Brian's Voting Guide – Nov 6

Hello all,

Elections are approaching, and I’m not able to vote, so I’ve decided to help everyone else vote… like I would have.

Unfortunately, my debate partner voted before I had a change to straighten… I mean instruct her in sound voting procedures. 🙂 Oh well. For the rest of you:

1) Federal
> Vote third-party. The mainstream in both parties needs to know that if they toss the constitution out the window, we’ll toss them out after it. And they’d better bring it back.

2) State elections
Several people are up for state election. I honestly don’t have time to research all of them (who does?) so I’m just going with the recommendations of the Texas Home School Coalition.

3) Austin-Area
There are three pieces of voter-approved legislation on the ballot for Austin. The best resource I could dig up on these was the incredibly one-sided endorsements of the Austin Chronicle. (scroll down to the bottom) I make my own conclusions based on their rhetoric… I mean reporting.

a) Proposition 1
Yup

This amendment basically passes several measures that better insulates the city auditor from political pressures. Very important for that job.

b) Proposition 2
Nope

I do not agree with giving the Domain (or any other business for that matter) subsidies that the whole city has to pay for. BUT: once we’ve made the agreement, we need to honor it. The City signed a contract with the Domain, and we should hold to our word.

c) AIDS Tax Ratification

Nope

The City school system does not need more money, it needs to do better with the money it has. My Mom should know. She’s spent a long time in the system as a teacher. More money is nice, but not needed. And certainly not at the expense of more property taxes.

Hopefully this quick overview will be helpful for you! If you beg to differ, are wanting more information, or just feel like saying something, leave a comment!

Babies are a Punishment?

I am disgusted with the state of our society and how we don’t value the next generation.
A baby is not a punishment! It is a responsibility. Sure, it involves work. But it is a joy! A PRIVILEGE!!!

Either Sen. Obama really messed up, has a twisted view of family, or just slipped and told us what he really believes about children. Take a look:

“Look, I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them, first of all, about values and morals. BUT if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
~Barack Hussein Obama

I have to side with others and say that Mr. O-bomb-a should retract this statement. Yet this isn’t all that I want. He must prove that he actually supports the fundamental right to life.

My goodness. I really want to scream at someone, :arg: but I will contain myself. Abortion is not about religion! It is not about “my personal preference!” And, for goodness sake, it is NOT a gray area! :calms down to a logical state: Allow me to enumerate why I am decidedly pro-life.

  • 1) Life is the most fundamental right of all rights. It is afforded to any human by the natural order of things. Basically, people are naturally alive, not naturally dead. No other person has the right to change this.
  • 2) Babies are people for crying out loud! So what distinguishes a baby that is in the womb from a baby that it out of the womb? Only three things:
  1. a) level of dependence
  2. b) environment
  3. c) mental and physical development

    As soon as my great grandmother’s inability to feed herself means that you can through her out the window, you can kill a baby because it’s dependent on you. As soon as you start killing people in slums because of their sub-standard environment, you can kill a baby because it is in the womb. As soon as retarded people can be blown up because they haven’t “developed,” you can kill a baby because it isn’t as smart as you are. And don’t throw out the “fetus” thing. Fetus comes from Latin meaning “little child.”

  • 3) Therefore, babies (even those in the womb) should be protected by the government just like any other person’s life should.
  • 4) And for those of you who are still convinced that it’s a gray area. It’s best not to take chances when it comes to someone’s life, don’t you agree?

Alright, my frustration has been vented. What do you think? Should Obama retract his statement? Go ahead a leave a comment. I’d appreciate it.

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Justice: Capital Punishment

“The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.”
~Thomas Jefferson (1816). [1]

“Texas Justice” has its own legacy, but it is now going through a process of being re-defined in the area of capital punishment. In fact, just “…Tuesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Heliberto Chi… In so doing, the court asked the state prison system to address ongoing questions about… lethal injection…”[2]

In the wake of this event, Rebeca Chapa, with the San Antonio News-Express, published a Wednesday commentary that starts off by outlining various facts regarding capital punishment in Texas, Kentucky, California, and in the past. It’s a very informative read.

Then, she adopts an editorial air. Chapa denounces all forms of capital punishment:

“At its core, the death penalty is fundamentally flawed. It leaves no room for human error and, more important, you do not kill to prove that killing is wrong. Now is the time for Texas to seriously consider a moratorium — if not an end — to the death penalty.”[2]

I have to disagree. Firstly, when she says “you do not kill to prove that killing is wrong” she misses a critical point. Death is a natural part of life. Last time I checked, there was no punishment for “killing;” just murder. Murder is the act of taking another innocent human’s life into your own hands; away from them. It is a violation of the most fundamental natural rights: the right to life. This is the reason that it is not only wrong to murder someone, but an offense within government jurisdiction.

When another’s rights are taken, it is government’s job to right the wrongs. The question, then, is simply what punishment to administer. I believe that execution is the best punishment to administer in the instance of clear murder.

What is ultimately lacking in Chapa’s proposal is a concrete goal that the justice system should pursue instead. As generally accepted, a successful sentence should promote three goals: 1) Compensation; 2) Punishment; and 3) Deterrence. Since compensation is impossible in the case of murder, we must look to uphold the second two goals.

A sentence must provide adequate punishment in order to maintain justice. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” That phrase is in the Old Testament at least three times; and every time it is used not as a justification for revenge, but as a standard for justice. “Let the punishment fit the crime” is the more generally accepted version. When the crime is murder, the only punishment that will fit it is death.

Finally, what is probably the most important goal of criminal punishment is to deter it from happening again. For most people, there isn’t anything more deterring than facing death itself.

If one looks at the issue in the light of the goals to be accomplished, we can see that, contrary to the opinions expressed by Rebeca Chapa, it is not time for a ban or even a moratorium on capital punishment, because it is still useful in our day to provide punishment and deterrence to the murderers that would otherwise terrorize our streets.

References

[1] Thomas Jefferson to Destutt de Tracy. “Political Economy,” (1816) in: Lipscomb and Bergh, ed. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Ed. (Washington, D.C.: Public Domain, 1903-04): 14, p 465. http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0100.htm

[2] Rebeca Chapa. “Innocence is not the only issue in the death penalty debate” San Antonio Express-News. (October 3 2007) http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/stories/MYSA100407.02O.Chapa.2140242.html