Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
What Does the Rule of Law Mean in New Jersey? (It Means that Ms. Lopez Gets to Keep Her Public Office.)
In the meantime Jersey City is governed by the Hon. Jerramiah Healy, Public Official 1 or 4 (so identified in indictments and criminal complaints), that fervent admirer of the presumption of innocence (for his appointed and indicted deputy mayor and former treasurer of his election campaign, in any event). Mr. Healy of course had utterly no idea that the fake bribes his deputy mayor took from the remarkable Mr. Solomon Dwek for the mayor's election campaign committee were illegal (even though Mr. Mayor was present on two occasions when Mr. Dwek offered the money to the deputy mayor in exchange for some help with a fake real estate development).
Oh yes, the indicted president of the Jersey City council also remains in office -- and votes on real estate tax abatement proposals for major developers and on other such unimportant matters. That's heartening too -- for it shows that he too believes in the presumption of innocence.
Well, let's see. I wonder how many unindicted Jersey City council members are left. One, two, ....
Mr. Putin should come to New Jersey and see how the rule of law works. He would find much to emulate here.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Psychologist Lenore Terr, a defender of repressed memory therapy, argues that repression occurs for repeated or multiple traumas, such as a repeatedly abused child. Schacter notes that "hundreds of studies have shown that repetition of information leads to improved memory, not loss of memory, for that information." He also notes that people who have experienced repeated traumas in war, even children, generally remember their experiences. A person who suffers a great trauma often finds that she cannot get the event out of her mind or dreams. Terr's theory is that the child becomes practiced at repression to banish the awful events from awareness, and forgetting might aid in the child's survival. Her dissociative theory, however, is based on speculation rather than scientific evidence.
See the still-sparse authority on repressed memory in the node on repressed memory in Spindle Law's evidence module.
See also cases collected in the Advanced Evidence web site.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Enter your thoughts & news here and, please, in the evidence module of Spindle Law. Go in particular to this node (reliable vel non?) of the evidence module. (I am interested in legal developments abroad as well as domestic legal developments.)
It’s marvelous ... when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have even been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything.The NYTimes apparently thinks that Cardinal Egan's own words condemn him.
But what if what cardinal Egan said was true?
In the Middle Ages it took a lot of witnesses to overcome the testimony of a single bishop (or so it is sometimes said, perhaps by the same people who say that folks in the Middle Ages thought that the earth is flat). Today -- as the New York Times would apparently have it -- not even the testimony of a hundred or a thousand bishops can overcome the testimony of even a single money-bedazzled plaintiff.
I am tired of anti-religious bigotry. It is time to attack this sort of bigotry. Perhaps the power of the "new media" can overcome the power of the "old media" in this arena? I surely hope so. Ye believers in religious freedom, unite!
P.S. I am against sexual predators. However, I do not favor the idea that every accuser of a priest should be believed -- and paid off. (Yes, Virginia, there are some liars out there.)
There are obvious difficulties with presenting the arguments in the original works of Derrida or Lacan, or Baudrillard. They do not write in any natural language, they do not put the premises before the conclusion, the conclusion is distributed over the text rather than appearing in any one sentence, positions are assumed to have been established outside the texts one is actually reading, in previous texts, or perhaps future ones, and so on.James Franklin, What Science Knows and How It knows It 42 (Encounter Books 2009).
For some unknown reason, Franklin's comments about postmodern folk put me in mind of a different kind of strange philosophy -- J.L. Austin's. Austin's "ordinary language" philosophy is still thought of as having been a respectable sort of thing. But some of Austin's extraordinary ordinary language can make one wonder why:
Are cans constitutionally iffy? Whenever, that is, we say that we can do something, or could do something, or could have done something, is there an if in the offing—suppressed, it may be, but due nevertheless to appear when we set out our sentence in full or when we give an explanation of its meaning?J.L. Austin, “Ifs and Cans,” Proceedings of the British Academy (1956), in Philosophical Papers, p. 205 (Oxford: 2nd ed., 1970)
Sometimes I'm quite glad I decided to become a law professor rather than a modern (or, worse yet, postmodern) philosopher.