Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin: Part 2

Alright, here it comes. We now know that Trayvon Martin had traces of Marijuana in his blood at the time of death. This seems to vindicate a statement made by Zimmerman during the phone call with the police where he describes TM as "looking high" (He looks high". In this moment, GZ made a profiling on TM and acted accordingly. It turns out that this was a justified profiling: Zimmerman knew what to look for.

Like I sadi before, we know that there is a very high correlation between drug use and crime. Therefore, GZ was probably not unjustified in calling the police form his car. However, TM noticed GZ and took off during the call. We can hear GZ getting out of his car and following until the police tell him to stop. At that moment, we hear GZ catch his breath and pant a little. 

I can go more into where he probably was at that moment in another post, but I want to mention the injuries reported by the prosecution. First, we know that in addition to the gashes on the back of his head, GZ had a broken nose and two black eyes. He has no wounds on his hands though. As for TM, we know he had a gunshot wound fired from point blank range. He also had some wound on his hands, on the outside of his ring finger.

This evidence supports an analysis that Trayvon did punch Zimmerman and that Zimmerman did not fight back until actually shooting TM. This does not sound like a murder. Or even a manslaughter. This sounds like normal self defense. I hope GZ walks free and gets his life back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why I am against Homosexual Unions recognized by law (Part 1): the Secular Argument

Can of worms, I know. Here it is, loud and as clearly as I can articulate. I know this will be an offensive argument to some people, but then again, I get offended by arguments disagreeing with me all the time, so I guess we are not entitled to always feel comfortable or in agreement with what others write. 

This argument will be highly technical in parts, so if you have a question on a specific part, then comment.  People get highly emotional about these things, so please keep any replies reasonable and sober. Any comments that personally attack me or people who agree with me will be deleted.

Assumption 1: The primary duty of the state (national government) is the establishment of a general security over the life, freedom and property of those people who reside within their sovereign borders who call themselves citizens of that state (country or nation).  

Assumption 2: The state is not interested in making its citizens happy. It instead seeks to establish the conditions in which individuals can seek out their own ideas of happiness to within a reasonable margin.

 Assumption 3: The state seeks to maintain itself against the attempts to destroy it by other states, nature and time itself.  

Assumption 4: The state is limited in its pursuit of power by the need to allow its citizens the space to pursue whatever reasonable interests they desire.

 Assumption 5: The standard unit for the procreation and rearing of children has been in all of written history the family as defined as the union and products (what a terrible word) between and of one man and one woman.  

Assumption 6: The capitalist state wishes to have a constantly expanding economy.

 Given these assumptions, since the state wishes to maintain itself, it must do so by preventing its citizens from all dying out by not having children. Furthermore, since the only real way to perpetually increase an economy is to increase the number of consumers and workers, and this is best done by having many children. Furthermore, the traditional family unit has, for the vast majority of history, been the solely accepted form of having and rearing multiple children.

 Also, since the state is not concerned with making its citizens happy, it should not concern itself with making the lives of its citizens easier AT ITS OWN EXPENSE unless there is a large, tangible benefit to such an action. Therefore, the state has a compelling interest to make it easier on individuals who provide well reared children to the population. Thus the state has chosen historically to recognize and track marriages while also providing automatic benefits to married couples and their children. For that reason, the state has no fundamental interest in giving the same benefits to same sex couples since they, by definition, cannot bear children.

The question of whether a same sex couple can raise a child well is not settled, and there is evidence on both sides of that particular question. However, it is difficult to dispute that traditionally (aka historically) the best system for raising children has been in a home where both the mother and father are present and both actively involved in the development, indoctrination and education of the child.

 Common Rebuttals and my answers to them.
a)Sterility: Few individuals know if they are sterile or not when they marry. It is also unduly burdensome to mandate that every person be tested for infertility. It is also true that few individuals know that they are sterile. A few sources I have looked at say that up to 8% of the population of couples suffer from infertility. It is therefore, reasonably certain to assume upon entering a marriage, that one is likely fertile and able to have children. Thus, in principle, the state should not prevent infertile couples from marriage since, in principle, the possibility for conception is present. Furthermore, a couple that is trying to have children but is sterile is a prime candidate to adopt children.

 b)Changed Societal ideas of marriage: I do not contest, nor disagree with the idea that marriage is for the love and support between two people. However, my ideology about marriage, as well as the historical record of marriage states that marriage is also for children just as it is for love and support etc. Furthermore, the idea that ALL of society has changed its ideas about marriage is simply untrue. Even if it were true, it does not make my ideas about marriage any less reasonable or valid. Democracies work upon the principle of argument, disagreement and resolution. Ideas, like the idea that marriage is solely for the love and support between 2 people, is one which cannot be argued to be "empirical and unchanging" as many of its proponents do.

If however, there ever came a day when all people divorced the idea of marriage from children, then I would argue that government would no longer derive any benefits from the recognition of such unions that that all benefits should then be cut off.


Individuals can live together, love each other and build a community around themselves without government approval. In fact, as I said above, government need no involve itself unless it has a very tangible benefit in doing so. Citizens can be happy without their government approving legally everything they do though giving them a special status and benefits. 

All this being said, the law in the USA is currently extremely invasive in the lives of its citizens, going way beyond what is necessary for providing an atmosphere conducive to individuals freely being able to pursue their own happiness. Laws like visitation rights in hospitals are quite frankly excessive and invasive.

Homosexual partners want the benefits that married couples automatically receive by virtue of being married. However, a much more reasonable idea would be to simply allow people to make contracts with one another stating that they allow certain people to have certain privileges and powers and responsibilities. This can include the power of attorney, vitiation rights, pension transfers etc. However, these contracts would have to be honored by private companies and the government should be committed to protecting the legality of these contracts.

For these fully secular reasons, I am opposed to the government recognition and provision of benefits to homosexual unions.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trayvon Martin: Part One

For those who know my Facebook posts, it is no secret that I firmly believe that, short of a confession, Zimmerman will be acquitted on all charges related to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Martin should not have died, but Zimmerman did not commit a crime, nor did he act immorally in the killing of Martin.

Let me explain. This is going to be a long post and there will be another one tomorrow. There is just too much info on this to address right now. Tomorrow, if I have time, then I will be posting all the sources that I have for all the info that I can find.

In Florida, if you are under attack and reasonably believe that you are in danger of death or great bodily harm, then you have the right, provided that you are in a place you are allowed to be, to use force and even deadly force in stopping the attack. That is almost verbatim language from Florida law. Yeah, I spent some time yesterday combing through the Florida code.

Somethings in the Florida code jumped out at me. By now, many people know that George Zimmerman has been charged with murder in the second degree. Murder in the second degree means that while he had no intent to kill Trayvon Martin, the state is accusing Zimmerman of killing Martin when there was no really good reason to do so. In other words, they will argue that Zimmerman shot Martin not in self defense, but in anger and in a depraved state of mind.

They will seek to prove this by claiming that Zimmerman directly disobeyed a police order to cease and desist a pursuit of Trayvon Martin and that because Zimmerman did not cease his pursuit, he is therefore guilty of allowing his state of mind to become unhinged, thus causing him to act in an unlawful manner.

The Police have already received a statement from Martin's mother stating that a 911 call from a witness contains the screams of her son.

However, there are also witnesses that saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him. Video tapes of Zimmerman hours after the shooting show a gash on the back of his head. The police report includes mentions of grass stains on GZ's back. This is therefore consistent with the testimony of the witness.

But of course, a mother knows her son's voice so what is going on here?

I honestly have no idea. It seems unlikely that the person beating the trash MMA style out of a the guy beneath him would be yelling Help like his life depended on it. For this reason, forensic tests need to be performed to determine what is the likely truth of the matter here. Because of course, the mother is biased just like any relative would be. If you think GZ's father or brother are reliable then you need to have your head checked. A confounding variable here is that GZ does not have a low voice.

A totally fake issue in the case is the question of racist profiling. Zimmerman did not identify Martin's race until he was asked directly by the dispatcher during the 911 call. He then goes on to vent his frustration about criminals saying how they always get away. He also could have said "f***ing cold" or "punks". What he could not have said was coons, which is an archaic racial slur for blacks. Remember GZ is 28, not 60.

Martin had a history of drug use, definitely marijuana. In fact, he was in the process of serving a suspension from school for carrying a bag that had contained weed. His Twitter feed was filled with references to his drug use. His Facebook contains a comment from one of is friends that suggests that Martin MAY (though there is no kind of certainty) suggest that Martin was a small time weed dealer. The media and the Martin cheerleaders like AL Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have said this is an irrelevant factor. However, Zimmerman also said that Martin looked "high".

The fact is this. If you look at correlative studies, you will see that drug use and crime are highly correlated and that those who are on drugs are also more likely to commit crimes. This is not to say that Martin should have been shot, but if it was true that he was high upon entering the complex, then perhaps Zimmerman was being intelligent: people are drugs are much more likely to be crooks than ordinary folks. So it is very relevant that Martin had a history of drug abuse since it would seem to vindicate Zimmerman's determination that Martin looked suspicious.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Golly, It has been years since I have been here.

Well, it is not like anyone reads this blog, but I guess it is a nice outlet for my writing when I absolutely need it. I will try to post more often from now on. Maybe every 3 or 4 days or so.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Problems with Going Green as a Catholic

I love a good debate. Although I do not consider myself an ardent environmentalist, when I saw that the UD Earth Service was going to host Father Patrick Foley, a Franciscan from the Archdiocese of St. Paul, I was interested. On the day of the presentation, I met him and he was warm, talkative and excitable, like many young priests I have known. A point in my book.

Fr. Foley has been a priest for three years, and that he has one significant publication currently to his name. He was commissioned by the Archdiocese to write a guide on how being green was catholic. This man does have both experience and background in the field.

During his presentation, he made a series of statements that were particularly troublesome. First, he stated that the USCCB document that accepted the UN's 2001 findings on global warming was to be accepted as “Magisterial” teaching. Indeed, if this pronouncement were truly magisterial, it would indeed require the submission of faith by all Catholics, according to Vatican I’s definition of the magisterial teaching. But this pronouncement was not Magisterial. The only times that council pronouncements carry the force of Magisterial teaching are when local bishops speak on matters of faith and morals, in unison with bishops of the whole world and the Bishop of Rome. This USCCB document meets neither of these criteria.

Second, Fr. Foley asserted that Climate Change was an undeniable reality. ‘It is a fact’ he repeated. In light of the recent ‘climate-gate’ scandal at the University of East Anglia in which climatologists who believed in Climate Change manipulated data, suppressed evidence and excluded colleagues who contradicted their beliefs, I would like to express a wholesome doubt about this current assumption.

I will skip over a few additional objections to Fr. Foley's lecture and talk about his problematic sources. He cited several “interesting” theologians. Leonardo Boff, a liberation theologian that left the Church after being censured for heresy; Sister Ilia Delio OSF, a nun who recently published a piece in a Catholic paper accusing the Vatican of being oppressors of women; Father Thomas Berry OP, who was a self professed “geologian” with heavy new age roots; Father Karl Rahner, who in his own work has denied transubstantiation; and finally Pierre Tielhard de Chardin SJ, whose works were all censured as heretical by the Church.

The use of problematic sources as a foundation causes this Eco-theology to misconstrue the essential relationship between Man and the environment. There is room for a defense of the environment within the Church, as long as this defense is properly understood. Pope Benedict XVI said in his last encyclical Caritas in Veritate that when “’human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits”. In other words, environmental degradation occurs with moral degradation and that the best way to fix it is to fix ourselves. It is through the resurrection of human virtue that the environment will begin to heal.

To be a truly “green” Catholic, we must not see the forest for the trees by getting caught up in the temporal/material problems of this life but rather achieve within ourselves virtue and peace and by imitating the actions of Christ, we will naturally fix the problems that plague our Earth.

James Locke

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why we need to go back to the 1800's

I really really do not like Feminists. At least not the annoying post-Modern Feminists who do nto want Sexual equality but rather just want to be like men. They want to have their abortions and their relativism. Someone needs to shut these fools up. Not only that but we need to go back to the 1800's and destroy Seneca Falls. Blah. Anyways. I'm just frustrated wit the overall lack of intelligence and education that these women have.

University education ftw!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Continued Determinism and Ryle

The doctrine of predestination takes its first roots from the bible. Assuming the vercity and scholarship behind the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible from the Vulgate is correct in its translations from the original Latin, the word predestination comes from the latin prae ordinarae which means to have been ordered before. It is first truly seen in the Bible in the latin "et crediderunt quotquot erant præordinati ad vitam æternam"1.