Sunday, January 24, 2010

Freedom of Speech

I've been looking at the recent Supreme Court case with interest for the shear reason that I've seen that there is much opposition to this ruling recently. This case (Citizen's United v. Federal Election) seems to be offending many, mostly on the left who believe that this gives corporations too much power. What I do not see much of is the alternate view which is upheld by the majority of the Supreme Court, that in the other way there was too much power held by the government which the Constitution is instilled to protect us from.
Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers, which may be a means to control content....

The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech, but Austin’s antidistortion rationale would permit the Government to ban political speech because the speaker is an association with a corporate form. Political speech is “indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speechcomes from a corporation.”

This is directly from the case which you can find in PDF on the Supreme Court website. What is lost in most news is the fact that the Supreme Court is here to uphold the Constitution when times come where the other forms of government fail to do so. Fear of a certain entity such as a corporation does not make it right to silence, there is too much power in that which our country's government is not intended to have. The framers of our constitution did not intend for the government to limit any speech and that has been a great protection that has maintained the integrity of our country and challenges many others.

There were two dissenting opinions, one was surprisingly Thomas (which I can't completely disagree with his, though I think I would still go with majority) and then there was the other which included Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer and Sotomayor. The later dissenting opinion seems to be the one which is more popular and the group that finds this very dangerous. Though I find their tactics rather manipulative. From going over it and a couple of other articles it seems that there is a problem with identifying a corporation as a individual and one which must maintain rights. The fact is that you cannot disconnect the human element of a corporation. They are the actions of a group of people or the actions of one through a separate entity. But it is ridiculous to say that they are not the actions of a person or a citizen. They are a makeup of people, no other way to run a corporation. In this case the corporation is a vehicle in which a citizen can use for speech, which is what they are used for in most cases. The corporation cannot take a political opinion on its own, that makes no sense. They typically follow the political opinion of the executives or the board or whatever the makeup of the corporation is made of. The other argument I saw in relation to the first is that there is no guarantee that a corporation will be made entirely of US citizens, now this is true. But what does seem wrong to me is to say we will limit the speech of of US citizens through this avenue because of the possibility there will be some foreign influence. There is still the limitation of freedom of speech included.

The freedom of speech is a sticky subject because not all is liked, but you have to remember that it has been shown to be a slippery slope. This is shown in other countries in the form of "hate speech" laws. The most I have heard of are the laws specific to Canada. The problem with this is that it is not what you would want to be considered good or bad speech, it is what the government considers good or bad speech. With the changes in a democracy what keeps the government from making it illegal for opposition to speak for the sole reason to maintain power. This does no good for anyone. And yes it can get to that point. Many who believe homosexuality is a sin and should not be condoned, and there are others that believe that is hate speech. Then you are saying that the speech of those of certain dominant religious groups is illegal? It is the opinion of those who are in charge in the end, which is what we are trying to keep from happening. One group could use this law very easily to silence another because they simply, "don't like it." In honesty, that is the most I hear from every day people when it comes to this case. They don't trust corporations and their opinions because they believe them to be conservative. To me, there are many liberal and conservative corporations both that will use this to their advantage.

In the end I believe that the Supreme Court decision should be respected. I know McCain was hurt by this because it nullifies laws he had a major part in putting into place. But in the end, Obama out spent him and I believe that his gentlemanly attitudes toward the political process is what cost him the election partially. Obama had an entire channel! How were we really protected or had an equal share of the views of both side? It is not something that works, and I believe that it is up to everyday citizens to decide in the end. If they are too stupid to look past commercials to research what is right and wrong and who to vote for, then that speaks more for the intelligence and education of the American people; not for if certain groups should be allowed to reach to them or not through speech.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thoughts on becoming a mother

So I am noticing women are quite emotional on subjects such as raising their child. I have to admit I have my opinions, but for the most part I haven't developed them for basic things I need to worry about once the child is born. These things come up when you are thinking, "What do I need to buy to prepare for this child?" and "What will my expenses be once she is born?". Well, obvious were crib, bassinet, dresser/changing table, tub and then there are diapers.... That is where I had the toss up. Do I want to use cloth diapers or disposable? Then I came across "Elimination Communication" and this threw in a third option. You can actually just take your baby to the toilet. It does sound kind of time consuming, but it sounds much less disgusting at the same time. So I've looked up this on a few sites and I've noticed that Americans do seem quite hostile to the idea actually and find it to affront to progress... or something like that. I found it quite silly really. It is a potty training method. It works for some and not for others. I think I may give it a shot to see if it will be a little less messy over time and possibly a little more comfortable for the baby. I can imagine sitting in your own excrement could be quite uncomfortable. I haven't had the best response from family members either who say it is not possible. But I'm one that usually that take the words of women close to me very seriously, especially when it brings out an emotional response. So I am wondering how this is going to go from here. Since everyone has very specific ideas on how this should go, what other areas am I going to find conflict? I'm not really sure at this point, I think I'm just going to try to take it as it comes and get the room ready. Though I did have an interesting interaction with a store clerk at a regular baby store locally while looking at car seats. She proceeded with about a ten minute explanation of which car seats would possibly kill my child that were in the store and then reminded me that I should take care of child "because this may be the only one you ever have". Well, I was successfully scared off and I've decided to try avoiding asking most people of their opinions on things. I went there asking if they had a list of what mothers would need to register for as a first time mother, I don't know how it made it to there. But this planning to be a mother is getting interesting. For instance, I have to admit that never before in my life have I been so interested in potty training methods. But I knew things would change.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Past Year

Got this from a neighboring blog. Thought it was good to put to give an idea of what happened last year...

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Got pregnant is one. Yeah, another is I played Magic card game for the first time.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any that I remember. I've never been big on them. My only hope for the next is a healthy child and our business' success.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but I will be in 2010.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my Uncle.

5. What countries did you visit?

None, my mom and my brother do all the travel. Plus I've been pregnant almost half the year.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Success really and less stress. So far the year is starting off quite well. Last year I remember being kind of a down turn with my last job I held. It was only a few months later that it ended.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I'm not sure, I had a few memorable things happen. My position ended with one company and I went head on with my own in April. I found out I was pregnant in August I believe, though I don't remember exactly when. My uncle past away around October, and I couldn't got to the funeral because of my condition. Those are the things I remember off hand. Most else runs together.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Just getting pregnant. I thought I wasn't going to ever have a child. I had just started looking at adoption.

9. What was your biggest failure?

The good thing about having your own business is you have control and there is no one to hold you back, but the bad thing is if anything goes wrong there is no one to blame but yourself... It can be painful sometimes.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I did end up in the emergency room loosing all fluid in my body from both ends. An experience I would never want to repeat, but strangely enough helped in me getting pregnant.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hmm... Probably my chairs in the dinning area. Yeah, no major purchases this year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I don't know... No behavior to celebrate I guess.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There are many, I've figured out I just really don't like many people.

14. Where did most of your money go?

I ask myself that all the time.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Having a baby. That is the primary highlight of the year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Strangely enough probably Travelin' Soldier by the Dixie Chicks... just because of a trip I did to North Carolina. Heard it for the first time.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

happier, pregnant (so rounder since I'm at the end of my second trimester) and poorer... I was at my wealthiest actually this time last year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Stuff with the business.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Probably watching TV.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it with family in South Florida.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

No, I've been in love.

22. How many one-night stands?

None, married.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Big Bang Theory or Mad Men, not sure which wins.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, its really about the same.

25. What was the best book you read?

I don't have one. It is probably the one year in awhile that I didn't make it through a book. Had to read lengthy documents for work and that's probably why.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Not sure if I had one.

27. What did you want and get?


28. What did you want and not get?

For my business to grow.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hangover... that was funny.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 27... I'm not sure what I did. My position had just ended the previous month.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don't know, having a vacation at some point. We didn't have one.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

My usual, I think it'd probably be basic yuppy in her 20s.

33. What kept you sane?

My husband and faith.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

None I really fancied as in thinking they are attractive. I've been too turned off by most celebrities.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Probably Obama with Afghanistan; it had the most effect on me. From seeing people again speaking of withdrawal really does make me think that the biggest mistake with the recent wars are not having enough get involved. Popular culture even demonises those who help with the military for a living as well.

36. Who did you miss?

I'm not sure. I've missed many in my "past life" as I would call it, but only at moments.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

Someone at my last job and worked with. He's a hard worker, which I find more and more is hard to come by. I respect those I come across that are. There really aren't many I've met.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

That running a business on your own is difficult, but definitely a learning experience. Also, only God truly has control of growing your family; every child basically comes at its own time.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Sorry, don't think I have one.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I've been quite surprised at the reaction to 2009, the end of the decade that I still really don't know what to call. I've seen much criticism of the year for its down turn and thus the entire decade along with it. It is almost like everyone in popular culture who speaks of this decade is caught in a depression. People in depression tend to project their depression on everything, because they feel bad at the moment then everything bad and nothing has ever been good. Otherwise how could you see an actually quite prosperous decade one of the worst since WWII (I believe that was from TIME). And it seems everything in popular culture is a parrot of each other. Are there ever such things as deferring points of view anymore? If nothing else, that definitely seems to be something that helps depict 2009 which I hope doesn't carry over to the next decade. I don't know what it is about popular culture today (I would say Americans, but I think it carries throughout most of western civilization) but there seems to be lack of historical knowledge or lack of basic skills of critical thinking. Maybe I'm being harsh, but it is quite disappointing when there are major occurrence throughout the world and enough in our country and everything is about Tiger Woods or now Charlie Sheen. Everything appears to be a "consensus" that is not one, and there is only review of one side of the story. But I am getting off base...

The last year was not the best for the nation I believe. There was hope for our president that I say has been quite disappointing. I can tell you that I had a job that was cut earlier in the year directly related to the president's choices (yes, and its easy to make the correlation). I know many others have felt the pains and there has been little action to make things better from the government through the year. It is a shame that there was a bad year ending such a decade, but it all relates. We were on top of the world in the decade. Think of the real estate boom. It was something everyone could make money off of. All you have to do is hold a house for a short time and boom it was twice its worth. You look and everyone in middle class has to have the right counter tops and wood floors. And in the areas in which it was strongest there was a belief that it would never end. There was also the boom of technology and social networking. Was there even a myspace in 2000? I actually don't know. I believe I still had a dial up at home and a separate CD burner. With this boom the CD has practically become obsolete for music and music stores have almost died along with it. Not to mention the changes with everything after 9/11.

The end of the decade to me seemed to be just showing that everything good inevitably will not last. The US believed they could ride a bubble forever and it had to burst. But truthfully the bad feelings shown in popular culture really shows just how good of a decade we've had! People aren't starving. We don't have lines of people at soup kitchens or any of the poverty that you see elsewhere in the country. The complaints are that some people need assistance from family more as there are multiple generations under one roof. There are complaints of people who took a gamble on their house happened to loose. Some started letting their house go into foreclosure just because they didn't feel like paying over the house's worth.... Not because they can't afford to pay it. But in the end, how is it really that bad? I saw complaints about losses in the wars. The thing is other than military families there was no draft or direct effect on most of the population, just the ones that are directly involved with the military. So I have to ask, where is the horrible?

For myself, I finally got my wish. I'm having a baby. The best way to start a new decade. Last decade I met my husband and we've started our lives together in Florida. We end the decade quite well and we start the new one incredibly hopeful. All in all, what I meant to get through is that we have it pretty good. It is bad to waste these times in depression of what goes wrong. I even saying that completely believing that politically our country has horrible leadership, but I do believe things will get better.

Happy New Year everyone!