We're a happy bunch! Sure, it's a little Left-leaning around these parts, but doesn't that make us more fun?
While the contributors here (we refer to ourselves as jumpers) are made up of progressive Democrats and Independents, not all of our views are "liberal." We're a mixed bag (scroll down further for our positions on the issues)...however you might say we're pretty much driven by ideals involving reason, science, and REAL information to enhance the progress of society in the 21st Century while promoting conservation.
We also like to listen to a little "2112" and STICK IT TO THE MAN.
That being said, we tend to rail against the nonsensical diarrhea of the lunatic fringe, the assault on reason, and dogmatic, intolerant religious views. We believe in individual responsibility and shared responsibility. We tend to be angry about political policies that favor the rich over the middle class...and we want the lobbyists in Washington to take a fucking hike!
We're not perfect peeps and have our faults just like the rest of you...but we are American citizens who want a better future for our children and grandchildren. After all, we all share the American Dream.
Soooo...where are we jumping today?
The following is where the jumpers on this blog "jump for joy" on the issues...
Exceptional leadership from a President and Congress will be necessary to address this to where we see fundamental change for the better. All the stakeholders should be brought to the table, with the idea of producing a partnership between the public and private sectors and affordable coverage for all Americans.
The one exception to that might be the pharmaceutical companies...being that if you don't understand this issue is a societal and moral one, and you're blinded by only profit motive, you're going to resist.
Mandatory coverage for children could provide a pilot study and boilerplate for which to refine a larger health care system.
Tweak "No Child Left Behind" and find a new approach...it doesn't work. It might help to ACTUALLY FUND schools with new programs also, rather than simply squeezing teachers and holding them accountable with unrealistic expectations and an added workload that receives no added funding. Charter schools and home schooling is okay...the more options for families the better.
The fact that this is a political issue to begin with is unconscionable. The government should stay out of a woman's womb. Period. No bun intended (sorry, a little levity that I couldn't resist in the face of a very serious issue).
same sex marriage /civil unions
Another one of those issues that, well, really shouldn't be an issue in the first place. Fear and religion seem to drive this issue...but fear of what, may I ask?
Folks of all sexual orientation have the right to live lives free of discrimination...and yes, speaking from our heterosexual angles, we believe gays should have the right to marry.
It would be nice to see the human race evolve on this issue from the mindset of primates into a place of tolerance, with a live and let live philosophy, in the near future...can we put the damn issue to rest so we can move on, please?
war in Iraq
Ending it responsibly is more important than ushering out of there quickly and hastily. I like to think of it as cleaning up the twisted steel from something like a bridge collapse...you have to carefully engineer and unwind yourself out of it to clean up the mess safely.
I'm shocked at myself for coming across as that detached from the war, despite the fact that a high school classmate of mine was killed over there in 2006...the first casualty of that year, actually.
gun control & 2nd amendment
This is an urban vs. rural issue. The 2nd Amendment can be upheld while bringing in an EFFECTIVE AND AGGRESSIVE new ban on assault weapons. There's absolutely no use whatsoever for a 19 round AK-47 other than spraying bullets into a crowd and taking a dozen lives in as many seconds.
A matter that has an affect on our nation, the planet, and everything we do.
Our planet is sick with a fever, and we must take measures now to remedy that. The long-term survival of our planet's biodiversity, and of the human race for that matter, hangs in the balance.
This matter is attached to our energy policy, economy, and our ability to bring ourselves to the table and pony up to matters such as the Kyoto Protocol. We must create the example of leadership --- to bring the other nations that represent the world's greatest consumers and polluters into a consensus --- on the necessary actions that need to be taken to restore the planet and ensure the health and longevity of its air, oceans, and land along with the biodiversity that lies within.
Jumpers here at the Left believe President Obama can accomplish this, and has already begun demonstrating this in his first year in office.
Get off the oil...duh! Many years from now, our descendants will think we were nuts...keep the oil for what we REALLY NEED in the future. ENOUGH! Conserve it, dammit!
A smorgasbord of options need to be explored, including natural gas, more advanced and expanded nuclear options, environmentally-compatible hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind. We all know this...let's just move the stupid albatross foward.
The free market should reward drive and innovation, and generate growth, and businesses should live up to their responsibilities by looking out for American workers and playing by the rules of the road.
The last 8 years have seen the economy spin around the yard without any parameters. There are ways to let it loose during upturns while having some application of a safety net during the bad times.
A historical analysis will reveal that a little well-applied regulation helps to keep the economy stable.
Secure the borders first, then wake us up. Any policy that separates families is inhumane and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. While the Jumpers at The Left don't have a clear-cut solution to this issue, we believe there is a way to enforce our borders and secure effective immigration policy without having to perform these inhumane tactics.
Let's exercise diplomacy, in an intelligent way I might add, as a REAL WAY to work with our international neighbors. Despite overall belief, it really isn't that hard to be real with other countries...for some people, I guess.
Then there's the terrorist thing..."Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists."
We need a different approach...for starters, you don't defeat terrorist networks in 80 countries by occupying Iraq...and it might help to follow Bin Laden to his stinky little cave before you catch up with him at the "Gates of Hell." Just a thought.
urban growth & housing
Florida, Oregon, and the state of Washington are the most progressive states when it comes to urban growth measures that curb sprawl and encourage infill development with concurrent bolstering of infrastructure. More states will be following those examples. The concepts of mixed use in urban areas, including diversity of housing, is in full swing with the New Urbanism movement. The availability of more grants and Federal funding can only help more, especially in rural areas and less affluent communities.
transportation & infrastructure
Do everything you can to encourage the expansion of mass transit in urban areas, with an emphasis on light rail and OPTIONS for getting between the home and work places.
That means telecommuting, expanded mass transit, ride sharing /car pooling, walking, and more safe design with expanded construction of bicycle paths along major road corridors.
Assess the state of our roads, bridges, levies, and other aging infrastructure so we can move ahead with a strategy for upgrading them and avoid catastrophes...like the bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007.
Oh...and anything you build --- do it GREEN, please. Thank you.
Forests, parks, & open spaces
These precious resources of unlimited value have no price...they're more important than ever before and MUST be safeguarded.
A balance must be struck between those areas that are suited to active vs. passive recreation, along with those areas that must remain pristine and untouched.
If there's room for expansion of the parks and monument systems, let's do it. Safeguard these vital national treasures and resources. We can never conserve and protect enough.
The program should continue with NASA overseeing development of space travel in the private sector.
A Mars strategy is a great idea and will provide us with opportunities that we have yet to imagine; especially in terms of the specter of human population growth and future colonization of other planets.
Let's refine our Mars strategy by engaging ourselves with the Moon once again...if the experts find it sensible, let's use this resource as a satellite and base of operations from which to launch our more aggressive and risky missions that take ourselves away from Earth.
A space program that embraces the Earth~moon~Mars continuum seems to bring forth a set of limitless possibilities and provides a platform to work from that can sustain itself for decades and centuries to come.
So you see? There's a jumper in all of us!
As you can see, the world's just chockfull of jumpers from every walk of life. We all truck ahead and dive into the same deep and heartless waters together...it's how we work together to keep afloat that defines us.
All content in this blog represent the personal opinions of those who post and comment. No responsibility is taken --- nor is there any liability --- for your hurt feelings, angst, or perceived slights --- real or imagined. But that's all ballyhoo...just let your joyfulness reign!