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Some Other 'Pet' Issues

Here are my brief thoughts on some concerns - concerns which evoke great spirit and passion in me!

Coming Of Age. We’re forcing our children into adulthood too fast. Science tells us that the human brain is not fully developed until age 25. We need to keep this in mind more often, particularly when it comes to driving, gun permits, marriage, voting, military service, etc.

2. Requirements To Run For President. Full disclosure of a government-performed physical exam, mental exam, and five years most recent tax returns need to be mandatory.

3. Abortion. I was unplanned and, at first, unwanted - so, understandably, personally, I am pro-life. However, I don’t feel that government has the right to make that decision for anyone; so, as a matter of law, I am pro-choice. For a long time I thought my dual position on abortion was unique. Then, little by little, I’ve been hearing more and more people express it the very same way - even noted feminist Gloria Steinem. Also, many pro-life people believe in doing what’s necessary to protect the life of the unborn, and that’s their prerogative. I just ask that, at the same time, they put in equal effort to defend and support the rights of the (children) already-born.

4. Immigration. We’ve fallen down on the job in terms of enforcing our existing laws. We can’t correct that by simply deporting everyone. We must create a path to citizenship which is different (and more stringent) for those who entered illegally, than for those who went through the proper channels. And, I believe in granting the undocumented the ability to enroll in health care, obtain driver’s licenses, and any other right which, if not granted, would create a public safety issue.

5. Education. A number of factors have created so many layers in the system, that it’s now no longer possible to navigate. We need to scrap the whole system, abolish the U.S. Department of Education, and return full authority to the States. If you think this is an overreaction, I urge you to read John Stossel’s book, No, They Can’t, Chapter 9: Educating Children. As for the curriculum, we need to be more practical. For example, I never had reason to use the required geometry, trigonometry, physics and chemistry, but I sure would have appreciated learning a lot more about nutrition, exercise, and financial planning such as household budgeting, balancing a checkbook, etc. Even such basic things like personal hygiene and ‘keeping to the right’ should be included. And imagine the benefits of high school courses on the subjects of ‘Parenting’ or ‘General Safety Practices!’ Actress Raven-Symone once publicly called out the need for some of these reforms. I hope she uses her celebrity to draw attention to this important issue.

6.  Innocent Until Proven Guilty.  As a society we need to reaffirm our commitment to this tenet.  The presumption of guilt is meaningless without the application of due process.

7.  Forgiveness In the Court of Public Opinion.  When a meaningful apology is offered for a wrongdoing, the guilty party should be given 'the benefit of the doubt' and granted forgiveness.

8.  Ranked-choice Voting.  This is a system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots.  It ensures that candidates who have the broadest support actually win.  For example, it eliminates the possibility of the bulk of the votes being divided among the preferred candidates, making a less-preferred candidate the winner.  Ranked-choice voting is particularly useful in elections with many candidates - such as Presidential Primaries.

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