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Charles Mingus -- "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too"

Welcome to the weekly open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

So what issues are you interested in talking about?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Smart growth, transit, and urban redevelopment. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Panacea Paola

    The problem is, I can hear people yawning already.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Food Policy and Energy (3+ / 0-)

    Death of US Coal (I have yet another diary on this coming soon)

    Net Metering (Big Win in VT.  Nice grandfathering decision in CA)

    Urban Farming

    oh, and right now I'm tracking the Ebola outbreak in W. Africa.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:12:47 AM PDT

  •  "Policy free zone for discussion about elections" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Panacea Paola

    I'm not sure if that's surrealist or absurdist.

    •  Obviously one can never be completely objective (0+ / 0-)

      and I think most people in the Daily Kos Elections community (originated from the Swing State Project website, now a somewhat independent subsite of DK, but always welcoming to new people willing to learn about and discuss this stuff) recognize that.

      But we do try to avoid getting into the merits of whether a given policy is good or bad, in order to focus more on the mechanics of elections. For example, I can advocate a carbon tax while recognizing that it would not be good for a candidate's chances in, say, Kentucky.

      "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

      by gabjoh on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:24:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Publicly Financed Elections, Single Transferrable (0+ / 0-)

    Voting, "Right to Work" = Guaranteed Job, Modern Monetary Theory, Permaculture, Mass Public Transit, Manhattan Project-esque Global Renewable Deployment, Net Neutrality, Single-Payer Healthcare, Systems Science,  Pandemic and Collapse Risk Management, Gamification of Social Politics, Verticulture, Carbon-Negative and Zero-Waste Economies.

    With the rare exception of single-payer or net neutrality, these are issues I've almost never heard candidates talk about. It would be nice to have a conversation about these, especially all of these with one candidate, and still be even remotely talking about electoral politics.

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti

    by Panacea Paola on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:25:44 AM PDT

  •  If you could change the Democratic Party's view (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian

    on one issue, what would it be?

    Democratic Party = The party's mainstream.  Use people like President Obama, Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, or other mainstream Dems as examples to contrast yourself with, not Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren or Andrew Cuomo/Joe Manchin.

    21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    politicohen.com
    Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

    by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:38:29 PM PDT

    •  Personally, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sacman701

      I'm going to pick two, which is kind of cheating but whatever.

      On the one hand, I want the party to be more willing to raise taxes on people making between $100,000 and $250,000 dollars.  This group may not being doing wonderfully, but they're doing well enough, and we can't sustain all the social programs we want on the backs of the rich (particularly since I support free public university/technical school which requires a lot more taxes).

      On the other hand, I think we need to get out of the teachers' unions beds ASAP.  This stance hurts us in state or city elections and on top of that is horrible policy.  I'd love more Democrats to stand up to them and actually become pro-student.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:41:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  horrible policy? exactly what policy is that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh

        Standing for fair compensation? Is being "pro-student" (whatever that means to you) in conflict with that?

        "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

        by James Allen on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:49:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacman701

          last in first out is a ridiculous policy.  While you can't completely judge who is a good and a bad teacher, I've been in enough classes and can generally tell.  When I was a sophomore in HS my biology teacher got fired.  I loved her.  She's the only person who's ever made me like science.  She re-arranged the curriculum, allowed students who got an A on the previous exam to stop doing homework, and let them work in a group (I wasn't smart enough at science to be in that group).  Our classes outperformed the other teacher's classes, but to no avail.  She was gone.

          On the other hand, my history teacher that year taught us nothing, but he has tenure so he couldn't be fired.  I bet a majority of the kids failed the AP test, and this was a high-income school where that generally doesn't happen.

          In every other job, we can figure out who is good and who is bad.  Teaching is no different.  My mother is a teacher and she totally agrees.

          The whole teachers' union is basically there to protect the teachers.  This hurts students.  As a proud liberal, I'm on the side of the children every time.  I'm for the little guy.  The teachers' unions are the dominant entrenched group.  

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:17:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Also, not allowing bad workers to be fired (0+ / 0-)

          is a problem in any job.  I loved most of my teachers, or at least liked them.  But to say that over 90% of people in a job are qualified and should stay for life is absurd.  We allow it in schools, but not other places.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:23:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  tenure is one issue. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje, Stephen Wolf

            Fewer jurisdictions are employing it, so I don't think its as big an issue as it once was, but I don't think that because you have a problem with tenure that makes the union a bad guy that the Democratic Party should sever ties with. There are plenty of other issues at stake.

            "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

            by James Allen on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:24:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a big issue in California. (0+ / 0-)

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:00:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree on teacher unions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stephen Wolf, gabjoh

        I feel like we aren't helping them enough, and that we help administrators and education policy makers too much. Teachers are overworked, underpaid, have over-large class sizes, have few sick days, can't deviate from the curriculum, and aren't respected at all. We need to change the conversation on that, and help them with all of those issues. I think that would help students tremendously.

        Of course, we need to help the students (and their parents) to be involved more in their studies, which would improve academic ability a lot. Mandatory paid sick/maternity leave would help with that.

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:52:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Much of this is false (0+ / 0-)

          from my perspective.

          Teachers aren't overworked.  They have summers off!  And they aren't underpaid either.  In your home state of Utah, teachers make, on average, just over $49,000 a year.  That's not great, but teachers aren't full-time workers!  Add in the 12 weeks for winter and summer break that people in other jobs would be working, and the pay is actually equivalent to a normal job that pays $63,700 for the whole year with two weeks' paid vacation, which is above the median household income for the nation.  Teachers may be underpaid, but it's not for sure that they are.  

          http://www.brookings.edu/...

          Studies are mixed on whether class size matters.  It certainly matters less than having competent teachers, which the teachers unions' don't care about.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:22:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That seems like a false equivilancy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, Stephen Wolf, gabjoh

            As teachers are required to work massive amounts of overtime, are encouraged to work other jobs during the summer and winter, and on top of that, they have to spend months coming up with new (and limited) class curriculum. And that's even excluding individual time helping students.

            Also, at least in my state, teachers are required to pay out of their own pockets for class supplies. And the teacher union here is a joke; barely defending the teachers, bowing down to the administrators (who make a lot more than the teachers do) and endorsing the same Republicans who cut school funding.

            Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

            by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:31:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Paying out of pocket for class supplies is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gygaxian

              definitely screwed up.  The state should be paying that.  

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:01:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  teachers' unions may or may not care about it (0+ / 0-)

            that isn't the real issue you have with them, which is that they promote and defend the interests of their members, even the bad ones. That's a union's job. That is an issue in every union, the teachers' unions are not exceptional in that.

            "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

            by James Allen on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:27:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right (0+ / 0-)

              But when there's a bad employee at an auto plant, it hurts a big corporation.  When there's a bad employee at a school, it hurts a child, often a poor one.  Which is why I'm ok with private sector unions, because the benefits outweigh the costs in a way they don't for teachers' unions.

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:02:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This Argument Misses The Forest For The Trees..... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Audrid, gabjoh

                No argument that an unfortunate side effect of seniority protections in public schools is that a lot of bad teachers stay on the payroll.  Most of us have had a few of these lackluster teachers in our day and it's easy to deduce that excising them from the world of public education would improve the system.  But with endless belt-tightening in schools, if teachers didn't have seniority protections, the oldest teacher earning the most money would almost always be the first one to go, replaced by a recent college graduation that costs the district $32,000 a year.  

                Such a scenario will inevitably lead to some mediocre older teachers avoiding the ax while a talented newcomer doesn't make the cut, but ultimately it's still for the best in the education field because if it were to become clear that teachers' expiration date is age 50 in an educational world without seniority protections, nobody would sign on to become a teacher.  

                This is the point of inflection workers in general are at where unions have disappeared along with seniority protections....and where companies are predictably responding by letting go of as many older employees as they can to cut costs.  Most of these older employees will never work full-time again.  So whether it be teachers or graphic designers or factory workers, can America really afford the scenario we're moving towards where the de facto retirement age is 50?  On top of declining wages?  On top of stolen pensions?  On top of threats to increase the official retirement age even higher?  With this context, a few younger teachers getting the ax during budget cuts while a few checked out old-timers stick around seems like much less of a big deal.

                •  Honestly, I think the ideal solution (0+ / 0-)

                  Is for governments to avoid cutting education spending at the first sign of fiscal problems.

                  Absent that, the dilemma of whether teachers should have tenure is unsolvable.

                  •  Some Sort Of Middle Ground Would Be Ideal..... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Allen

                    ....a system that protects seniority without coddling lackluster educators.  The trouble is there's no metric to effectively determine who the "bad teachers" are given that some teachers have a more challenging subset of students who test poorly and other teachers are less "bad" than simply "unpopular", be it with students or administration.  I suspect that if schools were granted open season to cleanse "bad teachers" from their ranks in the face of budget cuts or just general housecleaning, more often than not quality teachers would be tossed out the door because they didn't kiss the ass of administration while the genuinely bad teachers who simply have better connections within the school district continue to be spared.  The whole idea that taking away teachers' collective bargaining rights is gonna produce this surge in the quality of American education is a right-wing fantasy, and it's sad to see how many otherwise sensible people are at least at some level buying into it.

                    •  Students can tell who the good and bad teachers (0+ / 0-)

                      are.  Make it part based on student reviews and part based on test scores, but not the raw score, rather the improvement from year to year.  Some students are dumber, some students come from less educated families, some students are bad at tests, or any mix of the three.  But if you look at the change in test scores that makes it far more fair.  And honestly anything beats seniority, possibly even a coin flip.  Older teachers were often worse than the young ones in my experience.  They no longer care.

                      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                      politicohen.com
                      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                      by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:20:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do You Really Think The Local Politics.... (0+ / 0-)

                        .....of school districts will allow things to go that smoothly?  You outline how an ideal-world scenario of getting rid of bad teachers would unfold....but the real world is one where union seniority protections in public education unfolded in the first place.  Teachers needed protections against administrators with scores to settle 50 years ago as they do today, and the more slack is given to administrators, the more teachers will get blackballed.

                        And however much we want to make this just "about the kids", it's folly to think we can make the profession less secure than it is today without it affecting the quality of people going into the field.  If I was to go to college today in a climate where teacher seniority protections are lifted, and teachers in their 50s are getting sliced and diced from the public payrolls left and right, I'd strongly reconsider becoming a teacher.  And therein lies the biggest problem.  If we make teaching a profession where you know you probably won't have a job when you're in your 50s, quality people are not gonna go into teaching....and the kids will suffer for it worse than they do with the current arrangement.

                        •  Of course it won't go that smoothly. (0+ / 0-)

                          Nothing ever does.  But Democrats should become the party of school reform, not the party of the entrenched establishment that's failing our children left and right.

                          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                          politicohen.com
                          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                          by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:53:38 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  my view on education is for it to be more (0+ / 0-)

          meritocratic. If you're six years old and have an intellect making one ready for third grade there should be some sort of standardized test that would allow for him to move up two grades.

          I also think that for grades 1-11 there should be a statewide grade promotion test similar to the bar exam that would be done by a private organization and would include what someone finishing that grade is expected to know with a minimum pass/fail cutoff. The purpose of these objective tests is to put a stop to social promotion.

          To graduate from high school would also have a high school exit exam that would have the purpose of weeding out diploma mills. High school should have a 15 year rule where it is optional after that age and if they want to quit high school, they are given a $10,000 unexpirable certificate that could only be used for some type of vocational training (ie trade school).

          formerly demographicarmageddon

          by bonzo925 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:19:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  plus at the end of the day its the students and (0+ / 0-)

        not the teachers who are often to blame if the test scores aren't high enough.

        formerly demographicarmageddon

        by bonzo925 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:07:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For me, that issue is obvious (0+ / 0-)

      Marijuana.

      But besides that, I'd like to see the Democrats move to the left on the size and scope of government, and really stand up for the whole idea of big government. We've let Republicans turn the whole idea of big government into a boogeyman, when in actuality it is exactly what we need. Democrats need to argue, with one voice, that Reagan was dead wrong when he said that government was the problem. Because in fact, government is the solution to the problem. It really annoys me that so few Democrats, particularly those in safe seats, are willing to say that.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:20:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you like Democrats to move to (0+ / 0-)

        aggressive ban + imprison on marijuana, the same place most Republicans are at?  Or do you just not want Dems to support legalization efforts?

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:35:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The latter (0+ / 0-)

          I think that a lot of people believe that the only options for marijuana policy are the status quo (aggressive ban and imprisonment), and full legalization. That's simply not true.

          Essentially, I'd like the Dems to recognize that marijuana is harmful and dangerous, and that the government should actively discourage people from using it. I'd support a system of rehabilitation facilities where convicted marijuana users would be sent to get rid of their addiction/desire to use the drug. This system could also be used for other drugs.

          However, if Democrats don't want to do that, then the next best option would be for them to simply stop talking about marijuana, entirely. Stop mentioning it, stop trying to change the current policy, stop making it a political issue.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:55:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Funny you named marijuana (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        uclabruin18, Mark27, gabjoh

        when mine is drugs, that is, that I wish the Democratic Party went even further and supported legal avenues to use all drugs, and abolished all criminal penalties, mass pardoned and compensated every drug crime prisoner, prohibited companies from discriminating against them in hiring, etc.

        •  All drugs? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KyleinWA

          You think people should be legally allowed to use cocaine and heroin? Or meth?

          How can you possibly justify this view? And don't try to claim that those drugs aren't harmful.

          You have confirmed my suspicion that legalizing marijuana will simply lead to legalizing these other, far worse drugs. That's yet another reason why I'm against legalizing marijuana.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:55:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Calm down. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jncca

            Just because Skaje says it doesn't mean it's inevitable, or there wouldn't be a functional Republican party anywhere.

          •  I won't speak for Skaje (0+ / 0-)

            but I support his view.

            I don't believe the government should tell people what they can and can't do with their own bodies.  That's my rationale.  Personal freedom.

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 10:54:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Out of curiosity, (0+ / 0-)

              do either you or Skaje believe that there is any limit on, as you describe it, "personal freedom"? If so, what is this limit?

              I personally believe that "personal freedom" is far less important than the rights of society as a whole, and what is best for society. That should explain my position on many issues (not just this one).

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:08:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, you and I are diametrically opposed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Skaje

                on most personal freedom issues.  I believe that personal freedom stops when it starts to directly harm other individuals.  For example, I support smoking bans in public places, including parks, streets, etc, while at the same time supporting peoples' right to shoot up heroin in their own homes.

                21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                politicohen.com
                Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:21:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'd be curious to hear (0+ / 0-)

                  whether Skaje and Mark27 also support smoking bans in public places. Or is that just an "attack on the working class"?

                  (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                  by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:24:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Me as well, although I probably know Mark's view (0+ / 0-)

                    However, guessing other peoples' arguments and putting it in quotes like that can come off as rude.

                    e.g.  I'd be curious whether ProudNewEnglander supports allowing people to choose what cereal to buy at the store.  Or is that just "people not knowing what is good for them"?

                    21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                    politicohen.com
                    Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                    by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:54:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, I do think people (0+ / 0-)

                    should be able to smoke in open-air public places.  Not bars and restaurants where it fills the air.  But outside, yes.  Banning smoking in public is not so much an attack on the working class as it is a group of people using the law to settle what should be a simple matter of courtesy.  It's extremely rude to blow smoke in other people's faces, but I don't see anything wrong with the concept of someone smoking in public and generally keeping the smoke to themself.

                    If people can't even bear to smell the faintest trace of rapidly dispersing cigarette smoke, I question their readiness to handle the abundance of aromas that define city life.  There's plenty of other things to get angrier about, like the tons of pollutants that cars spew out every day.

                    Smokers have become a scapegoat for a surprising variety of things in recent years.

                  •  I Don't Support Them...... (0+ / 0-)

                    The combination of property owners' rights and smokers' freedoms are of greater value to a functional society than the dubious risk to casual secondhand smoke exposure.  This issue is settled and resolved, and not in my favor, so there's no sense in arguing it too extensively, but the precedent it sets is frightening at many levels and bodes poorly for personal autonomy in a free society.

                    Furthermore, anybody who pushes for smoking bans outdoors--the new frontier of antismoking prima donnas--is just a bully who I have no respect for as a human being.

              •  I think personal freedom stops (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jncca

                at direct harm to someone else.  Not indirect harm.  I mean direct, his action actually hurts another person physically, financially, or mentally (within reason).

                So I think people have the right to be lazy, unhealthy, over or under weight, do risky sports, eat shitty food, make porn, waste their time and money gambling, or do hard drugs in the privacy of their own home.  None of that directly harms anyone else.

                Things that directly harm someone else: assault, kidnapping, breaking into cars, stealing from stores, defrauding clients, murder, and so on.

                •  I agree with this. (0+ / 0-)

                  Because anything could be construed to cause indirect harm, banning everything that could cause indirect harm can lead to banning anything the government likes.

                  •  For me, it's not so much the slippery slope (0+ / 0-)

                    as it is the hypocrisy and subjectivity inherent in defining "indirect harm".  These days, it seems it's fairly acceptable in America to insult overweight people.  And not just with cruel jokes, but with very personal attacks...overweight people are told that they are literally bankrupting America.  That they are driving up health costs.  That they are ruining the country, and why don't they just lose weight?  It seems so easy to thin people.  There is a persistent shaming and moral judging of obesity that pervades culture.

                    But what of drastically underweight people, with their own health complications?  They are praised.  Idealized.  Desired.

                    It's why I have no desire at all to get into the legislation of "indirect harm".  It's all such bullshit.  Cigarette smokers are demonized, yet alcohol drinkers are largely considered mainstream.  Cannabis users get so much shit from everyone and there are absolutely no health problems from THC itself.

                    I just say, leave everyone alone and stop trying to determine who is a burden to society.  Odds are, someone could look at you and judge you as a burden in some other way.  Nobody should have to live up to some impossible ideal of health and fitness or risk legislative punishment.

          •  I fully recognize that cocaine, meth, and heroin (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stephen Wolf, sacman701

            are harmful...extremely harmful.  I have seen the effects firsthand on some family members.  Believe me, I know.

            What I have also seen is that prohibition absolutely did not stop them from getting their drugs.  What prohibition did do was lead them into dangerous situations to procure their drugs.  It led one of them to accidentally overdose.  It led them to stay on the fringes of society, fearful of arrest and incarceration with murderers and rapists.  It led them to shun needed medical care.

            When I say these drugs should be legal, I mean that they should be available in government-run facilities.  No profit motive for corporations.  No advertisements.  Just a clean, safe facility for drug addicts to go to rather than the dealer down the street.  Which they would go to otherwise.

            I see it as a harm reduction issue, with an acknowledgement that we can't actually stop people from using drugs.  The government spends tens of billions of dollars every year, sprays herbicide on coca and poppy fields, arrests drug kingpins, kicks down doors, and locks up hundreds of thousands of people on drug crimes alone.  It hasn't done jack...every variety of drug is available in every major city.

            It's time we recognize this truth and make life a little safer and healthier for these addicts.  Show them mercy, not anger and judgment.  Let them live their lives as they will in peace.

            •  As I see it, (0+ / 0-)

              and I am using these terms in the American sense, yours is a liberal idea rather than a progressive idea. And the reason why I say it's not progressive is this:

              we can't actually stop people from using drugs
              Progressives believe that through advances in science and technology, and through government, we as humans can do almost anything. Defeatism is not a word in the progressive dictionary. While obviously it won't be quick or easy, I think that we as a society need to try to find a way to get people to stop using drugs.

              I see this as akin to eradicating a disease. Two hundred years ago, did anyone think that we would live in a world without smallpox? And yet now, we do, thanks to advances in science and technology (that allowed the vaccine to be created and mass-distributed) and thanks to governments, world organizations (like the WHO), and various NGOs that actually administered the vaccines. The eradication of smallpox was one of the greatest moments in the history of progressivism, because it proved that when the whole world comes together, previously impossible achievements can happen. So before you say that we'll never eliminate recreational drugs, just think of that example.

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:13:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nobody wanted to contract smallpox (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Skaje, jncca

                Lots of people want to use drugs.

              •  It's not defeatism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                uclabruin18

                It's realism.  The US government spends $50 billion every single year trying to eradicate drugs.  Should we spend more?  Should it be $500 billion?  What percent of our entire budget should go to stopping people from doing drugs?

                At some point, we have to realize that not only have we utterly failed to reduce drug use, we've actually exacerbated the problem by making drugs more profitable, and the drug trade more dangerous.  And oh yeah the 1.5 million Americans arrested every year on non-violent drug charges...what a great way to waste police resources.  What a great way to ruin lives.

                I recognize I'm not a traditional progressive.  I've had "Just another progressive Democrat" as my profile on dailykos for years now...picked it mainly because during the Bush years, "progressive" seemed like a less hated term than liberal.  I wanted to be part of a rebranding effort within the Democratic Party to go from liberal to progressive.  But in the policy threads, where we can be truly honest, I don't identify as either a progressive or a liberal.  I identify as a libertarian socialist.

                Great things can be accomplished by working together, I do recognize that as the singular strength of humanity (thus the "socialist" part of my self-identification, and why I'm not a Ron Paul type).  But at the same time, we need to know when the goal is unobtainable, and when the costs to even accomplish part of the goal are too great.

    •  tax reform (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, Mark27

      Most of the elite of both parties see wasteful subsidies such as the mortgage interest deduction as sacrosanct. The Dem establishment in particular has a mentality that anything that benefits the middle class is untouchable, but a lot of tax provisions could be phased out and replaced with other spending programs/tax cuts that don't favor the rich. Under normal economic conditions deficit reduction helps the middle class too, by keeping interest rates lower than they otherwise would be.

      SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:55:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My Usual Concern.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      .....that the party needs to rein in its busybody impulse.  I'm not sure when it became the "progressive" position to lobby for a maximalist government role in regulating the most mundane minutia of its' citizens lifestyles, but we're definitely there now and I find it abhorrent.  The last thing we need in this country is TWO political parties routinely sticking their finger in working people's faces and telling them they're not living right, but that's what we have right now.  The system is failing Joe Sixpack, and the Democrats will fail him further if they keep going down this road of insisting that the way he lives is what needs to be fixed.

      There are a couple of issues where I'm not fully onboard the Democratic Party platform, but they're issues where I acknowledge reasonable arguments on both sides that I can respect and may over time find persuadable.  But when it comes to the rising tide of Bloombergian paternalism turning the allegedly open-minded and tolerant party into finger-wagging scolds ready, willing, and able to impose crushing financial hardship on those they deem their moral inferiors because of lifestyle choices,  I'm willing to sit out future elections in protest.

      •  Classical liberalism vs. progressivism (0+ / 0-)
        I'm not sure when it became the "progressive" position to lobby for a maximalist government role
        This was always the progressive position. You can't have progressivism without big government. That's been true ever since Teddy Roosevelt.

        I think James Allen was right when he described your view as classical liberalism and my view as classical progressivism. Your views, while I understand that you strongly believe in them, are just not progressive views.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:46:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But "Classical Liberalism"..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gabjoh, Skaje

          .....tends to be associated with free-market capitalism, which I'm no fan of at least in the Burkean sense.  I acknowledge the risk of moral hazard when government gets big, and it's probably an unavoidable offshoot that when a government becomes big and generous it also becomes paternalistic and bossy.....but it doesn't have to be that way.  There's no law that says that a government providing food stamps and health care to the poor has to stick its nose in everybody's refrigerator or restaurant booth.

          And I think you're seriously perverting the historical significance of progressivism if you believe its origins had anything to do with lifestyle control of the unwashed peasantry.  Perhaps I'm wrong about this and welcome you to provide me proof to the contrary, but Teddy Roosevelt doesn't strike me as the kind of guy for whom barking orders to smokers and candy-eaters was much of a priority.  Therein lies the disconnect between modern progressive priorities and the nature of the times we live in.  Scores of millions of working-class people are being destroyed by the evolution of the economy, but instead false flag progressive lawmakers are pretending that these people's biggest problem is themselves....that they still smoke or that they drink too large of sodas.  The unseriousness of it is a bit much, and the extent to which it now reinforces a class-based fault line in which upscale healthy livers stand in sneering, condescending moral judgment of the lifestyles of the guy across the tracks gets more unacceptable with each new shot across the bow.

          •  old school paternalism (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27, James Allen, jncca, Skaje

            The 19th century ancestor of Bloombergian paternalism was the temperance movement. Many of the movement's leaders were also hardcore abolitionists and women's rights supporters, such as this dude and this dudette.

            SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

            by sacman701 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:21:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Holy crap, you've summed up my feelings on this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27, Skaje

            absolutely perfectly.

            Scores of millions of working-class people are being destroyed by the evolution of the economy, but instead false flag progressive lawmakers are pretending that these people's biggest problem is themselves....that they still smoke or that they drink too large of sodas.  The unseriousness of it is a bit much, and the extent to which it now reinforces a class-based fault line in which upscale healthy livers stand in sneering, condescending moral judgment of the lifestyles of the guy across the tracks gets more unacceptable with each new shot across the bow.
            Thanks for articulating my viewpoint better than I could.

            "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

            by gabjoh on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:31:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  the early progressive movement (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ProudNewEnglander, Skaje

            spurred on the development of social work, many supported forced sterilization, censorship, and other things where they thought that the government could aid in human development and efficiency, making people better and more productive individuals.

            On the other hand there in classical liberalism there was an economic component, market economics, but that was just a component. It was a broadly applicable ideology that supported individualism and limited government in more than just economics.

            "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

            by James Allen on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:34:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Allen

              While I don't support forced sterilization or (most) censorship, the part about government aiding in human development is exactly correct, and it's at the core of progressive thinking. That's what I completely agree with and support.

              That's the core of progressivism. Progressivism, at its most basic, is the idea that people can improve the human condition, using technological advances, and, among other things, social organization. The government is a perfect example of this. That's why you can't have progressivism without big government; the two go hand in hand. This type of progressivism is all about using the government to improve the human condition. It's hard to argue that the human condition wouldn't be improved if no one used recreational drugs. This should help explain my position on many issues.

              I hope Mark27 can see now that his views are not progressive.

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:19:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  my only argument would be (0+ / 0-)

                that the way that we have gone about drug prohibition has not made people's lives better, and it's a huge waste of resources that could be put to use to improve their lives in other ways.

                "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

                by James Allen on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:27:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I actually agree with this (0+ / 0-)

                  That's why I think that drug users should be sent to rehabilitation facilities rather than prisons. It would save lots of money since the drug users would only have to be in the rehabilitation facilities until they are cured of their addiction/desire to use drugs, while they would be in prison for a more arbitrary, and probably longer, period of time.

                  (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                  by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:57:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Is It Not Possible..... (0+ / 0-)

                .....for one to disagree with Susan B. Anthony on Prohibition and not still be a progressive?  Certainly under your definition of progressive, I'm definitely not one.

                •  The definition of progressivism (0+ / 0-)

                  is very broad. I'd say, personally, that you can disagree with Anthony on temperance and still be a progressive. However, if you don't believe that government should be used to improve the human condition, then you're definitely not a progressive.

                  (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                  by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:37:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Freedom Is Very Important To The Human Condition.. (0+ / 0-)

                    .....when progressivism encroaches upon people's freedoms to live their lives as they choose, particularly on matters as personal as what one puts in their own bodies, it is not an "improvement" of the human condition.  It always flummoxes me to hear this kind of language from those on the left who have spent decades expressing their justified outrage at the "civilize the savages" ethos of puritans on the right.  Using government to "improve the human condition" by way of legislative sledgehammer is now as popular, if not more so, by the mainstream of the left as it was among evangelical leaders of the 80s and 90s, albeit on a (sometimes) different subset of issues.  And for the life of me I can't figure out how things went so wrong, and how those on the left embracing "fix you by force" social engineering can't notice their own hypocrisy.

                    •  Maybe it isn't an improvement (0+ / 0-)

                      to an individual's condition, but progressivism is definitely a huge improvement to the human condition of a society, or of all humanity. And personally, I care a heck of a lot more about the rights of society as a whole than about the rights of any one individual.

                      P.S. I've stopped trying to convince you that I'm right, since your mind is clearly never going to change. I'm just trying to explain my views to you so that you can understand them better. Thus, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop calling me a hypocrite or comparing me to Christian evangelicals.

                      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                      by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:23:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well I'm Gonna Call It As I See It..... (0+ / 0-)

                        .....and when I see hypocrisy and a political worldview comparable to evangelical Christians, I'm gonna point it out.  I don't consider that tantamount to name-calling.  You're more than entitled to your opinion, but there's a legitimate debate to be had about what kind of party we're gonna be, and pointing out glaring cognitive dissonance in prevailing ideology is part of that debate.

                    •  if that's your attitude you're definitely more (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ProudNewEnglander

                      liberal than progressive.

                      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

                      by James Allen on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:50:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  homogeneity and support for government programs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Charles Hall

    one of the factors in american politics is that most of the areas of the country that tend to trust the government more are in homogenous areas like northern New England and areas closer to Canada in general.

    One of the reasons for this is because if everybody is essentially on the same page, they'll support social welfare programs because there is a higher sense of trust among the citizenry. Those areas of the country seem to be very communitarian. These are all areas where Bob LaFollette did very well in 1924 (though for whatever reason not as strongly in New England and Michigan).

    It's not necessarily a republican vs democrat thing either. Even in red states there are progressive reforms like in Nebraska they have the nonpartisan legislature and the unicameral system which was the work of Senator Norris. North Dakota has the state owned grain elevator and Montana has certain regulations against miners and railroads (a harken back to the greenback and grange movements).

    Likewise look where a lot of strife is concurring at the local level. The south is probably the area where this occurs the most. Voter restriction legislation, segregation, rampant corruption and demagoguery. A lot of it can probably be traced to it being a heterogeneous place where people tend not to trust each other and feel like aliens in their own state. The south in general is a place of bloc voting and where politics is sort of a defacto ethnic shouting match. Robert Putnam for example wrote something about this.

    So the policy question is this: how do democrats advocate for the interests of black and Hispanic voters who are probably 40% of the dem electorate and prevent distrust in government from deepening and Yugoslavia style strife from occurring?  

    formerly demographicarmageddon

    by bonzo925 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:04:16 PM PDT

  •  Well, due to the Supreme Court decision today (0+ / 0-)

    ...I'm deeply concerned about corporate cash in elections and how to limit it.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:08:06 PM PDT

    •  The only way to do it is to take SCOTUS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      and the federal trifecta and pass legislation that will get overturned at the appellate level then upheld by SCOTUS, effectively overturning Citizens United, etc, because there's no way in hell we're going to win the trifecta in 38 state legislatures. Republicans can gerrymander comfortable majorities basically for forever in at least 13.

      •  My concern with that (0+ / 0-)

        is the Supremes could just overturn/weaken such a law if conservatives gained a majority again.  I mean, it only took them a few years to strike down McCain-Feingold.

        34 state legislatures could propose an amendment without the Governor, but even that would be tough; I see Democrats' ceiling at control of 24 or 25 state legislatures.

        •  Hm let's see... (0+ / 0-)

          Republicans can basically guarantee a majority or at least thwart a Dem one in:
          Alaska
          Utah
          Idaho
          Wyoming
          North Dakota
          South Dakota
          Nebraska
          Kansas
          Oklahoma
          Louisiana
          Mississippi
          Arkansas
          Alabama
          Tennessee
          South Carolina
          North Carolina
          Missouri
          Indiana
          Kentucky (senate, probably both after 2020)
          Total: 19

          And they can also currently do it on borrowed time or mostly do it long term in:
          Montana
          Georgia (until 2030 if we don't win 2018 gov)
          Virginia (until a fair remap the house is impossible)
          Texas (probably until at least 2030 redistricting)
          Total: 4
          Grand Total: 23

          So yeah, I just don't see how we get such a partisan constitutional amendment through (and yes it's partisan not because of public opinion but because the Republicans will uniformly oppose it).

          On the bright side I don't see how Republicans could possibly gain majorities in:
          Hawaii
          California
          Oregon
          Illinois
          Maryland
          Delaware
          New York
          Connecticut
          Rhode Island
          Massachusetts
          Vermont
          Total: 11

          So they'd basically need a 1920s size wave to be able to push through any partisan amendments, but we'd basically need a 1964 type of landslide to even have a shot at it. That's why I think the SCOTUS route is the only option.

      •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        You've got the long game in mind, as do I.  Taking the Supreme Court (as it is a partisan institution to be "taken") should be the #1 goal for all Democrats in the future.  That means winning the presidency for at least a couple more terms, and keeping a Senate majority willing to change the rules to ensure confirmation for Supreme Court justices.

    •  Today's decision did almost nothing. (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, it was a positive.  Because Citizens' United won't be overturned anytime soon, it's better to have transparency.  This provides that.  Constitutionally I disagree with the decision but from a good-government perspective it's a good thing.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:23:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  interesting stuff about millenials (0+ / 0-)

    "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

    by James Allen on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:42:23 PM PDT

  •  New Question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, jncca

    In the most recent issue of National Geographic (a magazine that I subscribe to), there is a fascinating article about exotic pets and whether private individuals should be able to own them or not (I'd link to the article, but you have to have an account to see it).

    Do you think that there should be regulations or bans on private ownership of exotic pets? If so, should the regulations be from state governments or the federal government?

    I'm curious to see if the responses to this question break down along the usual ideological lines here.

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 12:56:53 PM PDT

    •  yes (0+ / 0-)

      for their own welfare and the safety of people, but primarily for their own welfare.

      I may be affected by the fact that animal rights is the most important political issue to my girlfriend, perhaps aside from health care.

      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

      by James Allen on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:06:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is considered exotic? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm opposed to tiger ownership or gorilla ownership, but I've heard ferrets are illegal too and I don't understand the reason for that.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:51:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of the examples (0+ / 0-)

        in the National Geographic article are bears, kangaroos, lemurs (and other primates), pigs, kinkajous, lions, tigers, zebras, cougars, and snakes.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:27:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've heard pigs can make great pets (0+ / 0-)

          assuming you got the space for them.  I don't have a problem with snake ownership either, as long as we're not talking 20 foot long pythons.  Lemurs and kinkajous seem fairly harmless to me...

          the others are ridiculous though.  Don't know why anyone would want to own a tiger or bear who isn't some kind of Bond villain.

          •  Snakes (0+ / 0-)
            as long as we're not talking 20 foot long pythons
            Unfortunately, we are. In the article, there's a guy in Florida who owns sixty snakes, including several Burmese pythons, which are one of the largest snakes in the world.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:40:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Then I'd say I mostly support the bans (0+ / 0-)

          Any animal I expect to see in a zoo I would probably support not allowing as a pet.  Pigs seem quite harmless; tons of people have them on farms for example.  They're also very smart.  And I know people who have pet snakes and they seem good too.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:38:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  With the snakes (0+ / 0-)

            That depends on how big the snake is and where you are in the country. A garter snake that's less than a foot long is not going to do any damage. But a Burmese python, that's over 15 feet long, in Florida, can do a lot of damage. That's why it's illegal to import Burmese pythons into the U.S., however enforcement of that law is not as good as it could be.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:46:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I remember you mentioning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProudNewEnglander

      pet regulation being one of your niche issues.  As for my own opinion, I'd treat this as an issue where legislation should be on a case by case basis with the animals.  For instance, if a lot of people that own chimps end up having their pets attack and maim people, maybe that's not the best idea to allow it.  But if there aren't any problems with pet lemurs or whatever, then go for it.

      I admit to not being terribly knowledgeable about exotic pets.  I spent most of my life in Hawaii which has possibly the most restrictive pet laws in the whole country, given the islands' fragile ecosystems and vulnerable native plants and animals.  And boy are they paranoid about snakes.  Absolutely paranoid.  Pretty much the weirdest critter you can legally own in Hawaii is a Jackson's chameleon.

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