blupete Essays


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TITLE. SYNOPSIS.
On War.
(22K)
August '99
"Does war come about as a 'criminal blunder' made by inferior people who, by luck, found themselves in positions of power? Or, are wars brought about as an exercise of reason; the one side defending against the delivery of calculated threats to be carried through by the other in order to maintain, consolidate, or gain additional power; both at home and abroad. At home, as the ruling élite, often beholden to one man, go about securing their position by putting the nation on a war footing: abroad, so as to strengthen the country's international bargaining position, vis-à-vis, their frightened neighbours of the future."
On The Canadian
Constitution,
A History Lesson.

(30K)
March '99
The development of the Canadian Constitution makes for an interesting historical study. The roots go back deep in English history beginning with the Magna Carta of 1215; and through to the Glorious Revolution of 1688; and then on to the English Conquest of Canada, 1758-60; and the British North America Act, 1867; and, more recently, The Constitution Act of 1982.
On The Constitution
Of a Country.

(31K)
March '99
"A constitution is a settled arrangement by which a country's parts or elements, within a geographical district, combine themselves because of some common traits or particular features of mind or character of those in the combined group (a country) and which distinguishes it from other combined groups (other countries). It is not so much that a constitution of a country determines its nature and character; but, rather, that a constitution reflects a country's nature and character."
Crime and Punishment.
(32K)
May '99
"In addition to the use of punishment as deterrent, there is the legitimate use of punishment by the state to satisfy the need which the victim and his family have for retribution (lex talionis). More generally, in regard to the attitude to capital punishment and/or prisons, one side might be solidly supported the view expressed by Thomas Huxley, we should keep criminals only if we believe, with some certainly, that they may become 'serviceable members of the polity.'"
On Judges.
(29K)
April '99
"The requirement for a judge to be neutral is not sacrificed simply because a judge has his own particular sympathies or opinions. He is, as my old contracts professor, Horace Read use to say (as each of us are), but the sum total of all that has gone before: a person is undeniably the product of the culture, traditions and beliefs to which he or she, as an ongoing process, has been exposed; a person can hardly shake being what she is, because she sits high on a bench. It is not expected that a judge should be able to discount the very life experiences that may so well have qualified him or her to preside over disputes. It has been observed that the primary judicial duty is to be impartial, however, it is to be expected that she will bring along with her existing sympathies, antipathies or attitudes."
On Lawyers.
(51K)
March '99
"It is always best to have a lurking suspicion of all statements made by a person who has a contrary interest. While one must be ready to admit the obvious, one has to be careful not to give away points too early in the game; and, at any rate, some things, on a second look, are not so obvious. ... It is the sign of an accomplished advocate when he tries, as he should always do, to throw the onus propandi on his adversary. Remember, always, the legal maxim that 'He who asserts must prove.'"
On Property Rights.
(38K)
April '99
"The beauty of a contract is that they come about on a strictly voluntary basis, with the state only getting involved to enforce the contractual obligations where they are not voluntarily discharged by the parties themselves: and, which they do, 99.9% of the time. Without the legal concept of contract nothing would move in our economy and we all would have to go back to the caves. Thus, it is, that property and the full freedom to deal with it has become essential to our very civilization. The right to our property and the right to do with it as we wish, within the bounds of criminal law, is something to be left entirely to the citizens. This is and has been the great canon which has guided people into civilized society. It is one of the three great principles of English law as was stated by Blackstone: First is the Security of the Person; Second, the Liberty of the Person; and, Third, 'inherent in every Englishman,' the Right to Hold Property."



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Peter Landry