Showing posts from October, 2010

Our President, The King

Once upon a time the American people didn't want an all powerful ruler. Our system of government was constructed to reduce the chances of it happening, with the inclusion of just enough elasticity as to avoid entirely neutering the President of his usefulness. That elasticity has been stretched far beyond the original vision of the Constitutional Framers. After years of slow expansion, Presidents hold powerful sway over the Legislature and can sign whims into law with executive orders. They have control of an extensive bureaucracy whose agencies create rules to be followed as law. Appointments to offices boil down to the President's preference of political party; merit is secondary. This has happened for a few reasons. First, of course, is because our Presidents have slowly usurped power from the other branches of government.  Secondly, we like the idea of a ruler, a figurehead and lightning rod, to affix our insecurities and blame, to pass as much responsibility onto as possib

Rights of the Living and the Unliving

Abortion is a sticky topic.  Major groups opposing abortion consider fetuses alive from the moment of conception.  To them, abortion at any stage of pregnancy is tantamount to murder.  Those in favor of abortion are probably more numerous because of the varying stages of abortion they individually accept.  Many of the pro-abortion (renaming themselves the family friendly "pro-choice") don't believe this is a political issue.   They believe it is a personal choice.   However, determining whether something qualifies as murder is certainly a legal and political issue. Bringing the argument to a different  issue reveals some of our collective ethics about protecting life.  We have obligations to lives that aren't human.  Most people agree that being cruel to animals is wrong.  In fact, torturing and killing them is illegal in most states.  Even though it is not "murder" to kill an animal, it's  punishable.   Even if many of us aren't willing to claim a