Category Archives: Legal Issues

The Weapons Effect – Does the Mere Presence of a Gun Increase Aggression?

Anime girl with a gunA provocative question indeed: Do we seeing lots of gun deaths in America because of people’s aggression? Or is it possible that aggression is actually increased because there are so many guns in the country? The “weapons effect” is the theory that just by being in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research that has been published on it. In this article, let’s look at the studies that shed light on this area, and I will give my take on the research literature.

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Understanding ‘Labour Market Flexibility’ Should Matter to You

You're fired, clean out your desk office worker

If you’re someone who wants to work to support yourself (i.e. basically everyone), then the labour market is important for you to understand. Just like the “supply and demand” of products in a market, the supply and demand of labour makes up what we call the “labour market.” An employee therefore represents a supply, to be “bought” (by an employer) and “sold” (by an employee). Depending on several volatile factors, there may be more or less demand from employers, and the government may play a significant role in affecting this. However… which approach is the best for workers?

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Mass Shootings – Increased incidents, or just increased reporting?

Gunshot skull wallpaper stkOne of the most fascinating contentions out of Steven Pinker’s 2011 book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” is that we are actually in the most peaceful time in world history. It may be hard to swallow at first – how can you honestly say, with all the bloodshed going on today, that we are in the most peaceful time ever? Pinker argues that we are not in a peaceful time, but it is most likely more peaceful than before. Back when the world had no internet, no phones, no newspapers, etc., there were massacres that people simply didn’t hear about like we do today. Since we can see violence on the news everyday now, it just seems like it happens more now. Whether or not you are persuaded by his well-researched book, we should look at contemporary violence and ask about a similar thing: Are mass shootings happening more now? Or are they just being reported more often?

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In Tokyo, Dancing is a Crime

dancing-wallpaperPolice raids on clubs in Tokyo have been gradually increasing in recent years. This isn’t particularly abnormal, because in virtually every country in the world, clubs often close down (and often open later under a different name) for certain things like unfortunate violence or other illicit activities within such establishments. However, the illicit activities that are most commonly the subject of police crackdowns is something that the dance clubs probably were not expecting – dancing.

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Did I Just Lose my Blogger’s Virginity?

christian cross

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I took the words of a fellow Christian in an article I wrote almost a year ago without permission. Plagiarism? Such blasphemy would not escape my fingers, no. Linking to the very page the text came from, and giving the name of the website (BibleStudy.org) was no problem, but showing the text itself (which is pretty much the reason people write blogs) was too offensive for the sensibilities of my good Christian brethren. Indeed, I may have just become a “man;” a true blogger. Because today, I was threatened with my first lawsuit.

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Edward Snowden: A Man of Peace

Thank you Snowden bus

Edward Snowden has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – an award that has certainly lost credibility because of some of the recent recipients, including U.S. President Obama. Snowden is a man who gave up his cozy life snooping on the private data of people within and outside of his country, and was smart enough not to stick around to see what kind of damage the American government would do to him, like they did to others who blew the whistle on illegal behaviour. Though there are indeed others who also deserve such praise, I hope at least the nomination helps Snowden’s cause.

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America’s Most Outrageous Legal Decision of 2013

affluenza

There have been many profoundly unjust decisions in the United States this year. One of the worst would have to be the setting free of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, who committed absolutely no crime and was literally trying to run away from Zimmerman, who was wielding a gun. Yet, an even more outrageous case has surfaced recently, which I can only succinctly  describe as: the worst legal decision of the entire year.

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Biographical, Culture, Legal Issues, Psychology | 1 Comment

The Whole Story on Japan’s 99% Conviction Rate, and the Corruption that Follows

handcuffs red bg

The conviction rate in Japan is unbelievable. Some reports say 99.8%, others say 99.97%; but it’s clear that it’s above 99%. Why is this so? Are Japanese police really so perfect that they almost always arrest the real criminals and always have the evidence to prove their cases? Don’t bet on it. The Japanese legal system is corrupt, and the effects of this broken system can be felt by anyone in Japan who has ever been detained, regardless of innocence.

Confessing for Nothing

This excerpt from The Economist sums up the problem:

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Don’t Blame the NSA, They’re Only Human (so they spy on their love interests too)

computer creep

Imagine a hacker who breaks into some girl’s computer. Maybe he doesn’t even know her – he just wants to get to know her. Maybe he looks into her interests so that he knows what she likes. Or maybe he knows her – maybe it’s his girlfriend or wife, and he wants to know if she’s being faithful. This kind of hypocrisy is lost on fools with such power… but can you blame them? Can you honestly say that you wouldn’t take a “quick peek” at your lover’s private information to confirm whether or not they have been faithful? I would like to say “I would never do that!” but I honestly don’t know what I would do in that situation. But whether or not you too would do such a thing, this point is very clear: It is wrong to do this. Some random hacker shouldn’t be able read your emails and watch you through your webcam. So the question remains: Why is it okay for the NSA to do this?

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The Secret to Happiness Revealed (No, seriously)

Being happy makes you not only live longer, but it makes you more successful in life. Philosophers have been writing about happiness for ages, and it is today one of the most popular topics in psychology research. Luckily, the science is gradually becoming more clear on what factors do and don’t contribute to happiness. However, this article is not about a list of things that will increase your happiness; it is instead about the single most important thing about being and staying happy. It’s the reason why some people who you would expect to be absolutely miserable are in fact exceptionally happy. So what’s the secret?

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