Posted tagged ‘economy’

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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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

Save the Bananas

June 18, 2008

Just shouting out this interesting NYT article about the rising cost of bananas and the threat they face in the form of a new virus affecting plantations across the world.  Bananas are my favorite fruit and the thought of losing them truly terrifies me.  Why is there not a Save the Bananas charity out there somewhere?  I get mail every day from associations asking me to donate to the Save the Humpback Whale fund and Gonorrhea Research fund (both worthy causes) but Save the Bananas should be right up there.

Chiquita Banana is one sexy fruit.

The article was also really interesting because it explains how the fruit was originally brought into the US and describes the immense power that the largest American fruit companies wielded over foreign nations reliant on income from banana exports.  It reminds us that we as consumers need to make informed decisions about what we buy and pressure our manufacturers to abide by certain standards of conduct.  This way the banana can come to be a symbol of international democracy…in addition to being delicious.