Posts Tagged justice

President Obama’s Commutations, Zeferino, Police Violence and the War on Drugs

On Monday, July 13th, President Obama announced he would commute the sentences of 46 persons in prison for drug charges, arguing that because sentencing requirements have been lessened in general since their sentencing, it is fair that they serve the sentences they would receive today. This is a fair argument, but it obscures the point […]

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Is Surveillance by the NSA Just? Part II (On Sartre, Privacy, and the Other)

New revelations from old Snowden disclosures tell of the intelligence successes of internet surveillance, and prolonged intrusions into private affairs. No longer can it be said, as it had in the past, that the NSA has nothing to show for its surveillance program – documentation of foiled terrorist attacks has been read by journalists at […]

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Spying for National Security Reasons vs. Spying for Economic Gain

In a surprising move, the United States has indicted members of the Chinese military on counts of cyber-espionage in stealing trade secrets from American corporations for the benefit of Chinese companies. Members of the Chinese government have dismissed the charges as ridiculous, and noted the hypocrisy of the United States in light of revelations about […]

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On Undesignated Handicap Parking (and moral motivation)

Today I pulled into a parking spot closest to the entrance of a coffee-shop. Realizing that it was probably reserved for persons with handicaps, I looked around to see if it was indeed reserved. Finding that it wasn’t so reserved, I concluded that I could legally park there. But was it morally right for me […]

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McCutcheon v. FEC (and freedom, money, and responsibility)

With the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling, we witness another decision in favor of inequality. While there were many erroneous conceptualizations running the majority decision, of principal importance is their understanding of money. For the conservatives on the court, it seems money is just a thing which carries no intrinsic weight, it may be gifted for […]

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Tsarnaev (and capital punishment, the morality of the death penalty, and equivocation)

The Justice Department has announced that it will seek the death penalty against the surviving Boston bomber, 20 year old, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Now seems a good time to consider the arguments for whether the death penalty is a just punishment. I recognize, of course, that the Justice Department might be pursuing the death penalty in […]

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Law and Morality (Columbia MD, gun rights, consequentialism, Kantianism, and client counseling)

I was responding to a very interesting comment on another blog when some new thoughts on an issue that I find myself thinking about frequently quickly materialized: the intersection and overlap of law and morality. It’s a thorny issue for me, because as a moral realist I think that there are objective moral truths and […]

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Aerostats in Maryland (and surveillance, justice, and moral respect)

The Washington Post is reporting that the army is to deploy two blimp-like surveillance aircraft under the auspices that they will monitor for incoming missiles directed at the capital and other east coast cities. The blimps will be equipped with radar powerful enough to completely monitor the east coast from Staten Island to Richmond, and […]

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Is Surveillance by the NSA Just? (deontology, Kant, Ross, and the priority of the right)

To say that there has been a vociferous response to the continuing revelations of surveillance conducted by the NSA might be to state the facts mildly; there has been heated debate in the public sphere on the matter, culminating in a presidential address yesterday declaring that (modest) changes would be made. President Barack Obama’s remarks […]

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Batman (and Kierkegaard on the suspension of ethics)

I am unashamedly a big fan of Batman; I grew up watching the PG-rated cartoons and reading innocent adaptations of the mythology (some more innocent than others — I definitely read “A Death in the Family” a little too young”), and in high school read the more mature trade paperbacks and graphic novels, an interest […]

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