Archive for August, 2007

Jury Nullification

From Wikipedia:

Jury nullification refers to a rendering of a not guilty verdict by a trial jury, disagreeing with the instructions by the judge concerning what is the law, or whether such law is applicable to the case, taking into account all of the evidence presented. Although a jury’s refusal relates only to the particular case before it, if a pattern of such verdicts develops, it can have the practical effect of disabling the enforcement of that position on what is the law or how it should be applied.

Juries are reluctant to render a verdict contrary to law, but a conflict may emerge between what judges and the public from whom juries are drawn hold the law to be. A succession of such verdicts may signal an unwillingness by the public to accept the law given them and may render it a “dead-letter” or bring about its repeal.

The jury system was established because it was felt that a panel of citizens, drawn at random from the community, and serving for too short a time to be corrupted, would be more likely to render a just verdict than officials who may be unduly influenced. Jury nullification is a reminder that the right to trial by one’s peers affords the public an opportunity to take a dissenting view about the justness of a statute or official practices.

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1789 letter to Thomas Paine

Jury nullification is a de facto power of juries, and is not normally disclosed to jurors by the system when they are instructed as to rights and duties. The power of jury nullification derives from an inherent quality of most modern common law systems—a general unwillingness to inquire into jurors’ motivations during or after deliberations. A jury’s ability to nullify the law is further supported by two common law precedents: the prohibition on punishing jury members for their verdict, and the prohibition on retrying criminal defendants after an acquittal.

The sadness in hypocisy

I love openly gay Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) . He cuts right through the BS when commenting on staunch conservative homophobe Larry Craig (R-ID) being arrested for Lewd behavior in a Minnesota restroom:

The right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy and people who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves.” But he was just getting warmed up.

Wow. Frank is a sharp guy. This is a much more insightful and unique commentary “this-talking-head-pwns-that-talking-head” links I’m used to. As much fun as hypocrisy-busting is, there’s something incredibly sad about this whole situation.

Maybe that sadness is recognition of something lost…maybe we are losing our ability to be hypocrites…

I found out about myself that I would judge other people’s behavior in an attempt to deflect having to look inward and judge myself. It seems to be a classic pattern designed (designed by smart, confused and sad minds) to avoid the cognitive dissonance associated with being hypocritical about who we are and what we like - the worse the dissonance the stronger the defense mechanisms needed to deflect the truth.

What makes it sad for me is that all my defense were lies to hide dissonance; a lot of my thoughts were wasted resources to uphold a schism that avoided who I really am/was. When I first was made aware of this, a sadness set in…a sadness for the ultimate loss of who I was.

But that goes away cause I also learned how to mourn properly.

FOUND ON WEB: What I hate about dumb ass drivers

(reprinted from BitchSlap.com - written by driverdan)

You think I have a problem? OK, yes, I drive fast. I rarely get passed by anyone. I have a laser detector and I keep a sharp eye on overpasses, onramps, and suspicious clumps of bushes. I have gotten my share of speeding tickets. Still, I’m the guy behind you flashing his high beams and flicking the left turn signal, begging you to move over so I can resume my regular cruising speed of 80 mph. I’m the one passing you on the right. I’m the one who doesn’t slow down very much in construction zones. Do I scare you? Do you think I’m unsafe? Do you try and get my plate number so you can call *911 on your cell phone? Sit down, shut up and listen, because the odds are, if you’re an American, YOU are the problem. And I have just one thing to say to you ignorant American drivers: Will you please just get out of my way?

Don’t think I’m not talking about you. I mean the whole great unwashed masses of asses out there, including you, your Auntie Fran and her nasty-smelling poodle too. No, I am not in a frigging hurry, I drive like this all the time and it doesn’t matter where I’m going, there’s no excuse for you to be in my way. Do you ever look in you rearview mirror? Do you even know you have a rear view mirror? You are the problem.

Do you ride the brakes? No, of course you don’t but let me ask you this: do you ever brake to keep your speed under the limit when there’s no one in front of you?

Do you get in the long line at the toll plaza? No? Then who the heck are all those people?

When you see a sign for a lane drop do you merge before the lane drops? Do you know what the zipper effect is, zipperhead?

Do you think YIELD means STOP? Then why the screw are you stopping at the top of the on-ramp? Don’t you know you can’t merge unless you are at speed? How do you ever expect to get in? Of course, now that you’re stopped, there’s no way you will ever find a space long enough for you to accelerate into. That is, not without someone reaming you a new asshole with a Chevy. From a dead stop at the top of the ramp it’s going to be tough to break into anything other than a sweat. You’re a dumbass and you are the problem.

You think you have a right to change lanes when you put your turn signal on, even if there’s a line of cars in the lane you want to get into. You think people should make room to let you in. When you’re doing the speed limit in the right hand lane and someone merges onto the highway, you think you should get over into the left hand lane, even when I’m coming up on you at 85.

You get back into the left lane after you let me go by, even when there’s no one in front of you in the right lane. You travel at the same speed as the car in the lane next to you. You think that when you’re in the left hand lane doing ten over the limit that you have the right to stay there just because you’re already speeding? Oh yeah, you are part of the problem.

If you’re the cocksucker who speeds up when I try to pass you on the right but won’t get out of the fast lane to let me go by… Hombre, if we ever meet at a rest stop some day . did I mention that I carry a machete behind the seat? Really handy for trimming hedges and settling traffic disputes. Don’t even mention “road rage” to me unless you’re willing to accept the consequences that come with being part of the problem. Self-righteousness will only net you an insurance claim. I hope you have good health coverage.

Seriously, I believe the best place to have a bad driver is receding in my rear view mirror. That means that the best place for you is eating my dust. And since you are all god-awful drivers, you force me to fly down the road, passing menace after menace, forever attempting to put you all behind me. It’s that or be trapped in a slow pack of morons. It’s your fault I drive like this.

Let’s be clear, it’s not what I drive, it’s how I drive it. I see 57 year-old Q-tip lookin’ motherloving with “Dr. Teeth” vanity plates on their sports cars doing 60 in a 65. I drive a rice-burning straight-4 and I regularly blow everyone’s doors off. Not because my car is better, obviously, but because I’m willing to get on the gas and stay on the gas. I make good lane change choices. I can usually find a hole to wiggle through.

Yes, I can get through, if you’d only get out of the way and no, I will not just get caught at the next light. I take the racing line through every turn whenver possible. When it’s not possible, I have no problems changing to the empty lane in the middle of the turn and romping the screw out of the accelerator. I know what my car can handle before I lose traction and I know what to do when it does go. Do you? Really? Have you ever actually recovered a skid or did you just see Bullitt one time too many?

You will say that there’s no point in passing because there’s always someone else in front of me. You are an idiot. The slowest cars set the pace by blocking the road. If I can get around the worst offenders, I can break free until I hit the next blockage. In those gaps I can really improve my average speed by bursting to 90 or 100 mph.

Yes, I actually do get there faster than you. My times are always better than whoever I’m talking to. What takes others four or five hours, I do in three and a half. What takes them twenty minutes, I can do in seven. And yes, it does matter if I only save 30 seconds. Over the course of a lifetime I will log many fewer hours spent behind the wheel for a given number of miles than you. The savings add up. Driving fast is effectively adding years to my life.

Stop arguing with me. Let me tell you something: we need mandatory driving school for everyone before you can get your license, and it needs to be taught by someone other than the fat-ass high school football coach in the off season. You should have to demonstrate that you know how to parallel park, back up in a straight line using only your mirrors, and make a three point turn without using my damn driveway. Driving school should also require a highway course: merge onto the interstate, stay in your lane until there is room for you to move over and use your signals when you do. Accelerate into your lane changes, etc. etc. Pay attention, we’ve been through this.

It wouldn’t hurt to make everyone take a high speed driving course while we’re at it, to teach you people that driving fast doesn’t have to be unsafe when everyone understands the rules. And wake up, we’ve got to have mandatory re-testing every five years and it should be just as hard or harder to get and keep your license as you get older, not easier. If you don’t pass, too bad so sad, take the frigging bus gramma. Let’s get these addle-brained geriatrics off the road, shall we? It’s better for everyone concerned, especially me. Just because you married some fat-assed office flunky who can afford to keep you like a pet dog doesn’t necessarily mean you get to stay an SUV-driving road-hogging soccer-bitch until you’re frigging old and senile and you run over a crowd of Japanese tourists in the pedestrian mall.

OK, listen, I can be reasonable. What we really need to do is institute Autobahn rules on every Federally funded highway in the country. What are the Autobahn rules? Damn, I was wondering how long it was going to take you to ask:

Always watch your mirrors
Let faster cars pass
Left Turning Signal = Move!
Never pass on the right, only pass on the left
Pass quickly
Do not tailgate
Right lane slow
Center lane faster
Left lane fastest
May the best driver win.

Two Types of People by Iain Levison

(reprinted from The Iain Levison Experience)

I think the world is rapidly dividing between two types of people. Not Republicans and Democrats, or liberals and conservatives. Not the religious and the science-oriented. It is dividing between people who get it and people who don’t.

Ron Paul is a conservative republican, and he gets it. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, supposedly liberal democrats, are clueless. Dennis Kucinich gets it. Mike Gravel, currently polling at zero percent, gets it. Ralph Nader has always gotten it, and America has been trained to hate him for it. George Bush and Osama bin Laden, the mentally troubled sons of billionaires, try to ensure that as few people get it as possible. Almost everything our president says now is just desperate rambling to try to stop his eroding base from getting an inkling of it.

What you look like, what you do for a living, how much you make, where you live…none of that matters. There are imam’s in Iran who get it, and there are professors at major American universities who don’t. I see “leading intellectuals” spouting government propaganda on talk shows, and am mystified that that term can be used to describe someone who doesn’t get it. Doesn’t “intellectual” imply a degree of mental sophistication?

If you get it, when you meet people, you will instantly try to determine if they get it or not. If you get it, and your lover doesn’t, it’s not going to last. If you get it and you’re married to someone who doesn’t, your marriage is a much of a sham as if you were married to a gay person.

Most working people get it. The guy I work for, a home builder who doesn’t pay his taxes and doesn’t vote, gets it. It isn’t important to him, but he gets it. The African guy who sells me cigarettes at the convenience store gets it. I found this out during a thirty second conversation about gasoline prices. The other customer in the convenience store at the time, who started talking about “sodomites,” doesn’t get it and probably never will.

Almost all black people get it. I think centuries of being kidnapped, enslaved, raped, beaten and injected with syphilis will make it apparent.

Most members of the media get it, but they seem to be guided by some invisible, off-screen force to pretend they don’t. The New York Times and Washington Post tantalize their readers by getting it about half the time, and the other half they just fuck around and try to force feed us bizarre bullshit. The members of the White House Press Corps, with the exception of Helen Thomas, are ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five pound bag. This is what is left of Thomas Jefferson’s dream of a free press, a collection of people who get it, but who are so desperate for “access” (to what, I wonder? propaganda?) that they pretend they don’t get it when they really do.

People who get it watch candidates like Barack Obama and John Edwards to see if they get it, too, and we can never be sure. Do they get it and hide the fact, or are they truly clueless? The only reason we watch these sorry spectacles called debates is for an inkling of hope, that an actual front-runner might give us a hand signal, a wink, something to imply that he gets it, without the media finding out and tearing him to shreds for it. It’s like that movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where you have to disguise the fact that you’re not a pod person so you don’t get killed and reborn as one, as has clearly happened to Hillary Clinton.

You don’t have to be smart to get it. It is simply the knowledge that our species is behaving badly, and it is time for us to change. We have to treat nature, and each other, better, and we have it do it very soon, or there will be unimaginable consequences.

The thing about getting it is, it doesn’t make you rich or beautiful. It doesn’t solve problems in your personal life. In fact, it’s likely to consign you to a life of financial hardship. In most corporate jobs, it’s a career ender to get it. Thus, the people who get it almost never have any real power, and are forced to live quiet lives, not making trouble, hoping that one day things will change. One day, perhaps, they will open the newspaper to see nothing but truth on the front page, and the leaders to whom they pay their taxes will be sensible and kind, even brilliant, in their solutions to problems. The people who get it will one day rule the world, and….

Whatever. If there’s one thing we know about the people who don’t get it, it’s that they don’t give up power that easily.

—————————-

hope!
- Drew

Vacation

I’m off till the end of the month. Need a break after a years worth of entries.

even zombies get tired.

Are too many people being diagnosed as having depression?

Professor Gordon Parker, a psychiatrist from Australia says the current threshold for what is considered to be ‘clinical depression’ is too low. He fears it could lead to a diagnosis of depression becoming less credible.*

NO! Too many people HAVE depression. We are waking up to the fact that a large portion of the population shares a low level depression caused by the racing pressure of keeping up with our world and our technology:

*inundation *abandonment *childhood injuries never dealt with *financial stress *marital stress

all handed down by society and our parents. Any combination of these type of common stresses can raise a person’s level of depression to an unhealthy status. And we wonder why heart disease and blood pressure problems dominate health statistics…

Some important resources:

I’m going to look for sources now, but you actually could not possibly be more wrong. Recent studies (actual studies by neurobiologists showing mechanism, not pseudoscience sociology pieces) show that modern society does not provide the extreme crises that past society did. We rarely face life-or-death decisions. And the brain is made for them and does not develop properly without them. Just look at how adolescents are sheltered. Their frontal lobe is fired up in full-on mode and they’re tasked with learning how to deal with it and we do everything in our power to make sure they aren’t exposed to even the most trivially emotionally challenging experiences. The research is less than a year old, but very promising.

Look, while you run and research (which maybe you should have done before replying) I will remind you that I am addressing the topic of the article that is undercutting the truth that there are more openly depressed people now than at any other time in our history.

My agenda was to argue back at the article that there is NOT ENOUGH attention paid to the subtle form of depression that when layered together form a more massive depression.

While you are researching look up:

  1. fragmentation
  2. disconnect
  3. interior somatic awareness
  4. technological mastery

I really am not trying to argue about this stuff. While you may have read an article somewhere that disagrees, I lived through the uncoupling of a massive depression that stems from ancient issues and current issues combined.

We can both be right about the WHYs of how the depression got there and I certainly am interested in the results you find but the part you skipped over, I guess, was where I was addressing the articles attempt to undercut what is a world wide epidemic of depression.

*http://www.scientistlive.com/18556/depression-overdiagnosed.thtml

Zombie thoughts on a real friend

Please do not feel the need to respond. Actually not responding is fine as I really know how much you care about me and am thankful for that love which makes my inability to express myself to someone I care about, much harder. But here I go anyway.

You are seriously, the best friend I have had…ever? Maybe. Seems that way. Most people make me very angry when they talk or try to be friends because deep down I know that they are just there (or here) to get something out of the deal. There is a sense that when I am talking they aren’t really listening but just waiting for their chance to talk. That kind of thing makes me feel unseen and truly unheard.

But that’s not you. You give me so much emotionally and spiritually I sometimes pat myself on the back for manifesting such a wonderful person. To know that I had a hand in creating the right situation and the right movement to attract you as a friend is a wonderful way for me to know that I am doing something right in all of this recovery that I am and have been undertaking.

You are such a full and healthy person that you make interaction easy and fun. Your ability to transform yourself is remarkable and your spirit, your perfect and whole spirit, makes spending time with you a pure treat.

These days, as I awake from my age long slumber, I really count my blessing for the people in my life that ‘get me.’ To be able to act myself and not put on those fear-based defense mechanisms means the world to me.

You have taught me so much, you have mothered me, you have made me feel warm and cared for…for this I say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…

To make a zombie feel loved may be the most remarkable thing I have ever seen.

Binge Journal #14

I guess I should have written about this earlier and I have no idea why I didn’t but here is the update on the last few weeks.

I started a version of the South Beach diet. Basically I am in the first portion of the diet where there are NO CARBS alllowed. That’s right, no carbs. No potato chips, no cereal, no soda, no french fries (sniff, sniff). The only things I can eat are meats, green vegetables and most dairy products. So I mostly eat omelettes, lunch meats, vegetables and meat.

Did I say meat. I don’t eat red meat so a lot of chicken, turkey products and some (shhh) pork. I have to take Benefiber to make up for the missing fiber I used to get from cereal etc…

So, how’s it going you ask? It’s going great… NO! Really great, I mean! I don’t like to weigh myself much and don’t own a scale so I’m not exactly sure but the the results are actually quite amazing.

The weight is dropping like a rock through water. My midsection has changed shape and is disappearing, my face is thinner and my breasts are smaller. All of my pants now are falling off and my shirts are less stressed.

I am suppose to incorporate a few of the slower burning carbs (tomatoes, nuts, beans) into my diet this week but with the success I am having I plan on keeping the status quo for one more week.

I have never dieted like this and never had the faculties and mindset that allowed me to be successful in an attempt to drop weight but, because I have done so much self work and really fomented a good relationship with myself based on trust and cooperation, this is not a hard diet.

It also helps that I didn’t have to change my diet that much considering that I was already eating this way to help my hypoglycemia.

I will update next week and maybe post a picture…

Feminists and the Backlash…

This is exactly why you can’t wildly insult half of the human population without expecting some kind of reaction

Very true…

But the thousands of years of mental and physical abuse that Men have wrought on any and all females on this planet is a heavy toll that is only now in the last 100 yrs being lifted.

This anger and insult from feminists is a much deeper ‘reaction’ to man’s long time oppression. This violence is to be expected in a way, it also may be our (men’s) responsibility in a sense for our history, for what has come before and how women have been treated.

I, as a man, can understand and even sympathize with some angry, violent, insulting and extreme behavior from females in general (as we are seeing with the quickly rising female on male violence.) While I will always defend myself ultimately, internet flaming is not nearly as bad as a thousand years of subservience and fear.

And I guess that my point is that someone can react to an angry feminist expressing, for thew first time in a couple of thousand years, their displeasure, their hatred, their release, or someone can not react and avoid this natural expression that is probably a necessary evolutionary development.

Or something like that.

Men avoiding sex? Impossible!

Interesting article from men.style.com about the new phenomena of men, good looking men, avoiding sex and saying no to the chase of ‘getting laid.

I like the way they expose to light this issue that of course never gets any play in this machismo society. But there really isn’t much by way of explanation; longer refractory period due to age, fear of attachment. Neither of those feel right to me. Let me offer an alternative explanation that might explain some of this phenomena.

Sometimes (more than you think) apathy in guys like this is from the fact that they were raised by a generation of females in single family homes(absentee father/father is loser/father abusive to family.)

These mothers treated these young boys as surrogate fathers: increased intimacy, hen-pecking, added responsibilities, man-of-the-house stress, emotional support, attention giving. This was basically forcing young boys (and girls in a lot of cases) into a relationship they were not ready for.

These new (70ies - divorce, me generation, ERA) relationships were extremely hard on these boys as they were (and still are) literally expected to take the roll of an adult, the father.

These boys are now men, adults, and they are tired, physically and mentally, of the responsibility that they have held since they were little kids; tired of being responsible, chasing, working, being this society’s view of what a man should be while being a little boy inside - they even have a name for this phenomena now, Adult Children…

Sometimes a guy just wants to be alone and sometimes a guy does not want to chase and play the bullshit to get…sex.

“We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.”

Thanks Tyler.

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