Identifying your goal as an animal rights activist: Five tiers

Effective animal rights activism

Many animal rights activists and organizations don’t even have a specific goal in mind.  Just ask them!  Most will be able to articulate a strong feeling that something is wrong and a strong desire to fix it.  But many will not be able to describe what that fix is or how that fix actually gets done:-/  This lack of focus is holding back the movement in a big way, in my view.

Here’s a simple chart aimed at helping activists focus their work on a specific, concrete goal.

Effective animal rights activism | faunacide convention, abolition amendment, animal protection laws, corporate manumission, vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle and life choices
Effective animal rights activism | faunacide convention, abolition amendment, animal protection laws, corporate manumission, vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle and life choices

Victory at the first three levels will represent the climax of the current animal rights movement; thereafter, the movement’s focus will shift from law-making to law-enforcing.

The latter two tiers represent the means whereby demand for cruelty-based goods and services is eliminated; such elimination undermines the financial viability of cruelty-based activities, thereby setting up the conditions necessary for victory at the former three tiers. Pick your favorite tier, and make things happen!

#animalrights #animalliberation #vegan

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(Original publication date:  Sept. 6, 2015 (FB))

California Bar Exam Essays | Some Tips

1.  Remember that your essay is being graded by a human being. Many people studying for the bar exam get so caught up in memorizing obscure rules and rigid outlines that they forget the basics of writing a decent essay.  An essay is not an outline.  It is not an unprocessed mass of all the things you know about a topic.  Instead, it is a communication between you and the reader.  Write like a human being who is writing to another human being!

2.  Establish and maintain the correct tone. The tone used in writing an essay is different from that used in writing a performance test deliverable.  In an essay, write as though you are addressing an educated person who knows little about law but who can be brought up to speed by a clear, concise explanation.  Thus, you want to mention basic principles briefly without belaboring them and then move on to cover the specifics of the present stimulus.

3.  IRAC works. There is a reason why the IRAC ( issue, rule, application, conclusion) structure  is taught in virtually every legal writing class: it works.  Some people complain that this structure is too rigid.  But the fact is that you are not writing an essay to become a famous author.  You are not trying to appeal to the masses. You are trying to get points and pass the bar exam.  Well-written IRAC applied to each of the major issues is a good way to get that job done.

NOTE:  BarRev created the ILFAC™ method, because that method scores higher and allows students to move faster. The ILFAC™ method is still the best choice, but IRAC works if done well.

4.  Get some points right up front. A one-paragraph “roadmap” of the major issues and what you are going to say about them makes a good first impression on the reader.  If the reader knows in advance that he or she is going to get high-quality work from you, he or she is more likely to be in a receptive frame of mind while reading the remainder of your essay.  Use this psychology to your advantage.

5.  Hit the right stride and stick with it. You must develop an internal gauge for the right mix of reading time, organizing time, and writing time.  Don’t get yourself backed into a corner by over-analyzing, but don’t rush into writing without any sort of plan.  Finding the right balance is a matter of practice, review, and more practice.


(Original publication date:  Jun 6, 2010 (LEX))

Invention Code Name: Uncommon Law™

Snapshot:  Uncommon Law™ Universal Judicial Opinion Entry Software Forces Judges to Be Logical

(Original article publication date:  July 15, 2008 (Inventerprise))

Problem

Common law judicial opinions have no set form or style (except that they be in English), and they are required to meet no minimum standards for quality—or even validity.  This free-form, free-wheeling approach to law evolved hundreds of years ago as an expedient measure in less-enlightened times.  And it’s time for it to go.

Solution

Uncommon Law™ software eliminates the possibility of long-winded, unnecessary rambling (the lawyers tell us they call that “dicta”) and of fallacious reasoning as follows:  a judge logs into the Uncommon Law website and enters the case number and other identifying information. He then enters conclusion and premise data that go to make up his argument into the proper field. As many fields as necessary can be used, but each entry should include only one premise or conclusion.

Result

In this way, the logical validity of a judicial opinion can be relatively easily reviewed for errors—perhaps even automatically reviewed for certain simple errors.

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Comments:  This PeopleChase database product is based on the Universal Judicial Opinion system.

Over-Laws | Even Higher than the Supreme Law of the Land

(Original publication date:  April 27, 2007)

Every law student knows—or had better know in time for the bar exam—that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, meaning, that no law can conflict with the Constitution and still be deemed valid. That is the case here in the United States, and virtually every other country has some document or body of law that is treated as supreme in that country. In short, laws of lower priority (local laws, for instance) must yield to the supreme law of the sovereign nation. Meanwhile, foreign laws have even lower status, namely, no effect at all; the law in France does not apply to me, unless, of course, I go to France or become a French citizen.

The discussion of supremacy could end there and, typically, it does. But, in fact, there are laws that trump even the supreme law of the land, and there are laws that apply in every country, transcending all national boundaries, regardless of sovereignty.

Chief among these “over-laws” are the laws of nature. We could pass a constitutional amendment saying that “Gravity shall not apply in Massachusetts” or “All citizens over the age of 18 shall be invisible.” But these “supreme” laws would in fact be void; they would have no effect. When Nature and the Constitution square off, Nature wins.

Fair enough, one might say. There is no need to belabor the obvious. End of discussion.

But the discussion actually does not end there either. When applied in advance (prediction) or after the fact (reflection) in the imagination of a person, the laws of nature have a different name: logic. Yet the supremacy of the laws of nature remains.

For instance, imagine an individual who is accused of murdering someone else. But the murder in question occurred three years before the accused was born. The laws of nature, in such a case, would prevent the accused from being the actual murderer.

In a court of law, considering the crime after the fact, we would apply the laws of nature by saying that to convict someone of a crime that, under the laws of nature, he or she could not have committed “would not make sense”; in other words, it would be “illogical.” Specifically, it is illogical for an effect to precede its cause.

While one flows from the other, there are some major differences between logic and the laws of nature. Perhaps most importantly, the laws of nature cannot be ignored in the present. Gravity works, whether we acknowledge it or not. Our opinion is irrelevant to the functioning of the laws of nature.

But when considering the past or the future, it is far too easy to forget the laws of nature or to misapply them, i.e., to be irrational, to draw illogical inferences. We can easily imagine scenarios that are, while imaginable, impossible. We can imagine, for instance, that a person traveled back in time so as to commit the murder that happened three years before he or she was born. We can imagine a perpetual motion machine. But imagining such things does not make them real.

Misapplying the laws of nature in reflection or prediction is a human error. When we make such errors, grave injustices can be committed. Innocent people are burned at the stake; perpetrators go free; plaintiffs find no relief. Nonetheless, the laws of nature remain supreme and govern in every nation, as does their lieutenant in the minds of men and women, logic. It is we who forget this fundamental supremacy at our peril.

Corporations | Have Your Cake—and Let Someone Else Pay for It

(Original publication date:  April 2007 (ePoet))

Most modern business transactions involve at least one corporation, limited liability company or similar entity. When originally invented, the corporation was permitted only in very special circumstances, because its inherent and enormous dangers were regarded with awe and trepidation. Now, the corporation is omnipresent in our society, but its dangers—still fully present—have been forgotten.

Both the intent and the effect of a corporation is, above all else, to allow participants in an activity to enjoy the fruits of the activity without having to bear the full costs associated with it, specifically, liabilities incurred in the process of conducting the activity. But the costs don’t just disappear. Somebody does bear those costs: everyone else. The people around the corporation—contractors, tort victims, etc.—bear the burdens that would otherwise fall on those who are protected by the corporate shield.

It’s hard to name other instances in our society in which we allow people to have their cake and eat it too, or, phrased more accurately, to have their cake while someone else pays for it. But this is exactly the purpose and result of transacting business through a corporation. It’s equally hard to articulate why we would want a system in which one person gains what others purchase.

Nonetheless, the corporation actually institutionalizes the very externality and free-rider problems that economists teach us to avoid, the same “moral hazards” that legal scholars urge us to minimize.

From both an economic perspective and a moral perspective, the rise of the corporation will go down as one of the most destructive legal developments in recent centuries. Our descendants will reflect upon the many laudable legal advances of the late second and early third millennia, such as the abolition of slavery and universal suffrage, and they will wonder how, amidst such progress, the corporation pandemic was allowed to run unchecked for more than a century while the earth and its inhabitants were abused, contaminated, depleted and destroyed with the impunity afforded by a profoundly bad idea.

Apologists for the corporation will point out that the modern corporation has some desirable qualities, such as shared ownership and unlimited longevity. But these virtues are completely severable from and can be accomplished without limiting liability and are therefore no justification for such limitation.

Others will argue that limitation of liability encourages people to pursue activities they would otherwise not pursue. To which argument the rebuttal is simply, “Exactly!”