March 14, 2008

My list of positions politically is getting bigger. I have a few hard stances, and a lot of stances that are situational. But mainly it all boils down to what I feel is right. Not what you, Oreilly, Huffington, Colbert or Franken think.

My basic stance is this: return focus on American infrastructure and internal issues with morality as key guide.

Healthcare costs are out of control. Yeah, it’s because of our sue-happy mentality, but that doesn’t mean something shouldn’t be done about it. We need doctor protection laws in place that provide a way for healthcare professionals to do their job without fear of being sued, but at the same time allowing for a course of action should legitimate malpractice occur. When you have a good chunk of the nation unable to pay for basic treatment something is wrong. It puts us in a place where our system is no better than the systems we see as “failing” such as Canada’s.

I’m sick of career politicians polluting our capitol with stagnant, rutted ideas. Heck, most politicians veer away from the vote. That’s their job, why are they getting paid when they miss so many votes? Solution: requirements for voting records and a 3 term limit. Make congress “of the people” again. Folks in these seats must vote in 85% of the yearly issues, abstaining from the vote on only 5% of the issues. This is a job. You must represent us. This means you must vote. An abstaining vote is not acceptable on crucial issues. That’s like me saying that I went to work, but didn’t do anything because I didn’t want to upset anyone. It does not fly.

Infrastructure. Sheesh. We’ve seen what can happen when one hub goes out (1/4 country blackout anyone?). We see the ridiculous energy prices. And yet here we are, not taking any real action on it. This is absurd. Our country has some of the greatest innovators imaginable and yet we face these problems as if it were still 1970’s technology. Our power plants, as a whole, are aging and inefficient. Not to mention they do put off a good amount of pollution. Yes, solar is expensive, but it’s still one of those technologies that is expensive because of relatively limited use. We don’t have to power solely on solar. Look at wind farms, look at hydro and geothermal power. Look at biomass. Cogeneration is a wonderful thing. It is renewable, it is clean, and it can be very cheap to maintain. Don’t do it because of “global warming” but do it instead for the sheer fact that it is the better alternative.

Not to mention our current engineering. A LEED green building can cut energy and water costs dramatically by simple methods. In addition, occupant health can be increased by low-VOD adhesives and coatings. Look at our cars. We have cars that have run on the same body design principle since the 50s. We still believe that we really need that horsepower. For what? While I applaud GM for calling global warming a crock, their refusal to change the way they go about designing cars to be more fuel efficient is a throwback to the 70s. Look what happened then; consumers wanted better fuel economy, Toyota saw the demand and swooped in with the cars the consumers want. GM hurt. Same deal now. So the Prius looks dumb; does it matter? It’s engineered the way a car should be for fuel efficiency: less aero drag equals more fuel economy. Duh. Oh, and GM, thanks for taking the option of having a stickshift away from us unless we buy a Vette. Real smart there. I can get almost any Toyota I want with a manual transmission, but Chevy offers very few sticks. What the heck happened there?

Infrastructure also covers our transportation system. I’ve driven a ton this past year, putting close to 20k miles on my car, 12k of that in under 8 months, and 5k of that in under a month. Know what I’ve found in those trips? Our roads are falling apart. Crappy asphalt jobs, horribly poured concrete slabs, and potholes that could eat a Mini. And they are all over the place. Iowa of all places had the nicest roads I saw. I’m sure if we set about to redoing our road system it would be a boon to the economy. Think of the jobs that would be created.

The economy. Summed up: bad. Just, blargh. There are tons of ways to go here. Unfortunately, democrats have about half the ideas that would work, and republicans have the other half. The two can’t agree on enough to actually see what’s good in each of the plans, and we lose out while they bicker on and pander to the pundits. Democrat economics aren’t all bad, but growing up in Michigan you sure wouldn’t be able to tell. Thanks Granholm; thanks for giving the business to Canada.

Foreign relations: my stance is follow the generals. A good number want us in, a good number want us out. The president has more information on what these generals are reporting, and based on that decide when to leave and how.

We need to repair our image. “Who cares if other countries don’t like how we do things” will destroy us. Countries don’t like us, we won’t get trade with them. It’s pretty simple really, can’t break it down past that. Not to mention, if countries don’t like us, who will ally with us in foreign conflict.

And for the love of jicama, be open to actual negotiations and diplomacy. Castro was replaced by Castro, sure, but this is a critical point in Cuba’s history. To refuse to talk to him is asinine. Maybe it won’t go anywhere (probably) but it shows a willingness on both sides to work out freedom for the country. It’s like all of those old family sitcoms (kinda) where there’s a bully and he seems really mean and all but all he needs is someone to talk to him since he’s been so neglected (OK, not as simple as that, but you get the point). Oh, and general foreign policy tip (this one goes out to you Johnny): Don’t call for a hasty demise of a foreign dignitary. Especially if you claim to be a Christian.

Other issues go here…tomorrow…or later…sometime


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