I say what I think - Get used to it
This section is a quick overview of where I stand on the key issues. I am a writer and have written extensively about a lot of subjects. My Thinking Magazine is on line here where I've written about a lot of issues. This web site has about 250 pages of information on my opinions and another 35,000 pages of technical and legal information. Although it doesn't contain everything about me, there's more info here than you'll find on any other candidate. This web site includes a political debate message center for you to express your views and to debate them with others around the world.
DISCLAIMER: A prominent member of the Greene County Democratic Party has informed me that these views have been reviewed by other local Democratic candidates and they find my opinions so offensive that they don't want to be seen in public with me. These views do not represent the views of the local Democratic leadership.
MY RESPONSE: I'm the Democratic candidate for Congress. These are my views so get used to it. If you don't like it then vote Republican. I represent 15 counties with over 500,000 people. If the Democratic party doesn't like my views they should have ran a candidate who could beat me. If I hadn't filed, the Democrats wouldn't even have a candidate. It is my position that because of the apathy of the Democratic Party in Greene County that they have no room to complain.
The party mentioned two issues that are offensive in particular; Legalizing Pot and Prostitution. It's time for America to get real here. Pot is a safer drug than beer and it's stupid to put people in jail for it. Drug addiction is a medical problem that requires a medical solution, not a criminal solution. I'm right about this and if the party doesn't like it I don't care.
And if this county legalized prostitution then it could be regulated and the vast amount of money wasted on persecuting women could be better spent on social programs to help women who don't want to be prostitutes, but have to out of poverty. There is no one on either side of this issue who wants women to be forced into prostitution because they need to feed their children. But I have yet to have those who would continue to criminalize prostitution explain to me how putting a woman in jail helps feed her kids or cure her poverty.
Quite frankly, this is a Republican area and if the local Democratic party doesn't like my positions it can only make me more interesting to the rest of the electorate. If the party wants to pose as being interested in family values, then they should go after crooked lawyers who profit from destroying traditional families for money. If the prosecutor were to prosecute crooked lawyers instead of harassing whores, Springfield would be a much better place to live.
After having attended the August 4th Democratic watch party, I found that most all the local Democrats there continued to welcome me with open arms and are comfortable with my views. What I observed was that some lawyers and judges were cold towards me. I think the real issues that disturbs members of the Democratic party has nothing to do with my stand on Pot. It has everything to do with my stand on reforming the courts.
Any candidate who wants to distance themselves from me should do it publicly. I welcome it. There are a lot of Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians who believe as I do. I am not a party loyalist. I say what I think and if some members of the party don't like it, well that's just too damn bad!
Where I stand on the Issues
I have a variety of opinions on a variety of issues. I am hard to characterize in terms of "left" and "right" or "liberal" and "conservative". These words have no meaning. Many of my ideas are unique and new. Ideas you never heard before. I hope to introduce a new way of thinking to politics.
Reforming the Courts
This is my main issue and you can read about it in detail on my People before Lawyers pages. I believe that the rights of citizens come before the profits of lawyers. I believe that the courts should follow their own rules and obey the law. I believe that the problem with the courts is that they are self regulating and that self regulation doesn't work. I believe that the solution is to eliminate self regulation and institute external regulation. I believe that self regulation of the judicial system is unconstitutional and that it violates the balance of powers doctrine of the constitution.
I believe that a person should have the right to represent himself or herself pro se and not have judges deliberately rule against you because you don't have a lawyer. A judge should show respect for the pro se litigant rather than disdain. I believe that there are many cases where a person can do a better job of representing themselves than a lawyer can because they are more familiar with the facts. Small claims court works with and without lawyers. All other courts can do likewise. There are times when you need a good honest professional lawyer. But you should not be forced to get one by judges who are hostile to the citizens they are supposed to serve.
I believe that more court processes should be changed to not require lawyers, especially in Family Court on custody issues. I believe that the court should protect families during their very difficult time of divorce to help ensure a smooth as possible transition through the separation. The courts should protect families from dishonest lawyers who would take advantage of families in their time of vulnerability. I believe that it is morally reprehensible for a judge to allow lawyers to rip off and completely destroy families and not enforce the Rules of Professional Conduct to stop them. We are not food for crooked lawyers and we are no longer going to stand for it.
I am not against lawyers. I am against crooked lawyers. If crooked lawyers are allowed to cheat, then honest lawyers will never win. This forces honest lawyers out of the system and lawyer ethics becomes a race to the bottom. If crooked lawyers are punished they will stop being crooked. If crooked lawyers are allowed to flourish then there is no justice in the "Justice System" and "Justice" is merely a brand name to create the illusion of justice in the minds of the public. We don't have justice, all we have is a simulation of justice.
Did you know that:
I believe in balancing the budget and paying off the national debt. I am not for the Balanced Budget Amendment because I believe it is merely a gimmick of the Republican Party to create the illusion of solving a problem without actually solving it. I support President Clinton and give him credit for actually balancing the budget and I support his stand on saving social security first. Which really means paying off the debt because they borrowed all the money we were paying into social security.
I am anti tax and have been for a long time. I worked to defeat several tax issues. Often I was the only opposition and spent my own money on the cause. Two tax issues I won were the 1987 city 1/2 cent sales tax and the 1992 county tax to build the courthouse. These two taxes alone saved the people of Greene County over 100 million dollars. I'm hardly a "tax and spend Democrat".
Now that the Republican are in power, they have increased spending faster than the Democrats did. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So I'm going after the tax and spend Republicans.
We need a national medical care solution. The reason it has to be national is because medical care is something that requires a form of "socialized" solution. Unless you decide to allow people to die on the hospital steps, someone has to pay for it. That someone could be private mandatory insurance, government, or some other solution that covers everyone who's sick. I will admit that I don't know what the right solution is, and I doubt it will be pretty or popular. But what we have now isn't working.
It used to be that hospitals took patients for free and charged everyone else a lot more to make up the difference. Now, managed health care won't allow this cost shifting. Doctors no longer make the medical decisions. They have to get permission from your insurance company who will save a lot of money if you die. I don't think we can make it much worse than it is today.
I don't know if Clinton's solution would have worked. If health care reform had passed it would have evolved to be different than what Clinton had started with. But at least Clinton had the balls to step up and face the problem where Congress ran from the issue. I give Clinton credit and blame both parties in Congress.
I'm a personal liberty guy. If you're a Libertarian you're going to find my views very attractive. I'm not for completely abolishing government because there is a legitimate place for government. But I draw the line when it comes to the government infringing on personal choice. I think the government should stay out unless there is a compelling state interest. And there are few of those.
Freedom of Religion
I'm for freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We Americans have the right to believe anything we want. This country is made up of lots of religions where Christianity is just one of them. And then there's hundreds of flavors of Christianity. Although you can believe whatever you want, I don't want your religion in my face. I am not a Christian and will never become one. I have the right to my beliefs and I'm not going to shove them down your throat and you're not going to shove yours down mine.
You do have the right to free speech and so do I. So you can say whatever you want about me and my morals and I will defend your right to do so. I too have the right to say what I think about you and your beliefs. This is a two way street.
I support home schooling and the right to practice your religion. For example, I think the government has no place telling Mormons that they can't practice polygamy because it is legitimately part of their religion and culture. Just like some Indian tribes should be allowed to use Peyote. The government has no place interfering with the practice of religion.
I believe strongly in the separation of church and state. The is not a Christian nation and isn't going to be if I have anything to do with it. We will not have a government religion in this country. I am against prayer in schools and any form of government prayer. But I strongly defend the rights of the individual to pray as long as it doesn't interfere with someone else's right to practice their religion.
I am Pro Choice. A woman has a right to choose when she is going to reproduce. The government has no place in enforcing the views of some people on others. If you don't believe in abortion then don't get one. Other than that it's none of your business. If a woman makes a wrong choice, it's her wrong choice to make. Freedom is about making your own choices.
There are people who believe abortion is murder. It's not. Yes, you are killing a potential life, but this planet is overpopulated now. There are already too many people here. Every egg cell is a potential life.
Does life begin at conception? No. The sperm and egg are both alive before conception, so how can life begin at conception. Life began 3 billion years ago and has been passed on in an unbroken chain since then.
I'm against third trimester abortions that aren't medically necessary and with some exceptions. For example, the 12 year old girl in Michigan who was 7 months pregnant by her 17 year old brother. Should she be allowed to abort? Yes!
Consistent with my stand on abortion, I suppose I'm pro death. I support the death penalty. However, I only support the death penalty for murder and then only in the worst murder cases where there is no doubt that the convict did it. I also think that the death penalty should be used only for serial killers, mass murders, murder for hire, and other types of impersonal murders.
I do not support the death penalty for crimes of passion. A wife killing a husband or a husband killing a wife or friends who got in a fight. Not that I think these are OK, but that these killings are often a one time thing and deserve a long sentence or life in prison, not the death penalty.
For those who say the death penalty isn't a deterrent; of all the people they have executed, none of them have ever killed anyone again. However, many of those who got life in prison have been released to kill again or have killed other prisoners. I think that the likelihood that the convicted will kill again should be a factor in determining the death penalty.
Doctor Assisted Suicide
I support doctor assisted suicide. Everyone dies. The question isn't "if" but "when, where and how". As an advocate of personal freedom I strongly believe that a persons life is their own and not the property of the state. Some people feel that suicide is playing God. My argument to that is that God is free in intervene any time he wants to save the persons life.
Yes, there are times when a person will take their life when they could have been saved. There will be some wrong decisions and abuses. However, forcing a person to suffer a horrible agonizing death is also a wrong decision. The question is, who has the right to make the wrong decision? Is it the individual or the government? I contend that a person has the right to make their own choices, even if it's the wrong choice. The right to be wrong is what personal freedom is all about. If God gave us free will, who is Uncle Sam to take it away from us?
When we have a dying pet who is suffering, we do the "humane thing" and put the poor dying animal out of its misery. That is because we feel compassion for the poor critter and out of love and respect want to end it's suffering. What can't we as a society offer the same compassion and respect to humans that we do for animals?
I've written extensively about drugs in Thinking Magazine Issue #2. I'm for Legalizing Pot and decriminalizing other drugs. Pot isn't really even a drug and to call it dangerous is ridiculous. Pot is safer than beer and cigarettes and it's not addictive. Pot won't make you wreck your car or want to fight. If pot were legal, a lot of people would switch from booze to pot and the country would be better off. Pot smoking should be encouraged as a safer alternative to drinking. If we are going to deal with drugs successfully we need to be realistic and honest about it. And to demonize pot is neither realistic nor honest. When kids realize that we are lying to them about pot, they might try drugs that really are dangerous like cocaine or methamphedamine.
If I were king I would legalize pot and sell it under the same restrictions as beer, which is also a drug. I would restrict cigarette sales to the same as procedures as beer. I would eliminate all forms of advertising of beer, cigarettes, and pot.
As to cocaine, heroine, and other addictive drugs I would decriminalize them. That means that a drug addict could buy the drugs from a pharmacy, with a doctor's prescription, as part of a drug treatment program. The person would still be an addict, but they wouldn't be a criminal. They could lead a normal life and work and pay taxes and not be in prison at our expense. This would also eliminate illegal drug sales because addicts could get drugs legally, the illegal market would go away. That would eliminate drug money related crime.
I would eliminate the advertising of all drugs including alcohol and tobacco. I think that although there are products that are legal only because we can't control them, that not everything that's legal should be promoted. Selling poison to kids is not a form of freedom of speech.
I believe people have the right to smoke, but not in my airspace. My issue with smoking is that smokers force me to breathe their fumes. However, smoking restrictions in places that are outside are going to far. I'm against "punishing the smoker".
Those who sell tobacco products should be licensed to do so and that license taken away if they get caught selling tobacco to kids. Once a few stores get their license pulled they won't be selling to kids anymore. I would eliminate all forms of tobacco advertising.
I'm against taxing cigarettes beyond what it costs society. A smoker should not have to subsidize the rest of the world and high costs just puts a greater burden on poor people who smoke. I'm against "sin taxes" because that just makes society dependent on sin.
I'm against the settlement with the tobacco companies. I think that they are buying a license to poison us. And I don't want to see lawyers get all the money. I have a web page on Teen Smoking targeted at teens who have not yet begun to smoke.
I believe that sex is a personal choice and is no ones business unless you're having sex with a minor. What adults do is their own business. I'm a personal freedom guy and I think that the same government that can tell you who to have sex with can tell you what church to go to. If you think that sex will cause you to go to hell then don't have sex. But if you think you have a voice in my sex life, no way.
In general, the reason for sex is reproduction. Normal sex is having babies. That is its biological function. Any other sex is entertainment. Thus, any sexual activity that is not leading to pregnancy is not technically normal. This includes people who use birth control, to old to get pregnant, vasectomies, oral sex, or homosexual sex. On that scale, homosexuals aren't that different than anyone else. So if you're looking for someone to hate the queers, I'm not your guy.
Is homosexuality unnatural? Yes. So what. Oral sex is also unnatural. 95% of people are born either male or female. The other 5% are somewhere in between. Not everyone is the same. These people live their lives as they choose. I don't understand it but it is as much their right to live as they choose as it is for me to live as I choose. It's freedom folks! The price of freedom is to let other people be free too.
I don't see why people get so upset about gays. They don't reproduce so you don't have to worry about them taking over. I don't see why they can't fight in the military just like everyone else. If I were in the military, I would find women to be more of a distraction than gay men. If the military can integrate women I would think gays would be easier. Back when I went to high school we had guys pretending to be gay to get out of going to Vietnam. Back then it was an advantage.
As to same sex marriage, no. But I'm not strongly against it. I think it plays with the definition of marriage too much. If we allow same sex marriage then where do we draw the line on what marriage is? For example, why limit marriage to two people? What's magic about two? Suppose three or four people wanted to get married? Once you play with definitions, where do you stop?
I am opposed to any special laws that give gays more or less rights than anyone else. I oppose discrimination against gays and I oppose any laws that try to make gays an invidious class deserving special treatment. Yes gays are oppressed. But not as much as blacks and women.
I support monogamous couples and families. In fact I think lawyers and the state of the justice system are the biggest threats to family life. Lawyers make a lot of money when families split up and play a major role in making sure the couple hates each other afterwards so as to extract the maximum amount of money in the process. I think a lot of families can be saved by taking the profit out of divorce.
I think it's too easy to get married. If we are going to treat marriage as a legal contract then it should have some up front protections. I think there should be a 30 day waiting period and a mandatory 3 hour class in learning how to be married. The class can be taught in private schools or churches. The couple should also file a property list and specify what is and is not marital property. This would eliminate some marriages that shouldn't happen and make divorce less messy if it should occur.
I also think that there should be two classes of marriage because marriage with dependant children is different than marriage without children. Having said that, I don't have any more details about what this idea means. It's just the start of an idea.
I support the legalization of prostitution. Again, I am a personal freedom guy. Prostitution is not only a victimless crime, as with smoking pot, but is beneficial to society. And it is very misunderstood.
Prostitution laws have nothing to do with morality. There is no sex act that a prostitute does that a woman can't do legally for free. But you put a dollar on the table and the cops want to kick your door down. So it's not the sex that makes it illegal, it's the money.
It is also legal for women in topless bars to show their bodies for money. Clearly this is sex for money, but you don't get to go all the way. Porn stars get paid to have sex in front of a camera so that's sex for money and it's legal. There are also many women who marry men for money (as I have come to realize) and that's legal. So prostitution laws are targeted at a very narrow combination of sex acts combined with money.
We are all sexual people. We are the descendants of three billion years of sex. (Yes, I believe in evolution!) It is who we are. It's not optional in normal people. Sex is where life comes from. It's as necessary as eating and breathing.
It would be simple if we were all happily married but that not reality. There are a lot of single people who need to have sex. Although some religious people believe sex outside marriage is immoral, that's their personal belief. They have the right to believe it. But I don't and I have the right to my beliefs even if I end up burning in hell for it.
I will never get married again. I have been stuck for four years in the court system over my last and only marriage. I still see no end to the judicial hell. Once you've taken your divorce to the United States Supreme Court, you're not going to go back and do that again if you have any sense. Therefore someone like me would have to spend a lot of time and money trying to get some for free from a woman who may be looking for a long term relationship. I prefer not to have to lie to women by letting them think that a possibility of a relationship exists.
Prostitutes do no compete with wives in that a man isn't going to leave his wife for a whore, where he might leave his wife for his secretary. If a husband is going to cheat, and I don't advise cheating, he's better off doing it with a pro than someone whom he might start a relationship with.
I believe that prostitutes reduce the number of rapes and other sexual crimes. It gives men a place to get it out of their system without involving unwilling participants. I also think if it were legal that the number of problems associated with prostitution would be reduced. To help overcome misunderstanding of prostitutes by men, I wrote The Men's Guide to Escort Services.
There are two categories of prostitutes. Women who want to be prostitutes, and women who have to be prostitutes because of poverty and drug addiction. I have already stated my position on the rights of the individual to choose this profession. But no one on either side of this issue wants to see women having to become a prostitute in order to feed her children or because she is addicted to drugs. Men who frequent sex workers are looking for women who like their work. Sex workers would rather not compete with women who are in the business out of poverty. And escort services would rather refer women who need help to a social agency who can help them.
I therefore support legalizing prostitution and redirecting the massive amount of money spent enforcing prostitution laws into social programs to help prostitutes get out of poverty and off drugs. I would support a reasonable tax on legal prostitution to further support these social programs. I have yet to have those who would continue to criminalize prostitution explain to me how putting a woman in jail helps feed her kids, cure her poverty, or cure her drugs addiction. So for those of you who pretend to be concerned about the greater good of society, why don't you open up your churches and help the unfortunate?
People need to be able to own guns to protect themselves. We do not live in an ideal society. I do support reasonable background checks and waiting periods that result in actual crime reduction. But other than that a person has the right to buy protection.
I do think that guns should only be sold to people who know how to use them and that a person should have a training certificate to buy a gun. One would get this by passing a written test and a shooting test and the permit would be good for life. The NRA could do the tests rather than the government. The idea being that a lot of people are killed because of improper gun use. If you are going to kill somebody, you want to kill the right person. And if someone is coming in your window, that shouldn't be the first time you ever fired a gun. A gun school can teach people how to defend themselves in case of intruder attack, keep the guns away from the kids, or how to hunt safely. I think this requirement should satisfy those who complain about the number of people accidentally killed by guns.
I'm against affirmative action. I support giving a helping hand to the needy on the basis of need, not race. Thus if you have programs to help people get into higher education based on economic circumstances, and 75% of those who are helped are black, that's fine with me. but the test has to be economic and not genetic.
I think affirmative action is institutionalized racism and has done more to hold people back than to help them. It defines people as being different by law based upon the frequencies of light reflected or absorbed by the surface of a person's skin. This is wrong. Government help to fight poverty should be given on the basis of need. And if a large number of blacks are in need then that's fair. But the test has to be need and not skin color.
I think that bussing and affirmative action is now hurting minorities in that it make them different by law. I think that the time has come to treat everyone the same on the basis of race and color. I believe that all races should have the same shot at the American dream. We need to look to the future and we need to look at what actually works and what actually doesn't work. Using bussing to desegregate the schools was a bad idea when it started 30 years ago. It only made things worse. And it's a bad idea today. It doesn't work and needs to be eliminated.
I think we need to keep tough laws that ban discrimination. People should not be discriminated against because of their race, sex, or color. We are all people and we should all be treated alike.
I'm against illegal aliens. People from other planets should not be coming down here to Earth to take our jobs. We can not continue to be the welfare state of the universe. We have to look out for Earthlings first. Microsoft should quit hiring these people.
There is one main issue on protecting the environment and that's population control. If we aren't going to stop the growth of population on this planet then we're not serious about the environment. There is no way that we can protect anything as long as the demand for resources increases because of increasing numbers of people. Any plan to deal with the environment without addressing the population explosion is not worth discussing.
Another tough issue. I don't want to see my public money supporting religious schools. However, the public schools are a disaster and the public school system is the problem. The more money you give them the worse it gets. I think the role of schools is to prepare people to be adults and give them the kind of skills they need to go out into the world and get a job.
I will throw a new twist into the debate on education. Schools as we know it are going away by themselves. Computer technology and the internet will revolutionize education. It's beginning to happen now, but you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Computer software companies who specialize in education can hire the best teachers and best programmers to put together programs to educate millions of people. Thus the good teachers aren't limited to the number of kids that can fit in a class. These courses on anything you can imagine can be distributed over the internet or sold at software stores. The software would be interactive and contain much more information than a book can. It can contain live video, audio, live data, and built in testing, evaluating, and grading included. The software can evaluate the results and refer the student to material based on what questions were answered wrong. The software would also communicate with the programmers pointing out areas where lots of students are failing to understand a concept and allowing the programmers to improve the teaching program.
In conjunction with courses would be live lectures at schools or colleges that would enhance the computer training and give the students the opportunity to discuss the subject with a live person. This could also be done over the internet with a two way video system.
Another advantage of this kind of education is that and course can be learned by anyone, anywhere, at any time. You don't all have to be in class at the same time. You don't have to learn at the same speed. Thus the sharp kids can whiz through at their own speed and move on to the next lesson while a slower student can take as much time as they need to comprehend the subject. No more slowing down the class.
It also would allow any course or subject to be taught to any student no matter what grade they were in. If a 4th grader wanted to take algebra, she could without having to wait three more years. And they could do it on weekends and at night if they wanted to. Thus education would not be limited to the time/place restrictions of today.
Another advantage is custom courses. Kids would progress at their own speed and will have a greater selection of courses to take allowing them to follow the fields of their interests. So if a kid wanted to learn electronics, the kid could do it. This is also true of religious education where the kids can learn about beliefs from the denomination of their (parents) choosing. And there would be no separation of church and state issues because the course is an individual course.
For those who are into home schooling, this would be perfect for you. Parents who teach their kids at home have to learn how to be teachers. With software based education on the internet the parents would have a variety of courses available to choose from to supplement their children's educational needs. Thus home schooling would become much easier and more comprehensive.
Not all schooling would be done over the internet. Schools would still be there for classroom time and to provide a place for kids to interact socially and get personal attention from teachers. Not all subjects can be taught by computer and those that can often need some classroom time to review the material.
This kind of schooling is not limited to educating children. It can be used to educate anyone of any age about anything. I see it as a revolution in adult education as well. Adults can learn new skills and new trades at night when they come home from work.
What I'm saying here is going to happen. There's no way that it could fail to happen. But we could make it happen faster and we could prepare for it and not dump a lot of money into an educational system that's going to be extinct in five to ten years.
I think that politicians identify too strongly with party politics. I am active in both the Democratic and Republican parties. My picture of Hillary and I sits next to my picture of Bob Dole and I. I believe that people have to work together for the good of the nation and put the needs of the country over the needs of the party. There's little I hate more than a politician being a poser on serious issues.
President Clinton is the finest president this country has ever had. I am a proud supporter of President Clinton. I want to express my gratitude in particular for balancing the federal budget and keeping his promises to fix the economy.
I think it's a shame that he is dogged by right wing generated sex scandals and I am happy that he's now been vindicated in the Paula Jones case. The Republican Party relies on scandal to distract attention away from the fact that in the last three years they have accomplished almost nothing in Congress. By relying on sex scandals, the Republicans are admitting through conduct that they can not win an election on the merits of their positions and accomplishments. I think the Republicans are in a sad state and they need to get back to the business of dealing with reality. They should do the job they were elected to do.