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  Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Home >> United States & Canada

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Signature Authority and FBARs
Mahany Ertl - 2/26/2014
The United States Treasury has long required holders of foreign accounts to disclose those accounts annually. Reporting is done on one’s income tax return (Schedule B for individuals) and on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts - FBAR for short. Although the FBAR reporting requirements date back to the early 1970′s and the passage of the Bank Secrecy Act, only since 2008 has the Justice Department and IRS began enforcing the law in earnest. Penalties for noncompliance are huge; up to the greater of $100,000 per account or th...

Statute of Limitations for Crimes in New York State
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 12/22/2013
Under the New York State Statute of Limitations (“SOL”) laws, the District Attorney’s office has to file charges against an individual within a certain time period. The time varies depending on the crime that is being litigated. For higher level crimes, the SOL is longer than for low level crime. Thus, if a person steals a small amount, the SOL will be much shorter than if he steals a large amount and injures someone in the process. They can be found under Section 30.10 of the the Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”). Criminal prosecutions must be started within the following time periods:

Medicaid Fraud cases in New York
Dan Sampson, Esq. - 12/22/2013
Medicaid is a health insurance program for New Yorker’s who are unable to pay for Health Insurance on their own and risk being left without medical coverage in case of illness or injury. To qualify for Medicaid you must meet certain income, resource, age, or disability requirements. The government carefully monitors all medicaid recipients.

Seven New Laws of Global Marketing
Naseem Javed - 12/22/2013
Every month there are new changes to our old ways of thinking about traditional marketing rules. While we are all very deep into e-commerce, we must be aware of whether we are either already very successful or still learning the processes. Here are some cutting-edge rules to ensure good returns on e-commerce and Internet marketing.

Did LBJ kill JFK?
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 11/26/2013
“After tomorrow those godd--n Kennedys will never embarrass me again-that’s not a threat-that’s a promise.”

America’s Spy Scandal is Confirmation that it is a Totalitarian State
Abid Mustafa - 11/13/2013
“It's almost incomprehensible and more than tragic that this kind of adversarial relationship exists between the government and the people; where fear and distrust prevail and government policies and actions are tearing down the Constitutional foundations of this nation. And if this descent into the deepening darkness of totalitarianism is not somehow aborted, then America will become a living hell.”—Michael Payne

Happy 65th Birthday Justice Clarence Thomas
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 6/25/2013
The States, not the Federal Government, have the exclusive right to define the “Qualifications requisite for Electors,” U. S. Const., Art. I, §2, cl. 1, which includes the corresponding power to verify that those qualifications have been met.

The Second and Seventh Amendments: History triumphs over balancing tests
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 4/4/2013
The U.S. Constitution is something all Americans should know, since it is being taught to everyone in school, including people who got an online high school diploma.

Miranda Warnings in New York State
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 3/8/2013
Miranda Warnings are given to criminal court defendants. These are not the same as your tribute to the victim, but instead serves as a warning to the defendants. The original precedent for the warning stems from the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona. The Defendant in this case was a gentleman named Ernesto Miranda. He was arrested for kidnapping and rape.

Black History Month: Democrats Whitewash Their History
Mike Spaniola - 2/28/2013
We’re told the only thing new in the world is the history that we don’t already know. That adage applies well to Black History Month, which virtually ignores the role of the Democratic Party in promulgating slavery and racism. One might assume the election of the first black Democrat to the U.S. Senate was a milestone achieved decades ago, considering the party is the nation’s oldest.

The Difference Between Probation and Parole
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 2/22/2013
What's the difference between probation and parole? If someone spent time in jail for a crime like animal abuse, before being released early, would that be classified as probation or parole? Would punishment be different for violators of probation and parole if they were caught with synthetic urine or another drug violation?

Should meat become illegal?
Dan Sampson, Esq. - 2/21/2013
Our society is proud to treat animals as friends. Home animals are now treated just like others in need of protection be they children, the sick, the old. It has become big business to provide medication for dogs and to get rid of their bugs at home so that animals can be kept inside the house.

Drunk Driving Risks: Advice from a DWI lawyer
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 2/20/2013
Every year, the result of drunk driving sees thousands of people get arrested. According to LeBrooks, a career salary source, DWI attorneys are well-paid and many clients wind up in debt because they had to borrow money from a company like QuickLoan101 to pay for legal defense. The effects depend on the age, body weight and gender. History of alcoholism is a major factor. Those for whom it's an issue should consider joining one of the alcohol rehab centres.

Requiem for Judge Robert Bork
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 12/22/2012
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

A place in history for John Roberts
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 7/7/2012
There is no other way to put it Chief Justice John Roberts of the supreme court of the USA has earned himself an important place in the history of law and politics. Regardless of whether they are within or beyond the borders of the USA, regardless of whether they think Barack Obama’s healthcare plan is important or not, right or wrong, observers and political analysts cannot but agree that the name and opinions of John Roberts will now be cited and studied for centuries to come in our classrooms and strategy sessions. Some bold ones amongst us have dared to predict the number of possible John Roberts related thesis that will come up in the next ten years.

Who Knew about 'Amendment' to First Amendment?
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 5/3/2012
A new untruth is better than an old truth.

~ Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes


Did you know that 93 years ago the Supreme Court decreed that advertizing to your fellow Americans about their constitutional rights to be a federal crime?

Astoundingly, this was the unanimous 9-0 decision of the case Schenck v. United States (1919). This case, in an openly fascist manner violated defendant Schenck’s First Amendment rights to distribute flyers alerting his fellow citizens of their First, Tenth and Thirteenth Amendment rights not to comply with the draft and fight in World War...

Rethinking US-Mexican Security Cooperation
Taylor Dibbert - 12/8/2011
Since Felipe Calderón came into office in 2006, security links between the US and Mexico have gotten noticeably stronger, the Mérida Initiative being the most obvious example of this. Funding under this program will almost certainly continue next year.

MSM Still Refuse to Report on the Knoxville Horror
Prof. Nicholas Stix - 8/9/2010
“Her behavior out there indicates that she has no regard for human life”

Hate Crimes in New York State
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 4/25/2010
The Hate Crimes Act of 2000 is listed in the New York State Penal Law under Article 485. There are three sections which are summarized below:

Obama administration's approach to International Criminal Court reflects fear of political prosecutions
Elizabeth Samson, Esq. - 2/22/2010
From the time that US President Barack Obama came into office there has been talk of the United States joining the International Criminal Court, but those efforts may be laid to rest for the time being. It appears as though this administration has not come much further in being convinced that participation in the ICC is either beneficial to US interests or necessary, and it remains in doubt with good reason.

Sealing of Criminal Records in New York
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 1/3/2010
In New York State there is no such things as an expungement of criminal records. There is what is called “sealing.” Sealing basically means that all fingerprints, palm prints, photographs and official records and papers are destroyed or returned to the defendant.

New York Queen For a Day – Proffer Agreement
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 1/2/2010
In certain circumstances, the Assistant District Attorney (“ADA”) and/or the Defense Attorney and/or the Defendant will want to set up an informal meeting with the District Attorneys (“DA”) office. This meeting is called a “proffer” or “queen for a day.” The title queen for a day comes from the vintage television show of the same title, which was the predecessor to modern reality television. The contestant would tell the host all of their problems, and the audience would then ring an appl...

Orders of Protection in New York
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 12/27/2009
An Order of Protection (“OOP”) is a Court Order which directs a specific individual from taking specific actions in reference to another individual. It deals with contact between people. An Order of Protection can be obtained in either Family Court, Criminal Court or Supreme Court.

Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York (“OSNP”)
Todd Spodek, Esq. - 12/19/2009
The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (“OSNP”) was created by the New York State Legislature in response to the deadly heroin trade in the 1960’s in New York. They deal with drug possession, drug traffic and methods on how to pass a drug test. This unique legislation allows the District Attorneys of the five boroughs appoint a special narcotics prosecutor with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute major drug trafficking crimes in the five boroughs. There are three main divisions to the OSNP:

Societal Misperception of Mentally Ill Offenders
Marina Mazur, Ph.D. candidate - 11/17/2009
The dilemma of the mentally ill within the criminal justice system has been a pressing matter since the days of deinstitutionalization. Even though, the individual rights of the mentally ill have supposedly expanded, the treatment options have declined and community outreach is basically nonexistent. Instead of treating the mentally ill with medication and psychotherapy the society has decided to lock them up in a different institution, the prison. Thus, the mentally ill are perceived as doubly guilty. Not only do they have a mental disorder, but they are also seen as criminals. The social psy...

America: Is violence linked with recession?
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 5/3/2009
“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” In few countries does the old adage resonate more loudly than in the United States of America . America may be pulverizing the Taliban and al- Qaeda in the Pak- Afghan border and watching post-conflict transition in Nepal , especially the Maoists snail like lackluster transformation with caution after the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 21 November 2006, but back home, it is facing a much tougher enemy – Gun Violence.

Rule of Law Vetoed by President Obama
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 4/27/2009
There are no headlines or pontificating pundits, but the real news that has become crystal clear to any but the most delusional and distracted Americans is that President Obama has no commitment to applying the rule of law where it counts. Certainly, not applying it to the large number of rich and powerful people that have violated our Constitution and plunged the nation into economic disaster.

Senator Feingold's Constitutional Opportunity
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 3/18/2009
Like others promoting constitutional amendments, Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat, Wisconsin , apparently is unaware of the refusal by Congress to obey Article V of the Constitution. He has a fine idea: every senator must actually be elected rather than appointed to that position. In 1913 the 17th amendment created the potential for governors to make appointments to fill Senate seats until the next regular scheduled general election and 38 states allow this; there have been 185 such appointments. Feingold is right to condemn “decisions being made solely by the powerful, without the consent, or even the input, of the people.”

Invisible Victims: Wikipedia Still Has No Page Devoted to the Winchester Atrocity
Prof. Nicholas Stix - 12/18/2008
On October 15, the tortured corpses of newlyweds, Marine Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak, 24, and Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, were found in their Winchester, CA home. Mrs. Pietrzak had been gang-raped, and husband and wife had each been bound, gagged, and shot, execution-style, in the back of the head.

Retired DEA Agents and NYPD Cops Sue Frank Lucas, 'American Gangster'
Ron Chepesiuk - 12/18/2008
“American Gangster,” the highly profitable 2007 film that grossed a reported $255 million and claimed to portray the true-life story of Frank Lucas, the 1970s Harlem gangster, has long since gone to DVD. The controversy surrounding the movie, however, is hanging around like a bad cold.

Somali Violence in Minnesota
Mohamed H. Hassan - 10/22/2008
Aside from all the daily nuisance crimes and life struggles so as to adjust into a new life and culture, Somalis in Minnesota are now havocked by hopeless and senseless killings, gang violence - Somali on Somali. In last than a year, 6 young men have been killed, three in one week - all are between the ages of 17 to 30 years. Worst, neither the Somali community nor the authorities are doing enough to divert further senseless killings.

How to Celebrate Constitution Day
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 9/17/2008
Today, September 17 is Constitution Day, but very, very few Americans know this or will celebrate it. If you think of yourself as a politically engaged, civic-minded and patriotic American, then I urge you to celebrate today by expanding your mind about a critically important but never-used part of our Constitution.

The Results of Legal Plunder
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 5/15/2008
The French philosopher Frederic Bastiat once defined the nexus of legality and morality in an 1849 treatise entitled The Law. In it, Bastiat highlights “the results of legal plunder,” a dilemma in which citizens may find the lawfulness of a practice to be ethically abhorrent. “The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable,” it states, continuing, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence…”

Libel Tourism is Real
Elizabeth Samson, Esq. - 5/11/2008
Several months ago I began an analysis of the misuse of foreign and domestic judicial systems for political purposes. At the same time it seemed as though there were frequently instances of strange happenings in the news. Taxi drivers not allowing passengers with seeing-eye dogs in their cars because it was inconsistent with their religious beliefs, imams being removed from a flight after acting suspiciously and then suing the airline for unspecified damages, citing "fear, depression, mental pain and financial injury", and one my personal favorites, the Oklahoma State Legislature practically...

The Results of Legal Plunder
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 4/30/2008
The French philosopher Frederic Bastiat once defined the nexus of legality and morality in an 1849 treatise entitled The Law. In it, Bastiat highlights “the results of legal plunder,” a dilemma in which citizens may find the lawfulness of a practice to be ethically abhorrent. “The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable,” it states, continuing, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence…”

The Death debate
Geetanjali Jha - 4/24/2008
Recently, the Supreme Court of United States of America rejected a challenge to the use of lethal three-drug cocktail injections used in most U.S. executions. The case and its consequent decision in favor of the method of execution has once again triggered the long and emotional debate on death penalty; its justification, ethics and human rights. The case, made by two death row inmates convicted of murder and sentenced to death, was based on the eighth amendment of the US constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The Rule of Law vs. Obedience to the Law
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/10/2007
We often misconstrue the concept of the "rule of Law" and take it to mean automatic "obedience to laws". But the two are antithetical. Laws have to earn observance and obeisance. To do so, they have to meet a series of rigorous criteria: they have to be unambiguous, fair, just, pragmatic, and equitable; they have to be applied uniformly and universally to one and all, regardless of sex, age, class, sexual preference, race, ethnicity, skin color, or opinion; they must not entrench the interests of one group or structure over others; they must not be leveraged to yield benefits to some at the expense of others; and, finally, they must accord with universal moral and ethical tenets.

Knoxville Murder: Hunting Fugitives is No Job for Tommy Lee Jones
Prof. Nicholas Stix - 7/10/2007
As the chief deputy U.S. marshal explained to the interviewer, real-world fugitive apprehension has nothing in common with the movie version. Remember the big set piece in the movie The Fugitive (1993), when in a fiery train crash, Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), wrongly convicted for his wife's murder, escapes from the bus meant to take him and other condemned men to the prison where they will soon be executed? (In the movie, the wheels of justice turn remarkably fast.) Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones, in his Ac...

Media Finally Discovers Racially-Charged Knoxville Horror Case
Prof. Nicholas Stix - 5/30/2007
The mainstream media (MSM) is finally starting, ever so modestly, to report on Tennessee’s Knoxville Horror, even as far from the crime scene as Denver! (A tip o’ the hat to Modern Tribalist.) On May 17, Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner announced that the four defendants charged with having kidnapped, robbed, gang-raped, mu...

Why We Must Hate Federal Hate Crimes Legislation
Ross Kaminsky - 5/8/2007
On May 2, 2007 the House of Representatives passed (but not by a veto-proof margin) legislation to add "gender, sexual orientation or gender identity" to the current list of race, religion, color, or national origin as new reasons that a crime against a person can be deemed a federal "hate crime". The legislation must be opposed for several reasons:

The Misdirected Media Coverage of Virginia Massacre
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 5/8/2007
It has been a shaky few weeks for South Korea. Television news bulletins and newspapers were dominated by pictures of injured, dead or just fearful Virginia Tech students and teachers, after the shock massacre committed by a 23-year-old South Korean youth.

Serial and Mass Killers as Familiar Figures
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/22/2007
Interview (High School Project of Brandon Abear)

1 - Are most serial killers pathological narcissists? Is there a strong connection? 5 - Is the pathological narcissist more at risk of becoming a serial killerthan a person not suffering from the disorder?

Personality Disorders as an Insanity Defense
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/30/2007
"It is an ill thing to knock against a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor. He that wounds them is culpable, but if they wound him they are not culpable." (Mishna, Babylonian Talmud)

Foreign Governments Bankrolling U.S. Consumers
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/18/2006
Today, the Commerce Department reported the third quarter 2006 current account deficit was $225.6 billion, up from $217.1 billion in the second quarter.

Statistics of Abuse and Stalking
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/26/2006
Contrary to common opinion, there has been a marked decline in domestic violence in the last decade. Moreover, rates of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse in various societies and cultures - vary widely. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that abusive conduct is not inevitable and is only loosely connected to the prevalence of mental illness (which is stable across ethnic, social, cultural, national, and economic barriers).

The Bizarre Confession In The JonBenet Ramsey Murder
Richard S. Ehrlich - 8/21/2006
BANGKOK, Thailand. A pale, clean-cut American was arrested in Bangkok a decade after the beating and strangulation murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, and said on Thursday (August 17), "I was with JonBenet when she died" in her Colorado basement but her killing was "accidental". A visibly nervous John Mark Karr, 41, said, "I love JonBenet, and she died accidentally. "I was with JonBenet when she died," he told journalists. Asked by a reporter at Bangkok's immigration detention center if he was "innocent" of involvement in her murder, Karr replied: "No."

Controversy Over Legality of Internet Gambling in the U.S.
Ellen Feig, Esq. - 8/9/2006
During the last few years, the online casino gambling business has grown enormously. Recent estimates show over 1,500 Internet gambling sites with an about 14.5 million regular users.

Choosing the Best Lawyer for Your Small Business
Jo Ann Joy - 6/12/2006
If you own a small business, it is important to choose the best lawyer to represent the interests of your small business, argues William Thomas, bankruptcy attorney in Albuquerque. A strategic business lawyer can help you with your start-up and ongoing strategies, help you with critical business planning, review leases and contracts, and negotiate for you. Your attorney must help you comply with a myriad of regulations from employment issues to zoning.

Diverting the river: Abramoff and the politics of money
Ross Kaminsky - 1/25/2006
Imagine homes atop a canyon just above a river with a large waterfall. The waterfall makes plenty of noise and spray which the homeowners decide they don’t like (although many visitors are jealous of their view.) They commission engineers to stop the river and diminish the flow over the falls to the point of quiet invisibility. The engineers go to work and the homeowners soon find themselves living above a trickle of water and a silent few drips down the former waterfall. How quiet and peaceful, they muse.

Ignorance and Punishment
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/14/2005
The fact that one is ignorant of the law does not a sufficient defence in a court of law make. Ignorance is no protection against punishment. The adult is presumed to know all the laws. This presumption is knowingly and clearly false. So why is it made in the first place?

Stanley Williams: Remember the Victims
Dawne Hendrix - 11/20/2005
Albert Owens. Thsai-Shai Yang. Yen-I-Yang. Yee Chen Lin. These are the victims of Stanley “Tookie” Williams, the California death row inmate scheduled to die in December. Interestingly enough, when perusing articles on Williams, there are very few that actually mention the names of his victims. Out of sight out of mind? Whether the omissions were intentional or not, it appears supporters of Williams have done this in hopes of decreasing the importance of the slain, and erasing memories as well, in their campaign to save him. But, even almost twenty-four years later, the deceased are still very important.

Politics is Part of Supreme Court Nomination Process
Chris Edelson, Esq. - 10/31/2005
Whatever Harriet Miers and President Bush say publicly, the real reason Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court was because she was not acceptable to ultraconservatives. Hard core conservatives in the Republican party, like Senators Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum, and hard charging conservative interest groups like Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, have made clear that they demand a nominee with established conservative bona fides, someone in the Scalia or Thomas mold. They will settle for nothing less. They don’t want to take a chance on someone whose...

Serial Killers
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/28/2005
Countess Erszebet Bathory was a breathtakingly beautiful, unusually well-educated woman, married to a descendant of Vlad Dracula of Bram Stoker fame. In 1611, she was tried - though, being a noblewoman, not convicted - in Hungary for slaughtering 612 young girls. The true figure may have been 40-100, though the Countess recorded in her diary more than 610 girls and 50 bodies were found in her estate when it was raided.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Campaign Finance
Ross Kaminsky - 10/4/2005
The absence of Sandra Day O'Connor may soon be felt in one of the areas where O'Connor created a 5-4 majority by voting with the Court's liberals. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear several cases which will re-test the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold as well the historic Buckley v. Valeo case.

The Teapot Dome Scandal
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/3/2005
With the exception of Watergate, there has never been a scandal more egregious and with wider implications than the Teapot Dome affair during the presidency of Warren G. Harding. It involved the secret leasing to private companies of oil-containing tracts owned by the Navy, mainly in Wyoming and California.

More About the Prohibition
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/28/2005
Prohibition - the legal enforcement of abstinence from alcoholic beverages - is not an American invention. The USA was preceded by the Aztecs, ancient China, feudal Japan, the Polynesian islands, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Canada, and India, and all the Muslim countries (where prohibition is still the law). All secular prohibition laws have been repealed within 10-20 years from their introduction.

Facts and Figures about the Presidents of the USA
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/27/2005
The first president of the united States was not George Washington. Washington was the first president under the Constitution of June 21, 1788, ratified by 1790. The first constitution of the USA was titled "Articles of Confederation" and was in force between 1781 and 1788. It created a single house of Congress and no executive - but for one year during this period (1781-2, John Hanson served as "President of US in Congress Assembled" - or, in short, President of the United States. He was elected by his peers, including George Washington.

The First Serial Killer - Ed Gein
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/11/2005
Ed Gein is also known as The Butcher of Plainfield, The Plainfield Butcher, The Mad Butcher, The Plainfield Ghoul. A serial killer who served as the inspiration to numerous films, among them Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Maniac, Three on a Meathook, Deranged, Ed Gein, The Movie, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Eminent Domain: Do It Yourself
John Ryskamp, J.D. - 8/12/2005
Writing your own eminent domain revision? Remember that proposals, such as that of Oregonians in Action which requires government ownership of seized land, can always be subverted by retaining title in government while effective control passes to private entities. Here's an analysis of some other, typical

States Fighting Against Eminent Domain and the Kelo Ruling
Ross Kaminsky - 8/10/2005
Alabama Governor Bob Riley and the state legislature have made Alabama the first state to ban the use of eminent domain to transfer private property to other private property developers. According to the Washington Times, 16 other states have introduced similar legislation and 7 further states are working on it. This is a great start in defending our most basic economic rights, but we must not become complacent or allow our legislators to do so.

Supreme Court Confirmation: The Democrats Just Don't Get It
Ross Kaminsky - 8/1/2005
As we go into the approval process for President Bush's nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, it is fascinating to see the Democrats trying to redefine the Senate's Constitutional role in the process. Watching Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic whip in the Senate, speaking with Tim Russert on Meet the Press made my head spin with his non-sensical rhetoric. Here are few of his lowlights:

Judge John Roberts and Property Rights
Ross Kaminsky - 7/20/2005
There are three main points regarding the nomination of John Roberts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Sandra Day O'Connor. In reverse order of importance:

The Technology of Law, The Law of Technology
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/10/2005
"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make it its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it. (its rather like getting tenure)."
Daniel Dennet - Quoted in Paul Thagard's Mind - An Introduction to Cognitive Science

A Comment on Campaign Finance Reform
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/28/2005
The Athenian model of representative participatory democracy was both exclusive and direct. It excluded women and slaves but it allowed the rest to actively, constantly, and consistently contribute to decision making processes on all levels and of all kinds (including juridical). This was (barely) manageable in a town 20,000 strong.

Transformation of Political Science and The Rise of Crime
Angelique van Engelen - 6/22/2005
The current field of political sciences is dominated by a multitude of ideas that have never in its history featured so prominently in this discipline. The general belief that it has lost its focus once and for all is from time to time counteracted by different opinions. One of those is that the world has come full circle, that mankind has experimented out all possibilities in terms of ideological thinking and that the liberal democracy as we know it has come out of the process as the prize winner both politically and economically. Some define this as the end of history. It also goes by the na...

Crisis of the Bookkeepers - Interview with David Jones
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/20/2005
On May 31, 2005, the US Supreme Court overturned the conviction of accounting firm Arthur Anderson on charges related to its handling of the books of the now defunct energy concern, Enron. It was only the latest scene in a drama which unfolded at the height of the wave of corporate malfeasance in the USA.

The Roots of Pedophilia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/14/2005
Michael Jackson was just found innocent on all ten charges of child molestation by a jury. But what was he actually charged with? What is pedophilia?

Poor Poetry, Rich Deceit: Is 419 America's Middle Name?
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye - 6/11/2005
In Nigeria, it is called O.B.T. (Obtaining By Tricks). But in America, it is known as Better Business. In Nigeria, they are not registered; they operate under the shadow of darkness. But in America, they are duly registered and given a clean bill of health by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In Nigeria, they are abhorred and isolated by decent society, but in America, they have on their pay roll America’s accomplished poets and professors who use their hard-earned reputation to polish their image. Also, a bevy of lawyers work for and with them. And their business is “legal.” But each time the...

Revolt of the Poor: Demise of Intellectual Property?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/9/2005
Eight years ago I published a book of short stories in Israel. The publishing house belongs to Israel's leading (and exceedingly wealthy) newspaper. I signed a contract which stated that I am entitled to receive 8% of the income from the sales of the book after commissions payable to distributors, shops, etc. A few months later (1997), I won the coveted Prize of the Ministry of Education (for short prose). The prize money (a few thousand DMs) was snatched by the publishing house on the (dubious) legal grounds that all the money generated by the book belongs to them because they own the copyright.

Impeachment of President Clinton Revisited
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/24/2005
In the hallways of the Smithsonian, two moralists are debating the impeachment of the President of the United States of America, Mr. William Jefferson Clinton. One is clearly Anti-Clinton (AC) the other, a Democrat (DC), is not so much for him as he is for the rational and pragmatic application of moral principles.

The Abu Ghraib Syndrome - Why Good People Ignore Abuse
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/9/2005
Why do good people - church-goers, pillars of the community, the salt of the earth - ignore abuse and neglect, even when it is on their doorstep and in their proverbial backyard (for instance, in hospitals, orphanages, shelters, prisons, and the like)?

The Insanity of the Defense
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/1/2005
"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
Richard Feynman, Physicist and 1965 Nobel Prize laureate (1918-1988)

"You have all I dare say heard of the animal spirits and how they are transfused from father to son etcetera etcetera - well you may take my word that nine parts in ten of a man's sense or his nonsense, his...

Euthanasia and the Right to Die
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/7/2005
Euthanasia, whether in a medical setting (hospital, clinic, hospice) or not (at home) is often erroneously described as "mercy killing". Most forms of euthanasia are, indeed, motivated by (some say: misplaced) mercy. Not so others. In Greek, "eu" means both "well" and "easy" and "Thanatos" is death.

Corporate Fraud: Narcissism in the Boardroom
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/5/2005
The perpetrators of the recent spate of financial frauds in the USA acted with callous disregard for both their employees and shareholders - not to mention other stakeholders. Psychologists have often remote-diagnosed them as "malignant, pathological narcissists". Narcissists are driven by the need to uphold and maintain a false self - a concocted, grandiose, and demanding psychological construct typical of the narcissistic personality disorder. The false self is projected to the world in order to garner "narcissistic supply" - adulation, admiration, or even notoriety and infamy. Any kind of attention is usually deemed by narcissists to be preferable to obscurity.

Legalizing Crime and the Government
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/24/2005
The state has a monopoly on behaviour usually deemed criminal. It murders, kidnaps, and locks up people. Sovereignty has come to be identified with the unbridled - and exclusive - exercise of violence. The emergence of modern international law has narrowed the field of permissible conduct. A sovereign can no longer commit genocide or ethnic cleansing with impunity, for instance. Many acts - such as the waging of aggressive war, the mistreatment of minorities, the suppression of the freedom of association - hitherto sovereign privilege, have thankfully been criminalized. Many politicians, hithe...

The Sergeant and the Girl - Anatomy of a Double Standard
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/18/2005
"You can't blame the whole army. But why did they allow such a soldier to come here?"
"We believe he also has a mother an father and we cannot speak good or ill of him."
Hamdi Shabiu, father of Merita, the sexually molested, forcibly sodomized and murdered child.

"Sex offenders typically have a history, but if the guy was raised here, and went to school here, is there any evidence of it at all?"
"When soldiers are on a peacekeeping mission, it can be a very paranoid state. They're not in attack mode, like they're trained to be; they're stuck in a neutral mode. (But...) the guy's (Ronghi - SV) a staff sergeant. He's been around, he's not a rookie."



  



  

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