Friday, 15 May 2015

7 Things You Should Know About The Death Penalty, Even If You Support It

1) We're likely putting innocent people to death. 
That's the best argument for the general case, but not a valid one for Mr Tsarnaev.

2) Death penalty trials are expensive.
Good point - cheaper (although much crueller) to just imprison him for life. Of course, to prevent Mr Tsarnaev radicalizing other prisoners who may later be released, it would need to be life in solitary

3) Executions can be excruciatingly long affairs.   So can the lives of the victims and their families
4) Executions are often botched.                        Not an argument against a specific application: don't botch this one
5) Executions methods often cause physical pain.  So did Mr Tsarnaev's methods
6) Very few countries perform executions.            Very few countries allow LBGTs freedom, so should we stop that too?

Chuka Umunna quits Labour leadership contest due to 'uncomfortable' media attentionYour artcile by HELEN NIANIAS  (Friday 15 May 2015) asks "Was right-wing article about his girlfriend the straw that broke the camel's back?"
      No, it was simply normal predatory media antics that caused this. There will now be a LOT of media space devoted searching Mr Umunna's soul for the reasons he withdrew, but almost none to the media searching their own souls for why their profession tolerates their own despicable behaviour.

New Scotland explained: Could the north of England really break away from Britain?
I love the idea! Speparate into countries by political ideology, which rapidly becoming the new religion: All the Fox News audience to the south and England, all the MSNBC viewers to the north for New Scotland.  Northern Ireland can take the PBS viewers (we'll call it Bangthedish)

Fuel of the future: Research facility in Dresden produces first batch of Audi e-diesel
Two big questions left: what is the cost and what are the emssions profiles of burning e-diesel? The answers determine whether this fuel will ever happen and whether it will do us much good if it does.

School faces backlash after announcing plans to ban girls from wearing skirtsI love the logic: Wear clorthing designed to draw the eye to leg or bosom, then slam those whoose eyes are drawn as one intended.  Shades of the film "Erin Brokovitch".

Do you believe that there is life on other planets?

Statistically, life on other planets is a sure thing. Similarly, intelligent life is certain. What is not certain is whether there is, or ever will be, intelligent life contemporaneous with humans. Intelligent species may be rare and short-lived phenomena.

Still, it is tremendous fun to speculate on - as health of the First Contact genre shows.

Yes, affirmative action policies are racist. They are deliberately designed to be that way. The goal is to have an organization, institution or coprporation that roughly reflects the mix of the general population.

Harvard already offers 21% of its admisssions to Asians, who make up only 5% of the general population. Arguably, Harvards policies are already racist in favour of Asian applicants.

Ultimately, this fight is about what criteria should be used for admission. One can understand Asians wishing to focus on those measures where they do best.

However, it is not in the best interest of Harvard or of our society in general, to be lead by their self-serving argument.

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