Monday, September 26, 2011

Why the death penalty should be abolished...

On September 21st, 2011, Troy Davis was controversially executed by lethal injection at the behest of the U.S. State of Georgia. Many people believed him innocent of the crime for which he was incarcerated for the span of the last 20 years. The international community, especially many of the nations of the European Union, widely condemned the execution, as well as the institution of the death penalty in general.

People protesting the execution of Troy Davis in Paris, France

Now, there are many instances in U.S. history (and certainly in the history of other nations) where people executed by the state were later found innocent, be it from new DNA evidence, or somebody later confessing to the crime, government/judicial corruption etc. With this in mind, imagine how it must feel to be that wrongly-accused person. Possibly spending 20 years of your life or more in prison, your reputation tarnished, your family ashamed and/or devastated that their loved one lost their freedom and is on death row, and later being killed by the State for a crime of which you are entirely innocent. Can you think of a more terrible reality? I truly pity these people, the feeling of helplessness and injustice must be unbearably heartbreaking.

 With that in mind, how can anyone be in support of the death penalty? If these wrongful convictions happen even once in the history of our justice system, the death penalty should be abolished. However, it has happened more times than we will ever know, and will repeatedly happen, as long as people remain imperfect. Considering that the death penalty has not proven to be a useful deterrent to committing violent crimes, and it's supposedly more expensive to execute someone than to actually keep them alive in prison, then I just don't see how anyone with a functioning sense of reason can continue to support this truly barbaric institution.

Could be you, whether you committed a crime or not.

What's your opinion? Do you find my arguments compelling? Should the death penalty continue to be implemented in the U.S., as well as other countries around the world, as long as our justice systems remain decidedly imperfect? Please respond with a thoughtful comment discussing your opinion.

I have the privilege to be affectionately and respectfully your humble servant,

Monday, September 19, 2011

200 Followers.... Thank you!

Well, it seems like only yesterday that I was celebrating 150 followers, and here we are at 200! Very happy about that, thank you for continuing to follow this blog with all of your great feedback!

I also want to thank all of you for providing feedback about your 9/11 memories. Unfortunately, a lot of you were too young at the time to really get a sense of the gravity of the situation, but I still got a decent grasp of how my international readers and their respective communities responded to the attacks. It's always interesting to see how people from a different nation view your nation, and I like to widen my perspective. Thanks again.

Honored to be affectionately and respectfully your humble servant,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/01 Memories... Where were you on that day, and how did you and your community react?

Here are several pieces of live footage from various news networks showing the 2nd plane crashing into the South Tower of the World Trade Center and live footage of both towers collapsing, with the corresponding  journalist's shocked reactions. They serve as a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed that morning. Watching them again rejuvenated my rage and sadness on that fateful day:

The purpose of this post is to get feedback from all of my readers, whether a U.S. citizen, or a citizen of any  country outside of the United States . These are my questions...

Question #1: Where were you on 9/11/01?
I was in my senior year of high school in Spanish class. Got sent home early. Spent the rest of the day watching CNN and talking to people. People in the States were clearly very angry, upset and patriotically-unified following these surprise terrorist attacks.

I, myself, knew that we had, by far, the most powerful military in the world, and I was eagerly-awaiting a swift and comprehensive retaliation for these reprehensible attacks that happened only an hour's drive away from my home. This knee-jerk, emotional reaction was probably shared by many Americans, which made it so easy for President Bush to get Americans to give our full support to a war in Iraq, unfortunately.

Question #2: For people outside of the United States during 9/11/01... How was the news received in your particular country? Were you or your community affected emotionally? Please explain in the comment section.

I'm sure that some of the responses on here might vary. Please be very honest, as I'd like an accurate reading of your nation's initial reactions. Please identify the country/community you are reporting from as well. I very much look forward to hearing from you all.

In remembrance of those who lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 attacks, and all the brave individuals who risked their lives to help their fellow man... I am affectionately and respectfully your humble servant,

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 Memorial Scheduled to Open at Ground Zero this Monday, September 12th

Swiftly approaching the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the long-awaited 9/11 Memorial is about to be available for public viewing. The key feature of this tribute will be cascading waterfalls peacefully pouring down the two reflecting pools found inside the original "footprints" of the Twin Towers, with each footprint surrounded by 2,983 names of the victims of the attacks, engraved on bronze panels.

A artists rendition of how the "footprints" will look

More details/footage about the memorial can be explored by viewing the video/article found on this page:

You need passes reserved in advance to view the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero, which can be secured online at The passes are free, and over 300,000 people from every state of the Union, as well as visitors from 65 different countries have already reserved their tickets. It is interesting to me that this memorial is such a draw globally, especially living so near NYC.

Also, I advise everyone to be safe and vigilant this weekend as "credible" terrorist threats to New York City and Washington D.C. have been reported and seriously considered by the highest levels of the U.S. Government. Please, report any suspicious activities to authorities.

With that said, do enjoy your weekend, from wherever it is you are reading.

I am affectionately and respectfully your humble servant,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is the U.S. Spending Its Tax Dollars On The Wrong Programs?

July 29, 2011 Clip: New Rule – It Gets Better

As promised, we return to this video to discuss other points Maher brought up (starting especially around 3:20 into the video). Are we spending too much of our tax dollars in the wrong places? It does appear that way too much of our budget goes to our wildly-bloated military. Of course, I want the U.S. to be safe, but the amount of money spent on our defense dwarfs that of any other nation. It's overkill.

Additionally, it is clear that the "War on drugs" cannot ever be won decisively. It is a massive waste of money, the main cause of gang violence on our streets, and a terrible distraction from other crimes worth fighting and investigating.  Why commit such a considerable segment of our law enforcement resources to a lost cause, when  these individuals can be better stationed guarding the streets against murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and terrorists, for example? (More on that in a separate post)

Shouldn't more funding go towards bettering education, healthcare, and creating jobs with green energy industries? I feel that, regardless of what Conservatives say, they will tax the hell out of us. They always want smaller Government until they are in charge, so don't believe the hype. So, if we're going to be taxed to hell regardless, shouldn't we put that money towards programs that will improve our standard of living, rather than buying the military new, multimillion dollar toys, and fighting wars that cannot be won?

What do you guys think?  Leave your thoughts,  and I'd especially like to hear from Europeans and others from outside the United States that have experience with more Socialist-leaning governments than ours. I understand that no system is perfect, and Europe has its problems as well. I'd like to hear the pros and cons from your point of view.

I am affectionately and respectfully your humble servant,