Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From Our Friends at ASCE: Recent Essays on US-Cuba Normalization

The Association for the Study of the Cuba Economy (ASCE) is a non-profit, non-political organization that pursues the study of Cuba in a broad sense, with particular emphasis on the financial, economic, social, legal and environmental aspects of Cuba today and its process of transition and reforms. Its blog presents original contributions on the Cuban economy and society.  These essays remind us both of the challenges to normalization, and the future difficulties of reform as Cuba considers the extent to which it means to plug back into the global economy.

This post includes links to recent posts.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Part 36: (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Parts 33-35, in which Betita Horm Pepulim responds to the idea of philosophy as a form of bureaucratism of the undifferentiated self.

Contents: HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EU Parliament Votes in Favor of Binding Regulations on Conflict Minerals Monitoring and Disclosure Regimes

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


On 20 May, the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal for a binding regulation on conflict minerals throughout sourcing enterprises' supply chains. Discussions on details of the final regulation are underway with EU member states. European Parliament, On the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas (COM(2014)0111 – C7-0092/2014 – 2014/0059(COD) P8_TA(2015)0204)

The EU "Supply-Chain Due Diligence" standards will be based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance recommendations, created to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchases from conflict areas. More HERE. The March 20915 Opinion of the EU Parliament Committee on Development follows below.

Some background, thoughts and links to materials follow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Part 35: (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 33 and 34, in which Flora Sapio returns to the talisman.

Contents: HERE.  

Part 34: (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 32 and 33, in which Betita Horm Pepulim (BHP) and Ulisses Schwarz Viana (USV) Larry Catá Backer, consider aspects of the issues raised.

Contents: HERE

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Part 33: (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 31, in which Betita Horm Pepulim (BHP) responds to Flora Sapio with a rejoinder from Larry Catá Backer..

Contents: HERE


Friday, May 15, 2015

Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy--Call for Papers 2015 Annual Meeting: "Cuba--What's Next?"


The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy has one of the most interesting and consistent scholarship on Cuba that is straightforward and devoid of a single and relentless political agenda--something rare in Cuban studies. Here for its Mission Statement. Twenty-four volumes of the Annual Proceedings have been published. They are widely used inside and outside of Cuba by universities, research centers, government agencies and others. the conferences have been quite interesting with sometimes lively debate and an increasing presence of scholars and others from Cuba.
The theme for the 25th Annual Conference of the ASCE is "Cuba--What's Next?,"will focus on what to expect after the recent historic announcements of changes in diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US. Will Cuba make the necessary internal economic reforms to attract enough foreign direct investment to spur economic growth? When will currency reform be implemented? When will the agricultural sector be restructured to increase productivity and output? Can we expect Cuba to develop its banking system and establish well-functioning capital markets? The conference will also include a plenary session on Cuban economic and political trends as well as sessions on social, legal, and sectoral issues related to the economy and a student panel.

The Call for Papers (in English and Spanish) follows:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sexual Assualt at the American Law Institute--Controversy Over the Criminalization of Sexual Contact in the Proposed Revision of the Model Penal Code


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


Sexual assault has been much in the news in the United States.  Especially in the context of the management of behaviors at universities, sexual assault constitutes a new frontier of managing cultural norms through law. (See here, here, and here).  The American Law Institute has taken up the issue as well, launching a project examining college and university procedures surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct on campus titled Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus: Procedural Frameworks and Analysis.

The criminalization of sexual assault has also become an issue of general concern. The issues raised go to the heart of two great trends in U.S jurisprudence.  The first is the move toward the criminalization of behaviors that society, through the state, seeks to control. The second touches on the value of the use of the criminal law as an instrument of social and cultural change. A subsidiary issue that is related to the use of the criminal law as an agent for cultural change involves the way that customary rules of process fairness are bent to the greater policy goals.There are many who view criminalization and the use of law instrumentally, and especially the criminal law, as a valuable tool for societal progress.  There are many who disagree.  Consider the position of 16 Penn Law faculty members wrote this open letter criticizing aspects of that policy, and of the federal government’s actions.

This general legal and political conflict has now spilled over into a battle over the approach and language of any new provision for the criminalization of sexual assault that is at the heart of the ALI's project, Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses.
Purpose:
This project will re-examine Article 213 of the Model Penal Code, which was ahead of its time when approved by the ALI in 1962, but is now outdated and no longer a reliable guide for legislatures and courts.

Status:
Tentative Draft No. 1 was presented to the membership at the 2014 Annual Meeting. As time ran out before the discussion could be concluded, no vote was taken to approve the draft.
Between the 2014 meeting and the upcoming meeting of the ALI, a number of ALI members have raised some objections to the approach to be taken by the project's reporter, Stephen J. Schulhofer  and its associate reporter, Erin E. Murphy, both of NYU Law School. These objections go to the heart of the conflicts that go to the policy underlying contemporary efforts to change cultures and control behaviors now understood as sexual assault. Their memo follows.