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Responsibility. A single word drenched in meaning, and evocative of all that a generation stood for, and all that one seeks to shirk. People are judged, rightly, on their actions, both in the judicial system, and in the public’s eye. But should people be judged on what they do not do? Perhaps most notably, certainly one of the most visible situations of the last few decades, was in the death of Princess Dianna, when numerous paparazzi stood in the aftermath and collected pictures rather than attempt to help. That she was later found to have had little to no chance of surviving the crash (her seatbelt wasn’t engaged) was generally lost and the paparazzi villainized.
Throughout history events have unfurled where a population or person stood by in place and watched or allowed some event happen later considered evil by many. The Holocaust left many in horror, not just at the atrocity itself, but that it happened. In the americas, and much of the rest of the world, human slavery has been or once was allowed and even promoted. Witch hunts and other similar inquisitions swept through europe with nary a word spoken against them.
Fear, apathy and malice are but a few of the reasons behind such sweeping “evils.” Apathy is the most insidious, perhaps, and allows the host to feel vindicated for not participating, but to benefit from continuing in a kind of status quo, not risking harm to themselves. But inaction allows for more action, and the fallacy of apathy is that by removing even their voice, that freedom Americans especially claim to hold so dear, they are in fact complying with the scheme of those moving forward with their plans.
A lie of omission is a more deliberate example of this problem, and in American courts punishable. Both sides of a trial have the opportunity to omit information to the other side, evidence that legally must be shared. If it is not, then the evidence frequently is withdrawn from consideration. This precedent, I believe, is just. Inaction is a form of action. Reasonable effort should be given when called for. In today’s world of politics especially, those who do not vote, should have no voice to raise when things don’t go their way. By refusing to vote, they have said they do not care to influence the world around them and by extension are fine with how things turn out, however they do.
They say, whoever “they” are, that you get wiser as you get older. You’re eyes also start to go, along with the rest of you, proving, perhaps that balance does exist in the universe on some level. But a curious statistic exists, and stereotypes are drawn from it, as stereotypes are wont to do; unless you are middle aged and have been driving a while, you’re rather likely to get in an accident of some sort, and it will likely be your fault. While young drivers are given most of the blame and certainly penalized the most, the elderly as well merit some attention, as well as those in between.
A bell curve of sorts exists; those young drivers, so reckless and unpracticed, in their bright red cars and raging hormones, will get into crashes almost regularly, and older folk will sometimes forget their first days driving and point to immaturity when mishap happens. Ironically perhaps, young drivers grow up to matured middle-aged drivers, cruising around in cars their younger selves thought wasted on those too old to have any fun with.
And they drive generally well, according to that almighty god Statistics. But then Irony lends her hand and Chaos takes it to create the more than mature driver. Many do not fully notice this transition, and certainly many or maybe most older drivers continue to get better with age, as some things are like to do. And they just keep on getting better, that ticket they used to get every year or so for speeding now comes only on every third year, when they forget to use the turn signal, or it plain malfunctions and you’re handed a write up for maintenance.
And life goes on perfectly fine until grandpa drives through farmers’ market. Or grandma doesn’t realize that that speedbump a few moments ago was actually someones stroller, thankfully devoid of its human cargo now crying in mother’s arms. Senses begin to fail and so will memory. Glasses, once needed only for reading, now are all that keep them going on the road, and focusing from near to farther distance is hazardous at best. Hearing may have gone a bit so that growling Harley you once loved to ride, isn’t even noticeable next to you and may become the victim of an accidental sideswipe during the changing of lanes.
Time is a cruel mistress, prone to handing maturity and frailty in the same basket, but not always. Occasionally, she smiles on a favored friend and grants the former without the latter. Just as some young drivers may put their elders to shame with road etiquette and good skills, so may some senior drivers continue driving along with not a mishap, perfectly aware of the road and all they need to be fine drivers.
The most important means of keeping the roads safe is the training of good driving skills, the encouragement of maintaining those skills, and honesty. All relationships at some level need honesty to be maintained and survive, and flourish. The road is no different; it is a common ground to all walks of life, even to those incapable of driving themselves, either to young, or old enough to have surrendered the reigns. Honesty of when that time has come to give them up is important, and should be the first judge of when someone stops, not a law.
Today, the case of the unborn fertilized human embryo is under hot debate. To one side of the argument, called the anti-abortion or “pro-life” camp, the embryo is an unborn baby, brimming full of life and practically pleading to be brought to term and then birth. The other side, the abortion right’s or “pro-choice” camp, labels this embryo as a fetus, frequently in an unfavorable light. The past forty years in America has seen a see sawing of public interest and involvement intros issue. Briefly, I will establish a case for the unborn fetus as a person to whom constitutional rights ought to be extended.
Most important to this argument, perhaps, is the question of when exactly a “person” ceases to be a fetus and becomes a baby, or more simply, when a fetus becomes a person. Pro-choice advocates will claim that until the mother’s body has been evacuated, the unborn fetus is not a person, and so afforded none of the rights they would extend to a truly living, breathing human. Pro-life advocates point to the unique DNA of the baby, created or blended from mother and father at the point of inception months or weeks previously. Considering that this same DNA is used by law enforcement to track down both criminals and missing persons, this is a fairly strong claim to life, eventual life at the very least. Later on, fingerprints and a heartbeat begin to show up in this unborn person.
Less important than the realization of life and individuality, but nonetheless of great importance to this debate, is the classification of person in a constitutional sense. While the constitution itself does not specify what exactly a person is, and indeed, the matter of that question has been in a state of flux since the constitution’s inception, there does exist some precedence to aid the answering of this question. With the exception of corporations, all persons influenced by the constitution are human. A seemingly trivial point this is, but important nonetheless; voting persons were only landowning white men once upon a time. This bottlenecking of voters has gradually been expanded upon, first to those not land owning, then to men of all ethnicity, then finally to women. With the vote, comes an inevitable expansion of rights to the new group.
But the right to vote is not the mark by which a human is granted the benefits of the constitution, rather it is a benefit to some of those who are affected, a subgroup of the true body of persons. Without doubt, once a baby has been born (and at the very least at this moment the word is the appropriate term to use) it receives constitutional protection. Abortion itself is illegal in America after this moment, and termed murder and infanticide. This reversal is disingenuous; for more than a month before “term” a baby that is born has a fairly decent chance to live given even a relatively normal level of care. Even significantly before term can a baby survive if given the attention and medical aid.
Because there is no doubt as to the eventual form of a fetus, that is a fertilized human embryo, is in fact a human being that will generally become a functioning member of society at some level given the opportunity to life, I feel that a fetus/baby/fertilized embryo ought to have the very same constitutional rights afforded a born baby, at the very least.
(This was a short paper for critical thinking, written at night with no proofreading, so yeah…)
As some who check in here on a monthly/weekly/biweekly basis know, I recently spent three weekend in China on a business trip with Wasco, the place I work. I learned a number of esoteric, trivial, and helpful tips along the way, along with a mix of all of those things (because those people who need to know those esoterically trivial yet also helpful tips I learned are either in possession of said knowledge or won’t ever read this). Fun fact, the period goes *outside* the parenthesis at the end of a sentence most of the time. Go figure, only took me 23 years to figure that out. Without further ado, here are a few tips and trivia.
Read the rest of this entry »
A curious thing happened last night at the dinner table. My grandparents and Anna were talking and somehow the conversation got turned to Wonder Woman and I mentioned how they’re changing her costume (along with practically every other Superhero/villain in either major multiverse) to something other than patriotic diapers. Now, this Superheroin is one of the few my grandparents are actually familiar with. Somehow, having raised two boys through the Bronze age of comic books, they managed to fumble their Knowledge: Comics rolls almost every time, so this familiarity is something to be amazed at. For the record, here is the Classic Wonder Woman, and the reboot version.
The curious thing, however, is not that my grandparents recognized who is probably the most iconic comic female superhero of all time, but rather that they prefer the old costume to the new one. And by the way, that older version I picked was a bit more modest than most; the corset usually shows a bit more cleavage, though this one is less diaper than modern swimsuit bottom. Here’s the Lynda Carter TV series rendition, featuring that horrid bottom.
See what I mean? So compared to the corset of truth, and diapers of patriotism, this new, far more mosdestly (and dare I say comfortably?) dressed Wonder Woman is “tacky.” For those of you at home, Tacky is “showing poor taste and quality.” I won’t comment on the quality, though I’m definitely not a fan of most people running around in spandex, but the taste bit was rather ironic to me. Yes, I will admit she now looks a bit more grungy, though maybe I’m biased in actually liking that look a wee tad. But at the very least, she’s much more covered up than before.
I know the comic world is going through a huge group of changes right now, with more reboots occurring than in recent memory. The X-Men series of films have hit their fifth movie in the last few weeks, Green Lantern is out, and the Avengers movie should be out next year. The world’s first black Batman has been released, Barbara Gordon, the Batgirl turned wheelchair-ridden Oracle, is now able to walk again after 23 odd years. Even Star Trek is getting some new love. So big changes happening all the time. I’m a big webcomic guy, and one of these day’s I’ll do a review of the ones I read and why, but particularly germane to today’s post is The Gutters a webcomic making fun of the comic industry at large, drawn by a multitude of artists from other webcomics and written by a Red Bull addict of great talent.
All that to say is maybe I’m a little crazy (which I am, no doubt, either you know this or you don’t know me yet.) I may be the only person I know who likes the change, but I admit I do like it. Remember folks, unless you’re older than 55 or younger than 3, just say no to diapers.
What is Love?
I’ve had the itch to write again, which means I come once again to my blog here. Summer is dawning upon us, school is ending and the yearly glut of weddings has arrived. Normally this means little to me, but this year it seems every second or third friend of mine is attending a wedding, either as a part of the “party” (which unless you’re the guy in charge of the bachelor party it really isn’t,) or as one of the two focal points. This all culminates with a few other factors to lead me to thinking about what “Love” really is. Read the rest of this entry »
After a silence that has been too long, I return with a short, rough writeup of half of the Blood Bowl game I’m playing right now. Its basically football mixed with Warcraft, so if anything is unfamiliar/confusing, its ok. I’m playing the Vampires and I’m against a Lizardman team. I’ve got more High Earth stuff complete, but not typed and I’ll be putting it up online when I get around to typing it up, not likely this Saturday, but by next, I promise 🙂 As always, I’ll update my status and post a link to my new post.