Bi-DD

Boom.  Posted.  I’ve managed to post two Bi-DD’s in two days.  A bit more serious in tone, 

Troy Davis is sent to be executed, made to stay, and then executed. 

and here

    In sum, this was a controversial case where Troy Davis, a Georgia man, in 1991 was accused of gunning down a police officer while working as a security guard.  AKA, 20 years ago.  Controversy occurred because of a) implementation of death row and b) apparent reasonable doubt for his conviction from what I’ve read.  And this isolated case publicized a much larger and publicly resonant issue:  should the death penalty be present in our modern American society?  No matter how political you try to make policy, there’s always a moral reasoning behind it.  The two are intertwined.  And concerning something like the death penalty, where you’re dealing with human life, the moral aspect weighs in heavily.  I’ll disclose my opinion through a series of vague questions.  

1.)  The state (as in, governmental institution) doesn’t grant life, so should it have the right to take it away? The Declaration of Independence says that all men are entitled to certain unalienable rights, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness, endowed by the Creator, so a strict interpretation would have it that these are kept.  But, we know that these are conditional, as when one takes their individual rights to deprive another of their own.  

2.)   Is the death penalty strictly centered on removing a threat to society?  Is it more effective than doing so than a life sentence?  Or is it about having a readily made moral example of the costs of high crime? Or is it about revenge?  

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, right?  But on paper, that’s perfectly just.  You hurt me, I hurt you, it’s fair.  It’s an even exchange.  But what about Matthew 5:44?  Matthew 7:1?  In Christianity, the whole concept of grace and salvation in general?  You know, where humanity in no way was deserving of an intermediary, but got one anyway (John 3:16, everyone knows that verse).  And isn’t being a Christian about exemplifying Christ?  It begs a lot of questions to be answered if you hold the above to be applicable in your life, which I do.  But I feel the moral offense of taking a life for life is a universal question, I just relate it in terms I know.

3.)  A 20 year trial period is ridiculous.  Over that time, defendants can convince themselves they are innocent, eyewitnesses can convince themselves that the accused is guilty, opinions can change, it’s costly, the list goes on.  I understand the need for a just case, but is holding over such a dynamic time period just?  Accounting for the fallibility of the mind, and its ability to perceive truths about the past that may or may not have happened.  Like that really cool thing that happened to you that you just had to make cooler by adding something when you told your friends, and that addition becomes part of the reality you remember.  You know what I’m talking about.

4.)  Fun fact: it’s actually more costly to hold someone on death row rather than life-long imprisonment, check it:  here.  So if you don’t care about the life-aspect of it, you can relate to the monetary expense.  

5.)  Oh, and weird how a man with reasonable doubt to be innocent is executed, and Casey Anthony is still free.  Though her life may be pretty suckish.  

6.)  AND, myself included, I bet A LOT of people didn’t know about the Troy Davis case until very recent.   

Those are my thoughts on the matter for now, roughly.  Open to argument, debate, etc.  I only know so much at my age.  Moving on:

This Gave Me Chills…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6YlmEVyGrE

In a good way.  I wish I could embed it, but a link will suffice.  »» Biebs.  I’ve got a new show to follow now.

LIGHT, Y U NO TRAVEL FASTER?!?!

   May just be a goof in measurements, but a particle traveling faster than the speed of light could have a huge impact on ‘cardinal rules’ of physics.  Even if it was just a mistake, goes to show that everything in this life is a progressive realization, and what we think we know pales in comparison to what may actually be out there.

Just a comment on the new Facebook changes:

THEY SUCK.  I don’t like the creep feed, the harder to make status tab, the lack of a dislike button.  I’m going to Google+ like the social elite I am.  It’s basically the Apple of social networking at this point.  If only someone would invite me.

EDIT: It has been brought to my knowledge, in all CAPS, by my roommate, that you don’t need an invite to Google+ anymore.  Whatadouche.  But thanks.




 

Bi-DD

Bi-Daily yada yada yada

Today’s issue:  Politics/Economics

MEGA ARTICLE (on the middle class, or hypothesized lack thereof)

And some selected commentary.

It’s an exhausting article, I believe its excerpted from a book actually, but well worth the read.  It’s a very interesting analysis of the way the American economy has transitioned in the past century (basically from an industrial focus to a service focus) and how that plays on the stratification of American society.  

A service oriented economy, mechanizes its industry, causing a loss of manual labor jobs (like in the industrialization of the agricultural industry).  While more efficient, the human (well, morally and consequentially) is higher.  So, what happens?  Do we just leave them behind and tell them to fend for themselves while the rich (pioneers in the burgeoning industry, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or investing giants, like Buffet) get richer?  Or do we compromise (seeming) progress to maintain a degree of economic equality, violating the apparent rights of some to protect those of others.

 After all, middle class prosperity is what drives the economy, and cause the majority or transactions, a driving force behind capitalism, so without a capable middle class there’s a polarization of economic power.  Thanks to globalization, the super rich can outsource to other, cheaper venues and maintain.  The poor, not so fortunate.  And what about the potential for social unrest if such a polarization occurs?  Are we just stuck in a self-feeding cycle destined to end in destruction (or at least falling back a few spots on the global positioning scale) or what?  

There’s two competing schools of thoughts it seems concerning economic policy:  The one that calls for a set of rules to be abided by all, and we applaud the winners, or those who make the best gains under the uniform rules.  Like in real sports.  

There’s also the one that calls for an equalizing force, that takes the hand out from under the “rich” and puts it under the “less rich” (to euphemise, and emphasize that contrary to popular circumstance, we are much more blessed than many of the countries in the world).  The one where everybody gets a trophy, like in little league.

But that’s strictly an economic perspective, ignoring the human element that makes reality SO much more complicated than simple ideals.  Personally, I support the first school.  I like equal opportunity, and equal opportunity does not mean equal outcome.  I know there are those in need, and those who have should constantly and consciously reach out not only to help them, but also to help themselves.  (James 1:27 sort of, and the whole “teach a man to fish” deal).  

And that seems so simple.  So easy to live by.  Then you add the human element, and it gets complicated.  Can you legislate morality?  Or does that annul what the concept of morality is to begin with?  (Consider separation of church and state, can you institutionalize religion (for lack of a better word), but that’s an entirely different discussion)

The problems of society will never be solved through the hands of man because every man has a different idea of what the problem is.  

Feel free to make that your status.  We need outside intervention it seems, but we’re too full of pride to admit so.  We pride ourselves in being self-sufficient decision makers, but self-sufficient decision making is what has ultimately led up to this.  But if we aren’t meant to play a part in the decision making, what purpose do we serve then?  Find balance between the two.  That’s the key.  I feel I may have taken it a bit too far, I never proof read these, which may result in a very vague conveying of thoughts.  How meta of me.  I’m done for now, thanks for reading this far if you did.  I leave you these:

Related Video, Intense Language, but a good rant.  Definitely should watch it.

SO TRUE

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Bi-DD

Well, this is the third day since the last(and first) Bi-DD.  So much for Bi-Daily.  I’ll keep the namesake.

Thanks to my friend Jay for posting this on Facebook:

    

One step closer to bionic life-forms (click).

This electronic patch is thinner than a hair and adheres to the skin on the molecular level (only for a few hours) and can be used to monitor brain waves and other electrochemical activity within the body without implanted electrodes, or even enhance vocal commands for gameplay.  And it’s power self-sufficient.  

Campaign Conflicts Continue 

With the Ames Straw Poll tomorrow, almost regarded as prophetical it seems for the all-important Iowa Caucus later on tomorrow, the Republican candidates vamp up the debate and criticisms, of President Obama and of each other.  Although President Obama provides a common ground for their collective criticisms in campaigning, each one is equally vulnerable to the other as well, opening for criticisms by the opposing view holders.   A messy part of the political process, and somewhat self-defeating, as it splits a party in order to elect the nominee that stands the best chance of unifying it in the 2012 Presidential election, but that’s just the way it is.

Rick Perry Makes Oldschool Cool

The small-town farm-raised Texas Governor makes quite the stir in the GOP race, even though he hasn’t declared candidacy just yet.  He appeals to a broad range of the GOP party, but also has facets that will be fiercely  contested by Democrat opposition.  I like him.  He has these ads going for him as well:  Colbert SuperPac

Facebook Under Fire

Anonymous, the decentralized group of hackers suspected behind the SONY security breach and have repeatedly (and I think justifiably) taunted the Westboro Baptist Church, have targeted Facebook for peddling private information to the government, etc.  And in a nice intimidating Microsoft Sam voice to boot.  Is it a legitimate threat?

MACH20, Mind=Blown

Unrelated note:  funny how most of the people crying out against defunding NASA also call for smaller government and privatization of industry.  From my POV at least.

Small Head? Blame it on your genes.

Don’t miss the Perseids meteor shower tonight, super cool.

LINK

It’s just bits of ice from a comet tail burning through Earth’s atmosphere at speeds so fast it looks like a star shooting across the sky.  NBD.

Compromise

A settlement of differences by mutual concessions.

So, the road to avoiding a national debt default has hit yet another obstruction, as the House rejected the Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling, continuing the ongoing volley of opposition that leads us closer to higher interest rates, lowered value of the US dollar, and other such consequences if such a default were to occur.

While I don’t claim to be an expert on current affairs or US history (relevance later), I want to say that I’m tired of the bi-partisan bickering that is preventing a solution from being reached and ratified.  Both parties hold a pride over politics attitude, and for good reason since the over turn in the House reflected support for a ‘never compromise’ attitude (CNN).  The left criticizes the right as favoring the rich too heavily, and the right criticizes the left as being out of touch with American principles of a free economy, and neither side it seems, until very recent, and in the face of the reality of a default, has made steps to bridge the gap between the two views.

Adamancy is a respectable quality, but it doesn’t fly in politics (which, coincidentally, is the art of compromise).  This country was built on compromise.  The three institutions responsible for composing and approving the budget are the direct results of compromise during the formation of our Constitution: 

The Great Compromise – at the Constitutional Convention, a concession was made between the Virginia plan (representation based on population) and the New Jersey plan (equal state representation) to form the bickering bicameral legislative body we see today.

Presidential Compromise – The original Articles of Confederation didn’t provide for a chief executive, and the process by which we elect the President today is a compromise between popular election and informed election.  So, today, we vote for electors (who, in actuality tend to just roll with the popular vote by state) who then vote for the Presidential nominees.

            In the American political system, policy can only be made if concessions are made by those who form it.  The right is correct (I think) in saying that too high of taxes or too much government involvement can cripple economic development. The left is correct in saying that raising the debt ceiling is necessary for avoiding default, but that just gives room for more spending that has been characterized by growing government in the past decade.  Every time the debt ceiling has been raised, it’s had to have been raised again.

            So?  We need to compromise.  President Obama calls for this, but at the same time piggybacks on Reid’s plan and says he will not pass Boehner’s (which includes a short-term debt ceiling increase), and doesn’t exactly have a proposition of his own other than critical rhetoric and appeals from an ‘American just like you’ (Address).

The Republicans need to agree to raise the debt ceiling (and they have) and also raise taxes a bit.  The thing is, taxes are low, but they may be too low.  We tax 13% of the GDP, but spend nearly a quarter of it (David Stockman).  So, the left needs to agree to cut more of spending, through entitlement reform perhaps.  And we need to let them.  Sure, the benefits may be a great aspiration, but they cost much more than they’re worth at the moment, and our fiscal plans can’t handle them at the moment.    OH, spending.  It has been a bi-partisan problem. 

So, when this is all over with, whether by a passed resolution or a default, work on passing the balanced budget amendment. It’s obvious that one can’t be held for long without some higher power, like the Constitution, demanding it.  Maybe we could take Warren Buffet’s advice.

That concludes my little rant, however you may see it.

In sum:

Quit whining about not getting your own way.  In a nation with 300 million people, and over 500 governing individuals, the best way for everybody is for everybody to give a little.  Find the middle road.

Cut spending drastically, increase revenue moderately, raise the debt ceiling temporarily, and work on long-term solutions to what has been a long-term problem.

It’s always nice to have a third point.