Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dear America, If I'm Elected President...

Dear America,

The race for the 2012 Republican nomination for President of the United States has been in progress for quite some time.  The debate that started it all took place May 5th, 2011, and since then the number of candidates in the race has dwindled to just four.  With the exception of Ron Paul, every candidate has had their moment as front runner and shown promise in the polls as a viable nominee for the presidency.  And with a four-way race at the polls still showing a strong divide within the Republican Party, I believe the opportunity still exists for yet another candidate to make their political presence—and presence in general—known to voters.

With that said, I would like to offer my public service as that new potential candidate for the Republican nominee for President of the United States.  This is not a declaration of the formation of an exploratory committee, because I don’t have much money, nor am I very good with commitment.  Nor have I formally registered as a presidential candidate, because I’m really not the best at filling out paperwork, which I assume would be required.  With that said, I would like to paint a picture for you of an America under my administration using the brushstrokes of my brain.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Whale Slavery: A PETA Story

Slaves are bigger in person... (Image)
I would like all of you to join me in a thought experiment.

For those who have issues with thoughts, experimentation, or making decisions, please turn back now.

On October 26, 2011, a landmark lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of individuals whose hardships are often overlooked.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization famous for keeping an eye on the underdog, putting a roof over its head, and subsequently euthanizing it, filed the suit to shed light on the social injustice that is constantly drowned out by issues such as same-sex marriage, unemployment, and other things that actually matter.

The social injustice I’m talking about, of course, is whale slavery.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five SeaWorld orca whales that, according to PETA, are forced to perform tricks against their will and are not given compensation for this aforementioned trickery.  According to Jeffrey Kerr, the lawyer representing the five whales, SeaWorld is violating the 13th Amendment—which abolished slavery—by “forcing members of an intelligent, social species” to perform this work against their will.  While many maintain that this amendment to the Constitution applies only to humans, Kerr argues that this is not explicitly stated so it must be false, which I argue is the legal equivalent of the referee in Air Bud declaring that a golden retriever can join a youth basketball game because there “ain’t no rule that says a dog can’t play basketball.”

On February 9, 2011, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller dismissed the case, saying in his ruling that “As 'slavery' and 'involuntary servitude' are uniquely human activities, as those terms have been historically and contemporaneously applied, there is simply no basis to construe the Thirteenth Amendment as applying to non-humans.”

While the court’s decision to throw out the case was not surprising, it did thrust a radical theoretical discussion of animal rights into the mainstream.  It also probably pissed off a lot of black people.  So, I find it necessary to think deeply about what may have happened in the realm of animal rights had the plaintiffs won this lawsuit.

Therefore, as mentioned above, I would like you to join me in the following thought experiment.