Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Eudaimonia, Fairness, Feminism, Freedom, Justice, Life, Living, Obligations to Society, Purpose, Quality of Life, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Realization, Values, Well Being

Have a Great Woman’s Day, Boys and Girls Both!

Today, March 8th, is a day to strengthen and renew your commitment to the fair and equitable treatment of men and women worldwide.  Hitch yourself to the goal of creating a world in which women and men, boys and girls, have the same economic, political, and social opportunities!

Women, do it for fairness, do it for the ones you love — but also do it for yourselves.  Do it because living fully is living authentically, and no one who is subjugated to others can truly live fully or authentically.

Men, do it for fairness, do it for the ones you love — but also do it for yourselves.  Do it because your lives are only impoverished when others lives are subjugated, and your lives are only enriched when others lives are liberated.

Humans are born to be free.  All humans are born to be free.

Commit and recommit today!

Adolescent Sexuality, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Equality, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Feminism, Free Spirit, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Fun, Happiness, Horniness, Human Nature, Ideas, Judgementalism, Justice, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, Morals, Oppression, Passion, Play, Pleasure, Poetry, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Sex, Sexuality, Shame, Society, Teaching, The Spanish Woman, Truth, Values, Well Being

The Right of Young Women to be Pleasured

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul’s take on the notion that young women posses a right to demand their lovers make a reasonable effort to pleasure them.

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THE CRITICS SING! “I challenge any honest and decent man or woman to read, ‘The Right of Young Women to be Pleasured’ without it causing their moral conscience to wail like an entire band of banshees.”  —  Merriweather Sterling, Blogs of the Day, “The Daily Burtie”, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England, UK.

THE CRITICS RHAPSODIZE! “Sunstone published today, and Christ wept. It has become time to end Heaven’s and the World’s suffering. The guillotine must be returned to its proper use tout de suite.” — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

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Community, Fairness, Human Nature, Justice, Law, News and Current Events, Society

One Controversial Role of Juries

(About a 5 minute read)

Some years ago, an enraged husband shot and killed a young man in my hometown who had been cheating on the husband with his wife.  To aggravate matters, the young man had thought it wise to write several letters to the husband mocking him in nearly every imaginable way.

The husband was a private in the army — stationed at a distant base — and quite unable to afford a lawyer.  His public defender was one of the best lawyers in town, albeit young, and this was his first murder case.

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Allies, Altruism, Anthropology, Bad Ideas, Behavioral Genetics, Community, Competence, Competition, Cultural Traits, Culture, Ethics, Evolution, Fairness, Human Nature, Hunter/Gatherers, Ideas, Justice, Life, Memes, Morality, Morals, Nature, Obligations to Society, Quality of Life, Science, Society, Values

Lessons About Human Nature Learned From a Spider

(About a 6 minute read)

The spider had been stalking the fly for minutes.  There didn’t seem to be anything on the barren patch of ground to attract a fly.  I expected it to finish its investigations and leave.  But it would only buzz away a few inches when the spider approached it, then in a minute or two return.

Sometimes it would allow the spider to get very close before flying off.

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Abuse, Bad Ideas, Competence, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Equality, Equality of Opportunity, Ethics, Fairness, Fantasy Based Community, Freedom and Liberty, Guilt, Honesty, Human Nature, Idealism, Ideas, Ideologies, Intellectual Honesty, Justice, Liars Lies and Lying, Morality, Morals, News and Current Events, Obligations to Society, Oppression, Political Ideologies, Political Issues, Politics, Privilege, Quality of Life, Racism, Reality Based Community, Reason, Shame, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Thinking, Truth, Values, Village Idiots, Work

Who is Privileged and Who Is Not?

(About  5 minute read)

Growing up, I had a keen sense that I could get away with a good amount of rule-breaking.  Not just little things, but some fairly sizeable offenses too.  I didn’t usually push things as far as I sensed I could, but I did have the perception I could get away with a whole lot of things — if only I wanted to.

The sense stayed with me when I got older, although it became a little vaguer.  When I was in my late teens, early twenties, majoring in philosophy I was aware that I wouldn’t have much trouble getting a good job upon graduation — despite some warnings that my major was impractical.

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Alex Jones, Authoritarianism, Bad Ideas, Censorship, Citizenship, Community, Conservative, Cultural Traits, Culture, Democracy, Ethics, Fairness, Fantasy Based Community, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Idealism, Ideologies, Intellectual Honesty, Intelligentsia, Internet, Justice, Law, Liars Lies and Lying, Liberal, Libertarianism, Logic, Morality, News and Current Events, Obligations to Society, Oppression, People, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Reason, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Thinking, Truth

Alex Jones and the “Paradox of Tolerance”

(About a 7 minute read)

I think it can be said of Alex Jones that he is the poster-child for the “American disease” of tolerating the intolerable.  Perhaps out of all major democracies, America’s democracy is the most susceptible to the disease.  That’s because we tend to be extremists when it comes to protecting freedom of speech.

To be sure, America does limit free speech somewhat, but the limits are absolutely minimal.  You cannot advocate physical violence against someone and/or their property, nor can you “yell fire in a crowded theater” for the mere sport of it, since that might lead to physical injuries.

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Bad Ideas, Ethics, Honesty, Justice, Law, Lawyer, Morality, Morals, Politician, Politics, Professionals, Quality of Life, Society, Values, Violence, Work

A Sensible Reason We Should Love the Lawyers Among Us

(About a 5 minute read)

“There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.”  — The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, “Notes for a Law Lecture” (July 1, 1850), p. 82.

 

If you had just met my cousin, Ed, around 1975 or so, when he was at the height of his career, you might easily have formed a first impression of him as a former Boy Scout who had, however, never entirely left the Scouts.  In appearances, he had that air to him: An innocent man, if ever there was one.

Of course, in truth, he was among the most morally corrupt men of any professional class that I’ve known.  His career was not merely that of a lawyer, but of a political lobbyist on both the state and national levels.  Least anyone harbor illusions about the essence of that noble occupation, Cousin Ed’s job was to bribe people, and he excelled at it.

Around age 18 or so, I attended one of Ed’s parties where I witnessed an eye-opening (for me) conversation.  Ed was speaking to a small group of his closest friends — a group of at least moderately powerful bureaucrats for the most part: Men who ran departments of the State Government.  Naturally, the conversation was mere shop-talk to Ed and them.

On the other hand, I was still naive enough to find it hard to follow.  The last thing I expected was to hear how Ed had recently bribed a key US Senator, the head of the Senate’s powerful Finance Committee, to vote to deregulate the Savings and Loan industry.  Although the Senator was not only a Democrat, but known as one of the nation’s more liberal Democrats, Ed had persuaded him to go along with Reagan’s eventually disastrous, crisis-causing, deregulation.

Now Ed wasn’t really bragging to his friends that evening.  Instead, he was merely alerting them to the news the industry was about to be deregulated, and so they should ASAP get into positions to make their fortunes.

The bribe was, to my mind, ingenious: A huge chunk of it was in the form of stock in a certain S&L — stock that was bound to soar in value if and when the Senator voted to deregulate.  His fortune was made — if only he carried through on his promise.  And leaving nothing to chance, Ed had also greased the palms of two or three of the Senator’s key aides.

But to me the fascinating thing was Ed’s manner in telling his friends the news. There was not a hint in his voice nor demeanor that he was talking about anything beyond the day’s weather.  My shock wasn’t so much from the corruption of bribing a US Senator, but from the casualness of it.

That evening, I formed almost on the spot the hasty and unfortunate opinion that lawyers routinely corrupted the democratic processes.  That is, I naively blamed them for it, as if no one would bribe senators were lawyers somehow banished.  And for years that was the bottom line for me.

Now I confess to being slow in every way but in bed.  In bed, I will proudly defend my impressive life-long record of reliably performing my “services” with lightening-fast efficiency.  So it took me a couple decades before I formed a more informed and honest opinion of lawyers.  Much before then, I really didn’t look into it.

The change began with my reading an article on the Gaza Strip in which the author pointed out in some detail the consequences of the Strip’s lack of any legal means whereby the people could settle their disputes.  Naturally, the disputes just didn’t evaporate simply because there were no courts, no judges, and no lawyers to resolve them.

No, what had actually happened was the people had fallen back on their families and on violence.  In effect, they had returned to the vendetta system.

Which makes sense, if you think about it.  What other recourse did they have other than to organize into trusted family-based groups, and — at least ultimately — resort to arms to settle things?

The more I thought about it, the more I came to grasp how lawyers, along with the rest of the legal infrastructure, are about all that stands between a civilization and its reversion to anarchy and most likely barbarism — for what family gang is going to stop at merely settling scores when it pays off under those circumstances to not only settle them, but to settle them in cruel and extreme ways designed to warn and intimidate others into not messing with them?

Like most bad ideas, the notion lawyers are necessarily dishonest is a persistent one.  It has been around for far longer than Lincoln’s day — Shakespeare makes mention of it when he has “Dick the Butcher” propose to  “…kill all the lawyers” in Henry VI, in order of course, to bring about a better country.

But would such a country most likely be better?

As for my cousin, he wasn’t all bad.  At one point in my life, he gave me some of the wisest advice I’ve ever taken.  He pointed out in forceful terms — forceful enough to get me to actually listen even at a young age — that I would never have a chance to be happy in life if I followed through with my plan to go into politics.

“Paul, I hear you say you want to help clean up politics, make it better.  That’s a noble goal, and I believe you would do everything you could to stay honest and achieve your goal.

“But you need to realize before you make a huge mistake: Politics is a filthy, dirty business.  It won’t ever change from that, no matter what you yourself do to reform it.  You will be an ant trying to chew down a mountain.

“In the end, it will only commit your soul to living hell, just like it’s committed to hell almost every soul who has come before you.  I know.”