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Abortion essentially hinges on an issue of belief, and matters of belief should not be managed by the government. I personally believe that when sperm successfully meets egg and egg divides, you have life. The supreme court saw this choice as one protected by a right to privacy, and when faced with the need to define “life”, chose a view that life was a viable baby apart from the mother, not an embryo within the womb.
It seems hard to deny that an external baby is not a life, but some may not believe that an internal embryo, dependant on the womb, is a life. I’m comfortable with the government not making that decision on a matter of faith.
Though abortion may not be criminal, it certainly does not mean that it is desirable or that women are entitled to abortion with government support. Taxpayers funds are not made available for numerous non life-threatening medical issues, and should not be spent on abortion except in the case of medical necessity.
As in many issues fomented in the media, I have been a skeptic regarding Global Warming. With some training in statistical analysis, I see many opportunities for misinterpreted data, particularly when the global data set on climate is relatively limited in its geographical scope and its historical depth. I particularly remember dire warnings of the “new ice age” that were predicted during several severe winters in the late ‘70s. I’m just as skeptical about voices on both sides of today’s debate, but since the media have adopted the pro-warming argument, let me recommend the Global Warming.org site as at least one source of well documented skepticism.
All that skepticism aside, I do believe this is a valid issue for public debate and further research. I also think that an energy policy that decreases our economic dependence on fossil fuels, and incidentally decreases greenhouse gasses, couldn’t be a bad thing.
Dieing With Dignity
Death with Dignity (aka Assisted Suicide), with appropriate procedural safeguards, has been approved by the voters of Oregon and should be respected as a matter of States’ Rights and as an issue of Separation of Church & State.
It also seems it would be protected under the implied rights of privacy as put forth in Roe v Wade. (Although I’m not sure about the logic of the “privacy” argument the court applied.)
Republicans who decry the “nanny state” would do well to keep government out of this most personal of decisions. If we profess to be the Party of individual responsibility, let’s respect the “sanctity of life” by not over-regulating humane and dignified death.
Many of the arguments against Gay Marriage run in logical conflict with the “Separation of Church & State”/platform/separation-of-church-&-state. There are certainly civil rights associated with marriage, but any “sanctity” of marriage is a religious concept. Call it “civil union” if you like, but Gay Marriage is no threat to the fabric of society, and arguably strengthens the community. The civil benefits of marriage should be granted to committed partnerships and that commitment validated by the community.
I support our troops and am outraged at some of the shortages of equipment they have endured. When we put our young men and women in harm’s way we should provide every measure to ensure their safety and successful completion of their mission.
Unfortunately, it seems that much of the justification for the Iraq war was flawed. That doesn’t imply that we should abandon the mess we’ve created. We need a clearly defined mission, recognizable end-state, and tangible policies for a successful conclusion to our involvement. (RB #8) “Stop loss” policies, and overuse of Guard and Reserve forces are a result of a poorly conceived and executed strategy. If we are at a “state of war” against terrorism, then we should act as such. The Draft should be reinstated. The benefits would be twofold. A mandatory program of military service (or comparable civil volunteerism), would strengthen the sense of citizenship for our youth, provide a “corps” to help reduce poverty and social ills, and instill a tangible “vested interest” in the issues facing our nation. Secondarily, a military draft sure would change the tone of the current (or any future) debate regarding war.
The Patriot Act has infringed upon the fundamental civil liberties certain terrorist groups might wish to destroy. Normal protections of probable cause and due process have been weakened in the zeal for apparent improvements in national security. Many provisions of the Patriot Act should be allowed to lapse when they expire. America will always face certain threats unavoidable in a free society, but a suppressive police state is more troubling.