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.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Adding to Brice’s concern, some of his most experienced Sherpas, ordinarily exceedingly stoical men, approached him to say that the conditions on the mountain made them fear for their lives. One of them actually broke down in tears as he confessed this. So on May 7, 2012, Brice made an announcement that shocked most of the thousand people camped at the base of Everest: he was pulling all his guides, members, and Sherpas off the mountain, packing up their tents and equipment, and heading home. He was widely criticized for this decision in 2012, and not just by clients who were forced to abandon their dreams of climbing the world’s highest mountain without receiving a refund for the forty-three thousand euros they had paid him in advance. Many of the other expedition leaders also thought Brice was wildly overreacting. The reputation of Himex took a major hit.
After what happened last Friday, though, it’s hard to argue with Brice’s call. On April 18th, shortly before 7 A.M. local time, an overhanging wedge of ice the size of a Beverly Hills mansion broke loose from the same ice bulge that had frightened Brice into leaving Everest in 2012. As it crashed onto the slope below, the ice shattered into truck-size chunks and hurtled toward some fifty climbers laboring slowly upward through the Khumbu Icefall, a jumbled maze of unstable ice towers that looms above the 17,600-foot base camp. The climbers in the line of fire were at approximately nineteen thousand feet when the avalanche struck. Of the twenty-five men hit by the falling ice, sixteen were killed, all of them Nepalis working for guided climbing teams. Three of the bodies were buried beneath the frozen debris and may never be found.
Clearest of all is Justice Antonin Scalia's concurrence in the judgment, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. "It has come to this," Scalia begins portentously. "Called upon to explore the jurisprudential twilight zone between two errant lines of precedent, we confront a frighteningly bizarre question: Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbid what its text plainly requires?"
Supporters of affirmative action are now signaling similar weakness. What was called “racial quotas” in the 1970s and has been referred to as “affirmative action” since the 1990s is giving way to a new term: “race-sensitive admission policies.” The language shift is telling — race-based preferences are losing intellectual, judicial, and political support.
John Paul may be a revolutionary figure in the history of the church, but a man who looked away in a moral crisis cannot be described as a saint.
When the church elevates him, it is winking at the hell it caused for so many children and young people in its care.
A big holy wink.
The annoying Miss Dowd.
On Friday, the State Department quietly released a notification that the Keystone XL pipeline decision is being delayed yet again. The president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Terry O’Sullivan, called the delay “another gutless move” by the administration. We could also dismiss the announcement as just more of the usual dithering from this White House. I don’t think the delay is gutless or dithering, but a more sinister, cynical ploy by this administration to manipulate two groups into continuing to support vulnerable Democrats in an attempt to keep the Senate in 2014.
Few issues have tumbled more vertiginously from the top of the political agenda than affirmative action. There was a time when the topic of quotas and racial preferences partly dominated the discussion of domestic policy. That time has long since passed.
So it came as a bracing shock Tuesday to be reminded that the US Supreme Court is still adjudicating the issue. It issued a major ruling that upheld Michigan’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning the use of affirmative action as a factor for admission in the state’s public universities.
Florida Coastal Law School Asks Dean Candidate to Leave Midway Through Lunch Presentation for Raising Concerns About Plummeting Student Credentials and Job Placement
Monday, April 21, 2014
Obama Handles Russia Like Republicans: Overpromise, Under-Deliver, and Write Off - NationalJournal.com
President Obama came to office nursing dreams "of forging a new partnership" with a stubborn rival. When times got tough, he abandoned the relationship and adopted dusty zero-sum gain policies of his predecessors. To allies and rivals alike, he looks naïve, weak, and disconnected.
It was the federal Bureau of Land Management that provoked the confrontation — descending with 200 armed men, including some with sniper rifles, to seize the Bundys’ cattle on land their family has grazed since 1877. Whatever one thinks of the Bundys’ legal case over unpaid grazing fees — and the federal government’s desire to protect the desert tortoise — defending your property against a paramilitary force of armed federal agents is not the equivalent of blowing up a federal building or sending letter bombs.
The best teachers are the ones who remain students at heart, the ones who keep learning from their students, and from the world around them, and from their own drive to know even more about even more things, and who then are able to transmit that knowledge—and more important, the drive to know more—to their students. That's how great teachers echo through time. That's how great teachers become immortal.
This is an egregious puff piece about Professor Warren. I'm feeling too sick to say anything else about it.
Today, for one day only, Google Glass goes on sale to everyone in the U.S. Everyone, that is, with an extra $1,500 to spare and a desire to become a guinea pig in a hotly contested social experiment. It’s not a stretch to say that this little test, the first that hasn’t been geared to the already converted, could steer what Google ultimately decides to do with the entire project.
I would certainly not allow them in my class, just because I don't like them.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Historically, free enterprise has done this to astonishing effect. In a remarkable paper, Maxim Pinkovskiy of M.I.T. and Xavier Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University calculate that the fraction of the world’s population living on a dollar a day — after adjusting for inflation — plummeted by 80 percent between 1970 and 2006. This is history’s greatest antipoverty achievement.
Which I think is fine actually. I just wish people who disagreed with him were as well paid. I, for example. Not that I'm for income inequality exactly. It's just something that happens when capital gets allocated by what you can do with it instead of politics. What a weird wonderful world we live in.
I realize I'm supposed to be part of the world is coming to an end for law schools crowd. And it may be. I think markets are pretty darn efficient (this is the pretty strong version of the ECMH) but obviously there's room for bubbles and their aftermath. It wouldn't do much good to deny them at this point. But frequently the best time to go long is when everybody else is going short. Except, of course, when it isn't. IMHO labor markets make capital markets look like an economic calculation problem, that is, they're really complicated. Far more complicated than are the theories of those predicting them, which worries me some.
The Obama administration says it is indefinitely extending its long-awaited review of the Keystone XL pipeline — providing a Good Friday jolt to one of the president’s most wrenching environmental decisions.
Republicans in Congress immediately derided the move as a “shameful” concession to “radical activists,” while Democratic Senate energy Chairwoman Mary Landrieu called it “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
This appears to be downright political.
Police said Mr. Kang left a note behind that read: "Please hold me responsible for all of this. I pushed for the school excursion. Cremate my body and spread my ashes over the ship sinking site. I may become a teacher again in the afterlife for the students whose bodies have yet to be found."
President Obama is suddenly upset about the alleged wage gap between men and women, but he's not responding to a national economic crisis. Instead, he is attempting to revive the "war on women" theme that, according to Washington wisdom, helped carry Democrats to victory in 2012 and might do again in 2014. If this narrative were true, the White House could spend the year demonizing Republicans as women-hating creeps, driving women to the polls in November and helping the party hold the Senate.
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."