Friday, April 18, 2014

Theme: Law

  • The state’s current approach to intellectual property has come under scrutiny of late, as its disconnect from anything that might have once legitimated it has become more and more obvious. The activities of rent-seeking patent trolls, who accumulate patents solely for the purpose of filing lawsuits, have been highlighted by National Public Radio’s “Planet Money” program. Read more
  • Nineteenth century New York City lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong was a man of intensely felt opinion. Charitable, and on some issues progressive, he nevertheless could not abide the idea of women entering his beloved profession of law. He heartily approved when, in the late 1860s, his alma mater, Columbia College (today New York City’s Columbia University) refused to admit women law applicants. But a small group of women dared to imagine themselves lawyers and defeated the George Templeton Strongs of the legal profession.Read more
  • I am not talking here about Jodi Arias’ obvious penchant for blood (or the way blood was splashed all over that bathroom and hallway as she butchered her on-again and off-again lurid lover, and all the images thereof, implied and actual, that we’ve been subjected or treated to). I am talking about the mob’s need for blood. I am talking about human need. I am talking, of course, about our need.Read more
  • When Tina Fly was eight years old, she put a firecracker in a classmate’s ear. Tina was a nearly illiterate child. The incessant teasing by other students compounded her behavioral problems, like the fire cracker incident, and eventually she was put in special classes. Her mother, Genia Jackson, remembers a doctor prescribing Ritalin for Tina when she was nine, which was the beginning of years of trips to the physician and psychologist.Read more
  • The cultural practice of the "perp walk" is a form of social performativity. The perp walk itself is not a performance, singular. Rather, it is a myriad of happenings, spectacles that are historically and ontologically specified, a genre of modern pop ritual recognized and claimed as an informal aspect of the judicial system, most specifically within the United States of America. Read more
  • In 2003, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Lawrence v. Texas, ruling, by a six-to-three margin, that anti-sodomy laws were unconstitutional. Even those of us who followed the case had a rather gauzy notion of what had triggered the litigation. On the night of September 17, 1998, someone made a phone call to the police, warning that a black man was “going crazy with a gun” in an apartment just outside Houston. Read more
  • We do not ordinarily associate political theology or Carl Schmitt with freedom. Indeed, we are more likely to think that liberal political theory focuses on freedom, while political theology focuses on the authority of sectarian beliefs. Read more
  • It is worthwhile to try to recover a tradition of thinking about justice which, since the eighteenth century, has largely disappeared from view.Read more
  • Academics: beware of loving what you write about. Fandom can tempt intellectuals to take uncharacteristic risks with their primary sources. Read more
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