Dangerous Convictions

Author : Tom Allen
ISBN : 9780199931996
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 68.81 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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The rhetoric of the 2012 presidential campaign exposed the deeply rooted sources of political polarization in American. One side celebrated individualism and divided the public into "makers and takers;" the other preached "better together" as the path forward. Both focused their efforts on the "base" not the middle. In Dangerous Convictions, former Democratic Congressman Tom Allen argues that what's really wrong with Congress is the widening, hardening conflict in worldviews that leaves the two parties unable to understand how the other thinks about what people should do on their own and what we should do together. Members of Congress don't just disagree, they think the other side makes no sense. Why are conservatives preoccupied with cutting taxes, uninterested in expanding health care coverage and in denial about climate change? What will it take for Congress to recover a capacity for pragmatic compromise on these issues? Allen writes that we should treat self-reliance (the quintessential American virtue) and community (our characteristic instinct to cooperate) as essential balancing components of American culture and politics, instead of setting them at war with each other. Combining his personal insights from 12 years In Congress with recent studies of how human beings form their political and religious views, Allen explains why we must escape the grip of our competing worldviews to enable Congress to work productively on our 21st century challenges.
Category: Political Science

Wilful Blindness

Author : Margaret Heffernan
ISBN : 9781847377715
Genre : Self-Help
File Size : 50.55 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the 2006 case of the US Government vs Enron, the presiding judge instructed the jurors to take account of the concept of wilful blindness as they reached their verdict about whether the chief executives of the disgraced energy corporation were guilty. It was not enough for the defendants to say that they did not know what was going on; that they had not seen anything. If they failed to observe the corruption which was unfolding before their very eyes, not knowing was no defence. The guilty verdict sent shivers down the spine of the corporate world. In this book, distinguished business woman and writer, Margaret Heffernan, examines the phenomenon of wilful blindness. Drawing on a wide array of sources from psychological studies and social statistics to interviews with the relevant protagonists she examines what it is about human nature which makes us so prone to wilful blindness. Taught from infancy to obey authority, and absorbing the importance of selective vision as a key social skill, humans exacerbate their tendency to become institutionalised by joining organisations which are run by like-minded people. Wilful Blindness looks at how hard-work and the information overload of the modern workplace add to the problem. And examines why whistleblowers and Cassandras are so very rare. Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to the family, this engaging and anecdotal book will explain why wilful blindness is so dangerous in the globalised, interconnected world in which we live, before suggesting ways in which institutions and individuals can start to combat it. In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Margaret Heffernan's thought provoking book will force open our eyes.
Category: Self-Help

Previous Convictions At Sentencing

Author : Julian V Roberts
ISBN : 9781782256069
Genre : Law
File Size : 89.89 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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This latest volume in the Penal Theory and Penal Ethics series addresses one of the oldestquestions in the field of criminal sentencing: should an offender's previous convictions affect the sentence? Although there is an extensive literature on the definition and use of criminal history information, the emphasis here is on the theoretical and normative aspects of considering previous convictions at sentencing. Several authors explore the theory underlying the practice of mitigating the punishments for first offenders, while others put forth arguments for enhancing sentences for recidivists.
Category: Law

Armed And Considered Dangerous

Author : Peter Henry Rossi
ISBN : 9780202362427
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 54.12 MB
Format : PDF
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Armed and Considered Dangerous is a book about "bad guys" and their guns. But Wright and Rossi contend that for every suspected criminal who owns and abuses a firearm, a hundred or more average citizens own guns for sport, for recreation, for self-protection, and for other reasons generally regarded as appropriate or legitimate. Armed and Considered Dangerous is the most ambitious survey ever undertaken of criminal acquisition, possession, and use of guns. There are vast differences between the average gun owner and the average gun-abusing felon, but the analyses reported here do not suggest any obvious way to translate these differences into gun control policies. Most policy implications drawn from the book are negative in character: this will not work for this reason, that will not work for that reason, and so on. When experts are asked, "Okay, then what will work?" they usually fall back on the old warhorses of poverty, the drug problem, or the inadequate resources of the criminal justice system, and otherwise have little to say. This is not a failure of social science. It simply asks more of the data than the data were ever intended to provide. Several of Wright and Rossi's findings have become "coin of the realm" in the gun control debate, cited frequently by persons who have long since forgotten where the data came from or what their limitations are. Several other findings, including many that are important, have been largely ignored. Still other findings have been superseded by better and more recent data or rendered anachronistic by intervening events. With the inclusion of a new introduction detailing recent statistics and updated information this new edition of Armed and Considered Dangerous is a rich source of information for all interested in learning about weapon behavior and ownership in America.
Category: Social Science

Darwin

Author : Tim Lewens
ISBN : 9781134280100
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 68.69 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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In this invaluable book, Tim Lewens shows in a clear and accessible manner how important Darwin is for philosophy and how his work has shaped and challenged the very nature of the subject. Beginning with an overview of Darwin’s life and work, the subsequent chapters discuss the full range of fundamental philosophical topics from a Darwinian perspective. These include natural selection; the origin and nature of species; the role of evidence in scientific enquiry; the theory of Intelligent Design; evolutionary approaches to the human mind; the implications of Darwin’s work for ethics and epistemology; and the question of how social and political thought needs to be updated in the light of a Darwinian understanding of human nature. A concluding chapter assesses the philosophical legacy of Darwin’s thought. Darwin is essential reading for anyone in the humanities, social sciences and sciences seeking a philosophical introduction to Darwin, or anyone simply seeking a philosophical companion to Darwin’s own writings.
Category: Philosophy

Convictions

Author : John Kroger
ISBN : 1429939664
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 64.90 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Convictions is a spellbinding story from the front lines of the fight against crime. Most Americans know little about the work of assistant United States attorneys, the federal prosecutors who possess sweeping authority to investigate and prosecute the nation's most dangerous criminals. John Kroger pursued high-profile cases against Mafia killers, drug kingpins, and Enron executives. Starting from his time as a green recruit and ending at the peak of his career, he steers us through the complexities of life as a prosecutor, where the battle in the courtroom is only the culmination of long and intricate investigative work. He reveals how to flip a perp, how to conduct a cross, how to work an informant, how to placate a hostile judge. Kroger relates it all with a novelist's eye for detail and a powerful sense of the ethical conflicts he faces. Often dissatisfied with the system, he explains why our law enforcement policies frequently fail in critical areas like drug enforcement and white-collar crime. He proposes new ways in which we can fight crime more effectively, empowering citizens to pressure their lawmakers to adopt more productive policies. This is an unflinching portrait of a crucial but little-understood part of our justice system, and Kroger is an eloquent guide.
Category: Biography & Autobiography