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snowguy716
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« on: July 08, 2009, 04:23:02 pm »

General philosophy: Liberal

Abortion: oppose but should remain legal and constitutionally protected.
Separation of church and state: Most definitely in both directions
Gay Marriage: Should be legalized
Affirmative Action: Can be useful in certain situations, but I generally oppose it today.
Age of Consent: Age of consent should be 16.
Gun rights: Generally supportive, though we should have a waiting period and background checks. 
Death Penalty: Strongly oppose
Censorship: Strongly oppose.
Flag burning:  I support your right to burn the flag.  I would only ever do it if I had a very serious grievance with the state as probably the act of protest with the highest symbolism.  It should never be taken lightly or done lightly.
Smoking:  No smoking in public places, though we should allow for smoking rooms in private businesses (if they're separate). 
Alcohol consumption: Legal age should be lowered to 16 to purchase wine and beer and 19 to purchase liquor (to keep liquor out of high schools).  Alcohol consumption in the presence of parents should be allowed at any age.  Get rid of public intoxication laws and allow drinking in public.
Euthanasia: Support in cases of terminal illness.
Drugs: Support legalization of marijuana and other "soft" drugs with state regulation as with tobacco and alcohol.  Money raised from the taxes should go to support recovery/rehabilitation programs.
Gambling: I support it, but I recognize the help it has given Native American tribes in lifting many out of abject poverty.
Prostitution: Leave this to the states.  I support regulated prostitution.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Strongly support.
Immigration:  We need to make legal immigration much easier.  No quotas, though immigration could be reduced if need be.
Illegal Immigration:  Give them a chance to become legal immigrants through an easier, reformed system.  Those that fail should be sent home.


Economic Issues

General Philosophy: Liberal

Taxes: Keep corporate taxes, but lower the rates.  Cut business taxes for small businesses drastically.  Institute a progressive income tax with the largest chunk of government revenue coming from this source.  Have a highly progressive capital gains tax that taxes excessive capital gains while promoting investment among Americans in general.
Employers and Employees: I support the right for unions to form without intimidation by either side, overseen and those rights guaranteed by the government.  Unions that strike legitimately and legally should be protected from being fired.
Free trade: I support fair trade.  We need to hold our trading partners to the same standards that we hold our own workers.
Spending:  Scrub the budget.  I support pay-go.  Ask each department to find 10% of potential savings and then determine which of that 10% is worth reforming or keeping.  Cut the rest.
Social Security: End benefits for the rich, raise the retirement age to 70 in a graduated fashion and reduce benefits to cover the rest of the deficit.
Space Program: Support.  More money should be spent on exploring and potential human colonization of the moon/Mars.
Welfare:  Full, generous benefits for the disabled and single parents (with dependents in the home, of course).  All abled body workers must either be searching for work or continuing their education (state funded) to receive benefits, which would come in the form of housing assistance, food stamps, utility assistance, and a small cash allowance for personal items.
Healthcare: I support government funded, single payer health insurance for all children under 18 and college students under 25, and everyone over 65.  Healthy adults must find their own insurance.  The destitute and disabled would be covered under the government system while a second government option with subsidized copays and premiums would be available to the poor, based on income.
Education: At the federal level:  No unfunded mandates.  Curriculum guidelines at the federal level should be vague with only general educational goals stated (like math and science standards).  Education equalization funding should be handled at the state level with a reliance on income taxes to fund schools rather than property taxes.  (This was, after all, the Minnesota Miracle in 1971)
Minimum Wage: Have a federal minimum wage, but allow states to adjust it upward for local market differences.
Regulation:  It really depends.
Infrastructure: We need to make major investments in our highways, rails, and utilities.  We should have an efficient, environmentally friendly high speed rail network connecting  the major cities of the country with regional lines down the road.  All railroad tracks should be government owned and maintained with leasing to the private freight rails.  Upgrade the rails for freight to travel up to 79mph and passenger rail up to 200mph.
Energy Policy: Incentives for renewable energy as well as an expansion of nuclear power.  We need to eliminate oil where possible first, then coal.  Find ways to sequester carbon dioxide and store it.
Environment: I support conservation of public lands as well as beaches/shores and other wetlands.  We need better regulation of our grasslands that support more sustainable grazing techniques, as well as more sustainable forestry practices with selective cutting that leaves a tiny footprint and the use of fire to renew our forests.



Foreign Issues

General Philosophy: I don't know.

Democracy and Trade: I support both, but movements towards democracy should be home grown.  We should assist if they ask.
United Nations: The idea of an international body is important in today's world.  It should not hold any legal jurisdiction, however.
Iraq: Strongly opposed to our invasion of Iraq, though if peace and stability can remain in this fledgling democracy, I won't deny the victory there.
Israel: Support two state proposal.  No economic or military aid except for defense in extreme situations.  We were instrumental in putting them there, we should help them out when they really need it.  Palestinians and Jewish Israelis will have to learn to coexist.
Patriot Act: Strongly Oppose
Torture: Strongly Oppose
Military Involvement:  Oppose in most circumstances.
North American Union: A union that sets up free trade and free travel amongst the nations is a good idea.  Also, legislation that affects all parties could be promoted by a stronger union, but ultimately these proposed laws would have to be approved by the legislative bodies of each respective country in order to maintain national sovereignty.
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snowguy716
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Posts: 22,703
Austria


« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 08:58:19 pm »

General philosophy: Liberal

Abortion: Should be legal during the first two trimesters.  Only to save the life of the mother thereafter.  Schools should have comprehensive sex ed. that includes education about contraceptives and alternatives to abortions.
Separation of church and state: Just as the state has no business meddling with church affairs, the church has no business meddling in state affairs.
Gay Marriage: Gays should enjoy the same benefits and responsibilities of traditional marriage as recognized by the state; however, no church should be forced to marry anybody they don't want to.  The opposite holds true as well.
Affirmative Action: The best affirmative action is to reduce educational inequalities in our public schools so that every child has the skills needed to compete for good jobs.  Direct affirmative action was appropriate at one time, but I think we're beyond that in most situations.
Age of Consent: Age of consent should be 16.
Gun rights: Generally supportive, though we should have a waiting period and background checks.  
Death Penalty: Strongly oppose
Censorship: Strongly oppose, though I do support rating systems so that parents and people in general know exactly what they're buying/seeing/hearing/etc.  But it should be no more than that:  A rating system.
Flag burning:  Should be legal in all cases.  I don't see flag burning as treachery, but a symbolic airing of grievances against the state.  It shouldn't be done lightly.
Smoking:  No smoking in public places, though we should allow for smoking rooms in private businesses (if they're separate).  
Alcohol consumption: Legal age should be lowered to 16 to purchase wine and beer and 19 to purchase liquor (to keep liquor out of high schools).  Alcohol consumption in the presence of parents should be allowed at any age.  Get rid of public intoxication laws and allow drinking in public.
Euthanasia: Support in cases of terminal illness.
Drugs: Support legalization of marijuana and other "soft" drugs with state regulation as with tobacco and alcohol.  Money raised from the taxes should go to support recovery/rehabilitation programs.
Gambling: I support it, but I recognize the help it has given Native American tribes in lifting many out of abject poverty.
Prostitution: Leave this to the states.  I support regulated prostitution.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Strongly support.
Immigration:  We need to make legal immigration much easier.  No quotas, though immigration could be reduced if need be.
Illegal Immigration:  Give them a chance to become legal immigrants through an easier, reformed system.  Those that fail should be sent home.


Economic Issues

General Philosophy: Liberal

Taxes: Keep corporate taxes, but lower the rates.  Cut business taxes for small businesses drastically.  Institute a progressive income tax with the largest chunk of government revenue coming from this source.  Have a highly progressive capital gains tax that taxes excessive capital gains while promoting investment among Americans in general.
Employers and Employees: I support the right for unions to form without intimidation by either side, overseen and those rights guaranteed by an objective mix of union and business.  Unions that strike legitimately and legally should be protected from being fired as long as negotiations are made in good faith and the strike doesn't seriously harm the public in general.
Free trade: I support fair trade.  We need to hold our trading partners to the same standards that we hold our own workers.
Spending:  Institute pay-go.  Cut non-personnel and war related defense expenditures by 10% across the board.  Scrub the rest of the budget.  Ask each department to come up with 10% savings.  Identify any programs among those 10% that could be reformed and cut the rest.
Social Security: Lift the cap on payroll taxes.  Increase the retirement age to 70 over a period of years.  Increase benefits for the poorest while reducing them for the richest.
Space Program: Support.  The government should partner with private interests with the government focusing on research and initial training.  Allow private enterprise to take over non-close orbit space travel with government subsidies to begin.
Welfare:  Full, generous benefits for the non-working disabled and single parents with young children.  Give rent/mortgage assistance to the needy and utility aid as well.  Make cash benefits dependent on searching for work or furthering your education.  Fully subsidize tuition for the poor at public colleges and universities.
Healthcare: We need strong regulation of the private insurance industry when it comes to paperwork.  There should be simplified procedures that are uniform across the industry.  There should be a cap on overhead costs as well.  All children under 18 and college students under 25 as well as the disabled and indigent and those over 65 should be covered by a single payer government run insurance program.  Leave private coverage to healthy, working adults.  Insurance exchanges should be part of the answer as well with community insurance co-ops an option like credit unions vs. banks.
Education: At the federal level:  Uniform basic standards of learning for the entire nation.  This includes math and science standards and applicable social studies and english/grammar.  The states reserve the right to fine tune and change these standards where deemed necessary.  The federal government should provide equalization money among states as well as funding for special education.  I support an equalization system in the states funded by income taxes so that property poor school districts have the resources to give their students a world class education.  Give ultimate authority to the local school districts when it comes to how they spend money.
Minimum Wage: We need a federal minimum wage that is tied to the cost of living.  States reserve the right to go above and beyond the federal minimum.
Regulation:  In some markets, regulation is a must.  We need a well regulated banking industry as well as food and drug safety.  We also need strong environmental protection.  In most cases, the freer the market, the freer the people is sound... but basic necessities need to be regulated as to promote the health and wellbeing of the public.
Infrastructure: First and foremost we need to rethink how we do transportation in this country.  Gas taxes need to reflect a percentage of the gas price per gallon.  We need to bring our roads and bridges into good condition, replacing the outdated, and expanding and providing transit alternatives for congestion relief.  We need to invest heavily into a world class high speed rail system that connects all of the major cities in this country at speeds up to 220mph.  While it is not feasible to take a train from NY to LA, it would make sense to take a train from NY to Cleveland or Cleveland to Chicago or Atlanta to DC or Miami to Charlotte.  Once we've got a national high speed network, we can focus on regional and local lines.  The federal government needs to undertake this.  We should also be funding local transit projects in cities.  We also need to update and expand our energy infrastructure.  It is clearer and clearer that electric cars are going to be the future.  We don't have the capacity in our power grid to charge cars for everybody in the nation.  We need to be prepared.  We also need to heavily invest in revamping our dams and other infrastructure so we don't have failures that can cost lives.
Energy Policy: We need to massively increase nuclear power.  This must be the backbone of our energy requirements while we phase out coal and natural gas and develop wind, solar, and biomass technologies.  While nuclear isn't renewable and it has its dangers, it is incredibly efficient.  Old coal stations should be replaced with nuclear and newer, cleaner coal plants should be used as peak use plants.
Environment:  We need sustainability.  We need to require sustainable forestry practices that promote healthy forests for wildlife while meeting our demands for wood products.  We also need sustainable grassland programs.  If people would eat more buffalo/bison and less beef, it would greatly improve the prairies.  This is because the diet of Bison are different than cattle and the American prairie has evolved with bison so that they coexist nicely.  Eating bison instead of beef is also healthier as bison is lower in fat and cholesterol, so it's a win-win.. while bison is still very flavorful.  We also need to strictly regulate our fisheries so they are sustainable as well.  End bottom trawling.  Government should lower subsidies on corn and soybeans and raise them on fresh fruits and vegetables so that everybody can afford healthier food choices.  Also, for every ounce of meat you forego, you could eat 10 ounces of vegetables and have the same environmental impact.  

We need to focus on having the smallest impact possible while maintaining a high quality of life.  We need to realize that quality of life isn't borne out of "bigger is always better" and "More is always better"... but that we should focus on family and community as the foundations of good quality of life.  If we can do this, the environment will greatly benefit.


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snowguy716
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Posts: 22,703
Austria


« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 08:59:09 pm »

Foreign Issues

General Philosophy: I don't know.

Democracy and Trade: I support both, but movements towards democracy should be home grown.  We should assist if they ask.
United Nations: The idea of an international body is important in today's world.  It should not hold any legal jurisdiction, however.
Iraq: Strongly opposed to our invasion of Iraq, though if peace and stability can remain in this fledgling democracy, I won't deny the victory there.
Israel: Support two state proposal.  No economic or military aid except for defense in extreme situations.  We were instrumental in putting them there, we should help them out when they really need it.  Palestinians and Jewish Israelis will have to learn to coexist.
Patriot Act: Strongly Oppose
Torture: Strongly Oppose.  It is inhumane and ineffective.
Military Involvement:  Oppose in most circumstances.  We need to focus more on our own defense.  Return the National Guard to being the national guard... so they can respond to domestic crises when needed.
North American Union: A union that sets up free trade and free travel amongst the nations is a good idea.  Also, legislation that affects all parties could be promoted by a stronger union, but ultimately these proposed laws would have to be approved by the legislative bodies of each respective country in order to maintain national sovereignty.
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snowguy716
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Posts: 22,703
Austria


« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 10:59:23 pm »

An update on mine:

General philosophy: Liberal

Abortion: Should be available upon request during the first two trimesters.  Only to save the life of the mother thereafter.  Schools should have comprehensive sex ed. that includes education about contraceptives and alternatives to abortions.  Parents should be notified of the sex education courses and should have an opt-out option.
Separation of church and state: Just as the state has no business meddling with church affairs, the church has no business meddling in state affairs.  If a church decides to take a strong political stance and uses its capacity as a church to promote certain candidates, its tax exemption should be removed and taxes collected immediately. 
Gay Marriage: Gays should enjoy the same benefits and responsibilities of traditional marriage as recognized by the state; however, no church should be forced to marry anybody they don't want to.  Since the government basically recognizes marriage as a civil contract, there is no reason that two women or two men should be prevented from entering such a civil contract.
Affirmative Action: The best way to help lift minorities and women into all professions is by expanding their ability and opportunity to do so through education.  Various education policies need to change to help children in impoverished areas thrive like anybody else.  Direct affirmative action can be useful if discrimination is obvious, but has, for the most part, outlived its usefulness.
Age of Consent: Age of consent should be 16.
Gun rights: Generally supportive, though we should have a waiting period, licensure, and background checks.  
Death Penalty: Strongly oppose.  Life imprisonment is a more appropriate punishment for the worst crimes.
Censorship: Strongly oppose.  I do support an independent rating system that can be voluntarily applied to various media.  But it should remain that:  A voluntary rating system. 
Flag burning:  Should be legal in all cases.  Flag burning is not a form of treachery.  It is a symbolic form of protest that people use to air strong grievances with the state.  It shouldn't be taken lightly, either.
Smoking:  No smoking in public places, though we should allow for smoking rooms in private businesses (if they're separate).  
Alcohol consumption: Legal age should be lowered to 16 to purchase wine and beer and 19 to purchase liquor (to keep liquor out of high schools).  Alcohol consumption in the presence of parents should be allowed at any age.  Get rid of public intoxication laws and allow drinking in public.  Increase public programs that promote responsible drinking.  Campaigns like "stop at buzzed" are much more effective than "DON'T DRINK AT ALL OMG!"
Euthanasia: I support voluntary euthanasia in cases of terminal illness.
Drugs: I support the legalization of marijuana and other "softer" drugs.  They should be allowed for sale in licensed establishments that are subject to inspection.  They should also be regulated and taxed by the government.  The revenue should first and foremost go to addiction/recovery programs.
Gambling:  I recognize the positive benefits of allowing casinos on Indian reservations.  I also support initiatives between states and Native American tribes to place casinos on state land outside of the reservation with revenue sharing.  I think a portion of all gambling profits should be dedicated to addiction programs.
Prostitution: Leave this to the states.  The federal government shouldn't have any say one way or the other, except in cases of forced or underage prostitution.  I support legalized prostitution as long as prostitutes are regularly tested for STDs, are STD free, and the industry is regulated to remove the common "pimp/ho" relationships.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Strongly support.
Immigration:  We need to make legal immigration much easier.  We should have no quotas based on race or nationality, but we could have an expedited process for skilled or educated immigrants.
Illegal Immigration:  Secure the border by placing more border security teams along the border.  Try repeat offenders.  Allow current illegal immigrants amnesty if they agree to begin the process of legal immigration.  They should be granted a visa to remain and work in the country as long as they are in the process of becoming citizens.  Those who do not begin the process of legal immigration by a certain date should be considered criminals and deported upon arrest.


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snowguy716
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Posts: 22,703
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 10:59:46 pm »

Economic Issues

General Philosophy: Liberal

Taxes: Lower corporate taxes and close loopholes.  Reduce taxes drastically for small businesses and encourage owners not to file as individuals.  Make the income tax significantly more progressive and raise them to close the majority of the deficit.  States should have progressive income taxes and should shy away from sales taxes, or should at least make necessities tax exempt.  States should provide equalization funding to schools and poorer cities and counties to keep property taxes uniformly low.
Employers and Employees: The right of employees to form a union should be aggressively protected by the local, state, and federal governments.  The punishment for union busting and union prevention should be harsh.  Intimidation by employers should also be harshly punished, and employers should only have a say in the process through an official, impartial arbiter once the process of unionization has begun.  The right of employees not to join a union should also be protected, and no union dues should be paid by non-union employees.  Employers should not be able to force potential employees into stating their preference to join the union until after they have been hired.
Free trade: I support fair trade.  We need to hold our trading partners to the same standards that we hold our own workers.  This also goes for environmental standards.
Spending:  Defense spending is out of control and needs to be curtailed.  Cut non-troop and non-war related expenditures by 10% immediately and institute growth caps on future spending to inflation for 10 years.  Ask all departments to identify 15% of potential savings.  Ask each department to find better efficiencies that reduce costs and cut up to 10% of the budget.  Stimulus funding would not be affected by this and could provide extra funding to such programs in times of economic recession.
Social Security: Lift the cap on payroll taxes.  Increase the retirement age to 70 over a period of years.  Increase benefits for the poorest while reducing them for the richest.
Space Program: Support.  The government should partner with private interests with the government focusing on research and initial training.  Allow private enterprise to take over non-close orbit space travel with government subsidies to begin.
Welfare:  Have a guaranteed minimum income for the disabled and single working parents.  Provide food and cash assistance to the poor.  Make benefits after a certain period dependent on at least part-time work or job seeking.
Healthcare: We need strong regulation of the private insurance industry.  Make a second opinion the right of every patient, and make the coverage for 2nd opinions mandatory.  Limit malpractice benefits to the potential economic loss taken by the patient plus a small amount for general pain and suffering.  The government should either expand medicare or create a single payer insurance program for all children and young adults under 26 and people over 65 as well as the poor and disabled.  The standards for this program should be standard and binding across the industry to lower administrative costs and redundancies.  Allow medical practitioners to prescribe basic non-narcotic drugs to patients for simple, common ailments to reduce costs for visits for common ailments (sprains, colds, flu, etc.).  Set up a national database and allow more drugs, in lower doses, to be available over a pharmacy counter without a prescription at the discretion of a trained pharmacist upon review of your history in the national database.
Education: At the federal level:  Uniform basic standards of learning for the entire nation.  This includes math and science standards and applicable social studies and english/grammar.  The states reserve the right to fine tune and change these standards where deemed necessary.  The federal government should provide equalization money among states as well as funding for special education.  I support an equalization system in the states funded by income taxes so that property poor school districts have the resources to give their students a world class education.  Give ultimate authority to the local school districts when it comes to how they spend money.
Minimum Wage: We need a federal minimum wage that is tied to the cost of living.  Tipped employees should earn the same minimum wage, though businesses have the right to pool tips and share them among other non-management employees.  States reserve the right to go below the national minimum for small, wholly state-bound businesses and have the right to raise the minimum wage above the national minimum and make it binding to all businesses.
Regulation:  In some markets, regulation is a must.  We need a well regulated banking industry as well as food and drug safety.  We also need strong environmental protection.  In most cases, the freer the market, the freer the people is sound... but basic necessities need to be regulated as to promote the health and wellbeing of the public.
Infrastructure: First and foremost, we need to increase public transportation in our cities and in rural areas.  Metropolitan areas should promote denser, transit-oriented growth through tax incentives.  We should focus on freeway expansion where it is necessary, but also focus on better maintenance standards and better paving standards, which, while more expensive at the outset, reduce maintenance costs and last much longer.  We also need to focus on our power grid.  It needs to be expanded to handle massive spikes in usage during heatwaves and cold waves.  Also, with the likely massive increase in home-charged electric cars, the demand will increase greatly.  While gas stations will likely become "battery exchange stations" in the future (much like propane tanks for your grill), people will still charge their cars at home if they can.  We also need to focus on making our dams safe and flood prevention infrastructure needs to be upgraded in flood prone areas like New Orleans or along flood prone rivers.
Energy Policy: We need to massively increase nuclear power.  This must be the backbone of our energy requirements while we phase out coal and natural gas and develop wind, solar, and biomass technologies.  While nuclear isn't renewable and it has its dangers, it is incredibly efficient.  Old coal stations should be replaced with nuclear and newer, cleaner coal plants should be used as peak use plants.  We can also develop geothermal electricity where it is feasible, especially in the western U.S. where temperatures at the normal range of geothermal plants is nearly 200˚C.
Environment:  We need sustainability.  We need to require sustainable forestry practices that promote healthy forests for wildlife while meeting our demands for wood products.  We also need sustainable grassland programs.  If people would eat more buffalo/bison and less beef, it would greatly improve the prairies.  This is because the diet of Bison are different than cattle and the American prairie has evolved with bison so that they coexist nicely.  Eating bison instead of beef is also healthier as bison is lower in fat and cholesterol, so it's a win-win.. while bison is still very flavorful.  We also need to strictly regulate our fisheries so they are sustainable as well.  End bottom trawling.  Government should lower subsidies on corn and soybeans and raise them on fresh fruits and vegetables so that everybody can afford healthier food choices.  Also, for every ounce of meat you forego, you could eat 10 ounces of vegetables and have the same environmental impact.  

We need to focus on having the smallest impact possible while maintaining a high quality of life.  We need to realize that quality of life isn't borne out of "bigger is always better" and "More is always better"... but that we should focus on family and community as the foundations of good quality of life.  If we can do this, the environment will greatly benefit.
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snowguy716
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 22,703
Austria


« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2010, 11:00:46 pm »

Foreign Issues

General Philosophy: I don't know.

Democracy and Trade: I support both, but movements towards democracy should be home grown.  We should assist if they ask.
United Nations: The idea of an international body is important in today's world.  It should not hold any legal jurisdiction, however.
Iraq: Strongly opposed to our invasion of Iraq, though if peace and stability can remain in this fledgling democracy, I won't deny the victory there.
Israel: Support two state proposal.  No economic or military aid except for defense in extreme situations.  We were instrumental in putting them there, we should help them out when they really need it.  Palestinians and Jewish Israelis will have to learn to coexist.
Patriot Act: Strongly Oppose
Torture: Strongly Oppose.  It is inhumane and ineffective.
Military Involvement:  Oppose in most circumstances.  We need to focus more on our own defense.  Return the National Guard to being the national guard... so they can respond to domestic crises when needed.
North American Union: A union that sets up free trade and free travel amongst the nations is a good idea.  Also, legislation that affects all parties could be promoted by a stronger union, but ultimately these proposed laws would have to be approved by the legislative bodies of each respective country in order to maintain national sovereignty.
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snowguy716
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 22,703
Austria


« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 06:58:19 pm »

Abortion: To be classified as premeditated murder. I would prefer it to be applied retroactively to mothers and abortionists who committed it prior to the law's passage, but that's probably unrealistic given the numbers that would need to be imprisoned.

That's also illegal.
Something tells me that with the terrifying fascist police state of social control he wants to implement, things like "rights" probably won't really matter.

What a paranoid, afraid person!
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