We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, June 8. 2015
FAQs re sea turtles
Students With Failing Knowledge of U.S. History Miss Significance of Magna Carta
For the first time ever a computer has managed to develop a new scientific theory using only its artificial intelligence, and with no help from human beings.
Cheating is part of pro sports
the first time ever a computer has managed to develop a new scientific
theory using only its artificial intelligence, and with no help from
human beings. - See more at:
Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.
At Sea in an Alien Culture, Where ‘Normal’ Is Defined as ‘Deviant’
Even Obama’s EPA Now Admits Fracking Hasn’t Harmed Water Supplies
40 Years of Democrats Saying How Much They Want to Get Money Out of Politics
Scandals Only Make the Clintons Stronger
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Students With Failing Knowledge of U.S. History Miss Significance of Magna Carta
Teaching of the ancient liberties of the English-speaking people has been on the decline in the US for a century as the Progressives came to influence education. Magna Carta was the first attempt to circumscribe the king (government bosses) and our own Constitution was the most recent effort.
One has to wonder if we are not at another time when government bosses don't need to be brought to heel? The question really is only whether that can happen within the scope of the Constitution or if yet another era of conflict, as happened with the first 3 English Civil wars. Our Revolution being a consequence of the third civil war.
Students With Failing Knowledge of U.S. History Miss Significance of Magna Carta
Students certainly should be taught the historical importance of the Magna Carta.
JK Brown: The question really is only whether that can happen within the scope of the Constitution or if yet another era of conflict, as happened with the first 3 English Civil wars.
You just need to convince enough people — assuming you live in a democratic country. It can be difficult, because so much of political discourse is obscured by gobs of money, but it can be done. In any case, there's nothing stopping you from teaching your own children beyond what is taught in schools.
Off topic, but I wanted to point out this quote from F.A. Hayek that provokes interesting thought.
What would the law really was superior to political authority as common law was supposed to be before the regulatory state started transforming the US into a more Roman law system of prior restraint?
While in political theory the making of law has traditionally been represented as the chief function of legislative bodies, their origin and main concern had little to do with the law in the narrow sense…. This is especially true of the Mother of Parliaments: the English legislature arose in a country where longer than elsewhere the rules of just conduct, the common law, were supposed to exist independently of political authority. As late as the seventeenth century, it could still be questioned whether parliament could make law inconsistent with the common law. The chief concern of what we call legislatures has always been the control and regulation of government….
I don't think you know what "common law" means. unless you mean the doctrine of stare decisis but this forum gets its panties a-twist whenever there's a hint of judges making law from the bench.
there is very little common law in the sense that common law means the traditions or practices or customs of the people, inevitably, those are codified into statutes as amended by legislatures and interpreted by courts.
regulations are also ultimately a creature of their enabling statutes and are reviewable through independent administrative law courts and ultimately through Article III courts.
remember the "golden rule"? who has the gold makes the rules. this is why you don't want common law, meaning the customs, practices and traditions of who has the gold, as the general theory of law in the US. you think its bad now? you can't begin to imagine what it would be like with common law in the old sense.
FYI, "prior restraint" is a first amendment concept.
Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz: there is very little common law in the sense that common law means the traditions or practices or customs of the people, inevitably, those are codified into statutes as amended by legislatures and interpreted by courts.
The U.S. is a common law system. Case law is of fundamental importance in common law systems. "As a result, judges have an enormous role in shaping American and British law."
you're wrong, but not worth the waste of electrons to explain why.
Perhaps your disagreement is with the Berkeley School of Law.
"The common-law system prevails in England, the United States, and other countries colonized by England."
I'm not interested in your comments. I don't know how to make this any clearer.
Yes, Zachriel. it's contrast would be legislative law, as, for example, Scandinavian countries have.
except that isn't exactly true either. typical of how states deal with english common law is that it is preserved except where it is displaced by statutes and limited (e.g., Cal.Civ.Code sec. 21.1 and 22.1 ("[t]he rule of the common law, that statutes in derogation thereof are to be strictly construed, has no application to this Code."). what's left of federal common law also exists at the will of congress and can be displaced by congress.
I think #2 was conflating concepts like stare decisis and cases like Madison v Marbury into a hazy definition of common law, and I've asked for clarification on what he meant; my response to him depends on that clarification.
while a litigant would cite interpretive decisions to a court, the source of law is inevitably a statute. a court "makes law" only in the sense that it fills in gaps only where legislative intent is unclear, and if a court is interpreting a statute, it means that common law is displaced to the extent it contradicts the statute. and if the text of the language clear, the court can't contradict the express intent of the legislature. this is a key issue in the upcoming OsamaCare case before the USSC. a law can be challenged on procedural or constitutional grounds, but that's not what we're talking about here.
the interpretation of a statutes often comes from administrative agencies who make the rules and policies to enforce the statutes, administrative appeals boards, independent administrative judges and, then, possibly, from federal courts. in these areas, the law much more resembles the civil law.
Like all U.S. states, except Louisiana, California is a common law state with an explicit reception statute.
California Civil Code Sections 22-22.2
The common law of England, so far as it is not repugnant to
or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution or laws of this State, is the rule of decision in all the courts of this State.
EPA/Fracking and Ground Water:
Maybe some of them watched “The Beverly Hillbillies” and knew “up from the ground came a bubbling crude”, The Ballad of Jed Clampett.
It is amazing how many people don’t realize that oil and gas are part of the earth’s crust and that they were seeping into surface waters long before there ever was an oil and gas industry, and whether there were humans present or not. I think even fewer realize that human beings have been exploiting these products for millennium and how crucial they are to contemporary life above and beyond energy. This is not to say that I favor contamination of ground water but rather in oil and gas rich areas it would be hard to tell, if the contamination was natural or man-made unless you had established a baseline in advance.
We go horseback riding out in the bush in Western PA. (Near Oil City where oil ! was big (Quaker State) and they are now fracking... and we have passed by quite a few pumpjacks that have oil bubbling up around them, although they aren't operational anymore. (they are sitting idle)
I don't know how much oil was extracted in earlier times, but the fact that the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas are full of natural gas and oil (because both are extracted during the fracking process) the argument that the earth replenishes and creates oil continuously and it's quantity isn't finite is plausible.
also, I believe our streams and ponds naturally take care of animal manure and don't need EPA forcing property owners to put up fences protecting water sources FROM domestic as well as wild animals. This is just a power trip. Eradication of private property rights. As recently shown you can't even BUILD your own pond without approval from the "proper authorites".
I would say that the EPA's declaration that fracking doesn't pose a hazard to groundwater is just a head-fake and they intend to go full- nazi on fracking sites, but they already ARE. We have friends who were working in natural gas fields and the regulation process was explained. It's tedious, repetitive as it's both state and federal and more and more keeps being piled on.
A lot of it is contradictory to make fines and penalties ensured.
Disney, and how about this article that appeared on Insty over the weekend by Paul Scott of AAM:
I think we were all supposed to have highly paid hi-tech or service jobs by now and simultaneously cultivating our inner artiste. What hubris, eh?
The country was ill prepared for globalization. Unfortunately, today’s mind boggling efficiencies and staggering economies of scale squeeze out the labor, up and down the supply chain, eliminating many jobs, concentrating the wealth in the hands of the few, or sending the wealth out of America . Offshoring just compounds the problem and hobbles the effort to generate jobs that create real wealth in America.
The political parties missed the memo that the Industrial Revolution ismorphing and the “New Economy” is pretty unappealing from a middle class perspective. What the parties, all of them, have in common is NO SOLUTION (other that cargo cults and magical formulas) and an unwillingness to step up to the plate and engage in a forthright honest dialogue. The problem is NOT that mid level skilled jobs aren’t being created but that they aren’t being created as fast as they are disappearing, In addition, they are not as stable and long term as they used to be but just as importantly neither are the businesses that were once the employers.
Oops, the author of "Are the Democrats Really Giving Up on Manufacturing?", should be Scott Paul.
As wealth is leeched from the middle class, more and more of formerly independent families will become dependent on a Government Check in one form or another. Making the party that is known for stopping all efforts to turn the money faucet off more secure at the ballot box.
Do you really think that Obama's current 47% approval rate is so close to the 49% rate of families receiving government checks is a coincidence?
That's the cargo cult mentality at work..... If you subsidize the population to a middle class existence, you actually will have a middle class, and never mind that they will not have productive, self actualizing work.
The end product is not "middle class" at all, as they are left dependent, and their opportunity to develop resilience, to overcome obstacles, to grow and mature is derailed.
It was gratifying to read that Watts and McKibben had a pleasant exchange of ideas. I have written harsh things about McKibben in the past, and will link to this and comment.
As to defaulting on student loans: I could symapathise with a young person who got in over their head in debt and simply found it overwhelming, even if I disagreed and thought they were still on the hook, like it or not. But Siegel is almost 60, a successful writer, and is not pleading hardship - he is insisting that he is making the more moral decision. He drips condescension to the loan officer, he imagines that the reason people object to his default is because they would deny him special snowflake status at an expensive private school, he...
Sigh. Perhaps I should post about this at more length as well, rather than ranting off-the-cuff. We'll see if I still care tonight.
I was unaware of his age (though I had an idea from the article) when I made my comments below.
What makes the whole story worse is that the cost of college didn't really get going till after he graduated. So much of the problem he is ignoring was within his control but he only sees his own inconvenience.
Re: defaulting on student loans
The author apparently thinks he should be able borrow somebody else's money to take whatever courses he wants and not be inconvenienced by doing work in another field that pays enough to pay back the money he borrowed. He also thinks the bank is the bad guy for lending him the money in the first place and Department of Education is the bad guy for trying to get tax payer money repaid. But maybe it is really turning out all right because somebody else paid to teach him how to write so now he's writing a book about money!
You can't make this stuff up! This guy knows nothing about money or anything related to it like risk, cost vs. benefit, or time value. I guess when they taught him how to write, they didn't teach him to write about something he knows something about.
Exactly. I think it goes beyond not understanding money to a more basic inability to follow a chain of causes and effects.
I think he's expecting a clear cut villain to account for his situation, someone to blame, and while there are some people and entities responsible, for the most part he's confused error and misfortune with maliciousness and then compounded his error by blaming the innocent parties which happen to be the current and present cause of his discomfort.
Obviously, I don't know the particulars of his situation, but my history is similar (and I paid every penny). People (parents, bankers, teachers) give the best advice they have, but they aren't omniscient. Individuals make the best decisions they can based on that advice and hope for the best.
To put it succinctly, the only beef he really has is with the universities who sold him a defective product, and with himself -- not so much for making the mistake in the first place -- as for refusing to take responsibility for it.
There is definitely a problem with higher education, but defaulting on student loans isn't the way to solve it. What is needed is for the majority of people to start asking the folks selling these degrees some really hard and specific questions and then holding them responsible for the outcomes.
There would be a national shaming of colleges and universities for charging soaring tuition rates that are reaching lunatic levels.
"shaming"? the kid is mentally still in kollege.
I blame the parents who told a 17 year old that $100,000 in student debt was a good idea.
and that asshat deadbeat is giving bad advice, those student loans aren't dischargeable in BK and the collection efforts will follow him to his barista job.
What is worse is that he is 57 years old so he attended college before colleges started really jacking up their tuition. Of course, now that he's an established author (though suspended from the New Republic), he has the where with all to pay his student loan debt, but he just won't. So this whole thing is exercise in pouting about the fact that the government did not pay for everybody's (his) college education. The fact is that he's really angry at being so stupid as to get into so much debt.
its easy to hate him because he's an asshat. no doubt about it. but this hate distracts from the institutional problem of college financing.
the real problem I think is that there's no downward pressure on universities to keep tuition under control because, from their point of view, the government is handing out free money to them in the form of student loans, available to everyone, regardless of whether the education has a market value (meaning, repayment possible) or not (barista training). this is true whether the government makes the loans, or as before, guaranteed them.
17 year olds aren't that bright and aren't thinking about the future beyond college. so they get a pass for thinking that college = girls and football and a ticket to middle class life. but it was the parents who instilled that insane value and the parents who voted in a congress/president that made these student loans insanely available to anyone who asks.
I don't have a problem with the government supporting student loans, but this should be done as a rational business transaction based on a suitably modified ability to repay/public need. so, a loan for medical school is ok, a loan for wymyns studies is not.
Stephen Frank: Poll: 13% of Illegal Aliens ADMIT They Vote: In 2014, a study released by three professors at Old Dominion University and George Mason University, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, estimated 6.4 percent of noncitizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election and 2.2 percent voted in the 2010 midterm congressional elections.
The source data used in the study is fraught with problems, and the amount of data used to draw the conclusion is much too small to be statistically significant.
Peter Wehner: According to the Washington Post, ...
According to Anne Gearan, a Washington Post 'correspondent'.
Anne Gearan: “Hillary Rodham Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades, with positions on issues … that would, in past elections, have put her at her party’s precarious left edge.”
Notably Gearan forgot to mention what those positions mike be. Hike in the minimum wage? Increased access to the polls? Those are mainstream Democratic positions. Gay rights are now mainstream, even among Republicans.
However, are they candidate Clinton's positions? Other than a call for a federal election law binding on all, she has not expressed an opinion on anything other than "I am Hillary Clinton, I am good".
BTW, was Edward Murrow a sneer quote correspondent too?
walt moffett: Other than a call for a federal election law binding on all, she has not expressed an opinion on anything other than "I am Hillary Clinton, I am good".
Apparently, then, you disagree with Gearan who said Hillary had "positions on issues … that would, in past elections, have put her at her party’s precarious left edge".
re 1908 Sears Motor Buggy: Still in the Original Family and Still Running
Very cool. Thanks for posting.
Those were the good old days. Unfortunately, Sears is now owned by K-Mart, and their products reflect it. (Although I don't know for sure--our local Sears went under last year after an interminable "going out of business sale" during which they sold cheaper and cheaper junk obviously on consignment from other wholesalers.
Those were the good old days. Unfortunately, Sears is now owned by K-Mart, and their products reflect it. (Although I don't know for sure--our local Sears went under last year after an interminable "going out of business sale" during which they sold cheaper and cheaper junk obviously on consignment from other wholesalers.)
I think they are a bit over enthusiastic in the significance of this. A hundred years ago Russell and Whitehead attempted to unite all of mathematics into a common logical grammar (Principia Mathematica). They failed, and it's generally considered that Godel put a coffin nail into that project by effecively proving that no self consistent logical system could derive all possible truths and would at the same time generate contradictions within itself.
Every computer running today (including 'neural nets' and quantum types) essentially is algorithmic, can be reduced to a Turing machine. In one sense, that essentially means that Godel's theorem proves that no Turing machine could ever derive Godel's theorem.
So my feeling is (as a layman,not a mathematician) that until (if ever) we bridge the algorithmic gap in computer design, no true 'new principles' will ever come out of computing. Not to diminish the importance of computation, but it remains a power to and not a knowledge creator.
I say, "Rant on, rant on, rant ON!" (In your usual low-key, considered way.)
He is writing in the NYT. "Entitled special snowflakes" seems like the NYT's middle name.
Sports Cheating ...
I wouldn't worry about this. golf has a culture of extreme honesty, so players are expected to and do confess their sins. NASCAR has its thunder road roots where cheating is expected and only rarely punished severely. the NFL is trying to rebrand itself so these punishments are part of its marketing strategy. college football? no one believes its an amateur game.
Homer: I read The Illiad in college, and thought what I read was a lousy translation. A poem that has lasted this long has to be interesting, has to sing, and I saw no singing, and not much presented in an interesting way.
Go easy on Hillary: Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Like I could trust Politico.
RE: Magna Carta.
Okay, I'll admit it I am a total history geek. totally.
Especially, when you consider several years ago I went on a two-week trip to the UK. Did all the usual London sights, etc.
But, I still consider one of the major highlights of my sightseeing to be looking at an old, nearly illegible, very faded, piece of old parchment sealed behind very dark glass in Salisbury Cathedral, which they claimed was one of the copies from way back when. I loved it!