The Second Earl of Liverpool is again asked to comment on a contemporary legal issue. This time it’s the introduction of a videotaped confession (in this case, a confession of murder) as evidence in court.
The recent suicide of an apparently mentally normal acquaintance moved the author to speculate on how the presumption of insanity in cases of suicide, once a type of legal defense, has become a cultural assumption.
A voice from the past sounds off on contemporary social and political issues, in particular the question of whether or not to abolish the death penalty in Oregon.
I am – notoriously – a critical thinker. My immediate reaction when solemnly presented with an allegedly true piece of information or self-proclaimed informed and authoritative opinion is to look for internal clues that all is not what it seems and to consult my own experience, and independent sources, for corroboration or dissent. This is […]
The contrast between homeless people living in makeshift plastic-covered huts in a church parking lot and a recent boom in building expensive apartments for students in Eugene, Oregon prompts the author to reflect on how growing inequity in income and access to the basic necessities of life has reached a morally unacceptable level in America.
Memories of leaner times, both her own and those of an older Russian acquaintance, lead the author to appreciate the abundance she enjoys now, especially during this festive season.
A student’s complaint over rejection of his coined word “sacricity” in an essay prompted examination of the ways in which coining words, as a substitute for a rich vocabulary, decreases the effectiveness of writing.
I recently had an interchange with a friend of mine who is enrolled in an online degree program with a university in another state – not one of the private for-profit diploma mills, but a public institution with a decent reputation, for which distance learning is a sideline. She had become frustrated with trying to […]
A series of intimate sexual relationships that produce no children would be disastrous in any traditional culture. This may well be a source of unacknowledged emotional stress in our own society.
Short-term uncommitted sexual relationships would have resulted in poor reproductive success in ancestral village environments, and thus a propensity for them, at least among women, would have been selected against in an evolutionary sense. Some of the grief and depression people experience today when intimate relationships fail may be hard-wired.