I originally created Issuepedia as a way of dealing with the confusion (shall we say) I and a lot of other people felt after the 2004 presidential election. How could a man be so clearly dishonest and still get elected? Or were we the ones who were wrong, and he actually wasn't that bad?
Issuepedia's first project, then, was to collect information relating to George W. Bush, his past performance, his views, the views of his party, the issues upon which I and my friends are at odds with his party, and so on. If we were right, this would make it clear to his supporters just what he was supporting. If we were wrong, it would become clear as the facts accumulated. This methodology could then be used to help resolve (or at least understand) all kinds of contentious issues.
The methodology seems to work quite well; the main problem has been a lack of interest from anyone else. As such, it is still of use to me, as it serves as a filing place for facts and cross-references which I otherwise would be unable to remember, thus making it possible for me to have a reasonable grasp on the issues I've been studying. Hopefully others will soon see the value of it. I have ideas for publicity campaigns ("Issuepedia: no more sound bites"), and will get around to working on that eventually.
- My positions on a number of issues
- The /outrage file (new)
- debates index
- /not: these comments signed "Woozle" are not me.
- /rationalist: My name is Woozle. I carry a card.
- /linkdump: a place to put links until I work out a quicker filing system
- /opinionated businesses: should businesses have opinions on things, and how far can they go with them? (As I was typing this, I kinda lost enthusiasm for the whole thing... don't know why. Note: any discussion of larger business ethics should mention companies like Working Assets which make political positions part of their sales pitch.)
- At its best, religion seems to provide a shield against cynicism. This seems to be the real reason why any intelligent people become religious at all; they care about other people, so they want to be "good", and in their experience only religion offers any guidance on that topic. This seems worth an essay, or at least some discussion inside an existing essay.
- Space for expanding discussions on other sites, etc.:
- /votes: an experimental page
- 2007-06-03 Reasons to believe in God (surprise!)
- 2006-11-11 a spiritual argument against religion (last revised 2007) - includes the "guitar" metaphor
- 2006-09-30 Head-in-the-sand Liberals (my writing is the response to an article by this title)
- /Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching: critique of Eagleton's review of The God Delusion
- /neocons and lightbulbs
- /annoy a liberal: answers to a popular conservative bumper-sticker
- /Discovery Institute: proof they aren't really trying (and I hope this doesn't give them any ideas...)
- 2007-08-11 How to Argue with a Liberal, aka how to write like a neocon
- 2009-07-26 /21st Century Primary School Curriculum
- 2009-04-17 /The Counterbible
- 2007-09-30 /United Members of Civilization
- /Eric S. Raymond
- /Conservapedia: my interactions with Conservapedia, especially the ones that get reverted
- /JLF: my interactions with the John Locke Foundation (mainly on the Right Angles Blog)
- Comments on blogs:
- 2010-08-21 Fugitivus: Offered Issuepedia as a venue for logging attempts to note rape scenes in movies
- 2010-08-01 My Left Wing in which I argue against the idea that liberals demonize conservatives almost as often as the reverse
- 2009-12-16 Climate Change data investigated
- 2009-11-30 - 12-12 Climate: We Can ALL Agree On Two Things
- 2009-10-23 Pam's House Blend in which I maintain that Obama, while in need of some heavy criticism, is still miles better than Bush
- eventual critiques:
- /2007-07-03 chat on the subject of why atheists might avoid trying to de-theize their friends
- /open-mindedness: draft of an article I started for Propagandapedia but then realized I really wasn't going to have time to research "properly" (i.e. finding non-Wikipedia references for all the assertions).
Other Dated Writings
- 2009-06-24 /2009-06-24 response to EriKy
- 2008-10-21 /2008-10-21 response to Homeschooling Hints
- 2008-07-16 /2008-07-16 response to Jon Pieret
- 2008-07-13 /2008-07-13 comment on Majikthise
- 2008-05-27 /2008-05-27 response to Paul Dean
- 2008-05-03 /2008-05 ostrich exchange
- 2006-12-20 political theorizing: why we never seem to learn from history, even though we actually do
- 2005-09-06 Thoughts on the Red-Blue Divide (need to revise this)
- 2005-09-09 More Thoughts on the Divide
- /rethinking economics (or should that be "rethinkonomics"?)
- 2007-10-15 /2007-10-15 open letter to GWB: never finished. Bah. (I wanted to find more about this "list" so I could be specific.)
- 2007-05-05 Morality Without God (in progress): how it works (would "Godless Morality" be a better title?)
- 2007-02-13 interfaith treaty working notes
- /Obamacare: notes for the unfinished series defending it
Revisit / Rewrite
- /Evolution vs. Intelligent Design: probably way out of date; probably annotate but otherwise leave as is...
Petitions and Emails
(a partial list)
- 2010-05-24 webmail to the Guttmacher Institute researching claims about sex education vs. teen pregnancy
- 2009-11-06 web petition (via FireDogLake); "The pharma companies do NOT need protection. Many of their most profitable products are the result of publicly-funded research at universities, not pharma profits. They benefit from public funding, so they need to be willing to share those benefits and support the public good."
- 2009-09-10 webmail to Obama: "Personally, I would rather see the bloodsucking insurance companies done away with altogether -- but Obama's plan at least gives them a little honest competition, as long as it contains a public option. Please support Obama's plan as long as it contains that option; anything less is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
- 2009-08-10 /2009-08-10 White House asking for a Reality Check on "socialized medicine" in the UK and Canada
- 2009-07-24 /2009-07-24 MoveOn
- 2009-07-13 /2009-07-13 Credo petition
- 2009-01-16 webmail to the Guttmacher Institute researching the claim that "abortion is being used as a contraceptive" for this discussion
- 2008-12-02 Principles for an Open Transition
- 2008-09-25 Congress: no blank check for Wall Street (did not amend text, due to lack of time)
- 2008-09-21 /2008-09-21 email to David Price
- 2008-08-03 /2008-08-03 petition against Iran blockade
- 2008-07-19 Send Karl Rove to Jail: "I'm sure they'll find some excuse to ignore us yet again, but I have to keep saying it... the law applies to the sacred Bush Administration too. I don't care what they're threatening to do in retaliation; bring it on. We can't let the historical record show that we just sat down and let them get away with it."
- 2008-06-26 /2008-06-26 webmail supporting Rove compulsion via American Freedom Campaign
- 2008-06-25 The Kucinich Impeachment Petition
- added this message: "As Bush's final term draws to a close, it becomes *more* urgent -- not less! -- to establish the wrongness of his acts, and to investigate the details of those acts in order to distinguish between rumor, slander, and truth. I commend Congressman Kucinich for continuing to think clearly in the face of overwhelming propaganda."
- 2008-06-22 /2008-06-22 webmail to David Price opposing Iran blockade
- 2008-06-11 /2008-06-11 email for impeachment via web form @ the American Freedom Campaign
- 2007-10-26 /2007-10-26 webmail in support of HR3835 -- The American Freedom Campaign's online petition in support of Ron Paul's "American Freedom Agenda Act" (HR 3835).
- 2007-10-18 Chris Dodd's online petition expressing support for his blockage of a bill giving the telecomm companies immunity against prosecution in connection with Bush's wiretapping: "I applaud your action of blocking the FISA bill with the telecomm amnesty tacked onto it. This may be just one finger in a dyke with a whole lot of holes, but every finger counts; we just have to hang in there until we can get soemone decent in office (assuming Bush doesn't declare martial law and suspend elections, of course). / I hadn't heard your name before in connection with the 2008 elections, but I will definitely be watching you now. ;-)"
- 2007-10-14 American Freedom Pledge
- 2007-07-07 /2007-07-07 webmail to congress
- 2007-05-09 post-veto request to stand firm against Bush pressure: "As your constituent, I'm asking you to stand up to President Bush and not write another blank check for endless war in Iraq. The president has vetoed funding for the troops, and he's the only one responsible for blocking the resources they need. Please stand firm – support the troops with a plan to end the war and the funding they need to do it."
- my representatives (State House, State Senate, Congress)
- my official voter information, showing every time I've voted since moving back to NC (direct link worked once, but now you apparently have to fill in first/last name :-P --Woozle 18:47, 28 October 2008 (UTC))
- htwiki:Voting: How the Hypertwins voted in 2006
Notes to Myself
- News too fast to digest needs to be filed and deleted
- Interesting Conservapedia user: conservapedia:Special:Contributions/Daphnea
- Need to write: war on the extended family -- part of the war on the family, in that tightly constraining the acceptable model for a family weakens the family itself
- This is bound to be related to something.
- Critique Homosexual "Marriage" and Civilization (again); use this as a model for format.
- Finish this
- Make The Authoritarians Google Group page and add these links, possibly condensed if there is overlap:
- File this somewhere: Run for President of the US
- Respond to: Sermon for Matins: 'Dawkins and The God Delusion' by Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, Westminster Abbey
- Need to respond to this
- For transparency article: "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." -- Supreme Court Justice Louis B. Brandeis
- Interesting quote from Jimmy Wales: "...one of the interesting things about Wikipedia is that people assume ... particularly on controversial topics that the big debates within the Wikipedia community would be somehow roughly the party of the left versus the party of the right. It turns out on those types of topics it's actually the party of the thoughtful and reasonable people and the party of the jerks. And those aren't left or right, they can come from all sides." 
- Need to write a backgrounder article on how web sites always had the potential to allow cross-referencing of news articles and thus to become more like a library, how news web sites (e.g. CNN, Slashdot) fail to use this potential, and how wiki sites enable it. article arguing that wiki is superior to the e-forum model
- Perhaps a page on lessons to learn from history, starting with how Hitler rose to power in a Democratic country even though his party were very much in the minority
- http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html has a number of opinions on other issues regarding which I didn't happen to be working on pages at the time I was reading it, but which should later be mined (yes, I use a lot of Brin quotes and links on this site -- because he's one of the few really rich sources of cogent arguments I've been able to find, on either side of the political spectrum -- though I do plan to pay Orson Scott Card (and The Ornery American) a visit, when time permits.)
- A KDE developer joins the US military:
- Notes for eventual essay related to affordable housing and the real estate industry:
- The real estate loan industry is basically an arms race – or a Sneetch-race, to be more light-hearted about it.
- The home buyers are the Sneetches, and the bankers are Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
- Everyone wants to buy a better house than they can afford, and Sylvester makes it possible.
- The resulting competition for a scarce resource (housing) drives up the price far past its intrinsic value, and gives developers incentives to buy up more and more undeveloped land... thus driving up value of neighboring land or land in "desirable" areas, thus driving up property taxes for the remaining undeveloped land, thus making it less and less affordable to own undeveloped land, thus making it easier for the developers to build more and more overpriced housing.
- Sylvester drives away with a load of cash, and homeowners are left in debt for the rest of their natural lives.
Morality Quiz Notes
A deadly natural disaster (hurricane, tsunami, whatever) is about to strike. A man goes swimming in the ocean, despite all warnings to leave town and especially to stay away from the water. He is arrested by the police. Is this right, or wrong? (Source: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110007328)
Same natural disaster. A teenage boy steals a bus, picks up refugees, and drives them to safety. He is arrested. Is this right or wrong? What should the boy have done? What should the police have done?
...I wanted to have a scenario involving missionaries, but I find it difficult to phrase in a neutral-ish way since the concept of missionarying bothers me all by itself.
2007-02-25 update: Although I came up with those questions independently (in 2005 or 06), they are very similar to the questions used in the surveys described in The Authoritarians.