blueollie

Trying to put some quality back in the blog

Ok, while I’ll still post about workouts, races, games (and to be fair, cute butts), I’ll attempt to at least add some intellectual content back to the blog. It has been missing lately.

Workout notes: about 6 miles of running, which included 35 minutes of hill repeats in Lower Bradley Park (the hill near the dog park); that stretch is barricaded off for the winter and yet is ice free. The first 6 weren’t that bad; the final 4 hurt. I tried to go hard enough to make myself stop and walk when I got to the top of the hill.

Posts
Nature is brutal Via Why Evolution is True
endoftheline

That is how it works, isn’t it? Either one animal dies so another can live, or one survives and the predator goes hungry. I’ve seen duels between squirrels and birds of prey before; the squirrels won the encounters that I saw. But they don’t always…obviously.

Politics I don’t often read Robert Reich saying “son of a bitch” but here he uses the phrase. Yes, he is talking about the “revolutionary” candidates: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

I’ve been both amused and saddened to see some of the Democratic infighting. I don’t mind debates over ideas. But I’ve been “unfriended” by Sanders supporters who accused me of being…well, some dupe of the oligarchy, blinded or something else. I find this to be an especially interesting accusation when it comes from someone whose own life doesn’t demonstrate exceptional intellect, insight or talent.

I don’t mind differences of opinion, but if you are going to accuse me of being a delusional, duped idiot..you might ask yourself why I’d be willing to accept such a rebuke from you.

But hey, some of these accusations are being directed at PAUL KRUGMAN?

But if you’re a progressive who not only supports Sanders but is furious with anyone skeptical about his insurgency, someone who considers Mike Konczal a minion and me a corrupt crook, you might want to ask why Barack Obama is saying essentially the same things as the progressive Bernie skeptics. And you might want to think hard about why you’re not just sure that you’re right, but sure that anyone who disagrees must be evil.

And yes, there are issues with Sen. Sander’s health care platform and those who have actually worked on this issue can see it:

Oh well. Meanwhile, the Sanders skepticism of the wonks continues: Paul Starr lays out the case. As far as I can tell, every serious progressive policy expert on either health care or financial reform who has weighed in on the primary seems to lean Hillary. This could be because being in the trenches of the health care fight gives you an acute sense of the possible, and because having paid close attention to the financial crisis makes you a shadow-banking, not too big to fail guy. Or it could be because they are, one and all, corrupt corporate lackeys. I report, you decide.

Just to be clear, Sanders himself is not at fault here. And if Hillary is the nominee, I expect him to do what she herself did in 2008, and will surely do if he wins an upset: make it clear that whatever their differences, and whatever the primary loser’s personal frustration, there’s no comparison with the reactionary extremism of all the GOP candidates.

But it’s disappointing to see so much intolerance over what are basically differences in strategy, not goals.

Civil liberties, free speech, free press and the like

Remember the unrest at the University of Missouri? Well, a faculty member has been charged with assault:

On Monday, Melissa Click learned that lesson, as prosecutors charged her with assault.

Click is the communication professor who grabbed a videographer’s camera and said in a confrontation with a reporter covering a public protest at the University of Missouri: “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.”

I recommend reading the rest of Mr. Randazza’s article (he is a First Amendment attorney); he admits that the charges, while legal, might be overkill. He suggests that her being fired might be the better action. A biology professor from the University of Chicago also weighs in.

I don’t know how I feel about the firing; I feel that a reprimand is in order. And yes, this is the problem with zealots (be they classified as left wing zealots or right wing zealots): they are SO sure that they are on the side of “right” that they’ll not only break the law, but they’ll also trample on other people’s rights in the process.

It seems that all of them view themselves as, say, those who protested unjust racial segregation. So there is part of me that thinks “good; teach this unrepentant attention-seeking self-righteous idiot a lesson” but overreacting is never good either.

(psst: that is one reason that Donald Trump appeals to me just a little: he isn’t afraid to call out the idiots).

Censorship and good intentions
Beware of proposed legislation which limits free speech under the guise of “good intentions“:

A Kentucky legislator recently proposed a narrow restriction on free expression — and it seems that it came from reasonable and logical intentions. Unfortunately, when you consider this idea while keeping the First Amendment in mind, the implications are no longer acceptable. They are intolerable.

Representative John Carney introduced a bill to prohibit anyone who witnesses “an event that could reasonably result in a series of physical injury” from publishing information about that event on the internet for at least an hour if their posting could identify potential victims.

I see where he is coming from. Do you want to hear about your loved one being killed in a car accident from Facebook? Do you want to wake up from an accident and find your traumatic and personal experience all over Twitter? I get it. In short, we have significant social media privacy issue – and the United States seems to be forgetting all about privacy issues as we steam forward into the Internet’s adolescence.

[…]

A law like this is what is known as a “prior restraint” – a rule that attempts to prevent speech from occurring. As Justice Blackstone eloquently wrote: The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state, but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications…” Or, as Walter Sobchak shouted, “THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!” Kinney v. Barnes, 57 Tex. Sup. J. 1428 at n.7, (Tex. 2014) (citing SOBCHAK, W., THE BIG LEBOWSKI, 1998). See also, How to Cite to Walter Sobchak.

That rejection is rounder than you can spin me like a record. Rounder than Ken’s noggin.

It has been that way since Near vs. Minnesota. So, you’ve had 85 years to get with the program.

Prior Restraints are permissible under the U.S. Constitution. However, they are restricted to situations with which there is an immediate, clear and present danger that something awful will happen if the speech gets out there.

Read the rest of Randazza’s article: it is excellent. Good intentions often have terrible consequences. Example: do you want to have a law that allows you to criminalize the act of recording police misconduct?

January 28, 2016 - Posted by | nature, politics, politics/social, running, science | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: