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Why I Blog…

When I started blogging (about 20 days ago), I said, “Alrighty…this is neat…I can do this…now what?” Then I came across Mobilizing Generation Web 2.0 (something of a bloggers how-to for starters) and it’s been a launching point for my GreatDebater Weblog ever since. From Technorati to Blogger, CSS to XML, I can’t get enough of it!

For me this has been more about refining my thoughts and inviting others to do the same. Now I have my mind set on sharing that invitation on a larger scale so that the Great Debate can really take hold. You see, I like conflict. Especially when it comes to competing ideals. If I can count on you to take the debate to a greater level, then maybe together we can build a place where voices are actually heard.

In the short time that I’ve done this, I’ve realized that the best way to do this is to create win-win relationships online. If you would like me to link to you, leave me a comment with your blog name, URL and preferred category listing (i.e. political, entertainment, weird stuff etc.) and I will add you to my blogroll. In exchange, please link to me. Also, contact the other people who have commented and get them to link to you too.

-Chris


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Supreme Court’s Decision On Child Rape Law is Flawed

justice kennedyToday, the US Supreme court overturned the Louisiana law permitting the execution of child rapists. (Video Here) The opinion of court, delivered by Justice Kennedy, states that the ruling was made on the basis of the Eighth Amendment. Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined the majority opinion while Justices Robert, Scalia, Souter, and Alito, who are conservative Justices, dissented.

It may be argued as to whether or not the death penalty it self is moral. However, the job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitution, not to decide upon what is moral and what is not. That decision belongs to the people through a democratic process. This is a case where the court is substituting its own morals for the morals of the people. The decision of the Supreme Court is unconstitutional. Since the death penalty has been ruled as constitutional, then it should be left up to the states to decide what crimes justify the death penalty.

The court arrived at this decision through deciding that a “national consensus” exists, which was derived through the fact that only 6 states allow the death penalty for child rape cases. However, as Justice Alito points out, state legislatures have had to live under the Coker decision for years. The Coker decision said that it was unconstitutional to use the death penalty in cases that involved the raping of an adult woman. They were afraid that any law allowing the death penalty for child rape would be struck down, like it has here. In this case, the fact most of the nation doesn’t allow the death penalty doesn’t show evidence of a national consensus because the states refuse to face the issue. Besides that fact, in the opinion for Coker decision, the word “adult” was used numerous times to describe the rape victim. This was intentional so that the same decision would not be applied to a case involving child rape.

Let’s change our frame of thought for a moment and face this from a moral stand point. In accordance with this decision, Justice Alito writes that a the criminal cannot be sentenced to death “no matter how young the child, no matter how, many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be.” What of that? What if the criminal raped multiple children? Still, the court says that it isn’t enough to justify the death penalty.

If were to read the full description of rape and the serious injuries inflicted upon this girl, I guarantee you would be sick to your stomach. There aren’t a lot of things that disturb me. When I read the description of L.H.’s injuries though, I felt as thought someone has torn out my innards. Were I not at work, there probably would have been tears. The court says that in accordance with the 8th amendment, the punishment must be proportional to the crime. What crime, besides murder, is worse than the rape of a child? In fact, it could be argued the raping is child is just as heinous as murder. Who wouldn’t agree that a child rapist lacks just as much of a moral compass as a murderer? I could say that a murder can have a greater morals than any child rapist.

This decision is one that is flawed. This is a decision where the court is using its own morals as a stand-in for the morals of the national consensus. It erodes the power of the states and more importantly, the power of the people. This decision is unquestionably unconstitutional.

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Romney Interview: Being President Would Be “An Apprenticeship” For Obama

NMTV

Mitt Romney has seemingly disappeared off the campaign trail, but in an Interview hosted by Ahsley Martella on Newsmax.TV, Romney comes out in full support of John McCain while also suggesting that he may run again for the conservative nomination in 2012. As for Obama, he states that he has the most liberal voting record in the country and that his inexperience makes it look like he is running for the apprenticeship of the United States. Romney states that Barack Obama has done almost nothing in government and that Americans generally want a known commodity.

On the whole, I feel that Romney mellowed his commentary and took an acceptably conservative stance on immigration and offshore drilling. At the end of the clip, however, you can catch how Romney alludes to himself as the young and energetic candidate who could win the election in 2012 or 2016, which I thought was at least mildly tacky.

Hope you enjoy,

-Chris


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Living Like ED!

Let’s take a break from politics and talk about a guy named Ed. The guy with the energy sustainable house and lifestyle that’s worth sharing on television with the world. If you know who I’m talking about and have watched Living with Ed the reality hit TV show, then you also know that Ed is something of an intense individual. The extent to which this man has gone to lead an absolute green lifestyle is obsessive and a huge downer to my less ambitious goals of saving water, conserving electricity, and recycling whenever possible.

Being that I am open to ideas, however, I visited his site (which characterizes Ed’s intensity as a passion) and decided to purchase his book, “Living Like ED: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life,” to see if his passion was something I could be a part of. Surprisingly, his motto, “live simply so others may simply live” has more to it than just its ring. Rather than a force read, “Living with Ed” is a thoroughly inviting piece for those looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and live a better, greener life. Ed shares his insights on what works, what doesn’t–and what saves you money–without leaving you groping for fresh air.

I think it’s neat how he’s even marked his eco-friendly tips as “Easy Changes,” “Not-So-Big Changes” and “Big Changes” throughout the book to make them quick to spot without being overwhelming. From something as small as changing your air filter and light fixtures to letting the sun heat your water, “Living Like Ed” is packed with eco ideas–from obvious to ingenious–that will help you live green, live responsibly, live well. Like Ed.

If you’re one of those people like myself who has there doubts on whether Global Warming exists, that’s fine. What I liked most about “Living Like Ed” is that no matter where you stand on the debate, doing the environmentally sound thing is just common sense. In the long run, going green saves money, saves energy, and saves the environment.

Ed outlines six main areas for going green and a few eco tips:

  • Home–change light bulbs, insulate, and use the dishwasher less.
    Transportation–Bike to places, use public transportation, or try a fuel-efficient vehicle.
    Recycling–Sort your trash, reuse, and donate.
    Energy–use off-peak, go solar, or simply reduce on waste.
    Garden and kitchen–grow at least some of your own food, plant trees, and buy local food.
    clothing, hair and skin care–wear organic clothing and use organically produced cosmetics.
  • Do your research. Know that you are not perfect and always strive to learn more. Go to the Climate Crisis Calculator and find out how much carbon dioxide you are putting into the air. Or utilize your search engines when looking for more information about going green. Ed recommends nrdc.org.


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Tim Russert R.I.P. Special Report on NBC

In a profession that has become tarnished by partisanship and cheap shots, Tim Russert stood apart. On Friday, June 13, Tim Russert died after collapsing at work of a heart attack. The NBC News Washington bureau chief and host of “Meet the Press” was a model journalist. He was fair to all sides, did his homework, reported honestly, and was always a gentleman. His appetite for politics was voracious. He loved his family, his people, this country, and we will miss him tremendously. Tim understood journalism, politics, and the meaning of integrity in both to its core. May his memory serve as a standard of excellence across all levels, especially in our lives.

Here is an additional article released by the Associated Press only minutes after his death.

Tim had an extraordinary talent for interrogation. Ronald Kessler, a Washington insider, provides a typical exchange during a presidential debate in September:

“Russert read a blind quote from a “Meet the Press” guest who had approved of torture in extreme circumstances. Sen. Hillary Clinton said in the debate that she disagreed with the assertion, and Russert told her that the quote was from “William Jefferson Clinton.

Doesn’t that mean she disagrees with her husband? Russert asked.

“Well, he’s not standing here right now,” Hillary said.

As the audience cheered, Russert pressed her further for some acknowledgment that she disagreed with her husband.

“Well,” Clinton said. “I’ll talk to him later.”

For more on Tim Russert, read here.

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Mudslinging 2.0

John McCain’s early-on campaign ads (like the one above) are absolutely brutal. Usually they come equipped with movie-thriller-voice narrations, insinuating captions, and revealing snap-shot photos that measure Obama’s character by the less-than-desirable remarks uttered by those he closely knows.

They are the kind of campaign ads that play off people’s fears, created to frighten viewers and voters over to McCain. With Barack Obama recently voted as the Democratic Presidential Nominee, more slime ads can be expected from both camps. Being able to sift through the slime is what’s important. Here are the repercussions, as described by Mike Huckabee, of making the huge mistake of demonizing Barack Obama early-on in the race.

Kucinich Offers Impeachment Articles Against Bush


Congress has 72 hours to table it, send it to committee, pass it, or reject it. In his bid for an upcoming re-election, Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush on Monday night, reading the resolution into the Congressional Record. He has submitted a similar resolution against Vice President Cheney, together comprising a litany of alleged illegal and improper acts by the Bush administration, including war crimes. CBS has the latest news and coverage.