Official Website for Daniel Geery

Candidate for Utah Federal Senator

 

This is my official site in running for U.S. Senator from Utah, on the Justice Party Ticket. Main principles have been listed and highlighted in page text for easy skimming; please explore them in whatever way works best for you. Quote any portion of this site, with reference to it, or email a link as you wish. I try to answer all reasonable questions sent via the "Contact" button and post all appropriate comments. Hitting the "Like" button above will let you send a link to your Facebook account, assuming you have one; hit "Tweet" to send to your Twitter followers. Want money out of politics? Let's stop talking about it and start making it happen.  

 

 

 

 

 

(For the more visually inclined, here is a short video of me discussing main points, sponsored with the help of KUED and others: http://www.voteutah.org/candidates/us-senate/daniel-geery)

 

 

The list below highlights a few fundamental principles that I stand for. Do I expect them to happen in the near future? No. Do they offer the direction we should be moving toward? Absolutely. Face east if you want to go east, face west if you want to go west. Aim for the stars and you just may hit the moon.     

 

 

-         Put kids first/ fix public schools/ free higher education

-         Single payer healthcare for all

-         $$$ out of politics and “bailouts”

-         End wars, bring military home, lean effective military

-         End government waste/ taxation used wisely and fairly

-         No banks but those helping create real jobs and services

-         Meaningful jobs for all

-         Help small businesses

-         Respect nature, restore ecosystems

-         Real justice for all

-         Social security alive and well

-         Act as moral compass for Utah, the U.S., and the world

 

I believe in simplicity and operating from principles rather than dogma. This keeps things fluid, yet holds one on an even course--like following the North Star when you’re lost, yet allowing for a change of course around unforeseen obstacles. I also believe that it is beyond time to bring bright lights into some very dark spaces around us; transparency is critical and exposure of who is doing what has never been more important in the life of our country.

 

If you like the principles expressed here, I ask that you vote for me and encourage others to do so too. In return, I promise to work hard to uphold these principles during my tenure in office. I also promise to donate a third of my salary—your taxes—to a worthwhile cause in Utah, most likely involving aid to children, to help them become productive citizens. I believe in “seed programs” that get people started on a positive course, yet not dependent on those programs forever. 

                                                                                                                  

 

I will not accept money, none whatsoever, for this campaign. We should run our country and state on principles and good ideas, and money must not taint our decisions. Hopefully that small light in the dark will serve as an example for others in Washington to consider as well. I suggest that you view the $$$ signs that other politicians boast about as a direct reflection of how far these folks have gone in selling out any principles they may have had--and how far they're willing to go in working against your interests.   

 


Because I am running this campaign on no money, it is critical that if you agree with the main ideas on this page that you help get the word out. The above links help do this, but it is important to spread the word any way you can. It truly is your campaign, and I hold myself out as an instrument for that. Short, simple comments that relate to articles in newspapers or online sites are especially appreciated. One or two sentences tying ideas in this site to different issues will be extremely helpful, and most likely the best way to spread awareness and “get out the vote.” Freely quote this site where possible in related online articles. Particularly if you make a habit of it, I send you “my blessings in advance”! Letters to the editor are great and appreciated. But if you are a busy, productive citizen, you likely don’t have much time for that anyway, let alone slogging through neighborhoods and getting doors slammed in your face.  

 

                                                                                                                                 

 

I am not looking to persuade, but simply state things as I see them, and, I hope, to offer a genuine vision we will all benefit from, if acted upon. Regrettably I fail to see visions from other politicians, so much as empty rhetoric. As it is important to know "where a person's coming from," please be sure to check my biography page and the recommendations link there. This is what colleagues have had to say about me over the years (please note these are not political endorsements, but observations and recommendations from people who worked with me as a person, in some professional capacity  http://www.danielgeery.com/daniel-geery-recommendations.pdf   and also fyi, a brief biography:  http://danielgeery.com/biography/)


I don’t like political labels. I find them divisive, misused, and generally unproductive. They are also confusing, meaning different things to different people. However, if you feel a need to label me, I’m comfortable with the word “progressive,” since I believe in progress for humankind. But I am also “ultra conservative,” in that I advocate preserving those things that truly matter for humans everywhere, on this amazing and beautiful planet; likewise, I believe in fiscal responsibility and fiscal realism. My basic principles, summarized in one paragraph, stripped of labels:

Treat your neighbors as you’d want to be treated; help the less fortunate; forgive others; educate youth in a well-rounded curriculum; live in harmony with Nature and within our means; encourage recognition that we are one species on one planet, with many differences but also with the same ultimate fate; push for kindness and fairness as globally accepted norms. Recognize that humanity, not money, is what we are ultimately working for. More specifically: 

 

 

Put children first. Seriously first, and make decisions in their interest and that of generations to come. The human mind, educated and guided by wisdom, is our greatest resource. Provide free education through four years of college, or the equivalent, as a right to deserving youth. Lower the boom on needless administrative costs in education. Administrators wanting to work with kids should be allowed to, thus lowering classroom size. Study and strive to emulate the best of Finland’s school system, considered by serious educators to be the best in the world. Tailor it if need be, to fit into our own cultural setting. Improve and provide healthy school lunches. Make physical education mandatory, every day of the week. Bring back arts, crafts, shop, and other life-skills classes. Focus on making public schools excellent and eliminate any perceived need for charter schools.

Make America a genuine “shining light on the hill,” leading the world by example. We have already flashed enough “shining gun barrels” around the planet. Bring to life a real vision in the interest of all humans everywhere, starting at home. Prove that democracy works, not by talking about it, but by actively demonstrating it. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

 

                                                                                                      

Pursue truth and act on what is learned, even when it takes us “out of our comfort zone.” Recognize that humankind exists on one planet and shares the same ultimate fate. Use science to help us make rational decisions. Explore the root causes of problems, such as unemployment, immigration, global imbalances.

 

              


Respect reasonable differences of opinion, but penalize outright lying and deception in the political arena, where such things are all too prevalent today, and tantamount to treason of the American people.

Be kind. Bring back civilized talk and actions. Reject willful ignorance; educate when and wherever possible. Bring a permanent end of labeling and name calling of other peoples and countries. With D.C. far worse than junior high in this department, you know that a serious change is needed.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Implement major domestic green jobs and infrastructure programs. Improve public transportation, encourage car-pooling, walking and biking, develop a new rail system, connecting major cities by high speed train, emulate local bus and train systems that work well and that have been established in many cities, both here and around the world.

 

Video: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Living-on-Sunshine-Underg-by-Daniel-Geery-110318-547.html

 

Create a fair, democratic, transparent financial sector that serves the needs of start-ups, small business and consumers. End incentives for U.S. companies to send jobs and money overseas. Create a vibrant, sustainable economic system, providing meaningful jobs and a decent standard of living for all.

 

                                                                

Develop an economy that does not depend on continual expansion for survival.
Counterbalance short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations. Look for and activate start-up programs and businesses most likely to produce long-term benefits.

 

                                                                                                 

Small Utah business owner speaks on Fox News:

http://youtu.be/vcq1ZWiQ18w


Treat Nature with respect. Recognize our place in it. Support programs that help us understand our place in time and space and that help bring nations together. NASA and others have done a spectacular job so far, in spite of some well-documented failures. At the same time, be clear that if we don’t take care of our own people and children first, the rest is for naught.

 



Do not allow any media on the public airwaves if it veers from speaking the truth, or distorts reality for political or financial ends. Establish and safeguard an open internet, accessible to all, with the ability to trace statements or alleged facts to their original source. Harshly penalize internet censors (this does not include places such as schools and homes or programs that responsible adults may need to protect children from adult material) which limit political discussion and free exchange of ideas; indeed, do all we can to eliminate them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Apply established First Amendment Law to the use of the internet, and society in general. Government censorship of critics is all too prevalent and is a major, deadly gateway to the collapse of democracy. Recognize that First Amendment Rights are ultimately the most important ones we have, from a legal and social standpoint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Preserve our environment, restore damaged ecosystems, do all we can to live within the means that Nature so generously provides. Operate with the understanding that we are part of Nature, not separate from it. Respect and learn from biomimicry. Live within the resource limits of our communities and our planet. Encourage agricultural practices that replenish the soil. Acknowledge and respect life forms other than our own, and work for the preservation of biodiversity, essential to life on earth.



Enhance environmental protection by strengthening the EPA, putting responsible parties in charge, and at the same time help companies reach reasonable goals over time. A close look at the toxins being poured, puffed, and dumped into our environment shows that we are literally killing ourselves, along with our children. Take aggressive action and leadership on the climate crisis and the environment.


Debate on climate change must be about details, timing, and what to do about it, not whether it’s happening. Clean air is a fundamental human right. Ditto clean water. Every stream, river, pond, and lake should ultimately be clean enough to drink from, as they once were. This won’t happen overnight, but it is the direction we should be headed in, and one reasonable measure of the health of the planet.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Remove the influence of money from politics. Return political power to the people, through fair and transparent elections. Re-establish and make viable workers’ right to organize. Eliminate the Electoral College. Go to one person, one vote, for President. Establish instant run-off voting, where you can vote for several candidates in order. The one with the most votes wins.

 


Enact a financial transaction tax that curbs reckless speculation, The only truly meaningful monetary transactions are ones that end in useful goods or helpful services, or which facilitate those. End tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthy. Take actions that will help reduce the disparity in wealth distribution from what it is now. More disparity means more social unrest, no matter where you look.


Reward people for hard work, but not fancy financial schemes that exploit others.

 

                                                                                                       

A recent study showed that ninety-three percent of all new income in 2009 and 2010 went to the wealthiest one percent of the population. Everyone else, the bottom ninety-nine percent, divided up the remaining seven percent. This issue must be addressed, promptly and with no holds-barred.

 


Senator Bernie Sanders offered a number of proposals which could increase federal revenue, help lower the deficit, and adequately fund social needs in America. I support them:

Every year, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax revenues from offshore tax abuses by the wealthy and by large corporations.  Cracking down on offshore tax shelters can reduce the federal deficit by up to $1 trillion over the next decade.

By taxing capital gains and dividends the same way that we tax salaried work, we would raise over $730 billion over ten years.

Repealing the Bush tax cuts for the rich, we could raise at least $700 billion over the next ten years.

 

                                                                                        



Our economic and deficit crises are a direct result of the greed and recklessness of Wall Street.  By establishing a Wall Street speculation fee of less than one percent on the sale and purchase of credit default swaps, derivatives, stock options and futures, we will reduce Wall Street gambling, encourage investment in a productive economy, and reduce the deficit by $350 billion over ten years. (I would likely increase that percent, after consulting with economists I respect.)
 

                                                                                              


By establishing a progressive estate tax on inherited wealth of more than $3.5 million, we could raise more than $70 billion over ten years.

The five largest oil companies in the United States have earned about $1 trillion in profits over the past decade. By ending tax breaks and subsidies to big oil, gas and coal companies, we could reduce the deficit by more than $40 billion over the next ten years.

 


Work for compassionate, rational immigration reform. Examine and correct policies that drive people from their home countries to the United States.

 

                                                                             


End subsidies to oil, nuclear, coal, and gas companies. Level the economic playing field for energy, allowing best solutions to prevail, taking social and environmental costs into full account. Tax oil at the wellhead, and use those taxes to foster energy efficiency. Reducing energy waste remains the cheapest, most practical, prompt form of “new energy” no matter what the source. Transform the electric grid to make it efficient and safe from potential threats.
 


Put a lid on laissez-faire capitalism, and offer sensible guidance, incentives, and disincentives from the federal level. Carefully examine the workings of the Federal Reserve System and correct its problems, if possible; if not, start discussions on other alternatives, and do all we can to enact them. Greatly simplify and establish a rational, equitable taxation system.

Protect public investments by opposing and reversing the privatization of public assets. Water, oil, air, forests, grazing lands, costal regions, and sunshine belong to all—meaning you, me, and our progeny through the ages--to mention a few examples.

 

                                                                                                



Enforce employee and environmental safeguards, both here and in trade agreements with other countries. Fairness is a bedrock guiding principle of the Justice Party, and should be for humans everywhere.

                                                                                         


Offer affordable universal health care with improved Medicare for all. Medicare works, as do a number of other proven systems. What are we waiting for, besides the roadblocks and lies constructed by certain corporations and lobbyists? Medicare saves lives, eliminates at least 20% of private company profits for basic human needs, and has been shown again and again to be economically feasible.

 

                                                                                         

Social Security is a must for any sane society. Retirement should be optional, starting at age 60, for those who have worked hard all their lives. Social Security has long paid for itself, and will continue to do so. Anyone claiming otherwise has not done their homework, or is lying.

Recognize that there is no “way to peace,” but that “peace is the way”; and the necessary corollary, that without justice, there will be no peace.



End all wars. Employ diplomacy to the greatest extent possible. Develop alternatives to violence. Work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments and groups. Promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies we disagree with; when you’re sitting at the table talking, then by definition you can’t be fighting. Take aggressive actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace. Establish a Department of Peace, as Dennis Kucinich advocated long ago.

At the same time, recognize the real need for hard core self-defense, and the defense of others in intolerable situations, as we witnessed in Rwanda. Drastically alter the system which costs us untold billions, and now trillions of tax dollars, yet couldn’t catch a cave man for ten years. Alternatively and absolutely, develop and maintain a lean, mean military machine.

 

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                              

 

 Actual costs of war: http://costofwar.com/


Pay attention to potential real enemies, who are frightfully prevalent in our own government and environment. Take to heart and practice the first principle of warfare: Know your enemy! Doing that will go a long way toward potential diplomatic solutions, as will following national and international laws, that we have long been ignoring and trampling on.

 



Establish military conversion projects, whereby we redirect money, research, brain power, and large corporations to ends that result in helping people, rather than harming them. The world military budget is over $1.7 trillion, with about 40 percent coming from the U.S. and thus directly from your wages. Some of our main enemies have been and are the ones we create.

                                                                             

 

Solar airship designed by Utah inventor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VBTKEPAzvA

Develop a strategy for abolishing nuclear weapons, starting with our own grotesque stockpile, which, if used, would make the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like a quaint pastime for children, and virtually certainly bring an end to civilization.

                                                                                    



Stop selling arms around the world, and stop shaking an angry fist at it. Extend instead our welcome and helping hands. Drop food not bombs.

 


Identify and eliminate government pork barrel programs. All of them. Develop and continue pushing for efficiency in government, while enforcing, creating, and abetting trustworthy oversight programs, with responsible people running them.

                                                                                                                                      

Establish marriage equality. If a person wants to marry a potato, a slug, or a stinkbug, let them. Many already have, and this has had no known effect on the marriage or relationships of others.



End race and gender discrimination wherever it exits. Make official government apologies to races and cultures we have diminished, maimed, or destroyed. There should be no trouble finding them, or at least what remains of them.

                                                                                                                   

Treat substance abuse as a public health problem rather than as a criminal matter. Mainly because it is. End the war on drugs. Make medical marijuana readily available for those who need it. Legalize industrial hemp. The benefits will be astronomical, economically, socially, and technically.



Repeal the PATRIOT Act, the NDAA, and any other acts or laws which eliminate or diminish our fundamental Constitutional rights.


Obey and enforce the Constitution, but realize that it was written in the days of horse and buggy, prior to electricity and indoor plumbing, when the U.S. population was about four million souls. Our population now stands at around 311 million, or 77 times larger than when the Constitution was written. This suggests that the Constitution needs to evolve in a positive manner to meet a radically different world, technologically and otherwise. It was the amazing foresight of the original founders which intentionally created room and incentive for this.

                                                                                       


Increase public participation at every level of government and ensure that public representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Expand participatory democracy by directly including citizens in decision-making processes. Guarantee that all persons have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded by society and the environment. Confront and eliminate barriers, such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, to create fair treatment and equal justice under the law.


Restructure social, political and economic institutions away from control by the powerful few; move toward a more democratic, less bureaucratic system. Keep decision-making as much as possible at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all.

Support independently owned and operated socially responsible companies, through well-reasoned tax incentives and disincentives. Abolish corporate personhood and hold corporations responsible to society.

Investigate and prosecute illegal conduct that led to our economic melt-down. Investigate past war crimes and prosecute those responsible. Initiate and complete a comprehensive review of the circumstances that led to and caused the horrors of 9/11, answering major questions that have not yet been answered.
Avidly encourage and listen to whistleblowers. Free Bradley Manning, Tim DeChristopher, and Julian Assange; award them damages for their unjust and irrational punishment, while acknowledging their efforts to enlighten us all; they are national or international heroes, not enemies!

 

                                    

Diverse elements of society must be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies. Support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles.

Encourage individuals to improve their personal well-being and at the same time enhance social harmony. Join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.

                                                                        



Think and make decisions with long-term goals in mind. Safely dispose of or otherwise eliminate the waste we create, ultimately eliminating the concept of “waste.” Organic packaging should help fertilize your garden. Encourage resource efficiency, while recycling, and reusing. Support “cradle to cradle” manufacturing. Encourage population reduction to a sustainable level, creating taxes proportional to family size. We can “go forth and populate the earth” far more efficiently over time, than by racing to exceed the earth’s carrying capacity in a geological flash.
 

                                                                                                                                                      


Limit political and judicial terms, including that of federal judges. As Mark Twain noted, “Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.”



Eliminate poverty and the causes of it. Use the ability we have to give every human being a decent life, with food, shelter, employment, medical services. Eliminate terms such as “minorities” and “illegal aliens,” along with bogus issues such as what people do in their own bedrooms. Recognize we are all part of the family of humankind, with both strengths and frailties. Treat everyone equally under the government and the law.

Sensibly regulate guns. I’m not a gun fanatic, but I’ve had a number of them in the past and I understand their deep cultural roots, appreciate their mechanical beauty, and also realize that hunting is a critical part of wildlife management, given that so many natural predators are gone. I understand and greatly appreciate that so many hunters and fishers are avid supporters of healthy ecosystems. I know that people want and may need firearms for protection in certain situations, though I don’t consider schools, college campuses, and public places in general to be among them. We have the right to bear arms, but defining that right needs to make sense and be based on solid research regarding what is best for society at large. You don’t need an UZI to bring home a rabbit, and Gatling guns weren’t even invented when the Constitution was written. 

 



Transform the judicial system into a fair system, with meaningful and commensurate punishment, rehabilitation programs, and uniform application of law and justice for all. Greatly diminish prosecutorial and judicial immunity.


                                                                                                     


Of course none of this will happen overnight, but it is my vision and proposal of the goals we should aim for, along with the vision of many others who’ve given these matters serious thought. Brought to life, these principles would help create the world I’d like to leave behind for my children and grandchildren, along with their progeny and yours. Yes, there are more topics, perhaps never ending topics, but I hope these seeds of thought will help you visualize the foundations I’d like to see being “cast in concrete” in the next few years.

CRITICAL NOTE, PLEASE! If this site and these words are to mean anything, we need to make our voices heard, and heard now! Please read, ponder, and expand on the types of comments I suggest below. You have the power and the means, in a way people have never had before. Your repeated and various comments, multiplied by thousands of others, will make all the difference in the world! To sit on our hands is to give the game away—although this is indeed no longer “a game.” I hope the ideas you find here are tied directly to things you’re already reading about and interested in. If you believe in the power of the internet and spreading of ideas, and are interested in a brighter future for us all, please do your best to regularly send folks here. Easier still: Pick a relevant paragraph and paste it as a comment, encouraging readers to check this site. 

 

A long shot? Perhaps, but much longer ones have been made and accomplished. The time is incredibly ripe for third parties, since so many Americans have caught on to the lack of difference between Democrats and Repbulicans, and that they are controlled by the same dark shadows. Your words will be more educational, provocative, and helpful than a thousand plastic meaningless lawn signs or bumper stickers, or playing in the mud to slam the ideas of others. Will it work? There is one way to find out: Let’s give it a try! A serious try, a sustained try, and a passionate one! Thank you sincerely for your interest and help.

 

I will read and attempt to respond to any intelligent email. I guarantee your confidentiality and will not use your email for any purpose other than possible sporadic updates (which you would have the ability to easily opt out of).

 

 

10/25/12  Notes on Abortion, Euthanasia, Stem Cell Research, Same Sex Marriage, Human Cloning

 

Recently I received a letter from a visitor to this website, asking the following:

 

"I see that you are running for Senate. I would like to know your stand on the following issues: 
 

1. Abortion 
2. Euthanasia 
3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research 
4. Same sex marriage 
5. Human Cloning"

 

My answer follows: I appreciate your asking and investigating my take on these matters of great importance. I am happy to attempt to address them.

 

Abortion. I believe that many people place this as their central issue in voting, I think because they view it as the destruction of a soul, presumably immortal. That is actually the position I took in a college speech class, several decades ago. I had graduated 12 years of Catholic school, with some very strict nuns.

 

Since then, I've grown physically and spiritually, read countless articles on the topic, known a number of women who had an abortion (probably many more than actually talked about it to me), and thought about the subject from many points of view.

 

First, I do think many people take the topic too lightly, whether one believes in an immortal soul or not. Clearly, if a person believes, for whatever reason, that abortion is the taking of innocent human life, I can understand their abhorrence of such an act. Not to stand up for that belief would be a disregard of one's own morality.

 

Of course, there can be an infinite spread of further complicating issues. Is the mother's life endangered, does the fetus have serious medical problems that will cause a life of misery or a very short life anyway, and the list goes on and on.

 

That said, the view that a fertilized egg has a soul, mortal or otherwise, is ultimately a personal, generally religious one. At the same time, even if there is no soul, as many believe, this is not something many women I've known take lightly. It is a major, life-changing event, either way.

 

Given the variables, the timing, the medical aspects, the nature of conception (e.g., was it rape?), and the simple fact that I am a male who doesn't want to poke his nose into other people's life (and don't think doing so is moral in itself, except in extreme cases--e.g., I would do my best to help someone being beaten on the street), I believe whether or not to have an abortion is a woman's decision and the state should stay out of it. A woman, her doctor, and the relevant people in a woman's life are the ones who should be making this choice.

 

Briefly, personally, I would look closely at the state of consciousness of the unborn and try to factor that into this weighty question. A freshly conceived egg is smaller than the period at the end of this sentence, and I am far more concerned in general with our country killing other fully conscious and innocent men, women, and children around the world (calling it "collateral damage" and now using robotic drones to do it), and sending our own young men--with so much potential to do real good in their lives--to foreign countries to take over resources, namely oil, as we've done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Euthanasia.  Again, we have definitional issues right off. When I was lying in the LDS Hospital in June and July of August 2005, on an artificial heart and other machines, waiting for a real heart from a then living donor, I wanted to be "disconnected" many times.  I am glad now that I wasn't, but I actually had a living will somewhere saying that I wanted no part of being on medical life-support. Also, for the year before that time, I was living like a vegetable, with a 15% ejection fraction, and a helpless burden to those I lived with. For life to go on like this was becoming more and more unfathomable, and I was beginning to ponder how to end it. Yes, suicide, another form of euthanasia.

 

If one is considering this question seriously, I would strongly encourage them to watch Million Dollar Baby, with Clint Eastwood.  I cannot think of a more potent and compelling movie to give deep insight and provoke thought on this incredibly weighty issue.

 

Again, it comes down to one's own conscience. My friend, Dr. Robert Weitzel, was up on murder charges which you may have been following in the press a few years back. He was adhering to strict and clear directives from relatives regarding his geriatric patients, to not keep these elderly, badly ailing folks on life support, but instead to give them end-of-life care. That meant to reduce their pain and suffering to the greatest extent possible. 60 Minutes did an excellent and I think objective piece on this, which takes about 12 minutes to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJB11Ka4Ycs

 

Dr Jacob Kevorkian , who died not long ago, I think was ahead of his time, and certainly not some kind of "mad killer," as he has been portrayed (another video I recommend, as it gives great insights into this person and his view of life). Countless Americans would love to have him or another like him around near the inevitable end of their life (please note: Dr. Weitzel was NOT taking an active role in anything but rather helping his five patients exit life on earth with dignity, and he makes a very big point of this distinction).

 

I think his was a five day trial, with a jury of 12 lay person peers, and the decision came in unanimously to vindicate Dr. Weitzel on all counts. The only reason they took an hour to deliberate, we later learned, was that they had pizza for lunch. This was in DavisCounty, north of Salt Lake, and a very conservative place (I hate labels, but I think this is fair to say here).

 

So euthanasia has many sides and definitions too, near as I can tell. I once saw a high school student who was crippled and completely paralyzed and in need 24 hours of care. I don't really know all his circumstances, but he appeared to be barely aware, if aware, of his own existence. My heart bled just to see this, and I could not possibly imagine how the parents must have been suffering all those years. 

 

I would not make such an unfathomably difficult and personal decision for someone else. I also do believe that the vast majority of doctors are not leaping for joy when such cases arise. Again, I'd leave the state out of this sphere of any person's life, while realizing there could exist cases where a decision had to be made by someone. Generalizing on these topics and passing laws based on such generalizations is, I believe, not a good idea.

 

My father is 90, btw, and doing well after yet another surgery. His new wife, a few years younger, is wonderful company for him. If decisions of this nature were to come up in their relationship, I would NOT want to be in a position to call the shots.

 

Embryonic Stem Cell Research. I am glad that scientists are in large measure bypassing this issue by learning to use other than stem cells for research and conclusions and findings they would not otherwise be able to reach. From all I've read, stem cells that would be used for this kind of research would die off anyway. Since I believe we should use the tools we've been given to alleviate human suffering--I see this as our moral duty--I am in favor of stem cell research, though this is seeming less and less relevant with each passing week.  Had medical technologists been able to grow a heart for me, a kidney for my friend or brother-in-law (who wound up with one of my sister's kidneys, risking her life), I would have been most pleased.

 

Same sex marriage. As I've written on my website: "Establish marriage equality. If a person wants to marry a potato, a slug, or a stinkbug, let them. Many already have, and this has had no known effect on the marriage or relationships of others." I can't add to that in any meaningful way, except to say that I've known many same-sex oriented people and read tons on the subject and believe this is genetically determined (with a few possible exceptions, that would be none of my business). 

 

Just remembered, I did write about this some years back:http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_daniel_g_071113_save_a_soul_3a_nip_a_g.htm

 

Nothing has changed since I wrote that article that I am aware of.  

 

Human Cloning. There have been many times when I thought a few clones of myself would have been very helpful, particularly in the classroom (a very scary thought at the moment!). Likewise, I have known many beautiful people who it seems like we should have more of. However, my gut feeling is that this is unnecessarily playing God (and one can take that term in whatever way they want, I merely mean this would be taking our technology too far too fast, when we don't really know what we're doing). I have little doubt that the philosophical complications that would come from this would be overwhelming, just as they are already on the question of whether we should use gene manipulation to create "super humans" (which I oppose, due to the vastly complex issues this creates). 

 

A few last thoughts. I was in biology for four years and have followed much of the work in that field since I left college. I say this to give a better sense of where I'm coming from. I DO think that how a society treats the weakest and least amongst its members is one major direct measure of its greatness. Hence my interest in improving education (literally, "to lead out of the dark"), ending poverty, ending wars, and creating a viable and sustainable society.

 

I am a firm believer in bona fide sex education (parents would be free to opt out if they wished), free contraceptives and much contraceptive information from clinics, and even free vasectomies. This would eliminate many of the problems I've written about here.  Sadly, at least to me, over 60% of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. I believe we've all seen the deleterious effects of this, probably more than once. I think not taking the issue of bringing new life into the world most seriously is itself immoral. I have one biological son, another adopted, and more recently an autistic step-child who I spend much time working with.

 

To the person who sent the questions: Thank you for prompting this article and causing me to spell my thoughts out in more detail. Most appreciated.

 

I reiterate here that I have many articles, comments, links, and so forth on www.opednews.com, one site I get much of my news from. Check my name there and you can find much more of my thinking and writing. It is possible my ideas evolved in a few areas, but the few times I glance back, I'm happy to see that I still agree with myself. Happy to clarify anything there, just send a comment via this site and I'll get it.