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Nuevo Mexico, dijo ‘NO’ al ejecución

19 Mar

flag_of_new_mexicosvgWith roots along the Rio Grande flood plain, I am extremely proud of my home state today.  Governor Richardson has shone himself to be an extremely principled person and he continues to do so today.  Gov. Richardson has repealed the death penalty in New Mexico and by doing so makes an incredibly valid point.  He is not anti-death penalty in all cases, but he is made uncomfortable by the finality of such a decision.  He says in his official statement,

Once a conclusive decision has been made and executed, it cannot be reversed. And it is in consideration of this, that I have made my decision.

I have decided to sign legislation that repeals the death penalty in the state of New Mexico.

Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime. If the State is going to undertake this awesome responsibility, the system to impose this ultimate penalty must be perfect and can never be wrong.

But the reality is the system is not perfect – far from it. The system is inherently defective. DNA testing has proven that. Innocent people have been put on death row all across the country.

I agree with Gov. Richardson and would add one more reason.  In a world of malicious criminals who blow up buses and trains on a semi-regular basis we must stand firmly on the other side.  We must affirm that killing is wrong, regardless of why we are killing and we must accept that we have an imperfect moral judgment system and criminal judgment system.  By concluding that peace is better than war, and that life is better than death is the only way to regain respect as a just nation.

lethalinjectiontable

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Mike Lux: The Progressive Revolution

13 Mar

I had the pleasure of hearing Mike Lux speak this past Wednesday night at the Cambridge Democracy Center, courtesy of Drinking Liberally Cambridge.  I had started reading his book that same day and was impressed by the accessibility of his prose.  His book, The Progressive Revolution, leaves out the leftist intellectual vocab and plainly says what being a progressive or a conservative actually means.  His clarity is refreshing in a world of political correctness and cautious bi-partisanality.  In the introduction he defines the ‘Conservative Argument’ and the ‘Progressive Argument.’

The Conservative Argument in his words,

Successful businessmen and their allies make America great, and we should not undermine their authority or cost them money because that will mean bad things for the economy and all of us.  Their freedom to run things as they like benefits everyone in the long run.  

Just a year ago, conservatives would have adhered to that postulate.  So, in the grand scheme of life and America maybe it was good that the securities market busted.  How else we would have been able to ultimately say, capitalism is not the answer!  It failed, even the old school Financial Times said it.  He then goes on to explain why conservatives think we should keep traditional values, “once we tamper with tradition, society goes to hell.”  Lastly, he takes the most infuriating of all conservative arguments, “If people are poor it’s probably their own fault because they are too lazy to work, didn’t study in school, and are generally bad people.”  This is the most upsetting of all conservative values I believe.  How have we become so judgmental of those not as privileged?

Then he goes on to describe the progressive movement as one that believes all men were created equal but are not equal because of the current stratification and why we believe that we should all run the government…not just the elites.  Darn straight!

The point of the book isn’t to define conservatives and liberals — it is to explain how a few moments in our history have changed everything and that the moments we now revere were progressive ones.  Suffrage, the New Deal, and Civil Rights to name a few.  It really is a history book with a leftist vibe.  

I was in a awe of Mike Lux when I met him and enjoy following his thoughts on his blog at the Huffington Post as well as on OpenLeft.com.  He also generously offered his support of LadyProgress and wrote an extremely nice excerpt about me in his latest post. Read it here.  So, thank you, thank you Mike Lux for teaching me through your book and inspiring me through our conversation.  I look forward to staying in touch with you in the future.  Keep up the good fight :)!

Stop wasting time and start making progress

3 Mar

Can't we all just get along?  Like the colors in a rainbow!Some would say, how isn’t the government wasting time?  But as someone who’s seen public officials at work, I believe that the government is working a lot harder then we think.  Recently though, the younger generation has noticed a great deal of wasted time spent on either side of a very immature battle.  The battle is one we all know too well by now, the fight over gay marriage.  We have reason to hope for new progress again today, and as per usual the news is from Massachusetts.  The Globe reports ,

Fifteen gay and lesbian residents from Massachusetts who wed after this state legalized same-sex marriages filed a discrimination suit today, challenging a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

For the last 8 years, I’ve seen myself on one side of this debate and seen others (mainly from the GOP)  opposing me and other pro-civil rights young people.  Now, in the Obama-era I have been naively pretending as if we are all on the same side of a battle.  But there are still sides in this battle and the youth, who are some of the most responsible for Pres. Obama’s recent success, are tired of this issue.

Young people overwhelming grew up in a world with a “sexual spectrum.”  We don’t care who you’re dating, as long as we don’t want to date them too ;)!  But somehow, someone got us into this mess by playing into the petty demands of rich, social conservatives who probably themselves have ‘sinned’ a time or two.  Who could have gotten us into this legal mess?

The suit, which legal specialists described as the first serious challenge to the federal law signed by President Bill Clinton, contends that the statute has deprived the plaintiffs of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

Those benefits include health insurance for spouses of federal employees, tax deductions for couples who jointly file federal income tax returns, and the ability to use a spouse’s last name on a passport.

Wait a second, Pres. Clinton wasn’t the messiah?  With the last 8 years of horrible policy and discriminatory practices it is easy to look back at ’92-’00 as a time of hope and progressive policy.  But that isn’t exactly what happened.  Clinton was a centrist, he loved being loved — and still does.  It is just unfortunate that now, instead of respect, gays and lesbians have to fight for common human rights.  The right to prosper is our nation and receive health care that their partner is paying for.

This issue is tired, and we are tired of it.  Why do social conservatives spend their time on this instead of on social programs?  Can they ever speak to why they really care?  In their eyes won’t God take care of everything?  I hope Obama takes a moment to speak out about this issue — so we can stop running in circles.

I hate hearing about this issue because I keep hoping we are better than this.  But we aren’t…yet.