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I'm running for congress

OT OT members Omega Run for Congress 2009

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#61 Themis

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:43 PM

If you have to run labelled as a member of your religion (instead of as a person who happens to belong to your religion), then you've probably just lost the vote of the only person on this board who could actually vote for you.  I don't vote for people based on their religious beliefs; I vote for people who at least promise they'll try to do the most good for the most people.  You seem to be saying you'd vote for equal rights, but you also seem to be saying you'd let everybody know what you really felt about people in the relationship; there are probably lots of practices of flaming heterosexuals that don't go along with your religious views either and some of those are still illegal in some places.  

This is Nashville, and it's come a long way, but truth be told, if the ballot listed one candidate as Christian and every other candidate as undeclared, that one candidate would still win in a landslide.  But my vote would go elsewhere or I'd abstain because I don't vote by religious label.  

I don't think I'm explaining myself very well.  It's to do with not wanting religion - anybody's religion - to be a big influence on government.    

Cardie said it best overall so far.  I'll try to think of a more lucid explanation of my view when I'm awake.
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#62 Omega

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

View PostCardie, on Mar 10 2009, 03:34 AM, said:

I will confess to being confused by the posts in the thread about you representing your constituents rather than acting on your own beliefs.  My counter to that would be that if you represent yourself accurately, and you win, then they must want you to vote in a manner consistent with your beliefs.

My suggestion in no way asked you to run as someone who condones homosexuality but, if you believe that purely civil marriages and benefits should not be denied to same-sex couples, to say that you support it.  I too think government should stay out of marriage and my counter-proposal to those who oppose same-sex civil marriages is simply to divorce all civil, secular benefits from any consideration of marital status.

Cardie

You are correct regarding representing my constituents.  I thought it was a reasonable compromise, but I realized due to discussion here that it wasn't, so after further consideration I changed my position to voting in favor.  And I'm all about getting government out of marriage entirely, at least on the federal level, which I also mention on my site.  I'm just not sure that's a reasonable proposal either.  And when it comes down to it, even if that was the position I took and advocated wholeheartedly, the question would still arise, "What would you do if a bill on gay marriage recognition came up for a vote?"  It's that question I'm trying to answer, and this is one of the issues where I need to explain how I got there.

View PostThemis, on Mar 10 2009, 03:43 AM, said:

If you have to run labelled as a member of your religion (instead of as a person who happens to belong to your religion), then you've probably just lost the vote of the only person on this board who could actually vote for you.  I don't vote for people based on their religious beliefs; I vote for people who at least promise they'll try to do the most good for the most people.  You seem to be saying you'd vote for equal rights, but you also seem to be saying you'd let everybody know what you really felt about people in the relationship; there are probably lots of practices of flaming heterosexuals that don't go along with your religious views either and some of those are still illegal in some places.  

This is Nashville, and it's come a long way, but truth be told, if the ballot listed one candidate as Christian and every other candidate as undeclared, that one candidate would still win in a landslide.  But my vote would go elsewhere or I'd abstain because I don't vote by religious label.  

I don't think I'm explaining myself very well.  It's to do with not wanting religion - anybody's religion - to be a big influence on government.    

Cardie said it best overall so far.  I'll try to think of a more lucid explanation of my view when I'm awake.

I don't mean I have to run with "Christian" next to my name.  But I have to run as the person I am, which is a Christian.  On issues where my Christianity must be discussed to understand my position on a particular issue, I will discuss it.  But I'm not saying "vote for me, I'm a Christian!"  Odds are everyone running for this seat would say that they were a Christian.  I'm saying "Here's what I'll do if elected, and, in cases I feel explaining my reasoning is necessary, here's why."  So yes, I'd vote for "equal rights", though I still deny the term applies in this particular situation, and yes, I'll still let people know what I think about the actions of homosexuality, because <i>it matters</i>.  Maybe not to you, but it matters to a whole lot of people, and if I don't say how I got to my conclusion, they're going to assume something that's untrue: that I condone homosexual relationships.  If someone doesn't want to vote for me because of what I'll do, that's fine.  But if they decide not to vote for me because I just didn't explain myself thoroughly enough, that's my own damned fault, and I have to do everything I can to avoid that.

I agree that religion being a big influence on government can be problematic, by certain definitions.  I'm trying to demonstrate that I can be a strongly religious, wholly consistent individual who can still operate as part of a religiously neutral government.  I think I'm doing a reasonably good job of that, and I'm having a little trouble following why I'm perceived as not.

(Oh, and please also note that I do mention the immoral practices of many heterosexual couples, as part of my argument regarding recognizing gay marriage.)

Edited by Omega, 10 March 2009 - 01:19 PM.


#63 Paul

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:31 AM

Hmmm. Well, you're a libertarian, which makes me shudder as I tend to be more of a Gore Vidal type when it comes to that particular kind of political philosophy. So it may be that my perception is clouding the issues a bit, so please take that in mind when reading my posts.


Quote

The US government should be required to operate within its means.
Government debt should be paid off in its entirety.

This is something I take issue with. What happens when government needs to spend more money than it has? E.g., in the current financial crisis, what would your positions be on bailing out AIG, Merryl Lynch etc? Furthermore, what about social programs like the New Deal that FDR offered? Or welfare?


Quote

Some say that this country was founded on Christian beliefs, and they have a point in saying so.
Actually, they do not. If you want to, I can quote extensive writings from Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison (clearly the most influential people regarding the constitution and the DoI here) that disprove that particular myth as well as supporting evidence from Rosseau, Thomas Paine etc.

Quote

Non-mandatory prayer in schools should be allowed.
Why? What is the benefit of it?

Quote

I believe that sex is intended to both express and build a permanent psychological and spiritual bond between a husband and wife.

I would retort that sex is intended to continue to ensure the survival of the species and any psychological bond is a result of evolution and group behaviour. Marriage has got nothing to do with christianity or sex, it is a social act that has been used millennia before christianity was invented.

Quote

Either harm is caused or a gift is destroyed.
That is a giant non-sequitur you have right here. Who are you to decide or judge the practices of consenting adults?

Quote

Thus I believe that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong and harmful
Me and my girlfriend would disagree. Actually, she just snorted and asked whether you were a repressed virgin, but that is neither here nor there. What right do you have to define the practices of other individuals as immoral?

Quote

including homosexual activities as specifically stated in the Bible.
Do you also support the stoning of people who work on the sabbath? I could go on, but Aaron Sorkin has dealt with that even more eloquently.

Quote

Foreign bases necessary for present and future global operations must be acquired and maintained. Foreign bases not necessary to this end should be closed.
Which foreign bases do you consider to be not necessary?

Quote

Minimum wage should be decided by the states, not the federal government.
So we can see wage-dumping even in America? Sorry, but there does not need to be a race to the bottom.

Quote

Pollution controls should be set by the states, with exceptions where multiple states are involved.
What is the value of pollution control when you can just relocate to another state where there is none?

Quote

NASA should focus on things that can not be done by commercial spaceflight industries, especially the detection and deflection of earth-threatening asteroids.

I would ask you to provide a list of things that can already be done by commercial spaceflight industries.


Quote

Welfare programs as a whole should be limited to a constant proportion of our society's resources, and to specific segments of society. Guaranteeing constant benefits at all times to all people is not viable.

Is the USA providing constant benefits to all people at the moment? And yes, it actually is viable or has been the past 140 years, as practiced by several European countries.



Now that said, here are the things I can agree with:
- your foreign policy section. Aside from the writings on Iran (which is required in an election period to appear to be tough on Iran), I can get behind that.
- the section of government  transparency and accountability is good. I would support almost everything in it, except for
"It should be easier to remove an elected official from office who is not performing according to their constituency's satisfaction.", which would make officials way too susceptiple to cheap population.
- the infrastructure section
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#64 Omega

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:07 PM

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Hmmm. Well, you're a libertarian, which makes me shudder as I tend to be more of a Gore Vidal type when it comes to that particular kind of political philosophy. So it may be that my perception is clouding the issues a bit, so please take that in mind when reading my posts.

I'm not the best libertarian ever, believe me.  Compare my stances to the party platform and that will become quite clear.  I joined the Libertarian party because out of the parties with any presence in TN, they are the closest to my preferences.  I would describe myself as being much more pragmatic than most.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

The US government should be required to operate within its means.
Government debt should be paid off in its entirety.

I am not opposed to running deficits in an emergency, such as WW2-scale war or the present crisis.  However, those deficits must be temporary, and the debts paid back rapidly.  Everyone in the country operating at a continual deficit is in large part what led to our present crisis.  As for bailouts, I am not conceptually opposed to them in the present circumstance, though I do believe that with better regulation the present circumstances could have been avoided.  Any bailouts must be closely monitored and the funds repaid.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Some say that this country was founded on Christian beliefs, and they have a point in saying so.
Actually, they do not. If you want to, I can quote extensive writings from Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison (clearly the most influential people regarding the constitution and the DoI here) that disprove that particular myth as well as supporting evidence from Rosseau, Thomas Paine etc.

You're taking issue with things you don't need to take issue with.  Many of the founders, though certainly not all, were Christians, and many of the people who settled in this country did so specifically due to their Christianity.  Nowhere do I say that ALL the founders were Christians, or that their purposes were Christian, or that we should therefore be called or be governed like a Christian nation.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Non-mandatory prayer in schools should be allowed.
Why? What is the benefit of it?

You're coming at the question from the opposite direction I am.  You're asking, why should it be allowed?  I'm saying, why should it be prevented?  I see no reason.  So long as people are respectful of others and otherwise do their jobs, they should be allowed to express their beliefs.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

I believe that sex is intended to both express and build a permanent psychological and spiritual bond between a husband and wife.

I would retort that sex is intended to continue to ensure the survival of the species and any psychological bond is a result of evolution and group behaviour. Marriage has got nothing to do with christianity or sex, it is a social act that has been used millennia before christianity was invented.

Quote

Either harm is caused or a gift is destroyed.
That is a giant non-sequitur you have right here. Who are you to decide or judge the practices of consenting adults?

Quote

Thus I believe that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong and harmful
Me and my girlfriend would disagree. Actually, she just snorted and asked whether you were a repressed virgin, but that is neither here nor there. What right do you have to define the practices of other individuals as immoral?

Quote

including homosexual activities as specifically stated in the Bible.
Do you also support the stoning of people who work on the sabbath? I could go on, but Aaron Sorkin has dealt with that even more eloquently.

Your beliefs on the matter differ from mine; so long as I have made my beliefs clear for the purposes of understanding where I come from and why I would vote the way I would vote, I don't see that there's anything more for me say about it.  However, I have thoroughly addressed the proper application of Old Testament law to Christianity elsewhere on this board, if the subject interests you.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Foreign bases necessary for present and future global operations must be acquired and maintained. Foreign bases not necessary to this end should be closed.
Which foreign bases do you consider to be not necessary?

I am not presently well-enough informed to give a list.  If you'd like, I can research further and try to give names.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Minimum wage should be decided by the states, not the federal government.
So we can see wage-dumping even in America? Sorry, but there does not need to be a race to the bottom.

I fail to see why you trust the federal government more than you trust state governments.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Pollution controls should be set by the states, with exceptions where multiple states are involved.
What is the value of pollution control when you can just relocate to another state where there is none?

There is obviously value to the state that implements the pollution control.  Presumably there is also value to the hypothetical state that doesn't, or they would do so.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

NASA should focus on things that can not be done by commercial spaceflight industries, especially the detection and deflection of earth-threatening asteroids.

I would ask you to provide a list of things that can already be done by commercial spaceflight industries.

Satellites are regularly launched by commercial entities, which represent a significant fraction of space activities.  Sub-orbital manned spaceflight has been achieved, and I expect to see orbital spaceflight within fifteen years.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Welfare programs as a whole should be limited to a constant proportion of our society's resources, and to specific segments of society. Guaranteeing constant benefits at all times to all people is not viable.

Is the USA providing constant benefits to all people at the moment? And yes, it actually is viable or has been the past 140 years, as practiced by several European countries.

They're trying to provide constant benefits to to the elderly, and the money required to do so for the indefinite future is far in excess of the money available to the federal government without massive tax increases.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Now that said, here are the things I can agree with:
- your foreign policy section. Aside from the writings on Iran (which is required in an election period to appear to be tough on Iran), I can get behind that.
- the section of government  transparency and accountability is good. I would support almost everything in it, except for
"It should be easier to remove an elected official from office who is not performing according to their constituency's satisfaction.", which would make officials way too susceptiple to cheap population.
- the infrastructure section

What do you object to about Iran, out of curiosity?  I recognize their right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, and I deny their right to nuclear weapons.  I'm not saying they're trying to obtain such weapons; though it certainly looks that way, we've been down that road before with Iraq, so I'm going to take a little more convincing this time around.  Do you think Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons?  That they shouldn't be required to submit to inspections?  Is it something else?  I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap population", though I'm assuming you mean you want lawmakers to be somewhat independent from their constituents.  I believe there should be a degree of independence, but there are limits.  If an elected official is ridiculously unpopular with all their constituents for a long time, there is nothing served by keeping them in office for another 2-5 years.  There should be some process by which they can be removed.

Edited by Omega, 10 March 2009 - 01:17 PM.


#65 Paul

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:08 PM

View PostOmega, on Mar 10 2009, 07:07 PM, said:

I am not opposed to running deficits in an emergency, such as WW2-scale war or the present crisis.  However, those deficits must be temporary, and the debts paid back rapidly.  Everyone in the country operating at a continual deficit is in large part what led to our present crisis.  As for bailouts, I am not conceptually opposed to them in the present circumstance, though I do believe that with better regulation the present circumstances could have been avoided.  Any bailouts must be closely monitored and the funds repaid.

I would agree with all that, but your website does not allow for an emergency oveerun as WW2 etc.

Quote

You're taking issue with things you don't need to take issue with.  Many of the founders, though certainly not all, were Christians, and many of the people who settled in this country did so specifically due to their Christianity.  Nowhere do I say that ALL the founders were Christians, or that their purposes were Christian, or that we should therefore be called or be governed like a Christian nation.

You were saying that "this country was founded on christian beliefs". I therefore took issue with that as it implies that christian beliefs were the reason this country got established or that christian beliefs are reflected by the constitution or the DoI.


Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Non-mandatory prayer in schools should be allowed.
Why? What is the benefit of it?

You're coming at the question from the opposite direction I am.  You're asking, why should it be allowed?  I'm saying, why should it be prevented?  I see no reason.  So long as people are respectful of others and otherwise do their jobs, they should be allowed to express their beliefs.

The reason I think you have to justify it is because there is a long-standing tradition, including the founding fathers, who did want a seperation between church and state. If prayers are held in school, I think it allows a state building to be used for religous purposes. Furthermore, it makes children different. If 90% of the school population is christian, why highlight something that divides the non-believers? It is just another thing that can easily provide bullies with ecuses etc.

So yeah, I think there is ample precedent for you having to defend that principle.


Quote

Your beliefs on the matter differ from mine; so long as I have made my beliefs clear for the purposes of understanding where I come from and why I would vote the way I would vote, I don't see that there's anything more for me say about it.

Very well, though if I would be someone who voted in TN elections, you would have just lost my vote due to not answering any of the issues. Because it would be really easy to paint you as a closet fundamentalist based on those answers.

Quote

However, I have thoroughly addressed the proper application of Old Testament law to Christianity elsewhere on this board, if the subject interests you.

It does.

Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Foreign bases necessary for present and future global operations must be acquired and maintained. Foreign bases not necessary to this end should be closed.
Which foreign bases do you consider to be not necessary?
I am not presently well-enough informed to give a list.  If you'd like, I can research further and try to give names.

Please do so. Because making a statement before being able to back it up is not a good thing to do.

Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

So we can see wage-dumping even in America? Sorry, but there does not need to be a race to the bottom.

I fail to see why you trust the federal government more than you trust state governments.

Are you familiar with the phenomenon of the "run to the bottom"? Do you know why many corporations are incorporated in Delaware? Because they have the laxest regulations of all the states. A federal government would have no incentive to participate in such a phenomenon.

Quote

There is obviously value to the state that implements the pollution control.  Presumably there is also value to the hypothetical state that doesn't, or they would do so.

Not really answering the question. What do you hope to gain by having individual states decide that they should enact those things?

Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

NASA should focus on things that can not be done by commercial spaceflight industries, especially the detection and deflection of earth-threatening asteroids.

I would ask you to provide a list of things that can already be done by commercial spaceflight industries.

Satellites are regularly launched by commercial entities, which represent a significant fraction of space activities.

You should really make an exception for Nasa here, as I doubt you'd want spy satellites handled by anything else than a government agency.

Quote

Sub-orbital manned spaceflight has been achieved, and I expect to see orbital spaceflight within fifteen years.

So because of a hypothetical situation, NASA should pull out already?

Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Welfare programs as a whole should be limited to a constant proportion of our society's resources, and to specific segments of society. Guaranteeing constant benefits at all times to all people is not viable.

Is the USA providing constant benefits to all people at the moment? And yes, it actually is viable or has been the past 140 years, as practiced by several European countries.

They're trying to provide constant benefits to to the elderly, and the money required to do so for the indefinite future is far in excess of the money available to the federal government without massive tax increases.

So your response is to "let the elderly fend for themselves"? Or would you rather vote for tax increases?

As an aside, what is your stance on taxes in general?


Quote

What do you object to about Iran, out of curiosity?  I recognize their right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, and I deny their right to nuclear weapons.  I'm not saying they're trying to obtain such weapons; though it certainly looks that way, we've been down that road before with Iraq, so I'm going to take a little more convincing this time around.  Do you think Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons?  That they shouldn't be required to submit to inspections?  Is it something else?

To clarify: I am of the opinion that there is nothing that can be done sort of war to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Obviously, I am seeing a lot of "RAH RAH USA" patriotism nowadays, despite the west being already engaged in wars in Afghanistan. There are no resources available to really stop Iran. So instead of denying diplomatic options by categorically declaring "THEY MUST NOT HAVE THE BOMB", I would start preparing for the inevitable to avoid looking like a powerless fool.  Iran is an enemy, and they will have the bomb. So we better start preparing for them.

Actually, most people have little Idea how Iran works. They believe their crazy president is actually calling the shots. What most people don't get is that Iran is facing massive discontent at home, which means they need an enemy to force their citizens to band together against this threat. By making statements like that, american politicians play into their hands.


Quote

I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap population", though I'm assuming you mean you want lawmakers to be somewhat independent from their constituents.  I believe there should be a degree of independence, but there are limits.  If an elected official is ridiculously unpopular with all their constituents for a long time, there is nothing served by keeping them in office for another 2-5 years.  There should be some process by which they can be removed.

I meant cheap populism and had a very bad mistype. Sorry about that. But you got my meaning just fine. I do believe lawmakers to be only governed by their conscience. The USA is not a basic democracy like Athen or Rome, it is a republic. You would instead favor a direct democracy like Athens. The process of removal is already formulated - they are called elections and the various impeachment/removal rules laid out in the legislature codes across the nation.

My main objection is that the populace is not the best way to govern, as a mob is no government at all. A lot of choices that were beneficial in the long term were hugely unpopular in the short term. I fear if there would be something like this, the door would be turned wide open to populist ideas like "ban gay marriage" " or "declare english our national language".

Finally, most of the populace is in no position to even make a reasonable informed decision on most issues. Let's take foreign policy - how many of them even know where countries like Burundi are situated on a map, and how many of those who do know then know anything about the government, or the econmic situation of that country? I don't know for sure, but I am very certain that it is not the vast majority. Heck, even today many people believe Iraq funded Al-Quaida.
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#66 Omega

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:35 PM

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

View PostOmega, on Mar 10 2009, 07:07 PM, said:

I am not opposed to running deficits in an emergency, such as WW2-scale war or the present crisis.  However, those deficits must be temporary, and the debts paid back rapidly.  Everyone in the country operating at a continual deficit is in large part what led to our present crisis.  As for bailouts, I am not conceptually opposed to them in the present circumstance, though I do believe that with better regulation the present circumstances could have been avoided.  Any bailouts must be closely monitored and the funds repaid.

I would agree with all that, but your website does not allow for an emergency oveerun as WW2 etc.

You are correct.  Debt writeup has been modified.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

Quote

You're taking issue with things you don't need to take issue with.  Many of the founders, though certainly not all, were Christians, and many of the people who settled in this country did so specifically due to their Christianity.  Nowhere do I say that ALL the founders were Christians, or that their purposes were Christian, or that we should therefore be called or be governed like a Christian nation.

You were saying that "this country was founded on christian beliefs". I therefore took issue with that as it implies that christian beliefs were the reason this country got established or that christian beliefs are reflected by the constitution or the DoI.

I didn't say that.  I said that other people say it, and that there is some truth in their statement.  They are a long way from entirely correct, but neither are they entirely wrong.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

Quote

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

Quote

Non-mandatory prayer in schools should be allowed.
Why? What is the benefit of it?

You're coming at the question from the opposite direction I am.  You're asking, why should it be allowed?  I'm saying, why should it be prevented?  I see no reason.  So long as people are respectful of others and otherwise do their jobs, they should be allowed to express their beliefs.

The reason I think you have to justify it is because there is a long-standing tradition, including the founding fathers, who did want a seperation between church and state. If prayers are held in school, I think it allows a state building to be used for religous purposes. Furthermore, it makes children different. If 90% of the school population is christian, why highlight something that divides the non-believers? It is just another thing that can easily provide bullies with ecuses etc.

So yeah, I think there is ample precedent for you having to defend that principle.

There's a difference between "using a state building for religious purposes" and "allowing religious activity in a state building."  The idea of forbidding religious activity in state buildings is absurd; logically, if students were forbidden to pray in schools because the building is a state building, prayers should also be forbidden in courthouses, police stations, and any other building owned by the state.  Schools imposing an a-religious worldview is no better than schools imposing one particular religion.  And I do not recognize any benefit in eliminating differences between children by quashing their fundamental civil rights.  

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

Quote

Your beliefs on the matter differ from mine; so long as I have made my beliefs clear for the purposes of understanding where I come from and why I would vote the way I would vote, I don't see that there's anything more for me say about it.

Very well, though if I would be someone who voted in TN elections, you would have just lost my vote due to not answering any of the issues. Because it would be really easy to paint you as a closet fundamentalist based on those answers.

How am I a closet anything?  I believe I have explained my beliefs thoroughly, and traced exactly how they lead to relevant political positions.  Have I not done so?  It is not my purpose in this election to debate Christian doctrine (though I am happy to do so otherwise; feel free to start another thread if you are so inclined), simply to use that doctrine to demonstrate my consistency.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

Quote

However, I have thoroughly addressed the proper application of Old Testament law to Christianity elsewhere on this board, if the subject interests you.

It does.

http://www.exisle.ne...p;#entry1177866

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

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Foreign bases necessary for present and future global operations must be acquired and maintained. Foreign bases not necessary to this end should be closed.
Which foreign bases do you consider to be not necessary?
I am not presently well-enough informed to give a list.  If you'd like, I can research further and try to give names.

Please do so. Because making a statement before being able to back it up is not a good thing to do.

I disagree.  If I were to say, for example, "Waste in schools should be eliminated," would I be required to come up with a list of every example of waste in schools before the statement is valid?

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

So we can see wage-dumping even in America? Sorry, but there does not need to be a race to the bottom.

I fail to see why you trust the federal government more than you trust state governments.

Are you familiar with the phenomenon of the "run to the bottom"? Do you know why many corporations are incorporated in Delaware? Because they have the laxest regulations of all the states. A federal government would have no incentive to participate in such a phenomenon.

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There is obviously value to the state that implements the pollution control.  Presumably there is also value to the hypothetical state that doesn't, or they would do so.

Not really answering the question. What do you hope to gain by having individual states decide that they should enact those things?

I hope to gain a smaller federal government and more local control of local issues.  Your approach treats the states as if they can't be trusted to mind their own affairs.  I find that approach offensive to the concept that humans are free.  If the people of an area want cleaner air, they can have a law passed tightening regulations.  If the people of another, unrelated area decide that more industry is preferable to cleaner air, they can decide that too.  It is not the federal government's decision to make, it's the decision of the people who are ultimately affected.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

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NASA should focus on things that can not be done by commercial spaceflight industries, especially the detection and deflection of earth-threatening asteroids.

I would ask you to provide a list of things that can already be done by commercial spaceflight industries.

Satellites are regularly launched by commercial entities, which represent a significant fraction of space activities.

You should really make an exception for Nasa here, as I doubt you'd want spy satellites handled by anything else than a government agency.

The military's space budget is actually larger than NASA's, so I'm not sure that's a concern.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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Sub-orbital manned spaceflight has been achieved, and I expect to see orbital spaceflight within fifteen years.

So because of a hypothetical situation, NASA should pull out already?

I'm quite certain I didn't say or imply that.  When commercial orbital spaceflight is achieved, NASA should probably focus on other things.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

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Welfare programs as a whole should be limited to a constant proportion of our society's resources, and to specific segments of society. Guaranteeing constant benefits at all times to all people is not viable.

Is the USA providing constant benefits to all people at the moment? And yes, it actually is viable or has been the past 140 years, as practiced by several European countries.

They're trying to provide constant benefits to to the elderly, and the money required to do so for the indefinite future is far in excess of the money available to the federal government without massive tax increases.

So your response is to "let the elderly fend for themselves"? Or would you rather vote for tax increases?

My response is to stop pretending there's not a problem.  If we're going to pay for social programs, we need to have a definite fraction of available funds set aside for that purpose, and let benefits be flexible.  No other approach is sane.  This leads to either cutting benefits, reducing the size of the eligible group, or raising taxes, and it's time to stop pretending there's any other solution.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

As an aside, what is your stance on taxes in general?

I'm not sure if I understand the question.  Taxes are a necessary evil.  Tax revenue should be greater than or equal to spending.  Spending should be cut before taxes are increased, but tax increases may at times be necessary.  The federal tax code is an obscenity and should be replaced with something lacking loopholes.  Do you have some specific question here?

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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What do you object to about Iran, out of curiosity?  I recognize their right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, and I deny their right to nuclear weapons.  I'm not saying they're trying to obtain such weapons; though it certainly looks that way, we've been down that road before with Iraq, so I'm going to take a little more convincing this time around.  Do you think Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons?  That they shouldn't be required to submit to inspections?  Is it something else?

To clarify: I am of the opinion that there is nothing that can be done sort of war to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Obviously, I am seeing a lot of "RAH RAH USA" patriotism nowadays, despite the west being already engaged in wars in Afghanistan. There are no resources available to really stop Iran. So instead of denying diplomatic options by categorically declaring "THEY MUST NOT HAVE THE BOMB", I would start preparing for the inevitable to avoid looking like a powerless fool.  Iran is an enemy, and they will have the bomb. So we better start preparing for them.

Actually, most people have little Idea how Iran works. They believe their crazy president is actually calling the shots. What most people don't get is that Iran is facing massive discontent at home, which means they need an enemy to force their citizens to band together against this threat. By making statements like that, american politicians play into their hands.

The idea that Iran can't be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons is absurd; war may be necessary, but it can be done.  The US military can blow up anything, anywhere, at any time.  The only question is how much will it cost us, and an Iran without nuclear weapons isn't nearly as much as a concern to me as one with them.

View PostPaul, on Mar 10 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

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I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap population", though I'm assuming you mean you want lawmakers to be somewhat independent from their constituents.  I believe there should be a degree of independence, but there are limits.  If an elected official is ridiculously unpopular with all their constituents for a long time, there is nothing served by keeping them in office for another 2-5 years.  There should be some process by which they can be removed.

I meant cheap populism and had a very bad mistype. Sorry about that. But you got my meaning just fine. I do believe lawmakers to be only governed by their conscience. The USA is not a basic democracy like Athen or Rome, it is a republic. You would instead favor a direct democracy like Athens. The process of removal is already formulated - they are called elections and the various impeachment/removal rules laid out in the legislature codes across the nation.

My main objection is that the populace is not the best way to govern, as a mob is no government at all. A lot of choices that were beneficial in the long term were hugely unpopular in the short term. I fear if there would be something like this, the door would be turned wide open to populist ideas like "ban gay marriage" " or "declare english our national language".

Finally, most of the populace is in no position to even make a reasonable informed decision on most issues. Let's take foreign policy - how many of them even know where countries like Burundi are situated on a map, and how many of those who do know then know anything about the government, or the econmic situation of that country? I don't know for sure, but I am very certain that it is not the vast majority. Heck, even today many people believe Iraq funded Al-Quaida.

I believe in representative republic, as you are correct, the idea of direct democracy doesn't work except under idealized circumstances.  So please don't say I favor things I don't.  My point is that if we're going to have a representative republic, the representatives must be answerable to the people, who are the ultimate source of all governmental authority.  I'm not saying it should be trivial to recall an unpopular elected representative before their term ends, but there should always be some procedure.  There's no reason for the people having to put up with a senator who breaks every campaign promise for six years after his intentions become clear.

#67 Themis

Themis
  • Islander
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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:01 PM

Omega:  

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If the people of an area want cleaner air, they can have a law passed tightening regulations. If the people of another, unrelated area decide that more industry is preferable to cleaner air, they can decide that too. It is not the federal government's decision to make, it's the decision of the people who are ultimately affected.

The people ultimately affected could be anywhere in the country except possibly Alaska and Hawaii...wind, runoff, interstate transportation of contaminated goods (e-coli peanuts and spinach, anyone?), etc.  We are no longer a country where states or even towns can act in isolation on most things - commerce and the population as a whole are too mobile.
Cats will never be extinct!



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