Friday, April 30, 2010

Guns Go South

To me, there are a number of arguments that I find interesting with regards to our southern border. There is one thing, though, that I find especially frustrating.

That article is about a police officer shot by a drug smuggler. The comments afterward are pretty heavy. First, people often spend the entire time blasting illegal immigrants (although drug smugglers are not really illegal immigrants). Second, the gun that was used to shoot that officer was probably bought in Arizona and smuggled over the border. Arizona is a state where anyone can buy and carry assault weapons wherever and whenever they want. These guns are being smuggled south by AMERICANS (Arizonans) and used to support drug gangs. And yet, we are as incapable as ever of recognizing that simple checks on gun ownership or bans of weapons capable of mass murder is not a check on the 2nd Amendment. Anyway, I just find it frustrating that we are willing to complain about illegal immigration, but the same people who complain are unwilling to stop the danger by requiring simple checks on guns to prevent smuggling.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Property Rights

So, I am apparently a property rights moderate.

I know, I was surprised too, but I realized that, relative to what is allowed under the US Constitution, I am a blasted conservative. This is not from some uneducated interpretation of what people think they read, but from reading decades of Supreme Court cases in my Planning Law course this quarter. The experience has been good if for no other reason than it has helped demonstrate how our Constitution actually works, despite how people think it should.

What is Compromise?

I have heard that the best agreement is one where both sides are 80% happy and 20% unhappy. Regardless of what you think of this definition, when people talk about two political parties getting along, we tend to think that a deal is better when no one fully likes the deal, but both are willing to accept it.

How about both see progress on a bill, but both say for different reasons. The following is a quote from an NY Times article.

"But the sides offered starkly different reasons for their optimism. Republicans said that they had forced Democrats back to the bargaining table to negotiate a bipartisan accord, while Democrats said that Republicans were hastily abandoning their opposition in fear of a public outcry."

The reason this is funny to me is because both sides say that they will vote for the bill because the other side completely gave in and had to give up on what they wanted. This is a strange view of compromise that does not bode well for the idea that working together can build better relationships in the future.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Good Use for Social Media?

Alright, so I have complained a lot here and elsewhere about "social" media making us less social. This article shows, in a strange way, however, that it can be used to bring people together.

Sure, pillow fights, zombie walks, etc, are not the kinds of events I would hope people would get involved in (and very specific demographics go to these events), but it certainly makes me feel better about humanity. At least in these days of customizable social spaces, we still get together with strangers to beat one another senseless.

Friday, April 2, 2010

For Templeton Prize, intelligent design opponent Francisco Ayala / The Christian Science Monitor -

For Templeton Prize, intelligent design opponent Francisco Ayala / The Christian Science Monitor -

This is one of the most interesting points about intelligent design made in this article that I have ever heard. It basically argues that our imperfection is proof that random, unguided evolution occurs since if we were all made as we are by God, we would be perfect. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing people's thoughts.