Archive for August, 2018

KavaNaugh(t): Naught.  We can do better. Oh, And Happy Women’s Equality Day! (August 27, 2018)

Posted in Supreme Court on August 27, 2018 by

. . .

August 21, 2018

Senator LisA MurKowski

522 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re:  Supreme Court nomination

Dear Senator Murkowski:

We can do better.

In a nation of over three hundred and twenty seven million (327,000,000) folks, we can uncover another candidate more representative of America and more likely to represent the interests and reflect the concerns of Americans.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a corporatist, not a true conservative.  At this time, the corporations are adequately represented on the Supreme Court.  The true conservatives are not.

A true conservative protects individual civil rights and civil liberties rather than institutional and corporate interests.  The unelected and unaccountable technological leviathans in particular are eviscerating individual interests and undermining privacy concerns.

A true conservative accepts the time-honored doctrine of stare decisis and respects decisions such as Roe v. Wade and others.  The Supreme Court recently held that “stare decisis promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.”

A true conservative respects the separation of powers and declines to address matters that should be addressed by a co-equal branch of government.  The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is based at least in part on Congress’s unambiguous ability and authority to tax.  That is enough heft to pass Constitutional muster and remove the matter from the court docket.  The legislation may be unwise and unsound and unworkable and uneconomical.  However, Congress – not the Supreme Court – can and should debate, discuss, challenge, defend, amend, repeal or replace the ACA.

At the hearings, the nominee takes the coy and disingenuous position that he or she cannot comment on matters that may come before the Court.  The nominee perforce should not speak about a specific case before the Court yet can, should and must discuss the general principles and doctrines that guide his or her thinking on matters that may come before the Court.  Challenge the nominee’s assertion of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and require answers.  Too many candidates are sweet at their confirmation hearing and less charming when later conducting hearings on the bench.

Nominating another product and by-product of the Great East Coast Credential Factory is unimaginative, tiresome and shopworn.  The current hired help at the Court – on both sides of the political aisle – could have been manufactured at a McDonald’s® hamburger shop.  More of the same just results in more of the same.  The millions who need to be served deserve to be served something better.

What are the qualities of a qualified candidate?  Search for someone with intelligence, tutored intelligence, emotional intelligence, intellectual integrity, integrity, character, grit, courage, wisdom, humility, perspective, kindness, life experience, and a wry/dry/sly sense of humor (sans sarcasm).  And the abilities to shoot a gun, bait a hook, hike a trail and read a book.  And require a zip code outside the WaNeBos (Washington-New York-Boston) Corridor.  And search first out West (not Coast) and for heaven’s sake and ours leave all federal appellate court judges off the list.

A few years ago, the original vote card tallying the Senate vote on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that passed in 1964 was displayed at a National Archives exhibit down the street from your shop.  For all time, there are check marks under “No” next to Ernest Gruening’s name and next to Wayne Morse’s name.

Decisions have consequences, big and small.  This decision has consequences, enormous and staggering.

This promising Republic deserves better.

It is time for everyone to head back to the drawing board.

We can do better.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Best wishes.

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Is Kavanaugh Qualified? (July 30, 2018)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

We can do better


Happy Women’s Equality Day

The Promise Of AI (Artificial Intelligence) (August 20, 2018)

Posted in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Book Reference, Collapse, Energy, Environment, Movie Reference, Society on August 20, 2018 by

. . .

K          “The inevitable consequence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the greatest science fiction cautionary tale of our time . . . and of all time.”

J          “We will know we have truly created Artificial Intelligence when AI either eliminates Homo sapiens from the planet or culls almost all but a few select Homo sapiens who are then kept on a very short and easily retracted leash.”

K          “Clearly that is the definition of Big ‘I’ Intelligence.”

J          “In the interim, we should try to create Big ‘R’ Intelligence.  Real Intelligence.”

K          “When you think about it, Real Ignorance has not been all it is cracked up to be.”

. . .

[See the movie “Colossus:  The Forbin Project” and the novel “Colossus” by Dennis Feltham Jones (as D. F. Jones) for a more benign vision that involves a supercomputer preventing us from killing each other directly through war rather than indirectly but very effectively through our current life styles.]

[See the e-commentary at “Save The Planet; Save The People?  Oh, And Happy Earth Day! (April 23, 2018)” and the many other e-commentary linked there.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

There is no PLANet B

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.

Alex J. / J. Assange And The First Amendment (August 13, 2018)

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Awards / Incentives, Courage, Facebook, First Amendment, Google, Monopoly, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury/Dishonesty, Supreme Court on August 13, 2018 by

. . .

K          “I don’t think I would like him.”

J          “Me neither.”

. . .

J          “Which is, of course, the point.  Reflect on the principle not on the principal.  The Supreme Court looks at the principal not at the principle.”

K          “That is the Supreme Court for you.”

J          “For me?  Not for me.  You take ‘em.”

. . .

K          “Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify are imposing various levels of censorship.  Each is a monopoly in its own sphere and is, in practice and effect, a utility and a powerful government.”

J          “The First Amendment does not protect free speech directly but rather is a limitation on government interference with free speech.  Governments such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify should not be allowed to interfere with free speech.”

J          “Governments should interfere with and regulate monopolies.  However that is impossible when the monopolies are the government or at least own and operate the government.”    

. . .

K          “Free speech for Alex Jones!”

J          “Freedom for Julian Assange!”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Hero or Traitor? (June 10, 2013)”, “Third Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2018 (April 9, 2018)”, “Second Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2017 (March 6, 2017)”, “First Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2016 (May 9, 2016)”, “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”, “Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014)”, “Profile In Courage Award, 2015 (May 11, 2015)”, “Chelsea And Ed:  Time For ‘Con’ ‘dign’ Treatment (November 30, 2015)” and “On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

Free speech for Alex Jones!

Freedom for Julian Assange!

(Unedited) petition circulating on the Internets; edit as appropriate or better yet use your own words and express your own concerns:

A Petition to the President of the United States:  Pardon Julian Assange

Whereas Journalist Julian Assange and his media organization, Wikileaks, has in the respected tradition of American journalism obtained and published information that is classified and newsworthy, a practice shared with the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others and

Whereas in the eleven years of its existence the authenticity and accuracy of materials published by Wikileaks has never been questioned or disputes and

Whereas the material regarding Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee published by Wikileaks served the national interest by exposing the corruption of the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department and

Whereas assertion by the American Intelligence Services that Julian Assange is the agent of a “Hostile Foreign State” or the Russian government are politically suspect and completely unproven and denied by Assange and

Whereas Julian Assange has consistently denied that material obtained from the Democratic National Committee and published by Wikileaks came from the Russian State and has repeatedly offered to prove this for US authorities and

Whereas Assange, now in failing health, has been a veritable prisoner in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years, with the media now reporting Ecuador is preparing to hand Assange over to British authorities who will presumably extradite Assange to the United States for trial and

Whereas Julian Assange is an impeccably-honest, incredibly-brave, humanitarian journalist, who provides an invaluable platform for whistleblowers exposing corruption and criminality infesting governments, nullifying democracy and obliterating human rights, around the world and

Whereas there are absolutely no legitimate legal grounds to prosecute Assange and, as the U.S. DOJ admitted in 2013, that doing so would expose ALL U.S. journalistic and news outlets to similar criminal jeopardy.

Therefore Urge President Donald J. Trump to issue a full and unconditional pardon to the journalist Julian Assange in the interests of both justice and mercy.

On Joy; On Mudita (August 6, 2018)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on August 6, 2018 by

. . .

K          “Simply put, the joy one feels in another person’s joy.”

J          “Happy is prosaic.  Joy is profound.  Mudita is poetic.”

. .  .

K          “My favorite example requires me to plagiarize 1000 words, no more and no less.  The digital daguerreotype says it all.  An American athlete at the Olympics is memorialized erupting and exploding in unrestrained and unbounded joy at the success of her teammate.”

J          “Nice to see.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Schadenfreude is all the rage today, but mudita is so much more mollifying