5.23.2019

On "stare decisis"



Thomas and Breyer’s ‘Stare’ Contest - Their sharp disagreement about precedent reflects different worldviews that go far beyond abortion.

Excerpt:

Beginning with the Warren Court in the 1950s, bold and audacious justices began making up law out of the Constitution’s “emanations, formed by penumbras”—literally, gas and shadows. As Justice Thomas has objected, the court invented rights that sharply curtailed the traditional order-keeping authority of police and teachers, making streets, schools, and housing projects in poor neighborhoods dangerous, and depriving mostly minority citizens of the first civil right—to be safe. The justices have even trampled the Bill of Rights, sanctioning campaign-finance laws that curtail the political speech at the core of First Amendment protections.
Comment: Important read. Ask yourself - should Dred Scott v. Sandford have stood? Then consider Roe v. Wade.


5.21.2019

My USAToday '15 minutes of fame'





More baby boomers stay in their homes as they reach retirement, skipping downsizing

Excerpt:

Jim Peet, 70, of Plymouth, Minnesota, may seriously consider selling his 3,300-square-foot house but not until he’s 80. Peet, a retired information technology professional, and his wife, Kathee, flirted with downsizing several years ago, largely to reduce maintenance hassles, but found that a condo in downtown Minneapolis would cost more than their house. They also shopped for a similar-sized house in Tallahassee, Florida, but backed out after realizing they didn’t want to be so far from their family.

In fact, their kids and grandchildren generate a consistent hive of activity in their house. “It’s just so comfortable to entertain people,” Peet says. “The kids run from the living room to the kitchen – I love watching them.”

Peet, who uses a walker because of a spine-related injury, also appreciates the support of decades-long neighbors. Recently, he says, a neighbor helped him when he fell from a chair.
Comment: Nice mention. How I was contacted. Responded to this:


5.19.2019

Joenonymous in the Anthropocene Age

Rambling Through Time

Excerpt:

The world is old beyond comprehension, and our story on it is short. The conceit of the Anthropocene, the supposed new epoch we’re living in, is that humanity can already make claims to its geological legacy. But if we’re to endure as a civilization, or even as a species, for anything more than what might amount to a thin layer of odd rock in some windswept canyon of the far future, some humility is in order about our, thus far, infinitesimal part in the history of the planet.

Astronomy gets much of the credit for decentralizing the role of humans in the story of the cosmos, but just as Edwin Hubble placed our island universe in deep space, the geologist James Hutton placed us in deep time, gawking in awe in 1788 at the chasms of history that confronted him in the rocks at Siccar Point on the east coast of Scotland. mammoths and giant ground sloths. We walk past Broadway to Riverside Park, eventually hitting the Hudson River.

We’ve already put more than a thousand centuries behind us, but we’ve got a long way to go. So we march up the West Side Highway and cross the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. Despite our sore feet, and having covered untold millenniums over several miles, we’re stupefied to learn that we’ve scarcely gone back a million years — an all but insignificant amount to geologists. In fact, we haven’t even emerged from the pulsating ice age that has waxed and waned for the past 2.6 million years.

The scale of the task dimly dawning on us, we push on, trudging along the rumble strip of Interstate 80 in New Jersey, battered by gusts of passing tractor-trailers. After walking for more than 24 hours we make it clear across the state, stumbling into Pennsylvania. Morale now collapsing, we’re further gutted to learn that walking as the crow flies 300 miles across the Keystone State won’t even bring us back to the age of dinosaurs.
Comment: Image Source. I am basically a young earth creationist (I believe in the revelation of Adam and Eve). But I found the article interesting because I had never heard of the concept of the Anthropocene Age. Related is the Great Acceleration/ "Joenonymous" is a contraction of "Joe" (as in "average Joe" and "anonymous"

5.18.2019

When Turkey Destroyed Its Christians



From 1894 to 1924, a staggered campaign of genocide targeted not just the region’s Armenians but its Greek and Assyrian communities as well​

Excerpt:

Between 1894 and 1924, the number of Christians in Asia Minor fell from some 3-4 million to just tens of thousands—from 20% of the area’s population to under 2%. Turkey has long attributed this decline to wars and the general chaos of the period, which claimed many Muslim lives as well. But the descendants of Turkey’s Christians, many of them dispersed around the world since the 1920s, maintain that the Turks murdered about half of their forebears and expelled the rest.

The Christians are correct. Our research verifies their claims: Turkey’s Armenian, Greek and Assyrian (or Syriac) communities disappeared as a result of a staggered campaign of genocide beginning in 1894, perpetrated against them by their Muslim neighbors. By 1924, the Christian communities of Turkey and its adjacent territories had been destroyed.

Over the past decade, we have sifted through the Turkish, U.S., British and French archives, as well as some Greek materials and the papers of the German and Austro-Hungarian foreign ministries. This research has made it possible to document a strikingly consistent pattern of ethno-religious atrocity over three decades, perpetrated by the Turkish government, army, police and populace.

The concentrated slaughter of Turkey’s Armenians in 1915-16, commonly known as the Armenian genocide, is well documented and acknowledged (outside of Turkey, which still bitterly objects to the charge). But the Armenian genocide was only a part, albeit the centerpiece, of a larger span of elimination that lasted some 30 years. Our work provides the first detailed description and analysis of the 1894-96 massacres and the destruction of the region’s Greek and remaining Armenian communities in 1919-24 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish republic.

The bloodshed was importantly fueled throughout by religious animus. Muslim Turks—aided by fellow Muslims, including Kurds, Circassians, Chechens and Arabs—murdered about two million Christians in bouts of slaughter immediately before, during and after World War I. These massacres were organized by three successive governments, those of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, the Young Turks and, finally, Atatürk. These governments also expelled between 1.5 and 2 million Christians, mostly to Greece.
Comment: When a country is majority Muslim - Christians die!

5.17.2019

The Vacuous Promise of Living in Outer Space





Enjoy Outer Space! I’ll Stay on Earth.
Excerpt:

Are we really all going to go live in outer space? Budding space Wonka Jeff Bezos had a big event last week to say it’s coming, that his rocket company Blue Origin will help make it possible, but—not to sound like an intergalactic wet blanket—I’m on the fence about abandoning Earth, and schlepping off to the stars. Yes, I know I may not have a choice: that overpopulation, climate change and cable news may eventually make our current planet an impossible place to live. What I’m asking is: What if it’s optional? What if living in outer space is a choice? I’m not sure I need to go.
Comment: Images: 1st, 2nd

5.15.2019

4270 Cottonwood

4270 Cottonwood

My neighbor's house goes on the market soon (I think next week)


Comments:
  • Predict that it goes on the market for $ 379K (prediction date = 5/15/19)
  • And that it sells for $ 360K

Update: On the market today (5/20) for $ 375:


5.06.2019

Heroes



Lori Kaye, 60, Who ‘Thought of Others Before Herself’ - she took bullet to save her rabbi’s life

Excerpt:

Lori Kaye loved greeting cards; she had one for nearly any occasion. Whether a birthday, anniversary or condolence, someone leaving on a trip or returning from one, Kaye pulled one out from her vast collection, wrote a message and delivered the card.

“She knew what everyone was up to, what was happening in their lives, and she cared to make them feel special,” shares her longtime friend, Teresa Lampert. “She was an incredible person.”

Kaye was killed on Shabbat morning, the last of the eight days of Passover, during the anti-Semitic shooting attack at Chabad-Lubavitch of Poway that shocked the nation. She had just stepped out into the lobby to check on the children’s group in the playground when the attacker burst into the building and shot her. Kaye, a woman remembered for her kindness, sensitivity, enthusiasm and generosity, spent her last minutes on earth in the lobby of the synagogue and community center she had done so much to see into reality.


The UNCC student who died charging a gunman received military honors




Excerpt:



The University of North Carolina at Charlotte student who died after tackling the gunman in last week's campus shooting was remembered at a memorial service with military honors on Sunday, where close friends and family recalled a humble young man who loved the outdoors and was kind to everyone he met.

Authorities have said that Riley Howell, a 21-year-old ROTC cadet at UNCC, charged the shooter after he opened fire with a pistol in a classroom last Tuesday, saving the lives of others.

Howell was killed, along with 19-year-old Reed Parlier of Midland, North Carolina. Four others were injured.

"Maybe it was God that moved the levers, that put Riley in that classroom on that day, at the exact time for the purpose of saving others," said Kevin Westmoreland, the father of Howell's girlfriend, Lauren.

"It was not out of character for him," he said, "and maybe someone in that room is here for a greater purpose, and it was Riley's destiny to sacrifice himself for them."




5.05.2019

Minesweeper - Addictive


  • I bought for my Mac when Kathee went out of town last week
  • I played it hundreds of times
  • Remember when it was in Windows 3.1?
Update on 6/10: I don't think I've ever seen an "8" before:


5.02.2019

Tactics for Atheists



Tactics for Atheists

Excerpt:

Consider this scenario. An atheist engages two Christians on a sidewalk and begins to gently and genially engage them about their beliefs. Their initial, breezy assurance begins to fade, however, as they falter in the face of carefully-worded questions about the things they think they know “by faith.” The atheist gives no evidence for atheism. He gives no evidence against Christianity. Instead, he only does one thing. He asks questions about “faith” as a way of knowing. He remains calm and friendly as the discussion closes, but by that time one of the Christians is visibly uncomfortable.
Comment: Good read