[quote]It seems to me that there is a confusion between conviction (what the founders had when they decided independance was the only course) and bravado (our current approach)[/quote]
Living in the Commonwealth, I'm not sure how many people would agree that there is much difference between 'US' policy in 1780 and today, except in 1780, we really did have a Coalition of the Willing...to take England down a peg. As the current superpower, perhaps that's something to think about. Anyway, Is the invasion of Iraq really that much different than our invasions of the 19th century?
In regards to the declining US hegemony, there was an interesting [url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/magazine/27world-t.html?scp=1&sq=end+of+hegemony&st=nyt]article[/url] on the NY Times. I think in many ways the analysis is foolish, especially when it comes to Russia, and it ignores some important issues, but it is something to think about, especially in terms of US/EU relations in the years to come.
As for the primary process, I think its pretty silly. I do tend to agree with Jey though, that proportional delegation is better. I also voting should strictly be limited to party members.
[quote]I'm not saying proportional representation should be used in all aspects of our government (we eventually have to elect one president) but it is very interesting. [/quote]
Its interesting you mention this. Changing to proportional representation was a big issue on the provincial ballot here this past Oct. It failed. Overall, I like the concept of representing more viewpoints, but it also makes building any kind of consensus that much more difficult and makes for some very odd political partnerships, which in turn make any kind of longer-term plan impossible. There are several parlimentary systems where this is the case today, the most prominent in my mind being Italy and Israel, two countries that need a strong, prospectively thinking government to deal with their internal challenges and yet the governments' only concern is trying to hold onto the slippery reins of power. Instead, they swing this way and that depending on which way the wind of votes blows.
[quote]As far as CAFE standards go, the automotive industry will cope.[/quote]
Seriously. I think we all know they could do it today if they wanted. Cars woud have to change quite a bit, but its not like we don't have the ability to implement it right now. That being said, cars are, of course, only part of the problem and other areas should be addressed as well.
[quote]The only and I do mean only problem that I see with the US finally trying to do something about polluting our planet, is lack of sacrifice from other nations. It would be extremely difficult to spend billions and reduce pollution in the US if China continues to send giant plumes of black smoke into the air.[/quote]
I agree with you in premise. But in reality, all this means is that instead of China sending black plumes into the air, we do it as well. Better to lead by example and not alienate the rest of the first world, IMO.
[quote]Climate change isn't about saving polar bears, giant redwoods, joshua trees or preserving the glaciers and polar ice. Those are important, but they are the canarys in the coal mine. We're talking about the survival of the planet as we know it.[/quote]
I may be killed for typing this, but global warming is a result of the successful machinations of Insecta against their recent rivals for global domination (i.e. homo saipien) so that the poor mammals destroy themselves and, in so doing, unwittingly terraform the planet into more hospitable conditions for what is already the most populous Class on Earth. Never underestimate the tenacity of a cockroach!