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Everything posted by Marat

  1. I'm not entirely clear on the issue in this case. Since a statewide election changed the state constitution to make affirmative action illegal, how was it that another statewide election to change the constitution back to its former condition would be a violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection guarantee? It seems that the minorities wanting to re-amend the state constitution would only have to go through the same process as the whole state's electors faced in the first place to amend it. It seems that the amendment effecting the denial of affirmative action also somehow made it more difficult to re-amend the constitution to change it back to permitting affirmative action. If that is so, then it seems not a facial but certainly a substantive violation of the 14th Amendment. Affirmative action per se is ridiculous, since it seeks to address the negative effects of racism against one group by racism against another group. Affirmative action programs represent yet another illegitimate use of group stereotype reasoning to the disadvantage of a race, since they assume that all White males presently in the country somehow benefited from the history of discrimination which in many cases ended before they were born. It may even be doubted that the effects of historical discrimination really are necessarily passed on to later generations, since many victims of very recent discrimination, such as the Jews, Asians, South Asians, Italians, and Irish seem to do quite well, and yet some of them are marked a legal victims of affirmative action despite their recent historical experience of discrimination. What is the excuse for that? Can mere administrative convenience in applying an affirmative action policy justify the violation of equality rights? A better way to address any lingering effects from past discrimination would be to benefit those harmed by money from the general tax funds, since in this solution there is at least no use of racial discrimination, and the burden is not specifically and heavily imposed on people whose only connection with the original beneficiaries of discrimination is the color of their skin.
  2. The decline of marriage probably has more to do with changes in social mores rather than government welfare laws or tax breaks. People are seldom willing to adjust their civil status purely for financial inducements of the sort that can be gained through the effects of their changed status on government programs, since the money at stake is too small and most people don't run their lives like a corporation, but are instead governed more by emotion. The demographic change in the percentage of married couples is likely just another consequence of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, which encouraged loose partnership formation and dissolution, which is incompatible with marriage.
  3. The real influence of money in the American electoral process is in the way the elite defines the issues for the people prior to the election so as to skew their voting to support the interests of the wealthy minority. As Ramsay Clark, Johnson's Attorney-General once said, America is not a democracy but a plutocracy. Carl Schmitt, the doyen of Nazi legal theorists, who has recently undergone a revival in reputation among academics, described the situation of most democracies as follows: The people basically understand nothing about politics on their own, so they rely on the thought-collectivity or national ideology to guide their voting. This national ideology is determined by the interests of the wealthy elite, so in effect, the wealthy in every democracy select the leaders, although for show they have to do so by channelling their influence with only about 90% reliability through their manipulation of the ideology constructed to dominate the voters. We see an example of this in the U.S. today, with the response of the common people to their having to foot the bill for the gamble of Wall Street speculators having gone wrong in 2008 being the 'Tea Party' movement, which completely supports, albeit in apparently populist form, the interests of Wall Street! To apply this to the theme of this thread, we can see that if background processes such as the hegemonic ideology of the elite make all democratic process in the U.S. forever anti-populist, then there is no point in making the Senate any more or any less 'popularly controlled,' since popular control of any branch of government is simply one of the illusions of the dominant ideology in America.
  4. Almost everything important and scientifically true is general. The basic laws of physics, for example, were not found by searching through the Amazon Rain Forest to uncover some secret stone with magical properties which revealed them, but rather, by carefully analyzing and measuring large ranges of superficial data and then drawing the best inferences to account for them. Similarly, ethical and psychological principles are normally developed by gaining lots of experience about people and then deriving a few principles which serve as useful guides for treating others well and empathizing with them. But the whole problem with the literalist approach to the significance of one person who lived at one time and in one place is that it pretends that the meaning of the entire universe can be derived from what a single entity is reported to have said and done. Thus the meaning of the entire system is focused just in one tiny point within the system, which is not characteristic of any sort of systematic explanation elsewhere in our experience. Peano's axioms explaining math don't concentrate on discovering the meaning of number by finding the special, magically informative number, say 1139, which reveals all. Rational insight simply doesn't work this way -- or rather, it does, but only in fairy tales, where the Wizard of Oz, the golden fleece, the sword in the stone, the holy grail, the wise centaur Silenus, etc., will explain or solve everything, if it can only be discovered. Such a solution to the mysteries of life is characteristically literary, since it defines a simple quest for the story's narrative, concretizes and unifies the solution of the action, and dramatizes the conclusion. That the whole answer to all the vast and terrible mysteries of life and the universe should be in a single carpenter who spoke Aramaic in the Roman Province of Judea ca. 30 A.D. seems palpably fictional and rationally disproportionate. How can a single fact account for everything?
  5. In all these sciences of the mind its hard to distinguish boundaries. At the end of the 19th century, Hugo Munsterberg and William James were still arguing about whether psychology should be a part of the philosophy department, and now there are borderline questions between psychology and psychiatry. Even within the ontology of psychiatric disease entities, there was a scandal a few decades ago when it was found that British and American psychiatrists were constructing schizophrenia diagnoses differently, according to which side of the Atlantic the patients presented. So, yes, I would agree that the problems with the diagnostic entities of the DSM, which are generated by the mutual guilt of psychiatrists and less so by psychologists, and used by both psychiatrists and psychologists, cross boundaries between psychiatry and psychology.
  6. One way to approach the question is to note that when you wake up after having been asleep, you are aware of time having passed. Thus you did not just drop out of existence while asleep, so that there was no dimly aware recording of the sensation of time passing, but rather, the awareness of that semi-conscious recording of time having passed when you awake shows that you were at least minimally conscious while sleeping. If this were not true, you couldn't tell on awakening whether you had just been unconscious for an instant and collapsed, or have slept for 9 hours.
  7. Since the OP said that "the Senate kept impulsive policy from being enacted and checked the House's populism," my point about the majority of Senators today being millionaires is that they are already clearly by their very nature likely to act as opponents of populism, even though they are 'elected by the people.' American elections are so heavily influenced by money, by the ten-second soundbyte format that prohibits serious discussion, and by deliberate obfuscations of the political reality so as to enable interests totally opposed to the public nonetheless to win the public's apparent support, that no alteration in the way Senators are elected is really needed to preserve their intended role as restraints on the more popular chamber's populism.
  8. Although Saudi Arabia often offers foreigners very well-paid jobs, with considerable wage inflation for enduring the oddities of the local culture and climate, some people have reported having their passports confiscated on arrival, the jobs suddenly turning out to be less remunerative than advertised, and having no choice but to take them since they could not leave until their passports were returned.
  9. It might be considered a contract, though a court might doubt the intention of the parties to be bound by their expressed agreement, given the rather silly context in which such a serious undertaking was concluded. However, in most of the world's jurisdictions (outside of Islamic countries), you cannot be married by a private contract, but instead require certification of your change of status by a civic official in the manner prescribed by the state. There was a 'Candid Camera' episode some years ago which addressed this idea. A machine was set up in a mall advertising that couples could get married by putting a coin in slot. A microphone in the machine was then activated and the couple had to take their vows at the prompting of the machine's 'voice.' Although it was obviously intended to be funny, the feeling the episode aroused was instead one of pathos, since the earnest stupidity of the couples who actually thought they were being married in that way was simply sad to watch.
  10. First I would dispute the assertion that social or humanistic studies are worthless because they are not natural sciences. Fields outside the natural sciences operate not by measuring data to predict the future by hypotheses based on the data, but instead develop hypotheses to guide the interpretation of human behavior, thinking, texts, and culture. They are 'sciences' of 'Verstehen' (understanding), as Dilthey pointed out, not of prediction, so their intellectual project is simply incommensurable with that of the exact sciences, rather than inferior to it. Everything worth the attention of human thought doesn't have to involve mathematical laws predicting how particles will move under various conditions. Second, it is important to distinguish psychology as brain physiology, which is close to the exact sciences, from psychology as the classification of mental disorders in the DSM-IV, which is in many cases just the expression of social policing dressed up as science. If you do research on the role of hyperglycemia's effect on brain neurons and its relation to Alzheimer's disease, that is no different from ordinary science, yet it could still arguably be classified as psychology, especially if you related cerebral hyperglycemia to changes in behavior. But when earlier versions of the DSM classified being homosexual as a mental disease, at least until that diagnosis became so politically incorrect that it had to be dropped from the DSM in 1977, then that type of psychology is just pure social fascism posing as science. Some clinical entities in psychiatry seem so clear and coherent, are found in so many cultures, and have such predictable courses -- such as schizophrenia, for example -- that their ontological status seems perfectly reliable and an acceptable basis for scientific theorizing. Other clinical entities, such as depression, however, seem more like excuses to sell expensive pills to people who are reacting perfectly normally to unpleasant life circumstances. The fact that psychology can't clearly separate the wheat from the chaff in its collection of clinical entities certainly undermines its claim to being a science.
  11. Daniel Dennett's theory of learned capacity for self-awareness is well-supported by other theorists, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Julian Jaynes. Wittgenstein's argument is essentially that the ability to understand ourselves as a continuing subject or 'platform' of experience distinct from the jumble of sensations we experience depends on our participation in a society of other language users who first bring us into focus for our own awareness as entities independent of the group and its objective world. Only by going through that process do we fully develop a 'self' to which memories can be attached as 'my own experience,' so it becomes sufficiently important to bother remembering them. Jaynes approaches the issue in terms of the cultural history of consciousness, arguing that pre-Homeric peoples were not fully self-aware in the way we are, since the way their surrounding culture developed their own self-understanding was different from our own. This is why Ancient Greek texts express 'Achilles became angry' as 'Anger arrived at the locus known as Achilles,' given that selfhood was not yet fully developed in our modern sense. This also explains, according to Jaynes, the disturbingly vacant, insect-like eyes of ancient depictions of the human face. If there was little or no self-awareness inside, why depict it as all that significant outside? How this affected ancient memory is a question that is likely beyond our capacities to research.
  12. What makes a person attractive or unattractive depends on a subtle concinnity of the parts of the face and the overall stylistic statement of the habitus. But if genes generally control the formation of each element, then the way genes come together to constitute the whole picture of a person might be totally ugly in the parents but profoundly beautiful in the children, simply because the effect of the composition could tip from ugly to pretty and back again with the smallest variation in the nature, position, and balance of the elements. Plastic surgeons have a motto which encapsulates this idea, which is: "Fix the nose, spoil the face." If your father has an attractive nose and your mother has a very different sort of face, then you might be ugly by virtue of your father's attractive nose being planted on a face that it doesn't match. So the good facial shape gene and good nose shape gene don't really determine ugliness or prettiness, although they may be ugly or pretty in themselves.
  13. The fact that the majority of the members of the U.S. Senate are millionaires while the average working American earns about $40,000 a year already makes that body profoundly far removed from popular influence, since the intellectual ideology, conditioned by personal experience, which guides its members is totally alien to the majority of the people. There is already more than enough control on populism in the American political system with money having a major vote in elections alongside real humans. Canada has a much less populist Senate than the United States does, with its Senators appointed until mandatory retirement at 75 by the Prime Minister from among his old cronies, political hacks, party bagmen, and former elected officials who proved so corrupt that they could no longer be elected to office and so had to get a Senate appointment to pay the rent. But even though the Senate is more far removed from popular control than the corresponding U.S. institution, Canada is a much more populist country in its social policies (free healthcare, generous welfare benefits, etc.) than the U.S. That suggests that the populist nature of a country has more to do with the basic assumptions and ideologies of the people rather than with its formal political institutions.
  14. But of all the ways to produce noise mechanically with the body, why does the insect use just that part to attract a mate? Is there something about the volume, length, or quality of the noise that signals the female as to which partners are best?
  15. I will second that comment about skin cancer, since Australia has the uniquely bad combination of intense sun exposure plus a very fair, white population. There is also the problem of the vast internal distances within Australia, so it is not as easy to attend a conference in Sidney if you are working in Melbourne as it is to travel for the same purpose from Cambridge to London. It makes my heart sink to think of how far I would be, if I lived in Australia, from anything culturally interesting to see in the way of famous museums, cultural institutions, or historical landmarks. The Louvre, the Hofburg Palace, the battlefield of Waterloo, the British Library, or the Berlin Symphony would not be in easy reach, although you would have desert, dingos, horseflies, and melanomas in abundance. Also, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but there is a general rumor that the level of culture in Australia is low, being awash in beer, beachbathing, dwarf-tossing contests, and outdoor sports in this land populated by descendants of the deported criminals of 18th century England (cf. the Jukes study?). Like the celebrated 38 terms for the different kinds of snow in Inuit languages, doesn't Australian English have more words for post-alcoholic vomiting than any other language?
  16. Education is certainly part of the issue. Something that has always mystified me is that Africa, where there should be extensive and efficient agricultural, actually never developed improved agricultural techniques that were already discovered in Europe during the Middle Ages. These had to be reintroduced with European colonization in the 19th century, and in many cases even today simple improvements in agricultural techniques have not been adopted. I don't think that colonization can still be blamed for the Third World's problems half a century after most of them became independent. Even those which had the most minimal experience with colonialism, such as Thailand, Haiti, and Ethiopia, are no better off, and arguably even worse off, than areas which 'suffered' much more colonialism. The real difficulty is what would happen to educational institutions once they were established in the Third World, given that the hundreds of billions of dollars which have been given in foreign aid to developing countries since World War II have been largely wasted. Richard Feynman noted while he was assisting in the educational development of Brazil that the students there simply lacked the talent to benefit from what they were learning about physics, since something in the culture induced them simply passively to memorize everything they studied rather than to think about it and develop it. There is also a problem of a depressed local culture of poverty and defeat discouraging creative use of any resources which are provided. I saw a UN development project in St. Lucia which built an aqueduct for a village which allowed the people to receive water from the mountain springs in the valley below. They could then avoid the arduous task of having all the women in the village spend all day, every day climbing up and down the mountain to fetch water. The aqueduct required minimal maintenance by the villagers to keep working, having one or two people devote about an hour a day to keep it going, and they had received extensive training in keeping it operating. However, after a few months they ceased to maintain it, and so once again the water had to be carried manually down the mountainside. So education might be ineffective without first instilling a spirit of self-efficacy in the local population.
  17. Even in Ancient Roman law they had an institution in which opponents in a law suit would challenge each other to a 'proof' of what they were each asserting by each person saying, "May the gods strike me dead if I am lying." Interestingly, this procedure was rarely elected, since people were so superstitious that they did not even want to tempt fate if they knew they were right, since they might be mistaken in their understanding of the truth compared to what the gods would think was true. Still, if one person in a civil suit was willing to take that oath and tempt the gods to destroy him if he were lying, but the opponent did not swear that oath, then the person swearing the oath would autonmatically win the case. Some of the ordeals used in medieval law to let God manifest his choice between opposing parties in a law suit were: having both parties reach into a bucket of boiling water to find and lift out a ring; having both parties hold a searing hot knife in their hands to see on whose hand the resulting wound healed less well; throwing an accused criminal in the water to see if the water would 'receive' him by allowing him to sink -- if he did sink he was innocent, since nature had not found him too revoltingly criminal to swallow up; if he didn't sink but floated, nature had rejected him as too evil so he was guilty. If you truly assume that God is the master of the physical universe, the cooperation of the universe with his divine order and sense of values should be expected, so not only should these ordeals show who was guilty or innocent, but also miracles should routinely manifest to show God's approval or disapproval of what was happening. It is odd that today believers no longer expect that a God who is materially real and controls the material universe should somehow be so detached from it that miracles no longer happen.
  18. Marat


    The time taken to do a Ph.D. can and should vary enormously. At the time I was doing a Ph.D. in England, there was a debate whether the university should impose a standard deadline on all Ph.D. candidates. But this seemed absurd, since some people in plant biology can get a doctorate for growing 100 plants and noticing something about them, while other people in theoretical physics can't get a doctorate until they resolve some mega-speculative puzzle about the physics of black holes. Why the same time-line should apply to both types of projects is a mystery, and academics should know better than to impose such a uniformity. In the U.S., however, you have the frequent and sad story of the 20-year-long Ph.D. candidate sleeping in the department TA office and scrounging for money from his friends long after his grant money has run out while he continues researching his doctorate on parasitic infections during the development of the subcapsualr membrane in the Minky Whale. It seems to be a prerequisite for this role that the afflicted academic be male, overweight, balding, have an unkempt beard, and be a chain-smoker. The tragedy is that such characters are also usually brilliant, but have gotten so deeply into their research that they have become out of touch with practicalities. Some motion in that direction is necessary to be a good academic, but too much is dangerous, and setting just the right balance requires more talent than most new Ph.D. students realize.
  19. There is good science showing a strong correlation between babies born in the early winter months, eseentially January and February, having a significantly higher incidence of schizophrenia later in life. Studies of birth season in the southern hemisphere indicate that there this trend is reversed, pointing to a weather influence on the developing fetus. The likely mechanism is that when the weather conditions are right for virus season, a developing fetus whose brain is at the critical point of formation will be negatively impacted by the mother's flu virus and have a higher chance of becoming schizophrenic. There is also a concentration of type 1 diabetics born in the late Fall and early Winter, from about October to the end of December. I think there is also some good evidence of the IQ of people born in the winter months being higher, perhaps because the newborn infant subtly perceives that it has been born into a more stressful environment and so this alerts its drive toward more rapid intellectual development. In my own life I have seen this connection confirmed time and time again, almost to the point where if I hear that someone was born in July or August, when everything is warm is stress-free, I have a hard time overcoming my expectation that he will not be smart. Whenever I have looked at biographies of famous people, the dummies were all born in summer, and the smarties were all born in winter (with the exception of Goethe). Kepler, who was born into an age which took astrology seriously, and who was by profession a part-time astrologer, regarded astrological influences as a normal part of physics. His argument was that since everything in the physical universe was connected and humans were physical beings, why shouldn't the physics of the solar system influence human behavior?
  20. Since there are fundamental disagreements about what constitutes fairness, it seems impossible that life could ever be 100% objectively fair in such a way that we could all agree and recognize it as such. Thus today, while some people feel strongly that everyone should be treated equally in all competitions, others feel just as strongly that there should be affirmative action compensations to adjust rewards given in some competitions for some kinds of disadvantages. So if the world were designed to achieve either of these inconsistent alternatives, it would still seem ethically arbitary to some people. Another problem is that we would then have a world which would be governed by ethical rather than by physical laws, in contrast to the world in which we now live, where events occur according to physical laws to which we then apply ethical interpretations which are themselves often refuted by actual events. You often hear on the same day the story of two buses travelling in southern France, one taking nuns to a religious shrine, the other taking gamblers to Monaco, and the nuns' bus crashes but not the gamblers.' But if the universe obeyed moral rather than physical laws so that everything was fair or ethical, then our science and our world would be radically different, and in essence the natural science of predicting events would be moral science. A rocket obeying Newtonian principles would crash if its inventer didn't deserve a successful flight, while a rocket designed to follow the rules of Aristotelian physics would be successful if its inventer deserved a success. But how could we know the true moral desert of every person? Our inability to measure this, in contrast to the way physical reality can now be measured, would mean we would have no science. We would have something like medieval law, where people proved their cases in court by a 'wager of God,' where they would stake the justice of their assertion on their ability to perform some task better than their opponent, and it was seriously expected by the judicial system that God would intervene to produce the fair result, rather than that physical laws would decide the issue. Since morality and physics would always coincide in their results, we would simply lose the distinction between them and become unethical, since 'morally fair' and 'a valid prediction of what is about to happen' would be equivalent concepts.
  21. Marat


    The usual North American process for getting a Ph.D. is that you take courses for one or two years, either earning the equivalent of a master's degree or actually receiving one en route. Then you study for a while for 'field exams,' in which you demonstrate advanced competence by examination in the field of your intended dissertation and one or two ancillary fields. Then you go on to do your research for the dissertation, write it up, and defend it before your dissertation committee, which usually consists of three examiners. Then you receive your Ph.D. and apply for a job driving a taxi. The usual European process for the Ph.D. or D.Phil. is quite different, since it focuses entirely on the research, preparation, and defense of the dissertation. Taking courses en route it usually optional, and instead of field exams being required as a prerequisite to being allowed to proceed with the dissertation, the student usually has to submit for approval a preliminary write-up of the research so far and an outline of the intended thesis. The dissertation itself will be examined by several faculty members, and almost always there will be one external examiner from another university to guarantee that you don't just get the degree because you have flattered the local faculty or appealed to their prejudices. In Germany there is the added problem of actually persuading a professor to accept you as his student, and this often involves subsuming yourself under his way of thinking. Occasionally this relationship will be so tyrannical that he essentially assigns you to complete for him a part of his own research work, in return for which he will see to it that you get your degree. Some institutions also have a teaching requirement to qualify for the doctorate, so you have to demonstrate that you can teach undergraduates by serving in a few courses as a teaching assistant. This is time-consuming but not assessed very seriously.
  22. This is just an extreme version of the mistake quite generally made today, which is that our moral duty to treat all humans with equal concern and respect must also derive from the fact that everyone is equal in all respects. But as the 18th century philosopher David Hume quite intelligently pointed out, "You cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is,'" or in other words, facts have nothing to say about values, since we usually hold our values -- like human equality -- independently of any factual evidence. That's why stupid and smart people, alcoholics and judges, and ditch diggers and brain surgeons all get one vote at elections. Thus if gender roles allow it to be more easily perceived that boys are better at math than girls, and girls are better at poetry, an intelligent philosophical perspective shows that this has no effect whatsoever on their moral equality as humans, which is an ethical assumption independent of facts. You don't achieve respect for human equality by dumbing down smart people, pretending dumb people are smart, providing elevator shoes for the short and putting all the tall in wheelchairs so you can't tell their height. Experiments with monkeys have already shown that even male and female apes seek out, according to their gender, the respective male and female human toys made available for them to play with. This whole endeavor smacks of the vast and stupid social engineering projects of Pol Pot and Mao in making intellectuals work in the fields to humble them so that everyone would be the same in fact and thus equal in moral status. If they had read their Hume or Kant they would know that the relationship between fact and value is inverse.
  23. God could remember your actions in life after you are dead, evaluate them, and give you a plus or a minus, but if you don't have a 'soul' as some version of yourself which somehow survives your physical death, then none of this would matter to you in any practical sense, since you wouldn't be around to experience the reward, punishment, or self-satisfaction of knowing that you 'won the game.' You could go through life with the sense that the moral value of all your actions and omissions was being weighed up and either credited or debited to you, but that really just amounts to taking the moral significance of your life seriously, and is an attitude shared by many atheists. So it seems that religious people need the soul as an entity which is still the self but yet somehow different from the self, in the sense that it can live after death, since otherwise there would be nothing to receive the proper retribution or reward for all the immoral or moral acts committed, and we know that in life there is no fair reward for goodness or just punishment for evil. However, the idea of a self which is somehow, paradoxially, not the self, since it is a self which can live after death, while the ordinary self lives under the constant threat of death and so is defined by it, is philosophically incoherent. The 'I' who in life committed sins and deserved punishment and did good things and deserved reward cannot possibly be identical with an 'I' who lives posthumously and so is beyond that death which essentially defined the 'I' which is responsible for its acts in life. So punishing or rewarding this posthumous 'I' is totally incoherent, since it is punishing and rewarding one person for the sins and credits of someone else.
  24. Rheumatism and arthritis famously respond to changes in the weather, and it was common in days gone by for people to predict weather changes this way. It's probably more the result of varying moisture levels than the barometric pressure. Patients' intraocular pressure measured by tonometry does increase during periods of the full moon, since the eye's aequeus also has its 'tides.' I don't think that changes in barometric pressure would have much effect on IOP, though.
  25. Marat

    NATO !

    JohnB: I don't think your analogy applies, because as childish as this reasoning may sound, it all comes down to 'who started it.' The hijackers commit an initially illegal act in seizing the plane and blackmailing the legally constituted authorities by threatening to kill their hostages, so they really can't blame the authorities for any deaths that result by the authorities maintaining public right and the legal order in refusing to comply with the hijackers' demands. In the Libyan case, international law recognizes the right of the domestically constituted legal authority in every country to enforce its domestic criminal code, which always allows the state to use lethal force to suppress an armed uprising, especially one directed at seizing power by violent means. This is the authority by which the U.S. acted to kill the Puerto Rican freedom fighters at the Battle of the Blair House in 1950, for example, and it was this same legal authority by which Gaddafi acted to suppress the rebellion in his own country. So the initial wrong doers here, the 'hijackers' in terms of the analogy offered, are the Libyan rebels, not Gaddafi, since they are the ones who are acting in violation of public right. If you accept, as the whole world did before the rebellion, that Gaddafi's government is the legally constituted domestic authority in Libya, then the world has no complaint at international law when he acts to sustain the domestic legal order in Libya by suppression open and armed rebellion with force. Don't be misled by the basic moral and legal calculus of the situation having been turned upside down as soon as the Great Powers got a whiff of Libyan oil perhaps becoming available on the market at a discount once the risk factor of its possession by an unreliable character like Gaddafi could be eliminated by giving a little strategic nudge to the rebels.
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