Thursday, June 10, 2004

Are You Politically Aware?

If you are, please share some NONBIASED sources for information. Most of the discussions involving either side pick and choose and take things out of context in order to prove their point. And often will resort to personal attacks, which to me, means they have no facts to back up their beliefs.

I've decided that I need to be more aware of the issues, especially involving local politics. Right now, the only person I know I will vote for is whoever is running against Congressman Tom Delay.

I know where I stand on most issues, but I don't know where the politicians stand. There's the disconnect that I need to fix. Here's my stance on the issues- what category do you think I belong?

Cells are not a baby until they can sustain themselves outside the mother's womb. Where the cutoff is, I don't know, I'm not a doctor. Therefore, a woman has the right to do as she chooses until that point. I do not understand the arguement that abortion is murder, but it may be okay if it saves the mother's life or in the cases of rape.

But instead of doing the pro-life/pro-choice arguments that get us nowhere, why don't we all work together and work on prevention. Teach birth control in schools. Provide free birth control for those who can not afford it. Prevent the situation in the first place.

Stem cell research:
See above, I think it's a good thing because it can save lives.

Partial birth abortions:
It's so horrid that I don't even want to think about it.

Gay marriage:
Why discriminate against a whole class of people? And why are you trying to tell others how to live their lives?

Separation of church and state:
I have no problem with others praticing their religion as long as it does not interfere with other's choice of religion. All the religious references in the pledge, on our currency, etc- that's just our culture. Doesn't mean you have to believe in the same god or any god at all.

We have one messed up system. Why would we reward people who do not work and punish those that do? People trying to pull themselves off welfare and get a minimum wage job lose. They lose money and can't make enough to sustain themselves and their family. Education is key. We have to help those that cannot work. My uncle is mentally retarded and could not ever live on his own. He requires government assistance, but he still does work at the center where he lives. But the people who have a capacity to work need to be given the skills to get a job and there has to be an incentive tied to it. Either you get assistance for xxx long or the $$ amount decreases as time goes on and you are REQUIRED to get continuing education and job placement assitance.

Tax system:
And the average American is supposed to follow all the rules that even the professionals struggle to keep up with? Scratch it all and start over. It's ridiculous.

Death penalty:
I heard a statistic a long time ago that stuck with me. Now, I never believe statitics because you can use any data you want to get the outcome you desire, but this one made sense. It costs more for a prisoner on death row because of all the required appeals than it would if he/she was in for life. And I don't think that it's a deterant either. Do you really think this goes through someone's mind when they're getting ready to kill-- "Well, if I bludgeon this guy, I'll go to death row, but if I just shoot him once, maybe I'll just go for life"? I also think prisoners get hardened rather than reformed in prison. What to do about this, I have not a clue.

The war in Iraq:
I was ambilivant about going to war in the first place because I don't think it's our duty to police the entire world. And I especially did not like the fact that we did not have many of the other power houses on our side. However, we are there and we'd better stay to finish the job. Pulling out now would be wasting the lives of the soldiers we have already lost. And a slap in the face, again, to the Iraqis.

Have I touched on enough controversy today? :)


Michael said...

Ow. That makes my brain hurt. Each of those is a complete philosophy on its own.

Abortion: As a Christian, I'm more concerned about the *soul* than the *viability*. At what point does life become... life? Since I don't know the answer (and nobody else does, either), I'd rather err on the side of caution. I agree with you on prevention, though. If only we had an on/off switch.

Stem Cell: Same argument as abortion. However, there's some research that shows it may be possible to obtain stem cells from baby teeth. I can't imagine anybody objecting to that.

Partial birth: Yuck.

Gay Marriage: At the same time, I don't want to appear to promote a lifestyle that many would consider immoral.

Separation of church & state: Amen to your thoughts. Pun intended.

Welfare: The more we spend on poor people, the more poor people we get. Why work when you can get paid for nothing? That sort of government encouragement needs to stop.

Tax System: It's like 65 million pages and growing. Flat tax, baby! Flat tax!

Death penalty: I'm in flux on this issue at the moment. I was in favor of the death penalty, but recent reflections have left me doubting my convictions. I'm going to pass on this one for now.

War in Iraq: I read Iraqi blogs that are thankful for the US. After the fact, I'm more sure we did the right thing.

Chris said...

I'm not sure there's such a thing as a truly nonbiased source for news and political information. Even if there isn't much spin on the information presented, there's likely to be a strong selection bias, either in favor of one position or another, or in favor of promoting ratings or newspaper sales or ad revenue or whatever metrics drive the outlet's economics.

What I do is look for what honest sources, meaning sources that convey information truthfully and also are open about their biases. For instance I read both Andrew Sullivan and Talking Points Memo. One has a conservative slant, the other liberal, but both manage to come up with interesting insights and analyses on a daily basis. They seem like a good balance for each other.

Just my $0.02.