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the most important national issues now


Guest Paul
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If we're going to discuss the presidential election, let's do it intelligently. Instead of focusing on trivia and distractions, let's discuss what are the most important issues. I suggest a limit of the top ten or so, though hundreds of issues are important, because governments inevitably prioritize. Here is my list.

1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

3. Ending the Iraq war

4. Gathering the international community to root out and destroy the threat of radical Islamic terrorism

5. Secure and responsible health care for all

6. A major national push on education, especially in mathematics and the sciences

7. Restoring the economic health of the middle class in particular

8. Dealing with the reality of the global economy – how does our government go forward with other governments so that we can have some political control over world economics long term?

9. Promoting, researching, developing and investing in green technologies, which will both create jobs and make our life styles more sustainable in the long term

10. Addressing global warming

11. Reversing the trend toward right-leaning, ideologically-driven radicalism of the federal courts

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Guest 2smart4u
If we're going to discuss the presidential election, let's do it intelligently. Instead of focusing on trivia and distractions, let's discuss what are the most important issues. I suggest a limit of the top ten or so, though hundreds of issues are important, because governments inevitably prioritize. Here is my list.

1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

3. Ending the Iraq war

4. Gathering the international community to root out and destroy the threat of radical Islamic terrorism

5. Secure and responsible health care for all

6. A major national push on education, especially in mathematics and the sciences

7. Restoring the economic health of the middle class in particular

8. Dealing with the reality of the global economy – how does our government go forward with other governments so that we can have some political control over world economics long term?

9. Promoting, researching, developing and investing in green technologies, which will both create jobs and make our life styles more sustainable in the long term

10. Addressing global warming

11. Reversing the trend toward right-leaning, ideologically-driven radicalism of the federal courts

I can solve them all in 3 words; Elect John McCain (I think Biden would call that 4 words)

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1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

The markets have become a big gambling casino. Maybe I’m too conservative but I believe stocks should be bought and sold on the basis of a companies profitability, where the dividends really determine the price of the stock. Instead we had ridiculous stock prices for companies that do not pay dividends and that rarely buy back their stock. Then there is the gambling aspect, such selling stocks short or some of these weird indexes they have come up with. All that tends to destabilize the market.

We know how we got out of the great depression. Word War II was the driving force where everyone was employed, either in the military or at home (including many housewives). This was made possible by deficit spending during WW II. The difference between WWII deficit spending (on employees and industrial production) and current deficit spending is that the money stayed in the country. It recycled over and over boosting our WW II economy. We need to do the same.

However, we don’t need a war. We can create a lot of employment rebuilding our infrastructure, rail, highways, bridges, airports, schools. Just about everything needs to be fixed up. But keep the money in the country. Use American manufacturing to supply the needed material.

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

This ties into the above. Besides rebuilding our infrastructure we can build new things. Too many projects are held up because some don’t like things in their back yard or lack of focus. We need to get rid of the NIMBY nonsense. We can focus. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

3. Ending the Iraq war

Obviously. The Iraqi’s will never step up if we keep on giving them a blank check. Its like being addicted to welfare. It is also disgraceful that we’re funding the rebuilding (inefficiently) of their infrastructure while ours is neglected.

4. Gathering the international community to root out and destroy the threat of radical Islamic terrorism

Which takes intelligent political leadership without the “we know best” hubris.

5. Secure and responsible health care for all

Besides social issues it is also a competitive economic issue. If I can build a car for 1,500 less in Canada because my employee costs are lower due to lowered health care costs, I will build my car factory in Canada, not in the US.

6. A major national push on education, especially in mathematics and the sciences

We had that in the 1960’s after Russia did their Sputnik. We heavily funded science education through the Federal NDEA program. The rewards were that we excelled in science and engineering. Now we have fallen behind where the most advanced physics is done in Europe, math and computer science is done in India and a lot of computer engineering is done in China.

We need to reeducate the young and make them understand (maybe their parents too) that science and engineering is the future. Instead, the current thing it is to become a sports hero, an artist, a business major, an administrator. . .

11. Reversing the trend toward right-leaning, ideologically-driven radicalism of the federal courts

You can only do that by replacing judges. A new congress and president can do a lot, if given time. I don’t know how many vacancies there are currently. I suggest that the senate block Bush’s nominations considering that Bush is a lame duck who has lost the support of the American populace. His choices do not reflect the will of the electorate.

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1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

The markets have become a big gambling casino. Maybe I’m too conservative but I believe stocks should be bought and sold on the basis of a companies profitability, where the dividends really determine the price of the stock. Instead we had ridiculous stock prices for companies that do not pay dividends and that rarely buy back their stock. Then there is the gambling aspect, such selling stocks short or some of these weird indexes they have come up with. All that tends to destabilize the market.

We know how we got out of the great depression. Word War II was the driving force where everyone was employed, either in the military or at home (including many housewives). This was made possible by deficit spending during WW II. The difference between WWII deficit spending (on employees and industrial production) and current deficit spending is that the money stayed in the country. It recycled over and over boosting our WW II economy. We need to do the same.

However, we don’t need a war. We can create a lot of employment rebuilding our infrastructure, rail, highways, bridges, airports, schools. Just about everything needs to be fixed up. But keep the money in the country. Use American manufacturing to supply the needed material.

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

This ties into the above. Besides rebuilding our infrastructure we can build new things. Too many projects are held up because some don’t like things in their back yard or lack of focus. We need to get rid of the NIMBY nonsense. We can focus. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

3. Ending the Iraq war

Obviously. The Iraqi’s will never step up if we keep on giving them a blank check. Its like being addicted to welfare. It is also disgraceful that we’re funding the rebuilding (inefficiently) of their infrastructure while ours is neglected.

4. Gathering the international community to root out and destroy the threat of radical Islamic terrorism

Which takes intelligent political leadership without the “we know best” hubris.

5. Secure and responsible health care for all

Besides social issues it is also a competitive economic issue. If I can build a car for 1,500 less in Canada because my employee costs are lower due to lowered health care costs, I will build my car factory in Canada, not in the US.

6. A major national push on education, especially in mathematics and the sciences

We had that in the 1960’s after Russia did their Sputnik. We heavily funded science education through the Federal NDEA program. The rewards were that we excelled in science and engineering. Now we have fallen behind where the most advanced physics is done in Europe, math and computer science is done in India and a lot of computer engineering is done in China.

We need to reeducate the young and make them understand (maybe their parents too) that science and engineering is the future. Instead, the current thing it is to become a sports hero, an artist, a business major, an administrator. . .

11. Reversing the trend toward right-leaning, ideologically-driven radicalism of the federal courts

You can only do that by replacing judges. A new congress and president can do a lot, if given time. I don’t know how many vacancies there are currently. I suggest that the senate block Bush’s nominations considering that Bush is a lame duck who has lost the support of the American populace. His choices do not reflect the will of the electorate.

I didn't realize we agreed on so much. I was going to add development of energy technologies to your number 1, but then you made that point in 2. I would also add green technologies besides energy. This also ties into number 6.

We're in an economic crisis, but it could also be a great opportunity to do things we've needed to do for decades and have ignored.

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Wow, Bern, I agree with everything you just said.

On energy:

Both candidates promote development of multiple energy resources, which is great. Both would be moves in a good direction. But I think that Obama's stronger and faster push away from oil is very important. McCain/Palin's "drill, baby, drill" philosophy would give more short term relief while alternatives are develolped, but it would also prolong the dependency and deplete reserves faster, and I believe it would reduce the resolve to develop those alternatives in a timely manner.

By pushing towards alternatives and away from oil harder and earlier, we can switch the majority of energy consumption away from oil before all of the cost-effective oil reserves run out, allowing the remaining oil consumption (legacy uses, or uses for which it is simply the est choice) to be supported for a longer time at lower cost and with less dependence on foreign suppliers.

If we prolong the oil dependence by keeping prices down in the short term by raped exploitation, we could very well find ourselves with depleted reserves and corresponding extreme costs and excessive import dependence before the move to alternatives is complete. And then we'd have no cost effective reserves to support those legacy uses that are likely to remain significant long after the point where we've moved the majority of consumption to other sources.

I do wish Obama was more pro-nuclear, though. Obama's energy plan does include nuclear, but it seems more of a grudging acceptance of a necessary evil rather than advocacy. I still prefer Obama's plan, but if you could add McCain's pro-nuclear position to it, it would be better.

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Wow, Bern, I agree with everything you just said.

On energy:

Both candidates promote development of multiple energy resources, which is great. Both would be moves in a good direction. But I think that Obama's stronger and faster push away from oil is very important. McCain/Palin's "drill, baby, drill" philosophy would give more short term relief while alternatives are develolped, but it would also prolong the dependency and deplete reserves faster, and I believe it would reduce the resolve to develop those alternatives in a timely manner.

By pushing towards alternatives and away from oil harder and earlier, we can switch the majority of energy consumption away from oil before all of the cost-effective oil reserves run out, allowing the remaining oil consumption (legacy uses, or uses for which it is simply the est choice) to be supported for a longer time at lower cost and with less dependence on foreign suppliers.

If we prolong the oil dependence by keeping prices down in the short term by raped exploitation, we could very well find ourselves with depleted reserves and corresponding extreme costs and excessive import dependence before the move to alternatives is complete. And then we'd have no cost effective reserves to support those legacy uses that are likely to remain significant long after the point where we've moved the majority of consumption to other sources.

I do wish Obama was more pro-nuclear, though. Obama's energy plan does include nuclear, but it seems more of a grudging acceptance of a necessary evil rather than advocacy. I still prefer Obama's plan, but if you could add McCain's pro-nuclear position to it, it would be better.

One of McCain's many problems is that he has forfeited the people's trust. Though many of his views have always been quite far right, he used to be someone who went on both sides of the aisle. That appears to have ended with this campaign. He has sold himself to the radical right in order to gain the Republican nomination. That was a key factor in his loss of Colin Powell's support. (Powell contriubted the maximum to his campaign last year.) It was quite extraordinary to hear Powell endorse Obama partly because McCain raised questions about his own judgment and allegiances to the far right.

So while McCain may be talking up alternative fuels, he is likely to cave in to the Republicans' favorite interest groups, including the oil companies, if he is elected. Besides, there's no denying even now that Obama's approach to energy is more forward-looking than McCain's.

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Guest 2smart4u
I didn't realize we agreed on so much. I was going to add development of energy technologies to your number 1, but then you made that point in 2. I would also add green technologies besides energy. This also ties into number 6.

We're in an economic crisis, but it could also be a great opportunity to do things we've needed to do for decades and have ignored.

Interesting how you omitted the fact it was the Democrats who have ignored them. Your spin is so predictable, I could write it for you.

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Interesting how you omitted the fact it was the Democrats who have ignored them. Your spin is so predictable, I could write it for you.

Kool-aid alert!

Rabid rightie!

Rediculous.

:lol:

By the way, it was probably omitted because it's not true.

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Interesting how you omitted the fact it was the Democrats who have ignored them.

That's not true. Development of renewable energy sources, national health care, green technologies, a major push for better education in math and science have all been ignored because the Reagan anti-government philosophy has held sway for nearly thirty years. That philosophy is of, by and for the Republican party. As the American people are figuring out, it is not in our country's best interests.

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Wow, Bern, I agree with everything you just said.

On energy:

Both candidates promote development of multiple energy resources, which is great. Both would be moves in a good direction. But I think that Obama's stronger and faster push away from oil is very important. McCain/Palin's "drill, baby, drill" philosophy would give more short term relief while alternatives are develolped, but it would also prolong the dependency and deplete reserves faster, and I believe it would reduce the resolve to develop those alternatives in a timely manner.

By pushing towards alternatives and away from oil harder and earlier, we can switch the majority of energy consumption away from oil before all of the cost-effective oil reserves run out, allowing the remaining oil consumption (legacy uses, or uses for which it is simply the est choice) to be supported for a longer time at lower cost and with less dependence on foreign suppliers.

If we prolong the oil dependence by keeping prices down in the short term by raped exploitation, we could very well find ourselves with depleted reserves and corresponding extreme costs and excessive import dependence before the move to alternatives is complete. And then we'd have no cost effective reserves to support those legacy uses that are likely to remain significant long after the point where we've moved the majority of consumption to other sources.

I do wish Obama was more pro-nuclear, though. Obama's energy plan does include nuclear, but it seems more of a grudging acceptance of a necessary evil rather than advocacy. I still prefer Obama's plan, but if you could add McCain's pro-nuclear position to it, it would be better.

McCain does seem to be ahead with his support for nuclear. Petroleum is a complex mix of chemicals which can be broken down and converted to complex lubricants and base chemicals for many of our manufacturing processes. I always thought it "wasteful"' to simply burn it when other options are available.

The difference between the latest generation nuclear plants and the "old" plants we have in the USA is like day and night because of many technological advances. Its like personal computers - the most expensive ones from 20 years ago don't have 1% of the power or features of the cheapest ones made today.

France is sitting in the catbird seat. They invested heavily in nuclear power. Over 80% of their electricity is nuclear and they often export (sell) their electricity to Italy.

If we converted to nuclear and invested in a decent distribution system, we could supply all our houses with electric lighting and heat. We would no longer need gas and oil burning furnaces.

Also, McCain's ethanol subsidy policy is better than Obama's. McCain does not believe in subsidy, Obama does. If we're going to be burning fuel for heat or energy, then use petroleum (until we convert to nuclear). The product already exists. Its been converted by nature from plants. You already got nature to do the work. Why should we redo the whole conversion just to get ethanol? It doesn't make any sense.

Farming is a very resource intensive activity. To get good production you need lots of water, you need pesticides and fertilizers. All this to grow corn (or whatever) and then you have to chemically convert the corn to ethanol. Its very wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.

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That's not true. Development of renewable energy sources, national health care, green technologies, a major push for better education in math and science have all been ignored because the Reagan anti-government philosophy has held sway for nearly thirty years. That philosophy is of, by and for the Republican party. As the American people are figuring out, it is not in our country's best interests.

Very true. We had a push in Science and Engineering during the 60's and 70's. After the Reagan revolution, science was no longer popular.

Now the big educational debate is should we or should we not teach intelligent design. :lol:

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Two days without a word on this topic, but meanwhile plenty of hootin' and hollerin' about comparitively minor issues. The wing nuts won't touch this topic because they'd have to think and reason, which is not what they're about. And yet no one can vote intelligently without some sense of national priorities. So why aren't we discussing that with passion and fervor?

And folks wonder why the country is so screwed up.

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  • 5 weeks later...
1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

The markets have become a big gambling casino. Maybe I’m too conservative but I believe stocks should be bought and sold on the basis of a companies profitability, where the dividends really determine the price of the stock. Instead we had ridiculous stock prices for companies that do not pay dividends and that rarely buy back their stock. Then there is the gambling aspect, such selling stocks short or some of these weird indexes they have come up with. All that tends to destabilize the market.

We know how we got out of the great depression. Word War II was the driving force where everyone was employed, either in the military or at home (including many housewives). This was made possible by deficit spending during WW II. The difference between WWII deficit spending (on employees and industrial production) and current deficit spending is that the money stayed in the country. It recycled over and over boosting our WW II economy. We need to do the same.

However, we don’t need a war. We can create a lot of employment rebuilding our infrastructure, rail, highways, bridges, airports, schools. Just about everything needs to be fixed up. But keep the money in the country. Use American manufacturing to supply the needed material.

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

This ties into the above. Besides rebuilding our infrastructure we can build new things. Too many projects are held up because some don’t like things in their back yard or lack of focus. We need to get rid of the NIMBY nonsense. We can focus. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

From Obama's weekly address

“We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead,” Mr. Obama said in the address.

Good. He is stepping up to the plate.

Of course, I expect the Republicans will do what they do best - obstruct.

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From Obama's weekly address

Good. He is stepping up to the plate.

Of course, I expect the Republicans will do what they do best - obstruct.

Thanks for taking us back to this topic. If the people's business is to be done, we citizens need to be involved. I suspect President Obama will be calling on us to do that.

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Guest Guest Who?
If we're going to discuss the presidential election, let's do it intelligently. Instead of focusing on trivia and distractions, let's discuss what are the most important issues. I suggest a limit of the top ten or so, though hundreds of issues are important, because governments inevitably prioritize. Here is my list.

1. Restoring the markets and preventing a depression

2. Developing alternative, sustainable energy sources so we can become energy independent

3. Ending the Iraq war

4. Gathering the international community to root out and destroy the threat of radical Islamic terrorism

5. Secure and responsible health care for all

6. A major national push on education, especially in mathematics and the sciences

7. Restoring the economic health of the middle class in particular

8. Dealing with the reality of the global economy – how does our government go forward with other governments so that we can have some political control over world economics long term?

9. Promoting, researching, developing and investing in green technologies, which will both create jobs and make our life styles more sustainable in the long term

10. Addressing global warming

11. Reversing the trend toward right-leaning, ideologically-driven radicalism of the federal courts

Has Matthew started solving all this issues yet?

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Very true. We had a push in Science and Engineering during the 60's and 70's. After the Reagan revolution, science was no longer popular.

Now the big educational debate is should we or should we not teach intelligent design. <_<

Are you kidding? NJIT is packed with students and has been throughout the 80's, 90's, and through to today. And it's probably close to 40% overseas students that can't get the education in their own countries.

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