Culture & Tech

Is the Death Penalty Unconstitutional?

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Is there ever a good reason to take a human life? If one of your relatives were murdered, what would justice look like to you? Is it wrong to take an eye for an eye? Or is it more painful, and just, to let the guilty individual rot in prison for the rest of their life?

Cormac_J._Carney_District_JudgeAccording to U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, today more than 900 individuals in the state of California have been sentenced to death row since 1978. But only 13 of them were executed.

This afternoon’s Los Angeles Times article reported on how Carney scrutinized this apparent flaw in administering the death penalty. He ultimately ruled that lengthy delays and resulting uncertainty as to when or even if an inmate will be executed are in violation of human rights regardless of incarceration. Carney declared the state’s death penalty is “dysfunctional” because sentences have been reduced in essence to “life in prison, with the remote possibility of death.” Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating 238 Years of Independence

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As we prepare to celebrate the birth of America’s independence, it was John Adam’s attempt to actually make July 2nd the day to celebrate America’s independence from Britain. That was the actual date in 1776 that the Second Constitutional Congress voted to declare its intentions. The Revolutionary War officially ended on July 4, 1783, and it wasn’t until 1938 that the Fourth was declared the actual federal holiday. Ironically John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all died on the 4th of July, making the day even more memorable.

Ellis_island_1902Another fact that most do not know is that the United States is not alone in celebrating the 4th. Because so many Europeans immigrated to the United States in the 1900s Denmark, Norway, Sweden and, interestingly, even England all celebrate the Fourth of July. The first barbecue grill also made its way to American backyards in the 1950s, thanks to Chicago native Don McGlaughlin. Most American’s will congregate around the grill this weekend and, of course, watching fireworks. Contrary to what some believe, Americans were not the first to invent the barbecue. Anthropologists say that mastering the fire during our primitive years is precisely what today draws man to grill outdoors over flame. Read the rest of this entry »

Ghetto-Fabulous is Nothing to Brag About

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You’ve got a friend who goes to church, he’s got kids and a family but he’s a wee bit rough around the edges, and that edge is another side of him just waiting to come out. You’ve got a girlfriend who’s a little loud, maybe a little animated, but she’s your girl and is always there for you. She is all smiles and friendliness, but she, too, has an edge about her that you know is waiting to be unleashed. You’ve got a sibling that is a tad outspoken, a little East coast, brash but palatable. She, as you’ve witnessed, also has a side to her that is barely hidden behind her curtness. It’s a side of her that can easily be unleashed, as it doesn’t take much.7jPQ8

You see this in all the new reality shows popping up on various networks, banking off of folks from all ethnic origins, cultural backgrounds, heritage, nationalities, and upbringing with one thing in common— they are ghetto-fabulous. Now, ghetto folks just love to brag about their ghetto-ness like it’s their hidden weapon. To be considered ghetto, someone normally adheres to a culture that they are familiar with, and it’s not always gang related. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Technology Make Us Happier?

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FirephoneSome, not all, are creatures of convenience. Think about it. This is precisely why most people, especially those living in Los Angeles, choose to live close to where they work. Most of us hate commuting to and from a job. Just the thought of sitting through grid lock traffic, spending hours wasting away listening to talk radio while you go 5 miles an hour during rush hour, is a nightmare no one wants to endure. Read the rest of this entry »