The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The answer is yes and no. Let’s begin with why Silicon Valley Contemporary could be a success.
I'm not that interested in contemmporary art, or any art for that matter, but I'm interested in money and culture, especially in California. It looks like having made its pots of money, the Bay Area and the Valley are starting to art themselves up. Not sure why the rich do that, but it's curious.
Russia's willingness to violate Ukraine's territorial sovereignty is the gravest challenge to the European order in over half a century. The conflict pits a vast nuclear power against a state equal in size to France, an autocratic regime against a revolutionary government. The Russian intervention in Ukraine raises questions about the security guarantees that the West made to Ukraine after the country gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, and it flies in the face of many Europeans' belief that, in recent years, a continental war has become all but impossible. The end result may be the emergence of a third Russian empire or a failed Ukrainian state at the center of Europe.
Mandatory arbitration agreements forcing people to give up their rights to sue are now standard fare in everything from cell phone contracts to Hooters' employment agreements. But the owner of an East Texas Whataburger has apparently taken arbitration mania to a new level. Every public entrance to the burger franchise displays a sign informing people that simply setting foot on the premises means that they are giving up their right to sue the company for any reason, even if, for instance, they get a little e coli along with their fries. Instead, customers will be forced to arbitrate their claims before the American Mediation Association, an organization that seems to consist of three lawyers in Dallas hired by the Whataburger (part of a 58-year-old fast food chain deemed a "Texas treasure" by the state legislature).
Hmmm. This is a little arbitrary.
Might downloading a 50-cent coupon for Cheerios cost you legal rights?
General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, “join” it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.
My cardiologist told me Cheerios were bad for me. I fired him, but for different reasons.
Behavior at Dartmouth tarnishing image of elite campus, college’s president says - The Washington Post
Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.”
It is a small college, but there are those who like to get drunk there.
Now ObamaCare is providing evidence that Gregg was right to worry about politicization of the census. As the New York Times reports:
The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama's health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
A face carved into a tree trunk was discovered by forestry workers in a remote location up Toba Inlet. It had been staring down an ancient river valley in the rainforest for almost 200 years.
The recent chance discovery was made approximately 60 miles up the inlet and helped to silence a question of doubt regarding the geographic limits of Klahoose First Nation traditional territory.
That pretty much settles it.
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” he told the New York Times.
I think in heaven smoking will no longer be a filthy habit and drinking will just make you feel kinda frisky.
The IRS won at the district-court level thanks to an opinion in which Judge Paul Friedman concluded that Exchanges established by the federal government are “established by the State.” That’s not quite as absurd as it may seem at first. Congress could have deemed federally established Exchanges to be “established by the State” in which they operate, if that had been Congress’ intent. Indeed, that’s what Congress did with respect to Exchanges established by U.S. territories. But Congress did not do so for federal Exchanges. Thus we are firm ground describing Friedman’s ruling as absurd. Congress intentionally offered subsidies only in states that established Exchanges for the same reason it makes numerous categories of federal spending and tax benefits conditional on state action: to induce states to carry out federal priorities.
Obamacare dictates that individual states can either set up and operate their own exchanges or the federal government will do it for them. Only 16 states and the District of Columbia currently run on their own exchanges. The remaining 34 states have elected to rely on the federally operated exchanges.
And this is where we run into an issue: Depending on various factors, including income levels, people signing up through the state and federal exchanges may be eligible for subsidies that could drastically reduce the cost of health insurance coverage. The little-known challenge being argued in the District of Columbia deals with the government’s definition of who is eligible for these tax credits.
The price of “free” two-day shipping is about to go up. That was the message from Amazon executives last week, who said that shipping costs would probably force them to raise the price of the company’s popular Amazon Prime program. Now $79 per year, the cost could go up $20 to $40 more.
In Western Tanzania tribes of wandering foragers called Hadza eat a diet of roots, berries, and game. According to a new study, their guts are home to a microbial community unlike anything that’s been seen before in a modern human population — providing, perhaps, a snapshot of what the human gut microbiome looked like before our ancestors figured out how to farm about 12,000 years ago.
Maybe a startup selling their poop?
"Any time a person dies while communicating with Denver's emergency services, we examine the circumstances to ensure that the incident was handled properly and we look for areas to improve upon," said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.
When seconds count, etc.
Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rapper Andre Johnson severed his penis and jumped from a Los Angeles apartment building early Wednesday, police said.
Johnson was seriously injured, but survived the fall from the second level of the building in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Police Sgt. William Mann said.
Johnson, along with his recovered penis, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated, Mann said.
Details about what triggered the incident were not available.
I think that's all the details I want.
‘In a drop of rain can be seen all the colors of the rainbow.” This remark of the historian Lewis Namier is an all too apposite analysis of the current international crisis: Ukraine is the raindrop, and the colors of the rainbow are a spectrum of crises in Russia, Europe, the West (a.k.a. NATO), the U.S., and the American Right. The apparent stability of the post–Cold War world (1989–2014) has been shattered, along with its rules and conventions, by President Putin’s annexation of Crimea and subversion of Ukraine. We now live in a world determined by military force and economic competition. And it will take at least a decade to put Humpty Dumpty together again — if that is even possible.
Cliven Bundy may very well be a nut job, but one thing is for sure: The federal government wouldn’t treat a tortoise the way it has treated him. Harassing a tortoise is a federal offense. But harassing the country? That’s federal policy.
The recent defeat of an effort to reinstitute affirmative action in admissions to California's public colleges and universities demonstrates the political power of Asian American voters and challenges the conventional wisdom about their partisan loyalties.
Sensational smears based on false information aside, the absence of new evidence does not deter Cohan from seeking to spin his own tendentious characterizations of old evidence—often contradicted by other evidence elsewhere in the book—into dark Nifongesque innuendos of sexual assault, or "something."
SEE IT: Helmet cam captures fearless mountain biker’s death-defying ride down sheer ridge (VIDEO) - NY Daily News
You can tell it's an election year because so many noncrises are suddenly urgent priorities. Real median household income is still lower than it was in 2007, the smallest share of Americans is working since 1978, and the Russians are marching west, but Democrats are training fire on race, gender and the grievances of identity politics.
For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I’ve been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don’t know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population. Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they’re not as good; the census is the gold standard. Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won’t be available until 2015.
I stand corrected: These data won’t be available at all. Ever.
No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was. The New York Times reports that the Barack Obama administration has changed the survey so that we cannot directly compare the numbers on the uninsured over time.
Well that seems downright unscientific.
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first to link casual marijuana use to major changes in the brain. And according to the researchers, the degree of abnormalities is based on the number of joints you smoke in a week.
The boy’s mother called Lincoln, Neb., police Monday to report her son had gotten out of their apartment while she was in the bathroom, said Katie Flood, spokeswoman for the Lincoln Police Department.
Police canvassed the area and were notified by a man that a boy was inside the claw machine, Flood said.
“Yes, yes, I understand; I’m sorry, we’re all out,” Mr. Antes, the store manager, said into the receiver. “I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. Next year, maybe.”
Mr. Antes hung up and let out a long sigh. “I really feel for these people,” he said. “I’m not crazy about it, but for most of us, what’s Passover without gefilte fish?”
Tastes like tuna salad sort of.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
But the Pulitzer board members, a gilt-edged group drawn from such institutions as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Columbia University, knew they were giving Snowden a signal honor too.
Were they right?
Well, somebody who will remain nameless refered to the Pulitzer Committee as a "liberal circle jerk," but I don't want to go there.
TaxProf Blog: Oregon Law Prof Objects to Shifting Funds for Faculty Raises to Public Interest Jobs for Students
Americans started fewer businesses last year. Here’s why that bodes well for the economy. - The Washington Post
The suspect’s estranged husband, who has been identified by family and neighbors as Darren West, found seven infant bodies in cardboard boxes while cleaning out the garage on Saturday as he was getting ready to move back into the house this summer. He recently got out of prison on drug-related charges, police said.
This goes to show you that cleaning out your garage is not something to be taken up lightly.
At last count, Ziona Chana has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. They all live with him in his 100-room, four-story house perched among the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram.
That’s a lot of votes. And every vote counts. So the family is very popular these days with politicians.
The International Monetary Fund said global crude oil prices have been relatively lower because of the growth in oil supply from North America. With U.S. oil production on pace to eclipse 9 million barrels per day near term, the trend should continue through next year.
Except in CA, where stupid regulations (well, not stupid if you're a solar provider) keep gas prices high: $4.25/gal.
Retail sales increased sharply in March, rising 1.1%, the best monthly gain in well over a year. The news brings another clue for thinking that the recent economic slowdown was a temporary affair related to the weather. Indeed, today’s report also revived the year-over-year trend in retail spending. For the moment, March is shaping up as a positive turning point of significance for the big-picture state of US macro.
Monday, April 14, 2014
The boyhood chapter is perhaps the richest in the book. Absolutely central, as we surely knew already, was the dominating presence of his mother Linda, whose aspirations for her son were virtually unbounded. (The fine early story “Flight” dramatizes her vision and the son’s response to it.) “I was made to feel I could do things,” Updike told an interviewer, adding, “If you get this feeling early and can hold it until you’re 15, you tend never to lose it.” The move, when he was 13, from his already-beloved Shillington to the farm in Plowville 11 miles away was his mother’s idea, and it provided the son, for all his distress at being uprooted from his town and classmates, with what he called “the crucial detachment of my life.” He would use that event as the key motive for so much of his writing to follow.
In the last five years, legal education has witnessed a dramatic reduction in demand. Applications are down, forcing many schools to shrink class size and discount tuition to attract students through “merit” scholarships (and more recently, in rare cases, across-the-board tuition cuts). With income down, schools must cut expenses, the largest chunk of which are faculty salaries. Many schools have encouraged senior faculty to retire, and faculty hiring across the board has been sharply curtailed. As I see it, we’re seeing a return to the period before the boom decade of about 1999-2009. In that window, many law schools had lots of extra cash that they spent on new buildings, better amenities and more and better-salaried professors. The boom is over, and a lot of schools are trying to adjust.
Mr. Qahtani's mother had warned him about the penguin dance, a perky conga-line of bounces and kicks that landed in Saudi Arabia from out of nowhere late last year. It has been sweeping this most traditional, un-bouncy penguin of kingdoms ever since.
At a Dowling College campus on Long Island’s south shore, a fleet of unused shuttle buses sits in an otherwise empty parking lot. A dormitory is shuttered, as are a cafeteria, bookstore and some classrooms in the main academic building.
You will notice a photo of a fat, middle aged man in the upper right of this page. While this is technically a photo of me, I am, in fact, as my wife tells me, much more attractive in person than is recorded photographically. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps it is the special pizzazz I bring to my activities; perhaps it is the stylish way in which I dress and wear my, uh, hair. I don't really know. In any event, don't be put off by the photo. Most other professors, I have noticed, look exactly like their photos.
You may notice a certain change in format with the old RC. Yes, I have joined the law professors network, having decided to give it a try for a year. Paul Caron's powers of persuasion were more than I could resist. The process was amazingly easy -- that is, I did precisely nothing except say "OK." All else was accomplished through magical computer stuff on Paul's end, thus obeying the first law of computer stuff: don't make me think. I will otherwise try as usual to obey the first law of blogging, which is exactly the opposite of computer stuff. I will try to make you think or at least read. Not much should change, actually, except one hopes I will get a few more readers.
While bouncing along across country in an open Land Rover on one of the game drives Susie and I took during our trip to Botswana, I found myself reflecting on the striking differences between that experience and the wonderful documentaries I have watched on television over the years about the wild animals of Africa. These differences in turn served to remind me of the ideological structure of social reality, a subject I have explored in a number of my writings, most prominently in Narrative Time: The Inherently Perspectival Nature of the Human World. Since I am still struggling with the technological challenges of uploading my videos from my IPhone to my computer, and thence to this blog, I thought I would fill the void by sharing my musings. A few introductory words are called for.
Prof. Wolfe is a Marxist but I guess he has change to spare.