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ARCHIVE - OCTOBER 2017

Issues, News & Views


NEIL GORSUCH
JOINS SCOTUS




Gorsuch
Sworn In
April 10, 2017




A Tremendous Day for
sound jurisprudence and
our Constitution!



Watch the swearing-in and
savor the prospect of a
Supreme Court Justice
who will defend our
Constitution:




Below is our rating of
Supreme Court justices
based upon judgement of
their fidelity to the
Constitution:


As the chart illustrates,
there are too many rogue
justices on the Supreme
Court. These appointed,
life-term judges take it
upon themselves to
arbitrarily unilaterally and
autocratically over-rule the
will of the people. They are
the equivalent of tyrants.

It is crucial to our
Democracy to fill all open
seats on all Courts, as
they arise, with true-to-
the-law judges. With
originalist, textualist
judges who apply the law
as passed by the
representatives of the
people.

It is NOT the role of judges
to over-rule laws they just
happen to dislike. As
Gorsuch said at the
ceremony:

"A judge who likes every
outcome he reaches is
very likely a bad judge..."



Gorsuch
Confirmed
April 07, 2017






A Supreme Court seat
opened with the passing of
Antonin Scalia just months
before the 2016 election.

President Obama
nominated Merrick Garland
as a replacement, but
Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
blocked the nomination,
claiming that the voters
should decide.

Elections have
consequences. Democrats
were certain they would
hold the White House and
regain the Senate in 2016,
thereby giving them full
control of the nomination
process.

But the GOP held the
Senate, and won the
White House, against
all predictions.
Republicans campaigned
on the Supreme Court
issue, and won.

And that's why Democrats
lost the Supreme Court
nomination: because they
didn't win the election. The
people spoke. As it should
be.



Gorsuch
Nominated
January 31, 2017




President Trump has
nominated Neil Gorsuch to
the United States Supreme
Court. View the
proceedings at the White
House:


As the President so
appropriately remarked at
the nomination ceremony:

"I have always felt that
after the defense of our
nation, the most important
decision a president of the
United States can make is
the appointment of a
Supreme Court justice.
Depending on their age, a
justice can be active for 50
years and his or her
decisions can last a
century or more and can
often be permanent."


We anticipate that Neil
Gorsuch will be an
outstanding Supreme
Court Justice, just like
Antonin Scalia, the great
man he will replace.

Neil Gorsuch: a judge who
understands both what a
judge's role is; and what a
judge's role is not.

SCATTERED THOUGHTS ABOUT RESPECT

2017/10/25 - I have been thinking a lot about the words "respect" and "deference" of late. Thoughts perhaps triggered by being hit by a car while cycling last autumn. Or the disrespect demonstrated for our national symbols by NFL players. I havenít come up with an integrated unifying theory of deference yet, and maybe I never will. So Iíll just dump some ideas Ė some good, some perhaps not so much - that are circulating in my head.

The word "deference" means to defer to others, usually in regards to a higher rank, position, age or some other measure of importance. But I prefer to use the word a bit differently at times, to defer to others irrespective of whether they have the right of way, a higher rank, or some other preferred claim.

As I drive through the streets of Manhattan I am frequently disappointed by pedestrians who, without the right of way, wander in front of my wife's oncoming Jeep Grand Cherokee, trudging slowly into, and even more slowly through, my likely track. Itís almost like they gain some kind of inner credibility by defying an oncoming vehicle, as if to say to the driver, "I will make you slow down, and you will proceed at a pace of my choosing".

Part of maturing (and getting old) is that you learn. You learn from your mistakes as well as the mistakes of others, and you learn from the good as well. You pattern yourselves after role models, as well as doing your utmost to reinforce your own good choices. When you make a good choice, try to repeat that choice, try to make it a habit.

So now when I cross a street, I make a point of hustling across, rather than loafing along. Sure, I might have the right of way over the car attempting a turn, but I try to be deferential Ė I try to aid his progess, as well as the progress of the drivers behind him who are also hopeful of making the turn before the light changes. In my own little way doing my part to minimize congestion, keep traffic moving, help the environment too, and so forth.

The idea of a greater good raises the broader idea of "character". What makes character? What do I need to do to improve my character? As a "type-A" personality I donít beat around the bush. Neither in word nor deed. Thus honesty comes easily, Iím a straight-shooter. Perhaps blunt at times. Brutally blunt even. Iím also punctual, timely. Iím offended when people waste my time. You can call me any name you want, I donít care - I know who I am and nothing you say can change that. But if you waste my time, that insults me - nothing I can do can get that time back.

But what part of my character do I think I need to improve? Four words have come repeatedly to mind: thankfulness, kindness, deference, selflessness.

The last of those - selfishness - is probably the easiest to identify in others and paradoxically probably the hardest to change in oneself. People are inherently selfish, and we live in a selfish society that continually provokes selfish behavior, selfish thought, selfishness as a general overarching condition.

I learned to fly airplanes, and that training provided good lessons, though unintended, on selflessness. Student pilots are taught "situational awareness" Ė knowing whatís going on all around, realizing that risks lie not merely in a flat 2-dimensional 360 circle, but in a far more complex 3-dimensional sphere. You are taught to not fixate on yourself, but instead, that your survival depends on being aware of and deferential toward others. Good life lessons.

I live in Manhattan, Upper East Side. I routinely see people, seemingly affluent and educated (and probably liberal and Democrat), wearing flip-flops, allowing their dogs to urinate on the side walk. Flip-flops! C'mon man, hust because youíre okay with splashing around in dog piss (K9-1) doesnít mean anyone else is. I score that as a rather substantial disrespect. Curb your dog!

I work in Harlem. And ride my bike throughout the place. In addition to the K9-1 problem, they also have a K9-2 problem up there. Lots of folks clean up after their dogs, but plenty donít. Legal or not, thatís a disrespect. And litter Ė a lot of litter. People dropping their trash anywhere. Thatís a disrespect Ė to your community, to your neighbors, to your friends, to yourself.

I rode my bike a lot this summer, and that probably influenced a lot of my thinking about character. Biking in New York City generates a lot of "Go-Pro" moments (kind of a nasty version of the old "Kodak moment"), and once Iím out of town I have a lot of time to reflect on those near-misses.

As I focus on deference, the theme that keeps repeating itself is the lack of deference I see around me. The willingness of motorists to perform maneuvers that are thoroughly irrational - useless and dangerous at the same time. Like passing a cyclist on a narrow street fifty yards before a light that just turned red. Okay, you wasted gas, wore your brakes, endangered me, and youíre still stopped at a light. And now Iím going to pass you. Again. What was the point? Nothing that I can understand.

And pedestrians? Not even gonna start.

Iím not saying cyclists are innocent either, not by a longshot Ė cyclists could do well and do good to learn the meaning of those words "kindness", "deference" and "selflessness" as well.

But this isnít about cycling in the city. Itís about deference and respect, or the lack thereof. Itís about how a spring and summer of cycling and pondering the idea of respect, gave way to an autumn of seeing NFL players demonstrate their disrespect for the greatest country ever. Of millionaire athletes disrespecting our nation. Of being unthankful for the opportunities this nation affords.

By any measure the United States of America is the best country ever. Even the poorest of the poor in America are better off, better fed, safer, have a longer life expectancy, have more family and friends, have more leisure time and opportunities for amusement, than almost any humans that have ever trod this planet, anywhere else, any time else.

I am not a natural born citizen. I became an American citizen by choice, because it was something I wanted so dearly. I am passionate about my love for the United States of America. So when I see Americans Ė people who have so much to be thankful for, and proud of Ė disrespecting America, I see people who think totally differently than I do. And I want to figure out how they got there. And no, I havenít figured it out.

Iíve wondered how a certain segment of a society falls into a vicious cycle, a doom of repeated failure. And the idea Iíve come up with is thatís what happens when credibility (also known as "street cred" or just simply "cred") is valued above deference. A downward spiral will be the most likely outcome when the cred-seekers Ė I'll call them credheads Ė come to dominate the culture of a community, when they become the opinion leaders, the role models, the tastemakers. Such as athletes and entertainers.

It seems like cred is gained by disrespecting others. You exert your dominance over a rival by dissing them. Either they back down and accept the diss, and you switch pegs on the cred ladder; or, they accept the challenge and the fight is on, the credheads duking it out with each other in one form or another.

Do you also gain cred by fighting some kind of vague "system"? All people are selfish, so naturally the credhead is as well. People who learn from their mistakes and failures are destined for success, by definition. But credheads on the other hand believe that whatever they define as "The System" is out to get them, so they either passively avoid "The System" or actively fight aginst it. And when personal achievement is predictably elusive, they blame "The System" (whatever that is), or someone else, or something else. And rather than learning, they fight. They fight whoever they happen to blame. Rather than respecting others, they blame others.

They rebel against their parents, against their teachers, againstÖ you name it. Everyone and everything is to blame for their failures. There is no point in learning lessons, or staying in school, or trying to get a job. Everything that goes wrong is the fault of someone or something else, it's not the credheadís fault. Itís Americaís fault. Racism. Bigotry. White Privilege. And so the self-defeating vicious cycle repeats itself.

Did you know that the number one cause of death of young Hispanics is traffic accidents? Of young whites is suicide? Of young blacks is suicide? Now thereís a great way to disrespect someone, by murdering them. Which gains you cred.

There are other ways to build cred. Think of the problems the NFL has had with domestic abuse. If you havenít learned deference as a character trait, then you will be prone to hitting people who are weaker than you are. You gain cred by proving that you can, and you prove you can by doing it. You do because you can. You put up or shut up.

You build cred by winning fights, and lose cred by losing fights. So donít pick fights you might lose. Pick fights against the weak, the vulnerable.

Another good way to gain cred seems to be to get arrested. The System is bad, the police enforce The System. You fight The System by fighting The Police. The Police put you in jail. Therefore, jail is good Ė and a rap sheet is like a service record. Five tours of duty, two purple hearts, three sliver stars, one medal of honorÖ seven arrests, five convictions, four years total jail time, 3 B&Eís, 2 DUIís, 1 assault, 2 firearms, 1 armed robbery. A lot of cred there. A true war hero.

As a youngster you were too busy rebelling against The System to showcase your intellectual prowess, and instead bought into a destructive world view. But along the way you also displayed some athleticism, and were shepherded through the credhead minefield to the nirvana of pro sports.

So now youíve made it to the NFL. But you would not learn deference or respect, because those characteristics are indicators of weakness. Canít show weakness, that makes you prey. So you keep fighting. You keep disrespecting. They show you a flag and play you a song. So you disrespect that too. Because disrespecting is what you do.

And that's exactly the kind of person I don't want to be. What's the opposite of a role model? Because that's what NFL players are. I want to be not like an NFL player.

Sometimes you learn what something is by understanding what it is not. So I suppose I should be thankful to the NFL players for helping me to understand deference and thankfulness, by demonstrating disrespect and ungratefulness.


(Addendum: And don't even get me started on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL team owners. Many errors to learn from there!)




Analysis


October 29, 2017 - Well that didn't take long - the great Bruce Maxwell strikes again.

Just a few days ago we heaped scorn on the pro baseball player Bruce Maxwell for defaming others with false accusations. Today he validated everything we said about him.

Seems the credhead Maxwell has been arrested in Scottsdale AZ for pulling a gun on a woman.

We have argued that thugs - credheads - gain cred by disrespecting others - country, neighbors, women, rivals, police, whoever. The pursuit of this false, destructive street cred has been the ruin of so many people, of so many communities.

Three strikes you're out Maxwell: Strike 1, disrespecting our country; Strike 2, bearing false witness against others; and Strike 3, threatening violent behavior against women.

It is time for Maxwell to dispose of the destructive credhead mentality, and come out against it. It is time to become a positive role model, to demonstrate respect, deference, a positive constructive character that makes the world a better place.




October 26, 2017 - One lone single misguided major league baseball player foolishly knelt for the national anthem this season, Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A's.

Well, today the New York Post is reporting that the cred-seeking Mr. Maxwell is not done with his antics.

Mr. Maxwell is claiming that a waiter at a Huntsville Alabama restaurant refused to serve him, "racially profiled" him, and made pro-Trump and anti-kneeling incitements at him.

Except that the waiter and the manager have provided a thorough repudiation of Maxwell's story, stating that the incident was initiated by another in Maxwell's dinner party who sought to order alcohol without producing appropriate ID. Note to Maxwell: white people card white people too, it's a "law" thing, not a "race" thing.

Unfortunately the race-bating Maxwell decided to turn this non-event into fake-news headlines of prejudice and bigotry in the Deep South, to use made-up nonsense to further divide us.

We have argued that credheads have a warped, misguided view of the world. They possess a selfish mentality based upon entitlement, of rights without responsibilities. It's a destructive mentality.

A credhead gains cred - among other things - by being victimized by whites. If you are a credhead you want to be victimized by whites so you can gain cred by fighting back. If whites are not victimizing you, then you victimize yourself and blame a white guy for it. Like Maxwell here.

The fake-victim - see Michael Brown - usually gets what's coming, sooner or later. It's self-fulfilling. Credheads embark on a path that leads destruction, to mostly bad outcomes, for himself and for mostly everyone he encounters.



October 25, 2017 - For several years Chalprem has been pondering the plight of persecuted minorities around the world - it's been high on the list of issues we think about, but never at the top of the list.

For years - come to think of it, a period roughly paralleling the duration of the Obama Administration - we have wondered about the indifference to the needs of Yazidis, Christians, and whoever next is flavor-of-the-month for bloodthirsty Islamic radicals.

Today Mike Pence brought the issue to the front burner, and at the same time answered the questions that we had not quite got around to asking.

The Vice President has announced that the United States will begin delivering aid directly to the world's vulnerable, and not rely solely on the United Nations.

That makes a lot of sense. The UN is wasteful, inefficient and unaccountable and bypassing the UN does a lot more both to advance US interests and relieve the affliction of the truly needy.

First, aid - funded by the American taxpayer - is plundered by unneedy UN officials at the shipping end and corrupt government authorities at the receiving end.

Second, aid - funded by the American taxpayer - is directed toward favored parties rather than the actual needy.

Third, the nature of the assistance - funded by the American taxpayer - tends to reflect the desires of the parasites along the way rather than the needs of the legitimate recipients.

Fourth, the little aid that does make it through - funded by the American taxpayer - is effectively labeled as coming from the UN while recipients wonder why the heck the US is not helping out.

The corrupt United Nations is the problem, not the solution. Trump, Pence & Co gets it right again. But don't expect any kudos from the Biased Leftist Media.



October 09, 2017 - I didn't watch any football this weekend. And I didn't miss it.

On Saturday morning I did a 100-mile bike ride return trip to the top of Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts (elevation 3491 ft).



On Sunday night I went to the New York Rangers / Montreal Canadiens hockey game, and no, not a single person in Madison Square Garden took a knee.



And in between I watched a lot of baseball.

I didn't miss the NFL, any more than I miss not having kidney stones.

I really don't want to watch the NFL anymore. It is distasteful. It has made itself odious.



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