McPolitics?

So apparently I missed the recent US Supreme Court decision on removing the cap on corporate spending in the financing of elections. I have yet to read the 183 page decision, nor have I ever read a supreme court ruling, but now seems like as good a time as any.

Denounced by Obama (and of course by the liberal left – with interesting allegations against the ACLU of all peoples) I’ve honestly got to say that it came as a shock. I wasn’t familiar with laws governing corporate election spending in any way, but I think any change that effectively reduces the capacity of individual citizens to influence democratic processes merits close attention. Interestingly, the democratic congressman representing the riding where Disneyworld calls home came out strongly against the decision last week, and tabled a number of bills to counter it which are outlined on his site and worth checking out.

More on this soon.

On Polygamy

Composed as part of the development of arguments concerning ‘Public Reason and the Practice of Polygamy in Bountiful BC’ for Phil 431, Spring 2010.

Polygamy must be illegal to allow victims (that is those entered into and sustaining such arrangements not entirely of their own will) a means for exit and recourse.

If one were to place themselves behind John Rawls Veil of Ignorance, and to negotiate a society in which polygamy were legal, and upon lifting the veil find themselves in that arrangement where they were not entitled to their fair share of the entire affections and goods of another to whom they had pledged all their affections and productive capacity, but only to a slight fraction thereof, would find their liberties duly repressed.

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Political Ecology – Just What is it Good For?

I’ve managed to wrangle myself into a directed studies course in sociology with the ominous title ‘Studies in Political Ecology’ for this semester, which I hope will garner some interesting readings for myself and potentially a theoretical framework from which to view much of our current dilemmas in international politics and development.

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Metropolis – Modern Sci-Fi Cinema

In the summer of 1927 in Berlin, a film premiered in a downtown cinema clad in silver with a giant gong overhanging the front entrance.  A live orchestra provided the score for the silent, black and white film. With seating for six hundred, fifteen thousand would eventually view the film in this theater. They would be the only ones to see the work in its original form.

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A State of Theory

I once made the crack to some friends at university that after so much indecision I had finally decided on a course of study; Theory. After some initial blank stares I got a few laughs out of it. One of my friends, now a resource management masters student at Waterloo’s School of Planning, really latched onto the idea. Little did I know that if I had gone back to the school at Athens, or maybe even any place that called itself a university before 1945, I would have found most of my professors telling me this was the entire point of post-secondary education. After all, no one becomes a doctor of biology, psychology or mathematics. Those that attain a Ph.D. are, as the name suggests, doctorates of philosophy with specializations in these topic areas.

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Is Aristotle’s ‘Polis’ Obsolete?

I’ve been assigned Aristotle’s Politics as reading for a Political Science seminar I’ve registered in and did a first reading of Book 1 last night. In it he asserts a number of interesting ‘truths’; the inferiority of women, the naturalness of slavery, the capitalist tendency to hoard, and the moral repugnance of usury. The first two points especially led Jacqueline this morning to question the validity of Aristotle’s whole enterprise within our modern worldview. If he was wrong about those first two points (and I do hope we’re all on the same page there) then how do we know he’s not completely off base with all his other statements?

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