RSSCategory: Communication

Judge Richard Posner skewers Justice Antonin Scalia’s so-called originalism

September 19, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More
Judge Richard Posner skewers Justice Antonin Scalia’s so-called originalism

In his recent detailed article published in The New Republic,The Incoherence of Antonin Scalia,” Judge Richard Posner has taken United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s theory of textual originalism to task. Yes, this article presents an extended series of technical legal analyses, but it is written in a way that many lay readers can appreciate. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand the repeated protestations by Justice Scalia that when he rules on case, he is doing so by rigorously paying attention to the actual words of enacted laws. [More . . . ]

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Unjustified take-downs in the news

September 15, 2012 | By | Reply More

Good article by Public Citizen’s “Consumer Law & Policy Blog” regarding recent unjustified take-downs. This is going to be a more and more prominent issue.

It is one reason I have my own blog, because I don’t trust private for-profit companies like Facebook to give me (or anyone) free rein to express critically important political ideas.

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Not all lives are equal

September 13, 2012 | By | Reply More

From Glenn Greenwald:

It is hard not to notice, and be disturbed by, the vastly different reactions whenever innocent Americans are killed, as opposed to when Americans are doing the killing of innocents. All the rage and denunciations of these murders in Benghazi are fully justified, but one wishes that even a fraction of that rage would be expressed when the US kills innocent men, women and children in the Muslim world, as it frequently does. Typically, though, those deaths are ignored, or at best justified with amoral bureaucratic phrases (“collateral damage”) or self-justifying cliches (“war is hell”), which Americans have been trained to recite.

It is understandable that the senseless killing of an ambassador is bigger news than the senseless killing of an unknown, obscure Yemeni or Pakistani child. But it’s anything but understandable to regard the former as more tragic than the latter. Yet there’s no denying that the same people today most vocally condemning the Benghazi killings are quick and eager to find justification when the killing of innocents is done by their government, rather than aimed at it.

Americans and their media simply don’t care about people being killed in the Middle East, unless they happen to be American. I suppose this is to be expected because we tend to have more in common with Americans. But why isn’t that our media simply don’t try to delve into the deaths we cause with our weapons? This is what we should be striving for:

“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

Thomas Paine

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Pulling things together

September 10, 2012 | By | Reply More

I often think of Steven Covey’s reminder to take time to “sharpen the saw.”

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

I’ve been feeling quite “stretched” over the past year, trying to accommodate duties to family, job and community, in addition to writing and trying to recharge, which I best do by taking time to play music. The problem is that by trying to attend to all of these aspects of my life, I don’t attend to any of the adequately, or so it seems. On top of that, the issues that I want to write about tend to be complex, or that is the way I tend to see them. Therefore, most of the writing I try to do begs for serious research and time-consuming writing. Looking back over the past year, at least as a general rule, I see that I haven’t adequately taken the time to write about the topics that interest me in way that adds much of value to the conversation.Too much of my blogging consist of citing to trackbacks while making an observation or two.

In the meantime, I have various growing outlines with many dozens of topics that I’m contemplating and developing. I’m excited about some of these ideas because I have some original approaches to some of them. I’d love to write about them, and I will. But I find that I’m not able to deal with them well, at least until now. I often made the judgment that it’s better to not write at all on many topics rather than to throw words around sloppily. The bottom line is that I’ve been writing somewhat less than I have in the past, despite my dream of writing more and doing it better.

This time “away” has been good for me. My mind seems more focused, at least to me inside my own head. This is the essence of Covey’s admonition to “sharpen the saw.” I feel more at peace when I am more selective, despite my unrealistic urge to live multiple simultaneous lives pursuing everything that interests me.

I think I’m about to get into a better writing spot soon, thanks to this new approach of being more selective. I’m definitely not “burned out.” I’m quite interested in writing better and adding something worthy to all of the world-wide chatter. My hope for this blog is found in the About Page: “This blog will focus on using current events as a springboard to higher-level discussions about human animals and the human condition.” This is where I need to focus–not on the day to day events, but on merely noting these fascinating (and oftentimes distressful) occurrences and using them as fodder for making deeper sense of the world.

Part of my optimism for more better writing stems from the completion of an enormously distracting task. My aging home computer had been slowing gradually and then dramatically due to mal-ware and likely other technical issues. I’ve probably spend 40 hours over the past 3 months trying to make my PC fast again, and I recently gave up. I bought a new PC, and just spent another 12 hours transferring data to the new drive as well as installing and validating the many programs I use. As of today, that task is done–everything is humming. To given an example of how bad things got, MSWord now opens in about a second. Last week, it took about 3-5 minutes to open. I used 4 virus/malware/spyware removal programs. I defragged and diagnosed my drive. I cleaned out unneeded software. I failed to figure out how to remove the damned Babylon malway, despite many approaches. The slow speed and perhaps viruses screwed up my software to my scanner, which led to a 6 hour diversion (fixed when I bought the new computer and reinstalled the software. My data has always been safe, in that I have multiple levels of backup in multiple locations.

As to my old PC, I wiped it’s memory clean, and put to use in a bedroom, where it still runs unimpressively yet adequately.

With these technical problems behind me and my new focus, I’m looking forward to doing some serious writing in the coming days, and making some new videos in the coming months.

I’m hoping that, from now on, my hours sitting in front of my computer will be spent writing rather than tweaking and fixing.

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A thought experiment regarding Iran and Israel

September 8, 2012 | By | Reply More

Imagine reversing the situation between Iran and Israel. Noam Chomsky sketches it out:

Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.

Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.

Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.

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George Carlin discusses political talk

September 7, 2012 | By | Reply More

George Carlin was at his best when discussing the obfuscatory language used by politicians:

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What the Federal Reserve is doing behind our backs

September 2, 2012 | By | Reply More

Thanks to an audit conducted last year (reported by Senator Bernie Sanders), it has now been confirmed that the Fed secretly handed out $16 Trillion.

Before It’s News puts that number in perspective:

$16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious – the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs. To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

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Media reluctance to expose and criticize Barack Obama’s many constitutional violations

September 2, 2012 | By | Reply More

Obama Administration’s is waging a war on the Constitution, but you’ll barely hear anything about it in the mass media. At Truthout, John Cusack of Truthout recently interviewed law professor Jonathan Turley. It’s an extended interview that raises many serious points. They explore at depth the moral quandary many voters SHOULD feel, but won’t, when enter the voting booth. In a related matter, they suggest that many Obama supporters are followers of a personality cult. And repeatedly, the mass media is going Obama license to do more of the same, despite the lies, despite the trashing of the U.S. Constitution. Here are two excerpts from the long interview:

CUSACK: I hate to speak too much to motivation, but why do you think MSNBC and other so-called centrist or left outlets won’t bring up any of these things? These issues were broadcast and reported on nightly when John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez and Bush were in office.
TURLEY: Well, there is no question that some at MSNBC have backed away from these issues, although occasionally you’ll see people talk about –

CUSACK: I think that’s being kind, don’t you? More like “abandoned.”

TURLEY: Yeah. The civil liberties perspective is rarely given more than a passing reference while national security concerns are explored in depth. Fox is viewed as protective of Bush while MSNBC is viewed as protective of Obama. But both presidents are guilty of the same violations. There are relatively few journalists willing to pursue these questions aggressively and objectively, particularly on television. And so the result is that the public is hearing a script written by the government that downplays these principles. They don’t hear the word “torture.”

They hear “enhanced interrogation.” They don’t hear much about the treaties. They don’t hear about the international condemnation of the United States. Most Americans are unaware of how far we have moved away from Nuremberg and core principles of international law.

[More . . . ]

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Oops. We cut away for the Romney/David Koch handshake

September 1, 2012 | By | Reply More

Hidden handshake between Romney and David Koch. Amy Goodman reports.

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