Monday, July 11, 2011

High fives for fair dives...

The American legal system might be disappointing consistently, but it seems that some parts of the public service system have their agendas clear and fair. After the Defense of Marriage Act 'defined' that marriage is a union exclusively between a man and a woman, it was concluded that same sex couples were not to receive any federal benefits including Social Security and health care. Highly unfair and let me add, unconstitutional since we are all about 'separation of church and state.' But just like the abortion issue, debates concerning same sex marriages are a hot social topic that are used to deviate the less informed electorate from the facts and get votes.

But the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts has found a solution to get their way with the feds. In order to make up for the unfair treatment of homosexuals and the cost of lost benefits, the city has decided to offer additional pay to gay workers. Being in a gay relationship can cost from $1500 to $3500 a year, and the city is paying their gay employees the appropriate amount so that there is no added burden on not being straight. Amen! If the federal government is bent on socially conservative policies, local governments can take matters in their own hands, and effectively. It shouldn't be anyone's business to define how I should live my life or even worse, punish me if I don't fit the norm. America - the land of the free? Free to do as you please. And if violence, sex, and crime is okay to air any time of the day, then defining the boundaries of 'true love' seems highly contradictory. 17 companies have joined the city in their efforts to fairly compensate gay workers. Hopefully this will catch on, and across the board.

There was also some fairness and credibility in the realm of international affairs. US has decided to withhold $800 million dollars in aid to Pakistan until they resolve their 'trust' issues. Just like a betrayal in an exclusive relationship, US finding Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has led to estranged feelings of mistrust and doubts. Tensions have escalated and relationships have strained following the raid on May 2 and to be honest, rightly so. Until Pakistan shows that it is indeed against the Taliban (even though this is contrary to documented evidence) and that they are willing to contribute to the demolition of terrorist groups across eastern Asia including Afghanistan, providing millions of dollars in the name of security assistance will only be used for unclear, controversial causes. It has now been uncovered by Admiral Mike Mullen that in order to snap at critics, the Pakistani government is believed to have been behind the abduction and killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad who wrote about the infiltration of Taliban militants in the Pakistani military. Clearly, once again, Pakistan has something to hide. US is acting appropriately given its crucial and self-vested monetary and security interests in the region and using the $$ card might add some strain for better talking points.

The US Justice system has its share of work cut out to provide fair and correcting justice, but perhaps certain parts of the government do have their priorities straight. Let's get some eyes and ayes on that..

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Incompetence needs attention! - Part II

The Law & Order/CSI like drama surrounding Casey Anthony has come to a surprising close. After weeks of testimonies and years of curiosity a 'fair' jury found 25-year old Ms. Anthony not guilty of first degree murder of her 2 year old daughter. It hasn't been an overwhelming obsession for me as it has been for a lot of Americans. I haven't been glued to news channels and paying attention to every intricate detail on a daily basis; but I did keep up with each day's summary regarding happenings in court. I'm not one who's against the death penalty. I believe that if you commit intentional 'evil' crimes then you should pay for it, with your life. But the verdict of this case has made me question the effectiveness of the jury in decisions pertaining to my life or death. An obvious, smack-you-in-the-face kind of trial as this was mishandled by 12 ordinary people who have failed to provide justice for an innocent little girl.
2 year old Caylee goes missing, and instead of reporting to authorities her mother is seen partying and having late nights in local bars and nightclubs. She has made up stories and characters to cover her lies and 'estranged' behavior. She has tampered investigations by misleading the police and distracting them with unnecessary disturbing fiction that ultimately worked in her favor. Granted that the prosecution didn't have much more than circumstantial evidence to link her to the crime, but common sense and social behavior has been completely disregarded. Isn't emotional intelligence a good reason to question and confirm behavior? All throughout the testimony Ms. Anthony hasn't shed a single tear unless it was regarding herself. She has put her own family's honor into jeopardy by claiming she was abused by her father and her brother just so she can explain why she behaved in a 'strange' manner when her daughter went missing. This was, of course, not proven and the judge eventually forbade the defense to use this angle in the case any further.
This is a case with overwhelming and substantial reason to believe she killed her own daughter. Instead, the jury took only 11 hours of deliberation to conclude that she was not guilty and could possibly walk free. Any jury verdict has to be a unanimous decision. Each and every juror must agree and be convinced of the group vote. Really? Out of the 12 people on the bench, not even one took longer than 11 hours to question this erratic behavior by a supposedly 'innocent' mom? If this is the level of intelligence and conscientiousness that is going to be demonstrated in criminal cases involving life and death, then perhaps it is unfair to have capital punishment in the legal system in the first place. This case has proven that jurors can not only be incompetent and clueless, but can also be easily manipulated and disregard obvious facts.
And hey, Florida has once again raised questions of credibility. Like the mess up in the 2000 election wasn't enough, now they are set on letting murderers walk free!