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Monthly Archive for November, 2007

poker teaches tells

there are two kinds of people with whom we have relationships
there are people who have interacted positively with you without ever having turned on you
those are people you love and trust and forgive

there are people who have turned on you at some time in your life
life continues with them but it’s not the same
these are people you may trust at some level but may never fully trust

professional life is practiced in a world in which trust cannot be taken for granted

we trust logic and feeling and goal as three threads of perception of the other
e π i
three threads of expression in the message we each send out

greensboro – in my daughter’s house

The relationship between liberty and equality.
The feeling of being equal to any man in spirit and courage
The feeling of caring about what you believe in and living it
The feeling of being proud of who you are and what you stand for
The feeling of being master of your addiction by your surrender to it
The feeling of having every choice and choosing to be here
The feeling of freedom to take liberty responsibly to my self

i am in greesboro with my daughters and familes, thirty-one strong in a house my leila built. i’ve just walked to the f.w.woolworth home of the sit-in. i’m going to visit here spring 2009 at elon law school.

leary davis, dean of the school, came to cambridge for our poker conference nov 10, sends me a note this morning with a link to elon’s internet interest.
igf brazil

leary tells me there’s a hitch in the plan for me to visit. david gergen, colleague at the kennedy school and chairman of elon’s advisory board, cautions that i am a man who told the crimson he smoked marijuana in the morning on his early morning walks. leary advises that chances elon’s provost and governing boards would approve my visit are slim. he expresses hope that we can still do a visiting lecture series for which he does not feel he needs provost and board approval but an invitation to teach a course for credit is probably out.

liberty – remember me – remember us – give thanks for the american jury

A presumption of liberty
Give me liberty or give me death
Live free or die
This is what America is supposed to be about
This is the original understanding

Common sense in common wealth
An equilibrium reached by men who had achieved personal liberty and saw the benefits of sharing in community
Framing a constitution to capture in words the very best of their intelligence expressing all that’s good in life in common without sacrificing their essential personal liberty
Freedom with responsibility makes common sense

What do we human have in common
I say common sense

Imagine ourselves as free men and women who sit together to decide what is best for us in common

Common sense says we agree first and foremost that we will not give up what is most precious to us. liberty. At the least we can agree to maintain a presumption of liberty as we thrust ourselves forward into the developing thicket of statutory Law. Understand, we are gathering to create a government which will make statutes. Statutes are made by men for citizens to follow, not to lead. Can we agree then that as we go forward into the thicket of the statutes our government will generate in our future that we proceed with a presumption of liberty against arbitrary override by whim special interest reflected in exercise of legislative and executive power.

Let us articulate as best WE can this presumption in broad strokes of freedom of religion and speech and trial by jury drawn from among us, expressing our underlying commitment to liberty in our own fundamental rules here to be made. Let us leave a presumption of liberty to the future to stand as a beacon above all other presumptions our government may make after this one. This is our foundation and our goal, our original understanding and our polestar to wisdom in the future.

The essential constitutional role of the american jury is to preserve our liberty. To perform this function the jury must be informed of its function, its power, and its responsibility.

the judiciary quite rightly presumes reason and requires only rationality in legislative statutes which do not tread on explicitly articulated constitutional rights. to do otherwise would assert judicial prerogative into legislative sphere.

this means that the judiciary provides no check on legislative statutes which though rational lack wisdom yet are backed by special interest. such statutes intrude upon the liberty of citizens in a manner which the authority of judges does not check. the check for that abuse of citizen liberty in our constitutional system is trial by jury.

a jury of our peers was to have been our protection, the gateway through which legislative edict would have to march before taking a citizen’s liberty away.

from the vantage of the people, and the subset of us which is the jury in a criminal case, our trial system frames a question to us which we answer with our verdict. the indictment frames a question in terms of the violation of a statute.

what is the question to which we want an answer before we see a man’s liberty taken away

is it:
(a) did he violate a legislative statute
(b) did he do something covered by a legislative statute that is wrong
(c) did he do something wrong

balance is the essence of our constitutional ideal

a massachusetts referendum asserts the legality of possession of small amounts of marijuana
this is an assertion of legality
we the people are the keepers of our liberty
we the people decide whether the legalisms of the law intrude too deeply upon us

we need neither judges and nor legal training to tell us that our liberty is infringed by arbitrary law

this is not a judgment that requires legal education
all the logic of education is on the other side
on this side is the justice in our hearts

it requires our willingness to speak truth from the justice in our hearts

verdict – speak truth – guilty or not guilty


i feel like i’m trying to make a deal, trying to arrange the players in a game with civil rules top to bottom. poker is the model, a fair game fairly played.

Dear Professor Nesson,

It was a genuine pleasure to see you again and to participate in the GPSTS conference last Saturday. This was one of the most innovative and stimulating gatherings I have ever known. Bravo to you and Andrew!

I derived some insights that will be useful in my next book, Cubs Fans’ Leadership Secrets Revealed, which attempts to draw unusual yet pertinent lessons from another subject typically thought of as unrelated to leadership, policy, and the law. After all, as a lifelong Cubs fan, I yearn to see some good emerge from all that suffering. Your electrifying conference proved that poker can be the catalyst for mold-breaking ideas, and I feel inspired to do the same from within my perspective.

thank you john

I was honored to participate, Charlie. And of course I’d love to be involved
in that filmed history of hold’em. In the next day or so I’ll send what I
have on the subject.

Please tell Fern I appreciate her ordering the lobster roll, if only to make
me feel less unsophisticated. She’s a very cool lady indeed.

Andrew couldn’t have handled everything more thoroughly, or with more class.
He’s a genuine dynamo, and unobnoxiously smart on top of it all.

More after we unpack . . .

thank you jim