Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Problem Solvers: A Better Way to Settle Disputes

Here is a link to a fantastic article discussing the benefits of the collaborative law process. Interestingly, it looks quite similar to the processes that brought about what we know today as the Common Law. Adversarial systems seem rather perverse as means to achieve the ends of order, justice, peace, and domestic tranquility, don't you think?

This paragraph from the article is a good summation of why this process is more effective at reaching the aforementioned ends:

"The collaborative process minimizes stress on the attorneys as well. Meetings in the process are scheduled between the parties and not subject to the court calendar. Attorneys are not required to browbeat their clients to agree to a settlement that a judge has recommended. The attorneys are not pitted against each other, and the resolution is not viewed as a win for one side and a loss for the other. Instead, the resolution addresses the issues important to each client in a manner acceptable to each. Each party also fully understands the responsibilities of the resolution and is more likely to adhere to and carry out future obligations. The parties are happier with the results and more satisfied with their lawyers, because they have reached an agreement in a process in which they participated."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Colonialism is alive and well in the Islamist ideology

"A message to the world, especially colonialist powers..." read a headline on the Drudge Report today. Unfortunately, the link was broken and so we are left to ponder exactly the context of this statement; however, for my purposes, it is of little importance. Regardless of the message that Iran and Islamists desire to spread, one major flaw lies within their propaganda: Islam IS and always has been colonialist. Although many Muslims would take offense at this, especially those in the middle-east and Asia, how is their goal of bringing about the rule of Shari'a across the entire globe (global caliphate) any different than the 'other' colonial pursuits?

In a more ironic observation, how is it that Islamists cry foul at colonialism at all when they were the first real colonialists? Although Western colonialism is more prevalent in the history books, it was the Islamists that pioneered the practice--i.e. Islamic conquests across the middle-east, Africa, and even southern Europe to name a few. Before the Crusades or Western Colonialism ever entered the history books, Muslims were already invading, overthrowing, and erecting their own socio-political structures. Sure, they allowed the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) to remain in the land and continue to practice their religions, but only by paying taxes to their Muslim rulers and becoming second class citizens (dhimmis).

All this quote represents is a rhetorical tool; a subversive discourse in true Focaultian fashion. Don't deny that the West practiced colonialism (and in some ways still does), but don't allow the past sins of one culture to validate and justify the practicing of the same sin in another. The answer is not to be found in some political system or organization, in west or in east. The answer is to disregard the desire to assert power over your fellow man and to live in peace with one another by desiring liberty for all.

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