Our Rights

Patriot Act

I am a member of the ACLU.

I consider the Patriot Act to be pretty much a complete travesty.  The people who wrote this one seem have completely forgotten what this country is supposed to represent.  Perhaps they need to write the Pledge of Allegiance on the blackboard a hundred times or something.

The only thing I might be able to support is detention without charge for some limited time; however, if we did deprive someone of their liberty in this manner, we had better at least deliver them a little extra justice -- and pay them for their time.  I would suggest a minimum of the greater of $10 per hour or time and a half over their normal salary -- with an option to pay more if they cooperate.  I don't really like this idea, but we have been willing to draft innocent young people for fight wars and this could be viewed as sort of a draft.

Torture

If it worked and we were using it on a terrorist who was absolutely guilty, I would approve of torture.  However,

  1. It usually doesn't work.
  2. As with the death penalty, there is no way take it back if we make a mistake and it turns out the person isn't guilty.

We can be smarter than that.

Civil Rights

I support affirmative action.  Given the current President, I would say current affirmative action programs are working.  More importantly, it appears that a large majority in the country really believes we are all created equal.  I must admit I've had to take a step back and take a deep breath a few times of the last few years.  It's been a long time coming, but we still have a way to go.

Gay and Lesbian

I have a number of gay and lesbian friends who I want to keep as friends.  This means that I support equal rights for gays and lesbians.  That includes gay marriage and gays in the military.

Immigration

My grandfather was technically an illegal immigrant; although, in those days, I don't think anybody really cared about UK citizens moving in via Canada.

Unlike most of the Republicans in Congress, I actually mean it when I say "liberty and justice for all" at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance -- I support amnesty for illegal immigrants.  We need to prosecute employers who employ illegal immigrants -- after we come up with a workable mechanism for allowing legal immigrants to take jobs the employers can't fill.

Abortion

I believe in a woman's right to choose.  I believe that the morality of abortion is impossible to determine.  That's why people disagree so violently on the subject.  Given that the morality is impossible to determine, it must be a personal choice.

Legalization of Marijuana

On this issue I agree with Fareed Zakaria and Pat Robertson (yes, really!!).  Follow this link for further info...

If you don't have time to read Fareed Zakaria's article or it gets taken down, the short answer is that I am in favor of legalizing Marijuana.

Terrorism

We do need to be more competent about looking for terrorists before they strike; however, we must do this without giving up the freedom and principles that make this country great.

The best things we have been doing to combat terrorism have been the technology we have developed for detecting explosives and inspecting goods that are being moved, but we need to get better at searching the vast quantities of goods shipped into the country. 

We also need faster and much more accurate technology for providing airport security.  The number of times airport security has mistakenly pulled a certain US Senator out of line is much worse than incompetent, it's embarrassing!  The "do not fly list" is so badly mismanaged that it needs to be scrapped and started over.  And the really scary part is the people running don't seem to have a clue how badly they are messing up.  Don't expect this crowd to catch any terrorist with an IQ over 10.