"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, May 30, 2019

Stanford Wins National Championship in Golf : 123rd All Time NCAA Title : In 2019 it Will Win its Incredible 25th Straight Annual Director's Cup as the Top Athletic Program in the Nation

When various ranking services rank colleges and universities in the USA, they appear to forget to take into account the Latin wisdom of "Mens sana in corpore sano" meaning "A healthy mind in a healthy body" viz. "A sound mind in a sound body". College athletics exist to provide students with an opportunity to make that phrase a reality in their lives. Sports are a part of their education.

Not only does Stanford University rank at or near the top of lists that judge the quality of universities and colleges around the world by a host of variables, including of course, and especially, academics, but Stanford is unique in its competitive athletic excellence -- as Stanford this year will again win the Directors' Cup as the top collegiate athletic department in the country in NCAA Division I -- for the 25th straight year -- a record surely without parallel in sports, or elsewhere, for that matter.

Stanford just won the NCAA Division I Golf Championship at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was this academic year's (2018-2019) 6th national athletic championship for the Cardinal and 123rd NCAA title overall, both NCAA records (Stanford also won six titles in 1996-1997, so the record was tied).

Stanford national championship teams this season thus (viz. thus far) are women's volleyball, women's swimming, men's gymnastics, women's water polo, women's tennis and men's golf.

As we wrote already in 2017:
"Stanford has won 22 straight Directors' Cups as the leading college and university athletic program in the nation, judged by performance ("Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 20 sports — 10 women's and 10 men's.")

Stanford also extended to 41 years the Cardinal's streak of at least one national championship per year by winning the 2016 men's soccer and women's volleyball titles. Stanford has won more team and individual titles than any other college. Talk about a culture of excellence!

Stanford's athletic record over the years is all the more astounding given the fact that its major competitors have much larger enrollments. Last year Ohio State finished 2nd in the Learfield competition and ranked first in the nation in student enrollment at 63,016, of which 49,435 were undergraduates. By comparison, Stanford had 6,999 undergraduates (14% of the Buckeye total !).

Surely the outstanding Cardinal athletic record is in part attributable to the independence of Stanford's athletic financing. But you also must have great admission "recruitment". Of the 6999 Stanford undergraduates, about 900 were student-athletes, a very high percentage.

The much larger overall enrollment at large state universities is however not matched by a corresponding percentage of such students-athletes, already because NCAA regulations place limits on the financial aid and scholarships that can be offered.

Ohio State, for example, has somewhat over 1000 student-athletes. In other words, in terms of the number of enrolled student-athletes, Stanford probably matches many much larger universities.

We regularly post about Stanford University athletics because of the sometimes controversial rankings of U.S. colleges and universities published by mainstream media, which generally do not factor athletic programs or things like Silicon Valley into their equations. When those are added, it is difficult to beat Stanford.

In fact, the many college applicants wishing to study at Stanford University have made Stanford The Toughest U.S. College to Get Into -- and that for good reason.

Mens sana in corpore sano -- Latin for "a sound mind in a sound body".

We must add, as a Stanford Law School graduate, that we are of course heavily biased, but we chose Stanford over many other superb law schools. Stanford University is simply unique."
Small wonder then, as reported in scandalous news reports in recent months, that some people are willing to pay millions to get their sons and daughters admitted to top-ranked colleges, such as Stanford.

Excellence and success have a price.

On that note, we take notice here that current German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 30, 2019 received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University, a Doctor of Laws -- in advance of her keynote address at Harvard's 368th commencement ceremony.

People in America are impressed by her now already famous statement on mastering the migration crisis: (in German) "Wir schaffen das", translated into English "We can do it").

Whatever it takes.

But it must be legal ... and ... "politically correct".

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

KEiiNO, Fred Buljo, Sami Joik & SPIRIT IN THE SKY at Eurovision 2019 as the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) - A Fantastic Song Wins the Televote

LATER ADDED NOTE (May 22, 2019): EXCELLENT ADDED BACKGROUND MATERIAL AND LINKS are found at Caroline Westbrook's article What is Joik, as heard in Norway’s 2019 Eurovision entry Spirit In the Sky? at Metro.co.uk where Westbrook writes:

"What is Joik, as heard in Spirit In The Sky? Buljo’s mid-song chant (fast-forward to 2:02 to hear it) is a traditional type of song performed by the Sami people – otherwise known as Lapps or Laplanders – who inhabit the Sapmi region, encompassing large parts of Norway and Sweden as well as northern Finland and Murmansk Oblast in north-west Russia. The sound, which has been compared to the chanting of some Native American cultures, is often deeply personal in nature, with each joik meant to reflect or evoke a person, animal or place. Eurovision aside, it’s found its place in popular culture, serving as inspiration for the likes of Disney’s Frozen – with the opening song, Vuelie, heavily influenced by Sami culture."

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/16/what-is-joik-as-heard-in-norways-2019-eurovision-entry-spirit-in-the-sky-9375648/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/"

Now, to our original posting....

For us, the top song of the 2019 Eurovision Song Sontest was Spirit in the Sky (Grand Final Version) by Norway's KEiiNO, a song which won the Europe-wide popular Eurovision televote. For the lyric version, see here.

As written at NewsInEnglish.no (make sure to read the whole article):

"No other country’s entry at the huge if hotly debated Eurovision Song Contest won as many votes from the public as Norway’s trio known as KEiiNO late Saturday night. Two of KEiiNO’s members are crediting their Sami colleague Fred Buljo for catapulting them from 15th- to 5th place in the finals....

KEiiNO singers Tom Hugo and Alexandra Rotan said on Sunday that they were “dedicating” what’s considered a respectable result at Eurovision to their fellow singer Fred Buljo, whose Sami heritage and Sami joik set them apart from all the other entries that often featured wailing vocalists and lots of pyrotechnics."

Fred Buljo is a star! Musically, on stage, he's got it. He sings
Joik viz. Sami joik, one of Europe's oldest song traditions!

As written at NewsInEnglish.no:

"“I’m very proud of my Sami background and culture,” said Buljo, who hails from Kautokeino in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark. “This shows that the joik, which is Europe’s oldest song tradition, touches people’s souls.” [emphasis added]
The United Nations is also honouring traditional languages of indigenous peoples this year, with Norway’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) receiving NOK 1.1 million to boost exposure of the Sami language. “Now we can continue the work to strengthen languages under threat,” Buljo said, adding that he’s involved in production of a “concept album” featuring indigenous languages from around the world."

Norway had in fact already handily won the public vote in the 2nd semifinal sing-off prior to the grand final and could be viewed as the song which reflects the era of our life and times in our climate-change discussion age - an era of Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) caused by an active sun.

However, Spirit in the Sky was not greatly favored in the so-called jury vote of alleged professional "experts", whose vote in each country was counted as 50% of the "total vote", with the other 50% being comprised by the public vote.

Moreover, the foundation of the jury vote was not based on viewing the actual Grand Final performances of the 26 music participants, but rather on seeing the non-publicly available 2nd general viz. dress rehearsal prior to the Grand Final, which is not identical to the Grand Final, as changes are made. You can't make this kind of thing up. Basing 50% of the result of a finals race on a non-public evaluation of a preliminary heat? Not a good standard of judgment in our estimation. A final is always different than the prelims.

This strange system leads in each country to an extremely small not necessarily qualified group of people in a so-called "jury" picking their personal song favorites and, as in 2019, taking the win away from the most popular song in favor of some other song "technically" preferred as an individual matter of taste. Really, we could care less about a jury for music. The public buys music and listens to it. That should be the standard. The public vote, not a jury vote. Polls don't win elections, the actual VOTE OF THE PUBLIC does.

A good example of a jury in 2019 was Germany, consisting of only five persons - singers or people in the music business, with varying degrees of success.

The German public
in their Grand Final televote
picked Norway as the winner.

The German jury of five viewing the Dress Rehearsal
voted for Italy as the winner.

If the two are added, Italy then "won" the German vote, 18-17, as the jury did not vote well for Norway. Spirit in the Sky was a song that did not necessarily relate to the musical experiences of the German jury.

The net result of the Eurovision voting was that the Netherlands won the total vote, after winning neither the popular televote nor the jury vote overall.

Egad! What a potentially faulty system.

We repeat: For us, the top song of the 2019 Eurovision Song Sontest was Spirit in the Sky (Grand Final Version) by Norway's KEiiNO, a song which won the Europe-wide popular Eurovision televote. For the lyric version, see here.
There are several other versions available online at YouTube.

History of Russia: The Romanovs100 AR [Augmented Reality] Family Photo Album Shortlisted at D&AD 2019 Design Awards #Romanovs100

We try to read all relevant news, left, center and right, and ran across this interesting historical item today at RT.com, highlighting a remarkable augmented reality photo album of the Romanovs, the last family to occupy the throne of the former Russian monarchy.

RT (formerly Russia Today) writes:

"#Romanovs100 AR [Augmented Reality] Family Photo Album has been shortlisted for one of the world’s most prestigious design awards – D&AD 2019. The book was published following RT’s history project dedicated to Russia’s last reigning royal family.

To celebrate the achievement, the book is now available for free download HERE. Unlock the album’s full potential by downloading a free iOS app that not only goes with the print edition, but also works with the digital version. Download the app HERE.

#Romanovs100 reviewed the last decades of the Russian Empire as seen through the lenses of the Romanov family’s cameras using accounts on four social networks. Each platform showcased its own narrative, format and content. With the album, #Romanovs100 combines the visual language of photography with AR tech to create an interactive history book featuring the humane story and unique photographic legacy of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II. This extended reality breaks the ‘fourth wall’ of storytelling providing for side-narratives, archive video, 3D visualisations and more.

See below for the appropriate download and other links:

https://www.rt.com/news/459873-romanovs100-dandad-awards-shortlist/ . RT Question More #Romanovs100 AR photo album shortlisted at D&AD 2019 design awards

A New Political Era Has Dawned - Tyler Cowen on the Political Movement to the Right Worldwide

"The New Right Is Beating the New Left. Everywhere"
is the title of Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen's opinion piece
on the Australian election and the world political situation.

Cowen states that he is "rooting for a resurgence of centrist cosmopolitanism" but admits that he has to "try to be honest about how my ideas are doing in the world. And in the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of evidence that a new political era truly is upon us." [link added by LawPundit]

We might add that Cowen in the linked article could serve as a journalistic role model for mainstream journalism and for politicians and voters everywhere, in looking to the EVIDENCE of what is happening, rather than to what people want to happen based on their own circumscribed views or fixed political preferences.

When the political pendulum swings, it is often an unstoppable force.
Calling this development "populism" merely clouds the real issues.

Rather, one must look to the causes of the political swing to the right in attendant political, social, legal and economic developments.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chris Aire Watches : The Parlay Collection

We like the design of these Chris Aire watches.

This is not an ad but our own honest opinion.
Hat tip to Robb Report.

Monday, May 13, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh Aligns With the Correct Side on Apple Inc. v. Pepper ( ) 846 F. 3d 313, affirmed

Bravo U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Kavanaugh on the correct decision in the case of Apple Inc. v. Pepper (pdf), just decided today, Monday, May 13, 2019!

"Conservative" Justice Kavanaugh has taken the lead -- together with the so-called "liberal" Justices on the Supreme Court -- in setting the proper stage for the future of technology and the legal obligation of tech companies not to gouge customers via monopolistic prices and practices.

Surprisingly, Chief Justice Roberts, usually a judge applying a lot of common sense to controversial cases before the Court, badly dropped the ball and sided with the hopelessly backward minority in not voting against what anyone can see is clear price gouging by Apple - its modus operandi. We would describe Apple's arguments in this case as obfuscatory piffle paffle.

See the case documents to APPLE INC. v. PEPPER ( ) 846 F. 3d 313, affirmed, at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.

The tech company Apple has been a proprietary-oriented company from its very beginnings -- which is the main reason this user does not buy or use Apple's vastly overpriced viz. overcharged monopoly-based products.

It is indeed high time that the antitrust laws be brought to bear strongly on tech company monopolistic prices and business practices, not just at Apple.

There is vast commentary online already about this case.
See e.g. these reports:

Adam Liptak and Jack Nicas at The New York Times at
Supreme Court Allows Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple to Proceed

Noah Feldman at BNN Bloomberg at
Kavanaugh Takes a Shot at Apple, and Big Tech Should Take Note

Ian Millhiser at Think Progress at
Surprise! Kavanaugh joins liberal justices in 5-4 decision

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh Appears with Retired Justice Kennedy and Talks about Founder-Unforeseen Technology, the Future of Constitutional Law, and Judicial Civility

Brett M. Kavanaugh just made his first major appearance since his confirmation as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He appeared with retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whose seat Kavanaugh now occupies on the nation's highest court.

Debra Cassens Weiss reports at the ABA Journal at
In first major appearance since confirmation, Kavanaugh stresses civility and independence.

Kavanaugh's comments about Constitutional Law in the face of a technological future not foreseen by the country's founders are especially of interest, given the curious attempt of some judges to apply the U.S. Constitution as the ancient founders saw it in an era devoid of the technology that dominates the world today.

U.S Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch Part Their Sometimes Twin Ways

The virtually "twin backgrounds" of Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch and their judicial parting of ways on the U.S. Supreme Court is examined by Adam Liptak at the New York Times.

Justice Kavanaugh has been leaning in his decisions toward the powerful center of the Court and the common sense jurisprudence of Chief Justice Roberts, while Justice Gorsuch has aligned himself with dogmatic originalism and its non-critical legally lazy originalist "formula" thinking.

Kavanaugh would appear to have the better long-term approach to law and legal precedent and is the positive surprise of the two new Justices.

Gorsuch puts his own dogmatic peremptory ideas about law, especially via his self-centered flowery judicial writing, much more into the forefront, and has the makings of a "fringe" judge destined to make less of a practical impact on the Court than Kavanaugh.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

The Eye of Horus Marked at Abydos in the Stars as the North Celestial Pole

The Eye of Horus is marked in the stars at Abydos to represent the eternal celestial eye at the North Celestial Pole. This decipherment is more or less indisputable, given our previous postings. Abydos shows us the origin of this symbol as a "sky" marker and later hieroglyph, which points correctly to the right and not to the left as erroneously found in Gardiner's hieroglyph sign list.

The Eye of Horus in the Stars Marked at Abydos as the North Celestial Pole
(click on the graphic for a larger image in case your graphic appears too small)


Note please that this posting follows the immediately previous postings, which should be consulted for full understanding. For further background, see also my article The Origin of the Cult of Horus in Predynastic Egypt 

The underlying star map above is via the astronomy software Starry Night Pro. We have added the labels and the drawing of the Eye of Horus within the stars.

Our drawing of the Eye of Horus above is based on an image online by Jeff Dahl at the link  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_of_Horus_Right.svg, Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), who writes:
"Eye of Horus (right eye). Following the sources, it must be the right eye (the left eye that is the original image has another meaning)."
The Wikipedia writes at Eye of Horus:
"The Eye of Horus was represented as a hieroglyph, designated D10 in Gardiner's sign list. It is represented in the Unicode character block for Egyptian hieroglyphs as U+13080 (𓂀)."
The left orientation of Gardiner's D10 is in error.

In fact, the Egyptologists over time have gotten the Eye of Horus backward, facing left, when it should properly be shown facing to the right, as it is actually found in the stars.

It is only later that the original meaning of the hieroglyph to mark the North Celestial Pole became confused with Ra, after its true meaning had been lost.

As written at Ancient Egypt Online:
"According to later traditions, the right eye represented the sun and so is called the “Eye of Ra” while the left represented the moon and was known as the “eye of Horus” (although it was also associated with Thoth)." [emphasis added]
The Eye of Horus mirrors lines shaped by stars around "the eye" in heaven, but those lines were in all probability also intended to represent similar eyelines of the lanner or peregrine falcon. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus.

In any case, based on our decipherment as published in this posting, it is now possible to understand the initial significance of the Eye of Horus in the stars in predynastic Egypt at the inception of Pharaonic civilization. It marked the North Celestial Pole as the center of heaven.