*In a June 13, 2019 article in the Financial Times (headquartered in London, England) journalist Edward Luce reported on Amy Chua’s “shrewd string-pulling” to get her daughter a position as a clerk for recently-appointed Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh. To quote Mr. Luce: “This week Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, Ms. Chua’s daughter, was hired as a Supreme Court clerk by Brett Kavanaugh — the judge for whom her mother vouched during his stormy Senate hearings last autumn. Ms. Chua is a shrewd string-puller. A Supreme Court clerkship sets up a young lawyer for life. Whether she is enjoying the publicity is another matter. Overnight the Chuas have turned into emblems of what Americans distrust about their meritocracy.”Was what Ms. Chua did a “quid quo pro?” And if so, how many quid quo pros are out there? The reality is that many myths and legends exceed their grandiose depictions. Keep Reading
*Here’s the call:
Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: I think we have a heart attack victim.
Dispatcher: OK please tell me the age and sex of the victim.
Caller: I can’t.
Dispatcher: You can’t tell me the age and sex of the victim?
Caller: About 40 years old, I guess, but I don’t know the sex.
Dispatcher: You don’t know the sex?
Caller: They’re androgynous. Keep Reading
*One Lyman Stone, in The Atlantic of June 24, 2019, blames the Baby Boomers for many of the problems in America, in an article titled “The Boomers Ruined Everything.” According to Stone, the younger Americans (Gen X, Millennials) are having a hard time, economically and otherwise, because of the acts and behavior of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers ruined everything about America? Hardly. Stone’s universal generalization is the first key flaw in his argument. But let’s take a look.
To start off with, Stone begins with this gem: “The average U.S. state constitution is more than 100 years old. We are in the third-longest period without a constitutional amendment in American history: The longest such period ended in the Civil War.” What about our treasured Constitution needs to be changed? He offers no suggestions, so allow me to suggest one. Keep Reading
*David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, didn’t invent Tumblr. According to Business Insider: “In March 2005, a 17-year-old German high school student named Chris Neukirchen invented this tumblelog system, specifically for super-short blogging.” Karp is in no way guilty of purloining the software, as demonstrated, again, by Business Insider: “It’s important to point out that Karp didn’t ‘steal’ Tumblr. His format was new and advanced the short-form blogging format in several ways.”
Lots of good ideas are started, and then someone takes the idea to a higher level. Andrew Carnegie didn’t invent steel, Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but both became wealthy by capitalizing on an existing idea. Originally, the internet was a way for scientists to communicate with one another. Look where it has gone. Keep Reading
*Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is offering a lot of people hope. Hope for a new beginning, hope for a new life, hope for peace and prosperity. The U.S. government is supposed to wave its magic wand and grant all of those things to people from other nations who are innocent and only want the aforementioned. The pursuit of these goals is being vociferously advocated by citizens calling themselves “global citizens” a group of Americans who do not understand citizenship.
Did I mention that they themselves are hoping for a great deal number of people who will vote for them?
*The crime rate in the U.S. has been going down since 1993. There are several explanations for the decline in crime, some of my favorites being that cell phones and the internet have lowered the crime rate. The folks that suggest that crime is going down have their favorite theories, and tend to insist that crime has gone down because of whatever cause for which they are currently stumping. I would like to consider a few reasons other than cell phones and the internet.
In a more expansive viewpoint, I would suggest that there are several factors that have caused the crime rate of the U.S. to decline. Of course, Chicago and several other cities have yet to witness any decline in crime, so obviously the decline has not touched those places; nonetheless, crime in the U.S. has declined since 1994. Every announcement of the continuing crime wave sweeping over Chicago is met with deep disdain and helplessness, as the futile efforts of the authorities seem unable to lessen the out-of-control violent crime, even for a county with some very strict firearm regulations. Keep Reading
*The media of today (2019) are so incredibly inaccurate and uneducated that it is difficult to understand how they were hired as reporters or commentators. Zack Ford, on the website Thinkprogress thinks he can correct the president on the use of a political term that he doesn’t think is appropriately used. Mr. Ford, and many of his co-conspirators in the media, think that Mr. Trump is incorrect when he uses the term “coup d’etat” for the Mueller investigation. As one member of the media stated on one of the Sunday discussions, they insisted that President Trump was in error because “coup d’etat” means military overthrow of the government. Keep Reading
*China is an interesting state, and becoming a bigger player on the world stage as time passes. Having lost wars to major powers in the more recent century, China is deliberately moving on the world stage and is determined to exercise its power in the twenty-first century. In terms of assets, China is creating man-made islands in the South China Sea, in order to enlarge its global footprint, claiming manmade islands as part of their sovereign nation and attempting to curtail traffic in the open seas. Keep Reading
*As the French say: “Those that profit from crime are guilty of it.” Your parents slid $50k to a university official and got you in to the college of your dreams. Some of the parents had people doctor their children’s SAT tests so that the higher score would smooth their way to getting into an elite college. One of the “internet sensation” applicants spoke of the excitement of “game days” and “parties” and, for some strange reason, never mentioned long hours in the library researching hypnotic age regression, poring over financial reports to find the best company for which to write a paper, or going to the math lab for help with calculus.
Ah, college, all of the great memories; not having money, driving and older car hoping it doesn’t break down, lack of sleep, staying up late for tests the next day, the pressure of exam week, and all for the reward of letters and emails of rejection. They’re glad you got that degree, not that it means anything to them, mind you. Well worth it. Keep Reading
*It has come to pass, that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics (the word robot comes from the Russian language, meaning work) are moving ahead as fast as they can be built. AI and robotics are inseparable, presenting a one-two punch to anyone who gets in its way, or, in the way of the people who are creating it.
AI, robotics, the internet and the global economy, a synergistic economy-changing juggernaut, have made things very good for some and quite painful for others. As the unions in the U.S. declined, the wages of the non-union employees fell, as when there were unions they lifted all wages as workers tried to get a job at the union shop and the non-union employers had to compete with employers paying union wages. Why couldn’t the unions embrace the internet? Why couldn’t the unions organize around programmers and coders?
Unions couldn’t get the attention of programmers, systems analysts, and the like, because the demand was so high that wages skyrocketed, and there weren’t many companies abusing programmers for every long, because they would just be poached by another organization where the grass was greener; their gourmet lunch could be ordered and prepared in-house and they made, median salary, $175,000 per year at Google or $240,000 at Facebook. (Those numbers might be dated, as supplied by The Wall Street Journal some time ago.)