Hm, how about a bulleted list? Here we go...
- I'd like to know who makes up the questions for the debates. It just seems to me that some of the silliest topics have been the focus (What kind of first lady would your wife be? Seriously?) while some major important ones (Iran??) are completely unmentioned. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but the candidates are kind of looking like fools up there babbling about these topics, not to mention being pitted against each other and spending half the debate tearing one another apart, while real issues are ignored. Why aren't there any questions on vital issues like gas prices, Iran, Syria? I also think it's so odd that the news media seems to constantly ask the candidates about social issues and then complain that these candidates only talk about social issues. Dude, you're the ones who asked!
- Is anyone going to do anything about Syria?? I'm curious about the fact that we intervened in Libya to the point of their leader being overthrown and his dead body dragged through the streets. Yet, thousands of innocent civilian Syrians are being slaughtered purely because they're crying out for democracy, and we can't be bothered? I'm not about America being the world's police and I'd totally be fine if our policy was to mind our own business, but clearly it's not. Why are we picking and choosing? Why did we help the Libyans but are ignoring the Syrians? We intervened in Bosnia and Somalia for similar reasons. It breaks my heart to think about people being gunned down by their own government because they spoke up for freedom while those who could help out are standing by. Humanitarian aid at least?
- The American soldiers killed over burning copies of the Koran in Afghanistan seems to make a huge and obvious statement to me. Burning the books was the wrong thing to do, whether it was an honest mistake or done intentionally. Our President gave an apology for that which I agree was an appropriate response. Yet the Afghan people, and it seems their president, are not accepting that apology and have chosen to respond with violence instead. I'm not even clear on what it is they want. They've killed people as a response, we've apologized and admitted the wrong. What would make this right for them? What are they asking for? Here is a country that was ruled by a terrorist group prior to our forces being on the ground. Since then we have dedicated our men and women for over a decade to eradicating the terrorists and helping the people build a strong and steady government. And this is how they respond. What seems obvious to me is that we are trying to resolve something peacefully with people who are not interested in peace. Their value system is so vastly different from ours that the destruction of life (not just a life) is valid reciprocation for the destruction of a book. We are never going to see eye-to-eye with people who believe that. They are a theocracy while we [try to] separate church and state. What is rational to us is irrational to them, and what is rational to them (killing people over the mishandling of a book) is irrational to us. I'm not trying to disrespect their beliefs or culture. If they want to punish the burning of the Koran with death, then that's their business. I'm just saying that I think it's unlikely that we're going to understand each other and reach common ground on that matter. Maybe it's time to walk away and hope for the best?
- Gas prices are ridiculous. The President turned down the Keystone Pipeline since it's not a short-term solution. Well, cancer research has yet to yield a cure for cancer, but would we call that a useless endeavor? I realize that the Keystone Pipeline would not be making a difference in what we pay for gas today, but at least give us a morsel of hope (remember that from the ol' campaign days?) by doing something to move us in the right direction. Even if we didn't see relief right away I think people would have appreciated it as a gesture and a sign of the President doing what he could do (since he really has little influence over gas prices despite often being blamed when they're high). How much influence does the government have, though? Our own energy secretary, Steven Chu, was quoted (in 2008, prior to being Energy Secretary) as saying "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Errrrr-- what?? The rationale behind that quote, which some energy experts agree with, is that higher fuel prices would encourage consumers to purchase more efficient vehicles, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and slow urban sprawl. I'm fine with being mindful of our fuel consumption, but I should have the freedom to be mindful of that on my own will. I wholeheartedly disagree with being manipulated into buying the type of car the government wants me to drive and/or living where the government thinks I should live by the government's clutch on my wallet. That is an incredible over-step and abuse of power. Even though people tend to blame the president for high gas prices, the White House admits that their goal is not to lower gas prices (hmm, then we'd be able to decide for ourselves if we wanted to drive battery cars or gas cars). Just saying.
Whew. It feels good to get that stuff out there! What's bugging you these days? Politics? Reality TV? Me? Do share :D