By Contributor Archives

Just Asking

So. As the Roman Empire got too large and complex they went to a Eastern/Western Empire situation. If you take as given that the job in front of today’s US executive is too complex to be handled by one man, would instead of a geographical a similar separation of responsibilities might help allow someone with who could be more expert in the area and a smaller contingent of responsibilities make sense? For the following take it as a given (as in we won’t argue that point) the job needs to be broken up and concentrate instead on how to do so.

This question it seems has two parts. The first is, wow to best break the job up. Foreign/domestic seems an obvious choice, but there may be other ways. Bertrand de Jouvenel suggested in his political philosophy that there were two types of leadership, one that drives forward toward a goal and one that can reconcile differences between people. Perhaps that would be another way to divide the two. Any other suggestions?

The second part is, how to implement this? Could this be done by dogmatic precedent (like the two term limit which followed Washington’s example for so long)? Could a President announce at his inauguration that he was doing this, and his vice President was going to, say, handle 100% of foreign affair issues and he would 100% concentrate on the domestic affairs.  The titular President would promise to rubber stamp any decisions made by his VP as if he were signing them as long as there were in the foreign affairs sphere and vice versa. Would this fly? If not, why no? Or would a full Constitutional amendment process be required to effect this?

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    So. Vaccinations?

    Some ground rules should be established in these conversations. Everyone should agree:

    • Vaccines greatly decrease the chance of contracting the disease which they target.
    • If a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated, then epidemics are unlikely.
    • This “significant” number does not have to 100% to be effective. Flu shot vaccination rates hover around 50% for the last few years according to the CDC, and no epidemics have occurred.
    • Vaccines are not 100% risk free, although globally speaking the benefit outweighs the risk. This, of course, does not help either the person getting sick or having an allergic or auto-immune reaction.
    • All currently required childhood vaccines are for horrible illnesses. Measles for example “Most patients with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment.” (from the wiki). Like chicken pox, in childhood in the 50’s and earlier .. almost all kids got the Measles. Oddly enough people survived.

    My question is, if you think measles vaccinations should be mandatory, why don’t you think flu shots should be mandatory?

    If you think free riders are a problem and deserve active censure, should childless middle age adults (or older) be similarly censured?

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      Is Islam the “Problem” or Not?

      Many of our intellectual elite keep (White House, others) keep repeating that Islam is “not the problem” behind the terrorism, violence and so on in the Middle East and elsewhere (France for example). What is not said in those pronouncements is, if Islam isn’t the problem, exactly then where does the problem lie? It seems likely that the statement Islam is not the problem is only half right. People who claim “Islam is the problem” (or not the problem) can be compared with people who claim “germs cause disease” (or that they don’t). Stating that Islam is or isn’t “the problem” isn’t useful. What are some more useful remarks or questions that might be raised instead? Such as, what does a more complete story/picture look like? What are useful ways of approaching this matter, not that the President and the left elite don’t have a useful way, they just are very very coy about what that way is, as “it’s not X” does not explain “it is Y”. Read the rest of this entry

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        Color Me Confused

        So, the left has gotten unhinged about Mr Christie offering that vaccinations for kids be voluntary. This isn’t an “anti-vaccination” position, as he hasn’t said not get them. If you need evidence that they have gotten unhinged, the proof is in the conflation, equating “anti-vaccine” with “optional”.

        Look. I’m not getting the kerfuffle. Explain to me the difference between optional flu shots and optional measles shots (hint: “It’s about the children” or “‘cause they are minors” earns you a dunce cap and won’t be considered a response). So why are flu shots not required for everyone? Hmmm?

        Or is this just the purely partisan stupid hacking like it looks like?

         

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          Links: 2015-01-17

          So. Back to work tomorrow.

          1. Carnegie-Mellon puts PV=nRT to the test.
          2. No prejudice in the alteration of data.
          3. Methane for vehicular fuel, exhibit a and exhibit b.
          4. School hi-jinks.
          5. Corruption in (a) government noted.
          6. Someone on the right praises Ms Obama.
          7. With the common practice of security free medical devices, do you think security will be a primary concern for its use.
          8. Very cool. Wonder what it would be like to play with that on at the same time.
          9. 200 million? That seems not very much, it’s likely they lost more than twice that from employees borrowing pencils and office supplies.
          10. Unemployment and welfare.
          11. Military aid for families takes an ironic turn.
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            Links: 2015-01-22

            Linky link.

            1. Still seems like mental illness to me. The dysphoria <->BIID comparison seems to make that clear. It might be that the best available treatment is to live with it, but that doesn’t make it not a mental illness.
            2. Not unrelated, Mark Daniels on addiction.
            3. Toyz.
            4. Nutt’n better to do I guess than pretend to know about that which you don’t.
            5. “Digitally faked”. Now that’s just wrong (and embarrassing to own up to I’d think).
            6. An animal with a backpack.
            7. A use for old hard drives.
            8. “Everywoman” … isn’t.
            9. Extra-terrestrial taking a leak.

            26 days to (Western) Lent. 31 Days for the Eastern Church (for which there are 10 days to the Triodion … this Sunday is Zacchaeus Sunday).

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              Links: 2015-01-21

              New Tablet … an attempt to see how android 5.01 works with WordPress for creating links posts.

              1. Oh. It’s a race!
              2. Color me unsurprised.
              3. I am not unsympathetic to the notion that at some point in end of life, end is inevitable and pain and loss of dignity is the only thing left. However, I also think euthenasia should be illegal and a likely jail term in the offing. That isn’t to say, if push came to shove and the hard choice was mine to make, I think if you love your parent or spouse, isn’t that love great enough to go to jail for your beloved? *That* will prevent abuse. It is often the error that illegal=immoral (hint: it isn’t. And furthermore, when given the choice, moral wins, not legal).
              4. I use LastPass. How ’bout y’all?
              5. Fiction, Fact, stranger than … Raiders of the Lost Arc edition.

              Well, that wasn’t impossible. I need to figure out how to create enumerated list in the android wordpress app.

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                SSM Surrogates

                 

                 

                This is one reason why SSM is not, objectively, marriage. As a rule*, marriage is a culturally and societally managed institution which, through natural processes, results in the next generation being produced. The protection and perpetuation of the next generation is something which society (whether tribal or governmental) has historically been deeply interested in. Rest assured that there is no natural way in which an SSM couple can contribute to producing the next generation. While virtually any relationship between two or more humans can be recognized and, therefore, named “marriage”, “marriage plus surrogate”, “grouping”, “shacking-up”, “brotherhood”, “sisterhood”, or whatever, only a relationship minimally limited to a male – female arrangement can in and of itself produce the next generation (I know, that last part is pretty obvious). As such, marriage between a man and a woman should be recognized as an institution which, as a rule and by design provides for the perpetuation of society; and not as, for example, an arrangement which provides one with governmental benefits.

                * By “as a rule” I’m referring to an anomaly free, unencumbered, and properly functioning system. (thanks to Stand to Reason for pretty much everything I just said)

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                  Links: 2015-01-20

                  And nonsense.

                  1. Heh. A history lesson of sorts.
                  2. The sooner people figure out that human value is uncorrelated with salary, the better.
                  3. Conservative vs Liberal Supreme Courts (by a paint by numbers metric) measure with respect to freedom of religion.
                  4. Seems I grew up in a transition period. I think A grades are exceptional, but that as well, Failing means you were also exceptionally unexceptional.
                  5. Church and men.
                  6. Snipers and public perception.
                  7. Heh.
                  8. Security and Progressive. In a word, yikes.
                  9. If Picketty is right (capital trumps salary) then gosh, you’d think the President would be proposing policies that encourage investment in markets. Not the reverse, ah, our moron-in-chief.
                  10. Great muscular strength helps sometimes.
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                    Links: 2015-01-19

                    Links?

                    1. Ms Warren (is probably not running).
                    2. Macular degeneration and a possible cause.
                    3. Bake your own energy bars, with some help.
                    4. State solvency and some suggestions for the basket case states. (earlier post here)
                    5. Snail poisons.
                    6. Almost sounds like the “cafeteria Christianity” heresy is enshrined in American common law.
                    7. Damned lies and statistics.
                    8. So. We all try to empathize and understand those on the other side of the aisle (or we should). But I completely strike out here. I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would utter the phrase “That is irrelevant”. Because, no. It! Is! Not! I fail to understand any circumstance in which that would not be the only relevant factor.
                    9. Somebody else here mistakenly assumes the result of the Habermas/Ratzinger debate. Uhm, the argument isn’t as cut and dried as you pretend.
                    10. Bang for beginners. (if you have bucks)
                    11. Backwoods epicurean delight?
                    12. And .. I bought the book. Haven’t read it yet though.
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                      Links: 2015-01-15

                      So, what do we find?

                      1. Consider the hypothetical
                      2. Innocence and loss.
                      3. Snow.
                      4. Yikes!
                      5. Where accuracy is king.
                      6. Your administration, restricting liberty every which way it can.
                      7. Of income and nation.
                      8. Camouflage.
                      9. It looks like a case of overhype. In which “Potentially leading to a solution” actually means potentially maybe leading to something, but … maybe not.
                      10. The response by Ferguson police examined.
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                        Links: 2015-01-11

                        So.

                        1. Socialism, the goal of the American left is not what it is cracked up to be. (HT)
                        2. Also on the left, an odd remark. Let’s see, Picketty recently wrote a book offering that investment trumps salary. The left loved it, but seems to fail to notice that SS is salary, not investment, based. Odd that.
                        3. Economics for our times.
                        4. An Advertising suggestion.
                        5. Apparently the right defends Charlie Hebdo, the left does less so. This is strange for a very left wing satirical mag, the actual publication it is unclear why anyone would buy a copy for any reason with attitudes like this.
                        6. And the American left, trying to distance themselves from freedom of expression, succeeds.
                        7. Legal PED? Tylenol?
                        8. On military service.
                        9. Here’s a stupid idea fronted by Mr Obama.
                        10. Here is a less stupid idea that Mr Obama might have said, but didn’t.
                        11. Hmm. So which study is more worthless this one or this one? Kinda seems a wash to me.
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                          Links: 2015-01-07

                          So.

                          1. Hitting the nail with the noetic hammer.
                          2. We would be guessing alcohol was involved.
                          3. Energy weapons, … although the writer misses that one suggestion is that energy weapons are used in space because of the small momentum transfer (low recoil).
                          4. But those duecedly odd and uncouth chemical weapons can join the “Interwebs of things”. Reprising, I guess, Richard Stallman’s notion that every program grows until it can send email to, every houshold appliance gains intelligence until it can serve a web page.
                          5. So, Wooly mammoth got the flu?
                          6. I realize my very smart dietitian once said “cheese isn’t food, it’s a condiment” and that advice is very good for my cholesterol levels, but … cheese!!!! (grommit).
                          7. Ouch evolved.
                          8. Now, just apply that indemnity from suit to medicine, nuclear power, and other desirable technologies and we’d have more useful progress in other fields.
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                            Links: 2015-01-06

                            Links with remarks?

                            1. My, uninformed guess, would be that this liberal disaproves. Alas, he’s only half right. “Hate crime” are apparently committed when you do a criminal act and the jury decides you have ideological motives. Seems to me that a crime against police may very well fit into this category. Alas, after all, turnabout is fair play, which in this case means if the ideology is one you approve it still makes it a “hate crime”. And the scare quotes are intentional, for the real way clear out of this mess is to remove all traces of “hate crime” from the books.
                            2. So. Are you the kind of person to laugh at the misfortune of someone young, inexperienced and clumsy? I certainly am.
                            3. The west coast liberal anti-vaccine crowd gets a wonderfully apt acronymic sendoff. (HT)
                            4. Look, when you read some statistical result you have don’t have to google for opposing studies. The first thing to do is the Fermi test, do a back of the envelope estimation of the numbers and figure out if you think it is a reasonable quantity. 1 in 30 homeless. No freaking way.
                            5. So with Ferguson, the kerfuffle (I don’t recall names) in New York and the movie Selma, much ado has been made about how nothing has changed and things are still horribly racist and wicked in America. Alas, this isn’t actually true. As this post points out, things in the 50s were very very bad, but guess what?  Things are very very very different now. Why does lying about the current state of affairs help? Everybody actually knows they are lying. How does it help to destroy your credibility on the outset.

                            And … Ant-man? Is it too late to change the name?

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                              Links: 2015-01-05

                              Hey. Weekend is done.

                              1. Meta-linking (linking of links), and I will say, the point on the “trauma” is spot on.
                              2. So, Christmas and Islam.
                              3. Teh noodity meets the Constitution.
                              4. One of those models looks like it’s still tracking the data, although it does it by predicting very little warming.
                              5. Powder go bang.
                              6. Obamacare and a twist.
                              7. Nicknames and history.
                              8. Danger! Danger! Danger!(Will Robinson?)
                              9. Snarf.
                              10. Click through, it’s worth your while.
                              11. Oddly enough actual leadership involves people following your lead. Doesn’t matter what you say, if you can’t get people to follow your lead … and in fact they resist and go the other way either your a bad leader (and didn’t realize they’d not follow) or you intended the result that was achieved (the not following).
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