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Julie Fern

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #530 on: December 20, 2011, 09:18:58 AM »


Judges make their decisions primarily based upon emotional reactions to the facts presented to them in a case, and then use precedent to rationalize their decision. Law's indeterminacy and contingency lie in the fact that precedent can be interpreted in numerous ways, and that it is often used as justification for a position held by the judge long before he even considers precedent. Accordingly, from a psychoanalytic point of view, judicial decisions are often made based on the personal prejudices and emotional reactions of judges with respect to a set of facts, and the process of "legal reasoning" is merely a mechanism employed by the Ego to rationalize the Id's irrational prejudices. But why is there such a need for rationalization? Two possibilities present themselves. First, the legal profession and society as a whole idealize the law as the perfect father-figure, and in their search for stability, demand that the law be a coherent and logical set of rules derived from reason. In other words, the Ego seeks to use the law as a further means of bringing order to the chaotic and passionate world of the Id. Second, the legal profession engages in endless rationalization as a means for alleviating the threat of punishment imposed on the Ego for its failure to incorporate the commands of the Super-Ego's "inward court of law" in laws governing members of society. In other words, if the Ego were to acknowledge explicitly that judicial decision-making is primarily an Id-driven process, then it would be subject to severe punishment from the Super-Ego for allowing instinctual impulses to reach conscious awareness, and worst of all, be the basis for law.


So basically, Strong Id, Strong Superego, Suffering Ego ?


Does this mean that lawyers are criminals who don't have the balls to do what their unconscious urges them to do, and want instead the "power of the law" on their side to justify/rationalize/hide their actions?


I find these posts strange enough to guarantee their being removed, at least. Maybe that's just me, who knows!

you think this strange?

pretamanger

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #531 on: December 21, 2011, 01:54:42 AM »

Fromm describes three ways in which we escape from freedom:

1. Authoritarianism. We seek to avoid freedom by fusing ourselves with others, by becoming a part of an authoritarian system like the society of the Middle Ages. There are two ways to approach this. One is to submit to the power of others, becoming passive and compliant. The other is to become an authority yourself, a person who applies structure to others. Either way, you escape your separate identity. Fromm referred to the extreme version of authoritarianism as sadomasochism, and points out that both feel compelled to play their separate roles, so that even the sadist, with all his apparent power over the masochist, is not free to choose his actions. But milder versions of authoritarianism are everywhere. In many classes, for example, there is an implicit contract between students and professors: students demand structure, and the professor sticks to his notes. It seems innocuous and even natural, but this way the students avoid taking any responsibility for their learning, and the professor can avoid taking on the real issues of his field.

2. Automaton conformity. Authoritarians escape by hiding within an authoritarian hierarchy. But our society emphasizes equality! There is less hierarchy to hide in (though plenty remains for anyone who wants it, and some who don't). When we need to hide, we hide in our mass culture instead. When I get dressed in the morning, there are so many decisions! But I only need to look at what you are wearing, and my frustrations disappear. Or I can look at the television, which, like a horoscope, will tell me quickly and effectively what to do. If I look like, talk like, think like, feel like ... everyone else in my society, then I disappear into the crowd, and I don't need to acknowledge my freedom or take responsibility. It is the horizontal counterpart to authoritarianism. The person who uses automaton conformity is like a social chameleon: he takes on the coloring of his surroundings. Since he looks like a million other people, he no longer feels alone. He isn't alone, perhaps, but he's not himself either. The automaton conformist experiences a split between his genuine feelings and the colors he shows the world.

3. Destructiveness. Authoritarians respond to a painful existence by, in a sense, eliminating themselves: If there is no me, how can anything hurt me? But others respond to pain by striking out against the world: if I destroy the world, how can it hurt me? It is this escape from freedom that accounts for much of the indiscriminate nastiness of life -- brutality, vandalism, humiliation, vandalism, crime, terrorism ... Fromm adds that, if a person's desire to destroy is blocked by circumstances, he or she may redirect it inward. The most obvious kind of self-destructiveness is, of course, suicide. But we can also include many illnesses, drug addiction, alcoholism, even the joys of passive entertainment. He turns Freud's death instinct upside down: self-destructiveness is frustrated destructiveness, not the other way around.


Fromm's idea are indeed a perfect "bridging" from a psych perspective to a socio/pol science one when examining the issue -


Was not Fromm both a psychologist and a sociologist?!

decline

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #532 on: December 24, 2011, 11:35:45 PM »

[...] That appearance of right was necessary the easier to rule the people, because no government can exist without the consent of the people, consent open, tacit or assumed. Constitutionalism and democracy are the modern forms of that alleged consent; the consent being inoculated and indoctrinated by what is called "education," at home, in the church, and in every other phase of life. That consent is the belief in authority, in the necessity for it. [...] Yet the State is nothing but a name. It is an abstraction. [...] To call the State an organism shows a diseased tendency to make a fetish of words [...]


Could someone expand a bit on this?


I agree, Violet Bear, it's a bit too abstract, I am not sure why such a posting on a philosophical level was made here ..

p e n t a

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #533 on: December 25, 2011, 01:25:01 AM »

On June 11, 2007, Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of lewd conduct in a men's restroom, where he was accused of soliciting an undercover police officer for sexual activity. During the resulting interview with the arresting officer, Craig insisted upon his innocence, disputing the officer's version of the event by stating that he merely had a "wide stance" (Craig states that he said he was a "wide guy") and that he had been picking a piece of paper from the floor.

Despite his statements of innocence during the interview, Craig later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct by signing and mailing a plea petition, dated August 1, 2007. He paid $575, including fines and fees. Senator Craig signed the petition to enter his guilty plea, which contained the provisions, "I understand that the court will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent... I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty." Craig mailed his signed petition to the court, and his petition to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge was accepted and filed by the court on August 8, 2007. In an August 28, 2007, press conference Craig regretted filing the guilty plea, stating "In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously"

[...]

Both the 2009 documentary Outrage and the magazine Newsweek (June 7, 2010 issue) listed Craig, among others, as a prominent conservative politician who had a record of anti-gay legislation and then was caught in a gay sex scandal.


bhut jolokia, I found another post related to Craig's case:


Senator Larry E. Craig used a dirty word as he explained how in June 2007 he wound up suspected of cruising for sex: profiling. Mr. Craig said the police officer working undercover in the next stall at a Minneapolis airport bathroom had lumped him neatly into the behavioral profile of someone on the prowl: the wide stance, the toe-tapping, the upward-facing palm, the flash of a wedding ring. In the well-developed profile of how a man intending to engage in lewd conduct in that bathroom behaved, the gestures added up to a coded message. The police were using a common tactic that has received less attention than the widely criticized practice of racial profiling (or gender, age, weight, ethnic or religious profiling, for that matter). That sort of profiling targets suspects based on their innate attributes, not on what they say or do.

But behavioral profiling, highly nuanced, draws heavily from cognitive psychology and, often, on the personal experiences with previous crimes and the subjective interpretations of the profilers. In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC Mr. Craig said: "I now know that this cop is — this officer is a profiler. He said looking into a stall was one of it, and then a hand gesture or foot tap is another one. Now I know all about profiling. I know what people feel like when they're profiled, when innocent people get caught up in what I was caught in as an innocent person. It's very angering at times."

There are essentially two kinds of profiling, inductive and deductive. Inductive profiling, as was the approach in Mr. Craig's case, uses statistical probability and behavioral clues from previous offenders to create cookie-cutter profiles and predict the likelihood of a future crime. Deductive profiling involves analyzing the evidence — a tire track, DNA, a bloody knife — after the crime occurs in order to create a profile of that offender and use it to catch him. Behavioral clues, on the other hand, can range from the physical to the ethereal. For example, the possession of cold medicine, mason jars, rubber tubing, coffee filters and brake fluid would quickly lead investigators to suspect someone of intending to produce methamphetamine. A traveler with a stack of small bills, with only carry-on luggage and a one-way ticket, could easily be suspected of being a drug courier. Tattoos and the color of clothing — and even more obvious, a grab at the waist as if to draw a gun — are basic clues to gang activity.


First of all, let me address the issue of a possible "set-up" that several people mentioned to me when discussing this case. They argue that it was because they wanted Craig to resign, why they used his being gay (the rumor was circulating for years) to make him give up the Senate spot. They talk about Karsia (the undercover police officer who arrested him) being on the take as a Democratic operative, and that what happened was an elaborate plan, with Craig being set up in a carefully studied operation. If that's the case, please apply what I'll be saying about Craig's case specifically to plain gay guys who get busted all too often for this kind of thing.

That said, as an Italian woman, having been in the States for a while, I found Craig's arrest scandalous. Not that I feel sorry for Craig, who was a hypocrite having had voted consistently against gay people's rights. After all, Craig probably considered himself to be "straight," just having a quickie with a stranger miles and miles away from home, something that hardly made him gay.

What is appalling to me is the actual arrest procedure, the kind of thing that happens everyday to gay people in this country. According to the police report, the incident began with Craig's peering into the Karsia's stall several times through the crack in the door. Then, Craig entered the stall to the left of Karsia's and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door. Once seated, Craig tapped his right foot - a signal, according to the police report, used by people wishing to engage in lewd conduct. After Karsia moved his own foot up and down (LOL!) - Craig, moved his right foot so that it touched the side of Karsia's left foot under the stall divider. Craig also swiped his left hand under the stall 3 times before Karsia held his badge down by the floor so Craig could see it.

Now, to me, this whole story is a nightmare of out-of-control police. Craig was simply the innocent victim of a banal set-up by the MN airport police - one that Joseph Stalin would have admired. There was no sex act of any kind. The idiotic cop - who appears to spend his entire work day sitting on a toilet in smelly airport bathrooms - walks him off, provokes him, and arrests him for lewd conduct. All this for tapping his foot in a public bathroom. This is insane! 

In my country - as it is also the case in other European countries - sex sting operations utilizing undercover police officers are illegal. Such an operation would be considered entrapment by the police, enough reason to drop the case per se. (Funny how these officers actually believe they are not themselves gay - to them, spending a few minutes peeking at gay men hardly makes them gay - after all, they are there to bust gay guys, not have fun with them!).

The other thing that irks me is the way the GOP tossed Craig overboard as if he were a terrorist. Even if turned out that Craig was gay, so what?! There are a lots of fine gay public servants. His party should have been rallying in his defense, not make him walk the plank. In Europe printing in media the sex stories of politicians is frowned upon - let alone taking stories of this kind to court!

So much for SuperFace!

Lovdie

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #534 on: December 29, 2011, 12:59:06 AM »

America celebrates stupidity in order to help people ignore the dissonance between their belief that America is a democratic nation with civil rights and the fact that it is an Orwellian totalitarian state derived from lessons learned in the "great experiments" of Fascism and Stalinism. Popular culture celebrates stupidity as an end in itself and as a road to happiness. Recent examples are by no means limited to Forrest Gump, South Park, Jackass, George W. Bush, and the WWE. They only expand an older tradition of "aw shucks" ignorance. Before, the awshucks had to be combined with an audacious, aggressive optimism; now it is best when combined with ruthless brutality and a psychotic sense of humor. While the psychopathic ravings of a rapper are considered entertaining, the re-enslaving of African Americans in the prison-industrial complex is justified in the white mind by the very same lyrics. Popular culture serves up rebellion to the masses in such a way that when and if they finally act out against the state that makes them miserable their very act of rebellion finally supports that state. The belief that popular culture produces what the masses want is one of the beliefs that supports the fascist structure and promotes isolation among those who reject its pabulum.


[...]

What is the difference today? During World War II, the U.S. government realized the value of propaganda. Beginning in the late 1940s, U.S. Military Intelligence and the various clandestine agencies that eventually formed the CIA, gave millions of dollars in research grants to American universities for the research and development of propaganda techniques. Joseph Goebbles societal mind controlling propaganda machine came to America under Project Paperclip and was transformed into an academic genre that is now euphemistically known as the "science of communications." The result? Every journalism student is trained in this now exact science. Polished to a fine art and potentized by modern technology, our minds are pumped on every channel, bandwidth and frequency, 24/7. There's no room left for independent thinking. Our thoughts are provided for us, so slick and conveniently, that the average American doesn't even know what hit 'em.

Mental conformity is accomplished with up-to-the-minute news pumps. Room for alternatives or debate? Only if its going in the direction the doctors of spin have prescribed for us. Just as in Hitler's time, we've been whipped into a frenzy of blind pro-American patriotic pride.


I am not sure that's the right way to address this issue, that is within a psychological framework - mass media, propaganda, mind control, psy war and the like - to give you some buzz words. But that's a start ... Just want to make sure I'm not shortchanging you, or selling you short, when going for this sort of thing ...

Figaro

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Zero-Sum Game :: The Stupid M u t h a @ # ! * i n' Curve
« Reply #535 on: January 09, 2012, 07:29:12 PM »

Zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participant(s). It is so named because when the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Chess and Go are examples of a zero-sum game - it is impossible for both players to win. Zero-sum is a special case of a more general constant sum where the benefits and losses to all players sum to the same value. Cutting a cake is zero- or constant-sum because taking a larger piece reduces the amount of cake available for others.

Situations where participants can all gain or suffer together, such as a country with an excess of bananas trading with another country for their excess of apples, where both benefit from the transaction, are referred to as non-zero-sum. Other non-zero-sum games are games in which the sum of gains and losses by the players are always more or less than what they began with. For example, a game of poker played in a casino is a zero-sum game unless the pleasure of gambling or the cost of operating a casino is taken into account, making it a non-zero-sum game.

It has been theorized by Robert Wright, among others, that society becomes increasingly non-zero-sum as it becomes more complex, specialized, and interdependent.

An example

A game's payoff matrix is a convenient way of representation. Consider for example the two-player zero-sum game pictured



The order of play proceeds as follows: The first player (red) chooses in secret one of the two actions 1 or 2; the second player (blue), unaware of the first player's choice, chooses in secret one of the three actions A, B or C. Then, the choices are revealed and each player's points total is affected according to the payoff for those choices.

Example: the first player chooses action 2 and the second player chose action B. When the payoff is allocated the first player gains 20 points and the second player loses 20 points.

Now, in this example game both players know the payoff matrix and attempt to maximize the number of their points. What should they do?

Player 1 could reason as follows: "with action 2, I could lose up to 20 points and can win only 20, while with action 1 I can lose only 10 but can win up to 30, so action 1 looks a lot better." With similar reasoning, player 2 would choose action C. If both players take these actions, the first player will win 20 points. But what happens if player 2 anticipates the first player's reasoning and choice of action 1, and deviously goes for action B, so as to win 10 points? Or if the first player in turn anticipates this devious trick and goes for action 2, so as to win 20 points after all?

John von Neumann had the fundamental and surprising insight that probability provides a way out of this conundrum. Instead of deciding on a definite action to take, the two players assign probabilities to their respective actions, and then use a random device which, according to these probabilities, chooses an action for them. Each player computes the probabilities so as to minimise the maximum expected point-loss independent of the opponent's strategy; this leads to a linear programming problem with a unique solution for each player. This minimax method can compute provably optimal strategies for all two-player zero-sum games.

For the example given above, it turns out that the first player should choose action 1 with probability 57% and action 2 with 43%, while the second player should assign the probabilities 0%, 57% and 43% to the three actions A, B and C. Player one will then win 2.85 points on average per game.


Thinking "like a lawyer" also means to define people according to their legal rights, trying to understand, prevent and "resolve" problems by applying legal rules to those rights, usually in a zero-sum manner. It is fundamentally negative, critical, pessimistic, and depersonalizing. This method of thinking is conveyed and understood in law schools as a new and superior way of thinking, not a strictly limited legal tool. These beliefs and thought processes have an atomistic worldview and a zero-sum message about life. Nothing much matters beyond winning or losing, and there is always a loser for each winner.

Not to mention that stupid m u t h a @ # ! * i n g grading curve that law schools have in place.



http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003847.msg3037022

L Liberti

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Re: Zero-Sum Game :: Scarcity
« Reply #536 on: January 10, 2012, 10:35:18 PM »

Thinking "like a lawyer" also means to define people according to their legal rights, trying to understand, prevent and "resolve" problems by applying legal rules to those rights, usually in a zero-sum manner. It is fundamentally negative, critical, pessimistic, and depersonalizing. This method of thinking is conveyed and understood in law schools as a new and superior way of thinking, not a strictly limited legal tool. These beliefs and thought processes have an atomistic worldview and a zero-sum message about life. Nothing much matters beyond winning or losing, and there is always a loser for each winner.

Not to mention that stupid m u t h a @ # ! * i n g grading curve that law schools have in place.



http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003847.msg3037022


I wouldn't be surprised to see law schools do this kind of thing - don't get me wrong, they are major a s s h o l e s when doing that - what I am saying is that social Darwinism and the like are highly influential in contemporary American thought. Think Malthus, for instance - in fact, Malthusianism became an intellectual stepping-stone to the idea of natural selection, with evolutionary biologists such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace having borrowed from the theory.

For example, it is a common assumption that there is not enough food produced globally to feed the entire world population. In addition, it is assumed that, should food be distributed to the poorest of the poor, this would inevitably eventuate in a population increase that would, again inevitably, create a need for food that would be greater than the available supply of food. This is the "Malthusian" dilemma, after the Thomas Malthus who first put forward the argument in 1798. Malthus argued that population growth, especially of poor bastards, would inevitably outrun food supply, unless the latter were restrained from breeding. He advocated that poor people be crowded together in unhealthy housing, for instance, this being a way of checking the population growth.
Senator Geary: Was there always a buffer involved?
Willi Cici: A what?
Senator Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

L Liberti

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IQ - Social Darwinsim - Eugenics
« Reply #537 on: January 10, 2012, 11:35:29 PM »
For the sake of truth, the INfamous Bell Curve has a very direct connection to Social Darwinism and the eugenics movement. The book "The Bell Curve," for instance, is perhaps one of the most controversial books of all time. Written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the book uses empirical statistical analysis to reach conclusion of intelligence gap in American society. Two of the most controversial conclusions reached by the author are the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior and the observed relationship between low African-American test scores, when compared to Asians or whites, and genetic factors in intelligence abilities.

These controversial conclusions can be tied to Darwin's theory of evolution. Written in Darwin's "The Origin of Species,"

Quote
"With animals having separated sexes there will be in most cases a struggle between the male for possession of the females. The most vigorous individuals, or those which have the most successfully struggled with their conditions of life, well generally leave most progeny. But success will often depends on having special weapons or means of defense, or on the charms of the males; against slightest advantage will lead to victory"

is one of the many quotes by Darwin which could be use to explain the conclusions reached by Herrnstein and Murray. Or in Stephen Jay Gould's words, "The Bell Curve" rests on two distinctly different but sequential arguments, which together encompass the classic corpus of biological determinism as a social philosophy - in other words, Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism holds that Darwin's theory of evolution can be applied to the development of human social institutions. It first become popular in late 19th century and continued until end of World War II. The application of the term to 19th and 20th century modes of thought, however, generally did not occur until after the publication of American historian Richard Hofstadter's "Social Darwinism in American Thought" in 1944, which codified the concept in the sense it is generally used today.

Social Darwinism is often linked to eugenics, and is the backbone of Herrnstein & Murray's arguments, according to which humans are separated not only by race and class, but also by IQ - this being the central theme of the arguments brought forth by these authors. This argument may deviate from the original 19th century theory of Social Darwinism; however, its use of statistical analysis of IQ is the central thought of 20th century Social Darwinism. The conclusions of the authors suggest people who have high IQ would be more "successful in life" and people with low IQ will encounter more problems in life such as unemployment, divorce, crime, and poverty. Using Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest (or should we, more appropriately, say, survival of the unfittest, the fat lazy a s s e s?) and other laws of evolution can be applied to human society; hence, it can be understood, that the people with high IQ be successful in life therefore have a easier time passing on their "good" gene to the next generation because they have a easier time finding a partner. On other hand, the people with low IQ, often exert anti-social behavior, hence have problems finding and supporting a partner, therefore would have problem passing their gene to the next generation.

They maintain that

Quote
"It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities we admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and incompetencies, assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that all of the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen."

This idea is the 20th century Social Darwinism. This idea is also the idea behind eugenic movements and research which was not unpopular during the time.


Hitler believed humans were animals to whom the genetics laws, learned from livestock breeding, could be applied. The Nazis believed that instead of permitting natural forces and chance to control evolution, they must direct the process to advance the human race. The first step to achieve this goal was to isolate the ‘inferior races’ in order to prevent them from further contaminating the ‘Aryan’ gene pool. The widespread public support for this policy was a result of the belief, common in the educated classes, in the conclusion that certain races were genetically inferior as was scientifically 'proven' by Darwinism. The Nazis believed that they were simply applying facts, proven by science, to produce a superior race of humans as part of their plan for a better world: 'The business of the corporate state was eugenics or artificial selection — politics as applied biology'.

Some may argue the connection between "The Bell Curve" and Social Darwinist eugenic movements of the time. But many facts show strong connection between the two. Firstly, as early as 1971, Herrnstein published an article in a prestigious US magazine, 'Atlantic Monthly', and can be quoted "the tendency to be unemployed may run in the genes of a family about as certainly as bad teeth do now.... As the wealth and complexity of human society grow, there will be precipitated out of the mass of humanity a low-capacity residue that may be unable to master the common occupations..." Secondly, Herrnstein's political stance is very conservative; "It is hard to argue that the "class struggle" can be resolved by a redistribution of wealth and capital, if it should turn out that something more than economics distinguishes the contending classes." Thirdly, quoted from an ABC New Report transcript, "Ever since 1937, the 'Pioneer Fund' has promoted the study of racial purity as a an ideal. Over the past 10 years, according to public documents, the 'Pioneer Fund' contributed $3.5 million to researchers cited in "The Bell Curve."

Finally, Herrnstein is found to be connected with the journal 'Mankind Quarterly', which is owned by Roger Pearson for the last 25 years. Pearson was a leader of the pro-fascist Northern League, which included a number of former Nazi SS officials, and a member of the World Anti-Communist League, described by former member Geoffrey Stewart-Smith as a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-Semites, and vicious racists. These facts suggest strong ties between the authors and ideas of "The Bell Curve" with Social Darwinism movement of the time. "The Bell Curve" brought the theories of Social Darwinism into the public. It introduced the mass population to the idea IQ, something heritable, being the main determining factor for success in life, and it did it in a "scientific" way which help the idea to be accepted by the public.

The political landscape of the time also played a large role in the success of Social Darwinism. The presidency of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. initiated hyper segregation, large-scale unemployment and contingent labor. To go along with this, the collapse of Soviet Union, more importantly the communism it symbolized, also played a role in how equality was perceived.
Senator Geary: Was there always a buffer involved?
Willi Cici: A what?
Senator Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

2 young 2 be in debt

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #538 on: January 15, 2012, 02:59:34 AM »

First of all, let me address the issue of a possible "set-up" that several people mentioned to me when discussing this case. They argue that it was because they wanted Craig to resign, why they used his being gay (the rumor was circulating for years) to make him give up the Senate spot. They talk about Karsia (the undercover police officer who arrested him) being on the take as a Democratic operative, and that what happened was an elaborate plan, with Craig being set up in a carefully studied operation. If that's the case, please apply what I'll be saying about Craig's case specifically to plain gay guys who get busted all too often for this kind of thing.

That said, as an Italian woman, having been in the States for a while, I found Craig's arrest scandalous. Not that I feel sorry for Craig, who was a hypocrite having had voted consistently against gay people's rights. After all, Craig probably considered himself to be "straight," just having a quickie with a stranger miles and miles away from home, something that hardly made him gay.

What is appalling to me is the actual arrest procedure, the kind of thing that happens everyday to gay people in this country. According to the police report, the incident began with Craig's peering into the Karsia's stall several times through the crack in the door. Then, Craig entered the stall to the left of Karsia's and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door. Once seated, Craig tapped his right foot - a signal, according to the police report, used by people wishing to engage in lewd conduct. After Karsia moved his own foot up and down (LOL!) - Craig, moved his right foot so that it touched the side of Karsia's left foot under the stall divider. Craig also swiped his left hand under the stall 3 times before Karsia held his badge down by the floor so Craig could see it.

Now, to me, this whole story is a nightmare of out-of-control police. Craig was simply the innocent victim of a banal set-up by the MN airport police - one that Joseph Stalin would have admired. There was no sex act of any kind. The idiotic cop - who appears to spend his entire work day sitting on a toilet in smelly airport bathrooms - walks him off, provokes him, and arrests him for lewd conduct. All this for tapping his foot in a public bathroom. This is insane! 

In my country - as it is also the case in other European countries - sex sting operations utilizing undercover police officers are illegal. Such an operation would be considered entrapment by the police, enough reason to drop the case per se. (Funny how these officers actually believe they are not themselves gay - to them, spending a few minutes peeking at gay men hardly makes them gay - after all, they are there to bust gay guys, not have fun with them!).

The other thing that irks me is the way the GOP tossed Craig overboard as if he were a terrorist. Even if turned out that Craig was gay, so what?! There are a lots of fine gay public servants. His party should have been rallying in his defense, not make him walk the plank. In Europe printing in media the sex stories of politicians is frowned upon - let alone taking stories of this kind to court!

So much for SuperFace!


Don't be so scandalized, Italian woman! In this country everyone is so uptight about sex - I remember some years ago when Jay Leno commented on how the video games industry changed the ratings of the game "Grand Theft Auto" to an adult-only rating after pressure from media watch dog groups and politicians because the game had hidden sexual content. Politicians felt the sex would have a negative effect on the children.

Apparently, a game when you're stealing cars and killing cops is okay - it's the sex we're worried about.
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Will you walk me 2 my car

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #539 on: January 20, 2012, 11:27:27 PM »
creme caramel - I read carefully all your posts and I can understand where you are coming from!

The universe as an enormous interconnected web at the intersections of which there are these "jewels," each one of them reflecting the other jewels in the net. Because each jewel does not have a real existence in itself, no single one is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon and reflects all the others'. When one of them is touched, all the other ones are affected. Every jewel contains information about the others in the net. Moreover, there is not a single point from where everything else derives (horizontal, as opposed to vertical pattern). Each of every one of them is intrinsically and equally important to the whole. To top it all off, because all nodes are simply a reflection of all others, what we are dealing with is appearances, with them being not reality, but a reflection of the reality.

What would all this mean in "Western-world" terms? Well, what it first means is that, as individuals in a society we are better off prepared to understand ourselves and society itself if we see ourselves as parts of a bigger whole, being, as we are, on equal footing with one-another. You see, the forest, not the tree. Unfair distribution of resources globally, not the beggar.

Second, it means letting our 'selves' out, connecting with the other on a personal, emotional level, in order to come to self-realization, having understood our place in the big picture of the 'whole.' Listening more carefully to what our souls have to say, with each one holding thumbprint truth - because each soul is a complete, uninterrupted record of evolutionary experiences. Trusting our emotions, the intuition's messenger of truth, in order to come closer to fully understanding and being our 'selves,' without ascribing blindly to preconceived notions and beliefs. That way, we would be more self-conscious when revising, throwing away, or replacing theories as we see currently do, since discarding or replacing 'self' hurts and is humiliating.

Until 'self' is let out, until we become active participants, all-important - instead of half-important to the whole - we limit ourselves to the role of that objective observer, objectifying the human condition. It is only by connecting with people on an emotional level (empathy), that we can penetrate deep into their true 'selves,' having discovered much about our own 'selves' in the process.


This is just my wild guess you know - correct me if I'm wrong - but is this what you mean - am I really connecting the dots here? :)


For Jung, the mandala represents the 'Self' - another term that he borrowed from Eastern philosophy. This 'Self' is NOT what we ordinarily refer to as the 'ego', 'I' or everyday 'self' (without a capital 'S'), but stands in relation to these in such a way that when, during the 'enlightenment' of the individual, the personality shifts from its center in the 'ego' to its center in the 'Self', such a shift can either be understood as the attainment of a state of 'egolessness' or the accomplishment of 'Self-realization'.



Hardly a seamless monument!



When will these old blowhards learn that no matter where they plop themselves down, as long as there are just two of them they won't be able to say they are sitting in a circle? Even if you have nine lives to devote to finding a solution to this dilemma, it won't matter. One thing is for sure, though - they made us laugh so hard our insides fell out!

In their book Glassman and Fields describe it in the following way:

Quote
"Most people think [that spiritual self-sufficiency] involves building up a strong sense of self. But building oneself up - becoming the whole universe - really consists of what Dogen calls 'forgetting the self'... It's as if we become a point that has no dimension, but that point is the center of an all-encompassing circle. There's no longer any separation between us and everything else."

The visual figure that Glassman and Fields use as their central metaphor for 'realization' - the dimensionless central point that spawns an all-encompassing circle - is none other than the figure of the mandala! Plotinus used this metaphor to describe God. English poet and clergyman Thomas Traherne also spoke of a 'center' that 'surrounds'


Truth-be-told, these concepts are entirely foreign to the Western way of thought! Center that surrounds?! Gimme a @ # ! * i n g break! Assuming someone would be able to "translate" them to some sort of actionable philosophy - such would lead to nothing but irrationality in our society - a d m i n i s t r a t o r, this "prescription" you give to people leads to madness!

Not to mention that the first post, the "jewels" in the net thing, entails the absence of hierarchy, which is essential to the way Western societies are built and function!

Would you, for instance, envision a form of democracy where people decide for themselves and there is no central government at all? There has been some experiments on that, but nothing that would really work in practice.

Eastern religions ways of thinking are non-dualistic, meaning they tend to initiate a mode of thinking that collapses distinctions between opposites (A can be both A and not-A). This is very difficult to be accepted by the Western world that has held opposites, in language and in logic, as the central pillars of civilized thought. It would mean questioning the very foundations of one's life and of the societal influences that affect one. It would something totally irrational, hence labeled "insane."