Sunday, June 16, 2002

Father's Day Weekend Justice

Even though Father's Day is a Hallmark Holiday, invented to sell cards and gifts, there was a bit of justice served starting this weekend. You may have noticed in a previous post here that I talked about the parents that allowed their infant son to starve to death. Well, the father had his days in court, and he was found guilty on Friday. You'll notice that from the article that the boy starved over a period of 51 days before he died.

On this Father's Day, I was blessed to receiving love and attention from my two kids. I am so lucky to have them in my life, as those of you with children can understand. However, it even made it harder for me to understand how the parents of little Samuel did what they did. It leads back to the same question I asked earlier: What do you do with these kinds of people? James mentions a similar situation in one of his more recent blogs.

Right now I'm watching Star Trek Generations, on Sci-Fi channel. They are evacuating the engineering sectino to the saucer section. During the evacuation, they show children being evacuated as well. What kind of military organization would allow children on a star-ship, one that could be called into military action at any time? Make no sense to me. If I were there, I'd be more concerned about my children during an emergency than the ship. I'd be getting them to a shuttlecraft and getting them the heck out of there, ship be damned. Guess it's kind of selfish of me, but that's what I would do. The kids should be back at home, away from danger. They can get Starship experience on a Holodeck just as well on Earth.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

A Right to Stupidity

Every so often in a high-profile court case, someone decides to represent themselves instead of having 'professional' counsel. I'm talking about Moussaui of course.

My question is, what's the big deal? It's pretty sad in this day and age that court procedures and rules of evidence are so convoluted and complicated that a lay person with a brain can't defend themselves. The piles of court cases and legal mumbo-jumbo is what gave us Miranda in the first place. You shouldn't have the right to an attorney, because you shouldn't need one. Of course, many of the founding fathers thought that America would evolve into a country of educated farmers and businessmen, but with the continued dumbing-down of our educational system this isn't the case for many of the young skulls full of mush who attend 'publik skoolz'. So we're kind of stuck now unless we throw a lot of the rules out, and the lawyers lobby is far too powerful to allow that to happen.

With Moussaui, it shouldn't be a big deal. He still has the right to act as his own attorney, and it will save us a lot of money in his prosecution. He won't know how to draw things out in the courts for years like many of the slimy defense attorneys do, just hoping the victims and witnesses will tire of the case and not show up anymore.

Of course this isn't going to happen in this case, even if he had OJ's defense team. However, if he did, you and I would be paying for his defense. Sure, I know, innocent until proven guilty, and you can't try someone in the press - but isn't it sad that tax payer dollars paid for his lawyers up until now?

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Cheap Tech

Couple of things have happened recently that once again reminded me of just how inexpensive advanced technology is. Of course 'inexpensive' is a subjective term, but I think for what you get, computers (and parts) are incredibly affordable.

A client of mine that works out of his house tried to upgrade the memory in his system all by himself. Usually, this is not a hard thing to do, and even most beginners can do it if they take sufficient care and don't become impatient. However, it looks like he tried to jack-hammer the memory in and he cracked one of his memory slots. Ouch. Blew out his power supply as well. I have the computer up and running again on a single memory bank and a spare power supply I had laying around. When I was at his office diagnosing the problem, I told him that we would probably have to replace the motherboard, CPU, and memory. He has a Pentium III CPU, and you can't just find P3 motherboards as inexpensively as the newer ones supporting P4s and AMD chips. In fact, he could get an ECS K7S5A and Duron 950Mhz Processor for $92 before shipping. Add on an inexpensive CPU fan for $10, and $57 for 512MB of RAM and you have an almost completely new system for less than $200. I just looked at an ad for a local computer store for an 80GB hard drive for $89. Well, you're starting to get the picture. Computers have become throw-away appliances like VCRs and Stereo equipment. Cheaper to buy new than to get fixed or upgrade. Maybe James should just get a refund on his broken Dell and buy a newer, faster, and better system.

I just built myself a new computer and this makes me want to upgrade it. My youngest needs a new system as hers is becoming quite out-dated, maybe I can use these prices as an excuse.

Monday, June 03, 2002

I Just Don't Understand

I've seen a lot of terrible things in my life - the underbelly of humanity if you will, but I still cannot fathom how people can do the things they do to children. I came across this article. Made me sick to my stomach. How can you ignore the screams of your own child for so long? How could you let this happen? The article talks about the religious beliefs of the people being one of the causes. In my opinion, people who do these things in the name of their beliefs are weak-minded, if it wasn't religion, it would be something else. They have to be insane, totally insane.

One of the pillars this country was built on was religious freedom (not just freedom from religion, as some would have you believe), and I strongly support that basic right. Also, you should be able to raise your children in the way you believe best, or according to your religious beliefs. However, a line has to be draw somewhere - though who decides where the limitations are is one thing that is difficult to frame. It doesn't "take a village" to raise a child, no matter who would have you believe that, and I in no way trust government bureaucrats at any level (local, state, or federal) to make the best decision on a child's future. So what do we do? How do we stop things like what happened in Massachusetts without trampling over a persons liberty and freedoms? A hard question indeed.