Archive for the ‘politics’ category

Another Reason to Abolish Capital Punishment

February 25, 2009

noose

I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments over the years with people who support the death penalty.  While I would usually cite the moral and philosophical issues I have with it, that argument was usually countered with “we are spending too much money on criminals as it is, so just get rid of them.”   Was happy to see that in light of the economic crisis, law makers are taking a closer look at their respective state budgets, and in an effort to save money by reducing spending where it isn’t needed, many have targeted capital punishment as an expense that should come off the books.  This NYTimes article explains how death penalty cases cost millions of extra dollars in court costs, and how the years of appeals and trials only exacerbate the problem of over-crowded prisons — an issue so severe in some areas that states are simply releasing [non-violent] offenders on the basis of capacity limitations.

Whatever the reason, let’s hope the tide against the death penalty continues to rise.

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Israel’s Violation of Press Access “Unprecedented”

January 6, 2009

as a much more somber follow-up to the post below…

This article from today’s NYTimes explains Israel’s admitted censorship of free press in Gaza since its invasion of the occupied territory, which has almost completely shut out international press from the areas in and surrounding the war zone, while practically offering guided tours of every uninhabited piece of dirt in Southern Israel that has fallen victim to a Hamas rocket. 

The Foreign Press Association of Israel has summed up the shut-out by stating that “the unprecedented denial of access to Gaza for the world’s media amounts to a severe violation of press freedom and puts the state of Israel in the company of a handful of regimes around the world which regularly keep journalists from doing their jobs.”

And what is the job of journalists?  To report the news, to expose the truth, to inform a public that needs to make informed decisions.  These restrictive practices only serve to point the compass of public opinion towards the conclusion that exposing the truth and informing the public may not be in Israel’s best interests after all.

* * * * *

This accompanying blog article on the NYTimes website offers a cursory glance into the extremely well-planned PR campaign Israel has been implementing — pretty interesting.

Prop 8 – The Musical

December 3, 2008

This video is awesome.  Great collaboration. Pass it on!

 

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

 

 

more about ““Prop 8 – The Musical” starring Jack …“, posted with vodpod

Hope, personified

November 5, 2008

He won.

amazing. 

was at a friends place watching the television coverage until about 12:30am last night.  They had a bunch of people over.  Champagne bottles popped open, everyone screaming.  A few of them decided to head out into the city to take part in the street-side celebrations that were springing up everywhere.
I stayed home.

What’s wrong with you? they asked. Secret McCain fan?

They didnt get it.  They arent from the States, and for them, this was just a celebration. This was a lot more for me. I was just as happy as they were, maybe more so, but in a different way. It was pretty emotional for me… I just remembered watching the last two elections, and the disappointment I felt…and all the hard times we went through these last 8 years, with September 11th and the subsequent gloom and widespread anti-arab sentiment, and the wars that claimed the lives of friends or friends of friends, and the economic situation which caused many of my friends to lose their jobs and/or all their savings, and having to listen to the radio each morning to see if I still had a job that day…even if Obama hasn’t officially done anything as president yet, he’s already imbued me and countless others with a profound sense of hope that better times are ahead, and confidence in the belief that he has the wisdom, compassion, and courage to pursue ideals that appeal to the common man.  For this alone, I am grateful. His speech was inspirational…I couldnt control the shivers, and some point, the tears.

A new journey begins…where will it take us?  Where will we take ourselves?

I hope to have the courage to project this new-found sense of confidence and empowerment into something worthwhile in my life, and in the lives of others.

best,
Z

Election Day Jitters

November 4, 2008

I can’t believe today is the day! I recall the last two election days with horror, compounded by the morose, cold numbness one feels while watching the grim reality of their future materialize slowly in front of them, which is what I experienced watching the election results in real-time on TV in 2000 and 2004.  In 2004, I have to admit, I was deeply ashamed to be an American; I could not fathom reelecting GWB and the vote of confidence and approval his reelection signified…to be part of that conglomerate left me with a feeling of indignance that proved difficult to cleanse.

I won’t harp on the choices others have made in the past or will be making today.  I just hope that everyone who cares about the future of this nation and has the privilege of being a part of it gets off their ass, heads to the polls, and votes for the candidate they honestly believe will do America best.

Hoping to leave work a little early to avoid what I expect to be massive lines at my voting site.  In case it is packed, I have a magazine and an election-day playlist on my iPod to keep me going.  Tired as I am right now, nothing is gonna stop me from “Barack[ing] the Vote”, as the young kids are saying these days.

Good luck America!

from Lincoln to Obama, a long road traveled

October 24, 2008

Pretty interesting nytimes piece, highlighting the presidential candidates the newspaper has endorsed since the 1860 election where Abraham Lincoln was elected, up to now.  This follows it’s recent public endorsement of Barack Obama, which was great, but not good enough to make me forget that it trivialized Obama during the primaries when it officially endorsed Hillary Clinton as the more capable candidate [still pissed about that].

Amazing that the first endorsement, for Lincoln, was for a candidate whose presidency would be focused mainly on the civil war and the divisive issue of the enslavement of Africans….and then you scroll down and see an endorsement for Barack Obama, a proud man of (recent ancestral) African descent.  Imagine how 19th century Americans would have reacted if you told them there would be a black president one day!  Hell, imagine if you did it 50 years ago, and the reaction probably wouldn’t be as different as we may like to think.

But we’re ready now.  We as a people have come a long way, and we have to continually make bold decisions in favor of change for the better, rather than seek out the short-term comfort of complacency. 

I hope you all agree, and that you show it on election day by getting off your asses and voting this Election Day.  It’s just around the corner! History in the making, folks.  Be a part of it.

President [ap]Palin?

October 2, 2008

The VP debate is tonight, and a horrible thought just crossed my mind:

if McCain wins the election … and hard as it is to admit, there is at least a decent chance of that happening … and his 72 year old heart gives out …

then SARAH-PALIN COULD BE THE PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!!!

Do McCain Palin supporters realize that?  I promised my friends that I would leave the country even if McCain won, but if Palin was president I would burn my passport and develop a British accent real quick.