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Clark Kent

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Clark Kent last won the day on July 10 2018

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About Clark Kent

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  • Birthday 08/31/1991

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  1. If I remember my constitutional law correctly, the argument for corporations having (limited) rights such as this is that corporations are really just people. More precisely, they are the shareholders, who contract other people (ie, the mangement/workforce) to do whatever they want. When it comes to corporations, we expect them to have one interest- maximizing profits. Legally, me giving $10 to McCain is the same as me giving $10 to Exxon to give to McCain. EDIT: Similarly, the constitution is blind to my motives. It does not care whether I give $10 in the hopes he bans abortion or if I give $10 in the hopes he subsidizes the company I own, helping my profits. EDIT2: We may want to change that.
  2. The sad part is, the lawyer in me agrees with this decision, even if the citizen in me thinks dollar-votes are the most inequitable form of democracy known to man.
  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012101724.html Supreme Court rolls back campaign spending limits By MARK SHERMAN The Associated Press Thursday, January 21, 2010; 11:00 AM WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on business efforts to influence federal campaigns. By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said companies can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states. It leaves in place a prohibition on direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions. Critics of the stricter limits have argued that they amount to an unconstitutional restraint of free speech, and the court majority agreed. "The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion, joined by his four more conservative colleagues. Strongly disagreeing, Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Stevens' dissent, parts of which he read aloud in the courtroom. The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns. Advocates of strong campaign finance regulations have predicted that a court ruling against the limits would lead to a flood of corporate and union money in federal campaigns as early as this year's midterm congressional elections. "It's the Super Bowl of bad decisions," said Common Cause president Bob Edgar, a former congressman from Pennsylvania. The decision removes limits on independent expenditures that are not coordinated with candidates' campaigns. The case does not affect political action committees, which mushroomed after post-Watergate laws set the first limits on contributions by individuals to candidates. Corporations, unions and others may create PACs to contribute directly to candidates, but they must be funded with voluntary contributions from employees, members and other individuals, not by corporate or union treasuries. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined Kennedy to form the majority in the main part of the case. Roberts, in a separate opinion, said that upholding the limits would have restrained "the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy." Stevens complained that those justices overreached by throwing out earlier Supreme Court decisions that had not been at issue when this case first came to the court. "Essentially, five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law," Stevens said. The case began when a conservative group, Citizens United, made a 90-minute movie that was very critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton as she sought the Democratic presidential nomination. Citizens United wanted to air ads for the anti-Clinton movie and distribute it through video-on-demand services on local cable systems during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign. But federal courts said the movie looked and sounded like a long campaign ad, and therefore should be regulated like one. The movie was advertised on the Internet, sold on DVD and shown in a few theaters. Campaign regulations do not apply to DVDs, theaters or the Internet. The court first heard arguments in March, then asked for another round of arguments about whether corporations and unions should be treated differently from individuals when it comes to campaign spending. The justices convened in a special argument session in September, Sotomayor's first. The conservative justices gave every indication then that they were prepared to take the steps they did on Thursday. The justices, with only Thomas in dissent, did uphold McCain-Feingold requirements that anyone spending money on political ads must disclose the names of contributors.
  4. Nope, I don't know who first said it, I just made that up.
  5. morality's just a biopolitical tool; if morality exists and is desirable, the only way to figure out which rules are the real rules is to think independently. Otherwise you're committing immoral acts because someone else told you they were good.
  6. Hence the prerequisite you're not running a policy aff...
  7. These cards are your best bet for doing what you are trying to do, which isn't saying much. There's also a card I remember using but can't find anymore about how advocating a paradoxical perm is the best option of two competing philosophical viewpoints, but failing that I would avoid the perm. McGowan '07, (Todd, guy who really likes movies, Assoc. Prof of English @ Univ. of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, p. 175–178) THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN the theorist and the cinema as such becomes most evident in the cinema of intersection. This cinema has an implicit po¬litical urgency that derives from its effort to depict the gaze directly. By de¬picting the gaze directly, the films of the cinema of intersection aim at encouraging subjects to recognize that they themselves, on the level of fan¬tasy, hold the key to the secret at the heart of the Other. In clear contrast to the cinema of integration; this cinema directs subjects away from their pro¬clivity to seek fantasmatic support in the Other. The cinema of integration tends to produce subjects who believe in a nonlacking Other. This cinema, as we saw in the case of Steven Spielberg, is one that posits; whether explicitly orimplicitly, a symbolic father filling in the absence in the Other. The filmic world of the cinema of integration fosters the belief that absence in the Other does not really exist. Each time it depicts an absence, this cinema reveals a hidden presence. According to this cinema, the Other as such never fails. In the cinema of intersection, we encounter the absence in the Other di¬rectly. The strict separation of the worlds of desire and fantasy in this cinema allows it to depict these worlds intersecting. At these moments, we experi¬ence the absence in the Other in a privileged way. Hence, rather than pro¬ducing dependence, the cinema of intersection produces an experience of freedom. The encounter with the real is the encounter with the Other's failure, and this encounter traumatizes the subject because it deprives the subject of support in the Other. The subject derives its symbolic identity from the Other, and as a result, the encounter with the Other's lack leaves the subject without any sense of identity. The subject loses the security that derives from its link to the Other. But at the same time, this loss of support in the Other frees the subject from its dependence on the Other. Freedom depends on the recognition that the Other does not exist, that the Other cannot provide the subject a substantive identity. The encounter with the gaze in the cinema of intersection permits us to experience directly the Other's insubstantial status. In none of the cinematic structures that we have looked at thus far does the gaze appear as an object that we can encounter. Each type of cinema, in its own fashion, suggests the impossible status of the gaze, though the cinema of integration does so unwittingly, through its failure to present the gaze as either an absence in the visible field or as a distortion of that field. In this sense, these three types of cinema affirm Lacan's contention that "the real is the impossible," and they allow us to see—except in the case of the cinema of integration—the lack in the Other and the incomplete status of ideology. Though the cinema of desire and the cinema of fantasy affirm the impos¬sible status of the gaze and its irreducibility to the field of the visible, neither is able to show us how we can experience and accomplish the impossible. That is to say, both kinds of cinema conceive of the gaze as impossible in the strict sense of the term. However, Lacan's conception of the real as impossi¬ble does not mean that the real cannot be reached, but that it does not fit within the logic of our symbolic structure. As he explains in Seminar XVII, it is impossible "not on account of a simple stumbling block against which we bang our heads, but on account of what is announced as impossible by the symbolic. It is from there that the real arises."2 Though the real marks the point of impossibility within any symbolic system, this point of impossibility is not out of reach. The impossible status of the real stems from our inability to trace a path to it through the symbolic order. We can identify it—and we can mark it symbolically but we can't find a way to access the red in the way that we access other empirical objects. The example of the square root of –1 indicates the problem that the real presents to us. We can, of course, think and symbolize the square root of —1. But we cannot symbolize with real numbers what results when we try to take the square root of —1 because no squared real number will be negative. The square root of —1 requires us to create an imaginary number that exists solely in order to be the solution to this operation. This imaginary number is, in a sense, more real than any real number insofar as it indicates the point at which a certain mathematical system of symbolization breaks down. This system invites us to take the square root of numbers, but it cannot accommodate this operation being performed on every number. The square root of —1 represents what the system of real numbers cannot symbolize, and when we create imaginary numbers in order to perform this operation, we do the impossible and thereby radically transform the system of symbolization itself. To return from mathematics to ideology, one can accomplish the impossible by refusing to accept the choices that ideology offers. Ideology functions by defining the possibilities that subjects have, by creating options that remain within ideological bounds. One can choose today, for instance, between fundamentalism and capitalist democracy, but both choices remain within the ideological orbit of contemporary global capitalism. Even opting to combat capitalist democracy by choosing fundamentalism doesn't challenge the ideological landscape. Even fundamentalist terror attacks affirm rather than question capitalist ideology as they provide an opportunity for this ideology to align itself falsely with freedom. Capitalist democracy understands fundamentalism as the other that allows it to function and to define itself. That is to say, ideology establishes the game so that it wins no matter which side a subject chooses. Within an ideological structure, every possibility affirms the ideology and feeds its overall logic. The only way to break from the controlling logic of the ideology is to reject the possibilities that it presents and opt for the impossible. The impossible is impossible within a specific ideological framework, and the act of accomplishing the impossible has the effect of radically transforming the framework. The impossible thus marks the terrain of politics as such. As Slavoj Zizek points out, "Authentic politics is ... the art of the impossible—it changes the very parameters of what is considered 'possible' in the existing constellation." If a political act is not impossible in this sense, it is not really political because it lacks the ability to transform the contested ideological field.5 To create authentic change demands an act that does not fit within the possibilities that ideology lays out. Ideology prevents subjects from opting for the impossible choice precisely by making it seem impossible to do so. That is to say, we tend to believe that the impossible really is impossible because this is what ideology tells us again and again. Johnston '04 (Adrian, Dept of Philosophy at Univ. of New Mexico, “The Cynic’s Fetish: Slavoj Žižek and the Dynamics of Belief, Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society, December) Žižek makes the paradoxical move of arguing, alongside his rejection of a stable distinction between subjectivity and sociality, that the big Other of the symbolic order only effectively exists (albeit in an illusory, ephemeral fashion) insofar as subjects treat it “as if” it possessed a stable, independent reality as an overarching system of collective mediation—“there is an ‘objective’ socio–symbolic system only insofar as subjects treat it as such.” Žižek continues, insisting that, “Lacan is… no Durkheimian: he opposes any reification of the Institution, i.e., he knows very well that the Institution is here only as the performative effect of the subject’s activity. The Institution exists only when subjects believe in it, or, rather, act (in their social interactivity) AS IF they believe in it.” The big Other is, in a manner of speaking, nothing more than a self–fulfilling prophecy. An appropriate analogy/metaphor here is a group of people, none of who want anything to do with the others, being brought together for a social function such as a party. None of the participants in the party has any desire to be there. In short, the urge or inclination to sustain the social group is nowhere to be found amongst any of the constituent elements of the group. And yet, the gathering happens (the party actually takes place and lasts for the specified period of time in spite of everyone’s contrary desires). The sole requisite condition for this is that each person believes that the other people there have a desire to engage in this social function. The very glue that holds the entire event together is the fact that each person in attendance attributes to or projects onto his/her respective others the desire to be there (a desire ostensibly absent in each and every person making this attribution or doing this projecting). A belief in the “desire of the Other” (in this case, the subjectively hypothesized/hypostatized “general will” of the collective of others) prompts subjects caught up in this dynamic to apply to themselves the felt pressure of obligation necessary for their de facto acquiescence to the given social arrangement. A virtual, nonexistent desire, a spectral desire with enough power concretely to shape social reality, arises, in a bottom–up, emergent fashion, out of a network of attributions and projections. This desire doesn’t exist within any of the particular nodes of the network, and yet nonetheless circulates throughout the network as its unifying force. The odd implication here is that, on this Lacanian–Žižekian account, banal human reality is an ex nihilo effect produced through the mutual interpellation of two voids wherein each (erroneously) posits the existence of the other. On one side, the “barred S” of subjectivity is conjured into being through a resistance generated by and against insertion into the symbolic order’s chains of signifiers (i.e., the subject, although perpetually escaping confinement within determinate representations, is parasitically dependent upon the representational networks of the big Other); on another side, the big Other, supposedly responsible for giving birth to subjectivity, is itself an inexistent fiction or “transcendental illusion,” a function reliant upon the manners in which subjects actively–yet–unwittingly alienate themselves by reifying it (Lacan signals this dimension of the grand Autre by “barring” it in addition to the subject). Reality is hence sustained in the space of overlap between the barred subject and the barred Other. One is reminded of Lacan’s claim that an ideal image of the relation between subject and Other is two interlocking tori, a unity held together as a consistent whole insofar as each torus passes through the empty space at the center of its complementary partner (the core of each of these entities being utterly vacant). Stavrakakis '99 (VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 86) In the face of the irreducibility of the real we have no other option but to symbolise; but such a symbolisation can take at least two forms: first, a fantasmatic one which will attempt to repress the real and to eliminate once and for all its structural causality. Psychoanalysis favours the second and more complex one: the articulation of symbolic constructs that will include a recognition of the real limits of the symbolic and will attempt to symbolically ‘institutionalise’ real lack. Let me illustrate this point by returning to one of the examples I used earlier, that of nature. The crucial question regarding our access to the natural world becomes now: how can we then, if in fact we can, approach nature before it becomes Nature, the real before it becomes reality, before its symbolisation? This is the question posed by Evernden: how can we return to things ‘before they were captured and explained, in which transaction they ceased to be themselves and became instead functionaries in the world of social discourse [?]’ (Evernden, 1992:110). How can we encounter the pre–symbolic Other in its radical otherness, an otherness escaping all our representations, if he is always ‘beyond’? (ibid.: 118). Well, in fact we can’t; what we can do, however, is acknowledge this failure, this constitutive impossibility, within our symbolisations. Trapped as we are within the world of social meaning, all our representations of reality are doomed to fail due to their symbolic character. Every attempt to construct what is impossible to be constructed fails due to our entrapment within the world of construction. The only moment in which we come face to face with the irreducible real beyond representation is when our constructions are dislocated. It is only when Nature, our construction of external reality, meets a stumbling block, something which cannot be symbolically integrated, that we come close to the real of nature. Nature, constructed Nature, is nothing but ‘a mode of concealment, a cloak of abstractions which obscures that discomforting wildness that defies our paranoid urge to delineate the boundaries of Being’ (Evernden, 1992:132). Only when these boundaries collapse, in that minute intermission before we draw new ones, can we sense the unheimlich of real nature. It is in that sense that—as argued in Chapter 2—Lacanian theory opens the road to a realist constructionism or a constructionist realism; it does so by accepting the priority of a real which is, however, unrepresentable, but, nevertheless, can be encountered in the failure of every construction. One final point before concluding this section: when applied to our own discourse isn’t this recognition introducing a certain ethical principle? Recognising at the same time the impossibility of mastering the real and our obligation to recognise this impossibility through the failure of our attempts to symbolise it, indeed seems to introduce a certain principle which cannot be by–passed. Of necessity this is a principle affecting the structure of knowledge and science in late modern societies.
  8. Theoretically, yes, but a good team will point out that the analysis you need to apply it to the round is not actually in the card; rather it's your own. I've done it, but with a Lacanian aff, so...
  9. I agree. But just as your wife is more important to you than someone you have not met, and the person you have not met still is of infinite value, so I could see a moral framework in which animals have some value, but not to the extent humans have. Defining such a relationship is beyond my study, however. I find this hard to believe, considering I have a somewhat nihilistic view of "significance." It sounds more likely that a human somewhere thinks his representation (shopenhour) is how organisms see the world. Regardless, animals can create representations about the world without having dialetical thinking. Thus that kind of reasoning, to me at first glance, is interesting but useless from a moral perspective. Remember that the whole point was to find a foundation for morality without talking about "value facts" about the action itself. The "significance" in this quote accordingly need not exist, or we risk going the route of Nagel, Locke, et al.
  10. It may be possible to restrict the moral sentiment to some human beings, just as it may be possible to extend it to animals. A strict brightline could be a wanton (Harry Frankfurt's word), and a liberal brightline could be the possibility of thinking. Where exactly you draw the line I don't think has been finely determined by any philosopher yet. Then again, if a human doesn't pass the litmus test, can we really call them human? Makes perfect sense, and I had the same sentiment just after I wrote the above post. A potential problem I see with this view is that while your cat may fit the bill for you, it most certainly doesn't for me. Furthermore, I would posit that I can't have the same relationship with your cat as you do. Similar to how a husband may have moral obligations to his wife that a third party doesn't have, I don't see your cat as a thinker in the sense it could be precious. I have and cannot have any use for your cat, wheras your wife still has the potential to be an infinitely valuable part of my life in a non-spousal capacity. I'm making this up as I go, but it seems to me that's a method of giving some moral sentiment to animals, even if it's not on the same level of that as humans.
  11. My answer lies in my understanding of two modern philosophers, Raimond Gaita and Hannah Arendt. A common sentiment is to view things commonly held as undesirable as morally evil, not because the consequences, but because of the actions in and of themselves. Many a debate has occurred over the “wrongness” of stealing, or killing, and it has led some to believe that the “wrongness” lies in the action itself. Stealing, the logic goes, is just an immoral act. Just use your reason: if everyone started stealing, society could no longer function. The same goes for murdering, or general hostility. It is about this talk of “discovering” the moral facts out there in the world somewhere that Gaita begins her discussion. But this conception, even to the casual observer, seems overly simplistic. This rational analysis of society doesn’t really explain our seemingly natural aversion to the moral wrong. It’s not as if people hear about a murder in the news and think, “Oh, perhaps I shouldn’t murder tomorrow then; too much chaos.” Alternatively, when we wrong someone, we don’t fixate on the inherent wrongness of the action itself, but rather on the person who was harmed. From a positive standpoint, human nature doesn’t operate this way. To see this, look at the custom of giving apologies for wronging another person. Yes, sometimes, apologies are merely ritual acts, and insincere, but often we deeply feel sorry for the person who was wronged, and say so. But note: we don’t apologize to the fact that the wrong was done, but rather, that the person has been wronged. It is the person’s suffering which grabs our attention, not some inherent evil in the deed itself, that we know because of careful rational thinking. Gaita uses another great example of this phenomenon: remorse. We don’t tend to feel remorse just because we break the Moral Law. Rather, we regret the effects of the wrong; that is, the suffering of the other person. Then, the real lesson of morality is this: you needn’t feel remorse for the deed itself, but rather for the person who suffered because of it. But why must this be the case? Why does other people’s suffering matter, and if they do, how much should we care about them? Here Arendt begins to formulate an answer. Not only do other people have value, but also they have incalculable value and preciousness, more so than anything else in our lives, and this is why we conceptualize morality. She begins by answering the common counterargument, that individuals are, at the end of the day, individuals, and from their perspective, suffering evil directly affects them, and doing evil does not, so one should do evil rather than suffer it. However, upon closer inspection, this argument has a flawed assumption. Namely, we cannot view people as solitary entities, because the act of thinking requires two selves in one person; it is dialectical. It is impossible to truth think without at least part of you defending an opposing viewpoint. Otherwise, it is not thinking, merely another aspect of cognition. I don’t need an opposing viewpoint to ask, “How do I get to the store?” But in order to decide “Is going to the store worthwhile?” I need to weigh the pros and cons. Thus even when we are alone, we are really a duality of people. It is this kind of thinking that separates the humans from the animals, and, indeed, it can be said that someone who does not think is not truly alive, but rather a desire-fulfillment machine. Such analysis of the duality of the individual can then be spread to other people as well. In the words of John Donne, no man is an island. There is a part of the human experience unlike any other, and that is having a relationship with another human being, one who thinks. Furthermore, any sufficiently deep ontological interrogation will find that others, and relationship with others, form an intimate part of what it means to be you, the individual. Frankly, without some sense of altruistic morality, the form of which I write in this paper, such experiences would never exist. Gaita puts this succinctly: Who wants to hang out with a murderer? Not even another murderer. Because of this remarkable quality of other human beings, they have value unlike anything else in the world; to all intents and purposes, the value of human life is limitless, perhaps even unfathomable. So any action which ends up wronging that life, or diminishing it, or eliminating it entirely, is immoral. Not because of some inherent evil in the action itself, but because if its relation to another human being of infinite value. We might even sometimes think doing evil is justified, in the name of revenge or justice itself. The problem is that the very logic is paradoxical. If there is some reason out there that a murderer should not have murdered, and that the lost life is precious to the extreme that we can call the murder evil, then by the very same reasoning we cannot do harm to the murderer, because he, the murderer, shares in our common humanity, just like the victim. Ironically, the only way we can judge murder as evil is to never do harm to those people we do not consider good, even fully human. Furthermore, Gaita argues against amoralists, evil is often done out of lack of information and understanding of the nature of good and evil, and not malicious intent. Sadists do not torture and harm others because of a desire to do evil, in the sense it is defined above. Sadists are different than ordinary brutes in that they truly desire to do that which is noble, good, and valuable; they just have a misunderstanding of what the good actually is. They may even see other human beings as having infinite value, but their preciousness stems from their participation in evil. Similarly, we can often explain a lack of remorse, which, due to the reasoning above, would immediately show the moral evil done, by a lack of understanding, or misrepresentation, of what the evil actually is in the situation. The fundamental connection between the moral saint and the evil man is often a respect for the infinite preciousness of other human beings. The fundamental difference is often ideology. As such, harming the sadist would not only be a violation of morals itself - it would also not be justified because the sadist is after the same fundamental truth as you. It is even better to suffer harm by such a person than do evil to the person yourself. Rather, talk peacefully with him or her about the preciousness of human being, and try to jointly better understand morals. Even in the worst-case scenario, where evil is done to you but you have no opportunity to respond, you will have at least been part of an attempt to capture the preciousness of human beings. This you will ruin by knowingly doing evil yourself, harming one who has infinite preciousness - a thinker. In order for me to extend this preciousness to animals, I must either accept another conceptualization of morality or find that animals think in a sufficient way for me to view them as infinitely precious, regardless of how cute or ugly they are. Edit: -Summer Glau
  12. This is the brightline for me when it comes to these kind of moral judgements: Does the animal think in a meaningful, non-action-and-response way? If so, to what extent? If someone familiar with the topic could answer that question for me, I would deeply appreciate it.
  13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8436838.stm Does anyone in the entire world understand the motives behind N Korean dipomacy? I mean, really, at first I thought Hilary Clinton had it right in that they were just looking for attention, but seriously?
  14. Oh, you want neoconservatism with a human face? It's ok to scare the public, but only for GOOD reforms, you know, the kind our party wants. Not those fascists on the other end of the isle who want to sell the country to the Russ- i mean the Chinese. I respect the change in airline policy, but really? It is an act of terrorism, but it's not the president's job to make sure people have the appropriate emotional response to what they read in the newspaper.
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