Oh yeah, I should talk a bit about myself, thanks for starting things off their Popeye.
Well since Popeye is the old coot here, I'm the young wipper snapper. In fact I'm barely older than his oldest child. (I'm 29) Born in 1978 I can only read and imagine some of the things old Popeye has lived through like the Gas Crisis, the Cold War, and the invention of fire. (Just teasing)
I too am married, though Sharyn and I have only been married for just over a month now. (YAY!) No children yet, but we hope to have some eventually. I live on the opposite side of the country from Popeye here in Sunny Southern California. Heck, it's so sunny where I live it's the desert! We only have two seasons here, hot and not hot, so don't expect much sympathy from me when folks are complaining about the heat wherever they are.
In another interesting turn of events I to work for the government, though in a much more roundabout way than Popeye. I work for NASA by tracking satelites at the Deep Space Tracking Facility at Goldstone. Which is a fancy way of saying I'm the mail man of the space industry, sending and recieving data from every single spacecraft (but one) outside of Earth orbit. It's an interesting job in it's own way but it sure has given me new perspective on government spending, contracts, bidding, and Dilbert comics. (I get all the ISO 9000 jokes now!)
As for my political beliefs I fall somewhere along the Libertarian/Conservative line depending on who you talk to. Since I was only 10 when Popeye's Newsweek article came out I can't go by their settings. I listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin on a regular basis and agree with many of their stances, though not all of them. When it comes to the government I'm very laissez-faire on the buisness side of things, trusting more to the market and private industry to sort things out than big government. In fact I feel there are very few things the government should be involved in, most notably being transportation (roads, highways and the like), defending the nation, and protecting our personal freedoms. That's about it.
Here's a quick rundown on some of my stances:
Gun Control: So wait, you're telling me you want to prevent those who break the law from getting guns by making more laws? How dumb is that? I can go on at great length as to why most Gun Control laws are moronic and are only stepping stones to outright gun bans.
Public Education: I would really like our system to be much more like the Japanese School system, but the teacher's unions and our culture couldn't stand making our kids learn. As it stands we're teaching to the lowest common denominator which is a terrible thing. Hell I bet you take me at 18 and Popeye at 18 and he'd know a lot more history, math, and the basics while I'd know more about technology and computers.
Emergency Services: About one of the only areas in government I'd like to see increased spending in. More Police, Fire, and Ambulances. More new technology. More research in these areas are all good things in my book.
Abortion: When you're dead there are no options left. I don't care how you dress it up, if left alone those "cluster of cells" will become a human being. On the other hand if you prevent those cells from forming (the day after pill) or sticking to the uterous wall I have no problem with that. So I'm somewhere between the Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion stances.
Violence in Videogames: Come on! EVERYTHING that's been said about video games was said about COMIC BOOKS back before even Popeye was born it seems. Every time there's another popular trend in children's entertainment folks in Washington want to scream that it's ruining our children. You want to know what's really ruining our children? Our culture and our lack of parenting. It's not a village that raises a bloody child it's the frikin parents!
Terrorism: I'll be nice, the threat of Muslim extremists is quite real. Any religion and practicioners there of that are qutie fine with STONING someone for having too short a dress is worth keeping eye on. If one doesn't go looking for all of the stories of Muslim insanity throughout the world you could very well just gloss it over and say, 'It's no big deal' or 'It's only over there not here.' Yet if you were to actually start looking at all the little stories, and examples of the extremism in that religion one can only acknowledge the very real threat there. The same goes for when we see cults spring up in Christinainty or any other religion (though I don't hear about Buddhist extremists. Just Buddhists being killed by Muslims. Odd...) . Ignoring it in the name of "diversity" or "tolerance" is just naive and short sighted.
WalMart: It's a great company that provides needed jobs and services. I prefer Target but hey that's me. It's changed the retail industry forever and everyone will have to adjust.
Net Neutrality: It's important that the internet not being censored like is happening in China and Germany. We shouldn't have to worry about the telecomunication companies screening our activities.
Taxes: Lower is better. You can't tax your way to growth.
Government Spending in general: Lower is Better. MUCH lower. No more of this "Automatic Increases" BS! Oh, and decreasing the increase is not a CUT in spending! If your program got $30 Million last year, and got $31 Million this year instead of the "automatic increase" to $35 Million that is NOT a $4 Million cut!
Okay enough random ranting for me, it's Popeye's turn.