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Patrick S. O'Donnell
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Philosophy, Santa Barbara City College
Interests: philosophy of law and legal theory, philosophy of mind, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of science, religious worldviews, psychoanalysis, psychology
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As for the precise legal reasons—within historical and political context—why Transjordan/Jordan was never "the" Palestinian state, should not be the Palestinian state, and, for that matter, will not become a Palestinian state, see: • Kattan, Victor. From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1891-1949. London: Pluto Press, 2009. • Kattan, Victor, ed. The Palestine Question in International Law. London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2008. • Quigley, John. The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. • Tilley, Virginia, ed. Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism and International Law in the Occupied Territories. London: Pluto Press, 2012.
The Jordanian Department of Statistics estimated the 2011 population at 6,249,000. Historically, Palestinians in Jordan arrived as refugees, that number was approximately 3.24 million in 2009. According to UNRWA, Jordan was home to 1,951,603 Palestinian refugees in 2008, most of them Jordanian citizens. However, the number of Palestinians in Jordan does not, historically, legally or politically, add up to a Palestinian state. Fortunately, the political and legal right to collective self-determination, to the extent it is incarnate in the historic quest for a Palestinian state, is not determined by the voice of one Mudar Zahran (writing for a Daniel Pipes publication no less!), but by those with historic pedigree and political legitimacy representing Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and abroad (with a 'right of return'). It is the collective voice of Palestinians in our time and place who will, in the exercise of their legal rights, ultimately decide the meaning and geo-political boundary of a Palestinian state.
Monroe: You made assertions yourself, not arguments, so.... As for the myriad historical, political, and legal reasons Transjordan/Jordan cannot be considered "a" or the Palestinian state that has any fit with the historic aspirations of Arabs and Palestinians in Palestinee see (as representative or a taste of the relevant literature) these works: • Abu-Ludhod, Ibrahim, “Territorially-based Nationalism and the Politics of Negation,” in Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, eds. Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question. London: Verso, 1988: 193-206. • Farsoun, Samih K. (with Christian E. Zacharia). Palestine and the Palestinians. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997. • Quigley, John. The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. • Rogan, Eugene L. and Avi Shlaim, eds. The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
This is the properly edited version, which I took too long to complete and so it was not posted: Monroe, I've broken no promise, as I said I would respond but did not give you a precise date. Please be patient: I will have a long, documented post (or two) in which I will address your comment. I will not be addressing the bulk of the above, as most if not all noted international law scholars on this topic completely (and correctly) reject your first proposition. As to no. 3, state-building does not take place overnight (ask the Zionists), and given what happened to the Palestinians in the course of Israel's quest for a "homeland" in Palestine (e.g., ethnic cleansing, the Nakba, etc.), it is certainly understandable that they were unable to immediately establish a state in the region, particularly in light of the conspicuous lack of international support (or even interest) at the time for such an enterprise. In my considerable research on this topic, I've never seen anyone make an argument remotely like the one you've made here, as it is patently (and disappointingly) ludicrous. I will later address your claim about what Hamas is "dedicated to" which, while an oft-repeated claim (based as it is on the Hamas Charter) is again utterly wrong, at least with regard to statements by Hamas leaders and spokespersons for some time now (I'll go into more detail later). The Charter is largely considered by both Hamas and outside experts to be irrelevant to accounting for Hamas' politics and policies (it was never debated or discussed or formally approved by the group in any case). One would know this from consulting the better books on Hamas (all of which are included in my bibliography for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). Finally, I can't take seriously no. 5, as has been made abundantly clear over the past several days: just the opposite is in fact the case, as a pro-Israeli bias has been evidence in the media in this and past conflicts (again, all amply documented in the relevant literature) between Gazans and Israel.... Perhaps by "pro-Hamas" bias you mean any reporting of the fact that civilians are needlessly being killed by the IDF, or simply the fact that some media sources are not willing to accept at face value everything Israel claims on its behalf (even some journalists and writers for Haaretz, like Yitzhak Laor, have done a better job in this regard than the mainstream press in this country). Again, I will have a substantial reply to the comment I referred to earlier when I get the time. Meanwhile, you can read this: http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/2014/07/expel-palestinians-populate-gaza-with-jews-says-knesset-deputy-speaker.html Or this: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/07/human-shielding-gaza-2014717154428830848.html Or this: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n15/mouin-rabbani/israel-mows-the-lawn Or this: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients.html http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients.html (not mainstream media reporting)
Monroe, I've broken no promise, as I said I would respond but did not give you a precise date. Please be patient: I will have a long, document post (or two) in which I will address your comment. I will not be addressing the bulk of the above, as most if not all noted international law scholars on this topic completely (and correctly) reject your first proposition. As to no. 3, state-building does not take place overnight (ask the Zionists), and given the what happened to the Palestinians in the course of Israel's quest for a "homeland" in Palestine (e.g., ethnic cleansing, the Nakba, etc.), it is certainly understandable that they were unable to immediately establish a state in the region, particularly given the lack of international support at the time for such an enterprise. In my considerable research on this topic, I've never seen anyone make an argument remotely like the one you've made here, as it is patently (and disappointingly) ludicrous. I will later be addressing your claim about what Hamas is "dedicated to" which, while an oft-repeated claim (based as it is on the Hamas Charter) is again utterly wrong, at least with regard to Hamas leaders and spokespersons for some time now (I'll go into more detail later). The Charter is largely considered by both Hamas and outside experts to be irrelevant to accounting for Hamas' politics and policies (it was never debated or discussed or formally approved by the group in any case). Finally, I can't take seriously no. 5, as has been made abundantly clear over the past several days: just the opposite is in fact the case, as a pro-Israeli bias has been evidence in the media in this and past conflicts between Gazans and Israel...again, all amply documented in the relevant literature. Perhaps by "pro-Hamas" bias you mean any reporting of the fact that civilians are needlessly being killed by the IDF, or simply the fact that some media sources are not willing to accept at face value everything Israel claims on its behalf (even some journalists and writers for Haaretz, like Yitzhak Laor, have done a better job in this regard than the mainstream press in this country). Again, I will have a substantial reply to the comment I referred to earlier when I get the time. Meanwhile, you can read this: http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/2014/07/expel-palestinians-populate-gaza-with-jews-says-knesset-deputy-speaker.html Or this: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/07/human-shielding-gaza-2014717154428830848.html Or this: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n15/mouin-rabbani/israel-mows-the-lawn Or this: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients.html http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients.html (not mainstream media reporting)
Precious, thank you.
No doubt the following fails to meet Professor Bernstein's idiosyncratic criteria for "real control on the ground in Gaza": As has been amply chronicled and explained in detail in the requisite literature, since 1994 Israel has used its considerable economic and military/security power to assiduously and successfully engage in a nefarious strategic enterprise aimed at “ghettoizing Gaza,” thereby directly and indirectly creating and contributing to the conditions of strangulation, isolation, starvation and economic collapse that continue to afflict this comparatively small piece of densely populated land. Since 2007, Israel and Egypt have collaborated on imposing a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip. “Israel said that it relatively eased the blockade for non-military goods in June 2010” while “Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing in 2011 for persons and goods.” “Concerning the restrictions on goods reaching Gaza via the land crossings the Palmer report stated that they were the main reason for an unsustainable and unacceptable humanitarian situation in Gaza. …[A] Fact-Finding Mission for the UN Human Rights Council chaired by a former judge of the International Criminal Court found that the blockade constituted collective punishment of the population of Gaza and was therefore unlawful. UN envoy Desmond Tutu, United Nations Human Rights Council head Navi Pillay, the International Committee of the Red Cross and some experts on international law consider the blockade illegal.” “In January and February 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) conducted an assessment of the effects of the measures to ease the access restrictions. They concluded that they did not result in a significant improvement in people’s livelihoods. They found that a limited reactivation of the private sector resulted from the increased availability of consumer goods and some raw materials but the ‘pivotal nature of the remaining restrictions’ and the effects of three years of strict blockade prevented a significant improvement in livelihoods. Although the unemployment rate in Gaza fell from 39.3% to 37.4% in the second half of 2010 there were significant food price rises. There was little or no improvement in food insecurity rates in Gaza which continued to affect 52% of the population. Few of the 40,000 housing units needed to replace homes lost during Operation Cast Lead and for natural population growth could be built as a result of the ongoing restrictions on importing building materials. The approval of over 100 projects funded by international organizations intended to improve the ‘extremely deteriorated’ water and sanitation, education and health services, followed the easing of the blockade. The implementation of these projects was delayed by the entry approval process for materials and the limited opening of the Karni crossing. OCHA found that there had been no improvement in the quality of services provided to the population of the Gaza Strip as a result of the projects so far. There was no significant increase in the number of exit permits granted by Israel to allow access to the outside world including other parts of the Palestinian territories. Permits continued to be issued by Israel only on an exceptional basis with a 114 being issued during the second half of 2010.” The Israeli Civil Administration (‘which coordinates activities of government bureaus, the IDF, and security establishments’) continued to operate in Gaza after 2005. Among other things, it controls identity cards, which must be obtained with its consent, and the army “reserves the right to refuse it, as well as forbid a move on the part of anyone who has forgotten to inform it of a change of address or civil status.” Thousands of Palestinians have been forbidden to move for administrative reasons, and “residents of Gaza are only allowed to travel to the West Bank in exceptional humanitarian cases, particularly urgent medical cases, but not including marriage.” “Since 2008, they are not allowed to live or stay in Israel because of marriage with an Israeli.” The Israeli Supreme Court has blessed Israel’s claim that “it has the right to prevent the free movement of people through Israel from the Gaza Strip for security reasons.” Moreover, “Israel has considerably limited the fishing zone along the coast of Gaza, preventing Palestinians access to 85% of the maritime areas allotted to them in the 1994 Gaza–Jericho Agreement. Fishermen are attacked and their boats often seized.” “Israel does not allow operating air and seaports in Gaza, in violation with subsequent agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. The Gaza Airport, funded by donor countries, has been destroyed by Israeli bombardments and bulldozers. A Gaza Seaport project, started in 2000, was destroyed by the Israeli army, a few months after the construction had begun.” After the fair and free democratic elections in 2006, Israel collaborated with “the Quartet on the Middle East” to ensure that Hamas would be unable to effectively govern by withholding funds and tightening its siege (including the cutting off the flow of water to Gaza). More recently, as we learn in a recent NY Times opinion piece, “Despite having won the last elections, in 2006, Hamas decided to transfer formal authority to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. That decision led to a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on terms set almost entirely by the P.L.O. chairman and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal: the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one, and the easing of the suffocating border closures imposed by Israel and Egypt that bar most Gazans’ passage to the outside world. [….] Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government…and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat. Israel’s security establishment objects to the strengthening of West Bank-Gaza ties, lest Hamas raise its head in the West Bank.”
From Ali Abunimah’s blog at The Electronic Intifada: “Israel must attack Gaza even more mercilessly, expel the population and resettle the territory with Jews, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has said. Moshe Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, makes the call in an article for the Israeli news website Arutz Sheva. Feiglin demands that Israel launch attacks ‘throughout Gaza with the IDF’s [Israeli army’s] maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal.’ Force Gaza population out ‘After the IDF completes the “softening” of the targets with its firepower, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations,’ Feiglin writes in one of several calls for outright war crimes. Following the re-conquest, Israel’s army ‘will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
As stated above, the term "effective control" was defined by John Dugard (2007), then UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as follows: (a) substantial control of Gaza’s six land crossings; (b) control through military incursions, rocket attacks and sonic booms, and the declaration of areas inside the Strip as ‘no-go’ zones where anyone who enters can be shot; (c) complete control of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters; and (d) control of the Palestinian Population Registry, which has the power and authority to define who is a ‘Palestinian’ and who is a resident of Gaza." Effective control" is thus not equivalent to "absolute control" and the criteria were outlined by way of meeting the conditions for a continuing occupation. But I'm happy to keep Professor Bernstein entertained. In any case, "hundreds of missiles from Gaza" are NOT raining down on Israel, as the vast majority of them have been 'intercepted' by Israel's Iron Dome system. Now were we to talk about what is in fact raining down on Gazans....
Professor Bell has responded to claims about his letter here: http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2014/07/more-on-a-controversial-legal-opinion-about-israeli-actions-professor-bell-responds-and-corrects-the.html (I plan on responding to Monroe's comment above at a later date over at Religious Left Law & Ratio Juris.)
I should have mentioned that Bell's legal opinion was submitted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, not an unimportant fact.
Among the possible reasons this would become a focus of such a debate is Professor Avi Bell's status and standing in the international legal community, both here and abroad: He is a well- known law professor who has guest-blogged several times at one of (if not the) foremost international law blogs, Opinio Juris; he teaches both here and in Israel; and he has clerked for a Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel and for the High Court of Justice Department within the Israeli State Attorney’s office. And given the country’s well-documented movement to the Right, such “opinion letters” may indirectly reveal public sentiment in Israel and presage the kind of draconian and inhumane military and political policies to come. One should bear in mind that such ‘administrative policies’ are not uncommon in the history of the conflict: Israel has restricted the supply of foodstuffs, fuel and electricity to Gaza, enforced a land-and-sea blockade, deprived the population access to medical supplies, building equipment, and all manner of essential goods (among the reasons why UN human rights experts, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other authoritative sources have condemned the siege as illegal). The opinion letter is also a stark reminder that Gaza is still “occupied,”* given that (a) Israel continues to exercise “effective control”** over this area, (b) the conflict that produced the occupation has not ended, and (c) an occupying state cannot unilaterally (and without international/diplomatic agreement) transform the international status of occupied territory except, perhaps, if that unilateral action terminates all manner of effective control. * As Lisa Hajjar explains, “Territory that was militarily conquered remains ‘occupied’ until sovereignty supplants foreign control. As long as the Gaza Strip is non-sovereign, it is occupied, and as long as it is occupied its relationship to Israel continues to be governed by international humanitarian law (IHL), which forms part of the laws of war. In addition to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, these laws include the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Geneva Conventions Additional Protocols I and II of 1977. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs territories militarily conquered by a foreign government, the civilian population who resides there is legally designated ‘protected persons.’ The laws of war are lex specialis, that is, ‘special law.’ What is ‘special’ is conflict, and its opposite, the ‘not special,’ is peace. (IHL pertains to the conduct of armed conflict, jus in bello, and is agnostic about the lawfulness of causes that initiate armed conflict, jus ad bellum.) An occupation, even a prolonged one, is a continuation of conflict, and, therefore, IHL remains in effect until peace has been restored. This point of customary international humanitarian law is explained in unambiguous terms in the Prosecutor v. Tadic decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: ‘International humanitarian law applies from the initiation of such armed conflicts and extends beyond the cessation of hostilities until a general conclusion of peace is reached…Until that moment, international humanitarian law continues to apply in the whole territory of the warring States or, in the case of internal conflicts, the whole territory under the control of a party, whether or not actual combat takes place there.’” **Again, Hajjar: “In 2007, John Dugard, then UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, explained that the manifestations of Israel’s continuing ‘effective control’ include: (a) substantial control of Gaza’s six land crossings; (b) control through military incursions, rocket attacks and sonic booms, and the declaration of areas inside the Strip as ‘no-go’ zones where anyone who enters can be shot; (c) complete control of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters; and (d) control of the Palestinian Population Registry, which has the power and authority to define who is a ‘Palestinian’ and who is a resident of Gaza. To these must be added Israel’s continuing capacity to invade Gaza, arrest residents, and transport them into Israel. In the wake of Israel’s unilateral disengagement, which included the dissolution of the military court at the Erez base on the edge of Gaza, the Knesset enacted the 2006 Criminal Procedure Law to allow for the prosecution of Gazans in Israeli civil courts, and their imprisonment inside Israel. Moreover, on the very day Israel implemented the completion of its unilateral disengagement plan (12 September 2005), the military issued detention orders for two Gazans under the 2002 Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law. That Israeli law (modeled on the military order issued by US President George W. Bush on 13 November 2001) was originally promulgated to provide legal cover for the imprisonment of kidnapped Lebanese nationals who were to be used as ‘bargaining chips’ in exchange for Israeli prisoners of war and the remains of those who had been killed in Lebanon. Since 2005, that law has been used primarily to administratively detain (i.e., imprison without trial) Gazans.”
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(Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images) Raja Shehadeh, a founder of Al-Haq,* proffers advice to the Palestinian leadership in this piece from the London Review of Books, ending with a succinct proposal on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e., the ongoing historic conflict, not the recent escalation of violence). I’ve copied a good portion of the article below which, unfortunately, is available online only to subscribers. [….] “After the 1967 war, Israel spread the word that its occupation of Palestinian lands was the most benevolent in history, even if the ungrateful Palestinians refused to accept it. Those who actively resisted were called fedayeen; but Israel’s word for them was mukharebeen, which is what you call a naughty child in Arabic – anta mukhareb, ‘you are a spoiler.’ What, I wondered, were we spoiling? Then I realised that Israel was putting things in order for us and for them and we were spoiling... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
My latest compilation is Modern Iran: A Basic Bibliography. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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summer afternoon the long fly ball to center field takes its time changing pitchers the runner on first looks up at a passing cloud after the grand slam the umpire busy with his whisk broom —Cor van den Heuvel (b. 1931) Van den Heuvel “discovered haiku in San Francisco in 1958 when he heard Gary Snyder talking about short poems at a Sunday gathering of the Robert Duncan/Jack Spicer poetry group in North Beach.” He “was known as ‘Dutchy’ when he played catcher in the late 1940s for the Comets, a sandlot team in Dover, New Hampshire.” From a volume of baseball haiku edited by Van den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007). I could not resist drawing attention to poetry that so skillfully joins a fondness for both baseball and haiku. And it seems this might be considered serendipitous, as haiku is a combination of two... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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“Modern neuroscience is validating observations about the mind that Buddhists have known for thousands of years. When I first began to study Buddhism, it was common to hear put-downs of Western psychology and...psychotherapy in major Buddhist centers. There was a widespread belief that meditation would answer everyone’s problems, and if you were a really good Zen or Vipassana or Vajrayana practitioner, you wouldn’t need therapy. Now I could give you the names of abbots of those same centers who are themselves seeing therapists—they have realized there’s a complementarity between meditation and the interpersonal skills of Western psychology.”—Jack Kornfield, in a forum discussion, “Is Western Psychology Redefining Buddhism?,” Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, Summer 2014 (Vol. 12, No. 4). The latest draft of “Buddhism & Psychoanalysis: a basic reading guide,” is available here. As noted at the link, I have related compilations on “Buddhism,” “the Emotions,” and secondary literature on “Freudian and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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Highly recommended: Penelope Andrews, “A Champion for African Freedom: Paul Robeson and the Struggle Against Apartheid” (May 28, 2014). Albany Law Review, Vol. 77, No. 1, 2014. From Part V, “Paul Robeson and Contemporary South Africa:” “If Paul Robeson was around today, what might he say about the ‘rainbow nation’ and its transformative constitutional project? He might join in the chorus of applause about the text of South Africa’s constitution, the formal imprimatur of rights, and the mostly impressive series of judgments handed down by the Constitutional Court. He would no doubt celebrate the peaceful transition in South Africa from apartheid and authoritarianism to democracy, and particularly the significant role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But he might pause and ponder the dissonance between the fine constitutional text and its accompanying court decisions, and the limited signs of a human rights culture, as evidenced by widespread violence, particularly against... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
Here is a link to a revised paper (from 2011): “Natural Law ‘Externalism’ v. Law as Moral Aspiration.” This paper makes an argument against Thom Brooks’ characterization of the natural law tradition’s concept of justice as “external” to the law, in contrast with Hegel’s peculiar “internalist” conception of natural law. I’m not so much interested in Brooks’ interpretation of Hegel on this score as his rendering of the concept and conceptions of justice and law as found generally in natural law traditions and formulations. “As it turns out, Marx himself, at least in his early years, recognized the relationship between the rule of law and substantive equality. In 1842, Marx criticized the Prussian censorship laws in rule of law terms, claiming that such ‘laws without objective norms are laws of terrorism, such as those created by Robespierre’ and ‘positive sanctions of lawlessness.’ Going on, he criticizes the law as ‘an... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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Here is a link to my essay, “Poetry & Islam: An Introduction,” which was posted in two parts here several years ago and an earlier and shorter draft of which and published in CrossCurrents (March 2011). Clarification: It seems I was mistaken! This is virtually identical (I edited a few things) to the published version, which I had not looked at for some time. Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
Here is a slightly revised piece on the Golden Rule that was first posted here in 2011. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
There’s a wonderful post on the role of imagination in perception in Indian philosophy by Douglas Berger at the Indian Philosophy Blog. Not mentioned in the post and subsequent discussion (as it’s confined to imagination vis-à-vis perception in philosophy) is an intriguing fact: within the four major schools of Sanskrit poetics (Alaṅkāra, Rīti, Dhvani, and Rasa), according to V.K. Chari, imagination (pratibhā, ‘poetic genius’) is not used in the definition of poetry, “although nearly all critics paid homage to it.” Indeed, pratibhā is simply cited as “only one of the causes of poetry, together with training (śikṣā) and understanding of the world (vyutpatti).”* Chari himself thinks that what others see here as a failure to do justice to the intuitive or imaginative parts of poetic creation is rather an analytic virtue of the scholastic approach of Sanskrit critics, for imagination “is at best a dubious concept, and its usefulness for... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” “I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence.” “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” “Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds. I have always kept an open mind, a flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of the intelligent search for truth.” “Envy blinds men and makes it impossible for them to think clearly.” “I am not a racist. I am against... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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Gospel verses for those Christians obsessed with public prayer in government fora: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”—Matthew 6:5 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”—Matthew 6:6 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”—Mark 1:35 “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”—Luke 5:16 Images: “Christ in the Wilderness,” by the British artist, Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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In his Salon review of Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014), Thomas Frank writes: “Academic economics, especially in the United States, has for decades been gripped by a kind of professional pretentiousness that is close to pathological. From time to time its great minds have grown so impressed by their own didactic awesomeness that they celebrate economics as ‘the imperial science’— ‘imperial’ not merely because economics is the logic of globalization but because its math-driven might is supposedly capable of defeating and colonizing every other branch of the social sciences. Economists, the myth goes, make better historians, better sociologists, better anthropologists than people who are actually trained in those disciplines. One believable but possibly apocryphal tale I heard as a graduate student in the ’90s was that economists at a prestigious Midwestern university had actually taken to wearing white lab coats—because they supposedly... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com
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This undated family photo shows Hong Yen Chang. Chang was an Ivy League graduate thought to be the first Chinese-born, United States-trained lawyer when the California Supreme Court denied his application to practice law in a 1890 decision. Now, students at a Northern California law school hope to persuade the current court to reverse the 124-year-old decision that is still studied in law schools. (AP Photo/Chang Family) Under the heading of “better late than never,” or “posthumous justice,” is this news story from the UC Davis School of Law and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA). [h/t, John Steele at LEF] As we learn below, while there is no California precedent for what this group of students is seeking, in Washington and Pennsylvania a symbolic victory over the effects of discriminatory legislation was achieved when applicants likewise excluded from their respective state bars were posthumously admitted. After the... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at ReligiousLeftLaw.com