tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
Disclaimer: There are assumptions in here that I do not explicitly state as such. If any of my assertions are incorrect, please let me know.

I've heard the term "justice" used in conjunction with the current financial situation quite a bit lately, especially with the recent revelation of the AIG bonuses. It's been along the lines that people want to make sure that "justice is served" and that the people who created this mess are "brought to justice."

I was about to write, "that's a noble sentiment, but..." but I'm not sure that I actually feel that way; I'm not sure I can even get that far without tripping myself up on my own point that I want to make here. It seems to me that people are being careless with a very important word, and I always get upset when that happens. Justice is one of our dearest tenets; it's so important to us that we have dedicated one of our government's three branches to it.

Or perhaps I misunderstand the word. I thought that justice was, by definition, relevant to law. If the law is broken, justice is served by attempting to undo, minimize, or repair the effects of the transgression. Those who break the law are brought to justice by being forced to contribute, often heavily, to that reparation. Sometimes they are also incarcerated, to protect the general populace from them until it can be ascertained whether they present any further threat to their fellow humans. At least that's how I understand it is ideally supposed to work. My understanding is that the contracts granting the bonuses were all done on the up and up, completely within the boundaries of the relevant laws; no law has been broken by giving these people these bonuses. To say that they must be brought to justice for receiving their rightful bonuses is grossly unfair, for they have broken no laws and therefore committed no injustice and yet it as much as calls them criminals.

... or perhaps things are more deeply broken than I originally suspected. Perhaps justice means something else to most people these days. What that something else is, I am not sure. The best thing I can think of is that it means the fulfillment of their own moral expectations. But this is treacherous ground to tread. One of the reasons we have the legal system that we have is because of that tremendous range of moral expectations. It's supposed to provide something that, while it does not completely satisfy anyone's moral expectations, neither does it completely ignore anyone's moral expectations; a massive compromise. It seems, however, that more and more people are looking to the Executive and Legislative branches for justice than they are looking to the Judicial branch, and that worries me. I say that it is treacherous ground, and that it worries me, because it seems to me that it is a departure from the principles on which this country was intended to be run. We seem to be making this change blindly, without consideration of the consequences. Perhaps the current system is not working. Perhaps this is the best thing to do in the long run. But I cannot believe that it will lead to a more healthy or fulfilled country if we do it in a headlong rush.

Bah. I was all set to try to make some grand point about how, if you want to see people brought to justice, you have to change the laws so that they actually match up with your idea of what justice would look like, but then I got all sidetracked. Much like if you want a computer program to perform a certain operation for you then you must make sure that it is designed to correctly perform that operation, if you want to see justice served then you must have in place a legal system and laws that are capable of producing your idea of justice.

Divided, we are falling. Now, I think, it is a matter of whether we fall together... or fall apart.
tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
[RANT]
I've been mostly keeping fairly quiet about this whole thing with the financial markets, but today on NPR's Morning Edition I heard something that really rubbed me the wrong way. I heard the phrase "financial Pearl Harbor" used to refer to our current (or immanent) situation. This is not a financial Pearl Harbor. A financial Pearl Harbor would be, I don't know, Switzerland blowing up all of our mints simultaneously. Or _maybe_ China deciding "You know what? We don't want your filthy capitalist lucre anymore. No more loans for you." For there to be a Pearl Harbor, you have to be attacked by somebody. Who is doing the attacking here?

Please stop using emotional trigger words to try to manipulate people into a knee-jerk reaction. Or, at the very least, use something that is going to actually give them an accurate context. This isn't a financial Pearl Harbor. This is a financial Titanic. Or maybe a financial Hindenburg. Possibly a financial Triangle Shirt Factory Fire.
[/RANT]
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
Seriously, Eclipse, I almost always love you, but days like this you make me want to take some serious chomps out of your bytecode. Would that your plugin management was not quite so full of hose and suck!
tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
One of the ways that Snickers is currently advertising is through the use of made up words. The one I got on my Snickers bar today was:
Substantialiscious \sub-'stan(t)-shu-'li-shus\ (noun). The weight of something when you weigh it with your tongue.
First off, what kind of a sentence is that for a definition? No self-respecting dictionary (except possibly urban dictionaries) uses the second person voice. Secondly, a noun? WTF? Weight is a noun. As in, you can say "What is the weight of that thing?" Try saying "What is the substantialicious of that thing?" and it sounds ridiculous. Why? Because words that end in "ious" are adjectives!

Allow me to close with another example of why that word should not be a noun:

My brain hates your stupid definition even as my tongue savors your substantialiscious.

[PS I blame the sleep deprivation]
tcepsa: (Pyrate)
I'm having an edgy day--the program that I'm working on is giving me more trouble than usual (in ways that are counterintuitive to me) but since yelling at it doesn't help, I'm going to rant about something that a different supervisor just said. I'm paraphrasing here, but it was something along the lines of, We're not here to have fun, we're here to do work. )

So yes, actually, I am here to have fun, and I don't understand people who settle for anything less. I understand people who put off finding a fun job for a few years due to other circumstances (e.g. my working for the Justice Department--it had its moments, but it really wasn't for me; I stuck it out because of my scholarship obligation) but if someone isn't doing something they love or at least working towards that, I just don't get it...
tcepsa: (Default)
Taken from this article, regarding Karl Rove (chief political adviser to President Bush)

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, [Rove] said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Yup, leave it to those god-hating atheistic Liberals to do something like turn the other cheek. Thank God the Compassionate Conservatives were in power so that they could launch a full-scale retaliation!

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