Political Correctness and Islam


TALKING HEADS ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE POLITICAL AISLE HAVE LONG PROMOTED-
ALMOST AS AN ARTICLE OF FAITH- THE IDEA THAT ISLAM
IS NO BETTER OR WORSE FOR AMERICA THAN ANY
OTHER RELIGION. BUT DO THE FACTS
BACK UP THAT CLAIM? IN AMERICA, WHERE
CHRISTIANITY WAS THE DOMINANT RELIGION AT THE
TIME OF THE SETTLING AND FOUNDING OF THE NATION,
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM HAS BEEN AN IRONCLAD PRINCIPLE,
WRITTEN INTO OUR CONSTITUTION. A REPRESENTATIVE FORM OF
GOVERNMENT WAS ESTABLISHED THAT RECOGNIZED
GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS. TO BE SURE, MANY MUSLIMS
WHO LIVE IN AMERICA HAVE EMBRACED THIS SYSTEM. BUT WHILE SOME RADICALS
CALL IT BIGOTRY OR INTOLERANCE TO EVEN
INQUIRE INTO THESE MATTERS, WE MUST TAKE A
CLEAR-EYED LOOK AT THE REALITY OF LIFE IN LARGELY
ISLAMIC SOCIETIES. FIRST, WE SHOULD NOTE THAT
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE MUSLIM MAJORITY NATION IN
THE WORLD WITH SIGNIFICANT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. FURTHERMORE, TO ONE DEGREE
OR ANOTHER, EVERY MUSLIM MAJORITY NATION IN THE
WORLD EMPLOYS ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW IN THE
ADMINISTRATION OF ITS LAWS. SHARIA LAW, AMONG OTHER
THINGS, ALLOWS A HUSBAND TO BEAT A DISOBEDIENT
WIFE, AND ALLOWS ANYONE LEAVING ISLAM TO
BE STONED TO DEATH. BUT WE ARE TOLD IT’S
ABSURD TO WONDER IF THERE IS ANY THREAT POSED BY
HARDCORE ISLAM IN AMERICA. WELL THEN, LOOK AT WHAT
HAPPENED WHEN A STATE SENATOR IN DELAWARE
INTRODUCED A BILL PREVENTING FOREIGN LAW
FROM BEING USED IN LOCAL COURTS. THIS SHOULD BE A SIMPLE
AND NON-CONTROVERSIAL IDEA- AN AMERICAN COURT
SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY AMERICAN LAWS. YET HIS BILL WAS ASSAILED
BY THE COUNCIL ON ISLAMIC-AMERICAN
RELATIONS. WHY WOULD AMERICA’S
LARGEST ISLAMIC ADVOCACY GROUP PROTEST A BILL
KEEPING SHARIA LAW OUT OF AMERICAN COURTS? THIS IS NOT MERELY AN
ACADEMIC QUESTION. A FEW YEARS AGO, A JUDGE
IN NEW JERSEY REFUSED TO GRANT A RESTRAINING ORDER
FOR A MUSLIM WIFE WHO SAID SHE WAS RAPED AND
BEATEN BY HER HUSBAND. THE JUDGE’S REASONING? BECAUSE, HE SAID, THIS WAS
ALLOWED UNDER THE SHARIA LAW OF THEIR FAITH. IF AMERICAN IDEALS, LAWS,
AND INSTITUTIONS ARE TO SURVIVE, WE MUST PUT ASIDE
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND PURSUE THE TRUTH ABOUT
ISLAM- WHEREVER IT LEADS.

How Ireland Accidentally Legalized Drugs for Two Days


This video was made possible by Brilliant. Learn with Brilliant by being one of the first
200 to sign up at brilliant.org/HAI. Welcome to Half as Interesting—home of cultural
sensitivity—and welcome to Ireland—home of leprechauns, Irish whiskey, and leprechauns
who get drunk off Irish whiskey. The Republic of Ireland has many claims to
fame: great musicians like U2, great actors like Colin Farrell, and great food like…
um… you know what never mind about the food. But Ireland has another claim to fame that
fewer people know about—the shortest period of drug legalization ever. Relaxation of drug policy is a growing worldwide
political movement. In the US, cannabis is legal in at least some
form in 33 states. Some countries, like Portugal, have decriminalized
all drugs and have started treating drug use and possession as a public health issue instead
of a criminal one and while Ireland has started to move towards decriminalization and relaxation
of medical marijuana laws, nobody in Ireland meant to move towards legalization quite as
quickly as they did on March 10, 2015—the day when Ireland accidentally legalized drugs. So, you might be wondering, how can you accidentally
legalize drugs? I mean sure, people make mistakes, but usually
it’s something like spelling Singapore like this or putting Melbourne here. Legalizing crystal meth seems like a pretty
big and avoidable mistake. Did the whole Irish Parliament get a little
too into Breaking Bad and take their Walter White cosplay too far? Well, not exactly. To understand how it happened, you have to
first understand the structure of the Irish Government. Ireland is a parliamentary democracy, and
like many modern democracies consists of three branches, each of which holds different powers. Here to explain is resident Irishman and person
who knows how to pronounce words that look like this, Brian from Real Life Lor…I mean,
engineering. He’s from Real Engineering. Legislative power, which is the power to make
laws, is held by the Parliament, also called the Oireachtas. The Oireachtas consists of two houses—the
upper house, the Seanad Eireann, is appointed, while the lower house, the Dail Eireann, is
elected. The Dail is the one that actually matters;
even those the Seanad is the “upper house,” they have very little power. It’s kind of like how Kevin Jonas is the
oldest Jonas Brother, but also the least important. Executive power, which is the power to enforce
laws, is not held by the President like in the US. Rather, the presidency is a largely ceremonial
role currently served by Irish Bernie Sanders, also known as Michael D. Higgins. The executive power is held by a cabinet of
7-15 ministers—a body that is somewhat confusingly called The Government. It includes the prime minister, or Taioseach,
who is currently this guy, and then other government ministers—like the Minister for
Finance, who handles monetary and financial policy, or the Minister for Health, who handles
healthcare, or the Minister for Magic, who doesn’t listen to Dumbledore and puts the
entire wizarding world at risk because he’s so damn stubborn. That last one also might not be true. but you get the point. Judicial power, which is the power to hear
cases and interpret laws, is held by The Courts of Ireland, whose highest court is the Supreme
Court. The Supreme Court has the power to declare
laws unconstitutional and strike them down. Ok, thanks Mr Engineering, I’m back. So what does all of this have to do with drug
legalization? Well, in 1977, the Parliament used its legislative
powers to pass the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act. The act basically said that that it was illegal
to use or possess certain drugs, and then it listed those drugs. So it said, like, “hey guys, you can’t
do heroin,” “also you can’t do cocaine,” “also you can’t use cannabis,” and so
on and so on until it listed every drug you couldn’t do. I know what you’re thinking—total buzzkill. But the thing is, drugs are like Spider-Man
reboots—there’s a new one pretty much every week. So, the Parliament included a section in the
law that said, “The Government may by order declare any substance, product or preparation
to be a controlled drug for the purposes of this act.” Basically, that meant that The Government—that
cabinet of ministers—could add stuff to list of illegal drugs whenever they wanted. Therefore, for years, from 1977 until 2015,
the Government kept adding news drugs to the list. Drugs like crystal meth, ecstasy, and ketamine—all
of them got put on the list. And everything went fine until April of 2012,
when a guy named Stanislav Bederev, was caught possessing the drug “methylcathinone,”
which had recently been added to the list of controlled substances and he decided to
go with an interesting legal defense. Instead of arguing that he didn’t do it,
Bederev said, “Actually, I did have methylcathinone, but it doesn’t matter, because the law that
says this drug is illegal is unconstitutional,” which sounds like the type of defense you
would give if you were high on methylcathinone, but it turns out, he was right. So why was he right? Well, the Government—that group of 15 ministers
who had added methylcathinone, along with a bunch of other drugs, to that list—only
has executive power, not legislative power. They have the power to enforce laws, but not
to make them. What the Irish Court of Appeals said was that
every time a drug got added to that list, it was basically The Government making a new
law—which they aren’t allowed to do—because only Parliament can make laws. So, the Court said that every single time
a drug had been added by The Government to the original 1977 list, it had been unconstitutional
which meant that every drug that had ever been added to the list was now legal. This is all how, for a single day in March
of 2015, crystal meth, mushrooms, ketamine, ecstasy, and over a hundred other drugs became
totally, 100% legal to possess and use. The Irish Parliament tried to fix it, but
they could only act so fast. The decision was made on a Tuesday, and even
though the Parliament immediately passed a new law making all the drugs illegal again,
the law didn’t go into effect until Thursday which meant that meant that for Wednesday,
March 11, 2015, if you were in Ireland, you could go full Scarface and there wouldn’t
be a thing anyone could do to stop you. Now, certain jobs require a lot of measuring
and mixing ingredients which requires a decent grasp of math. I’m talking about baking, of course. No matter what you do, you could probably
use a brush-up on your math skills which you might have learned decades ago in school. Brilliant’s Mathematical Fundamentals course
is a great way to do exactly this and then they have more and more advanced courses so
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to premium.

Copyright: Forever Less One Day


The origin of copyright law takes us back
to the 1710 and Queen Anne, the Monarch who had just overseen the Unification of England
and Scotland into then, brand-new Great Britain. Also on her busy schedule was the Statute
of Anne: the very first copyright law. It gave authors control over who could make copies
of their books or build on their work a limited time.
Later a group of rebellious colonists, thought the Statue of Anne was a good idea, and so
copy/pasted it into their own constitution giving congress the power:
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times
to Authors… the exclusive right to their respective Writings”.
Basically, copyright is a contract between authors and society: if you promise to make
more stuff, we promise not to copy it or build on it for 28 years.
Here’s an example from the modern day: let’s say you’re trying to be a director and you’re
looking for a project to get started. Harry Potter is a story you’d love to remake.
But since J. K. Rowling published ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone’ in the United States in 1998 it still
has copyright protection, so you can’t use it.
Instead you need find something from a long time ago, like, for example:
Star Wars: A New Hope! George Lucas released Star Wars: A New Hope
in 1977! That’s more than 28 years ago, So great! Get filming!
Alas, no. While Star Wars should have lost copyright
protection in 2005 it’s actually copyrighted until 2072!
That’s 95 years after publication, not 28! So you can’t use it unless Lucas lets you.
Why does his copyright last for ages? Well, as long as there has been copyright
there have been authors arguing that it’s too short.
And perhaps, they’re right. How’s a poor guy like George Lucas supposed turn a profit
in the mere 28 years between 1977 and 2005? There was only the first theatrical release
of ‘A New Hope’, And the theatrical re-released in 1978
and 1979 and 1981
and 1982 and then there was the 1982 VHS and Betamax
releases the 1984 broadcast television release
the 1985 Laser disc release the 1989 widescreen Laser disc release
the 1990 VHS re-release the 1992 widescreen VHS release
the 1993 Laserdisc re-release the 1995 VHS re-re-release
and the 1997 special edition theatrical release Han shot first, you bastard.
and the 1997 VHS special edition release and the 2004 DVD release
And now you, dear filmmaker, come along and want
make your own version of Star Wars:
a New Hope? For shame! That like stealing food right out of George’s
Lucas’ mouth. Four times Congress has agreed with authors
that the length of copyright is too short to turn a profit and so extended it:
First in 1831 from 28 years to 42 years, then again in 1909 to 56 years, in 1976 to the
lifetime of the author plus 50 years, and in1998 to the lifetime of the author plus
70 years. That’s a great deal for authors who have
already made stuff, but does it really help society get more movies and books?
It’s hard to imagine, for example, that Edgar Rice Burroughs started writing ‘A
Princess of Mars’ and ‘Tarzan’ in 1911 because the copyright laws had just been extended
and would not have done so otherwise. Or that J. K. Rowling, while living on benefits
in Scotland, was busy doing the math and wouldn’t have written Harry Potter if the copyright
protection was just for her whole life and not an additional seven decades thereafter.
Because, exactly who needs incentives after they’re dead? Dead is the point at which
literally no incentives in the whole universe can motivate you to write one more screenplay.
Because you’re dead. If you’re the kind of person who is only
motivated by plans that unravel after your demise, you’re either amazingly awesome
or deranged. But so what? So what if every kindergartner’s
macaroni artwork is protected by copyright for 175 years?
Why does it matter? Because the main beneficiaries of copyright
after death are not the authors, or society but companies. Companies like… Disney.
Remember all the good old Disney movies? Yeah, all of them came from works no longer
under copyright protection at the time. The whole of the Disney Empire and all the
childhood magic that it produces only exist because there was copyright free work for
Walt Disney – you know the guy who actually started the whole company – to rework and
update. But the corporate, Waltless Disney was the
big pusher of the 1998 life +70 years copyright extension. It made sure that no one could
make more popular versions of their movies in the same way they made a more popular version
of Alice in Wonderland. This near-infinite control subverts the whole
purpose of copyright which is to promote the creation of more books and movies, not to
give companies the power to stop people making new creative works based on the efforts on
their long-dead founders. New directors and authors need the freedom
to take what came before to remake and remix (romeo & juliet, emma). And they should be
able to use creative material from their own lifetime to do so, not just be limited to
the work of previous generations. At the turn of the century, George Lucas wrought
upon civilization a new word: anticipointment. The tremendous let-down that was the lazy,
bland, and soulless new trilogy. George Lucas’s was completely within his
rights to make those movies into the sterile, toy-marketing vehicles they were. He owned
Darth Vader and could tell the origin story as he wished – and that’s the only version
you’ll ever get to see. But, imagine for a moment, if copyright still
worked as first intended. In 2011 the whole of the original Star Wars
trilogy – all of its artwork, its characters, its music – would have left copyright protection
and been available to aspiring directors and writers to build upon and make their own versions
of. There would be a treasure trove of new Star
Wars stories for fans to enjoy. But as long as the current copyright laws
remain as they are, no living person will ever get to tell a Darth Vader story, or a
Harry Potter Story, or a Hobbit Story or any other story that matters to them, that the
author or, when after their death, their company, disagrees with.�

Political Liberalism, Indigenous Unreasonability and Post-liberal Democracy


[MUSIC PLAYING] Political liberalism,
inspired in this case by studies on the actual age
and multiple alternatives, leads us to ask whether
democratic cultures anchored in diverse civilization context
may generate multiple versions, different versions of the
just and stable society of free and equal citizens. Now, various ideal types
of democratic ethos then can be distinguished
if we bracket the points of convergence, and
if we focus instead on just two points of divergence. One being the idea of the
priority of rights over duties. And the other one being the
role of political conflict within a democratic politic. Now the idea of a priority
of subjective rights, rights as prerogatives of the single
individual against authority and potentially against the
whole political community, that idea runs against the grain
of most religious approaches to communal life. And the other point
of friction concerns the role of confiscation. Right-centered
democracies somehow institutionalize
Machiavelli’s reflections on the positive
role of conflict, of the conflict between
nobility and commoners in the Roman Republic. Now political cultures steeped
in Catholic, Muslim, Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu backgrounds,
even when they do prize pluralism– majority rule
but separation of powers– they do so with a kind
of instinctive aversion to conflict and
contestation, which gives a different pleasure
to the democratic ethos. So that provisionally,
the pluralization of the democratic ethos
must start from constraining four versions of it. The combination of an agonistic
and right-centered view of the democratic
process resonates only with a puritan version
of Christianity, in English-speaking
world mostly. However, agonistic
contestation could be combined, not with
the rights oriented– but with a duty-oriented
political culture, which emphasizes instead the
political mediation of conflict over jury-defined litigation. A mix that is found in all
forms of strong republicanism. Think of ancient Athens,
the Roman republic, Venice and the Floritan Republish
and the Puritan republic of Cromwell. On the– what I call
the [INAUDIBLE] side, so those who prize the
priority of duties, some democratic cultures
combine both aversion to conflict and the centrality
of duties, as the case might be with Islamic retributive
understanding of rights, the Confucian emphasis on
harmony as a normative concept, and with Buddhism. On the other hand, we also
have democratic regimes, fully democratic
regimes, that formally endorse the priority of rights. but do so with a strong aversion
to democratic contestation. I’m thinking here of
Italy’s formally Christian democratic-dominated polity
before Boskone came along. I’m thinking of political
[INAUDIBLE] Belgium and Switzerland, and Germany’s
practice of consultation. [INAUDIBLE] Now these four
editions that I just mentioned– so conjectural
arguments, an enriched notion of the democratic ethos,
decentering, though, to democratic ethos in
several local varieties, as well as the remedial model
of the multi-viable democratic polity altogether jointly
enable political liberalism to meet the challenge
of hyperpluralism. But let me go back to
my tripartite title that signals that my main point today
aims to be broader than that. Last year, Brexit and
the presidential election in this country
have made it evident that the most serious insidious
challenge for liberal democracy today comes, not from the
comprehensive conceptions of newly incoming
citizens, but from within. From a political resentment
that seeks representation and can carry the electoral day. These adjustments that
I mentioned earlier, they can do something. They can lead us some way
towards meeting the challenge of hyperpluralism. But are not enough to meet
the challenge of what I call indigenous unreasonability. Now, the challenge
of coming to terms with the partial reasonability
of new constituencies, the immigrant constituencies,
that difficulty pales by comparison with
the challenge of coping with the rise of what I call
indigenous unreasonability. Something that in
Europe, we begin to experience over 20 years
ago, back when the Berlusconi government still looked like
an anomaly to be laughed at. And my intention today is
to focus on what political liberalism as a paradigm
can tell us about this new phenomenon, and what can be
done to contain its effects . Normative political
philosophy, which is often bashed for it’s
propensity for ideal theory, today is called upon to perform
a much more modest task, namely damage assessment and control. And the first task is to
understand what the– why is political phenomena grouped
under the name of populism have in common with a move here
to this section on populism indigenous unreasonablity. Populism risks becoming
an umbrella term for many different things. And prominent
constitutionalists, I’m thinking here of Bruce
Ackerman, prefer not to use it. But I’m somewhat
confident that we can tame this extreme
diversity of manifestations and bring them to one
common denominator. Think of, by way of imagining
focusing on this variety, right-wing populism,
the kind of populist, both the National
Front in France, the UK Independence Party,
the Northern League in Italy, Dans Falkan party in Denmark,
the Sweden Democrats, the Finns party, primitively
called the true Finns, the Dutch party for freedom. The Belgium [? clubs ?]
plus Flemish interest party, then out [INAUDIBLE] Deutschland
and then Golden Dawn in Greece. And on the other hand, we
have left-wing populism. Think of Podemos in Spain
or Syriza in Greece. The five-star movement
in Italy, though there is much to be said for that. And the historical
Latin American examples of Peron, Chavez,
[? Barabas ?] would count as left-wing populism. Then we have appeals to the
people on the part ruling authoritarian figures. Think of Erdogan in Turkey,
or Orban in Hungary. And manifestations of what
I call muscular democracy, think of Prime Minister Modi– Modi’s decision in
India to withdraw what we use 501,000 rupees
notes from circulation on a four-hour notice, throwing
the country into utter chaos. Now, Rose’s pardon
directs our attention to one crucial
feature underlying these diverse manifestations. An indigenous
unreasonability arising from within native
constituencies that were previously integral to
the constitutional consensus, and unreasonability can
be understood, I claim, both from the point
of view of theory and from the common sense angle. And let me try to spell
out what I mean by that. It is easier to say, first
of all, what populism is not than to say what it is. It is not– it cannot be reduced
to the ideology of a specific social class embraced by
farmers and peasants in the 19th century in the US and Russia. Populism later
became the preserve of the lower-middle
class to resurface in the 21st century within
a despondent working class. Second, defining populism merely
as resentment against the elite or as anxiety vis-a-vis
downward mobility obscures the political core of populism. It just psychologizes it. Third, it is impossible
to associate populism with certain policies given the
variety orientations that is can assume, left wing,
right wing, and so on. Fourth, populism cannot be
understood as the preserve of a oppositional movements. Some of the lines of President
Trump’s inaugural address, reminiscent of President Chavez,
claim that with them in charge, the people rule, leave, in my
opinion, no doubt as to that. Quoting from him, We
are transferring power from Washington DC and giving
it back to you, the people. And then also, January 2017
will be remembered as the day the people became the
rulers of this nation again. Finally, populism cannot be
equated with the rejection of representative democracy
in favor of direct democracy. Often populist movements
do accept elections and representative institutions
in their effort to bring them from the corrupt elite. So although it may comprise
some of the above elements, populism consigns with
none of these features. Political liberalism, in its
core standard of reasonability, linked with public
reason, in my opinion, direct our attention to three
aspects of populism that together add up to
this common denominator that we are seeking,
which for brevity’s sake, I just call indigenous
unreasonability. And these three aspects
are the following. First, the people [? where ?]
democratic sovereign is conflated with the electorate
or with the actual voters, which in some cases, do
not go beyond 50% of those who have the right to vote, and
the electorate with the nation. Second, as the
embodiment of the people, the electorate is attributed
constituent power. And third, only one
legitimate interpretation of the common good
is deemed to exist. All different opinions being
detrimental to the people and to its democratic life. The burdens of judgment are
inoperative in populist reason. And so the liberation
is superfluous and is a vehicle of distraction. Let me briefly now illustrate
these three aspects of populist unreasonability. First, the first one,
people is the electorate, and the electorate
is the nation. Now the people is
a crucial element of all democratic order. We just need to recall the
reference to we, the people, in the preamble of the
Constitution, the US Constitution. Or the Lincolnian government
of the people, by the people, for the people, which
also appears in Article II of the French Constitution. The difference of these
references to the people, the difference with the populist
understanding of the people, lies in how we, to
use Claude Lefort’s famous expression,
how we extract the people from the people. Or actually tell who among
all the persons residing within a given political
space, the people truly is. Now populist forces provide
three oversimplified responses to the difficulty of
identifying the actual people. The first
oversimplification consists of seeing the people as a
homogeneous, or really just trivially differentiated,
social entity once the corrupted,
self-serving, predatory oligarchies have been removed. The second
simplification consists of understanding all the
institutional segments of democratic polity
as corrupt bodies in the hands of the
elites and standing in the way of the
empowerment of the people. And the third
simplification consists of understanding the unity of
the people as grounded, not so much in the quality
of social relations– think of Rawls’ famous
expression, the idea of society is a union of social unions. But understanding the people
instead as an identity, shared in opposition to
the identify of others. Now, if the electorate
is the people, then populism tends to
produce messianic expectations around every electoral round. Elections are no longer the
test for the public approval of alternative policy platforms. But they are showdowns where the
corrupt politicians are finally ousted by those who
represent the people. And again, President Trump’s
inaugural address, I think, can be taken to exemplify this
point if we read one passage. Washington flourished,
but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered,
but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment
protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have
not been your victories. Their triumphs have
not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated
in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate
for threatened families all across our land. That change is starting
right here and right now because this moment
is your moment. It belongs to you. Now, not only the
presentification of the people, as the current electoral
body annihilates the historical depth
of the people, which spans in this case over
two centimeters and more, but it centralizes the
people as the nation. This marks the difference
between mainstream modists, as a jargon they’re
called, theories of parliamentary supremacy,
majority type approaches to the democracy, or so-called
political constitutionalism. Thinking of Richard
[? Bellham, ?] and populism proper. So President Trump’s
electoral slogan significantly was Make America
great again, not make the United States great again. And similarly in France. And in Italy, the rhetoric
of the National Front, or the Northern League,
is all about the defense of the nation. Marine Le Pen frames her
presidential platform [FRENCH].. Put France back in order
in the name of the people. But already 20 years before,
20 years earlier, her father’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, version
of the National Front called for a [INAUDIBLE],, French First
in the allocation of jobs, housing, and social welfare. So from the standpoint
of public liberalism, unreasonable is this reduction
of the people to the electorate because it overlooks three other
meanings of the expression, the people, that
completely disappear from the populist
notion of the people. So first, populism
casts out of sight. It obscures the
people as the author of the Constitution
over a time that spans from the initial framing
to the raised amendment. The people in the name of which
then adjudication is carried out and whose will
constitutional courts reconstruct in their arguments. Second, many populist
accounts fail to include the
participating people. The participating
people, those who are mobilized in social
movements, who strike, demonstrate, protest
through marches, sit-ins, and other activities. And who through voice,
so-called voice, contribute to the
shaping of public opinion in a public sphere. The five-star movement
in Italy goes some way towards including
Internet participants. But they reductively treat
their own rank-and-file as the only significant segment,
the only significant segment of the participating people. And they ignore all the rest. Third, the people
also designates– this expression also designates
what is called by [INAUDIBLE] the random people. Namely, the sum total of all
those who respond to polls run through random sampling. Their opinion counts very
much and exerts a lot of influence over contemporary
politics, as documented by a number of works
and political theory. And these three different
images of the people, so the number-based electorate,
the social people who mobilize, then the
people as a principle, those who stand behind the great
causes of the Constitution, and the regular people. They jointly form an antidote
to the poisonously simplistic notion of the people as the
present-day native, only native and national voters. The second aspect of populism–
impersonating the people, the electorate is the
protemporate consequent power. We should not equate the
rise in populist forces with the rise of
anti-democratic attitudes. Because differently than
forms of populism early in the 20th century,
present-day populism is not against democracy
but against liberalism. it worships majorities,
electoral majorities, but rejects all
checks and balances that contain majorities. And in a way, populism
revives an ancient split between liberalism
and democracy, which democratic theory of the
late 20th century, especially deliberative democracy, had
healed, as in the phrase, liberal-democracy. So post-democracy, the famous
term coined by Colin Crouch, is a kind of wrong
and misleading label. Populism is majoritarian
anti-liberalism or post-liberalism. Against the dualist
picture of democracy allocated by [? Ackerman ?]
and in a different way, by Rawls’ populism
is, instead, strongly modest and majoritarian. Because the electorate is the
people’s current incarnation, the Constitution is in
the electorate hands. What this means concretely is
the judicial branch, especially Constitutional Court, or
as supreme interpreter, of what the Constitution
says, should be in their view, in the view of
the populist view, responsive to the
orientation and ways of the thinking of the
majority of the electorate. In such understanding of the
relation of the Constitution to prevalent opinion, was
aired even in the Supreme Court itself in the dissenting opinion
of Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas in the case
of Obergefell in 2015. They, the dissenters,
pointed to the illegitimacy of five lawyers enacting
the wrong vision of marriage as a matter of
constitutional law and stealing this
issue from the people. In their view, the
court’s opinion amounted to the judicial
creation of a new right to send same-sex marriage,
allegedly dissenting from the equal protection clause
of the 14th Amendment, where the legislatures of more
than half the states elected by local majorities that add
up to a national majority, had pronounced themselves
against such right. That view is majoritarian
but not populist in the absence of the
other constitutive traits of populism. Now from the perspective
of political liberalism, this specific aspect
of populism erodes the institutional
anchoring of public reason in a supreme or constitutional
court as it is in roles, and confines reasonability
to an occasional virtue of political actors as single
persons or individuals. And this aspect
of populism can be considered also unreasonable. Not in the technical
sense, in the Rawls’ sense, but unreasonable in
the common sense, in the common sense
understanding of the term. Why? Because first, it violates
the common sense intuition that conceptual and
practical separation ought to exist between
any game that we play and the rules that
define the game. The idea that the
rules of the game could be changed in
the midst of a game, and by the players themselves
while they’re playing the game, is deeply counterintuitive
in my opinion. And yet, the notion of having
constitutional essentials modified, not by special
constitutional conventions, but by parliaments elected
in regular interest-driven campaigns, where this is
possible by the legal system, as the ruling parties
unsuccessfully tried to do recently in Italy,
in a referendum December last year. This view reflects this
unreasonable, anti-dualist conceptional of the
electorate as endowed with constituent’s power. Second, common sense way which
populism is unreasonable. The idea of constantly
reinterpreting the constitution essentials in light of the
orientations of the electorate is, to me, self-defeating. In legal order, where
the living constitutions that promptly adopts
the changing orientation of the majority of citizens is
no different from the polity of no constitution at all. Just the majority rules. Populism leads to an implicit
deconstitutionalization of our democratic polities. And the third sense in which
it is common sensically unreasonable is that,
distrustful though populist might be of constitutional
constraints on majorities, populist voices
will wish presumably to prevent their hard-won
results from being overturned by the first electoral setback. And the temptation to rewrite
the rules of the game so is very powerful. And it is hard to
imagine, however, that no diversity of emphasis
exists among populist forces. Would the framers of,
if it could exist, that populist constitution,
carve in marble just one passing version
of their ideas? Or would they not
aim at a constitution capable of accommodating a
slight diversity of emphases. Then they would be back
to imagining guarantees for plurality. And the elements of
unreasonability, in this case, lies in the unawareness
that one’s wish to make one’s political
values last over time, cannot be fulfilled unless the
notion of constitutionalism system of guarantees
for plurality is used, is resorted to. Then the third and final
feature all forms of populism is the rejection of pluralism. [? Evan ?] [? Crusthave ?]
has captured this aspect as the view that society
falls into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, the
people as such and the corrupt elite. Now inverting Gaetano
Mosca’s and Vilfredo Pareto’s and Roberto Michel’s theory
of elites, according to which, this early theories of
the early-20th century, according to which, constants
across diverse political regimes is only and always
the vertical division between an organized
minority rulers and an unorganized silent
majority of people who are variously taken advantage of. And that the principles
of legitimation through which a political
class or ruling elite demands compliance, which is rhetorical
devices, for securing obedience on the part
of the forgotten man. Against that
background, populist forces trying to mobilize
the root the majority against the ruling elite. And in such use of elections for
punishing the political class, the protagonist is almost
invariably and imaginary [? we ?] taken advantage
of by his loyal elites and [? equally ?] his loyal
outsiders, immigrants, minorities, and so on. Distinctive of this anti-liberal
but not antidemocratic, in my opinion, populism, is
a rejection of pluralism, or a belief in what I
call justified tolerance. Populism presupposes not
only like nonpopulist deliberative democracy,
the existence of a noble common good
about which deliberation is [? torts. ?] But also there is only one
and only one proper common good to be discerned
by authentic people. And hence, there
can be no such thing as a legitimate opposition. As one of the most insightful
commentators on populism, Jan-Werner Muller points
out, often populism harps on the resilient
theme of the will of all not being the same as
the true general will, in order to question the
results of regular elections. Examples are Orban
in Hungary, Obrador in Mexico, 2006, and also
Berlusconi, again 2006, but he lost the elections. All of them challenged
the electoral results, though in the end,
they bowed to legality. Justified intolerance
derived from a rejection of the brilliance of judgment
and the epistemic humility that is mandated by them,
explains another aspect of the populist
outlook, impatience with internal dissent. The leader and chief reaches out
directly to the rank and file, and there is less collegiality
in decision-making and a small number of
intermediate organization layers between the rank and
file and the leader in chief. Thus democracy, seen
from the populist angle, is no longer an arena where
alternative elites compete for election, like
in [INAUDIBLE],, or where different
platforms for policy are debated, but morphs
into a public space where one political actor is
blessed by electoral success because it supposedly
represents the true people, or the nation’s vision
of the common good. And populism in this sense
is a curious flip side of democratic neoliberalism. Because both reduce the
plurality of opposition to one right take, one
right interpretation of the popular will, in
the case of populism, or one right technical
solution that eliminates the space for
reasonable disagreement, as Margaret Thatcher
would put it. TINA, there is no alternative. They both concur in this
rejection of pluralism. Now, damage assessments. If we accept this
outline of what populism is all about in
its diverse forms, then another thing that we can
draw from political liberalism, and also from Habermas’ version
of deliberative democracy, is a standard for assessing
the amount of damage that this phenomenon
has inflicted onto democratic polities. Both paradigms, the Rawls’
and the Habermas’, share a distinction between
an institutional core of the polity, the
public forum for Rawls and strong [? publics ?]
for Habermas, where legislative and
administrative and judicial decision binding
for all are made, and then a broader and
less-structured domain, the background culture. For Rawls, the public’s fear. For Habermas, where
deliberative exchanges take place and public
opinion is formed. And then this outer space, outer
sphere, less stringent criteria of propriety apply. For Rawls, the standards of
public reason are suspended. Actors are entitled to advocate
their comprehensive conception over competing ones. And for both
[INAUDIBLE],, certain requires dispositions,
however, must be presupposed in order for
the informal public sphere not to be disruptive of
the democratic process. For Rawls, the epistemic
humility generated by the acceptance of the
prudence of judgment, tolerance, the
virtue of civility must be assumed for the
background culture to work. And for Habermas, what
qualifies a public space as a public sphere is a kind
of disinterested interrogation, honest interrogation on the part
of the participants concerning the best answer to be given. Now, in context, where populist
anti-liberalism instead has come to prevail,
these attitudes are the first to fade away. We can then distinguish, using
these two paradigms, two cases of diverse reality, so to
speak, in feeble democracies and post-liberal democracies. In feebled democracies,
weakened democracies, are those where
populist-justified intolerance has only infected the outer
circle, the public sphere or the background culture. The actors, then, no
longer relate to one another as fellow
inhabitants of a space of reasons, who deliberate
about what is best for them. About policies to be
pursued, the way institutions function, or any issue
of common interest. They rather relate
to one another as members of
opposite fan clubs. They exchange insults,
derogatory terms of address, and hardly exchange anything
that resembles reason. When this happens,
the public sphere degenerates into a
mere public space. This is a distinction
between a public sphere and a public space, which
I owe to a friend of mine, a fellow political theorist,
Walter [INAUDIBLE] from Italy. In a mere public space
like the stadium is. Think of the stadium. The stadium is certainly
not a private place. It’s a public space,
but where publics only cheer their favorite teams,
and never cross their divides. Their communicative acts
are only expression and vent often intolerance of each
other, at each other. Now one of the most
poisonous fruits of the populist
style of government is the polarization of
society to such an extent that opposite camps clash,
no longer on policy, on political values,
of different views about the implication
of rights, but question each other’s status as
legitimate contender in the democratic arena. The charisma of populist
leaders may wane over time, so it happened with
Berlusconi in my own country, but their poisonous
style lingers on. And it is difficult for
constituencies now used to smearing their opponents
as undignified enemies, to ever backtrack into
exchanging reasons with them. So political adversaries can
easily turn into enemies, but enemies rarely
revert to being mutually recognizing adversaries. That’s the– it’s the single
most severe damage inflicted to [INAUDIBLE] governments
between 1994 and 2011. Communism, long gone
as a political movement of any substance
after 1989, was still used in electoral campaigns
as a term for de-legitimizing the Democratic Party,
eventually headed by [? Grandsy, ?] as an
enemy of freedom, as though Communism still existed. Polities where this
degeneration effects primarily the public sphere, but
the public forum somehow continues to function according
to standards of propriety, civility, and reasonableness,
can be described as enfeebled democracies. Post-liberal
democracies, instead, are regimes in which
indigenous unreasonability has infected the public forum. Through the demise of civility,
principled intolerance, factionalism, the demonization
of political adversaries. Usually parliaments
are affected first. Because of their elected
nature and direct contact through the electoral
campaign with the moods and feelings of public opinion. But once parliaments are
filled with elected supporters of populism, it is a short step
before they nominate populists and government plots where this
is possible in parliamentary, democracies, for instance. And the last institution
to be reached, on account on it’s
mostly not-elected mode of recruitment,
is the judiciary, with the exception
of Venezuela now, which is a matter for
rethinking this theory. This process takes place
by way of a deep change in style in the operation
of the public forum. What [INAUDIBLE] has called
a democracy of interaction slowly shrinks to a
democracy of authorization. In post-liberal democracies,
an executive branch that inspires indeed
to being unbound, to use the expression of Posner
and Vermeule, in their book The Executive Unbound, after
the Madisonian Republic, an executive branch that aspires
to being unbound on account of its superior ability,
relative to the legislative and judicial branches, to
keep abreast of events, to master a comprehensive
view of the situation, to envisage and carry out
rapid response measures, tries to bypass such
unbound executive. All interaction with the other
segments of the public forum and with significant
intermediate plaudits of civil society. It’s aim of the
executive unbound is to free itself
from these factors, unfold it’s action above
them, obtain tangible results, and then reach out directly
to the electorate in search for acclamatory confirmation
at the next elections. As Waldron, Jeremy Waldron,
has been keen on emphasizing, the unbound executive does
not, as in the totalian regimes of the past, aims at suspending
democratic elections, but rather turning
them [INAUDIBLE] into a showdown between
enthusiastic supporters of the action of government and
defeatist, nostalgic, corrupt defenders of the views that
are contrary to the best interests of the nation. The preferred style then,
is what Bruce Ackerman has called government by emergency. The post-liberal executive
tries to cast itself as the savior of the national
interest in some security or economic emergency,
either of the two, in a [INAUDIBLE] direct
dialogue with the electorate and the public of polls. Accountability
seizes to be then, in post-liberal democracies, a
matter of checks and balances, and degenerates into
plebiscitarian mass approval. Concluding, how can
liberal democracy respond to this challenge? And we still have to see the
results of the French elections in a couple weeks from now. Not simply by
seeking to entrench constitutionalism as we know it. I think the populist upsurge
is a dubious response to real problems. We need to explore its
causes, not only the symptom. And two of its plausible
causes, are, in my opinion, the exponential growth of
inequality in all advanced and emerging economies. And b, what I call the
new absolute power, that these embedded
financial markets exert on democratic
national legislatures. We need to explore those causes. We live in societies where
an increasing proportion of profits originates
from financial gains, not from manufacture or service. Nothing is produced. In 2010, 40% of all
profits in the US came from finance, so
Stiglitz in an article of his. And this is an expanding trend. There’s also
another famous book, Profiting without Producing. During this momentous
transformation towards financialization,
the value of labor is constantly being diminishing,
as the share of the GNP that can be brought
back to labor. And the impact of this
process jointly called by the technical
rationalization, and by the geopolitical
[INAUDIBLE] of the global labor
market, goes well beyond the economic sphere. And it becomes flexible,
precarious, underpaid, subcontracted, and outsourced
wage labor also becomes increasingly de-unionized
and loses the capacity to attract consensus. And this development massively
impacts the electoral fortunes everywhere of the
parties that historically have represented labor. And opens opportunity
windows for the indigenous unreasonability
of public leaders. At the same time, a deep turn
toward inequality has occurred. Not only the income and wealth
of the top 1% of the population has reached spectacular
levels in comparable to the everyday reality
of everybody else, as the social movements claiming
to represent the 99% testify, but a deep restructuring
of the basis of inequality has been underway. This new inequality, based
on financial [? writ, ?] rather than profits from
productive activities has profound implications
for democracy. And as Thomas Piketty
has eloquently put it in his book, Capital in
21st Century, when the rates– and I’m quoting from him–when
the rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the
growth rate of the economy, then it logically follows that
inherited wealth grows faster than output and income. Under such conditions,
inherited wealth will dominate wealth amassed
from a lifetime’s labor by a wide margin. And a concentration
of capital will attain extremely high levels. Levels potentially incompatible
with the meritocratic policies and principles of social justice
fundamental to modern society. Furthermore, financial activity
has become ever more disjointed from the measurable
and material bench work, any measurable
and material benchmark in the real world. And since three decades,
finance produces profits no longer through
facilitating investment, as has been traditional
in the case, but through speculation
of markets, which are global, disembanded
from any national or regional or industry context,
and increasingly virtual. And this is a further step
towards the disembandment trend explored by Polanyi in
The Great Transformation. So ironically, this is
kind of basis of populism, the elusive,
philosophical chimera of the view from nowhere has
finally incarnated itself in this markets and firms this
amendment from three things. From territorially based
resources and manufacturing processes; b, from corporate
social responsibility towards any locally
situated stakeholder; and c, from tangible and
verifiable fundamentals linked to the value of
commodities, assets, stocks, market shares, and so on. The negative effects of
this tribal disembandment for democracy are compounded
by the volatility induced by lack of transparency and by
the sheer quantitative volume of the markets. The aggregate value of the
equities and derivatives being exchanged
on the gold market has been calculated
by the International Bank of Settlements based
in Basil to far exceed any material
counterpart represented by material assets, real estate,
commodities, in the order of– in the data of 2013– in
the order of $693 trillion, the total amount of
this financial equities, relative to a global GNP that
ranges between $50 and $60 trillion, so nearly 14 times. The rise, now, of
indigenous unreasonability must be understood against the
background of this situation and the concomitant
resurgence of a new kind of absolute power. The markets, once
limited and subjected to the absolute
power of the kings, before liberal
constitutionalism, now wield an absolute power
over the democratic polities. One may object to this
thesis of the absolute power of financial markets. The markets are
constantly immersed in a web of
regulatory provisions. Some of statutory form,
others in the form of guidelines, regulations,
benchmarks, and so on. But the law itself is often– especially statutory law made in
parliaments formed in elections influenced by
corporate contributions and media, the law itself is
often drafted in anticipation of what the markets, including
crypto-actors, such as rating agencies, or
serio-economic actors, such as sovereign funds, will
like and are willing to accept. In this sense, one
could say markets influence lawmaking more
than law influences markets. And therein, in my opinion, lays
the late-modern absoluteness of their power. In an ironic replica of
the relation of parliaments to kings, before liberal
constitutionalism, in the 21st century, governments
and parliaments often aim and wink the approval of
the markets, or staying off their disapproval, because
the key to electoral survival is the ability of one
party or coalition to ensure prosperity,
or at least avoid financial downturns. Just as absolute monarchs could
rejects parliamentary lawmaking dissolve or convene
parliaments– think of the tension
between the Stuart monarchy and the Westminster parliament
of the 17th century, so today’s markets
have the power to withdraw legitimacy
from democratic lawmaking by way of controlling
prosperity. The prosperity around which the
democratic electoral contest is fought. Seven governments in Europe
have been brought down by the pressure of the markets
in the wake of the 2008 crisis. First in Portugal, 2009, then
Spain, [INAUDIBLE],, 2011. Then Greece, Ireland,
and Iceland, 2009. And Italy, 2011. And Latvia, 2011, as well. Now, why am I going over this? Because I think that no taming
of the populist upsurge can be envisaged unless
rampant inequality and the absolute power of these
embedded financial markets are offered some kind
of remedy alternative to protectionist culture. Instead, center-left
progressive parties have often flirted with the
market’s absolute power, promising to tame it in the
general interest, while, in fact, failing to represent
those most exposed to it, and thus, opening a
window of opportunity for indigenous unreasonable
parties and movements that advocate national culture. This is the moment
of truth that we need to confront in the
narrative of the forgotten man. The prospect for reclaiming
liberal democracy, as opposed to
populist democracy, is linked with the ability to
offer an alternative response. And let me end on just
one thought and respect. Outlining such
alternative response depends, in my opinion,
on jettisoning two dogmas of progressive thinking. The stigma and these two dogmas
are the stigma of consumption, and second, mistrust of the law. Many radical democratic
critical theorists consider law the
[? locus ?] impropagator of the strategic
habitus, detrimental to social integration,
and understand so-called juridification
as one of the main causes for widespread depolitization. They overlook the fact
that law has the advantage. Crucial in our contest
of not presupposing collective subjects
share narratives and memory in the
way politics does. Law may presuppose
some of these things when it is enacted by
legislative assemblies composed of parties and
electoral competition. But not when it
functions as common law or when it is enforced. Furthermore, one social
economic function that has escaped
fragmentation and has remained truly universal,
though not highly regarded in critical
circles, is consumption. Broadly understated. Not consumerism. But– which is a cultural
degeneration of this, but the function of consumption. We participate in
social production in various capacities that
are difficult, notoriously, to reconcile in and
antihegemony project. But we are all consumers. And in such role, we all face
the alienating experience of being a
dispensable item, just one individual person confronted
with enormous economic forces. Private sector companies,
utility companies, insurance companies,
telecommunication companies, and other times regulatory
agencies, rating agencies, banks, all these that
dictate rules all which we have virtually no influence. Now consumer protection
has been constitutionalized in the European Union. Article 38 of the charter
of fundamental rights of the European Union,
now we include it in the Lisbon Treaty,
provides for a high level of consumer protection. Whereas anti-trust
legislation is an application of the principle of
equality in the sphere of economic relations
among major market players, the aim of this
article, article 38, is to bridge the gap between the
influence of the great market players and the single,
atomized consumer without falling back
into the regressive utopia of the abolishing
of the market. Now, nothing prevents
liberal Democrats, I think, from injecting a
strong, normative content substance into
consumer protection through class action. And from understanding
class action, especially legal systems
that supplement it with punitive damages,
not all of them do, is the implementation of the
strong principle of equality, that forces the market
to truly vindicate the premise of the equal
standing of the contracting parties. Nothing prevents liberal
democratic theorists from bringing class action
and punitive damages a new twist, capable of
representing that desired third course between populist
neonationalist closure and new liberal globalism. Nothing accepts our traditional
image of class-based resistance to manufacturing against
manufacturing capitalism, except that traditional
image prevent us from turning class action
into a flexible tool capable of affirming
the value of equality. And nothing but prejudice
against consumption prevents us from
understanding this universal social and economic relation
as a terrain of contestation. Where at stake, precisely like
when [INAUDIBLE] exploitation held center stage,
where at stake is nothing less than the
principle of equality. Equal protection
of the laws needs to acquire a new meaning beyond
racial and gender equality. One connected with equality
opportunity in the market. Now consider financial prime
movers as rating agencies. Standard and Poor, Fitch,
Moody’s among others, all purport to
sell their capacity for reliable assessment of
the prospects of institutions, banks, governments,
and financial products. But they often
effect the reality that they claim to
observe and analyze. Standard and Poor
famously downgraded the US sovereign credit
rating in April of 2011, a controversial decision given
that the other agencies didn’t concur. And also, Standard
and Poor downgraded Spain in October 2012 and bashed
the so-called Euro bonds yet to be issued by the
Central European Bank. They bashed them as trash
before they existed. So hardly an observation. And finally, in the
aftermath of Brexit, Standard and Poor downgraded
the credit rating of UK. An example now of class
action led by local government comes from Australia. An eight-year legal
battle between the city of Swan in Western Australia
and Standard and Poo over misleading conduct in
the handling of ratings prior and during the collapse
of Lehman Brothers. It involved a
group of 92 members led by the city of Swan,
[INAUDIBLE] in New South Wales. And among these claimants were
investors, councils, churches, and charities. Democracy is incompatible
with impunity, and impunity is the prime
feature of absolute power. The reclaiming of democracy
for democratic citizenry begins, I think, with holding
these and other actors, accountable. These and other actors like
[INAUDIBLE],, for instance, accountable through
government-sponsored class actions combined,
where possible, with punitive damages. Government-sponsored
class action aimed at compensating
citizens unduly damaged by so-called
ratings that [INAUDIBLE].. Now, one could dismiss
these lawsuits as internal to the logic of an instrumental
use of the law subservient to the new liberal hegemony
credo, but burden of proof, I think, is on radical
new marks as critics to show that under present
conditions of hyperpluralism, of flexibilization of
work, of fragmentation of social classes, and of
lack of [INAUDIBLE] hegemony comprehensive vision,
understandably absent in times of post-metaphysical thinking. Under all these
conditions, it is possible to oppose
financial as capitalism more effectively through
traditional street demonstrations,
petitions, strikes, press campaigns, and so on. Until their case is convincingly
made, the demand for protection need not be left in the
hands of Pablo’s forces, but may take a form very
different from legislation enacted in the wake of
classical protest movements. Namely, it could take the
form of successfully argued legal cases that proceed from
the global constitution’s human rights and from
interlocking court judgments. In the end, the
growth of indigenous unreasonability
has not yet culled, I think, the democratical
rise in question. It has subverted
important aspects of it, and constitutes certainly a
new inhospitable condition with which democratic
regimes must reckon in our historical context. And liberal democracy, however,
cannot be globally rescued unless this new inhospitable
conditions for democracy are addressed in an efficacious way. And unless equal
protection of the laws is reinterpreted as a third
course between the central left complacent acquiescence
to neoliberalism, and on the other hand,
the populist promise of remedial closure
against globalization. Thank you for your attention.

Law & Order: SVU – Barba Is Our Hero (Episode Highlight)


– Are you ready
to proceed, Mr. Barba? – I am. [sighs] Mr. Platt… did you assault Martha Cobb
with a cardboard tube? – Absolutely not. – Why should we believe you? – What? – It’s a very simple question. Why should we believe you? – Because I’m giving you
my word under oath. – That’s all you got? Because, in my humble opinion, most of the people
in this courtroom think your word is garbage… that you don’t possess an ounce of principle or virtue.
– [chuckles] Yeah, well, most people
are blind and stupid. [soft dramatic music] ♪ – The People are unable
to prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that Justin Vichinsky sexually assaulted Martha Cobb. Accordingly, I move to dismiss
the indictment. – The defense joins
in this motion. – Uh, this is highly unusual,
Mr. Barba. Are you sure that’s
what you want to do? – I am sure that
the perpetrator of this crime will never be known
to a legal certainty. – I appreciate your candor. Very few prosecutors would have
the courage to make this call. The case is dismissed. [cheers and applause] – [quietly] What?
Wow. – We all knew
that Martha Cobb

Dr. Ben Carson Sent Rep. Katie Porter a Box of Oreos


-You were previously
a professor, you were a consumer protection
attorney, and you actually had —
when you were a student, you had Elizabeth Warren
as a professor. -Correct.
-What was Elizabeth Warren like as a professor?
-Terrifying. -Yeah.
-Yeah. So, I remember — My most
distinct memory is — I was a really good student,
and I was a teacher’s pet, so I sat in the front row,
I did all the homework, and multiple highlighters
were involved. One day, she asked a question,
and I had done the reading, so I put my hand in the air,
and she said, “Ms. Porter?” And I gave a great answer. Really.
-Yeah. I believe you. -And she said —
-You’re very convincing. -You shouldn’t ’cause she said,
“Come on, Ms. Porter! Think! Think!” And I remember wanting to cry
’cause I was thinking. I was thinking as hard as I
could, and I was just so wrong. But one of the things
Elizabeth taught me is to always go back
to those students who don’t get the answer right and to always believe that
people can learn, and I really tried this in
Committee. No matter how bad
the witness is, I try to believe that they can actually
know something about the subject
they’re testifying about. -That is sometimes very
challenging. You have come to a lot of
people’s attention — ours included — for being a very good questioner
of witnesses. Oftentimes, they are confused by
very simple questions. Is that a safe thing to say?
-Yeah. Some of them they’re —
like with Mr. Carson. -Yeah, Mr. Ben Carson. This is Dr. Ben Carson,
I should say, and he is running HUD, and you asked him a pretty
simple question someone who runs that
should know. Let’s take a look at his answer. -I’d also like you to get back
to me, if you don’t mind, to explain the disparity
in REO rates. Do you know what an REO is? -An Oreo?
-R — No, not an Oreo. An R-E-O. R-E-O. -Real Estate… -What’s the “O” stand for? -The organization. -“Owned.”
Real estate owned. [ Laughter ] -Now, in those moments… I should point out,
he is also a brain surgeon. He literally is a brain surgeon. …do you think to yourself,
“Oh, I can’t believe this”? -Well, I mean, I think with him,
there’s a preview to that where I started off asking about the interest rate
penalty differential between FHA and other servicers, and that didn’t really
go that well, so I was trying to walk it down,
and it was… That’s we said he got that look.
-Yeah. -That look that students give
you when they just have no idea. -Yeah.
-Maybe kind of like the look I gave to Elizabeth Warren.
-[ Laughs ] -So I was like, you know,
“REOs. You do know what –” -Do you think he had a moment of
excitement of like, “Oreos? I know that.”
[ Laughter ] -I don’t know.
But you know, he tried — At some point later,
he tried to say, “Well,
I didn’t really say Oreo.” He actually sent Oreos
to my office… -Yeah.
-…an hour after the hearing, and I was so frustrated because
what I want in these hearings is I want answers.
I don’t want cookies. I know how to find my way to
7-11 like everybody else. [ Laughter ] I just really want answers.

CAREERS IN BA POLITICAL SCIENCE – MA,P.hD,Politics,Civil Service, UPSC,NET,Job Opportunities


Hi guys..This is Pooja from Freshersworld.com Welcome to our video channel in jobs and careers Today I will be talking about the career opportunities in B.A in Political science Bachelor in political science is the study
of the social science that includes, government systems and its critical analysis, observations
of the political interactions, research over general principles on the political works.
The study of a country’s political activities and behavior. It consists of theory in Political
and social grounds and practical application of the same. The degree would be achieved upon the completion
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or PhD degree. The BA degree of political science opens the
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a fresher the pay would increase with the growth in his experience. Their Salary can
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vast opportunities of job openings in India we will get back to you with such more videos so stay connected with us do not forget to hit the subscribe button below

Justice Scalia Confused About 14th Amendment’s Meaning – Political Maniacs


justice scalia says that the Fourteenth
Amendment protects all races not only the blacks the blacks great trees that were so no from affirmative
action voting rights protections anything he deems racial entitlements
high court’s least inhibiting conservative was at it again this week during oral arguments in the case
advocates for minorities they’re challenging michigan’s
voter-approved ban on a per action in college admissions case res the pre
court after a federal appeals court held that the band pilot working amendment equal protection
guarantee in that prevents minorities for lobbying for racial preferences with
other groups can lobby for their favorite programs lawyer Charles the ban arguing that the
original goal the 14th amendment was to protect minority rights against a
white majority scalia beg to differ he was quoted as
saying my goodness I thought we how that the Fourteenth Amendment
protects all races I mean knows the artery in the early years that
are protected only only the blacks I thought the rejected that you say now
that we have to proceed as those purposes do not protect rights only to protect
minorities here’s why is so crazy how a little
history lesson for you forty though it was approved just three
years after the end of the Civil War it was definitely about protecting the rights of former
slaves who is not made any secret of his view that countries all done with that
racism stuff but in reality I think we all know that
the country is not done Richard what do you think about school year first and the
Fourteenth Amendments Act well and Holland earlier army is as you know he’s the far Bihar Jorge
Blanco the United in court arm and he’s deep in right
field biondi in right field home and no we this is
nothing new coming from him as a surprise me coming from him I’ll buy I think a
40-minute home 8.0 me know where he is rated when
does protect minorities on it does protect the last equal
protection under the law for all classes the people on whether that’s you know we see the
don’t mind also like that all but don’t get me wrong
just because we have this additional amendment that says that the protection
doesn’t really mean that racism is now over because raw legally protected is still laws that are
uniquely racist I’ll name you a couple the Stand Your Ground law arm though all
the new Voter ID law is happening all across the country racial profile of that promote racial
profiling the show me your papers law in Arizona I’m go on and on and on and on and on
about all these various laws but are uniquely racist and elected officials that are uniquely that are that have been than a big tree in their hearts why I
think that the point that you raise their that you
know this whole notion over the post-racial
society is the problem so if justice scalia actually believe that
really a post-racial society would he stop hearing cases about race an order discrimination in the wrestling
room maybe those cases and cease to exist that you really did nearly out of a job racism exactly
so it’s a really crazy there power

Seeing Issues with Self-Driving Cars


It’s been a long time since I’ve filmed
outside… or in my car. Though, according to some people I won’t
have to be sitting here for long. Which reminds me, I recently picked up a
large British audience because of a few videos I made, so let me uh… This should make them feel a little
more at home. And is oddly appropriate since this is what
many people think this is what the driver’s seat of a car might look like soon. No steering wheel, maybe just a HUD… it’s
pronounced HUD, Heads Up Display, not “hood.” And I won’t have to do anything more than
just sit here and sleep or… sing. Really, we don’t have an embarrassing shot
of me singing? But there are many problems and challenges
that self-driving cars must overcome first. When artificial intelligence, first started,
the designers thought to themselves: “Hmm, what’s the most difficult thing we can teach
a computer to do?” What answer did they come up with? Chess… and checkers and go, board games. But not just any board games, these are games
for super nerds, so if they can beat super nerds, they must be really smart. Turns out, while these games may be hard for
you, they’re really easy for a computer. Like laughably easy. Deep Blue beat the beat the best human chess
master in 1997. That was well before most of you had internet,
if you were lucky enough to have internet, it was still dialup and you hoarded those AOL CDs
with thousands of hours. The game checkers was declared officially
dead in 2007, because a computer had memorized every possible game situation, all 5 times
10 to the 20 positions. In 2015, Chess was likewise solved. And in 2016, a computer beat the second best international Go player… Board games are easy. You input the rules, maybe let it watch a
few thousand games, and that’s it. It doesn’t require any motor functions or
sensory input. So what people didn’t see coming was how
difficult it is to get a computer to see. Seeing requires much more than just photon
receptors. That’s why you have an entire lobe, roughly
20% of your brain, dedicated to it. Colors are relatively simple and not all that
difficult for a computer to figure out… so they won’t be the focus of this video
– but I’m… building to it. Shapes are also relatively easy but edge detection
is not. So when a computer sees an image like this,
it sees a bunch of colors and shapes. But it has no idea what any of it means and
can’t tell the objects from the background. Is this an object? Is this an object? Is this all one object with multiple colors? But you can see it, easily. And without having to think about it. Because, one of the primary purposes of Area
V1, also known as BA17, is edge detection. It’s one of the first things that the brain
does with visual information. This problem has been mostly figured out,
but I’ll get to how in a bit. A problem that will never be solved though,
is how to teach a computer to see depth. It has no idea what is closer. This… or this. Again, you can, with little to no effort. When you see optical illusions like this,
you know something isn’t right, but a computer has no idea. First, let’s go through the monocular cues,
that is one eye, for depth perception. When you look at this picture, you see the
horizon. Your brain uses this as a major clue. The closer it is to the horizon, the further
away it usually is. And the higher up or down, the closer to you
it is. We also look for parallel lines which converge
the further away they are. Also the further away you look, the more atmospheric
haze there is, which makes things have less contrast and appear more blue than they should. But a more obvious monocular cue is relative
size, which is how big or small something is compared to something else that should
be similar… like in this illusion. They’re all the same size by the way, but
because of their positions they appear hilariously misproportioned. Or, my hands, one of them is bigger than the
other – not because I’m a freak, but because one is closer to the camera. Another obvious cue is occlusion, since my
right hand is obscuring the view of my left hand, it must be closer. Which was also the case with the cars. But that’s just how you do it with one eye. You don’t actually see this. Because you have two eyes, giving you binocular
vision… so you see this. The focus of your two eyes gives you depth
perception. Because of a fun little bit of math that your
eyes and brain calculate without your conscious awareness. The angle of your eyes is calculated when
you’re looking here… and when you’re looking here… and your brain essentially
does triangulation to figure out that this point is further away than this point. Granted, you don’t actually perceive this
blurry mess unless you take off your glasses during a 3D movie, but in real life your brain
cleans up the image a lot. While you may think that you see in 3D, you
actually only see in 2D and your brain creates a 3D space using that 2D information. And we’re not even going to get into the
motion cues because, we’ve already complicated things enough… and… I mean c’mon. Maybe that’ll be another video. All of these are things your brain does without
even thinking about it. Many of the monocular cues can be programmed
into a computer, but not all of them. And just like how your brain can be fooled
by various illusions, so can a computer, which is why a computer cannot rely entirely on
vision to determine depth or distance. It needs some sort of outside help. Many of you might have jumped to the idea
of GPS or satellite imagery. Unfortunately, GPS doesn’t provide you with
any images, and it doesn’t tell you where you are. It tells you where IT is, and your computer
makes its best guess on your location, which is usually only accurate within a few feet. Which doesn’t work when you’re talking
about piloting a one ton hunk of metal at 60 miles an hour. Satellite imagery also doesn’t work because
it isn’t live, which is pretty much what you need when navigating a busy street. And even if you somehow manage to fix that
problem you’ll never overcome weather, buildings, and trees and stuff. So a driverless car needs to use localized
vision, along with something else to perceive distance local to the car. Which we’ve actually had much longer than
we’ve had satellites. Echolocation, such as sonar or radar. Basically, it sends out a signal and based
on how long it takes for the signal to reflect off the object and return, it can figure out
how far away it is. The problem, is that this information is limited
and not quite how you see it in the movies. For an image like this, radar will return
an image like this – just like with visual information, it’s only two dimensional,
and will only tell you how far something is from transceiver at the level of the transceiver. So if it’s on the roof of your car, that’s
not very useful for looking for how far away another car’s bumper is. So have one on the bumper, obviously. That’s on top of the fact that it only tells
you how far away something is in that moment, and not what direction or how fast it’s
travelling. Which is made even more complicated when you
add in the fact that you are likewise moving. The technology to do that does exist and has been in use for sea and air travel for decades. But those are long range with far fewer vehicles
and little environmental obstruction. So okay, all of these are challenges that
have been or can be solved. So let’s look at some issues with vision
that have not yet been solved. What is this? Right, it’s a bicycle. What is this? It’s still a bicycle, c’mon. Okay, what is this? It’s still a bicycle, this isn’t rocket
science, it’s pretty easy. Yeah, for you. For a computer, it’s infinitely difficult. Object recognition is by far the hardest thing
to get a computer to do. Especially when you consider that 3D objects
look completely different in a 2D image from different angles, even in perfect conditions. You may remember this video from a few years
ago of a robot navigating around the world and interacting with objects. You probably mostly remember it because of
the jerk with the hockey stick. It’s all pretty impressive… as long as
you aren’t aware of the difficulties of getting a computer to see. You know what a cognitive psychologist sees
when they watch this video? A robot interacting with a bunch of QR codes. Those QR codes tell the robot what the object
is, it’s distance, and it’s orientation. Whether it’s a box or a door, if they want
the robot to interact with it, there are QR codes stamped all over it. Sorry for ruining the magic. What are you talking about? Computers are way good at recognizing things,
like how facebook recognizes me in all those pictures or all those snapchat filters. Yeah, I mean they’re good at faces, I’ll
give you that. But faces are pretty easy, there’s a pretty
standard pattern for those… your brain is wired to automatically think this is a face
– it’s not… it’s a chair And it’s not really like recognizing faces
is all that useful for driverless cars. Computers are getting better at recognizing
objects though, and you’re helping. Whether you’re playing Google Quickdraw,
or doing one of those annoying new Captcha images where you select all of the squares with a stop sign, you’re teaching computers how to see. You are helping our future machine overlords
recognize objects. However, even with all of this learning, it
still has to match what it sees with a previously learned template. It’s not, like you, able to figure out what
new objects are and what they mean on the fly. For example, say you come across this sign. It might only take you a second or two to
skim it over and realize that it doesn’t apply to you and continue driving. But a computer? The first thing it will recognize is the shape
– it sure looks like a stop sign. It’s red and white, just like a stop sign…
it has a little more to it than a stop sign but, just to be sure, I better stop… in
the middle of this street. That could cause an issue. Or perhaps this situation. Clearly, that’s a stop sign, but it’s
covered with a trash bag. Whatever internet traffic uplink it’s using
says there should be a stop sign here and there it is. But it… it’s partially covered with a
trash bag. Again, you can look at this situation and
quickly figure it out. You’re supposed to follow the temporary
green light and ignore the stop sign. But a computer, especially one that’s never
encountered this before, won’t be able to react as easily. Say the temporary light wasn’t there. Is a trash bag and some duct tape all it takes
to fool a self-driving car into ignoring the sign and just flying through? If so, you’re going to see a lot more teenage
pranks and youtube videos like this show up. And what about that detour sign? Your GPS says you should go straight. You might know that you can safely go straight,
but a computer sees the sign saying it must go right. Maybe there’s an obstruction ahead? These are all things that you can quickly
figure out. But a computer has to obey a set of rules
and when presented with something outside of its ruleset, it may not know how to react. Which is why I’m not very impressed when
people bring up Google’s self driving car that drove up and down the highway on its
own a few years ago. Driving on a highway is easy, all you have
to do is stay between the lines. There are very few dynamic situations, very
few unique situations, and relatively few challenges. It’s so easy a monkey could do it… actually,
it’s so easy a dog could do it. This isn’t a prank, this isn’t a joke,
this is an actual dog driving a car. There’s an entire channel dedicated to showing
various dogs learning how to drive cars, it’s not that hard. Obviously they’re on a track by themselves,
heavily supervised, but they are staying in the lines. It’s not that hard, and it’s not that
impressive. Highway driving is so easy you regularly completely
zone out and stop paying attention, and most of the time everything turns out okay. Not like in the city where you’re on constant
guard and see dynamic, unique situations all the time. Which brings us to the last major hurdle that
driverless cars must face. Once you’re able to get it to see properly
and understand what it sees, you then have to tell it what to do with that information. Let’s say you’re driving along and you
come across this situation. Again, you, as a human, can quickly figure
out the context of this situation, and probably wouldn’t stop. A computer, on the other hand, wouldn’t
know that this person was just about to turn right and get into the driver’s side door. According to this person’s current trajectory,
if the car doesn’t stop now, it’s gonna hit them. Does it assume that this person is fully aware
and acting safely or does it stop, possibly causing an accident with the car behind them? That’s a simple situation, a very simple
situation. Let’s say that the car is driving along
on a two lane road and realizes that it’s brakes are out. I don’t know, maybe a line got severed or
a wire shorted out, it doesn’t matter – it’s rare, but it’s not unheard of. Coming towards the car are two motorcyclists
who are dangerously riding side by side in both lanes. Your car must now choose who to hit. You, as a human, can freeze up, yell “Jesus
take the wheel!” and let physics decide who lives and who dies. A computer on the other hand, can’t. Not making a decision is a decision to do
nothing, which means that the car will hit one or both of them… which means that the
car decided to hit one or both of them. There is no scenario where the computer can
claim to have been so flustered that it couldn’t make a decision. It could decide to follow the law and strike
the person who was travelling in the incorrect lane, that’s one way to do it. Or, we can make the situation even more interesting
by pointing out that one rider is wearing a helmet and all their protective clothing,
while the other is simply wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Your car may decide that this person is more
likely to survive a collision – although very slimly more likely – and therefore
steer the car into that person. Which would paradoxically make it less safe
to be wearing a helmet. Or, we could point out this tree to the side. It could avoid hitting both riders and instead
elect to crash itself into the tree… just injuring you. You’ll likely survive while the riders probably
wouldn’t. But who is the car supposed to protect? You? The owner and operator? Or some bonehead Harley rider who wasn’t
obeying the law? Some might say that as the owner, the car’s
main directive should be to protect you and the passengers. While others might say it should protect as
many lives as possible. But given the choice, if there were cars on
the market that safeguarded all life and cars that just protected you and your passengers…
you might be more inclined to buy the one that places you and your family above others. Let’s pose another situation. Say you’re at an intersection, and your
car wants to make a right turn… but there’s a line of school children currently crossing
the street, all holding hands, single file. So you’re patiently waiting. But another car coming down the road, has
hit a patch of ice or has its brakes and steering go out, whatever, it doesn’t matter, the
point is that the car isn’t stopping and no longer has control. It’s also a self driving car, and using
magic, is alerting all other cars in the area about its situation. If your car is designed to only protect you,
it’ll probably sit tight… and force you to watch something so horrifying you’ll
never see the end of the therapy bills. If your car is designed to protect as many
lives as possible, it might pull forward into the intersection… stopping the car from
plowing through all those kids… but you’ll be t-boned and your possibility of walking
away from this accident is pretty low. These are the situations that driverless cars
will be forced to have to make decisions on, and they are incredibly tough decisions. Not to mention the fact that I’ve only given
you a small handful of the literal infinite amount of possible situations. I certainly don’t want to be the one writing
the ethical and moral codes for self driving cars… but someone has to… especially if
we ever want intersections to look like this. Where there are no traffic lights, all the
cars are driverless and are simply communicating with each other with hyper efficiency. And it’s absolutely impossible. First of all, it requires that every single
car on the road be self-driving. If there’s even one manually driven car,
game over. Which then also means that your car must be
self-driving all the time. If you have the ability to switch it on and
off, an intersection like that will never work. Which means that old man river out on his
dirt road would have to be using a self driving car. We can get around this situation by saying
that only on certain roads, auto pilot must be enabled, fine. But let’s say you’re on one of these auto
pilot only roads, and you’re late for work… when this happens. Your HUD tells you that an emergency is occurring
on the road so all travel is currently halted. Nevermind how furious you’ll be over the
fact that the government can just seize control of your car… you’re late, so you flip
the manual override and decide to proceed anyway… and congratulations, you just caused
a collision. Don’t act like this situation is impossible,
how many people do you know who have driven through a closed highway because “the weather
was bad.” If people can break the law in order to save
themselves time, they will. But let’s go back to this intersection and
assume that all cars will always be self driving, with no possible manual override. This intersection is still a disaster waiting
to happen. Let’s completely set aside the idea that
anyone would ever go to this intersection with malicious intent, even though those people
have always and will always exist. And we’ll assume that all of these cars
are completely unhackable, again… we’re assuming perfect conditions. Imagine a tree branch falls in this intersection. Or a tie blows out. Or a truck’s unsecure cargo falls out. You’re looking at a several car pile up…
even with AI that can respond instantly. Also, having traffic flow like this renders
the intersection completely useless to pedestrians and bicyclists. There’s an easy solution of course, a four-way
foot bridge. Which likewise dramatically increases the
likelihood of something or someone falling into the intersection, accidentally or not. But again, in order to achieve that perfect
flow of traffic, everyone needs a driverless car. Cars aren’t like phones, where people get
a new one every year or two. Cars last a long time – like 15 to 20 years. Most people don’t get a new one until their
current one is broken beyond repair. So even if by some miracle, all of the technological
and ethical hurdles are overcome in ten years – which is extremely generous, they totally
won’t be – and they stop selling manually driven cars that same day… without government
intervention, it would still take another 15 to 20 years to phase out all of the manually
driven cars, excluding the antiques of course, because you’re never going to take those
away from people. On the topic of government intervention, we
also have many legal issues to work out with driverless cars. Just to throw a few out there. Who is at fault when a car decides to hit
someone? When you’re the only person riding in a
self-driving car, are you allowed to be on your phone? Sleeping? Drunk? If you’re required to be awake and attentive
the entire time, doesn’t that kind of ruin the point of it being self-driving? Self driving cars will happen, don’t get
me wrong. They are coming. But if you think that they’ll take over
the roads in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, hopefully now, you know better.

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash quitting Republican Party


 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the only Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, said Thursday he is leaving the GOP because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics and “frightened by what I see from it ” In an opinion article published in the Washington Post , on July 4, Amash said partisan politics is damaging American democracy  “I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” Amash said. “I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us ” Amash had been the only Republican in Congress to say Trump engaged in impeachable conduct, drawing the ire of many fellow Republicans and Trump In a series of tweets on May 18 , Amash said that he had read special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election  “Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash said at the time  He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views  Amash had filed in February for re-election in 2020 as a Republican in a race that has since drawn three primary challengers, his first intra-party challenge since 2014 Amash’s chief of staff, Poppy Nelson, said Thursday that Amash plans to run as an independent  Amash told WOOD-TV at a Grand Rapids parade on Thursday after announcing that he was leaving the party that he intended to “set an example ” “People need to stand up for what’s right, stand up for what they believe in and be independent of these party loyalties that really divide us,” he said  At a town hall in Michigan after he announced his support for impeachment proceedings, Amash cited a section of the Mueller report that suggested Trump had told former White House counsel Don McGahn to create a “false record” denying he had asked for Mueller’s removal as special counsel  “Things like that to me reflect incredible dishonesty and really harm the office of the presidency I don’t think that you can just let that stuff go,” Amash told his constituents. “I think you have to have proceedings to deter this kind of conduct even if ultimately the person is not convicted ” Under the Constitution, the House has the power to begin impeachment proceedings and the Senate would decide whether to convict  Trump responded immediately to Amash’s announcement that he is quitting the GOP, tweeting Thursday: “Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ’quitting” the Party ” Trump called Amash a “total loser.” Amash said he in the op-ed he is trying to escape a “hyperpartisan environment ” “The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost,” Amash wrote “Instead of acting as an independent branch of government and serving as a check on the executive branch, congressional leaders of both parties expect the House and Senate to act in obedience or opposition to the president and their colleagues on a partisan basis ” Amash, whose voting record in Congress is considered libertarian-leaning, has represented Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district in the western part of the state since 2011