Tag: nullification

Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

13th Amendment, abolition, awareness, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, emancipation, Emancipation Proclamation, Executive Order, God, history, injustice, justice, law, self-serving, slavery, social justice, solidarity, Uncategorized
In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines.  A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction. The article compri
My Persistent And Impossible Dilemma

My Persistent And Impossible Dilemma

14th Amendment, 8th Amendment, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, Discernment, Enlightenment, Equality, First Amendment, Ideology, Juries, law, political rhetoric, Rationality, Uncategorized
The following is a true story.  It is a story that has been haunting me for the past 20-plus years. The reason it has been haunting me is because I may have been inadvertantly complicit in convicting a man of a serious drug charge by denying him the benefit of the principle of the presumptive innocence of a defendant in a criminal trial. I make no judgment as to the man’s actual guilt. That will be as it may. The point, rather, is that, in retrospect, I believe that we, the jury in the trial, followed the letter of what seemed in retrospect to be a very bad law and -- pursuant to that law -- presumed the man to be guilty, and that this presumption seemed to be “hard coded” into the relevant drug-possession law.  At the time, we believed we acted in good faith, because we believed o