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  • Philip Jessup proposed the idea of a transnational law course. His vision of the subject was broad, including public and private international law; state and non-state actors; business, administrative, and political affairs; as well as negotiation and litigation. Inspired by his idea, TLB is only constrained by its pursuit to address all law transcending national frontiers.

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July 03, 2007


Dylan J. Condit

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" - Alice

You're right Travis, it's not very funny at all. Thank you for writing this.

If I only had a world of myown...

Wendy Jackson

"Something interesting you notice when you leave the US and you come to a communist country like China is that there are no cops. I'll go days without seeing a cop and when I eventually do see a cop, he's probably unarmed and directing traffic. The US is a police state!"

China executes more than 150 times more people each year than the US does. That might have a "chilling" effect on crime. So--I don't know that the right conclusion to be drawn is that the US is a police state (in comparison to China). Rather, because the accused have substantial civil rights (check Amendments IV, V, & VI), there may be more willingness to push up against (or outright break) the law in the US. That greater willingness to engage in borderline/illegal activities then requires broader enforcement to keep crime at acceptable levels. We should remember that Freedom/Rights and Security are two sides of the same coin.

Travis Hodgkins

I'm reluctant to play number games because numbers are always so manipulatable... According to the US Department of Justice, in 2005 there were 3,254 people waiting to be executed in the U.S. of A. I'm not sure how anyone can say that more people have been executed under the compulsion of state in China than anywhere else in the world when those numbers have never been released by the Chinese government. People at best have estimates and those estimates range from 1,000 people in 3 months to 15,000 in a year. It all depends on which organization you're getting your numbers from or what renegade Chinese person has decided to badmouth his homeland because he or she has been wronged. The fact remains that the US has over 3,000 human beings locked away in a cell awaiting their deaths. If you're not one for the death penalty, then this number should appall you. If you are a proponent of the death penalty, and maybe you think it has a good deterrent effect, then maybe China is your kind of place and you think the US should pick up the pace. Apparently, China is more efficient than the US is about killing people sentenced to death, and it's obviously having the desired effect, which is less crime and less fear.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the US still has more people in prison or jail than any other country in the world. The US also has more cops, more lawyers, and a very overworked and active judiciary. You say that's the price for security, and I query, "What security?" I can walk the streets of any Chinese city without fear and without worry that I'm going to be accosted or robbed. Yet, back in the U.S. of A. where we have more cops and supposedly more security, two people were shot dead two blocks from our law school just before spring semester ended. Don't remember? Check your Hastings email because the Dean sent out a letter explaining the situation and using it as a justification to maintain increased security on campus. My fellow law students are afraid to walk around the neighborhood at night. Is this the security that you're referring to in your comment? Because if it is, then I'll take the couple thousand executions in China as opposed to the hundreds of thousands that are imprisoned in the US.

And let us not forget to query who is China executing? People make statements like China executes more people than any other country and we're all supposed to put a tissue to our eye and think, "Thank god almighty I don't live in that heathen commie country!" The people being executed in China are not all saints, they are some bad dudes. For instance, one of the people executed in 2004 was a murderer and rapist (see http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-02/14/content_306131.htm). He murdered 67 people, and he would use hammers and meat cleavers to kill entire families. Now I know that in the US we might have put him in a cell right next to Charlie Manson and we would have all pondered the horrors of his bad deeds and every couple of years we'd send in a journalist to find out how he is doing and make sure he is getting enough bologna sandwiches. However, that shit does not fly in China, the Chinese killed his murdering ass. If you want to cry about it, well, it's a free country, go ahead-- hell, they would even let you cry about it in China.

I also noticed you threw out a bunch of fancy lawyer speak about the US Constitution. Last time I checked, which was pretty recently, China also has a Constitution and they also have a judiciary. Hell, they even let people appeal their death sentence now. As Americans, what we need to keep in mind is that we grew up in a country that has seriously hated anything having to do with communism for a long time. Not to mention, we blame the Chinese for a few blemishes on our national pride. Take for instance a little incident we call the Korean War and the Chinese call the Repulsion of the American Aggressors. We also shouldn't forget that the Soviets and the Chinese made our job in a place called Vietnam practically impossible.

We're prejudice. Frankly, Americans think they have it all right and the rest of the world is wrong, and Americans believe their way of life is so right that they even go out of their way to help these less fortunate people that have to live in these horrible places like China. Back in America, they try to drum up support for their causes by printing wild stories about thousands upon thousands of people being executed when in actuality they have no hard data. Why do they do this? I don't know. They got tired of watching American Idol and suddenly they decided they were going to help other people. The problem is that Americans fail to realize that not everyone in the world wants to live like they do. Not all the women in the world want to wear pants and have a career. Not all of the governments in the world believe that freedom comes from imprisoning a large portion of society. As shocking as it may seem, many people in the world prefer to squat rather than sit on a porcelain bowl.

Read once more what Sheehan said in her resignation. Sheehan is a woman that did all she could to stop the American war machine, to free us from the police state, and she was pushed down from every side until she was broken. The powers that be in the US-- republican, democrat, liberal, conservative-- let me make it easy, the people who are making the most money (we're all making money off it) from the war machine, the police state, the military industrial complex-- did not want her to succeed. None of us wanted her to succeed because none of us truly want the system to change. We like our jobs and we like our toys and we like our status and it comes from war. Change the system? We are the system. Change it from within? How? We were raised in the system. All we know is the system. Without the system we're lost. Destroying the system for us is tantamount to suicide. To fix the system we would have to collectively reformat our minds, wipe the slate clean, but then who would reprogram us? You can drop-out as an individual but you'll never be able to think outside the parameters of your American upbringing. It will always taint your every thought and motive.

Freaked out yet?

In his "Military Industrial Complex" speech, President Eisenhower said, "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Ponder whether unwarranted influence has taken acquisition of the government. Consider whether we take things for granted; whether misplaced power exists and persists; and whether the American citizenry is alert and knowledgeable. Then tell me whether our methods are peaceful and if peaceful methods are being used to fulfill our goals. Tell me whether we have failed President Eisenhower or if he somehow failed us. Tell me whether the military industrial enterprise could have had any other outcome. Then, and only then, will I even begin to ponder whether the Chinese should or should not execute murderers and rapists in their own country.

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