coffins. Funerals are so expensive.

U) Trade Unions[edit]

  • Are there people who want to ban Trade Unions?--Bobbing up 11:38, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Bob, I used to work for Texas Instruments and one of the employment conditions was no trade unions. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I understand that some employers would want to ban trade unions. I was really asking if any political party wished to do it. Reading my comment I did not make that clear.--Bobbing up 12:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Wal-Mart probably does. They closed down a store in....Canada, I think? After some of the employees unionized. --Gulik 13:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, please. I owe my annual pay rise to the hard work of the PCS. Silver Sloth 11:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Definitely SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Trade unions have a role to play in protecting worker rights, particularly for the low-paid. However, during the 60s and 70s in the UK they overplayed their hand in certain industries. So they need to be regulated just as companies need to be regulated. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Workers (who create the profits) should be allowed to organise to protect their rights, yes. Totnesmartin 13:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am both for unions and a member of a union. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. As per ACLU comments, the staggering amounts of capital lined up against the workers of the world means they need defense systems. DogP 15:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, though they need to work to repair their image after the scandals of the late 20th century. The abuses many employers get away with are staggering. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Trade Unions are a great idea. In practise modern TUs are often too tied up in bureaucracy & take forever to achieve results. Weaseloid 17:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a fundamental right to every worker. --JayJay4ever??? 20:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Definitely. Trade Unions are a great tool for protecting employee's rights (when they work, anyway). Zmidponk 20:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely, employees are at such a bargaining disadvantage viz-a-viz their employers that unions are necessary. Without their efforts in the past the working conditions of middle and lower classes would be unsafe an inhumane.--Damo2353 23:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely, definitely, yes. Member and local steward :D Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 18:08, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • serve a purpose, but are too political right now. --CPAdmin1 12:23, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Mostly for. There is a lot of abuse of the system, though. CorryTalk 23:12, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:28, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Support. We also need to level the playing field for unions to once again be able to organize, by repealing the U.S. Taft-Hartley Act, repealing all so-called state "right to work" laws, and passing a mandatory card-check recognition law on the federal level. The last of these would require employers to recognize a union as soon as they are presented with cards signed by a majority of employees on site asking they be represented by a union; this way they cannot force employees to attend captive brainwashing anti-union sessions before the NLRB election or engage in other union-busting tactics, they simply have to recognize the union. Secret Squirrel 12:10, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. ТyTalk. 01:14, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

V) Universal healthcare[edit]

  • Essential in a civilised society Silver Sloth 11:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Obviously a good and necessary thing.--Bobbing up 11:43, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Is there any question (I'd be 6ft under without!) SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • And I'd be married to a box of ashes. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Sloth said it best. worth repeating.Essential in a civilised society--Waiting for Godot 13:28, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I've never quite understood people who are against this. In my eyes, you are nothing short of monstrous. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Saved my life and my eye, so yes. Totnesmartin 13:43, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Support. Is there a reason to let the poor die? --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. The very definition of a civilised society is its ability to care for the health of all its members. DogP 14:57, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Again, public health issue. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Essential. Weaseloid 17:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. Those who oppose UHC usually have enough money to pay for private services. --JayJay4ever??? 20:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The only arguments I've ever heard against it comes down to money. Refusing people medical treatment due to it being too expensive is an utterly monstrous concept. Zmidponk 20:52, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. I agree with all the comments above.--Damo2353 23:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yup deifnitely. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 18:08, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Universal healthcare = socialism. Universal healthcare = terrible healthcare (just ask canada). Universal healthcare = terrible Idea. --CPAdmin1 12:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Most Canadians will tell you that the system there is a long way from perfect, but it's far better than its reputation among American conservatives. EVDebs 12:59, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Canada's not the only country with UH Tim. It's impossible to see what's to like about the American system - not that there is a system. I speak as an immigrant to the US, which certainly has a far worse healthcare system than in my native Ireland. DogP 15:34, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
The problem with universal healthcare, is when the government controls the price, there is no incentive to provide good service. --CPAdmin1 15:50, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Utterly, completely incorrect. Healthcare should not be a for-profit business. DogP 16:29, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
You will get the best healthcare if it is for profit. --CPAdmin1 16:52, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I won't if I can't afford it. Totnesmartin 18:07, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
And who do you think is going to be paying for it? Where do you think the government gets the money? You. --CPAdmin1 19:38, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Yes, but with the HUGE benefit that the cost is shared amongst everyone in society, making it infinitely more affordable. DogP 22:10, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
So buy health insurance, and divide the cost, and still get the benefit of good competitive healthcare. --CPAdmin1 00:38, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
You're totally missing the point - a decent society provides healthcare to all, without hindrance, and with no payments required. It works very well, you should try it. DogP 04:10, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't think so. It isn't the government's job to run the lives of the people. You have to take care of yourself. --CPAdmin1 10:49, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
CPAdmin1: You say that as if it's a fundamental logical axiom that's beyond question. Well, I'm questioning it. I've heard too many horror stories of people whose insurance company basically said "Well, your treatment would cost more money than we're willing to pay, so.... DIE." (Paraphrased, but I hope you see my point.) Health is not like most other businesses, seeing how those of us who don't believe in reincarnation only get ONE body, and want to hold onto it no matter what hideous diseases it comes down with, no matter how much it costs to keep running. The insurance companies, OTOH, only care if we live or die based on how much MONEY we stand to give them. This is not a good way to run a health system. --Gulik 18:49, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
That's your view of how society should function. My own view is that we should all look out for each other. I'm more than happy to pay a little of your healthcare, if you'll pay a little of mine. And of course, there's no guarantee I'll ever need it. Or you, for that matter. That's the way insurance works. DogP 12:07, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Favor, every citizen should at the very least be guaranteed a healthy enough condition to perform as a functional member of society. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think the biggest problem with any universal health care plan is that the big insurance companies are much better than the government at getting a good price for healthcare. Large health insurance companies that provide group plans to large companies or labor unions are often able to negotiate with healthcare providers to get lower prices than those providers would charge an uninsured individual, because the large insurance company speaks for lots of insured potential patients (customers). If the government could be trusted to negotiate and get good deals, I'd completely support universal healthcare. As it is, I'm not sure we can trust the government to do it right. OneForLogic 16:18, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Then how is the that the French pay half as much for their healthcare as the US does, AND get better treatment? They must be cheating. --Gulik 18:45, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
Despite the unspecificity of that statement, you've got my attention. Where did you read that, and how did they figure it? I'll have to read more about the French healthcare system. OneForLogic 19:42, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
Health Care Spending in the United States and OECD Countries, January 2007
And here's: A Conservative Convert To Socialized Medicine (Full disclosure: He's since died of the cancer, but it didn't bankrupt his family in the process of killing him, the way it would in the USA.)
And here's an essay trying to figure WHY the USA healthcare system is so b0rked: The Health of Nations (WARNING: Contains Liberal Cooties. Please use protective gear when reading to avoid possible Communist Brainwashing.) --Gulik 02:30, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
An interesting set of articles. Overall, I think I stand by my main point before: if it can be done right, universal healthcare is a perfectly fine idea. Your last article definitely discussed some good ideas. It is a shame that the conservatives' main argument is to call universal healthcare "socialist" and change the subject, knowing that people subconsciously equate socialism with communism and communism with evil. I think the place to start (and I agree that it sucks that we can only consider what we're doing now a "start") is to have our health policy professionals (meaning NIH, Surgeon General's office, etc. and not Congress) figure out all the ins and outs of these other systems and conduct a detailed study of where all our healthcare dollars are going and why. Keep in mind that we lead the world in pharmaceutical research, and that probably plays a big role in the expenses issue. Assuming that we can just "do what France does" is very naive (not that you're necessarily saying that, Gulik, but for anyone who is), but understanding what France does is definitely a part of the solution. And I think I'm plenty resistant to commie brainwashing, but thanks for the warning. OneForLogic 18:23, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Generally support, with one reservation. See The Brave New World of Healthcare by Richard Lamm for a better treatment of the subject, but the problem is the potential for healthcare spending to become a black hole of money going toward things like prescription drugs for seniors who really don't need all those drugs and only want them for conditions that all seniors inevitably get anyway, and toward treatments to keep terminally ill patients alive a few months longer. There is a fairly convincing case that if we don't draw those lines and make clear those are elective treatments not covered by universal healthcare, it would bankrupt any universal healthcare system, and indeed is a major problem now with our insurance based system. On the other hand this doesn't seem to be a huge problem in the U.K. or Canada, and I suspect (but don't know for certain) that those countries already draw those kind of lines. Secret Squirrel 12:21, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

W) Wealth redistribution[edit]

  • Government action to help obtain a fairer society is a good thing.--Bobbing up 11:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The obscene differences between bottom income & top income is disgusting. Inherited wealth is also a bit nasty. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Agree with Susan, inherited wealth exacerbates inequality over time and is also anti-meritocratic, thereby not encouraging the recipients to contribute to society.
  • A fair society should ensure an equal starting line for all. If someone has the ability to surge ahead after that, they will - but only because of their own ability. Totnesmartin 13:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yep - death taxes are a good thing. If you did well in life in a society, you owe a big debt of gratitude to that society when you pass away. DogP 15:10, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There needs to be incentives to do this. Trickle-down economics isn't it. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Wealth redistribution would be good, & high earners should certainly be investing in raising others' quality of life rather than widening the gap, but this is hard to enforce. Weaseloid 17:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm on the fence - I can see why money should be redistributed to close the income gap, but, on the other hand, this is money that people receive perfectly legitimately, for the most part. Zmidponk 20:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Wealth from the states or from private citizens? Anyway, yes. The gap between rich people and those who are totally fucked up should be reduced, now. --JayJay4ever??? 21:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am for progressive taxation but I think that's as far as I would go. I could be persuaded on estate (death) taxes though.Damo2353 23:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yup for it. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:35, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely not. --CPAdmin1 12:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It is extremely disappointing to see people living irresponsible, carefree lives due to some massive inheritance from their parents. However, I'm sure that for every Paris Hilton out there, there are several children of wealthy CEOs that lead lives at least as productive and worthwhile as their parents did. I'd have to study the issue more to know what I think of estate taxes. The fact that the wealth of the top few percent of wealthiest people is necessary for investment in our economy leads me to generally oppose wealth redistribution through means like progressive taxes. I like having rich people invest in large companies that can offer middle class people good jobs. I'm certainly better off for it. OneForLogic 16:27, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Like George W. Bush? (Or, for you, the Kennedys.) IN FAVOR. If someone can't make a good life for themselves after inheriting a "mere" few million dollars, they're a waste of DNA. And the deceased can't complain, unless they were planing to be buried Pharaoh-style, since they can't take it with them. And for the living, the distance between the ultra-rich and the very poor has passed "Obscene" and gone back to "Hilarious". --Gulik 02:24, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Woah, there, Gulik. I'm not that conservative; I consider George Bush an idiot, too. And I worry about the gap between rich and poor, too, but giving the poor handouts and overtaxing the wealthy is not the answer. My experience tells me that most of the very poor end up where they are through their own lack of motivation. As I said before, I believe that most heirs of large amounts of money end up leading quite sufficiently productive lives; you just don't hear about them because of the media's "we don't care about planes landing safely" complex. OneForLogic 18:35, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

X) Welfare[edit]

  • The welfare state is a good thing in general. (If that's what this question is about.)--Bobbing up 11:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Like Bob I'm not sure exactly what the question is but the part of my UK taxes that goes to support the disadvantaged members of society is not a part I begrudge. Silver Sloth 11:44, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Bob & silver said! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • ...is keeping me from sleeping in shop doorways. Totnesmartin 13:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I support welfare. Like any system, it can be abused, but its benefits outweigh the potential problems. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 13:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Like healthcare, in a civilised society, those who do well should help those in less fortunate circumstances. DogP 15:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Similar to health care. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, welfare is good. Weaseloid 17:34, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Well organized and controlled, yes. --JayJay4ever??? 20:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Assuming it is run competently, so that spongers are kept to a minimum, yes. Zmidponk 21:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Sure so long as people are encouraged to better themselves if they can.--Damo2353 23:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Also, There are two problems with not having welfare. Firstly the consequences for the rest of society for having abject poverty are begging and crime which can be unpleasant for all. Secondly a welfare system means that employers have to pay a reasonable wage that is above the dole, otherwise their staff would simply quit.DamoHi 19:15, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes for it, but the UK system is wide open to abuse, and the current UK government's attempts to tighten the system up are too little, too late. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:37, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No thanks. --CPAdmin1 12:25, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I suppose my answer is the generalization of that I used for the healthcare one: Favor, every citizen should at the very least be guaranteed a stable enough condition to perform as a functional member of society, at least in principle. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • My problem with welfare is that, in my experience, most of the people that need it don't really care to work hard enough to better themselves. Every day during the school year, I walk by loads of bums that sit around on the sidewalks at the edge of campus asking for handouts. They don't care to work; they're enjoying their useless lifestyle. I don't care to pay to support people like that. If there is some way to verify that a person's "less fortunate circumstances" are really not that person's fault, I'll happily help them out. If, however, they don't use that help to get an education and a job, quickly, they don't deserve it. OneForLogic 16:32, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • So, if they don't have the necessary drive (and lack of mental disabilities) to dig ditches at minimum wage (being at the bottom of the economic food-chain in this country SUCKS), they should starve? --Gulik 16:11, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
The people that are really willing to work hard will both get promoted out of the lowest rung of minimum wage positions and, hopefully, will realize that community colleges aren't that expensive and accept anyone willing to pay, nearly regardless of previous academic record. I'm not sure I understood your mental disabilities comment, so here's my thinking on that: if someone is mentally disabled, they should receive treatment with the goal of helping them achieve some productive ability. I'm not actually sure what services exist to help a mentally disabled person with no family or income; I'd be entirely OK with creating programs to support them if such programs don't already exist. I already said that, really. "If there is some way to verify that a person's 'less fortunate circumstances' are really not that person's fault, I'll happily help them out." OneForLogic 10:03, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
OFL - back in the 1980's I worked behind the counter of an Unemployment Benefit Office in north west London. As part of the induction procedure there was the talk from the Security Officer who surmised that 60% of the claims we dealt with were fraudulent. Ok, that's a lot and it annoys me that 60% of the money I pay in taxes to provide unemployment benefit is given to cheats but, and this is the sticking point, the other 40% is not fraudulent. Endless governments of all shades have tried to reduce the fraud rate but it has been found time and time again that it's a balance between checking up on fraud and making the system work. If you make it any tougher then the amount of hardship rises to unacceptable levels. Trust me, the people making the decisions are reluctant to pay out one penny more than is needed. In brief, yeah, there are a lot of dole queue scroungers but that's the price you have to pay for a humanitarian welfare system. Silver Sloth 11:02, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
60% fraud is not acceptable to me. I would be curious as to how long the "honest" 40% claim these Unemployment benefits on average. No more than a few months of claims should be allowed, ever. I still stand by my original statement: "If there is some way to verify that a person's 'less fortunate circumstances' are really not that person's fault, I'll happily help them out. If, however, they don't use that help to get an education and a job, quickly, they don't deserve it." OneForLogic 16:34, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
OfL, if you can come up with a cost effective way to reduce the fraud which is acceptable to the taxpayer then the UK government would love to hear from you. Maggie hated the unemployed and would have brought back the workhouses in a flash if she could have got away with it but even a dragon like her couldn't reduce the fraud rate. Seriously, as I saw at first hand, there is no other way, and when the person you're handing out welfare cheques to treats you like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe then keeping your liberal principles is a tough job. Silver Sloth 11:32, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
On average, how long do people who claim unemployment benefits in the UK keep claiming them? And, does the UK have the kinds of cheap community colleges that accept anyone like we have in the US?OneForLogic 12:24, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
As for the average length of claim - I can't find that statistic. I do know that part of claiming Unemployment Benefit is proving that you're actively seeking work and there are lots of schemes to help long term (>6 months) get employment. However, none of this helps in areas where the number of unemployed vastly exceeds the number of vacancies. Nationally the UK has 200,000 more unemployed than vacancies and, of course, the unemployed, almost by definition, are not where the vacancies are. If, for example, you're willing to work for minimum wage in London - where housing costs are astronomical, then there's no problem. If you have a family to support in some of the towns devastated by the decline in manufacturing in the UK then you've more of a problem. No amount of government schemes is going to replace the jobs that have gone to the third world. There are no easy answers. Silver Sloth 12:47, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
No, there aren't. OneForLogic 14:15, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, and other government *job* programs for the unemployed (note: *job* programs, not food stamps). Provide short-term government assistance to homeowners newly unemployed who need temporary help making mortgage payments and keeping their homes out of foreclosure. But I am generally opposed to any sort of system where it is possible for somebody to receive long-term welfare payments for more than a few months, or on more than a strictly one-time emergency basis. Secret Squirrel 12:25, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Considering the utterly immense amount of infrastructure work needed in this country, bringing back the WPA would seem to be a no-brainer. EVDebs 12:52, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I appear to be a clone of teh squirrel in this debate. ТyTalk. 01:15, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Y) Windfall Profits Tax[edit]

  • Can be justified under some circumstances.--Bobbing up 11:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Windfall profits are usually at someone's expense & should be TAXED. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • As it applies to the oil industry right now, I am completely for it. All of that profit is from speculation and had nothing to do with the actual costs of producing oil products. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • taxing one-off excess profits looks fine to me. The economy needs reset buttons like this to ensure a level playing field for all companies, and the people who work for them. Totnesmartin 13:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto to Susan. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. Egregious profits over and above some predetermined level should be much more heavily taxed. But that level could be set quite high. DogP 15:13, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Looking specifically at the current oil crisis, driven as it is by market speculation, yes. But not as a blanket principle. EVDebs 15:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, per what Susan said. --JayJay4ever??? 20:33, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, for pretty much all of the above reasons. Zmidponk 21:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely not. This is a slippery slope we really don't want to slide down. Penalizing economic success is entirely contrary to the purpose of a free market. OneForLogic 23:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Big corporations should pay windfall taxes, as they produce massive profits each year. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:38, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • See my penalizing oil companies rant. --CPAdmin1 12:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Don't have the slightest idea. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:31, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, absolutely. Secret Squirrel 12:26, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Liberals are assumed to be AGAINST[edit]

1 Building nuclear power plants[edit]

  • Controversial, but inevitable if we want to reduce CO2 production, and reduce Global Warming.--Bobbing up 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Bob's nicking my points :-) SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Agree. Western reactors have always been safer than the Russian type used at Chernobyl. However, the technology has improved and modern designs are self-limiting. The only real issue is disposal of waste which can be dealt with by deep burial and is mainly a technical challenge. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 13:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I have no problem with new nuclear power plants. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • But how to deal with the waste? And the low heat efficiency? I'm dubious about this. Totnesmartin 13:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I believe nuclear power can be an excellent alternative energy solution. Also, I live near a reactor, and safety has never been an issue. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:02, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Nuclear is an excellent carbon-free option, but we have no known safe or politically acceptable method of disposing of the waste. So we can't do it. DogP 14:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, along with intensive research into failsafes, fuel reprocessing, and disposal. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes to developing nuclear plants responsibly. More research is needed to sort out the waste issues, but this is a more sustainable energy resource than oil or coal. Weaseloid 17:37, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I would say use it, but only if we have to. Get as much benefit as we can from solar power, wind power, wave power, water power, etc, then start using nuclear power if that doesn't allow us to cut fossil fuel use as much as we need to. In an ideal world, though, we shouldn't use it until we have come up with a way of eradicating or recycling the waste in some manner, rather than just burying it. We may discover later on that this comes back to bite our grandchildren in the ass - our forefathers made that mistake with fossil fuels, we should be careful to not make the same mistake with nuclear waste. Zmidponk 21:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, with strict rules, of course. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 10:45, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Safer than they used to be, but the problem of safely dealing with the waste remains the same. Inevitable if we want to reduce dependence on other fuels. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:39, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Go for it. --CPAdmin1 12:26, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
What are your plans for dealing with the waste Tim? Run them by me one more time? DogP 15:35, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I am not an expert on the topic of nuclear waste. --CPAdmin1 15:51, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Plasma torch vitrification isn't done nearly enough.-caius (spy) 17:49, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
There's no evidence in for anything longer than about twenty years on vitrification, sadly. And we need to keep this stuff safe for thousands and thousands of years. DogP 04:12, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Favor, at least as a temporary solution until a better alternative than what we have now. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:34, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For me, building more nuclear power plants seems like a bit of a guessing game: will we be able to build fusion plants before we are able to jump though all the legal hoops necessary to build a new fission plant? I've heard plasma physicists and fusion researchers talk about their progress, and it sounds to me like we're very close to having working, commercial fusion power plants. I figure that anyone willing to invest in a new fission plant should be allowed to do so. We already have nuclear waste repositories that are used exclusively for storing waste from decommissioned or upgraded nuclear weapons. They have significant, currently unused, capacity that the DoE needs to open to commercial waste. See Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Wikipedia. We also need to reprocess nuclear waste in the US to reduce the amount of slowly-decaying waste that needs to be stored long-term. It's a shame the only waste storage option our politicians ever talk about is Yucca Mountain. OneForLogic 16:56, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Bob said ДЛеяиея Come see if I suffer fools gladly | A place for my stuff 20:46, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • A good idea in principal but where does the waste go? Until that question is solved in such a way that does not involve simply burying it in Nevada or jettisoning it out into space, no. The other problem is nuclear plants are obvious terrorism magnets. Secret Squirrel 12:28, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm pro-nuclear power, as all energy alternatives have to be considered. The plants are safe and efficient. Yes, waste is a problem, but not insurmountable. (We have flammables on the road, and nuclear waste isn't that much more dangerous.) Sterilesnore! 12:49, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
Uh, yes it is more dangerous, sadly. The big issue with radwaste is groundwater - if radioactive waste leaches through a radioactive waste dump and gets into a groundwater basin, entire cities and regions would have to be evacuated as the water is unsafe, and will be unsafe for thousands of years as a tiny amount of radioactive waste can pollute vast quantities of groundwater for eons. Read the State of Oregon's document on the Hanford site cleanup - an absolutely massive task that at best is a palliative measure (for now) - considerable risks to the water supply for Portland and Seattle exist. And remember that you have to ensure, say, a minimum of 10,000 years of keeping that stuff locked up away from water. Mankind has never built anything that lasts that long, ever. DogP 14:38, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
I was referring to shipping issues before in some respect. You sound like you're more informed that I am on these issues, so in that respect I will defer. As a chemist, what I will say is, all waste has some level of danger, but usually the dangers are different. I have a hard time believing that something that is mined naturally cannot be disposed of in some natural way. That's a technological hurdle, yes, but people aren't dying of natural uranium (are they??) so it seems there should be some way to dispose of uranium. Perhaps it's my ignorance.... Sterilesnore! 11:00, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
I think the enrichment process that turns uranium ore into purified uranium can't readily be undone by any natural process other than decay, which takes thousands of years. It's this enrichment process that makes the fuel dangerous. Reprocessing is the process of separating the products of fission, usually uranium 235 fission, which reduces the overall danger posed by the entire sample. Some of the reprocessing products will be nearly harmless, and some will quickly decay to not-particularly-harmful substances. Some will still be dangerous for thousands of years and need to be stored. There's also the issue of all the materials used in the reactors (which get heavily irradiated) and other areas of the nuclear fuel cycle that become contaminated (all the way down to the mops you always see the plant workers using to clean the reactor rooms). I don't believe there is an effective way to return all of those materials to a safe condition, so they need to be disposed of safely, too. OneForLogic 12:41, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

2 Corporations paying huge salaries to CEOs[edit]

  • Inevitable under a capitalist system.--Bobbing up 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Any free market will result in this. However, with progressive taxation... Silver Sloth 12:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The constant increase of top salaries in "competition" with each other is suspect. There must be more able people out there who could do these jobs and bring down the price. I think it's very much an 'in crowd' system. So yes Against it! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • No one is worth what these people are paid. But, if they want to do it, it's not really my place to say. However, it seems as though there would be plenty of better ways for a corporation to spend the money. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:44, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • And how many worked to bring in that money? Totnesmartin 14:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think it's obscene. Then again, I think sports stars are paid too much as well. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Disgraceful, but as Bob says, how can we hope to control that in this system? DogP 15:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Give them a modest base salary and pay them in stock or equity for the rest. They want the money, let their income be tied to the company's performance. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think the salaries at the top end are pretty obscene. Overall I reckon corporations are a pretty corrupt invention & a huge negative influence on society. How to counter this is difficult to say. Weaseloid 17:40, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. I simply cannot believe anyone can do work that is worth the figures some of these CEOs are being paid. Zmidponk 21:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I am appalled by it, but would be more appalled by legislation to stop it.--Damo2353 23:38, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This is one of the reasons of the gap between the rich and the poor. But again, huge salaries, huge taxes. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 10:45, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Definitely against it. These people make far too much money and do nothing for society. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:40, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • That is up to the company. What Damo1353 said. --CPAdmin1 12:27, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's the first time I've heard of this debate and honestly can't see, in principle, anything wrong with it, specially if there are progressive taxes mixed in the equation (and I'm not too convinced of these either). NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:40, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • "corporations are ... a huge negative influence on society"?? Seriously, Weaseloid? Do you work for one? I do, and I'm glad it's there. I agree that we need to try to prevent corruption, but who's going to do it? The government? OneForLogic 17:02, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
      • The problem with corporations is that they let groups of people get away with things that would get any single human being jailed for life. See: Bhopal, Enron, etc. --Gulik 20:06, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm not sure if that was a typo or a response to me, but I'll respond anyway. I think it's safe to say that those are exceptional examples. I also believe some of Enron's leaders are in jail right now. I did not in any way mean to argue that all corporations are entirely good. I was making the completely practical argument that I'm glad mine is around. We need to both take care of those corporations and give them good conditions to operate under and do everything we can do to prevent mistakes and corruption. I was also pointing out that some government officials have fairly poor records on openness and honesty, and the the government's accounting is laughable. Government laws mandating corporate honesty is kind of like the mob boss insisting that his underlings not steal from him. I guess it's the best we've got, though. OneForLogic 22:25, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Considering that the US government has been run since 1980 (with possible exception of Clinton's 8 years) by people who are utterly antithetic to it being able to regulate, how can "competence" be judged at a philosophical level without going back before then? Since Reagan the US government hasn't even done what it is supposed to do at a statutory level - because the administrations haven't even enforced the rules that are in place. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:44, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I didn't mean there to be anything philosophical about my support for corporations. My position is the purely practical one that they do more good than harm. And I'm entirely open to thinking about things that happened before 1980, but I don't see how that's relevant. I would completely agree that we should enforce our laws; which ones have gone unenforced? OneForLogic 21:57, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
I guess that question is for I? Off the lazy top of my head, I would cite the NLRB. Since the 80s, the National Labor Relations Board has gone from being an agency that helps labor organize by mediating disputes with capital, to one that helps capital eliminate unions. Also, some agencies are underfunded, or run by political appointees whose philosophy is counter to the agency's legal mission. (eg, the classic appointment of extraction industry proponent James Watt to run the EPA by Reagan). I hope that is a clear enough answer. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:00, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, plenty clear. Were you talking about the James Watt that ran the Department of the Interior? Regardless, I'm not too familiar with the details of either of those examples, so I can only respond in general. If an agency leader is conducting business in a way contrary to the purpose of the agency or failing to prosecute illegal activity within the agency's jurisdiction, he/she should be considered incompetent and fired. If the leader is breaking a law, like anyone else, they should be prosecuted for it. As always, though, actually getting it done in our government is a challenge. OneForLogic 16:28, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
Oops, you're right on Watt, I should have looked him up first! There's another aspect to how this works, which is the Exec. branch simply not bothering to enforce laws they disagree with (and then there are the "signing statements", which are similar...) Sorry about the mixup on Watt's position. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:56, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • They're paid too much to be sure, and common employees not enough, but how to regulate it? A better way would be to bring back the labor unions and stronger minimum wage laws to bring us back to the incomes (in current dollars, adjusted for inflation) that middle class families enjoyed in the 1960s when wages were at their peak. This would take care of the overpaid CEO problem automatically. Secret Squirrel 12:31, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
What effect do you see minimum wage laws having on the middle class? It was my understanding that a middle class income was much higher than minimum wage. OneForLogic 10:22, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Raising the minimum wage places upward pressure on wages in general, except at the highest levels. In the 1950s and 1960s it was possible for a family with one member working at an entry-level job to afford home ownership; today, it isn't possible. Several reasons for this: entry-level jobs then were likely to be union-wage jobs, today they are likely to be minimum wage jobs. Real estate prices have skyrocketed since the 1960s while wages have remained stagnant and the lowest wages down to minimum wage have lost ground to inflation. Minimum wage may not be middle class but then it was near-middle class, while today it is below poverty level for a family. (This may finally be changing for the better now that the Democratic Congress got some minimum wage increases passed.) Raising the minimum wage does bring more people into the middle class because it tends to push other wages higher as well. It isn't a cure-all but is a necessary part of a broader set of things (including unionizing the workplaces, a government subsidized infrastructure, trade protectionism and measured rather than unrestricted entry into the labor market) that together enable a middle class lifestyle and home ownership for the most people. Secret Squirrel 09:31, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
What kinds of trade protectionism would you recommend, and what do you mean by "measured rather than unrestricted entry into the labor market"? Are you talking about immigration? And I assume you would want the corporations to finance the higher wages you want for the average employees by paying executives less. How can you guarantee they'll actually do that rather than just demanding more work from less people and firing the rest? Also, doesn't the government already pay for nearly all of our infrastructure?OneForLogic 19:03, 20 August 2008 (EDT)

3 Dog fighting[edit]

  • Evil - file along with bull fighting and any activity where animals are harmed for human enjoyment. Silver Sloth 11:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Obviously hurting animals for our enjoyment is wrong.--Bobbing up 11:49, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Fucking Hell!How can anyone NOT be against it? SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • Like the others said. What's "liberal" about hating this? Totnesmartin 14:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This showed up on Ymmenos's (or whatever his username is) questionnaire, too. Didn't make any sense then either. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:04, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • You would have to be an enormous dickhead to be pro-dogfighting. DogP 15:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban it. A relic of a past age; even buzkashi players stuff the goat carcass before playing horse-rugby with it. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Is this for real about fighting dogs? (Not WW1 aerial combat?) It's a bizarre issue to bring up. I would assume that pretty much every reasonable person in the civilised world thinks that dog fighting is a disgrace. Weaseloid 17:43, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Sorry, not really into bloodsports, even when it's humans, but at least humans can say they don't want to do it. To do a more violent version with animals, who can't, is just sick. Zmidponk 21:19, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not my cup of tea. --Damo2353 23:39, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Any form of sport or entertainment that involves violence and animals should be banned. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:01, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Aeroplanes? Yes, when necessary. Animals? No, never, ever. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:41, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. --CPAdmin1 12:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against, though I wouldn't oppose it if there was no suffering involved (even if there was still death). NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:44, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • (Fighting to the death without suffering? This sounds like an intriguing solution.) Weaseloid 16:58, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
      • Heh, now that you mention it, it really sounded like I seriously suggested that rather than just mentioned it as an hypothetical situation. NightFlarei haz a talk page. 22:19, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • This, I never really understood. I absolutely couldn't watch my own dog get ripped to pieces like they do in these fights. We need to crack down hard on this. OneForLogic 17:04, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban it. One of the few things I agree with PETA on. Secret Squirrel 12:31, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. ТyTalk. 01:17, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It's legal to kill animals for food. Why is that morally different from any other reason to kill animals (I'm a meat-eater)?-Hagagaga
  • People involved in dog fights? Send them to the FEMA camps! (((Zack Martin))) 20:06, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

4 Drilling for oil offshore and in ANWR[edit]

  • Against - this is a sticking plaster solution to a much deeper problem. It won't make things better. Silver Sloth 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Depends on many things. Where is ANWR?--Bobbing up 11:48, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Believe ANWR refers to the Great Lakes? Might as well - it'll only stave off the end for 10 years more or so. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • 8-10 years before we see any oil from either location, and it doesn't help the need, now. I'm for finding new technologies to either reduce consumption, find new renewable fuels or both.--Waiting for Godot 12:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm definately in the new technology crowd. The word oil shouldn't even be used when we discuss solving energy problems. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 13:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Get rid of SUVs, patio heaters etc, fit insulation and solar heating where apprpriate, and there won't be such a need to drill everywhere. Totnesmartin 14:04, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
    (Don't forget your tyre pressure!) SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't have a car, so I'll keep up my shoe pressure. With a foot pump, arf arf. Totnesmartin 14:35, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's rather like the guy who has a drink problem. To the drunkard the only problem is not enough to drink. To his family it's trying to wean him off it. Believe it or not oil is actually cheap for what you get! People habitually pay more for bottled water and a lot more effort goes into producing gas for your car than drilling a water well. Higher prices are a good incentive to be more economical with a limited resource. There is no inherent right to be profligate with the earth's resources. And from a cynic's POV, as oil prices are destined to go higher, why use up a valuable national resource until it really is necessary? Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
BTW I drive an economical diesel and have my own air compressor at home. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Solve the problem by moderating demand and increasing efficiency, not by increasing supply of an ever-diminishing resource. What's the plan when the ANWR oil runs out guys? DogP 15:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Drilling needs to be done with sensitivity towards the local environment. Oil companies have not shown a willingness to do that. Allow only if str4ictly necessary, regulate very tightly. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • A short-term solution for a long-term problem. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:01, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. From what I've seen, if we started right now, today, we wouldn't even see any oil for a number of years. That time and resources could be better spent implementing existing alternatives to oil and conducting research into coming up with new ones - just like we will have to do when the oil from the ANWR runs out anyway. Zmidponk 16:33, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Nope, not in a wildlife preserve. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:42, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Go for it. And Obama shomed what a fool he is when he said that inflating tires would have the same effect on gas prices. --CPAdmin1 12:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Twenty billion gallons of gasoline a year is nothing to be sniffed at Mr. CPAdmin1. And it costs NOTHING. DogP 15:36, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I am not at all opposed to inflating tires. It is an excellent Idea, and people should do it. But it is ridiculous to claim that it has as much effect on the price of oil as drilling. --CPAdmin1 15:52, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Well, according to the US Department of Energy, it does. --Kels 18:44, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No idea, from the perspective of someone who lives in an oil exporting country, these sorts of debates are pretty alien to me. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:48, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Really? What country are you from Night Flare? (If that's not too personal a question.)--Bobbing up 13:42, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For anyone who doesn't know, ANWR is the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. We should be able to drill for oil without destroying the environment, but we never seem to actually do it. For now, we do need the oil, so I have mixed feelings on this. OneForLogic 17:09, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Support. There is no reason why oil drilling and wildlife are mutually incompatible. It won't be "wilderness" to be sure, but few places are anymore, even most of our "wilderness" is full of mountain bikers and rock climbers and the like, which are arguably more ecologically damaging than oil exploration ever would be. Besides we need more good paying, potentially union-wage American jobs (see my views on ethanol production, global warming, and unions). Secret Squirrel 12:35, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Indifferent. It won't solve the energy problem, and the ANWR issue was largely used by the Bushies as a distraction to avoid liberals from noticing they hadn't made car fuel standards better. Sterilesnore! 12:51, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

5 Nuclear weapon development[edit]

  • Many countries already have nuclear weapons. The US and Russia have lots. Should other countries develop them? It would be better for the world if they didn't.--Bobbing up 11:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We can't put the toothpaste back in the tube but Nuclear weapons are unusable. Ok, we no longer have the MAD standoff we had during the cold war but starting a nuclear war has the potential to destroy the world. It won't just be a couple of Japanese cities next time. Silver Sloth 12:08, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I was in CND in the 60s. So you can take it that I'm against it! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • It's like gun-control but for nations rather than individuals. The less of them there are then the smaller the chance of anything getting out of hand. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 13:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • oh, get rid of them now, we're sliding back to the cold war days. Totnesmartin 14:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban them all. DogP 15:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Given that knowledge of how to build them is fairly easy to come across, and given that we have more of them in the world than could ever be used even in an all-out species-threatening event, there is no reason on earth to do any more work in that area. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Nuclear weapons can't be a good think, & gradually international law should ban them altogether. This will need to be gradual & begin with the nations that seem most intent on using them. Weaseloid 17:46, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There will be always the excuse of radicals or madmen with the possibility of having nuclear weapons, but no. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:07, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • In my opinion, the drive to get other countries to not develop nuclear weapons, or get rid of any they have developed is harmed by us having nukes ourselves - from their point of view, it appears incredibly hypocritical, so I certainly agree other countries shouldn't develop nukes, but I can't really blame them for doing so. Zmidponk 16:44, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Get rid of them. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:43, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We can't get rid of them, otherwise we are dead. I am in favor of keeping our weapons as up to date as possible. --CPAdmin1 12:30, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Publicly, no one will acknowledge that any new construction of nuclear weapons is going on (it might even be true, there might not be any new ones being built), because general public opinion in the developed world is against using them. Most of us have seen enough movies to understand what MAD means. The odds of any nuclear weapons being used in the near future are extremely low, so I'm honestly not too worried about this. OneForLogic 17:24, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We can't shut the lid to Pandora's Box, so I don't think we should scrap our arsenal. That being said, I think it should be bare-bones, and we certainly don't need much new technology. How many times over do we need to be able to destroy the world to be effective? Our long-range missiles are so powerful the numbers are an abstraction. The firepower carried on an Ohio class strategic submarine is barely quantifiable. We have enough. And anybody that talks about using "tactical nukes" is a madman who should be avoided. CorryTalk 23:22, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think enough nuclear weapons to sterilize the planet surface ONCE should be enough for any country. So, no, we don't need more. --Gulik 16:14, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban 'em. Forever. Dismantle 'em. And destroy any knowledge the technology ever existed. Oh wait a minute, "information should be free"? Secret Squirrel 12:36, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

6 Preemptive war[edit]

  • This question needs a bit more expansion. War in general is a bad thing to be avoided - pre-emptive or not. At what point does an attack become pre-emptive? Should you always wait to be attacked first to show that you have the better moral case? I don't know.--Bobbing up 11:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Subjective, but generally against. (Technically Britain pre-emptively declared war in 1939) SusanG  ContribsTalk
Technically?--Bobbing up 13:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
probably a bad choice of words but a whole lot of people think that Germany declared war on us! (was talking about the very subject last week - 4 out of 8 thought that) SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Really? Remarkable.--Bobbing up 13:04, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
The Germans declared war on Poland and we sided with the Poles. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 13:12, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
They were young (all under 40, 2 under 30) SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
we had a mutual defence treaty with Poland at the time, it's worth pointing out. Hitler asumed we wouldn't honour it. Totnesmartin 14:08, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • How about not being bloody lied to about it first. Totnesmartin 14:08, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Tricky - should the world have gone to war against the killers in Rwanda, Serbia, or Darfur? Is that war? Maybe. DogP 15:18, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • For humanitarian purposes only. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Don't like war in general; I guess sometimes it's necessary. Re preemptive war: each case on its merits. If there is a definite & imminent threat, maybe. But I think preemptive war can be misused to justify wars that have other purposes.
  • I can't really give a blanket 'yes' or 'no'. It really depends on the specifics of each situation. For example, the pre-emptive war in Iraq was wrong, as the evidence of the 'imminent threat' that we were told Iraq posed was rather weak, and there was other evidence countering that (Hans Blix and his team, for example, reporting 'high levels of cooperation' from the Iraqis and no evidence of any of the alleged weapons of mas destruction). However, as Susan pointed out, technically, WWII was as a result of Britain pre-emptively declaring war on Germany, and I think we all agree that was a war that should have been fought. Zmidponk 16:58, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Tricky one. I'd say only in limited cases, and it depends on the actual situation. But generally war is a bad thing for all concerned (even the supposed "victors") Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:45, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Is sometimes necessary. --CPAdmin1 12:30, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Really seems to depend in context. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:53, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • There is never any way to know in advance how this kind of thing will turn out. You must have a very high level of certainty that the preemptive war is necessary and is the only way to preserve the safety of your people. Then you have to execute it effectively. So, per my last condition, the US generally shouldn't engage in preemptive war. We're really good at all-out great-powers brawls, but those are getting less and less common all the time. We suck at "regime change" (see last 100 years of US foreign policy history) and any kind of conflict where we're trying to "win hearts and minds" or otherwise do anything less than obliterate our enemy. So, generally, we shouldn't. OneForLogic 17:35, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Oppose under all circumstances. Make money, not war. Secret Squirrel 12:36, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think Bush thought he could do both at once. --Gulik 14:49, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Quite often, war is the proper course of action (such as Rwanda, Desert Storm, Libya, or when the Taliban government didn't turn over Osama Bin Laden after 9/11). However, if you have to make up a bullshit reason to go to war (Iraq II), you shouldn't go to war. I do, however, think that if you go to war, regardless of justifiability, you are obligated to stay and restabilize the system afterward (why we're just now leaving Iraq and have a ways to go in Afghanistan).-Hagagaga

7 Prizefighting[edit]

  • If people want to do it ...--Bobbing up 11:53, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Unlike the dog fighting argument the participants are consenting adults. I have no problem with this. Silver Sloth 12:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against - hate the glamourisation of violence in any way - the effect on kids can be tragic. SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • consent. I'm also in favor of legal BDSM but against bestiality.--Waiting for Godot 12:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Are we just talking about boxing as a controlled sport or uncontrolled bare-knuckle fighting? Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Incredibly broad topic, but hey, go ahead and beat the hell out of each other. Consenting adults, and all that. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Another symptom of the caveman mentality that still has currency. Totnesmartin 14:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Hard to win against the 'consenting adults' argument. DogP 15:19, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Unlike dogfighting and cockfighting, humans are assumed to be free agents. Regulate it to prevent exploitation of fighters; it will happen one way or the other, so best to keep it on the level. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Each to their own. Sensible regulations should apply. Weaseloid 17:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Certainly I don't enjoy it, but there's a matter of personal freedom here: if you want the crap beaten out of you, that's your problem. I also hate the idea of a puritan society. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:13, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I wouldn't watch it, participate in it, or even want to know about it, in any way, shape or form, and, frankly, would find it barbaric, but, if the people doing the bleeding are free NOT to do it, if they so wish, and know the risks, I don't see any reason to stop them. Zmidponk 17:00, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against it. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:47, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Is dumb. But if the question is about government controls, then let them fight all they want. --CPAdmin1 12:31, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Consenting adults etc. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 17:53, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Are liberals supposedly against this? I don't buy it. Are conservatives for all consenting adult behaviors, such as not wearing a seatbelt and boxing, except for being gay? CorryTalk 23:25, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Being gay or taking drugs. --Gulik 14:58, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • You mean involving humans? Sure, that's their business. Do not oppose. Secret Squirrel 12:38, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I actually enjoy watching the odd fight now and then. Kids should not be doing it as it can cause brain damage as they are still developing. Animal fighting is just plain sick. Two highly trained professional athletes, sure. - π 01:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Consenting adults is fine. ТyTalk. 01:18, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

8 School choice[edit]

  • Is it better if people can chose their schools? I suppose so.--Bobbing up 11:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Did I wish to choose the school my child went to - of course. Am in favour of public schooling - of course. Put the two together. Silver Sloth 12:00, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Rather instill a desire to learn - by example. Dunno how but role models are poor for modern youth (IMHO)SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • "school choice" is one of those loaded terms. the issue isn't about school choice. you have the right to put your child into any school you wish, within some limits. the issue is who should pay for LOCAL schools. what the republicans want is that your personal tax money should be exempt from paying for local schools *if* your kids go to some priavte school, cause "i'm already paying for my kid's education elsewhere." The tax on public schools is so EVERYONE can get an equal education. I don't have kids, but i pay for kid's education because this country believes in the right to free, quality education. If you are in favor of school vouchers, then those of us without kids should get our own "no pay" voucher. why pay for what i don't use, is the Republican and libertarian view... so I will stop paying for all schools, right?--Waiting for Godot 12:31, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • An educated populace is beneficial to all of society. Don't educate the poorest and you are in danger of having a dangerous anti-social underclass. Give them the tools to escape poverty and everyone benefits. People should be allowed a limited choice in deciding which school to send their children but it should not be that it ends up adversely affecting those who do not or cannot exercise a choice. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:56, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • WfG is right. "Choice" is one of those code words, like "Teach the controversy." Then again, I'm a bit biased. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:09, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • We can't all choose the same school - there needs to be regulation of school choice, or perhaps (horrified whisper) make all schools equally good? Totnesmartin 14:12, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • As per Totnesmartin. DogP 15:20, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • "School choice" as it's currently being pushed in the US siphons funds off an already cash strapped public school system. Private schools can provide private scholarships. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The standard of education should be universal so that schools do not need to compete for parents' choice. In the UK, the school system is currently ruining this with school league tables & undue emphasis on measurable results. Weaseloid 17:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, and improve public schools. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What's being talked about here? Do I think parents should be able to choose which school their child goes to? Yes. Do I think they should have the right to pay for a better education in a private school, if they so wish? Yes. Do I think paying for a private school should exempt them from paying for public schools through tax? No. If you're incapable of looking at it as you living up to certain social responsibilities, think of it as paying for a safety net for your child, not as 'paying for something you're not using' - you're paying for the continued existence of the entire public school system, so it's there, if, for example, you lose everything in a bad investment, and so can no longer afford to pay for your child's private education. Zmidponk 17:12, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Agree with Weaseloid. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:48, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Freedom = good. Government control = bad. No-brainer. (being homeschooled I have experienced the benefits of one kind of school choice.) --CPAdmin1 12:34, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • School choice? Yes, but at the same time there should be standards to bet met in order to prevent people reaching adulthood without the academic ability of a firts grade mouthbreather (not that I think that this is currently a huge, spread out problem, but still...) because their parents did a hatchet job at getting them an educaton, which I can't really differentiate from child abuse. Then again, I can't think of a good way to regulate these without causing a bunch of other problems. Either way, agree with school choice. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 18:04, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Funny thing, I grew up thinking of public schools as prisons where the good kids (like me) were sentenced to 12 years and forced to mix and mingle with people who I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire, which included both the snobby rich social cliques and the poor dirtbag future-criminal elements. Then as an adult I am told that because I am a "liberal", I am supposed to support busing, more money for public schools, and oppose vouchers and homeschooling, etc etc etc. I call bullshit. Secret Squirrel 12:41, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It is to all of our (-the fringe elements-) advantage to have an educated public because the Powers of Darkness in our country play on ignorance and misdirection. Any way that brings more light on and in the USA, and Education is the Route # 1, is okay with me.
  • I can't believe no one has brought up the elephant in the room: religious schooling. I am 100% against allowing public money for explicitly religious, and especially explicitly sectarian, schools. It is this kind of bullshit "respect" for a parent's right to brainwash their child that has resulted in near half of America not believing in evolution and continues to fuel hatred and lack of understanding between communities around the world. See Ireland, if you need proof. On a separate note, there is the issue of charter schools often being nearly an hour drive from where the prospective students actually live. The combined economic and environmental impact of all of this unnecessary travel, not to mention the wasted students' time, should be considered. Finally, charter schools are run as for profit institutions. Our current fiscal crisis has shown quite conclusively that profit provides, at best, a dubious incentive to better society.

9 Whaling[edit]

  • Not in favour of this one.--Bobbing up 11:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I find it hard to support an activity which causes such suffering to an endangered species and which brings so little in the way of benefits. Silver Sloth 12:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against! SusanG  ContribsTalk
  • I think that indigenous peoples who can prove they are only supporting their families have a right to continue to hunt, if they continue to use "traditional" weapons, and put their lives on the line the way their ancestors did. If it's just "more macho" than running down to the local 7-11, I have a problem with it.--Waiting for Godot 12:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whaling by major industrial nations is unnecessary and is more likely to lead to extinction of species. Western society no longer needs whale products so it has become wasteful and only provides gastronomic bling for a small group. For indigenous people in remote areas it can be a necessity for survival. Survival hunters respect their prey and don't take more than they need to ensure future supply. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:47, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Don't think they're "whaling" really - walrussing? SusanG  ContribsTalk 12:50, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
      • No, they whale. and it's quite dangerous. You go out in your umiak (or kaiak, never remember which is the family boat), spear the whale, then go for a "joy ride" till the whale tires, when you kill it. It's risky business, i must say! --Waiting for Godot 12:52, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
But in the grand scheme of things it's the big Japanese whaling fleets which are important.--Bobbing up 12:58, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Ok, i'm naieve then. I didn't think they still hunted. sighs. and i also only recently found out that cosmetics used to be one of the biggest "consumers" of whale bits and peices. bleah.--Waiting for Godot 13:21, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto to WfG and Genghis --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 14:10, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban it - this "scientific whaling" is a scam and everyone knows it. Totnesmartin 14:14, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. DogP 15:22, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ban it. Unsustainable. EVDebs 16:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • If it can be regulated to be sustainable, then it would be no worse than any other type of fishing. (I don't know enough about the complex issues to know if this is possible.) If it was not heavily regulated, definitely a bad thing. Weaseloid 17:58, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. --JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I have heard it claimed that whale populations have recovered to the degree that limited whaling can be done on a sustainable basis, but I haven't investigated these claims very much. If these claims are true, I don't have a problem with such limited whaling. If they are false, then it should be banned, at least until these claims become true. Zmidponk 17:16, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:48, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Whaling annoys me for very nationalist reason. I don't care if Japan wants to whale in Japan. I don't like Japan entering Australian Antarctic water to whale. The Australian Government needs to grow some backbone and stop these incursions into OUR territory. \approx\pi 08:08, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Why not? I don't see anyone complaining about fishing or deer hunting, (ok so some people do, but they are greatly in the minority). --CPAdmin1 12:35, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Aren't whales a deranged species? Oppose. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 18:06, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • What Zmidpok said.--DamoHi 19:56, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Used to be dead-set opposed (then again, I also used to be dead-set opposed to drilling in ANWR). Not sure about it now...seems to me whales are no longer as threatened as they once were, and it would be permissible to bring it back but only on a small-scale, heavily regulated basis. Further I would restrict it only to those nations, Iceland for one, and the coastal Pacific Northwest tribes for another, where whaling is integral to their culture. Secret Squirrel 12:44, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Liberals are also generally assumed to SUPPORT[edit]

Keeping abortion legal[edit]

  • Whilst I have every sympathy with the anti abortion lobby, and understand their very real concerns, you will never stop abortions and we must never return to the days of backstreet abortions and all that went with. Once you go beyond that I get lost in all the complex questions about where life begins so I leave it to those who know more than me. Silver Sloth 11:03, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
As above. We can't return to the backstreet butchers who killed untold numbers of women. This review of Vera Drake, by a retired midwife, discusses illegal abortion in Britain. Do we really want to go back to that? get off your high horse, Christians, and read about some reality. Totnesmartin 11:45, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, just as outlined in Roe v. Wade. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:36, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • The issue of abortion is actually very complex, so, to my mind, there should never really be a blanket 'all abortions are illegal' or 'all abortions are legal'. For the answer as to where the line should be drawn, I am doubly handicapped in that I am not an expert in fetus development, and am also male, so will never be in the position of being pregnant, so I can't really answer that. Zmidponk 17:24, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, definitely pro-choice. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:49, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Should be illegal in any and every case. Abortion = Murder. --CPAdmin1 12:36, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Does that make a miscarriage negligent homicide? Or manslaughter? How about when a fertilized egg fails to implant itself in the uterine wall and goes out the the menstrual period, which I've heard occurs in somewhere between 30% and 60% of all fertilizations?
    • And I'm a devout SubGenius, and we strictly disapprove of abortion after the 45th trimester. A 15-year-old is a human being! Before that, anything that cuts down on the number of merehumes is ok by us. --Gulik 19:35, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Legal if there is no neural activity going on, which if memory serves, starts at 3 months. NightFlareThis is a talk page. 18:09, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Well I am in two minds about this one, on the personal side I was adopted out by a 16 year old mother, so you can imagine this would colour my thinking. However I also have trouble seeing the whole abortion=murder side of things, and I certainly don't think that a human is created at conception. I think on balance it should be legal though I would prefer people didn't do it. I suppose it's one of the tradeoffs of living in a democracy, I can't make others believe what I do, and I certainly can't insist on the government legislating for my feelings exclusively.--DamoHi 19:27, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes, absolutely. I grew up in a country (Ireland) where abortion was totally illegal. You know what happened? Tens of thousands of women took the boats to the UK to get abortions every year. Their only alternative was hideous backstreet abortionists, or giving birth in a graveyard or field at night, alone, and strangling or drowning the baby (happened plenty of times). It encouraged a community blindness to child sexual abuse and incest. It was a disaster, and its resolution caused a constitutional crisis. DogP 19:34, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes to keeping it legal. Weaseloid 16:19, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Next question? Secret Squirrel 12:45, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Another Pro-Choicer here. Carptrash 10:56, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. ТyTalk. 01:19, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Make it legal, but sterilize anyone who gets one and already has kids.

Easy access to contraceptives[edit]

  • Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Easy access to contraceptives does NOT promote promiscuity - it does prevent teenage pregnancy. Abstinence programs don't work; condoms do. Silver Sloth 11:05, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:36, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes again, as per Silver Sloth. Totnesmartin 11:47, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. Zmidponk 17:25, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Ditto. Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:49, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Well, getting them at your local pharmacy is easy, but don't really see the point of making it even easier if it's going to cost a dime. Exactly what does the "easy" in the question mean? NightFlareThis is a talk page. 18:13, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I remain unconvinced (hint, convince me) that a bit of added promiscuity is such a bad thing, provided people take precuations. Therefore contraceptives are a good thing. Abstinence only education is a very silly idea.--DamoHi 19:32, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absolutely. See my comment above re. abortion. Also note that Ireland also banned all forms of contraception too until the mid 80's, which caused another constitutional crisis. Condoms were finally allowed under a doctor's prescription. You can imagine how popular that was in tiny rural villages. Between the two bans, the life of women was made a living (and dying) hell. DogP 19:37, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Teenagers always had, will always have, and are having sex as we speak. If preaching at people did anything to stop sex, there'd only be like fifty people on the planet right now. CorryTalk 23:28, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Absofuckinglutely. Weaseloid 16:19, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. next question? Secret Squirrel 12:45, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Give them away for FREE on every street corner. Under lamp posts at night (and in the day too). Carptrash 10:59, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Yes. ТyTalk. 01:20, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Liberals are also generally assumed to OPPOSE[edit]

Spying on law-abiding citizens[edit]

  • Quis custodiet ipso custodies - I think I've got that right. Whilst I recognise the need for MI5, MI6, the CIA, the FBI, etc privacy is going to be the big issue in the 21st century. Silver Sloth 11:12, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • No. It's done anyway, but no. JJ4e?!?!?!?! 11:40, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against - a waste of resources which should be targeted at genuine threats, and an unreasonable imposition on personal freedom. Has been known to be used on legal protest groups. Totnesmartin 11:51, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I can see its purpose in certain situations (CCTV in city centers, and things like that), but doing things like warrantless wiretaps is taking it too far. Zmidponk 17:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only if there are reasonable grounds to suspect someone of being naughty, and always under an Act of Parliament. 04:50, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not sure what the question is. Patriot Act Yes. Violations of 4th amendment No. --CPAdmin1 12:38, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • It's a fine line the stereotypical conservative walks, isn't it? They like military power, and intelligence-gathering is a critical component of that. However, they can't stand the invasion of privacy when that intelligence-gathering is done against them. Considering the kinds of people intelligence agencies attract, I don't think you can have it both ways. The government certainly shouldn't spy on law-abiding citizens, and oversight of our intelligence agencies must be applied to limit this kind of thing, but it's kind of inevitable that it will happen. OneForLogic 19:14, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • My point of view is that warrantless spying on citizens is a disaster for democracy. Without checks by an independent judiciary there is just too much scope for political use of wiretapping. To my mind the problem isn't the spying itself, its the ability of political parties to use the information gained to its advantage, therefore we need strict independent controls over this.--DamoHi 19:41, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Not clear what this is asking. Who spying & how & why? Weaseloid 16:22, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Against it under most any and all circumstances I can think of. I'd go so far as to say most surveillance cameras in public should be dismantled. I'd even go so far as to say I'd love to see surveillance technology suffer the same fate I wish on nuclear weapons technology. Secret Squirrel 12:47, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Kill it with fire. Chop what's left up, grind it into dust and fire it into the sun. ТyTalk. 01:24, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Torture of ANYONE[edit]

  • On moral reasons, legal reasons, and the simple fact that It. Doesn't. WORK. --Gulik 17:41, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Torture really is a useless kind of thing to do to someone. With all the other ways our government can learn what it needs to about our enemies, I don't understand why this still happens. OneForLogic 19:09, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I think its unproductive, immoral and it causes the nation that does it to lose any moral high ground. --DamoHi 19:20, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Morally depraved, legally useless, politically suicidal. Today's radical Islamic movements are the direct descendants of the torture of Sayyid Qutb and others in the 1950's and 60's at the hands of the Egyptian government in response to the assassination attempt on Nasser. Parallels to today's world abound. Torture incites people like almost no other force, and so it is a massive political blunder by the US that it has let itself become associated with torture today. DogP 19:23, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
    • Never mind legally--it's pragmatically useless, also. 24 notwithstanding, even the Israeli government (an organization not noted for being soft on terrorists) has given up on tortuing suspects just because people will say ANYTHING to make the pain stop. So it's useless for getting actual information. But it's real good for getting FALSE confessions and scaring OTHER people into submission, which I fervently hope is NOT why my government has suddenly gotten such an infatuation for waterboarding. --Gulik 19:34, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Immoral and useless. Weaseloid 16:22, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Only between mutually consenting adults with a safe word...er, that *wasn't* the context you were asking about? Oppose, then. Secret Squirrel 12:48, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
  • I'm a pacifist, and as such am highly opposed to violence in just about any form. Against. --Otend (talk) 01:08, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. ТyTalk. 01:25, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Rank these American presidents from the most intelligent to the least:[edit]

I assume that this exercise says something about American liberals - but I don't know what.--Bobbing up 11:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Don't think actual intelligence has a great deal to do with a president's virtues. SusanG  ContribsTalk

Nixon was probably very intelligent. Say no more! SusanG  ContribsTalk

I don't even know how you rank someone's intelligence. there are tests out there, but experts say even they are flawed and would have found someone like Einstein to be "underintelligent". I do think Bush is either very ill educated, a simple bumpkin, dyslexic, or just totally lazy cause he is terribly unconcerned with what he says and how he says it.--Waiting for Godot 13:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

  • 32 Roosevelt (FDR)
  • 33 Truman
  • 34 Eisenhower
  • 35 Kennedy
  • 36 LBJ
  • 37 Nixon
  • 38 Ford
  • 39 Carter
  • 40 Reagan
  • 41 Bush 41
  • 42 Clinton
  • 43 Bush 43
What the hell is this? How does voting work? DogP 15:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I just copied it over from Rem's user page as is. I don't understand how people are meant to rate them, or what the significance of such a rating would be. Perhaps Rem has actual records of the presidents' IQ's scores and he is going to see how close RW members get to guessing their real scores scores? Although what this would ay about people being "liberal" or not remains unclear. Rem - could you clarify this?--Bobbing up 16:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
PS - what are the numbers?--Bobbing up 16:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
They're their number as president - Bush is the 43rd President of the USA. Weaseloid 18:04, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

From dumbest to smartest: Bush 43-Reagan-Truman-Ford-Eisenhower-Bush 41-Kennedy-Carter-LBJ-Roosevelt-Nixon-Clinton. Though if you asked which I thought were the *best* presidents, that list would look very different. EVDebs 16:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Yeah, this is a stupid question. I remember hearing that Clinton scored incredibly high on IQ tests, but so what? IQ isn't much as the true measure of a President. DogP 18:16, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

  • Indeed. My list of good presidents would look rather different -- Kennedy and Roosevelt, for example, would be much higher, Carter and Nixon would be somewhere in the middle with Eisenhower and Truman, and Bush 41, LBJ, and Ford would drop almost to rock bottom, right over Bush 43. (Clinton would probably be behind Roosevelt and ahead of Kennedy, and without Watergate Nixon would be probably just behind Kennedy. Don't even ask about Reagan.) EVDebs 19:38, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Bush (Jr) has always struck me as being outstandingly dumb, but that could be that he just sucks at public speaking. The rest, I couldn't say where they rank relative to each other. Zmidponk 17:33, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

And now over to the pundits for an early reaction to the poll[edit]

At first glance it looks like we're generally in agreement but, and here's the rub.

  • The agreement is far from 100% Apart from some of the 'Duh!' questions there's a range of opinions and a range of strength of opinions.
  • Where there are differences we agree to differ. Debate is seen as a way of educating and being educated, not of scoring points

In the end it's about mutual respect. Silver Sloth 13:42, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Well, Jeremy, from where I'm standing, after five or six votes, we appear to be quite homogeneous. There are some differences but only minor ones. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:12, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
depends on what6 you mean by homogeneous (that gays are geniuses? sorry...grins) Cause i see very different shades on almost all of the issues ranging from "yeah, this is good but not as a law" to "damn straight make it a law". I just find it to be loaded assumptions from teh start. defining liberals by someone else's categories instead of our own.--Waiting for Godot 14:15, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Well Brian, I'm opening a boutique there's certainly an early swing to the liberals, but let's wait until the Americans get home from work and see how it goes. Totnesmartin 14:18, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Yes, the UK team seems to be well out in front at the moment.--Bobbing up 14:26, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
True, very true, Jeremy, Where's the booteek going to be? I'm thinking of a flower shop. The "transpondians" are likely to be a tad more to the right, I think. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

<--Unindent
There does appear to be a lot of agreement so far but I don't think it all fits in with Rem's stereotype. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 16:11, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

You may be right, i haven't doped it all out yet. The response format makes it difficult, albeit it affords better insight as to thought processes. Another confounding factor is that i don't know everybody well enough to take into account those that are Brits or Yanks or others.
I CAN say this: more answered with Libt, or nearly Libt, responses than i expected. Maybe i missed it, but i don't think anyone hazarded a guess as to why i included the presidents list.
-- RemBeau 11:29, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

Yeah, but it seems like no one wanted to play with the Presidents. You want to rephrase that one? DogP 12:10, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

Yes, come Rem - explain that one would you?--Bobbing up 13:44, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Self-identity is a good thing, but even honest people can deceive themselves, and i wanted a way to determine which of those responding to my poll were actually Liberal, and so lacking a good idea how to do this, i came up with one that achieved nothing useful. Yet another example of intent and sincerity not working out.
Yeah, it was a dumb idea and didn't pan out, and it may not be worth speculating as to why. But here was my (admittedly faulty) thinking: In the US, Liberals routinely and pretty reliably (i heard only a single exception) opine that Pub presidents are always dumber than Dem presidents. They don't say it as a blanket statement, but when they tick off the names of presidents, that is how they opine.
Now i don't claim any special insight that enables me to rank the presidents, but i do think it highly unlikely that every Dem prez is more intelligent than every Pub prez, and that if someone believes that, it is Liberal bias. The problem with presenting a list as i did, is it makes people self-aware of their biases -- which could explain why everybody refused to do the ranking.
Again i don't mean to imply that i am myself unbiased. Far from it. But with that list of predidents, i don't have a dog in the fight.
-- RemBeau 08:26, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
DogP -- no sense rephrasing it -- what i need is a better indicator of political identity.
-- RemBeau 08:31, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Whilst not, for one moment, buying into the Republican presidents are thick, Dems are clever, I think that the stereotype Democrat values intellectualism more than the stereotype Republican - indeed, it would appear that the current US administration is almost anti intellectual. When you add this to the fact that human nature wants to view like thinkers in a favourable light then liberals will tend to mark liberal presidents higher. Incidentally I'm using the term liberal in a relative fashion - they're all hard right from where I stand. Silver Sloth 08:46, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Pundits plowed under, world leaders take note[edit]

Wow -- i mean wow! If the gods really want to zap you, they give you what you ask for. An embarassment of riches to be sure, but i am tickled pink. And if i never figure out how to deal with all that info, it's worth it to me -- i got a good laugh (out loud, honest) from your purposeful humor.

I can't tell you why, but Totnesmartin's last comment hit me just right, "Well Brian, I'm (opening a boutique) there's certainly an early swing to the liberals, but let's wait until the Americans get home from work and see how it goes". I don't know who Brian is, but i bet he didn't laugh as hard as i did. Part of it, i guess, was that Americans would have any special insight in evaluating all those answers.

You all know, of course, that it will be well nigh impossible to analyze the "data" in any meaningful, statistical way -- i like to think you all colluded (a global conspiracy) to blitz me silly. (Are you part of the Trilateral Commission? Do you get your marching orders from the Bilderbergers?)

I couldn't wait until i "got home" (i telecommute on most days), i had to read every scrap, so i WILL have some time to make up this evening. C'est la gare (it is the railroad station). All those opinions will keep me going for quite a while ... i will comment on them.

-- RemBeau 15:27, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Americans don't have "special insight", it's just that you used a politically universal term then applied some very US only topics like prayer at sporting events. In most of the world, religion is just not teh hot button issue it is here, no matter which side. Other than against Muslims, I can't think of a thing Le Pen said that would suggest he wanted school prayer, god in the constitution, or any other religious nonsense that the Right here prattles off.--Waiting for Godot 15:43, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
"Well Brian, I'm opening a boutique" is from a Monty Python sketch Oooh found it!. My statement about waiting for the Americans is not simply because the question were aimed at them ,but because They're (on average) more right-wing than the Brits - but does this hold true for the RWians? Totnesmartin 15:59, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the link; i had never seen that one. John Cleese has no peer. My favorites are the dead bird skit and the skit about paying for an argument. I can't watch those enough.
Americans are more Right-Wing than Brits? I don't believe that to be true. More Christian church-goers, definitely, -- also many more than in other Western European countries, but that has been true ever since De Tocqueville wrote about it. Not the same as Right-Wing, many of whom voted for Kerry. Is Kerry more Right-Wing than his British counterparts? I doubt it. I don't think Gordon Brown or Tony Blair are more Liberal, do you?
-- RemBeau 23:29, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
how so are we more right wing then you? I dare say... put up your dukes, put up your dukes!!--Waiting for Godot 16:01, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, it's pretty well known that in the secrecy of her bedroom, Godot dons a uniform and shouts orders in 1940s German at her mirror. She probably holds her cig the funny way they did in Germany back then.
Sprechen Sie mit mir? (De Niro, Taxi Driver)
-- RemBeau 22:17, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Rem, I don't know what all of John Kerry's policies are but I do know that he isn't the leader of his party. Brown and Blair have both been crticised by many in their own party for being too right-wing. And no-one in the UK would describe either of them as liberals. In the UK, UKIP are probably closer to many Republicans and the Conservative party is nearer to the Democrats than the Republicans on many issues. They have even adopted a tree as their symbol to prove their green credentials and their leader bicycles to work. The Conservatives even support the National Health Service although they would like to make changes. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 08:38, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Rem, I don't know what all of John Kerry's policies are but I do know that he isn't the leader of his party. Brown and Blair have both been crticised by many in their own party for being too right-wing. And no-one in the UK would describe either of them as liberals. In the UK, UKIP are probably closer to many Republicans and the Conservative party is nearer to the Democrats than the Republicans on many issues. They have even adopted a tree as their symbol to prove their green credentials and their leader bicycles to work. The Conservatives even support the National Health Service although they would like to make changes. -- Genghis marauding 08:38, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Hmm. Okay, sounds right, but i'm not sure i caught your point. Are you supporting or refuting (or neither) Totnesmartin's assertion that Yanks tend more to the Right than Brits? As to green credentials, i'm a bit of a tree-hugger myself but i could in no way pass myself off as a Green. Possibly i'm overthinking your comment on that.
Oh, and your s1 -- Kerry WAS the leader of his party for awhile, and only fell from grace after he lost, wouldn't you agree? I don't know how to measure, or even weight, the political similarites and differences of Brits and Yanks. Perhaps you have an opinion on that. -- RemBeau 11:06, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Kerry wasn't leader of the Democrats in 2004 - that was Terry McAuliffe. Kerry was the candidate for president, which isn't the same thing.

Some mistakes are a good idea[edit]

The law of unanticipated consequences worked out well this time, due to the unintended ambiguity of my questions. Not just answers, but thought processes are revealed, and they can be compared to others on the same topic -- that interests me above other considerations.

Some of you seem offended that i didn't know the right questions to ask of Liberals, but my lack of knowledge in this area is EXACTLY why i wanted to do this. Isn't it obvious that Liberals would know more about Liberals than a Libertarian would? And yes, Bob made it clear that many of the questions are geared to America, therefore Brits (or others) couldn't be expected to know about them, but i also learned from this which American topics a non-American might know about, and which we have in common.

My first impression (without having read the newest answers) is that many of you share similar thought processes (what would you expect?), which is why you tend to reach similar conclusions. Some of you sometimes lean Libertarian, but seldom (if ever) share views with Conservatives -- and that is consistent with what i expected.

On (A) i didn't make it clear (sorry) that i wasn't asking whether, when other factors are equal, would you hire a minority (a policy i would personally support) -- rather, should affirmative action be enforced by law (that i am against).

On AGW (B) you were almost unanimous. That suggests what i think most of us already knew -- people line up on this based on politics, not science. Libertarians, even those that believe in AGW, generally don't believe govt could solve the problem no matter how much money they spend.

On the ACLU (C), unanimity except for Bob (unfamiliar with it) and Susan (who is Murcan?). Do i have that correct?

On (D), most all would ban prayer on school property, as would the ACLU.

On smoking (E), mixed reviews. Some supported the Libt view, some would ban it. My own view (also the Libt view) is property rights trumps other rights, and no law should prevent people from smoking on their own property. Bob brought up a good point about suicide. Wish i had thought of that as a separate topic. It IS against the US law to commit suicide -- does that make sense to anybody?

-- RemBeau 21:51, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

You must be reading a different (D) than the one on this page. First, you said nothing about schools (someone finally clarified what they think you meant). So your "analysis" is a non sequitur from asking if people are for "Banning prayer at football games". ħumanUser talk:Human 23:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
You may be right on both levels concerning (D) -- i may have botched it. I will revisit (D) sometime later.
-- Rem
Great contribution, Rembrandt. If I may address a few poionts in your analysis, though:
  • No comment on A. Reasonable people can disagree.
  • Truthfully, the bulk of the scientific data leans heavily in favor of AGW -- in fact the latest thinking is that the IPCC consensus might be too conservative. At the end of the day, it's the climatologists who should make the decisions here, and this is what they've come up with. It's the people who are ignoring the4 evidence who are politicizing it.
  • On the ACLU, yeah, pretty much. They do for civil rights what labor unions do for workers' rights. If someone claims they support freedom of speech but bashes the ACLU, they either don't know what they're talking about or blowing smoke up your ass.


  • You're missing the point on D. It's about prayer at public schools, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
  • The smoking issue comes down to "elbows off the table". Someone who lights up in a public place is pretty much forcing others to put up with the smoke, and as a general rule people don't want to deal with that anymore. I don't support bans on smoking in residential units (I could go either way on hotel rooms though) since it's private space, nor do I support the kind of punitive cigarette taxes that are in vogue these days, but bars, restaurants, workspaces, etc. are all common space, and while exemptions for places like cigar bars and tobacco shops are reasonable, I can't think of too many other exceptions. EVDebs 02:22, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Debs -- thank you. It works if you have the kind of people that aren't shy about sharing their views, and wish others would be influenced by them. That describes me, for sure.
My slant on some of the issues in your post is different than yours, but the only efficient way i can address them is to intersperse my comments in between yours. Which is what i will do if you don't object.
One easy comment is, you seem to feel strongly that those that don't see things your way are lying. I don't doubt you believe that, but that isn't necessarily true.
-- Rem
Debs, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms marauding around the globe and find that smoking in the rooms has an unpleasant cumulative after effect. Also smoking is associated with a higher incidence of fire so it presents an added risk to all hotel guests. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 03:10, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Genghis -- yes -- i agree with your s1. It obviously does have "an unpleasant cumulative after effect", and i hate it when it's strong. I don't smoke and i wish nobody did, but my knee-jerk Libt view is, they have a right, and providing they don't blow smoke in my face (or into anyone's that object), i would oppose making their behavior illegal.
We have a plethora of laws based soley on the preference of majorities. I would repeal them. This is the root problem of a Democracy -- majorities force their will upon minorities without regard for individual rights. Democracies based on the Athenian model are bad news. They are tolerable only when those with control-freak tendencies are restrained by a constitution that emphasizes the rights of citizens. Democracies easily morph into Theocracies, both of the Theist and of the Atheist kind.
You are likely correct in your s2 also.
-- Rem
@GK, isn't the solution for hotels to allot a small percentage (10-15% or so) as "smoking rooms", so the non-smokers never get stuck in one? And on the same issue, @Rimbo, again, you failed to present the question in full, and you return to a point of view not expressed for discussion (smoking at home?). Your "discussion" tactics are clumsy at best, and dishonest at worst. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:20, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Why don't you just stop it. Stop making ad homs like saying i'm dishonest. Your problem is that i am a Libt, and i think like one. You are a control freak and think like one. Now can we just get on with discussing issues?
Your s1 seems a reasonable solution (even a good one) for hotels, and i would defend your right, as a hotel owner, to implement it. But i would defend property owners in general to set their own policies. It should be their right.
-- Rem
@Hu. No the answer is not to provide a small number of rooms for smokers only. There should be a separate annexe or all-smoker hotels. Hotels don't allow making fires for tea why should they make an exception for weed-burning? (Sorry, hyperbole.) When airlines used to allow smoking it was usually smokers at the back. Lufthansa used to have smokers on the right, non-smokers on the left. However, in the perfect supply-demand scenario, Nigerian Airways made individual seats either smoking or non-smoking. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 04:30, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Wait... hotels have sprinkler systems to stop fires. Modern cigarettes are required by law to be self-extinguishing (finally, although it really changed them). An annex? Smoking is not fire (by the way, they don't ban lighters, which are fire). Smoking has two by-products that offend non-smokers - the toxic second hand smoke, which dissipates if you're not in the room, and the "stink" that stays in the room. In my experience, all hotel rooms smell funny anyway. I don't remember the last time I heard of a hotel burning down because of smokers, if that's the big issue. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:11, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I think you confuse hotel standards in the USA with conditions across the rest of the world, as well as extending the qualities of American cigarette manufacture. Also sprinker systems are not infallible and a cigarette or discarded match can cause a fire with clothing or paper. My suggestion for an annexe was tongue in cheek, so the best way is to stick all the smokers at the top and let them fry first. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 07:37, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I really don't see the point of 'D'. Surely Libertarians don't condone coercive public prayer? The fact that it is included in a list of what you (Rem) thought defines Liberals probably says a lot about your own view of the matter. In which case you may not be as Libertarian as you think you are. I may have erred in my assumption but it is really only an issue in the US where the religious right seek to wield influence. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 03:04, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Condone? I suspect that condone would qualify as a loaded word if i understand how it is meant in these parts. Most all Libts support the Bill of Rights, and all definitely defend individual rights.
Wow. I may not be as Libertarian as i think i am??? Oh ye of little understanding. I reserve the right to reject a Liberal's view of what Libts should believe, as i respect your right of self-definition. That would seem to be the best way to go, wouldn't you agree?
I often note current Liberal policies and think to myself, how illiberal they are, but that is usually in the sense of classical Liberalism and i have to remind myself that that is pretty much what i am. So to criticize Liberals because they are not Libertarians would be foolish -- when you identify yourself as a Liberal (and i think you have) and believe in policies with which other self-identified Liberals espouse, who am i to try to rip the Liberal label off your uniform?
-- Rem 13:06, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Bob -- i have logged in, a message generated by RW verified that i have logged in, yet the malfunctions persist.
-- Rem 13:09, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Rem: You said: On AGW (B) you were almost unanimous. That suggests what i think most of us already knew -- people line up on this based on politics, not science. Libertarians, even those that believe in AGW, generally don't believe govt could solve the problem no matter how much money they spend. How do you get there? "The science" as expressed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is unambiguous. That would suggest the opposite to your first conclusion. As I understand it Libertarians don't trust governments to fix anything - so your second point is redundant. --Bobbing up 08:03, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Your point about redundancy -- kind of. There are levels of incompetence and most importantly (from my point of view), there are tasks so hugely complicated and difficult that would require very high competence (and a huge level of resources), and a govt full of lawyers is clearly and simply not up to it.
Three govts (one at each level) contributed mightily to the Katrina Fiasco, and all that came out of it was a blame fest. When it comes to any serious problem, circus clowns could do as well. It would take ENORMOUS faith to believe govts would do anything to solve GW that wouldn't be counterproductive.
The ONLY reason that a govt ever wins a war is it is up against another incompetent govt, and there has to be a loser. AND with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans. What those folks could do with that money if only it reached them.
Just consider how well the US Govt has handled the "energy crisis". Ethanol production uses more energy and is a bigger polluter than gasoline, gallon per gallon -- not to mention how many people around the world are starving that wouldn't have had the corn not been diverted to a govt scheme.
It's not a matter of being well intentioned and so sincere -- govts daily turn gold into lead. So if AGW ever raises the sea level 23 feet and hurricanes start sweeping us all into the Bermuda Triangle, we're doomed. Doomed, i tell ya. After the polar bears drown, we're next.
A single volcano eruption could save us -- govt had better hope for one if AGW happens to become a reality.
I know, i know -- it's just a Libertarian rant and nobody is listening.
-- Rem the Realist -- 7 AUG 2008

As others have pointed out your comment on "D: On (D), most all would ban prayer on school property, as would the ACLU." does not really stand up from the comments posted.--Bobbing up 08:03, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

My account has been hijacked. I'll probably have to create a new one. Human would miss me.
-- Rem the Misunderstood -- 7 AUG 2008
Whatever problem you're having I'm sure that User talk:Tmtoulouse can fix it. (Though he seems to be a little busy at the moment.) What exactly is the issue? --Bobbing up 14:08, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Rem, I doubt that your account has been hijacked. Sometimes the server disconnects your session and you need to log back in otherwise you end up as a BoNE. You can request an IP block to make sure that you always have to log in. If you have forgotten your password then click the email password button on the log-in screen (I presume you supplied an email address). Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:48, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Logged in again, still a problem. Even at the top of this page, my IP address shows up instead of my name. Only kidding about the hijacking -- so far nobody has tried to pass himself off as me. Don't remember the server ever disconnecting me; don't think that's it. My password still works, but funny enough, it didn't automatically log me in time before last. It just shows to go ya, Liberalism doesn't work.
Perhaps if i copy my page top, it'll give you a clue. (I have added the double dashes as item separators.)
64.223.181.129 -- Talk for this IP -- Log in / create account
Rem the Victim, applying for victimhood. 7 AUG 2008
Rem, are you clicking the "remember my log in" box each time you log in?
On another note, "AND with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans." The population of N.O. in 2006 is listed as 275,000. 2.75 E+5 times 5.0 E+5 = 1.375 E+11, that's 137,500,000,000. I think your source might be defective. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:14, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
No, i hadn't been, but tonight because the problem went away (it was probably global warming), i have, and it still works fine.
You're looking good since you've got numbers, and i don't know what i did with mine. But i'll find them, and if i can't divide, i'll admit it.
-- RemBeau 00:54, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I just told you that your "claim" was that the US government spent 8x the GNP on New Orleans, and your answer is "you've got numbers, and i don't know what i did with mine. But i'll find them" - don't you realize you are completely wrong? Impossibly wrong??? Insanely, dupedly, completely mathematically wrong? Your source, please, so we can mock it in publick? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:02, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
  • On the term "Classical Liberal" -- I don't think it has any real meaning. The essence of liberalism, at least as it's understood in United States political terms (it means something else economically), is progressive politics -- i.e. what was progressive then is ancient history now, either a settled matter, a bad idea that was rejected, or a good idea at the time that no longer makes sense now. It's pointless to say someone is not a liberal because they don't espouse the liberal program of 200 years ago; by modern standards, Abraham Lincoln would be fairly right-wing, but at the time he was (somewhat by accident) on the cutting edge of progressive politics. "Classical Liberal", as a term, is therefore a pet peeve of mine as it makes some rather invalid assumptions about the inherent nature of politics overall. EVDebs 13:28, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Progressive is a great banner to march under, but it doesn't really suggest which sides of issues (or even which issues) its members believe in. Anybody can claim the label, even if their policies are actually regressive.
I agree wholeheartedly with your "It's pointless" comment. Anybody that assumes that a label from centuries ago holds the same meaning today as it did then, is ignorant of history. Dems and Pubs both like to claim political giants of the past that had the same label, but moderns have little in common with TJ and Abe.
-- RemBeau 09:04, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

A Libertarian responds to (F) thru (L)[edit]

F -- Against it. It didn't work out for Socrates and it's not working out for us. Majorities run roughshod over minorities. Much worse than if minorities attempt to force their will upon majorities.

  • That's why we have checks and balances -- bicameral legislatures, separation of power, etc. Unfettered democracy is mob rule. But that does not follow that democracy is bad in and of itself. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

G -- Terrible idea. Preventing all sides of issues from even being brought up? Especially not in a free society.

  • Agreed. But PC is a term that is thrown around far too lightly, usually by those who insist on their own brand of PC instead. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

H -- DogP said it the way i see it. And he is spot on saying, "Terrible idea which started with the very best intentions". Happens all the time. I don't knock good intentions and sincerity, but if you are sensible as well, the govt is almost the last institution you'd want to involve.

I -- The Fairness Doctrine couldn't possibly make the news media "fair", it is simply another method for some to control, through coercion, those they disagree with. It would be wielded by those with the most power, giving them even more power. Not a good idea for the rest of us. If we are to be truly free, we must be allowed to air our opinions without govt interference.

  • The Fairness Doctrine is not a speech code for its own sake. Its intent, when it was in force, was to insure access to a limited resource -- the broadcasting airwaves are not a particularly wide slice of spectrum for what they're used for, and the intent was not to limit speech in and of itself, but to prevent minority views from getting crowded out. It's at least as much a technical matter as a political one. Watch this space; I feel an essay coming on. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

J -- This should not be a personal preference issue -- people should have a right to keep and bear arms, even without the protection of the US Constitution. I meant to get back to this one and change it to something like: Criminalizing ownership of firearms by private citizens. That would have been much clearer cut.

  • Certainly clearer-cut than the issue itself. Guns are lethal. They serve no other purpose. What was reasonable in a majority-rural nation over two centuries ago may be a disaster waiting to happen in a majority-urban nation now. To try to shoehorn it as simply a matter of inalienable rights (as the Supreme Court did last month) is being very, very shortsighted indeed. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Why should people should have a right to keep and bear arms, even without the protection of the US Constitution - I don't as a citizen of the UK and I don't miss it for an instance. And don't give me that 'to protect mysef and my family' crap; we don't live in the wild west but in the 21st century. But if we do accept your premise where does it end. By the same logic you feel you have the right to own and bear thermo nuclear weapons. The difference is only one of scale. Silver Sloth 02:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

K -- Ridiculous. Hate is not a crime. You are a criminal only if you commit a criminal act. (Sounds circular, i know, but i haven't thought of a better way to say it, yet. I hope you know what i mean tho.) It just allows those in power to pretend they are mind readers.

  • Yes, but do you then propose to treat a random mugging and an explicit gay-bashing the same way? Not that there isn't a great gray area there, but in this simplistic case, one is clearly a property crime (albeit a violent one) and the other is an explicit hate crime. At the very least, there should be a legal distinction. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

L -- No way. Why should some people be able to force other people to wear helmets "for their own good"? Even if they are CERTAIN it's a wonderful idea. Totally repugnant to a Libt. A law which forces a citizen to do someone else's bidding is far worse than a law preventing a citizen from doing something. Hard for this Libt to understand how anyone could see this differently.

-- RemBeau 23:19, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

  • Again, it's a public health issue. As your right to swing your fist ends at my nose, so your right to be stupid ends when it affects others' lives. I find the libertarian opinion on things like seatbelt and helmet laws consistently ignores the fallout from preventable accidents involving lack of seatbelt or helmet use. At least with suicides it can be reasonably assumed that the suicide either felt undue pressure or was not in his/her right mind. I presume a libertarian objecting to such a law falls under neither of those categories, being both sane and a free agent. I therefore can't understand why consequences don't figure into the equation. EVDebs 02:24, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Regarding K: man, you totally pulled an Andy there, completely misunderstanding what a "hate crime" is, which is first and foremost a crime. The "hate" part has to do with the motivation, and motive has always been a factor when judging the severity of a criminal act. The idea that "these librulz are tryin to outlaw hate!!!11!1!1" is an Andyism you should have the brains to see through. But anyway, I basically agree with you when it comes to helmets (and I assume seat belts too). It is a fundamental right of a people to cause themselves harm if they see fit. I have that much libertarian in me, at least. DickTurpis 00:05, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I have no problem with people riding helmet/seatbeltless, as long as they're registered organ donors. --Gulik 19:28, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
This argument suggests that the only damage a person not wearing a helmet / seatbelt will cause is to themself. Not so. Consider the other person involved in a collision. Being in an accident where somebody else has lost their life or been critically injured can have an enormously traumatic psychological impact, regardless of whether it is the other person's fault. Wearing a helmet or a seatbelt is not much of a chore (hardly a civil liberties issue) & can make the difference between walking away & being killed, & this can make a huge difference on the outcome of any accident for everyone involved. Weaseloid 16:37, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Please put your entries in line with every one else's. Your "quoting" numbers makes it so we have no idea what you are talking about, whereas the rest of us answered "in line" You are a troll, really. You don't play on a level playing field - how ironic for a "libertarian". (Libertarian = I make my own rules, seriously - I've seen it over and over again!) ħumanUser talk:Human 01:07, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

It does make it somewhat difficult to follow Rem.--Bobbing up 02:39, 8 August 2008 (EDT)


A Libertarian responds to (N) thru (T)[edit]

In answering these, i will accede to both requests, first posting here, then copying then individually (without software, mind you) under the questions in the section above. (I'm a saint, and should probably get canonized -- where do i sign up?) One day the faithful among you (take down your hand, John Edwards) may be carrying a calendar with one of the squares named for me - St. Rem.

The shrewd reader will notice i skipped (M). I'm going for the low-hanging fruit at the moment.

1.14 N) Penalties on companies that hire offshore

If we are trying to keep businesses and workers in our own country, it would seem unwise to make it even less desirable to do business here. Hiring offshore seems to me to be a natural result of ever-worse govt economic policies.

Higher taxes, higher prices, tougher regulations on business, and more unfunded mandates create a scenario in which the American worker is being priced out of the market. Simply clamping down on business won't solve any problems.

1.15 O) Penalizing oil companies

Similar to (N) in that it is counterproductive to punish the companies that are most needed.

1.16 P) PETA

Sure, these guys tend to be over the top, but i am pleased (just my personal view -- nothing to do with Libertarianism) that there are people out there that make treatment of animals a high priority. If they have some influence in protecting pets from gratuitous maltreatment, i'd say they would be a very positive factor in society.

Now when they start to encroach on the sports (and palates) of hunters and fishermen by bringing along the force of law, they have moved into the realm of arrogant authoritarianism and will have to be stopped.

1.17 R) Progressive tax system

It has the name 'progressive" in the math sense, and it sounds positive, but instead of moving us toward progress (greater prosperity), it has a negative impact on an economy, which amounts to it actually being regressive. Let's examine it.

It is hardly possible to raise taxes on any one group without adversely affecting all groups. You are a doctor, and the freemarket tends to pay you well, comparatively speaking. Hence the PTS hits you harder, directly, than those that have less discretionary income. You are sending your kids to the best schools, and are loathe to bring home less money than is needed tosustain their education.

So what do you do? Just like all those that are most highly taxed, you raise your rates to compensate. Those higher rates hurt which group the most? Those poor people that believed the pols promising to soak the rich would raise their standard of living at the expense of the rich. For some of them, rising medical expensives will break them financially.

Getting the other guy to pay taxes at a higher rate than you, may feel good, and get pols ignorant of the simplest economic principles (or demagogues) elected, but it won't change this reality: EVERYbody pays EVERYbody else's taxes. And businesses don't pay taxes -- they collect them from consumers.

1.18 S) Public funding to develop energy alternatives

This is a faith issue. Govt would do the job poorly and expensively, if at all -- the freemarketplace will do it best. Your faith may have you believe the opposite.

1.19 T) Seatbelt laws

Similar to my response on Helmet Laws (L), no one is justified into forcing other adults to wear them. Govt making it a punishable crime has resulted in ladies being handcuffed. Fewer people see it as a safety problem and more of a legal problem. Obesity is a bigger killer. Should govt make fat people law-breakers? (Some of you are thinking "yes", no doubt.)

-- RemBeau 23:33, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

The Free Market vs. Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Sorry to break this into its own section, but I think it deserves a more thorough dissection. --Gulik 19:25, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

(Parts in italics are Rem.)

Your point about redundancy -- kind of. There are levels of incompetence and most importantly (from my point of view), there are tasks so hugely complicated and difficult that would require very high competence (and a huge level of resources), and a govt full of lawyers is clearly and simply not up to it.

But a business full of CPAs is? --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

Three govts (one at each level) contributed mightily to the Katrina Fiasco, and all that came out of it was a blame fest. When it comes to any serious problem, circus clowns could do as well. It would take ENORMOUS faith to believe govts would do anything to solve GW that wouldn't be counterproductive.

First of all, I'd argue that the Libertarian/Bushpublican attitude that government is inherently corrupt, incompetent and evil is sort of a self-fulfilling propheciy, since that's the kind of government these people always seem to MAKE.
Secondly, if not governments, then who? Business will happily pursue policies that are guaranteed disasters in the long run, as long as stock prices go up now. For example, any mining company that heaves huge heaps of toxic tailings around once they're done, for the taxpayers to clean up. --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
What Libt govt is the kind "these people always seem to make"? There hasn't been one. And are you saying that i say govt people are evil? Or are you confusing that with govt "being a necessary evil"? Do you disgree with THAT? (Just curious, what was it i said that made you believe i thought them evil?)
Actually i believe those in govt are no more evil proportionately than in any other huge organization; that's not the problem. As i've asserted, incompetance is the problem. No incentive to be competent, or even an interest in "serving the customer".
I have witnessed an infuriating scene at a license bureau. A guy in front of me in a long line finally got up to the clerk who informed him he had the wrong papers. He told her the lady at the other office said those were the right papers and all he had to do was give them to you. "Well she was wrong," the clerk said, "and you are holding up the line -- you'll have to go back to her". He was exasperated, and i was thinking, i don't want to be here when he comes back. He may have a low tolerance for that kind of thing, and may go crazy on the spot.
When a business gives you a hard time, either you get some satisfaction or you go to their competiton next time. With govt, you are out of luck.
-- RemBeau 14:48, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

The ONLY reason that a govt ever wins a war is it is up against another incompetent govt, and there has to be a loser. AND with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans. What those folks could do with that money if only it reached them.'

Your math is incorrect. And if FEMA hadn't been run by a Bush appointee, things might have gone a bit better, to put it mildly.
Wars and Hurricane Katrina are exactly the sort of thing humans have have governments FOR--to do things necessary to the (UGH!) "common good" (UGH! BLEAH! COMMUNIST COOTIES!) that are too big or too unprofitable for any business to be able to handle. The fact that our current government is made up entirely of crooks and idiots doesn't change that fact.
How would the Free Market have handled Katrina? --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
We don't have to guess: there was some freemarket activity in Katrini that was reported, and as you may recall it was quite helpful. WalMart for one stepped up to help out and were rather effective whereas the govt at all levels failed to distribute goods that were needed -- but that was mostly charity work as i remember.
There was one case where the local cops arrested a man that had, thru prior arrangement with his neighbors, driven his truck to another state to buy badly-needed generators and bring them back. Because his neighbors willingly bought them at approx twice the price, the cops impounded them (price-gouging), insuring that nobody got any use from them; so they had to go without electricity in spite of a freemarket solution. (I think they threw him in jail as well.) Does that make sense to you?
And i wouldn't be surprised if some of those cops didn't take them home, nor would you -- the ones that actually hung around that is, instead of just getting out of town and shirking their duty. (No profit in hanging around.)
-- RemBeau 20:16, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Govts (at all levels) don't have to be "made up entirely of crooks and idiots" to do a lousy job. The NOLA govt, probably with the best of intentions, ran a public service announcement in anticipation of Katrini, telling residents to stay in their homes, and wait for somebody to come and get them.
It was the mentality that govt would take care of them (pols continually plant that idea in their heads to win votes -- democracy at its best) that did them the most harm. Lives would have been saved if people had been told the truth, that they had better do whatever it takes to care for themselves, including get out of town, because govt is unlikely to be able to to do better than they, themselves.
And that is the crux of the problem. People would be much better off if they didn't depend on govt; if they didn't have the blind faith that, given the RIGHT people elected, govt is willing, caring, and more capable to work out their problems than they are. Socialism makes promises it couldn't possibly deliver.
To blame mayor Ray Nagin for NOLA's problems is totally misguided and misses the point. I read up on him and he was actually a pretty good mayor; much better than most of his predecessors. He was neither a doctrinaire Dem or Pub and sincerely tried to clean up the corruption in city govt, even having one of his relatives tried (he was convicted) for being on the take.
I would fault him only for playing the race card to get re-elected. If it weren't for democracy myths, people might have thought about electing someone that had hurricane knowledge and experience.
Anybody watching the NOLA town meetings a year later on public TV had a good chance at achieving epiphany about the role of govts and private citizens. They blamed mayor Nagin for everything that was happening to them, as if the govt could do everything for them.
-- RemBeau 20:36, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Soooo..... poor people who don't have cars are to blame for being so idiotic as to assume the government was going to actually do its job. Good to know.
Like I said, beyond "every man for himself! Bayonet the wounded, eat the poor, and sell the children!" What _IS_ the Libertarian response to massive natural disasters? Pray for the Private Charity Fairy to show up? --Gulik 02:00, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
Wow. You really see things in those terms. Those are not Libt views at all. But it seems clear your unshakeable faith is in the Public Charity Fairy. It is that belief in govt that gets us in one mess after another. I suspect you also believe that once we get the right man at the top, things will be different. We need a sense of community rather than relying on govt. I intend to address this later.
-- RemBeau 09:00, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
You keep talking like "The Government" is an uncaring alien military force occupying our country, rather than a bureaucracy of the people, for the people, by the people. (Or _should_ be, anyway.) --Gulik 14:53, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
Gulik -- see my response under Liberal misconceptions about a Libt's view of govt way below.
-- RemBeau 21:04, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Just consider how well the US Govt has handled the "energy crisis". Ethanol production uses more energy and is a bigger polluter than gasoline, gallon per gallon -- not to mention how many people around the world are starving that wouldn't have had the corn not been diverted to a govt scheme.

Numbers, plz? --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
I think he's talking about food crops being diverted to ethanol productions, but aren't private companies doing that mostly? More to the point, poor crops of corn in the US and rice elsewhere, plus the destruction of corn crops due to the flooding Mississippi, have a lot to do with the price of foodstuffs right now, as are rising costs for transporting food due to some fools messing around with stability in an oil-producing region and the like, plus corporate action. --Kels 20:54, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Kels -- pretty much all you've said is true, and your all-inclusive grasp is impressive (i'm not being facetious), but i hope you're not denying what i have said, that US Govt policy is an important part of the problem.
Gulik -- are you suggesting you won't believe what i said unless i could provide statistics? You disagree with my paragraph, seriously?
-- RemBeau 08:51, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Yes. You've already demonstrated your imperfect grasp of statistics, so now I'm inclined to regard anything numerical you say with suspicion. --Gulik 16:19, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
So you're going to use that even when i DON'T use any numbers? Does that make any sense? You're a tad too impatient -- you should pop it out when i actually use numbers.
I anticipated your trap and didn't fall for it. Is it possible you are not debating in good faith?
-- RemBeau 21:12, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
As the great Bugs Bunny would say, "Ehhhh.....could be." But the "Ethanol is wasteful and bad!" thing has the stench of talking-point about it, so I'd like to see some numbers before reluctantly conceding that you're right about anything. --Gulik 02:10, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
Granted it is a talking point, but i thought it was now generally accepted even by radical-enviros (and many Liberals) that Ethanol-creation was a bigger polluter than gas. Not true? I think that even one of the GreenPeace founders said that, when he pronounced nuclear power was the cleanest energy source and the way to go (about six months ago). I saw that interview.
You do take me for a fool, asking for numbers again -- you have already telegraphed your argument when i do.
-- RemBeau 14:17, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

It's not a matter of being well intentioned and so sincere -- govts daily turn gold into lead. So if AGW ever raises the sea level 23 feet and hurricanes start sweeping us all into the Bermuda Triangle, we're doomed. Doomed, i tell ya. After the polar bears drown, we're next. A single volcano eruption could save us -- govt had better hope for one if AGW happens to become a reality.

What do you mean "if"? Global warming's happening right now. Just about all the climatologists who aren't on Exxon-Mobil's payroll are agreeing about that. Whether humanity is a big part of it, and if it's reversible, THAT's where the argument is these days. --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
But that is EXACTLY where my argument is these days. You have misread my post. I said, "So if AGW ever raises the sea level 23 feet ...". That A stands for anthropogenic. There is another question -- not just "is it reversible" -- but SHOULD we reverse it if we could.
And i thought it was understood by scientists that we could really cool things down if we caused an approximation of a large volcano erupting. Was it Krakatoa in 1883 that preceeded the "Year without a summer"? That was a world-wide effect, i thought.
-- RemBeau 14:17, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

I know, i know -- it's just a Libertarian rant and nobody is listening. -- Rem the Realist -- 7 AUG 2008

I'm listening. I'm rolling my eves, but I'm listening. --Gulik 19:26, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

AND with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans. -- Rem the Realist -- 7 AUG 2008

I'm still waiting for an answer as to how the US spent roughly ten times the GDP on one city? Your lack of even an explanation for how you might have got this wrong, despite requests at your talk page, tends to impugn any claims you make about almost anything. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:57, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
That's a bit harsh Human. He got this one ridiculously wrong but that doesn't mean other things he says are necessarily rubbish. That sounds like a bit of a logical fallacy to me (though being an illogical chap I know not which one).--DamoHi 23:10, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
Harsh, perhaps you're right. But he made the claim as if it were some kind of well-known fact, and has never responded with a reason why he made the mistake (it's been days now, he has edited many times on both pages where I asked). So I call shenanigans on the "facts" he bases his political opinions on. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:37, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
Days, eh? When you demand something, it has to be provided immediately. No excuses like i was trying to find my source. Jawohl Herr Wachmeister. See below (next section).
-- RemBeau 09:12, 11 August 2008 (EDT) (he who doesn't obey promptly)
Help, help. You're being oppressed. --Gulik 16:19, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Libertarian Belief[edit]

with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans. What those folks could do with that money if only it reached them.

This section is here just because I don't see Rem answering questions about his numbers for this statement anywhere, despite Human asking him several times. Maybe now he will notice.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 20:44, 10 August 2008 (EDT)

If you take $314,159 million, then divide that by 275,000 population, and come up with $512 million, then it is clear that your arithmetic skills are approximately as bad as mine. (Just numbers i made up.)
Sorry -- i apologize -- i clearly seemed to have screwed up. I promised that if my division was at fault i would admit it, and i do. There are NO numbers i can think of to invent that would make my calculations work out; even if i were to locate the original data i used (which i can't), at the very least i got it wrong and didn't notice. If i had the source, i'd be glad to share it.
-- RemBeau 08:42, 11 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the answer, shame there wasn't someone out there claiming it for us to refute :( ħumanUser talk:Human 20:39, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Dog Fighting[edit]

I'm intrigued by the inclusion of dog fighting in the list. Is this something libertarians are in favour of? Weaseloid 16:54, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Sadly some Libertarians do -- i definitely don't. The ones that do i call Kiddy-Libts. Those that actually are young i would hope would mature out of that phase. (The look at me, i'm a rebel, i'm different, i stand out, period in high school. Designed to attract the fair sex.) The pity is that not all Kiddy-Libts are chronologically young.
I couldn't have a friend that derives pleasure from watching dogs destroy one another.
If prizefighters do it, that's different. They voluntarilly do it to themselves.
-- RemBeau 20:42, 11 August 2008 (EDT)


Why do Conservatives and Libertarians believe the very idea of Government is bad?[edit]

I've always wondered exactly what conservatives and libertarians have against the idea of Government. Perhaps Rem can help me understand some things. Do those who detest the very idea of Government drive on roads built by public services every day? Are the roads generally really well built? Do you imagine that no-one who enters public service has any interest or ability in their job? Do you imagine that people who work for gigantic corporations are somehow simply smarter than people who work for gigantic governments? Do you ever stop and marvel at the air traffic controllers and wonder how on earth all those planes are sequenced and handled as safely as they are? What about stunning statistical analysis and management of gigantic datasets larger than any corporation on earth has to handle? I could go on. There's so much good work done by people in governments all over the world who LIVE to provide quality public service, it seems a tremendous disservice to imagine that they and their organisations should ideally be destroyed and replaced by corporations who quite frankly have utterly failed to prove they can run these services any better. Rem - your thoughts? DogP 15:25, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Conservatives will have to speak for themselves in response to your query -- i can't put words in their mouth. It's possible they will identify with some of your characterizations above altho they are pretty off-the-wall. I cannot.
Gulik made a post above in a similar vein, wondering why (as i would put it) Libertarians don't share a Liberal faith in govt, and given the similar thrust of thought, i'll respond to his below as i think you will find my response may fit your query as well. I hope you don't mind.
Also it would be very difficult to address most of your points as they are buried in one large paragraph.
-- RemBeau 21:01, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
As far as I can figure out, it comes down to one cetral dogma of both groups' thinking. TAXES ARE BAD. Government activity of any type requires taxes. Therefore, all government actions are bad. QED.
And, because it never gets old, A Day In The Life of Joe Conservative --Gulik 22:45, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
The main problem with the original argument in this section is that it assumes that just because the state is providing something -- roads, air-traffic controllers, the law -- the (completely) free market is unable to provide these things. Furthermore, the quality of service provided by the state will be hurt in the long run because the state can externalize costs via taxation; they have no incentive to reduce costs or improve efficiency because the state can simply hand off that burden to the taxpayer. — Unsigned, by: 75.117.12.157 / talk / contribs
The natural monopolies also have no incentive to reduce costs, improve efficiency, etc., because they can palm off the burden onto whoever pays for what they are offering, with little to no threat of being undercut by competition. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:15, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I consider myself pretty libertarian, but I believe the very idea of Government is necessary. Strict libertarianism is a pipedream. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Liberal misconceptions about a Libt's view of govt[edit]

You keep talking like "The Government" is an uncaring alien military force occupying our country, rather than a bureaucracy of the people, for the people, by the people. (Or _should_ be, anyway.)
--Gulik 14:53, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Your perception that i consider our govt an "alien military force occupying our country" is not correct at all, not even close. The "uncaring" part is dead on, however -- the idea that that behemoth "cares" is your belief, i guess -- to me that is way beyond naive and into wishful thinking.

The Abe Lincoln concept that you believe "should be" is a lovely ideal, but that "for the people" clause is, in my view, hopelessly anchored in utopian thinking. The desire to do the best "for the people" may exist to some extent in the minds of some of the pols, but it would require an impossibly huge intellect and an incredible amount of knowledge to even track the individual needs of all people in all localities, let alone formulate a policy to serve them well.

Even if you formed a committee consisting of Archimedes, Solomon, Newton, John Locke, Euler, Einstein, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson, they wouldn't be up to the job, and hopefully would quickly realize the task to be too complex, that individual citizens are absolutely best positioned to know their needs and work toward achieving them, and stop treating them as if they were idiots that can't change their own nappies.

It is an irresistable faith on the Left that all you need is to get the right, bright, caring guys in office, then apply the latest technology available, to bring prosperity to the people. It is an illusion that has a tight grip on most folks, Right, Left, and Center.

-- RemBeau 20:55, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

DogP -- I would be glad to respond to any of your points that you feel i haven't properly addressed if you would at least letter them or number them.

-- RemBeau 20:55, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

OK, great. Thanks for the clarification. No, you don't need to go through any points, I'm not piling on you in particular at all - it was more a general net casting. But there's a veiled suggestion in your post that somehow "we might possibly be better off without the whole damn lot of them" - am I right? Since you're obviously not hating on the gov guys, but perhaps have a greater faith in the individual, I'm curious to know how you think a society can maintain itself (presuming basic maintenance is indeed needed - and I'd argue very strongly that that is the case) if everyone goes their own way and lives by more selfish goals? I guess that's where I always fall off the Libertarian bus - it always seems Libt's come down to "Ha Ha, I've got all my money, fuck all of youz wasters, I'm off to my mountain hideaway". Now while I'm clearly being dramatic, what exactly is the Libertarian plan for societal maintenance, other than simply yet another unmanageably utopian worldview? DogP 22:54, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
You say -- // But there's a veiled suggestion in your post that somehow "we might possibly be better off without the whole damn lot of them" - am I right? //
There is no denying that you have captured my sentiment ( Rem unveiled ), and a healthy one it is, but i am not a Utopian, which would mean dismantling the entire institution of govt. If THAT were my view, that it's possible to get by with zero govt, i'd be an Anarchist. I hold absolutely no superstition that such a situation could obtain. And i kind of doubt the state will wither away.
Neither am i worried of the liklihood that we would even get close, but i WOULD be in favor of DRASTICALLY reducing its girth and its power. It has reached the point of brainless immensity, an organism so poorly constructed that it can barely move its limbs without crushing somebody. And remember it is intoxicated -- drunk on its own power. Does anyone here not believe that? Anybody?
And the idea that that creature has a conscience -- that is surreal and laughable, truly hilarious. It is over-bloated with special interests, which some consider a conscience when some of its policies happen to line up with a group's goals, but it isn't, even remotely.
Here is another joke -- if we could just rid our govt of corruption ... oh yeah, who will bell the cat? Taxpayers get to watch their money going to all sorts of places and causes they would object to, if they were paying attention. That seems to me to be corruption.
And does anybody seriously think that money forcibly taken from citizens is better spent by govt than if taxpayers had the option of spending the money they earn on themselves and their families? I suppose you and i would part company on that as well.
I'd better cut this off at mid-rant.
I haven't even BEGUN to clarify! (Trying to sound like the little bald guy in the mental duel to the death -- a great scene in a great movie -- can you name it?) (Clue -- six-fingered man.)
-- RemBeau 18:55, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
Maybe you could list some of the bloat? Clearly it is true to some degree that there is corruption and bloat in government, and most here would agree that things like corn subsidies need to be eliminated. But what specifically are you talking about? Many libertarians favor the elimination of public schools: do you agree with that? And many of them want to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts: do you agree with that? And many of them want to eliminate federal funding for sciences: do you agree with that? I am curious as to your specifics, I guess is my point.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 00:04, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Did someone say Anarchist? (Read the comments. They start out about "Anarchism", whatever that means, and move on to "libertarianism", whatever THAT means.).
Ok, now back to the snark: Government's good for nothing, and wastes all the money it gets, huh, Rem? Used the Interstate Highway system lately? How about a GPS system or satellite phone? Ever had a vaccination, because T3h EV1L G0VERNMENTZ0Rz FORCED you to? Paid for something with Federal Reserve Notes, instead of good, honest barter? --Gulik 03:41, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Hey, Gulik, I'm hungry, but I got some speakers to trade. Can you give a couple-three weeks food for them? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:47, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Gulik -- Your syllogism (13 AUG, one section above) DOES start out with a useful disclaimer, "As far as I can figure out" before you lump all non-Liberals and anti-Liberals together AND imply a hypothesis contrary to fact. That major premise lays the groundwork upon which you build an illogical case, "TAXES ARE BAD" over to "Therefore, all government actions are bad. QED". Clearly, faulty logic. Now if that was accidental, sorry i had to bring it up, but i couldn't let you smear me. If it was done in bad faith, tsk tsk.
If you wish to have a good-faith discussion, don't use the ploy of lumping me with someone else, fair enough? It tempts folks to use guilt by association -- blame me for what another says. As i previously noted, it is a common Liberal mistake to consider all non-Liberals as Conservatives.
You seem to indicate that tax is a black-or-white issue, ALL taxes are bad versus ALL taxes are good. So i guess i need to pin you down, are we over-taxed, under-taxed, or just right?
Just for the record, i never asserted, implied, or even thought that "all government actions are bad". Nor have i ever suggested that we could get by with zero taxes. I am NOT an Anarchist.
The "central dogma" idea you brought up ... what is yours?
To your post just above -- You seem to be saying you don't know what Libertarism is. Have you not read the Libertarism article page which i partly authored? If you disagree with some part of it, let's hear it.
But thanks for the link to Anarchists. An interesting view GKC had regarding Anarchists. It is not completely incorrect -- there is no doubt that the poor man is often stuck while the rich man can usually skip town to get out of a bad situation -- most countries welcome them.
That is what i think of when i see all those arrogant, control-freak lawyers passing legislation which screws over the rest of us while increasing their empire and their power. They can afford those high taxes they are so fond of while they use every loophole in the tax code to try to pay less than we do. Billionaires manage to pay less than their secretaries. A flat tax would cure that problem in a hurry.
I shall answer the other questions you raised, but how about the one that i had raised:
"And does anybody seriously think that money forcibly taken from citizens is better spent by govt than if taxpayers had the option of spending the money they earn on themselves and their families?"
-- RemBeau 09:01, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
I'd apologize for lumping you in with other Libertarians, but if I ask ten Libertarians what Libertarianism is about, I'll get twelve answers and three fist-fights. With Conservatives there's the useful commonality of "mad at the Liberals". With Libertarians, "TAXES BAD, MONEY GOOD" is about the only real common thread I've been able to ascertain. --Gulik 22:32, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Compare and contrast:
Rem: Just for the record, i never asserted, implied, or even thought that "all government actions are bad". Nor have i ever suggested that we could get by with zero taxes. I am NOT an Anarchist.
Also Rem: Three govts (one at each level) contributed mightily to the Katrina Fiasco, and all that came out of it was a blame fest. When it comes to any serious problem, circus clowns could do as well. It would take ENORMOUS faith to believe govts would do anything to solve GW that wouldn't be counterproductive. The ONLY reason that a govt ever wins a war is it is up against another incompetent govt, and there has to be a loser. AND with Katrina, govt has spent over half a million bucks on EVERY man, woman, and child in New Orleans. What those folks could do with that money if only it reached them.
So.... yeah. --Gulik 22:32, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
The "central dogma" idea you brought up ... what is yours? ' (Rem again)
Eris only knows. When I _do_ figure out what my Witless Principle is, I'll be one step closer to enlightenment. "Most People Are Stupid" is my current best-guess, but I'm probably wrong. --Gulik 22:34, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Rambo asks: "And does anybody seriously think that money forcibly taken from citizens is better spent by govt than if taxpayers had the option of spending the money they earn on themselves and their families?"
Yeah, I do. Couple years back my town paid a contractor to repave my road. Other than the hours wasted waiting for the tarmac contractor to turn up, it went pretty well. New road, well cambered, and very well rolled before hand due to the aforementioned delay, which resulted in an extra five hours of vibrating/rolling the "foundation". I let them park their big yellow critters in my field (and I kan haz pikchers if you want!), they pushed some fill over the edge for me 'cause they were bored. How on earth could I and my neighbors fix the road (and it was all screwed up) without banding together, agreeing to pay money to a central organization, and letting them take care of it? PS, about half my "profit" gets eaten up by a tax I pay to educate my neighbors children. Do I begrudge this? No, I want to live in a world where other people's kids get a decent education (I'd prefer a balanced system of income/sales/property taxes, but I live in New Hampshire, which has the worst tax policies going). My congresswoman emails me after disasters to see if I need help (we have had tornados and flooding recently). I think the system works fairly well, as long as people (the GWB admin) who are antithetic to it working aren't "running" it. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:06, 16 August 2008 (EDT)

Answers to Liberal misconceptions (just above)[edit]

You could actually engage in debate like that - say what you think, and then have people discuss it with you, instead of this thing where you are trying to figure out what "liberals" think, and only argue where you have a talking point or dubious statistic to throw out. I suggest you start some essays on specific topics. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:52, 22 August 2008 (EDT) DogP -- Something else you said about Libts, "Ha Ha, I've got all my money, fuck all of youz wasters, I'm off to my mountain hideaway". It's been weeks since i expressed that sentiment, altho "youz wasters" does have a nice ring to it; almost poetry. (I wonder if youz "putos" is a fair Spanish equivalent?)

I might believe the typical Liberal to be a pompous, self-righteous elitist that believes himself to be altruistic while non-Liberals are selfish scum, but you'll NEVER catch me saying that. Instead i would try to argue issues, working off the assumption that i don't really have the right to assume more virtue than those i debate. (A touch of drama, nicely leavened with pomposity.)

A guy like me deserves a "mountain hideaway", perceptive of you to intuit that, but govt greed (no one is greedier) militates against my ever being able to afford one. In fact if govt doesn't try to reign in its insatiable hunger for my earnings (and my wife's) and institute some enlightened policies, i may even drop out of the lower-middle-class, due to a shrinking economy, resulting in fewer jobs, and STILL owe college loans.

You said, "Since you're obviously not hating on the gov guys, but perhaps have a greater faith in the individual, I'm curious to know how you think a society can maintain itself ...". And you asked, "what exactly is the Libertarian plan for societal maintenance, other than simply yet another unmanageably utopian worldview?"

My Libertarian plan is definitely not Utopian. Most Utopian schemes depend on whipping mankind into shape -- somehow changing or over-riding human nature. The Libt approach is to accept human nature as it is, and wrap a philosopy and a system around it, perfection not being a goal, but working toward minimizing coercion. We have to face the reality that making things work depends mostly on the individual efforts of free citizens.

It is pretty clear to me that history teaches that, without some degree of individual economic freedom, a country would continually be on the brink of starvation. North Korea is apparently suffering from that even as we speak, and Lenin (or maybe Stalin, or both) had to back off a teeny bit from their famously unproductive collective farms, and allow people to work their own little plot after a day's work at the collective. I have read that that 6% of private property yielded over 50% of all the food on the market in Russia. (No, i can't provide a reference.)

So first, i'm saying the shoe is on the other foot -- the ONLY way an economy could work well is if some freemarketplace were allowed. Second, you allude to my faith in the individual. Guilty as charged, but not faith that the individual is above self interest -- on the contrary, i expect human nature dictates that we will act primarily in our own interest, and that an economic system that doesn't take that into an account is doomed to failure.

If you want financial prosperity for people, it is best to have an economy which harnesses self-interest, in which natural incentives motivate people to achieve and entrepreneurs to compete, to produce the best goods and services at the lowest prices, as free consumers perceive it.

-- RemBeau 08:35, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

edit button[edit]

Human -- It seems you haven't understood my point about my not being an Anarchist, just a Libt. Ordinary Libts are aware that govts do have a licit role -- in fact the US Constitution spells it out. (AMAZING how smart those framers were.)

I don't fault you for banding together with your neighbors to get your road done, even tho you did it thru town govt. It did make the local govt responsible for avoiding that tarmac contractor delay -- they weren't answerable to you, and possibly that is not a good thing, and you guys almost surely paid more for the job because govt was involved. I'm just saying ...

But okay, you may still feel that was the best way to go. Concerning local schools, that is definitely a different story. Call me a Liberal on this one issue, but i do agree that you should be willing to pay taxes so that we can ensure kids get educated. (My Libt rationalization is that people can't be free in our complex society if they can't read, write, and calculate, at the very LEAST.)

So for me, that is not the question. The question is, given that local govt gathers taxes for the purpose of educating kids, that shouldn't mean parents shouldn't be allowed to divert those funds to the schools of their choosing. That money should adhere to the kids, and there is no good reason that parents shouldn't be free to divert it to any educational system they think best for them. I've heard lots of statist objections from teacher's unions who want to be in control, and tend to see things from the point of view as to what's best for employees rather than what's best for customers (in this case, the students).

NH usually ranks near (or at) the top of the 50 state heap when it comes to high marks for education, i thought, generally annoying statist pundits because NH also spends almost the least. That is correct, is it not?

I would be interested in the growth of taxes, up your way, in the last decade or so. Not sure where i could dig up that data. You probably know the good sources on the web for that.

You used "profit" in a strange way -- what did you mean by that?

-- RemBeau 08:57, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

I'll see if I can squeeze in some comments without getting EC'd ;)
First, Rem wrote above "What most of us favor is...". I don't think you can speak for an unorganized group that way (or are we talking about the L. party?).
"It did make the local govt responsible for avoiding that tarmac contractor delay -- they weren't answerable to you, and possibly that is not a good thing, and you guys almost surely paid more for the job because govt was involved. I'm just saying ... " It was not the town's fault, the private contractor arrived later than they were supposed to. And, like most public works, the job was contracted to be done for a price, so it didn't cost more. (Except in that bidders to do a job allow for such waste and slop in their dealings with the other contractors). Gonna hist save and "hope", I'll be back now that I tossed in an edit utton. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:08, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, I used "profit" in the rather unorthodox sense of "the money left over from gross sales after deducting expenses". In my case the property taxes are also a pre-income tax expense. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:08, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
Ah, got it. I would've used it the same way. I see you are a closet Capitalist.
I can't speak for most Libts because Libts are unorganized -- why not? There are certain issues that make us distinctly Libt, given our philosophy, and choice in education flows naturally from our emphasis on freedom as opposed to control. And i do believe you are no Libt if your emphasis is not on freedom. NTS doesn't apply here.
An edit button is exactly what was needed -- i hope there is a quick way to make one so that even a humble Libt could in the future create one. Triple equal signs will do it, i guess.
I can't get you to think like a Libt -- what matters is who is responsible, ultimately, you or the govt? Probably some of the Katrina efforts were contracted out, does that absolve the govts? Responsibility, not blame, is the issue.
And you will respond to my points on education, eventually, yes?
-- RemBeau 08:02, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
The problem with allowing the free market to run public services is that some parts of public services are, by their very nature, uneconomic to run. I know a rural postman who comments that the price of the stamps in his postbag doesn't cover his wages. It's inefficient to hand deliver post to rural addresses. The free market answer is 'tough, the share holders insist that we make profits so rural deliveries have to go.' Applying the same thing to education, it's the special needs kids who need the big bucks, and I don't just mean those with learning difficulties, I also mean the autistic and those with behavioral difficulties brought about by dysfunctional home life. Again, the shareholders demands are that they are dropped as they are not economical so, tough kid. My belief is that there are certain services that society has a duty to provide to all and, despite the inefficiencies, despite the bloat, despite all the problems, these are delivered more fairly when the deciding factors are other than financial. Silver Sloth 08:42, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Sloth -- Your last sentence sums up well why you believe as you do, and i don't think it unreasonable. But let me work on it.
Implicit, i think, in that sentence is an assumption of unlimited resources, or at least sufficient resources to achieve everything YOU insist should be achieved. But even if true, what of others that have a different list, how are they to be ignored, unless you believe govt is able (and should) meet everybody's demands?
There is always a triage practiced in reality, don't you agree? Some needs will always fall by the wayside, some children will always get short schrift, and some patients will die because of lack of healthcare resources. Just that one item, healthcare, is a black hole which could suck up every last coin of the realm. Agreed?
And your faith tells you that the profit motive just couldn't compete with a beneficient govt when it comes to fairly and effectively delivering the most good for the most people. Please, not intended to offend, but faith is the le mot juste. I see it as my job to convince you that faith is maiplaced.
Let's consider the concept of fairness. People all see it differently, and i guarantee that few thinking people actually believe that our lawmakers are fair, or even know how to be fair. But there is on all sides, a sense, a feeling, that it is simply a matter of getting the Right Guys At The Helm (RGATH). I can't really believe in RGATH, do you?
-- RemBeau 13:36, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Rem: Our of curiosity, what government actions to you approve of? And, assuming that you do agree with some actions - how would one limit government actions to just those actions?--Bobbing up 09:25, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
Your last question -- wouldn't a Libt LOVE to have the answer to it. That is a big problem, probably just behind the problem of paring back the power govt has arrigated unto itself. I'm afraid Thomas Jefferson was right when he said "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." I wish there were an easier answer.
To answer your first question, i'll quote from the preamble to the US Constitution -- "... establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity ... ". Now how these should be translated into govt action while not violating the Bill of Rights, is the central issue for all those that respect the US Constitution -- and that, in my view, is where the debate should be centered.
But you want specifics, so without responding with an epistle, i'll mention a couple. It seems to me that to provide for the common defense would require a military. No serious and sane Libt really believes local voluntary militias could do the job, not to mention that something with a lot more firepower would be required than locals could come up with. A legal system and law enforcement are also surely necessary, as well as places to incarcerate murderers, rapists, muggers, etcetera.
-- RemBeau 22:47, 19 August 2008 (EDT)
"i'll quote from the preamble to the US Constitution -- "... establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity ... ". Now how these should be translated into govt action while not violating the Bill of Rights, is the central issue for all those that respect the US Constitution -- and that, in my view, is where the debate should be centered." So Rem, you think the current US government is operating in violation of the Constitution? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:13, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
Ha -- you're asking a Libt that question? (Thanks for the early morning chuckle.) Of course that is what i think, and you? But here's your question: has there been a govt since you've been alive that HASN'T operated unconstitutionally?
Possibly none of them has violated the Third Amendment, but i wouldn't bet on it. Don't expect the next prez and congress to do any better. I'm pretty sure both major candidates, McCain and Obama, are on record being in favor of continuing to violate the BoR, right?
Bob Barr a la barre !
-- RemBeau 08:11, 20 August 2008 (EDT)

Is the market the best service provider in all circumstances[edit]

Copying some debate from the above section

The problem with allowing the free market to run public services is that some parts of public services are, by their very nature, uneconomic to run. I know a rural postman who comments that the price of the stamps in his postbag doesn't cover his wages. It's inefficient to hand deliver post to rural addresses. The free market answer is 'tough, the share holders insist that we make profits so rural deliveries have to go.' Applying the same thing to education, it's the special needs kids who need the big bucks, and I don't just mean those with learning difficulties, I also mean the autistic and those with behavioral difficulties brought about by dysfunctional home life. Again, the shareholders demands are that they are dropped as they are not economical so, tough kid. My belief is that there are certain services that society has a duty to provide to all and, despite the inefficiencies, despite the bloat, despite all the problems, these are delivered more fairly when the deciding factors are other than financial. Silver Sloth 08:42, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Sloth -- Your last sentence sums up well why you believe as you do, and i don't think it unreasonable. But let me work on it.
Implicit, i think, in that sentence is an assumption of unlimited resources, or at least sufficient resources to achieve everything YOU insist should be achieved. But even if true, what of others that have a different list, how are they to be ignored, unless you believe govt is able (and should) meet everybody's demands?
There is always a triage practiced in reality, don't you agree? Some needs will always fall by the wayside, some children will always get short schrift, and some patients will die because of lack of healthcare resources. Just that one item, healthcare, is a black hole which could suck up every last coin of the realm. Agreed?
And your faith tells you that the profit motive just couldn't compete with a beneficient govt when it comes to fairly and effectively delivering the most good for the most people. Please, not intended to offend, but faith is the le mot juste. I see it as my job to convince you that faith is maiplaced.
Let's consider the concept of fairness. People all see it differently, and i guarantee that few thinking people actually believe that our lawmakers are fair, or even know how to be fair. But there is on all sides, a sense, a feeling, that it is simply a matter of getting the Right Guys At The Helm (RGATH). I can't really believe in RGATH, do you?
-- RemBeau 13:36, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Isn't RGATH exactly what democracy is about. I certainly don't trust greed and self interest but I know that the politicians I vote for must provide what I require or I won't vote for them next time. Sure, the system is deeply flawed but it does work, and it works quite well at times. For all that I am very disappointed in the current UK government I do trust them to get the fairness aspect pretty close to right in the bigger picture. They've got to otherwise they would be out of office and it's indicative that there's bugger all difference between the two major parties because they both have to be very close to what the nation sees as fair. So, do I believe in RGATH - too right I do. Silver Sloth 08:38, 20 August 2008 (EDT)

You asked, "Isn't RGATH exactly what democracy is about?" In the sense that we vote in order to to have some say in our governance, whether it be a Democracy, a Republic, or any system in which citizens can vote, we want those to win that we choose. But RGATH is only part of the equation -- we often vote just to keep the worst guys out of office, even when we believe our choices are likely to perform poorly.
My concern when i wrote, "But there is on all sides, a sense, a feeling, that it is simply a matter of getting the Right Guys At The Helm (RGATH)" was that there is way too much of a belief that the "right guys", because they agree with me on specific issues, will do a better job. It's definitely not that simple, which was my point.
On another page (i don't recall which), there were comments something like: Al Gore would have handled 9/11 better than Bush. That is an RGATH bias only -- there is no basis to support that (or even that he would have done anything differently), given that nobody even anticipated 9/11 -- and Gore gave no indication how he would respond to a 9/11-type attack in his campaign speeches. Nor did Dubya.
Getting technical, the ONLY thing Democracy means is majority rule, even if only a majority of one. All those other characteristics people ascribe to it are just wishful thinking along the lines of: this is what Democracy SHOULD be. Because of this you'll hear pundits say, country XYZ (Iraq, let's say) isn't REALLY a Democracy, even when majority votes did determine who will be in power. What they are saying is -- you can't call a country a Democracy unless it has the features that I want.
My own bias is, i don't care what you call the system as long as citizens are free, and the govt doesn't have the power to encroach on their inalienable rights. That hasn't been the system in the USA for many a decade. Partisans struggle for power -- citizens are considered only as useful idiots that can be depended upon to keep them in power as long as they provide bread and circuses to the majority.
-- RemBeau 07:28, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
And here we have the core difference - Libts concentrate on inalienable rights, liberals concentrate on inalienable responsibilities. It had to be a Liberal who said the 'Ask not what your country can do for you...' speech. If I were being mean I would say that it looks like Libts care about themselves, Liberals care about their fellow man. Silver Sloth 09:03, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
And lo! Silver Sloth's name led all the rest.
You should be taking over Mother Teresa's place, you being more selfless than a Libt. I'll bet there's a vacancy or two. If i were being mean i might say that the Liberal's approach to caring for others is to spend OPM, whereas Libts actually do much more for their fellow man WITHOUT forcing others to pay for it. But that's not really mean, is it?
There is NO reason to believe that Liberals tip the needle of the altru-meter any farther than Libts do. I just cannot see how the Libt emphasis on freedom and rights should be perceived as not being as responsible as Liberals. It doesn't logically follow. And it does logically follow that less govt means more money in the hands of the people, which means less poverty, and fewer people relying on govt.
Where is it written that maximum freedom for individuals isn't the best way possible to minimize the number of folks that are down and out?
-- RemBeau 22:48, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

About Democracy[edit]

One of the most pernicious of superstitions held by those that believe in Democracy is that ordinary people know enough about issues to cast a vote on them. On American TV (there may be a counterpart in the UK), Jay Leno (comedian and talk-show host) takes a microphone out on the street and interviews people on camera (Jay calls this segment Jay-walking). He asks them soft-ball questions, ones so easy you'd think everybody would knock them out of the park. It is hilarious; needless to say, they don't have a CLUE -- ignorance reigns. If you think people should know something, you'll be called an elitist.

I hate it when politicians say, no matter the issue, "people are smart". That is the EXACT phrase they use. (And as somebody said, "all the children are above average.") Vote for me, that defines you as smart. Dante should have specified a special circle in hell for those pols.

Now i'm a Libt, am against murder, and don't believe in capital punishment, but why wouldn't it be okay to shoot any politician that utters, "people are smart"? Can't we have that single exception? And if that pol is also a lawyer (as most are), can't we shoot him twice? Where is the harm?

When election time rolls around, celebrities give what they call "public service announcements" on TV, in which they hector the populace to make sure they register and vote -- it is their patriotic duty. In these PSAs, they don't tell you that maybe you should pick an issue or two and study up on it. No. You live in a Democracy, which means you are qualified to vote, so go for it. It's not that no knowledge is necessary, it's that you know enough, that you know as much as the other guy, so your vote is as good as anybody else's.

Mr. NoKnowledge on the street, how many troops should we send to Iraq? Do you think tax rebates will stimulate the economy? Should health care be free? Thank you and don't forget to vote.

-- RemBeau 07:56, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

Maybe this topic, if many post on it, doesn't belong here. I await advice.

-- RemBeau 08:04, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

I remember Tommy Lee Jones' line in Men in Black after Will Smith says that people are smart: "No, a person is smart. People are dumb." I'll admit that I completely agreed with it then and now and that it stuck with me to the core. There is this part of me that would very much like to see voting become much like getting a driver's license wherein you need to pass a test to vote. Obviously, there would be quite likely insurmountable problems with such a system, but I can't help wishing for it. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 08:13, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
I agree and i agree. Even requiring some little effort on the part of voters might help, such as a placing voting booths on treetops (just short trees)-- citizens would have to climb to vote. Okay, might not be practical, but doggonit, at LEAST let's not make it easier for those to vote that aren't motivated enough to go to a polling place.
Like you say, "quite likely insurmountable problems" with any scheme that would ensure that voters actually know something, but i do wish it could be. In any case we should run PSAs that say, "Don't bother burning expensive gas going to the polls if you barely care about the issues. All the pols are bums anyhow".
Now that is do-able, don't you think?
-- RemBeau 08:33, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
"Even requiring some little effort on the part of voters might help" - the traditional mode, under your beloved Const+10 was to have to prove they were white. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:31, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Democracy doesn't work.
Not that any of the other systems do either, though... <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Let's go down the waterfall 08:19, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Sure it does. You gonna say Bush, Clinto, Bush doesn't prove Democracy is A-okay?
-- RemBeau 08:42, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
<suspicious>Are you being sarcastic?</suspicious> <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Let's go down the waterfall 08:44, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Moi? Gosh, i hope so. I mean i hope not. I mean ...
-- RemBeau 08:47, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
We're in agreement? OK then. Explain to me how Libertarianism would work. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Let's go down the waterfall 08:50, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
It's easy, we agree to have minimal government. However there are a number of areas where I need to work in conjunction with my neighbours so we will have regular meetings. Unfortunately I can't attend these meetings because I have other commitments so I nominate a representative. Actually, a group of us have got together and nominated Fred Bloggs as our representative on all matters. That frees us up from having to attend these meetings all the time. What's that, you've got a group representaive too? Hey, how's about we organise this so that the representatives get paid, then they can concentrate full time on representing our decisions. If we're doing that we'd better make sure they really are representative by having free and fair elections. Oh, look, we've got a democracy! Silver Sloth 09:35, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Wow. That was pretty quick. Have we set a record, do you think? <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Let's go down the waterfall 10:05, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
WOW indeed. What a coincidence. I just heard that exact same sentence last night. Life. What a place to live. Carptrash 15:43, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the problems with democracy and representative government and voting and such. There are definitely massive problems in the system in use by the US. Awareness, as Rem initially pointed out, is certainly a big one. I quit telling people that they had a responsibility to vote years ago; if they're informed enough to cast a meaningful vote, they don't need me to tell them about it. I do try to keep the conversation going if I ever hear someone express an interest in social or economic issues. Like so many other people who've spent time thinking about this, though, I haven't come up with anything that's clearly better than democracy in principle. OneForLogic 18:23, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

OFL -- I agree with most of what you said right up until your last sentence. Here's something that's "better than Democracy" -- a Republic with strict limits on government power as asserted by a constitution.
Now strangely enough, that is what the American founding fathers intended. A Republic without Plato's philosopher kings, is the way i look at it.
I would say you are in favor of a Democracy as opposed to a Republic IF you want elections determined purely on the basis of popular vote. Not me -- people in less populated areas should have some say -- not just big-city dwellers. The Framers agree with me. (Smart cookies, they were.)
So, which system would you favor?
-- RemBeau 23:04, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Jelly -- Yes, it sounds like we agree, but i'm not sure what you're asking. Maybe you're asking, if we don't believe in Democracy, what do we believe in?
-- RemBeau 23:09, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

Well spotted Rem. I was talking about a practical democracy, not a direct democracy. You're right that I didn't specify. A direct democracy does have serious flaws, like oppression by the majority against the minority, that need to be kept in check. I tend to blur the distinction between a practical democracy and a republic in my thoughts on government because I consider it basically inevitable that any functional democracy, once it grows large enough, will adopt some kind of representative system. A direct democracy of many millions of people simply couldn't function, even with our substantial information technology. I completely agree that the founders of the US intended to have a more limited democracy, and that such a limited democracy is much better than a direct democracy. OneForLogic 22:13, 23 August 2008 (EDT)

Thank you.
Wooden it be wunnerful if all the people that vote the same could just move to the same area, and when they change their mind on the issues, simply move again? (If i had a Utopian dream, that would be it.) There would be areas to suit every possible voting profile in my Utopia.
There could even be sub-areas (whole neighborhoods) which would house all those that believe in the Big Bang Theory, and a neighborhood whose residents lean toward the Oscillating Universe Theory. (I wonder where Al Guth would choose to live based on his political views?) Maybe even an area where quantum mechanics don't work, gravity would be optional, my car could exceed the speed of light, and i wouldn't contract when i drove it.
Kennedy, Kerry, and Chomsky wouldn't have to move, could hold all their earthly goods in common, the sky would be the limit on taxes, Red Sox tickets would be free, and the minimum wage would be $200 an hour. Meanwhile i'd be bumping elbows with Ron Paul, Stossel, Barr, Badnarik, and a bunch of Free-staters, and if Human tried to join us, he would immediately suffer spontaneous human combustion.
OneForLogic, you could visit the Libertarian area, and possibly decide to stay and drop any atavistic yearnings. (Pretty much all logic would be concentrated in one area -- the Libt area.) (That would stay the same.)
People WOULD get the leaders they deserve, wouldn't need to moan about them, and i wouldn't have to hear some idiot say, "your vote counted even tho you didn't win". My vote really WOULD count. So far i'm batting zero.
-- RemBeau 00:24, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
Ironically, Rumbrundt, I make my living as a businessman, making things people want and selling them to them. You, on the other hand, are a confused young punk in the "lower middle class" (I quote you on that) who has no idea what you are talking about most of the time. PS, you thought you could all come to NH and "free state" it. Guess what we have here? Socialized liquor. Think about it. Look it up. It's also cheap and the SLC has an awesome website. (http://www.state.nh.us/liquor/stores.shtml) Reconcile that with your "philosophy". ħumanUser talk:Human 00:43, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
Another example of successful socialism: Beer Lao. Thorvelden (talk) June 1, 2011