Another Holiday

Tomorrow we get back to work with committee meetings and workshops and, speaking hopefully, another day closer to having the shutdown resolved.

Strange that status-conscious people are so antagonistic towards the one organization where status and rank have meaning. Must be because rank is based on performance and the status-conscious prefer the inherited kind.

First Volley

When one initiates a civil suit, and a suit against a state agency for failing to do its job would be civil, if the suit is not dismissed as frivolous out of hand, the plaintiff is entitled to posit interrogatories to the defendant entity. Interrogatories serve the dual purpose of providing information to the plaintiff and an opportunity for the defense to provide exculpatory evidence. Statutory requirements to provide information are partly designed to prevent unnecessary legal action clogging the courts. On the other hand, if it turns out that appropriate records are not being kept by public officials, that in itself is evidence of negligence and may provide grounds for judicial intervention.
Continue reading

Reliability

Which is more reliable, the spoken or the written word? Well, the written word is more permanent, but still subject to interpretation. The spoken word, especially when recorded, is more immediate and richer in color and tone. Talk TV is scripted first. That makes it more likely ro be manipulative. We assume the spoken word is more honest, but that is not necessarily so when we are listening to an accomplished liar.

Gossip, repeating the spoken word, is grossly unreliable.
Continue reading

Russia Today reports on the “Filthy Forty-two”

The electronic media are dominated by people who can talk on their feet. But,if you listen to these promoters of the resurgent Russian empire, it is clear that poor Donald is in way over his head.
That said, I do not think economic coercion, as exemplified by “sanctions,” is morally superior, albeit less immediately lethal, to military force.
Man’s dominion over his own kind is not morally justifiable, even if the kind is too stupid to object.

On the demise of car culture

At the risk of being philosophical, as my friends James Holland complains, the contentious issues addressed by jim Splaine are part of a same issue, car culture. Our individual libert is manifest in our mobility and in the 20th Century the American people were convinced that their mobility is to be realized by navigating on prescribed routes in cages on wheels. In effect, an ideally managed society restrict itself to secured homes, locked cars, supervised shopping centers and restricted work places. Walkers are suspect. Joggers, wearing themselves out and properly attired are OK. Humans tetheres to domesticated animals are OK. People on bicycles are a law enforcement bother because they can go where law enforcement in cruisers cannot follow. That individual liberty has been severely restricted to the point that humans are fearful of being in the out-of-doors has gone largely unnoticed. We are reminded of the frog in the pot on the stove. However, irony of ironies, a population that bused or chauffeured every where is throwing car culture to the curb. They are moving into the cities, perambulating on their own two feet and giving the powers that would control them fits. They are not even learning to drive, for goodness sake. They do not care if parking meters are installed in the interest of “keep ‘em movin’ in their cars” which is also the ambition of the traffic engineer. In my youth, we used to routinely march from 34 th Street to 96th in New York. If New York is a walkable city, so is Portsmouth. Liberty loving people just have to insist on it.

The Prevaricating Senate

For about four decades now, the denizens of Capitol Hill have been pretending that the Executive is the guy in charge. This obfuscation has allowed them to use the federal Treasury for just one pupose — to keep themselves in office for decades, despite having to hold elections every two years. Why? Because they have made longevity in office the key to the absolute control of legislation.
Continue reading