Archive | Sunday, 19:40, June 26, 2011

What are My Politics?

A blank Robinson-projection map of the America...

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I’m going to deal this post on something I’ve touched on, hinted at, and alluded to in other posts, but haven’t dealt with directly, my political views.

Every once in a while, I’ll weigh in on some politically-connected topic, often in a less satisfactory manner than I’d like to.

Hence this post.

I don’t ordinarily have much interest in the subject, and my main concern with it lies in the intersections of religion and politics with science and science education, or otherwise when a policy decision somehow and otherwise is important and of interest.

When I use the phrase, ‘I believe’ in this post, I’m not using that to imply that I hold a given view is actually the case in fact, but that it ought to be that way, otherwise I’m committing the moralistic fallacy, confusing an ‘ought to be’ for an ‘is.’

I’m well aware that my opinions, like those of most people, are only interpretations of facts, and value judgments, not facts themselves.

Otherwise, aside from fulfilling my civic duty of voting during elections and referendums, I couldn’t give a rodent’s posterior. Most political discussions bore me to tears.

Bear with me for a bit, for this post will not have the usual opening, narrative, and closing at the end like some articles, and may be even ramble a bit as I’m collecting my thoughts even as I write this.

I consider myself socially liberal and financially conservative. Living on a fixed income, I’m very careful about my spending, but I support social programs like social security and medicare as social safety nets for the retired and financially less capable who need medical coverage.

Also, I believe that the civil liberties of individuals should be respected and protected, but also that in return, those individuals should recognize and carry out their responsibilities and civic duties to the community.

My view of federal taxation is that if you are able to vote in this country and enjoy the other benefits of its rights, laws and protections, and, yes, its privileges, then you shouldn’t bitch about the responsibility to pay taxes in return for those benefits.

I support full and equal rights, and responsibilities, for all, regardless of ethnicity, sex, gender orientation, religion, lack of religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, ideology, or cultural and national origin.

I support the separation of church and state, as outlined in the Establishment Clause in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

After all, it protects, at least in writing, believers from not only government repression of their own religion, but also from other religions who may wish to impose their beliefs on or discriminate against those not of their own faith or not of any faith, and it protects, again, at least in writing, from government sponsorship of religion.

While I’m certainly not a big fan of an overreaching government, I believe that a competent, effective federal government should have enough authority and funding to protect those within its borders from unethical, unfair, and unsafe practices by powerful socioeconomic bodies and that the rights of workers, public and private, with or without unions, should be protected.

These are my basic views in a nutshell, and are about the full extent to which I actually concern myself with politics.

TED – Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken

A renowned paleontologist discusses his ideas on recreating dinosaurs by the activation of dormant ancestral genes in living birds, such as the ‘Chickenosaurus.’ This makes me think of a joke I once had on the front page of this blog, in my avatar widget: “I found out what killed the dinosaurs…It was suicide. A time traveler went back sixty-five million years ago and told them that they would evolve into chickens.” I know…*Groan* Anyway, enjoy the talk.