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28 October 2008 @ 09:34 am
The Controversial Survey  
1. Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial Survey?
Gee, dunno the answer to that one...

2. Would you do meth if it was legal?
Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

3. Abortion: for or against it?
In favor of it being legal and accessible, worried about the implications of it being legal as we advance medical technology. Until we get to the point where a blastoma can be removed and mechanically fostered, the intervening advances make deciding what is alive and what is not much more difficult than some on both sides would lead you to believe.

4. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?
What a dumb question. Why is this controversial? No, no, no. Certain female candidates, maybe, but the same could be said for certain male candidates.

5. Do you believe in the death penalty?
In principle, yes. In execution (sorry), no. I think too many mistakes are made and the cost of avoiding those mistakes is greater than life imprisonment.

6. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?

7. Are you for or against premarital sex?
For it when those involved are old enough to make good decisions about the risk.

8. Do you believe in God?
Yes, but not in the form of a hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin.

9. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?
Never understood the reasons against it. Really, though, I think all government laws should be changed to call any marriage, same- or opposite-sex, a civil union. If marriage is a religious thing, the government has no business defining it - only a social need to define the civil terms and conditions and benefits. Falls under the "fat chance" list of pie-in-the-sky legislation, though.

10. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?
I have nothing against immigration but illegal immigration is a problem. I have nothing against Latinos but am increasingly uncomfortable with having to learn Spanish to communicate in my own country at this late age. I have nothing against low wages for entry-level and extremely unskilled jobs, but I am against exploiting those who can't go to the authorities because of their immigration status.

Immigration is an issue that needs to be discussed and resolved logically, without the hysteria of the border protectionists or the bleeding hearts of the "we have to take care of the whole world" crowd.

11. A twelve year old girl has a baby, should she keep it?
I can't see how that works for anyone involved given today's expectations for girls (and boys) of that age. Hundreds of years ago, a 12-year-old girl would probably already have been involved in helping to raise 4-5 children younger than she, and someone would be expected to provide for her so she could do so with her own child. Today, that isn't the case, nor do I think it should be as it feeds into a "stay at home and make babies" mentality.

12. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?
Absolutely. To be completely clear, I think the drinking age (supervised by an adult guardian) should be 16 while the driving age is 18.

13. Should the war in Iraq be called off?
If only it were that easy. We need to get out (shouldn't have been there at all - even if you believe the reasons we went in, it was stupid to do so before we were finished in Afghanistan), but giving a hard date or even a specific timeline is so much military stupid.

14. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
Not in principle. In reality, there are an awful lot of unscrupulous relatives waiting to snatch up Great-Aunt Martha's estate, or even wanting to keep her from using up the estate in any kind of long-term care. I think someone much wiser than me needs to come up with ways to make absolutely certain the person asking for it is truly doing so of their own free will.

15. Do you believe in spanking your children?
Yes, but only between certain ages and only to get their attention.

16. Would you burn an American flag for a million dollars?
Are you offering? It's funny to me that burning the flag "respectfully" is the way to dispose of it, while burning it "disrespectfully" riles people up so much they try to get it forbidden in the Constitution. Sure, I'd burn it for a million dollars. I'd try my best to make it mean something.

17. Who do you think would make a better president? McCain or Obama?
Obama. I'd have voted for McCain 2000, but McCain 2004 and beyond makes me cringe.

18. Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers?
They already judge me from reading many years of my blog. Nothing here is any different from what I've said there at one point or another.
Current Mood: contemplativeinterested
madfilkentist: CarlWindowmadfilkentist on October 28th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
I'm more in agreement with you than not on these questions. I disagree on 8, but I don't think that affects the policies either of us would advocate. On 10, I think opening up immigration is the best way to prevent exploitation. On 17 my answer is "neither." More broadly, I want to see the Republicans punished, but I'm scared of a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in one or both houses.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on October 28th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
Someday I'm going to have to research and find out when the filibuster rules were re-interpreted such that every single piece of legislation has to go through a cloture vote before reaching the floor - in effect assuming that everything is being filibustered rather than making someone decide they want to invest the resources to filibuster a specific issue.

I think that has done more damage to the ability of the Senate to work properly than most people realize.
madfilkentist: CarlWindowmadfilkentist on October 28th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm in favor of almost anything that makes Congress jump through extra hoops before it can pass legislation.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on October 28th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Some things should be simple majorities, and making everything require 60% is just ridiculous. Requiring 60% if enough of the minority cares about the issue so strongly as to sacrifice time and personal energy is fine with me.
Betseyjerusha on October 28th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Re: #10
I don't think we're going to reach anything resembling a solution to illegal immigration until the enforcement vigorously targets the employers, not the employees. For example, the raid on the meat-packing plant in Iowa: 389 illegal immigrants arrested. But the company is still in business. The immigrants will keep coming as long as there are jobs here that pay better than the jobs they could get at home. The companies will keep hiring them as long as they can pay them less than they would an American worker (because who are the illegal employees going to complain to?), and won't suffer any consequences when the workers are arrested and deported. They won't even suffer much disruption to their business - after all, there'll always be another desperate illegal immigrant willing to put up with the pay and working conditions.

IMHO, not until hiring illegal immigrants becomes more expensive to companies than hiring people with the legal right to work in the US will we see any real progress on illegal immigration.
Bob Laurentblaurentnv on October 28th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: #10
Having mostly lived in states where people were speaking Spanish long before English, I've noticed a disturbing trend in evaluating who is here legally. In many low income Hispanic homes, kids are born at home unless there are complications. These families often don't have birth certificates for the grandparents or parents, so get hassled if the try to get a birth certificate for the kid. These people are now viewed as illegal immigrants, even though their families have been here for generations. Some even get deported to countries they and their ancestors have not lived in.

We need to get past hysterical reactions to those who can't prove they are here legally and go back to assuming innocence until the government can prove guilt (in other words, not having a piece of paper should not be cause for detention).

Sorry - one of my hot buttons :)
אליזהkestrels_nest on October 28th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
I found it interesting, back in the day, that the two probably most liberal students in the death penalty seminar Wick and I took in law school were the only ones in favor of its use in certain very rare circumstances. If there is no remote hint of a doubt that you have a serial killer, a la Bundy, then the only way to be certain society is safe from that person is to execute them. On the other hand, in 99.99% of cases, then indeed the risk of error is far too great.

As for judging, well, I decided that I liked and respected you somewhere back in a year beginning "198.." and have seen no reason to change my opinion since. And I'm glad you're home!!!!
Elizabeth McCoyarchangelbeth on October 28th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Having a low, supervised drinking age is an interesting concept I'd never thought of. Makes sense, though if it were in a public bar, I'd add "adult must be sober"... >_> Interesting.
naominaomilynne on October 28th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
When I was growing up,(60's and 70's) that was really the defacto rule, to a large extent, in New York. I can remember many times going to a restaurant with my parents and sibs. Dad would order a bottle of wine. Waitress would bring it, with two glasses. Dad would say, "Could we have 4 more glasses please." Waitress would bring them, and Dad would then serve US our glasses of wine. I grew up drinking sensibly at home -- and Shaina has the option to do so as well. She does not, however, LIKE alcohol, so she declines.

Makes much more sense than the ridiculous charade at Krogers last week where I bought a bottle of wine, and the underage young woman scanning my purchases had to call her 21+ supervisor over to run the bottle over the scanner ... at which point the fresh-faced young 18 year old bagger put it in the bag!
Keriskeristor on October 28th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
The French have been doing it for centuries (actually, I'm not sure they have a minimum drinking age at all). It starts in the home, when the parents feel that the child can take alcohol, so by the time they get to teenage they are already used to drinking it in moderation and probably have some idea of their limits. They will also have been taken out to restaurants serving alcohol so they learn to drink in public.

I'm very much in favour of parents being allowed or even encouraged to introduce their children to responsible alcohol use. Heck, even let them drink to excess if they want to (in the home, where they won't bother anyone else) and then make them clean up the mess once they are sober.

The other thing which helps is to have a culture where drunken bad behaviour is seen as a bad thing, rather than being glorified as a lot of UK and US TV shows do.
Steve Simmonsscs_11 on October 29th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
#17, sentence two
When I was filling out mine, I considered using exactly the same second sentence you did. It certainly appears that McCain decided to put his self-respect into a blind trust in order to win the Presidency.
rdmaughan on October 29th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
I think your answer to nine is the best answer to this issue I have ever seen. As you say it will never happen but it is the perfect answer.