Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 28th, 2022

Why humans run the world

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Very interesting TED talk by Yuval Noah Harari. It seems to me that the cement that enables large-scale cooperation among humans is trust, and currently that is being diluted and undermined by those who exploit it selfishly.

What he calls “fictions” are, in my view, a variety of memes (cultural entities).

Also, interesting quotation:

We are social creatures to the inmost centre of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong.

-Karl Popper, philosopher and professor (28 Jul 1902-1994)

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2022 at 2:34 pm

Here’s a test to see whether Supreme Court justices are above the law

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Jennifer Rubin, a Republican (but also rational) columnist for the Washington Post, has an interesting column (gift link, no paywall) today:

The 65 Project, a bipartisan group dedicated to disbarring lawyers who filed frivolous cases related to the 2020 election, or who otherwise participated in the coup attempt, has been very busy in recent months. It filed a series of complaints against advisers of defeated former president Donald Trump, including Jenna Ellis, Boris Epshteyn, Cleta Mitchell, John Eastman and Joseph diGenova, as well as two lawyers who signed on to be fake electors and two lawyers who participated in the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Now, the group is making its most ambitious move yet: It is filing a specific demand with the Supreme Court to kick Eastman, the chief architect of the coup plot, out of the elite Supreme Court Bar (lawyers eligible to argue in the highest court). And it has requested that Justice Clarence Thomas recuse himself from the disciplinary proceeding because of the role that Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, played in the 2020 scheme.

The complaint, made available to me before it was filed, states that Eastman “bolstered and amplified” claims not backed by evidence or the law. It also alleges that Eastman “actively participated in an effort to undermine our elections – a scheme that led to the gravest attack on American democracy since the Civil War.”

The complaint describes five “spokes” in the coup plot, all of which included Eastman. They include litigating the 65 bogus lawsuits; arranging slates of phony electors in seven states; pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes; pressuring state lawmakers to overturn votes or rescind electors; and summoning “Trump’s supporters to Washington, D.C. and, having spent months lying to them about fraud and a stolen election, sending them to the Capitol, agitated and armed, to stop the electoral vote count.”

After a detailed review of facts revealed in the Jan. 6 hearings and in reporting, the group argues that Eastman’s conduct warrants expulsion from the Supreme Court Bar as well as the loss of his California legal license. The complaint amounts to a handy guide not only to Eastman’s professional violations, but also to facts that might be the basis for criminal charges in state and federal court.

Michael Teter, the 65 Project’s managing director, tells me, “If Mr. Eastman is allowed to continue to remain a member of the highest court in the United States despite the undisputed facts regarding his actions, the American public’s quickly eroding confidence in the Supreme Court will deteriorate even faster.”

But that’s not even the most intriguing part. Citing the obligation for federal judges to . . .

Continue reading. (gift link, no paywall)

Update: One of the comments on the article:

CitizenCO July 28, 2022 11:41am

“… an important first step toward the Court’s regaining some of its legitimacy.”

I think the legitimacy ship has sailed. By several hundred steps.

McConnell denied Garland a lawful hearing, pushed through Barrett while the last 3 SCOTUS nominees brazenly lied to the Senate in saying they considered Roe settled precedent then ruled with the opinion that the Roe precedent was illegitimate. Add Roberts shepherding through the Citizens United ruling, the single most destructive ruling by the court to American Constitutional good order since Dredd Scott. Add the many shadow docket and one-off rulings without “setting precedent” and the Supreme Court legitimacy is well down the sewer.

Thomas, the long serving weakest jurisprudence wit on the court, whose record of probing questions could not even fill a napkin, recusing himself will not serve to add one iota of legitimacy to an already tainted court. The present court would be more legitimate in the public’s eyes if they just admitted they represented the interests of the largest corporations, whatever the Federalist society tells them to believe and that, like the Alito ruling, will twist the Constitution to suit their sponsors positions, however damaging to the citizens of the United States.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2022 at 10:01 am

Fresh Laundry II and the redoubtable iKon Shavecraft #102

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The first version of Grooming Dept Fresh Laundry was a donkey-milk duck-fat lamb-tallow soap. Fresh Laundry II, which I used this morning, is somewhat more pedestrian, using his regular Kairos formula, but still is an excellent shaving soap that produced an exceptional lather with the assistance of my Wet Shaving Products Monarch.

Ikon’s #102 slant is one of my favorites, and it did not disappoint. Three comfortable passes wiped my face clean of every trace of stubble, and then a splash of Chiseled Face’s Easy Street aftershave (with the double-squirt of Hydrating Gel) finished the shave.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Cherry Blossom, a green tea no longer listed on their website, but a very nice tea withal.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2022 at 9:00 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

How long can the Russian economy hold out amid crippling sanctions?

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Kevin Drum’s post has five interesting charts. Here’s one of them:

This graph shows how the price of Urals crude oil compares to the benchmark Brent crude oil price.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2022 at 7:59 am

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