Friday, February 18, 2011

Pizza For Protestors

Why not support the Madison protestors by sending them a pizza? One place: Ian's Pizza in Madison is providing pizzas to the Wisconsin democracy protesters, supporters have been calling in from around the country. Call them at 608-257-9248, give them your order - they make the pizza, walk it up to the Capital Square and announce, "This is from (your name) in (your state). Is anyone hungry?" The pizza goes pretty fast!

The pizza idea is courtesy of "The Christian Left" at  )

Remember: today the Aristocracy is attacking the teachers and the librarians. Tomorrow they will be attacking you!

Ian's reported on Saturday:
This is astounding! As of right now, State's normal in-store and delivery operations are on hold -- due to the high volume of calls, we are only processing orders donated to the protesters. By our (rather harried) count, we've heard from 30 states and 5 countries (including Egypt, Korea, and our northern friends, Canada...). Wow. Thank you!

To our regular customers: Pickup at Frances is still available

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Supreme Corporate of the United States!

A recent bar complaint states that Justice Clarence Thomas participated in a case involving a party that had contributed $100,000 to support his campaign for the Supreme Court misses the point.

Perhaps Thomas should have recused himself in the Citizens United case, since its plaintiffs had helped him get on the Supreme Court. A judge is supposed to recuse himself whenever there is, not only an actual conflict of interest, but when there is merely the appearance of a conflict of interest. And even Clarence Thomas has the brainpower to see that there is the appearance of a conflict of interest there.

But this misses the point. Citizens United establises that corporations have constitutional rights indepenent of the laws creating them; they're people too! So why should they not have one or more Justices representing them on the Supreme Court? In fact, why shouldn't a corporation have the right to hold public office - to be a Supreme Court justice itself?

I don't see any text in our federal constitution that limits what the President may nominate as a candidate for any office, except a replacement VP would have to fit the qualifications for President.

And I don't see any text limiting the Senate's power to "advise and consent" except for the then-existing rules of the senate.

Until a President nominates and a Senate confirms a corporation for federal office, there would be no "case or controversy" under which the question may be decided, so we'll have to wait until corporations take their rightful place on the Supreme Court before suing over it. Since nothing can compel a Justice to recuse him, her or itself from a case, we would have to simply hope that Justice Murray Hill will voluntarily recuses itself or rules with more impartiality than contractors show in administering federal contracts.

An advantage of corporations holding federal office is that they could hire contractors to fill those positions. When a contract Justice wishes to retire, instead of a messy and complicated nomination and vetting process, the corporation would simply locate another contractor. If special expertise is required, the corporation can substitute an employee filling the bill. And let us not forgo the benefits of outsourcing! With advanced telecommunications, we can save money by contracting out judgeships to call centers in other nations!
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The Spaces I'm In

Internet Out Of Order
For better or worse, many of our
social networks are now internet dependent.
Each of us inhabit a unique intersection of a number of social spaces: our families, schoolmates, current and former co-workers, spiritual communities, neighborhoods, political associations, hobbyists, and more. Isn't this fun to think about? And might it not be fun to think about what we can do from this unique spot, and with our unique network?
As each ganglion in the brain may unite a large and unique combination of other cells, so too each of us may be able to bring together unique combinations of people and transmit unique combinations of thoughts accross the entire space of human thinking (...and, if you want to include your pets, the thinking of part of the animal kingdom as well. But that's another story.)
For example, spiritual insights from one of your networks may inform environmental concepts in your green network, and vice versa. Moneysaving tips from your hobbyfriends may be useful to your entire neighborhood.
It may be helpful to develop a personal inventory of networks. Then you can systematically share information among them.
I already do this with jokes. People think I'm more clever than I actually am, because something funny I hear from my brother I share with other networks. The only real brainpower involved is in the wise selection of appropriate jokes to pass on ( geeks will recognize the analogy to decentralized computing here...). Filtering is very important; no-one like a friend who consistently bombards us with fart jokes without noticing that they're not getting appreciative feedback.
But why not do it with other things? In particular, if we want our planet to be a nice place for our descendents, we have to work harder and think harder, which means sharing information among our social spaces more effectively.
For my own purpose, I can inventory my social spaces almost entirely through the internet communication technologies I use to keep them together.

It's kind of hard to precisely define what "is" a social space, but let me put down everything I can think of, and then sort and filter: 
Well, this list needs some work, but it offers some good reminders for cross-marketing ideas!

I am prompted to do this through this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
"This week promote "green" in a manner other than (or in addition to) writing in an Eco-friendly blog. Some suggestions might be to post green-living tips on a public bulletin board, offer to speak to a group about recycling (perhaps at a school or library), enter your green blog into a non-green blog hop, join a non-green forum where you might have the opportunity to introduce green living tips, etc. The idea, here, is to reach people who may not already be part of the "choir". Get creative and let us know what actions you are taking ... and how they work out."
The first step in responding to this challenge is the above inventory of my social spaces (which I plan to amend over time as I remember other networks).
The second step is to introduce information from one network into another. This week, I will suggest to my fellow members of the World Peace Through Law Section that we include sustainability in our peace/law studies, because resource depletion is a serious and growing threat to peace. This should get some good discussion going, although it will take some weeks or months before there may be any substantive results.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tax Day Shrugged!

Tax Day 2011 is Monday April 18, not the usual April 15, because Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16. Since that's a Saturday in 2011, the holiday is celebrated on Friday April 15, prompting the IRS to extend Tax Day to April 18, 2011. See:
Among the funnier side effects of this extra time for tax payers is that the producers of the fantasy movie Atlas Shrugged scheduled for release on Tax Day but, as I learned from the delightful Southern Beale, the flick is not only lacking name actors or a distributor, got Tax Day Wrong.

Ayn Rand lived off Social Security
.... and look what happened to her!!!!
Screwups like this may be inevitable in a movie made from a book that was made famous for its politics, not its quality. Think of it as Battlefield Earth without special effects or Tom Cruise. It's not really surprising for a work that condems government help to the needy that written by an amphetamine addict who admired a serial killer for his sincerity and lived off government help for the last years of her life. Unless, of course, this whole dust-up is a conspiracy by government of DC and the IRS to make the movie look stupid!