"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Denisova Cave Hematite Stone: Side 1 and Side 2 Deciphered as Astronomy

The Denisova Cave Hematite Stone Sides 1 and 2 Deciphered - see the previous posting for more information. Our drawing of our decipherment is below (click on the pic for a larger version):




The Denisova Cave Hematite Stone: Side 3 Deciphered as Astronomy

The Denisova Cave Hematite Stone Side 3 Deciphered - see the LawPundit previous posting on this topic for more information. Our drawing of our decipherment is below (click on the pick for a larger version):



The Ancient Hematite "Crayon Pencil Stone" Recently Found in the Denisova Cave of the Siberian Altai Mountains of Russia Perhaps Points to an Astronomical Alignment ca. 43400 B.C.

The Siberian Times of December 12, 2018 in an article titled
"Ancient coloured "pencil" up to 50,000 years old found in Siberia" <https://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/ancient-coloured-pencil-up-to-50000-years-old-found-in-siberia/>
reports the sensational find in the Summer of 2018 of a small hematite stone in the southern gallery of the famed Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, Russia,
a discovery announced by Professor Mikhail Shunkov,
head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography,
Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
[SBRAS Institute of Archeology and Ethnography.]

Based on photographs online of the so-called "Cave Pencil Stone"
made by the SBRAS Institute of Archeology and Ethnography
and found in The Siberian Times,
we have been able to decipher the hematite stone as astronomy,
and present our decipherments as drawings in forthcoming postings
with corresponding stars identified on the three stone "sides" as prominent stars of adjoining celestial regions, and with the main axis of Side 1 showing stars along the Celestial Meridian and Galactic Equator.

The Siberian Times reporter of 12 December 2018 wrote that the archaeologists have suggested that the stone was a "crayon pencil stone", quoting them:
  • "This summer we made a unique find for Denisova Cave. We call it a 'pencil', it has a natural pigment - hematite, which prehistoric artists, used for different art, while living in the cave."
  • "The piece of hematite was processed."
  • "Cave-dwellers used hematite crayon for art work in Altai Mountains...."
  • "The crayon was used to make reddish brown marks." 
  • "We cannot say how exactly it was used, but we believe it was for some artistic purpose. We previously found similar 'pencils' at Karabom Paleolithic site, some 120 kilometres from Denisova Cave. So far we do not know other similar finds, but we hope there will be more."
We do not challenge the archaeologists' interpretation of the use of the hematite stone for artistic purposes, which use may well have taken place,
-- indeed -- our suggested use of the stone is surely "artistic" in a way.

We have identified marks and figures on the stone in drawings and we interpret them to show that the stone had astronomical purposes, perhaps simply astronomical recordation, or for use as a "pocket map" of the stars, or indeed, for making astronomical drawings on stone, as another possibility, of course.

Significantly, perhaps, our drawings seem to permit an astronomical interpretation of the pencil stone which would date it to ca. 43400 B.C., i.e. close to the estimated archaeological date of the layer in the cave where the stone was found, which the archaeologists say is 45,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Normally, we would never accept -- and in the past have NEVER accepted -- such an early date for cave paintings or astronomical stones, also not in the prehistoric caves in France. It seems simply too far back in time for this kind of complex astronomy. Moreover, we always ask, if advanced technology is alleged to exist way back when, what happened in the interim period? There should be a clear, continuous record of use and improvement of any high technology allegedly known in ancient eras. Accordingly, we remain very skeptical of the early date, though the astronomy itself appears to be possible, so who knows?

We must say, just for the record, that we would prefer a date of something like ca. 17480 B.C., one Platonic Year later, i.e. 43400 minus 25920 years, or even much later than that, but we must accept the archaeological dating of the layer in which the stone was found, which is 45,000 and 50,000 years ago, though we retain the possible explanation that the stone was buried into a layer that was older than the era of origin of the stone's use by man for astronomical purposes.

Our astronomical decipherment of the stone suggests that the "processed" stone in the era of its origin may have been used -- as judged by stars and prominent marks for certain sections of the sky -- to record a singular celestial alignment -- on ONE line, or colure -- of the North Celestial Pole, the North Ecliptic Pole, the North Galactic Pole, and the Solstices, in ca. 43400 B.C., together with the near identity viz. close proximity of the virtually parallel lines drawn by the Celestial Meridian and the Galactic Equator in that era. The ancients may have seen this as the "fundamental" alignment of the stellar universe.

The stars and stellar regions marked on the crayon pencil stone are as follows in our decipherment, presented in figures in forthcoming postings (posted separately for easier graphics management):

SIDE 1: The stars running along the Galactic Equator (Milky Way), i.e. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, including to the left of that the right stars of Andromeda and Pegasus, with a small diamond-shape on the pencil stone marking the diamond-shaped star group at pi-Cygni and pointing toward the North Celestial Pole in that era
SIDE 2: The stars of Ursa Minor, Draco, Lyra, and Hercules
SIDE 3: The Stars of Ursa Major, Boötes, Corona Borealis, and Virgo

We do not enter here the current discussion of who the users of the stone may have been: Homo Sapiens, Denisovians, Neanderthals, cross-breds, sub-species, etc. Obviously, given the complexity of the astronomy, we do see in the marks and figures on the stone the forebears of modern human astronomy.

____________________________

Hat tip to Stone Pages Archaeo News, 19 December 2018, at
Ancient 'pencil' up to 50,000 years old found in Siberia


Monday, December 24, 2018

Robert Frost's "Snowy Woods", Willa Cather's "Nebraska", "Mickey Mouse" and More: The Great Public Domain Surge in 2019 for Works Copyrighted in 1923: Law and Culture Frozen in Time

2019 will be a banner year for the release of works copyrighted in 1923, originally scheduled for release to public domain status in 1999, but protected as of 1998 for another 20 years by the passage of the ill-conceived Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended copyright protection for another 20 years in order to benefit the financial interests of greedy copyright holders.

The Act thus froze public access to works published in 1923, thus creating a 20-year generational shortchange, so Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive who states: "The 20th century is largely missing from the Internet."

Glenn Fleishman has the story at Smithsonian Magazine in For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

One work that now finally passes into the public domain is Willa Cather's "Nebraska", published in 1923 in The Nation, where, as Fleishman writes,

"[Willa Cather] laments the cultural and economic homogenization in her beloved state" and sets the stage for the technological transformation of the U.S.A. in the 20th century."

Leila C. Nadir at Cather.UNL.edu in Time Out of Place: Modernity and the Rise of Environmentalism in Willa Cather's O Pioneers! writes in WILLA CATHER: BETWEEN MODERNIST STUDIES AND ECOCRITICISM that:

"Willa Cather was notoriously skeptical of how modernity was transforming American life in the early twentieth century. In her 1923 Nation essay, "Nebraska: The End of the First Cycle," she mourned the midwestern state she had moved to as a child, in 1883, at the age of nine. Nebraska's European settlers, immigrant cultures, and sod houses were being displaced by electricity, telephones, furnaces, tractors, cinema, and public education: "[T]he splendid story of the pioneers is finished," she wrote.

Fleishman of the Smithsonian explains how the disastrous lawmaking of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act happened:

"We can blame Mickey Mouse for the long wait. In 1998, Disney was one of the loudest in a choir of corporate voices advocating for longer copyright protections. At the time, all works published before January 1, 1978, were entitled to copyright protection for 75 years; all author’s works published on or after that date were under copyright for the lifetime of the creator, plus 50 years. Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse’s first appearance on screen, in 1928, was set to enter the public domain in 2004. At the urging of Disney and others, Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, named for the late singer, songwriter and California representative, adding 20 years to the copyright term. Mickey would be protected until 2024—and no copyrighted work would enter the public domain again until 2019, creating a bizarre 20-year hiatus between the release of works from 1922 and those from 1923."

So, finally, after shoveling untold billions into the pockets of the greedy -- you ask how the middle class has been decimated of its assets in recent decades? -- untold thousands of works now are released by law into the public domain in 2019.  Fleishman of the Smithsonian quotes Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain that:

"The public domain has been frozen in time for 20 years, and we’re reaching the 20-year thaw.... The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age. The last one—in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond—predated Google." [emphasis added by LawPundit]

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Ancient Human Cave Paintings are Astronomical according to Research at the University of Edinburgh

Hail to the Scots!

The latest news from the University of Edinburgh headlines that
Cave paintings reveal use of complex astronomy, reporting that:
"Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy.

The artworks, at sites across Europe, are not simply depictions of wild animals, as was previously thought.

Instead, the animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes, analysis suggests.

They reveal that, perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, humans kept track of time using knowledge of how the position of the stars slowly changes over thousands of years.
"
For the last 30 years we have been writing books and articles explaining that ancient rock art, cave paintings and megalithic sites, including carvings and markings on the megaliths themselves, represent "complex" ancient astronomy. See e.g. http://www.megaliths.net/

We are very happy to see that other researchers are now increasingly drawing similar conclusions to those we have been publishing for decades.

Hat tips to StonePages Archaeo News

and to EurekaAlert.org at
Prehistoric cave art reveals ancient use of complex astronomy

Just keep those congratulatory cards and letters coming ....

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

China Guiding Cases Project at Stanford Law School: China's Supreme People's Court and IP Intellectual Property Law and Other Jurisprudence

At the SLS (Stanford Law School) Legal Aggregate Blog, Mei Gechlik in A Constructive Way to End the U.S.-China Trade War - Legal Aggregate - Stanford Law School discusses China's IP [Intellectual Property] Guiding Cases and the overall Guiding Cases system, implemented in 2010 in China, writing:

"An Eight-Year System with Some Success

In November 2010, China’s Supreme People’s Court (the “SPC”) established a ground-breaking system in which certain Chinese court judgments are selected and re-issued as Guiding Cases to guide the adjudication of similar subsequent cases and ensure the uniform application of law. To date, approximately 100 Guiding Cases have been released by the SPC. Twenty of these cases address IP (e.g., patents, trademarks, copyrights, rights to new plant varieties), unfair competition, and/or antimonopoly issues and are, unlike many other cases in China, well-reasoned.

In each Guiding Case, the SPC summarizes relevant legal principles, which are, in effect, binding on all courts in China. For example, in Guiding Case No. 84, Lilly Company v. WATSON Pharmaceuticals (Changzhou) Co., Ltd., A Dispute over Infringement of an Invention Patent, the SPC summarized various legal principles, including the following (English translation prepared by Stanford Law School’s China Guiding Cases Project) [link added by LawPundit]: ...."

Read the full story at;

A Constructive Way to End the U.S.-China Trade War - Legal Aggregate - Stanford Law School

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

When "Liberalism" Becomes Dogmatic Tyranny: Harvard's Outlaw of Single-Sex Clubs Challenged as Unconstitutional Sexual Discrimination: Gender NEUTRALITY vs. Gender EQUALITY

ANYONE who does not understand the "grass roots" popularity of Donald Trump and his ascendancy to the American Presidency need go no further to look for "political causes" of the current social upheaval than the absurd single-sex club prohibition being enforced at Harvard University in the name of "liberalism", the latter a once honorable political philosophy that has degenerated down into a myopic dogmatic tyranny of inexcusable left-wing "politically correct thinking".

"Freedom of association" is a cardinal right in any free democratic society. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits single sex groups (people of like gender) to gather together as they wish. This freedom of association, however, has not stopped Harvard from imposing its one-sided tyrannical political gender philosophies on its defenseless students, who must toe the line, or else....

As reported at Reuters: "Fraternities, sororities sue Harvard over single-sex club crackdown" (article by Nate Raymond, edited by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe).

As Raymond writes:
"A group of U.S. fraternities and sororities on Monday sued Harvard University, saying its crackdown on single-sex clubs amounted to sexual discrimination.

In lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Boston, the group challenged a policy that the Ivy League university adopted in 2016 and began enforcing this academic year that Harvard said was intended to end longstanding practices of exclusion at the elite school.

Harvard has long sought to stamp out single-sex clubs, which it stopped formally recognizing in 1984. But groups known as “final clubs,” informal social clubs a student joins before graduating, as well as some fraternities and sororities have continued to operate off campus.

Under the policy, students who join single-sex clubs may not serve as captains of sports teams or leaders of officially recognized student clubs and cannot receive endorsement letters from college deans for postgraduate fellowships.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts, university was discriminating against students on the basis of their sex by punishing men and women who join all-male or all female-organizations, the lawsuits alleged.

The policy was motivated by sexism, with Harvard incorrectly seeking to link all-male organizations and fraternities to sexual assaults and contending that single-sex organizations subordinate women, according to the lawsuits.

“Harvard’s sanctions policy seeks to dictate the sex of people with whom men and women may associate and the gender norms to which men and women must conform,” the federal complaint said.

The policy has resulted in the elimination of nearly every women’s social organization, with Harvard administrators privately calling them “collateral damage” in their effort to punish men who join all-male groups, according to the complaint.

“Harvard should get out of the business of trying to dictate who students spend their time with off campus,” Stanton Jones, a lawyer for the sororities and fraternities, said in a statement.

Harvard had no immediate comment.

The federal lawsuit was brought by the fraternities Kappa Alpha Theta, Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, as well as three students.

The state court case was filed by the international sorority Alpha Phi and a local chapter, as well Delta Gamma Fraternity Management Corp, which supports chapters of the Delta Gamma sorority.

Harvard’s policy violates Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts constitution and the state’s Civil Rights Act, the lawsuits claim."
In our opinion, Harvard has no legitimate Constitutional legal defense for its current policies intentionally directed against freedom of association.

Theirs is a case of blind dogmatism leading to some of the very same evils that honest but today rarely encountered true liberalism is intended to alleviate. Whenever "rights" are being curtailed ... that is not liberalism.

"Gender neutrality" may be an objective that some find to be worth following, and there are numerous outlets in modern society to give like-minded people an opportunity to exercise their particular philosophy in the ambit of their OWN lives. However - in the eyes of the law, in the life of the law -- "gender NEUTRALITY" is a much different legal term construct than "gender EQUALITY".

The U.S. Constitution requires "gender equality" before the law.
It does not require "gender neutrality".

"Recognition" of gender difference is not automatically gender "discrimination".

Just imagine a legal party in a civil proceeding who chooses to be represented by a team of lawyers who are ONLY males or ONLY females, for whatever reason that legal party chooses to do so. Sex discrimination?

When now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was Dean of Harvard Law School, the first woman ever to hold that position, we read somewhere at that time that her close staff consisted of WOMEN ONLY (it may not have been true, but let us assume for the sake of argument that it was true). It must have been sort of like a "small sorority" of sisters running Harvard Law School.

How does that differ from single sex gender-limited groups of other kinds?

The administrative people at Harvard seem unable to keep "gender neutrality" and "gender equality" apart. For a university that claims elite status in cognitive fields, these kinds of confused policies are paradoxical.

Few things are as natural and common to humankind as the desire to be among "likes", inbetween their "own", viz. to be among "peers".

Indeed, we find that so-called "peer group pressure", everywhere dominant, especially in academia, is probably the most important, often negative, force at work among the allegedly "thinking" professions, where OUTSIDE academic opinion contra to prevailing "group thought" is not tolerated. Grouping by peers and authorities is the rule, not the exception. See in this regard Michael D. Coe, Breaking the Maya Code. Academia is NOT a "nice place".

In forming groups of their choice, people are not necessarily "discriminating" AGAINST anyone, but rather, they are "exercising their free choice" to associate with whomever they want. It is not always pretty, but that is not the issue. Group selection is inevitable. You can not prohibit human association by ill-formed, Constitutionally-illegal administrative rules or policies.

You have to live with it, or, as Albert Einstein is quoted as saying (by Robert Byrne in 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said), an apocryphal attribution according to Freakonomics:
"Only two things are infinite,
the universe and human stupidity,
and I’m not sure about the former."
Welcome to Harvard....

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Copyrights, Cheese, and Taste Buds: Are Tastes Copyrightable?

Food and fashion are two essential areas of human life (nutrition, clothing) that have been thankfully fairly immune from the far-too-broad octopus-like reach of often errant IP (intellectual property) law.

We can still throw food ingredients of our choice and taste into a frying pan and not be forced to look over our shoulders to check whether or not someone is monitoring somebody's alleged IP rights to food ingredient selection.

The same holds true for clothing and fashion, where we can wear what we want by our own personal taste without fearing that our ensemble selection "belongs" to somebody due to the granting of design patents or other such absurd rights according to our vastly outdated IP laws.

Amie Tsang at the New York Times in Who Has the Copyright Over My Cheese?
reports on a legal case in the European Union’s highest court in which a copyright claim was lodged for a monopoly on the "taste" of a particular cheese spread.

Imagine applying that idea of commercial "taste monopolies" to all foods.
It would be a catastrophe of immense proportions.

Thankfully for humanity, the EU Court of Justice decided for now that "taste" does not qualify for intellectual property protection, and hence, one can presume, the senses of smell and touch would also appear to be off limits to the IP trolls, so that things not invented by man but rather granted to humankind by the Almighty remain in the public domain.

Nevertheless, we have to be on our guard.

The greedy never rest.


China, Trump and the History of their Economic Successes: A Perspicacious Op-Ed by Thomas L. Friedman at the New York Times

Thomas L. Friedman has a perspicacious piece well worth reading in his New York Times op-ed titled China and Trump, Listen Up!

which discusses that:

"Both sides need to be smart and honest about how the [two] countries became economic successes". 

Hat tip to CaryGEE.
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From the Yellow Legal Pad to the "Other" Pads

Before the iPad there was "THE Pad". Via TechnoLawyer see iPhoneJD and its iPad Pro review in light of the history of the Yellow Legal Pad, the mother viz. father of all pads. See
https://www.iphonejd.com/iphone_jd/2018/11/review-ipad-pro.html

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk vs. Bugatti Chiron


The whole idea here is to drive a car
where you can sit comfortably
in the rather unassuming driver's seat
and know you can beat anything on the road.

That's probably why a famous actor once allegedly used to drive a VW
powered by a Ferrari motor....
the performance of understatement!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Women Voters Driving Shift to Democrats in ca. 70 U.S. House of Representatives Districts Won by Donald Trump in 2016

As reported in Salon online by Matthew Rozsa:

"A new poll has favorable news for Democrats as they attempt to retake the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections."

Women voters are driving a definite trend as:

Democrats are now leading in nearly 70 House districts won by Donald Trump in the last Presidential election.

The Salon poll would reflect a nearly 20% shift in voter preferences from Republican to Democratic candidates for the upcoming midterm elections in those districts.

If Democrats retake the House, Jerrold Nadler, who would be in line to chair the House Judiciary Committee, has stated that the House would investigate accusations pertaining to the recently confirmed Supreme Court nominee.

In Yogi Berra's immortal phrase, "It ain't over 'til it's over".

It all hinges on voter turnout and voter ballot decisions.


Saturday, October 06, 2018

The LawPundit Header Image of the Entrance to the Supreme Court of the United States is Herewith Intentionally Turned Upside Down On its Head Until Further Notice

The LawPundit header image of the Entrance to the Supreme Court of the United States is herewith intentionally turned upside down on its head until further notice.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Legal Doctrine of Continuity of State on the Example of Latvia and the Baltic States in the Aftermath of Russian Occupation

We finally have concrete evidence that all the work that we did on the law of Latvia and the Baltic States -- together with Professor Dietrich André Loeber and others at the University of Kiel from 1974-1979, Institut für Ostrecht -- was well worth the effort. For background, see The Rule of Law in Russia and Eastern Europe : Dietrich André Loeber : Andis Kaulins : Kiel : Institut für Ostrecht : Latvian Law Research.

The Latvian Supreme Court has issued a judgment which directly references our work in applying our then emphasized legal doctrine of "continuity of state" to Latvia and the Baltic States in general in the aftermath of Russian occupation.

See THE LATEST ISSUE OF “JURISTA VĀRDS” DEDICATED TO BALTIC GERMAN LEGAL SCHOLAR DIETRICH ANDRÉ LOEBER AND THE JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT REGARDING HIS SON’S CITIZENSHIP

As written in that article by Rasma Zvejniece, Head of the Division of Communication of the Latvian Supreme Court, E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 2865221:

"With the help of the senator's son, the rulings of the Senate were republished in the restored Latvia, and Dietrich André Loeber was the first to encourage today's judges to use the findings of judgments of the Senate of the Republic of Latvia in their work, which is the "gold mine" for legal opinions, that have retained their significance even nowadays."
That's OUR work back in the 1970's, which the mass of jurists in Kiel and elsewhere thought to be a theoretical waste of time. Think again, folks. Loeber was a visionary, and he saw what was coming in the then Soviet Union. You did not. As it turns out, we were the REALOS, and you were the erring theorists. 

As one can see in the article, in the case at issue, it is our emphasized "doctrine of the continuity of state", that was the root of our work, which has led to Loeber's eldest son to recover his otherwise lost Latvian citizenship.

Friday, August 17, 2018

New NVIDIA GPU with "Turing Architecture" to Revolutionize Graphics

A newly developed NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU) that can do Ray Tracing in real time based on what has been labelled "Turing Architecture" will revolutionize graphics. See

https://www.redsharknews.com/technology/item/5721-nvidia-s-staggeringly-powerful-new-gpu-means-the-future-just-got-closer-by-ten-years

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Law Matters! or does it?

Law matters! ... or does it?

Take a look at Alon Harel's Oxford University Press published Why Law Matters.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Immigrant Children and Parents Separated at the Border Are Largely Reunified

Via Reuters U.S. Legal News and Dan Whitcomb we read the headline regarding U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw and the case(s) of immigrant children and parents forcibly separated at the border that Judge says government on track to reunify families split at border.

We posted about this at LawPundit previously at The Trump Administration and the Red Line of Going Too Far: You Do Not Separate Children from their Parents.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Analysis of Trump's Possible Nominations for the U.S. Supreme Court Seat to be Vacated by Justice Kennedy

Ranking Trump's Supreme Court Choices:
ANALYSIS by Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics is an interesting piece on Trump's alternatives.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.
 

Sunday, July 08, 2018

A "Monumental" Video of Grand Central Terminal in New York City (as once saved by a U.S. Supreme Court decision on NYC Landmarks Law) (or) Choose Your Justices Wisely

"... the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people," [emphasis added by LawPundit]

In retrospectively assessing the goodness of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104 (1978) is an interesting precedential case on regulatory takings ...

Excerpt from a Grand Central Terminal video transcript (as cited below) .... :

"The preservation battle to keep [Grand Central Terminal] standing was extremely important in the history of historic preservation generally. It was a Supreme Court decision that upholding New York City's Landmarks Preservation Law kept the terminal standing."

Read about the U.S. Supreme Court decision at the New York Times at Tower Over Grand Central Barred As Court Upholds Landmarks Law
and
Watch the Grand Central Video at Architectural Digest ....

The "good guys" who saved Grand Central Terminal from private property greed and doctrine and from sheer architectural folly were majority Justices
Justice Brennan, Justice Stewart, Justice White, Justice Marshall, Justice Blackmun, and Justice Powell.

The majority opinion was written by Justice William J. Brennan Jr.,whose opinion footnotes 1 and 2 (here excerpted) read as follows:

"[Footnote 1]

.... Congress has determined that "the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people," [ "hear, hear !" emphasis added by Lawpundit] National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 915, 16 U.S.C. § 470(b) (1976 ed.), and has enacted a series of measures designed to encourage preservation of sites and structures of historic, architectural, or cultural significance....

[Footnote 2]
Over one-half of the buildings listed in the Historic American Buildings Survey, begun by the Federal Government in 1933, have been destroyed. [emphasis added by Lawpundit] See Costonis, The Chicago Plan: Incentive Zoning and the Preservation of Urban Landmarks, 85 Harv.L.Rev. 574, 574 n. 1 (1972), citing Huxtable, Bank's Building Plan Sets Off Debate on "Progress," N.Y. Times, Jan. 17, 1971, section 8, p. 1, col. 2. 


The "bad guys" in the case were Justice Rehnquist in dissent, as joined by Chief Justice Burger and Justice Stevens.

"Conservative" well-meant intentions, especially regarding the "proper" extent of "property" rights, do not always lead to good results.

In this case, it was the liberal wing of the Supreme Court who saved the wondrous architecture of U.S. traditional past for posterity, not the right wing.

One must be careful in choosing Supreme Court Justices. The Justices must protect the rights of all, not just the rights of the few.

As a political centrist, we are " Just sayin' ".

Monday, July 02, 2018

The Trump Administration and the Red Line of Going Too Far: You Do Not Separate Children from their Parents

We are political centrists and we favor a number of things that the Trump administration is doing to get America back on track again,
but the red line of going too far has been crossed in separating children from their immigrant viz. migrant parents, even if the parents are in the United States illegally.

One of the unwritten rules of humanity is that humans do not forget that same humanity in their daily dealings with others, whoever they may be, wherever they may be.

We are 7+ billion human beings on this teeming, overpopulated planet and we all have an obligation to do our part, however small it may be, to help move the world in an improved direction.  Leading by good example is one option.

It is true that most of us follow our own subjective, selfish interests in our daily affairs -- but that is not the ultimate solution to our planet's problems. Where able, we must improve the world, not make it worse.

"Better, YES, worse, NO." That is a slogan worth following.

There are few valid legal or other justifications for separating children from their parents. Politically motivated child separation is not such a justification. If solutions to immigration overload are to be found, they should be sought elsewhere. Leave the children out of this dirty business.

The Trump administration has erred grossly in condoning government separation of children and their parents -- the "family" being the bulwark of human society everywhere -- and Trump should be doing everything in his power to correct these "inhuman" separations as soon as possible.

We refer to a New York Times Opinion by Brad S. Karp, chairman of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Gary M. Wingens, managing partner of Lowenstein Sandler. See The Law Did Not Create This Crisis, but Lawyers Will Help End It.

As Donald Trump should know only too well, if you have the best lawyers in the country against you, your odds of "winning" are greatly reduced. Let's stay in the winner's circle and do the right thing.

You can't have unlimited immigration -- the world population is too large --
but you can have limited immigration guided by the rules of humanity.

We owe that much to ourselves and to others, and to human dignity.

Hat tip to Brian Sogol.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Speaking of Laws.... Einstein's General Relativity Has Been Validated on a Galactic Scale -- Contrary to Modern Cosmological Curveballs

Speaking of laws....
Big Al seems to have gotten it right....

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
has been validated on a Galactic Scale,

as reported by Maya Miller at Scientific American.

General relativity thus, using Miller's language,
correctly describes "gravity at cosmological scales".

As Miller writes:
"The results also indirectly support the theory’s validity
in the face of dark matter, dark energy
and other cosmological curveballs."

See also Einstein's Voice.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces His Retirement

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement from the nation's highest court.

Read the story by Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Automobile Motor Vehicle Laws: Dashcam Video Evidence Permitted in Germany by Federal Constitutional Court

Anticipating this decision, we some days ago acquired an automobile dashcom 4K camera outfit.

As reported in the news, Dashcam footage is to be permitted as evidence in German courts. Xinhua.net writes:

"The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany ruled on Tuesday that video footage captured by cameras attached to vehicle dashboards will henceforth be permitted as a potential form of legal evidence in traffic accidents in Germany."

Read also (in German) at Computer Bild:
Wichtiges Urteil: BGH lässt Dashcam-Aufnahmen als Beweismittel zu

What is still NOT legally permitted is "continuous" viz. "endless" dashcam video footage, which is regarded by existing law to be a privacy invasion. Accordingly, permissible dashcam cameras will surely have to have some kind of automatic controls that limit the length of actual dashcam filming for any given video sequence.

As a practical matter, of course, this decision will definitely lead to an increase in dashcam sales.

What a Watch! The Astronomical Récital 22 Grand Récital Wristwatch: What a Price!

What a Watch!
The Astronomical Récital 22 Grand Récital Wristwatch
What a Price!

Murphy v. NCAA at the Volokh Conspiracy: Federalism, State's Rights, Constitutionality, Sports Gambling, Taxes

We acknowledge -- somewhat late it is sure -- the move of the Volokh Conspiracy to Reason.com. It is worth reading their Broader Implications of the Supreme Court's Sports Gambling Decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gambling and Sports: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Unconstitutional a Federal Law Against Sports Betting

The U.S. Supreme Court has found unconstitutional a federal law against sports betting, finding it encroaches on the rights of the States to make their own laws on gambling.

Debra Cassens Weiss has the story at Supreme Court strikes down federal law that bans sports betting.

We previously commented on Gambling and Gaming Laws and Online Fantasy Sports : What is Legal? What can be Prohibited?
 

Monday, May 07, 2018

Europe's Tough New Law on Information Privacy and Data Mining: Will You Be Better Protected?

Europe has a tough new law on data privacy on the Internet that will impact the rest of the world, including the USA. Will it slow down the pace of information gathering by the data miners?

See the New York Times on The New European Pivacy Law

Monday, April 02, 2018

Ancient Sculptures as Works of Art in a Landmark Museum Exhibition at Renzo-Piano-Designed Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas

Ancient "faces in stone" etc. -- in our opinion correctly -- are assigned to the realm of prehistoric human art in a landmark museum exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas [designed by Prizker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano].

As written at Glasstire:

"First Sculpture is billed as the “first museum exhibition to present ancient handaxes and figure stones as works of art,” and indeed, the display of these stones is different from how they are usually presented in natural history or anthropology museums."

Although "art" in ancient sculptures and archaic stone carvings has been recognized previously by others, this exhibition is nevertheless a museum landmark in "carving out" the vista of a new pioneer direction for understanding prehistoric human life and activities.

This is in essence what we have been writing about for the last 40 years in "deciphering" the "art" figures, often anthropomorphic, found on megaliths and at megalithic sites.

 A new "art era" is dawning, and it will focus on the human past.

Read our published materials, e.g.:
Mainstream Archaeological Error and Avebury Henge: The Barber Stone #9 Was Re-Erected Backwards

See also:

First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone January 27, 2018 - April 28, 2018 | Exhibition - Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas.

Facebook: Nasher Sculpture Center First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone
@NasherSculptureCenter


U.S. President Trump, the Law, and the State of the Constitutional Separation of Powers Between the Three Branches of Government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial

Much of the mainstream media and other sources in their ardor commenting on the course of the Trump administration have forgotten that the USA, as a nation of laws and the rule of law, depends on the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Nothing indicates that this system is not working. At the ABA Journal, Terry Carter discusses in detail: The executive branch pushes the boundaries of the separation of powers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Horse Riders and Modern European Language Origins: Proto-Indo-European Emergence

At Scientific American, Roni Jacobson reports on new evidence linking horse riders ("equestrians") to the emergence of Proto-Indo-European language ("PIE"). See Scientific American.
After reading that article, take a look at our decipherment of the Avebury Henge Megaliths at our Ancient World Blog, in particular Avebury Henge Stone #42, which in our analysis represents the stars of Sagittarius as a horse rider.
Are we right? You better believe it!

(updated March 13, 2018)

Our view is that either you know something about this world, or you do not. Those of you who do want to know something, do read about the equestrian paradise Wellington, Florida, a playground for the richest of the rich.
 
Interesting for those of you out there who read beyond horse-blindered search engines such as Google Scholar,
is the Wellington Saga series (so its title in German), written originally in English by Jessica Whitman in the name of Nacho Figueras, the world's best-known professional polo player and Ralph Lauren model -- the "David Beckham of polo".
See Nacho Figueras Presents and his polo team Black Watch at https://www.facebook.com/Black-Watch-Polo-Team-8628204013/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackWatch_Polo_Team

Is there a larger "horse connection" at Wellington? Absolutely. As written at the Wikipedia: "Wellington is host to the Winter Equestrian Festival, the largest and longest running horse show in the world from January to April."

Wellington, Florida also has interesting connections to Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, see below.

Donald Trump
If you drive due West on US 98 from Mar-a-Lago, you arrive in Wellington after about 15 miles. Black Watch (former) owner Neil Hirsch lives in Wellington https://wikivividly.com/wiki/Neil_Hirsch and he is a childhood friend of Black Watch owner Peter M. Brant, who is a childhood friend of U.S. President Donald Trump. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_M._Brant
And read a bit about the The Polo Crashers....

Bill Gates and Wellington

Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs and Wellington

So, just as in the days of far distant European antiquity, when it all comes down to where it's really at, it's the horses!





Thursday, February 08, 2018

Virtual Currency Billionaires of the World Viewed at the New York Times

Some of the World’s Virtual Currency Billionaires are viewed at the New York Times by Nathaniel Popper.

Friday, January 26, 2018

David Brooks and The Jordan Peterson Moment at The New York Times

Jordan Peterson is strongly in contemporary discussion for his controversial message, which seems to reflect the spirit of the current times, but is this "the real truth" or is the infinite pendulum merely moving its position routinely?

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Humanity Star

Curious? See NewAtlas and the Electron Humanity Star.

Trump at Davos: Stephens Says it All

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

How did Stephens get this Trump text in advance? ....

Trump can skip Davos. Stephens has said it all.

We are just kidding of course ... sort of.

This amusing piece is not that far removed from reality.

See Trump at Davos

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Big News About the Resurgence of Ultrasound in Medicine

Wired has the story about the big resurgence of ultrasound in medicine.

Was Your City or Area Warmer in 2017?

To find out,
enter your city name at the NY Times at
How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2017?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Innovation Supreme: The Amazing Pre-Facebook Co-Founding Winklevoss Twins Continue to Astound the Tech and Financial World with Bitcoin and Gemini

Some years ago we wrote quite a bit about the history of Facebook and the Winklevoss Twins. The "Winkelvii" continue to be in the news in a big way (Quartz: "Mark Zuckerberg is five years behind his nemeses, the Winklevoss twins, on cryptocurrency") through the virtual currency Bitcoin and the virtual currency exchange Gemini, as reported in the New York Times by Nathaniel Popper: see How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune.

These are great stories about human innovation and our world in a state of flux!