Regarding Snowden

It’s NOT civil disobedience if you run from the law.  The whole idea of civil disobedience is that you believe the law is unjust and/or unconstitutional, you break it, get arrested, then prove your case in court and are exonerated.  With that exoneration on the books, then you or another party challenge the law itself, and cite your personal trial and ruling as precedent.  Also: in the US you cannot break the law for political reasons; that defense alone will not hold up in court.  

Mexicans Were Here First

When discussing immigration policy and illegal immigrants from Mexico, we should remember that they were here first. Until about 1846 Mexico’s territory extended well north of the Rio Grande and into Arizona, California, Texas and beyond, all the way into parts of Utah. The US annexed this entire region and set the border at the Rio Grande with military force. There were about 42,000 casualties, and the US took just over half a million square miles of land.

Pro-life Has a Dark Side

If you’re pro-life, it also partly means you’re for illegal and dangerous abortions, as they will surely result if Roe v. Wade is overturned (as this was the case before R v. W). If you are pro-life then you must add a strategy for dealing with illegal, dangerous, unregulated abortions and abortion practitioners to your platform if you are to be truly moral and to truly protect the unborn (and the mother!).

We all are shocked and disgusted by Dr. Kermit Gosnell and the abortion clinics that fail inspection; expect more of the same if abortion returns to being a crime.

The Runway Models Are Too Young …

New rules regarding the age of runway models, hopefully this will come to be:

New York Aims to Treat Underage Models as Child Performers

I’ve been saying this since about 2005. I used to shoot video at Fashion Week, and it was disturbing to see 14 or 15 years old models going down the runway in sheer and often transparent clothes, while photographers of the world took pictures and made lewd catcalls and gestures. Not quite child porn, but a 15 year old girl should not be exposing her breasts as part of her job. Not only is it immoral, it’s illegal.

For example, this female model certainly does not look over 18 years old.  The New York Times writes this article but fails to mention there’s a good chance some or all of the models are minors, or ask or investigate if they are.

According the US Department Of Justices’s definition of pornography those photographs may easily be regarded as child pornography.

How does IMG and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week get away with this?  They’re putting runaways on the runway!

Maryland v. King

I think the decision was the right call. A man arrested for felony assault by pointing a shotgun into a crowd is later charged with rape after his DNA matches a sample from a cold case. How was his privacy violated? He argued that if authorities are allowed to take DNA samples from people arrested for major offenses with probable cause, that it violates privacy and will lead to an abuse of that power. I don’t think a person in that situation can claim that broad of a definition of privacy; police do have to fight crime and protect society, as citizens also have the right to expect to be relatively free from crime as much as they have the reasonable expectation of privacy. As for abuse of power, I don’t think you can say it’s absolutely guaranteed to happen in this situation. And if it does, you can argue just that on your own suit; you have recourse, you can make your case and argue the authorities overstepped their bounds. The point is: assuming that negative unintended consequences will always result, that slippery slopes, rather than being exceptionally rare are always unavoidable is to live in fear and to underestimate the abilities and desires of society and US government. Society loves stability, and here in the US we are rather stable due to our police, courts, laws, and government. No, it is not perfect and we should always be vigilant to abuses of power, but we can’t live in fear of (or legislate for) hypotheticals.

It’s an example of a continuum fallacy, where you (essentially) reject a rule as valid because of its exception(s). Also: If a=b, b=c, then a=c. But that doesn’t mean a=d or that a will eventually =z.

In the physical world as well as in social science, chain reactions are rare; things almost never discretely, spontaneously transition from one state or category to the next, let alone to the next and the next and the next etc. An extraordinary amount of continuous input and effort is required for that to occur in most situations.

And of course the irony is that DNA evidence has been effectively used to exonerate people falsely accused and incarcerated.