Observations from Jury Duty

I had the opportunity to serve as a juror this week for a case in Ontario County, NY. This was the first time I served on a jury. I thought it would be funny to do something like this to get out of it, but now I am really glad I served. It was a great experience. I made several observations about the process, and now that the trial is over, I can talk about it! Jury Selection Jury selection was a long and tedious process. I was actually quite surprised at how well the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney Continue reading Observations from Jury Duty

Gotham City as the Paris Commune

A spoiler warning before I get to the heart of the discussion: This blog entry is being posted the Monday after the release of The Dark Knight Rises.  The blog post deals with material presented in the film, plot elements, as well as some dialogue, so consider this a warning.  While I am not going to go out of my way to spoil parts of the plot intentionally, some revelations about the film is inevitable.  So, if you still have not seen the movie, you probably do not want to read this discussion. The Batman trilogy has concluded. The trilogy satisfied Continue reading Gotham City as the Paris Commune

(Mis)Understanding Political Science and Some Other Stuff

Let me preface this by saying that I started writing this post a little while ago, so some of the content is a bit dated at this point. That said, over at the Duck, Steve Saideman has a post up that continues the ongoing discussion on political science, its utility, and its relationship with the broader public. Steve* also links to some research on the subject done by fellow Binghamton University PhD, Conor Dowling.  You can check out either post for more details on the content/findings of the research. For now, I wanted to focus on a couple of points. Continue reading (Mis)Understanding Political Science and Some Other Stuff

Human Rights and NGOs

I've been working recently on quite a few projects that deal with human rights and NGOs, and today's BBC podcast has quite a bit of material that is relevant to these topics.  First, there's a story regarding a new law that is being debated in Russia that would require NGOs receiving funding from external sources to label themselves as "foreign agents" in all of their state documentation and internet materials. The law would also increase the amount of bookkeeping required by the Russian government to allow NGOs to operate within Russia. Failure to abide by the new law's requirements would Continue reading Human Rights and NGOs