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Let me research your pet theory! - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 18th, 2011

09:00 am - Let me research your pet theory!

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I found out the other day that the course I'm about to do was voted "Best course at Vic" in 2008. I've already expressed my admiration for the lecturer, but I was still wondering why a 300 level Criminology course needed one of the bigger Murphy lecture theatres and had limited entry. Now I know.

I'm already experiencing the excellence of this course - the course info is up on Blackboard 2 weeks in advance, which means I'll actually have my course notes in time and can familiarise myself with the topics. I also know what the assessment will be - an in class test and a 3500 word essay. 3500 whole words! OMGYAY! I get to waffle on expand on my ideas! And I get to choose my topic!


This will be a research essay, and I'm required to write a proposal, including main argument, by 25 March. Being me, that means I'm thinking about it now. So, what state crime would I like to research? I am spoiled for choice.

So, instead of my usual see-sawing around and wasting of valuable time, I thought I'd throw it to the floor. What would YOU like to see me research and write about? If I can, I'd like to keep it within my field of expertise (drug policy for anyone who didn't already know) but that's potentially a bit hard because the criminalisation of drug users makes it somewhat difficult to pinpoint state crime in the whole mess of wrong.

Although, the US government's involvement in the cocaine trade in the 1980s might be interesting to look at. Hmm. Other areas of interest include: Foreshore and Seabed (again - tbh while it's an obvious and easy one I'm kind of done with that topic for now), and what's going on in Lebanon. Also, Wikileaks - but that has the potential to turn into a giant handful of jelly that's impossible to contain, so I'd have to focus on one area.

But, I am open to suggestions from the brainy folks at the other end of this so if you have a meaty topic in mind that I could get my teeth into, I'd love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, I know a few people who are looking for jobs at the moment and expressing frustration with the various agencies that advertise jobs, particularly on the web. You see, it's becoming more and more common to advertise a position without giving information about what company the job is for, or what the salary band would be.

I consider this to be dishonest and almost a form of manipulation. It puts people in a position where they are applying for a job without full information about what they are applying for. No chance to research the company and therefore ask pertinent questions about structure, future goals or whatever, or to decide whether the company's culture and aims match their own. No chance to know if the job will pay enough to support their lifestyle. So a person applying for one of these jobs is not only going in blind, but they are expected to sell themselves to *unknown company* in a very dishonest way - as if all they care about is their passion for office administration and they don't care who it's for or how much they'll get paid - they just love admin so much!

Which is bullshit. People DO care about where they work and they DO want to know if they'll be a match for the company. I would hate to apply for a job then find out it's actually for, for example, a branch of Family First. I would also hate to apply for a job and sell myself to them, only to find out after one or two interviews that they're paying substantially less than I'm getting now. How much time has everyone wasted then? People care a LOT about how much they'll be paid. I know few people who work for the love of it, they do it for the money, therefore the money IS one of the most important considerations, no matter how much everyone would like us to pretend it isn't.

I really wish the whole job market was a more honest process. Fact is, I know several people who are talented and experienced, who have not applied for jobs because the advert was lacking this vital information. In a country where agencies say they are having trouble recruiting skilled people, they are putting skilled people off by failing to provide necessary details about what they are applying for, and forcing people to be dishonest about their motivations.

So, dear recruitment agencies, please start giving sufficient information for applicants to make informed decisions about whether they want a job before wasting everyone's time. This is not rocket science.

*gruntle*


This weekend I'm gonna dance my ass off, oh yes I am. I'm going to The Forest with a crew - this is my Kiwiburn replacement event and I'm quite excited about it. I might even put mah hair in! Not sure at this point whether I'll be healed enough to hoop - it's been hot this week and sweating has caused the dots to heal slowly, they're still at risk of ripping open. But I have other toys as a fallback option.

*waves hands in air like I just don't care*

*cough*

Today I'm having lunch with Yonderman and then there will be Fidels. No, I'm not avoiding the houseful of teenagers, why do you ask?

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
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errmmm... cause my head is in that space..

how about researching the crime of using to much force on peacful protesters by the state aka their internal security/riot police types..

because you see here is the issues. on the one hand as the constitution and laws of lets say egypt or Bahrain say that what the protesters are doing albeit peacefully is illegal thus the 'state' is with in its rights to use force to break up said protest and arrest protesters.

on the other hand these protesters are protesting against the regime which includes the illegality of holding protests and speaking out against the rulers and their govt..

so who is committing crime.. especially when such force is used by the government that it kills people?

cause from over here it looks bad that the governments are killing peaceful protesters who are demanding a change in the regime, however according to the laws as they stand it is illegal to protest against the regime.

ohh.. circluar.. and messy... might be a PhD theseis as apposed to 3500 words.. *whistles*

do be do
Polly

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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
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From what I understand, state crime has to involve a government breaking either its own criminal law, or an international agreement that it's party to.

Are Egypt and Bahrain part of the UN? Because that could provide some places to start pinning down actual crimes.
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From:pombagira
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
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yes both countries are members of the UN and also they are a apart of the AU which is african union.. which i found out about today

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Union

don't know much about them and what their stance is on protesting.. so yeah.. quite interesting that.. *ponders this*
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
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But you get to do GIGANTIC RESEARVH! This thought is exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. ;-)

State crime, from my limited reading so far, appears to be when a government breaks either its own criminal law or international law. MKULTRA definitely fits this category, but it's a bit older than I'd like to go - I'd like to do something a bit more current (which is why I'm iffy about the cocaine/Contras thing as well).
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From:richdrich
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Al Yamamah (The British government conspiring with a large arms company to bribe the Saudi's, using both nations taxpayers money and feeding the profits to both nations politicians/rulers).

Or, for something closer to home, Ahmed Zaoui.

I'm interested in the motivation for those: why would British politicians, having worked for years to gain office and claiming always to be people of integrity, engage in a dubious arms deal with corrupt desert princes?

Why would Helen Clark, who presents herself as a liberal politician, authorize jailing someone for over two years on virtually no evidence?
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From:t_c_da
Date:February 17th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, Ahmed Zaoui always looked a very suspicious can of worms from my seat...

What weren't we being told about him, or were the Powers That Be too scared/embarrased to admit that they'd goofed in locking him up?
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From:heartofawarrior
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
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One interesting thing that's pretty recent is California's ballot measure (which didn't pass, thankfully - I think it was fairly half-baked, myself) about legalizing marijuana, and taxing it as a source of revenue. It's against federal law, but they were trying to make it legal within the state. They didn't stop to think that one through, nor did they stop to think of where money would come from in order to enforce the proposed new rules/quality control/safety measures/etc, when the state's budget is, frankly, hopelessly screwed.

Just some food for thought. :-)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
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That's an interesting one - is it a crime for a state to change its law in opposition to a federal law? I have no idea. Hmm..

(i understand that didn't happen in this case, but other states have done this yes?)
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From:heartofawarrior
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
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I'm not quite sure exactly what would happen if it'd passed - given how slowly our legislative system moves, I think it could have taken a decade or more for all the appeals and arguments and stuff to finally reach the country's Supreme Court, and then ages more for them to finally finish reviewing all the lower court decisions, and render a verdict. If it ever even made it that far.

A bit of quick poking about yielded a transcript of the Constitution which clearly states in Article VI that Federal law is "the law of the land" and trumps state laws. But, I'm not sure on any amendments or changes that clarify this, because after all, government stuff like this is one giant gray area, with lots of exceptions and loopholes and odd rules. So, if we're going "strict constructionist" with it ("we can only do what the Constitution specifically says is permitted - if it doesn't say we can, we can't"), versus "loose constructionist" ("well, it doesn't say we can't!"), then yeah, it's no question, CA's law would be trumped by Federal law.

...oh God, I'm babbling. And remembering why I never enjoyed Constitutional law much. lol
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From:heartofawarrior
Date:February 19th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
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HEE! I didn't even realize that! Unintentional puns FTW!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
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I'd probably do something related to all the hacking attempts going on between countries. It's illegal for citizens to do it against each other and also against companies, but pretty much all governments are doing it to some extent. Even if they are merely financing independent groups like the hacker clans in China.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
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It depends a lot on the individual countries' laws - it wouldn't surprise me if many governments have their own equivalent to the Search and Surveillance Bill that allows them to act as a state in ways that it would be criminal for an individual to act.

Do you know if there are any international laws governing hacking and intelligence between countries?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 18th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
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Not off the top of my head...

But I know that the way the Chinese government does it is very "at a distance" so they can deny all official knowledge of the individuals involved.

Anyhow, I'd probably look at it because it's my interest but I know it's not really related to drug policy ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
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That is interesting, and current, and also very relevant because of the international human rights issues that are involved.

Also, I've been quietly watching the situation in the Mediterranean unfold, and wondering how countries deal with it.

Thank you, that's definitely food for thought!
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From:whatifitworks
Date:February 18th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
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If you ignore the right-wing scaremongering of these newspaper stories, this is also an interesting case of human rights laws over-turning state immigration laws:

Case by case: How Europe's human rights court has made a mockery of British justice

Rights of terrorists suspects have now overtaken those of the general public
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Here's a study on the impatct of the law change on the health and safety practices of prostitutes. It touches a little on working conditions, particularly with regard to knowing their rights to representation. It, perhaps not surprisingly, doesn't cover money laundering... ;-)

I'm not sure about state involvement in money laundering - it has to be a crime or suspected crime by the state to be eligible for this research.
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From:slavezombie
Date:February 18th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)

Let me research your pet theory!

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I have a theory, and since the uprising of trafficking violence, perhaps this might interest you. In a community I created, I began wondering how difficult it would be for the loved ones of pointless violence victims to seek closure after their loss. At first I had spent time researching the news articles which covered the Mothman Prophesies, and in doing, uncovered a coincidence linking the name of a victim of the bridge collapse, Maxine Turner, with the name of a student who had died as a result of a crazed maniac with a gun.

I don't know what justifies these violent rampages that result in the suicide of the suspect, as it's too late to pick the brain of the disturbed killer for possible vengeance motives.

The Columbine shootings. Yes, these kids were probably stoned for their invasion, but regardless of the video game violence they had been exposed to, they also had access to the radical ideas of thinkers on the Internet. If one could for a moment assume a killer as victim too, what would that say about those in power? Now the theory starts getting science-fictional, because nobody can really say if a persons fate is or isn't decided by a higher force.

When I ponder the conspiracy theories of 911, I can't help but draw some relevance to the movie AN AMERICAN PSYCHO. In addition to using drugs on his victims, his main high was killing as many people as possible without getting caught. So, if 911 is indeed a coverup designed to protect the maniac behind it, whom incidentally may still reside within the borders of the country, who is rightfully in power?
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