Monday, December 31, 2007

Hillary Might Win For New Reasons

I remember hearing lots of negativity about Hillary Clinton 8 or 9 years ago. It was like the public didn't really value her work. Then Bush came along and made everybody question their previous attitudes, including whether or not the Clinton scandal really mattered. I think a lot of people would appreciate getting back to the Clinton years, even if it means going back on their word.

What word? Impeachment. A lot of people cried "Impeach!" when they found out about Bill Clinton's sex scandal, and how he lied to the American public. But then Bush took us to war, and lied to the public about WMD's. Which lie matters more? Of course, most people would probably choose the latter.

If voting Hillary will bring back the Clinton era of prosperity, truth where it counts, and a nearly-eliminated deficit, I think a lot of people will do it. It seems like a vote for Hillary is more than a vote for an individual female politician. Most candidates run on their own experience. And that seems to be what she's doing. But underneath all that is the subtext that a vote for Hillary is a vote for the achievements of Bill.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pre-Primary Craziness, Signs Of Obama

There's an interesting post on Random Waves of Insight called Obama's Workers Tried To Cheat Us. It's about being hassled by Presidential campaigns, and getting signed up without your permission to use your yard as a political ad.

It seems like things get crazier and crazier as we approach the primary. I wonder what other wild things will happen.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

2008 Presidential Primary Sample Ballot

I searched all over the place for a sample ballot because I wasn't sure what was on it. According to Michigan, it's just the Presidential candidates, nothing else.

Here's the 2008 Presidential primary sample ballot I found.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Fair Tax Is A Good Idea

Sounds fantastic. Instead of the complicated system we have now, all we'd do is pay an extra 23% on new goods and services.

We wouldn't have to worry about keeping track of every little financial detail.

No more audits.

No more confusion.

No more tax loopholes that burden the rest of us.

No more tax evasion by illegal immigrants or people with offshore accounts.

Sure it's got complexities of its own, but is it more complicated than the system we have now? I say there are more pros than cons to the Fair Tax.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Card From The Clintons

The only candidate for the 2008 election that I got a Christmas card from was Hillary.

No one else sent me a card!

Guess now I know who to vote for. (It really was a pretty nice card)

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Friday, December 21, 2007

John McCain, Underdog?

I read somewhere that John McCain is doing better than expected.

I've heard that he's a solid candidate that seems to be overlooked.

I believe he has what it takes to lead the country.

I think he'd make a great President.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yahoo Pulls Some Strings - Yours

Misinterpreted dot Org has a neat post about how Yahoo is trying to get people to vote Democrat in 2008.

It's amazing. It's as if Yahoo is trying to use its ubiquitousness to persuade the public one way or another.

Of course, some of you are probably not surprised at all by this. But is it fair? Is it right?

The fact that those questions pop up leads me to believe that if what Yahoo did was on purpose, it's not ethically pure.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vote Gore?

I've heard some people saying they plan on writing in Al Gore's name when it comes time to vote for a new President.

Would Gore be better than Mrs. Clinton?

It was Mr. Clinton + Gore.

Then Gore vs. Bush, and Bush "won."

Then Gore didn't run.

Then Hillary campaigned, and Gore made a movie.

It feels like in a battle between Hillary and Gore, Hillary would win.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

John Edwards - Antichrist?

Point 1: Looks great for his age.

Point 2: They say the evil characters are always appealing.

Point 3: He's ahead of Clinton and Obama.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Next Prez Bolsters Recessive Economy

Some people predict a recession. I think if it happens, our next President might be able to bail us out. But not just through action.

If the nation has enough faith in his or her ability to set things right, we might just become confident to such an extent that the stock market rallies and things get better without active Presidential intervention.

I just hope there's a hero among the candidates that every citizen can believe in.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Road To White House Paved In Gold

I'm wondering if the road to the White House is paved in gold.

Is the campaign trail broken? Is the system down? Have we eliminated the honor and truth from our Presidential election process, and made it simply a corporate event? What I mean is, is it all about money?

I think the wealthier candidates, or those with more financial backing, have an unfair advantage over candidates with less money. Money can buy a lot. It can pay to bus groups of people around. It can pay volunteers with coffee and donuts to go door to door and solicit votes. It can pay for signs, better ad spots, and more public appearances.

There must be some way we can reengineer things to balance the playing field. Could technology be the answer?

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Obama Did Drugs And That's OK

Spoke to a representative of the Obama Campaign today, and I asked him what was on my mind. Obama and drugs...what happened?

He told me that in Obama's book, he made a point of mentioning that as a youth, he had experimented with drugs. The rep mentioned how that's not so out of the ordinary, as many people have done the same.

I know that all the ads telling children not to do drugs are shown because so many kids do do drugs. And I can understand wanting a pure politician, someone elevated above real citizens. But at the same time, don't we want someone representing us who can identify with us and who we can identify with? I think so.

And he's quit drugs, right? So what's the problem?

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Chuck Norris For Huckabee

Yahoo has a picture of Norris and Huckabee. Together. Teammates.

Chuck Norris has reached idol status, so to see him backing a mere mortal is shocking.

Chuck Norris once smoked ten thousand cigarettes just to fill his body with cancer. He then flexed for 30 minutes, and the cancer was cured.

See?? You'd think with Chuck Norris behind him, Mike Huckabee would be unstoppable. And maybe he will.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Watched The Democratic Debate

About an hour's worth. Here's what I saw:


  • Technically proficient in his ideas, which are good
  • Pauses a lot, says "uh" a lot, easily loses my interest
  • Apollo program for the environment, boost patriotism there
  • Great speaker, looks at audience, camera, emotional and intellectual appeal
Bill Richardson
  • Good ideas, but overweight
  • Fat cat look? Lack of will power? Lack of character? Weaker appearance? Don't want a weak-looking leader
Chris Dodd
  • Father was censured, but isn't running to clear family name
  • Is running to serve the public
Joe Biden
  • Not a racist. Obama and others back him up.
John Edwards
  • Looks great for 54
  • Blinks way too much, weakens his position, possibly would hinder him in meetings with foreign leaders
I admit, much of this is superficial, but I figure diplomats and citizens worldwide will be affected on a similar basis.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

GOP Debate in Iowa

I watched an hour's worth of the GOP Debate in Iowa today, and I learned that Alan Keyes is crazy.

I also learned that John McCain has plans to make energy independence such a high priority that he'll create a Manhattan Project for it that will free us from Big Oil in 5 years.

McCain for the win!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yahoo: Don't Vote Huckabee, Watch "The Golden Compass"

I read another article on Yahoo about Mike Huckabee. It says, "Now that he's a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, he's being asked anew about some of the views and comments he expressed in the survey by The Associated Press."

The article goes on to compare his old views to actions that have been taken by our government, and recent things that have been said.

"When asked whether the U.S. should take any action to kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Huckabee replied: "The U.S. should not kill Saddam Hussein or anyone else." The U.S. military captured Saddam, an Iraqi court convicted him and he was hanged last December."

Ooh, I guess since we did it, Huckabee must have been wrong. There's no possible way that Bush's vendetta could have been ill-conceived. And perhaps Huckabee meant that we should stop Hussein without killing him. How childish.

To be clear, my point is that just because the U.S. did something someone was against, it doesn't make that person wrong. The action itself may have been wrong. Taking an action doesn't inherently justify it. It's like if Huckabee had said murder in general was wrong, and then someone killed someone. That still doesn't make it right. Like this fictional example:

"When asked whether killing one's enemy was OK in his book, Huckabee replied: "A person should not kill an enemy or anyone else." Cicero Goldthwaite kidnapped his enemy, Dr. Horace Yardsmith, and strangled him to death last December."
(Subtext: Obviously Huckabee was wrong. How else could Goldthwaite have taken an action, unless that action was inherently correct? And Huckabee said otherwise...tsk tsk tsk...)

Here's something else from Yahoo:

"Huckabee's 1992 comments on isolating AIDS patients run counter to a statement he released last month calling for increased federal funds to find a cure."

I don't know the exact statements he made, but let's compare the ideas he presented. Isolate AIDS patients, and increase funds for cure research. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can quarantine people with a disease while simultaneously researching a cure. It's not one or the other. "Run counter to" is just plain wrong. So I think Yahoo is trying to lie to us and make us believe that Huckabee is going against what he has previously said.

Most of the other stuff about Huckabee in the article didn't seem that bad. But I got the vibe that Yahoo doesn't like Huckabee and is trying to sell the public on how he's not so great. Honestly, I think he's a long shot, but the fact that Yahoo seems to be slamming him while pretending to be impartial is of interest.

It's like how "The Golden Compass" came out, and Yahoo kept printing headline after headline about how "it's so controversial," and "it's not doing well, or is it?" My guess is all the "negative press" was really a masked attempt to advertise the film, get people talking about it, and get butts in seats. I think Yahoo is using it's enormous readership to try to sway the public one way or another, and is doing so deceitfully. I must be naive for having taken so long to figure this out, but now that I am aware of it, I'm glad. At least now I can read without expecting "fair and balanced news."

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Future Online Presidential Voting

The other day it occurred to me that we can do so many things from the comfort of our own home. We can order pizza, order products through sites like Amazon, order up anything. Some lucky few of us can earn a living online. We can pay our bills online. You can even buy a house online. So why not vote online?

I'm thinking there's a trend here, where as a byproduct of making things easier for people with hectic and busy lives, we're creating a society in which many people have no need to leave their homes.

If that trend ever becomes super prevalent, I can imagine new technology allowing us all to safely and securely cast our votes for the next President at home, online.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

FDR: Quarantine the Aggressors

I recently read this speech, and learned that at the time, America was very much isolating itself from foreign affairs (rise of the Nazis, etc.). FDR gave a speech to the effect of, "We must stop the spread of aggression, because if we don't, we could be next." There was a huge backlash, and he strategically retreated from his position, but this speech shook the Free World awake and into action against the aggressors. Who's to say whether it applies to our current predicaments abroad.

Here it is:

"Mayor Kelly, Governor Horner, my friends in Chicago:

. . . It is because the people of the United States must, for the sake of their own future, give thought to the rest of the world, that I, as the responsible executive head of the Nation, have chosen this great inland city and this gala occasion to speak to you on a subject of definite national importance.

The political situation in the world, which of late has been growing progressively worse, is such as to cause grave concern and anxiety to all the peoples and nations who wish to live in peace and amity with their neighbors.

Some fifteen years ago the hopes of mankind for a continuing era of international peace were raised to great heights when more than sixty nations solemnly pledged themselves not to resort to arms in furtherance of their national aims and policies. The high aspirations expressed in the Briand-Kellogg Peace Pact and the hopes for peace thus raised have of late given way to a haunting fear of calamity. The present reign of terror and international lawlessness began a few years ago.

It began through unjustified interference in the internal affairs of other nations or the invasion of alien territory in violation of treaties. It has now reached a stage where the very foundations of civilization are seriously threatened. The landmarks, the traditions which have marked the progress of civilization toward a condition of law and order and justice are being wiped away.

Without a declaration of war and without warning or justification of any kind civilians, including vast numbers of women and children, are being ruthlessly murdered with bombs from the air. In times of so-called peace ships are being attacked and sunk by submarines without cause or notice. Nations are fomenting and taking sides in civil warfare in nations that have never done them any harm. Nations claiming freedom for themselves deny it to others.

Innocent peoples, innocent nations are being cruelly sacrificed to a greed for power and supremacy which is devoid of all sense of justice and humane consideration.

To paraphrase a recent author “perhaps we foresee a time when men, exultant in the technique of homicide, will rage so hotly over the world that every precious thing will be in danger, every book, every picture, every harmony, every treasure garnered through two millenniums, the small, the delicate, the defenseless -- all will be lost or wrecked or utterly destroyed.”

If those things come to pass in other parts of the world, let no one imagine that America will escape, that America may expect mercy, that this Western Hemisphere will not be attacked and that it will continue tranquilly and peacefully to carry on the ethics and the arts of civilization.

No, if those days come, “there will be no safety by arms, no help from authority, no answer in science. The storm will rage till every flower of culture is trampled and all human beings are leveled in a vast chaos.”

If those days are not to come to pass—if we are to have a world in which we can breathe freely and live in amity without fear—then the peace-loving nations must make a concerted effort to uphold laws and principles on which alone peace can rest secure.

The peace-loving nations must make a concerted effort in opposition to those violations of treaties and those ignorings of humane instincts which today are creating a state of international anarchy, international instability from which there is no escape through mere isolation or neutrality.

Those who cherish their freedom and recognize and respect the equal rights of their neighbors to be free and live in peace, must work together for the triumph of law and moral principles in order that peace, justice and confidence may prevail throughout the world. There must be a return to a belief in the pledged word, in the value of a signed treaty. There must be recognition of the fact that national morality is as vital as private morality.

A bishop wrote to me the other day: “It seems to me that something greatly needs to be said in behalf of ordinary humanity against the present practice of carrying the horrors of war to helpless civilians, especially women and children. It may be that such a protest may be regarded by many, who claim to be realists, as futile, but may it not be that the heart of mankind is so filled with horror at the present needless suffering that the force could be mobilized in sufficient volume to lessen such cruelty in the days ahead. Even though it may take twenty years, which God forbid, for civilization to make effective its corporate protest against this barbarism, surely strong voices may hasten the day.”

There is a solidarity, an interdependence about the modern world, both technically and morally, which makes it impossible for any nation completely to isolate itself from political and economic upheavals in the rest of the world, especially when such upheavals appear to be spreading and not declining. There can be no stability or peace either within nations or between nations except under laws and moral standards adhered to by all. International anarchy destroys every foundation for peace. It jeopardizes either the immediate or the future security of every nation, large or small. And it is, therefore, a matter of vital interest and concern to the people of the United States that the sanctity of international treaties and the maintenance of international morality be restored.

The overwhelming majority of all the peoples and nations of the world today want to live in peace. They seek the removal of barriers against trade. They want to exert themselves in industry, in agriculture, in business, that they may increase their wealth through the production of wealth-producing goods rather than striving to produce military planes and bombs and machine guns and cannon for the destruction of human lives and useful property.

In those nations of the world which seem to be piling armament on armament for purposes of aggression, and those other nations which fear acts of aggression against them and their security, a very high proportion of their national income is being spent directly for armaments. It runs from thirty to as high as fifty per cent in most of those cases.

We are fortunate. The proportion that we spend in the United States is far less—eleven or twelve per cent.

How happy we are that the circumstances of the moment permit us to put our money into bridges and boulevards, dams and reforestation, the conservation of our soil and many other kinds of useful works rather than into huge standing armies and vast supplies of implements of war.

Nevertheless, my friends, I am compelled and you are compelled to look ahead. The peace, the freedom, the security of ninety per cent of the population of the world is being jeopardized by the remaining ten per cent who are threatening a breakdown of all international order and law. Surely the ninety per cent who want to live in peace under law and in accordance with moral standards that have received almost universal acceptance through the centuries, can and must find some way to make their will prevail.

Yes, the situation is definitely of universal concern. The questions involved relate not merely to violations of specific provisions of particular treaties; they are questions of war and peace, of international law and especially of principles of humanity. It is true that they involve definite violations of agreements, and especially of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Briand-Kellogg Pact and the Nine Power Treaty. And we have signed both of the last two. But they involve also problems of world economy, world security and world humanity.

It is true that the moral consciousness of the world must recognize the importance of removing injustices and well-founded grievances; but at the same time it must be aroused to the cardinal necessity of honoring sanctity of treaties, of respecting the rights and liberties of others and of putting an end to acts of international aggression.

It seems to be unfortunately true that the epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading.

And mark this well! When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease.

It is my determination to pursue a policy of peace. It is my determination to adopt every practicable measure to avoid involvement in war. It ought to be inconceivable that in this modern era, and in the face of experience, any nation could be so foolish and ruthless as to run the risk of plunging the whole world into war by invading and violating in contravention of solemn treaties, the territory of other nations that have done them no real harm and which are too weak to protect themselves adequately. Yet the peace of the world and the welfare and security of every nation, including our own, is today being threatened by that very thing.

No nation which refuses to exercise forbearance and to respect the freedom and rights of others can long remain strong and retain the confidence and respect of other nations. No nation ever loses its dignity or its good standing by conciliating its differences, and by exercising great patience, patience with, and consideration for, the rights of other nations.

War is a contagion, whether it be declared or undeclared. It can engulf states and peoples remote from the original scene of hostilities. Yes, we are determined to keep out of war, yet we cannot insure ourselves against the disastrous effects of war and the dangers of involvement.

We are adopting such measures as will minimize our risk of involvement but we cannot have complete protection in a world of disorder in which confidence and security have broken down. If civilization is to survive the principles of the Prince of Peace must be restored. Shattered trust between nations must be revived.

Most important of all, the will for peace on the part of peace-loving nations must express itself to the end that nations that may be tempted to violate their agreements and the rights of others will desist from such a cause. There must be positive endeavors to preserve peace.

America hates war. America hopes for peace. Therefore, America actively engages in the search for peace."

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Huckabee vs. The AIDS

I saw a headline on Yahoo about how Mike Huckabee wanted to sequester all AIDS patients somewhere. I didn't read the story, because I got the impression the vibe of the article would be, "What an evil man. A new Hitler."

I have in the past contemplated ways to end the AIDS epidemic, and separating the infected from the uninfected has come up in my mind as well. Of course, in a country like ours, where you fight for the little guy and personal freedoms, neo-concentration camps seem ludicrous. But if we can't cure the disease with medicine or biotech, and it is threatening our way of life, doesn't it make sense to limit the potential for spreading as much as possible?

I'm not advocating eliminating all the patients. I'm wondering if there is any scenario they would find acceptable in which they are physically separated from those they care about who are not infected, but still allowed to lead fruitful lives. If there were a luxury resort with broadband net access, video chats galore, plenty of phone lines, digital cable, pool, tennis, incredible food, everything you could want, and you could talk to people you care about over the net or phone, and the only catch was you couldn't leave because you might infect someone, would that still be beyond reason?

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Mike Huckabee, Super Guy

A while back I had viewed Huckabee as somewhat of a good guy Bush. Not super articulate, not clean and polished like the wealthy elite candidates, and vaguely out of touch. Bush was out of touch, and seems to remain so because he's not making decisions based on the will of his voters.

Lately, though, it seems like Huckabee isn't like Bush at all. He seems genuine, caring, and while he may not be the most smooth guy in the running, his heart seems to be in the right place.

On the "Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert pointed out the cartoonishness of a President Huckabee. But maybe that's just what this country needs. Or at least a Vice President Huckabee.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Is Hillary Clinton Bill's Pawn?

Today the thought occurred to me that Bill is determined to get back into the White House by any means necessary.

Previously, it has seemed like Mr. Clinton was staying out of the spotlight as much as he could to allow his wife to campaign on her own. But now, what if it's all part of his master plan for a third term?

If Hillary gets elected, could Bill make her decisions for her? Or could he tell her what to do? I think so. He might somehow influence all of her acts as President, and he may just start running things his own way.

Of course, this seems ludicrous, but that's just what he'd want you to think we're he really up to something.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ellen Cons Her Way Into Speaking With Bush

Yahoo has a video of Ellen DeGeneres with guest Jenna Bush. Ellen talked Jenna into calling her mother. The secretary or call screener said Mrs. Bush was on George Bush's line, and transferred the call. Ellen said "Hi" to the first lady, and steered the convo toward the President. She seemed aggressive, but she probably expected a good amount of resistance.

When George Bush got on the phone, he seemed like a nice, ordinary father. In fact, he sounded much different from his stereotype, to the point where I first doubted it was him, and then doubted that the Bush we see and hear on television is the real Bush. Of course he'd have a different attitude with his family, but the unexpected nature of the call and the way his voice sounded made me wonder about the humanity and the personal experiences of our leader. I thought, "Could what happened to him happen to any of us? Probably."

Each of us might find ourselves in charge, and might end up making decisions that a lot of people don't agree with. But we're only human. That's what the call put emphasis on. It humanized him.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jon Stewart Keeps America In Check

On a recently-aired episode of "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart covered the issue of waterboarding, and said outright that it is obviously torture. In fact it practically defines torture.

He gave me hope in his overt way of speaking the truth that America has enough people like him to counteract those who would make this country into something twisted.

It's easy with what's going on nowadays to feel like this country is being dragged down into an unsavory place by people who either don't know any better or are disturbingly selfish. Hopefully more people like Jon Stewart will help keep the public informed about what is right for us as a country, and what is most definitely wrong.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Free Speech and Racism

There's a post on Random Waves of Insight about how racist remarks got Imus fired, but business brought him back. It's called Don Imus Is Back! A Win For Free Speech?

I for one am glad one slip up can't (completely) ruin someone's life. I value free speech and forgiveness. Still, it's easy to find negative feelings for someone who holds to ideas of generic hatred.

I wonder what the public consensus on free speech vs. racist remarks is? Should we tolerate foul ideas in order to preserve an open dialogue with everyone on all subjects?

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Middle Earners Are Taxed The Most

In my post Tax Changes, I wondered about a bleak scenario that I didn't know had already befallen society.

"What if middle-income earning families were suddenly taxed the most...?"

Today I became aware of the reasons middle earners are taxed the most. It's really pretty simple.

  1. The poor have barely anything to tax.
  2. The rich have tax lawyers and can avoid taxes more easily than others.
  3. The government still needs money, and so squeezes the middlers hard.
To guard against this, middle earners could aspire to know the same things tax lawyers use to help the rich avoid excessive tax payments.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

No Torture, Please

Another thing I remember from the CNN YouTube debate was the variation among responses to the question of whether or not waterboarding is considered torture. Up to that point, I thought Mitt Romney had been doing well. But then he said he didn't think it was safe to publicly define interrogation techniques, because that would allow terrorists to better train themselves to withstand such tactics.

I agree. That makes sense. However, I still don't feel that any form of torture needs to be used. I don't think it should be used either. And besides, they say it doesn't produce reliable intelligence, anyway.

I believe Romney made a valid point in order to avoid the question. It would seem that even if waterboarding were considered torture, it would be allowable under "certain" circumstances, along with many other horrible techniques, with Romney as President. And I don't want that to happen.

Senator John McCain, on the other hand, seems completely against mistreatment of prisoners. I think part of what makes America great is the high standards it (usually) holds itself to. It sounds to me like McCain is all for the preservation of these standards.

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