Tuesday assorted links


"5. Will 3-D printing revolutionize the fashion industry?"

Let me take a wild guess: No.

Will clickbait questions referencing 3D printing ever be answered in the affirmative?

Isn't there some 'rule' that says the answer to a headline question (of any kind) is almost always 'No'?


So, does the headline:

"Is there some ‘rule’ that says the answer to a headline question is almost always ‘No’?"

create a paradox?

Yes indeed! But that's an unlikely article headline. Betteridge's law doesn't apply to any question ever asked.

You obviously don't know any women who do online shopping. Over 50% of the women I know in Canada are frequent online fashion shoppers. I could easily imagine several of them pooling in on a printer. I don't think that's an abnormal situation.

1. Let`s hope those doggies are bot distracted by laser pointers

Like human pilots are blinded by green laser points, which are high power, though the federal law that makes it a felony to shine a laser at an airplane also covers tiny red LED type "lasers" that are the size of a pinkie and used in a keychain. In theory you can go to jail for a long time if you accidentally or otherwise shine one at a commercial plane and the pilot calls the police and/or has a video cam running on takeoff or landing, as is not uncommon.

#1 Based on this dog driving a car video, I'm going to be surprised if a dog can fly a plane. But I'd love to see what they can come up with.

6. Game-theoretic analysis of the politics of the Scotus nomination.

Let me guess - they all end with the NYT blaming the Republicans?

I am sick of these mainstream liberal attacks on Bernie Sanders. It just goes to show how deep the corporate subversion of the left goes. After all these years of dominance by the DLC types, we finally have the possibility to elect a genuine agent of change and everyone comes out of the woodwork to attack him. It's bad enough that the Clintonists are sabotaging the democratic process with their "superdelegates".

He has no chance in the general.

Unless he faces a Republican. Look at the field.

Neither does Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush ....

Bloomberg might though - because really, in American democracy, the people probably will relish the chance to pick between billionaires when one party selects a billionaire as candidate. It creates the level playing field so beloved in the USA, where money equals speech.

Besides, clearly, America loves NYC values - Wall Street über alles is the sort of thing that the Dead Kennedys would be singing in the 21st century.

Sick of it, eh? The election of Sanders would be an economic and international disaster. "Corporate subversion" is the kind of nonsense phrase spouted by people that have no idea what they are talking about. Not all change is good.

Because Sanders =/= Clinton who, as a result of massive bribes paid to the Clinton Foundation, Wall Street et al own.

" we finally have the possibility to elect a genuine agent of change"

When someone uses the word "change" in a political context they are indulging in the lowest form of rhetoric.

"genuine agent of change."

Ah, the audacity of hope.

SMOD is an even more genuine agent of change.

Obama wasn't the change you were looking for? I mean, it's almost like instant replay. Except this time instead of a charismatic young black politician you've got a red-faced old socialist. I don't think the story ends the way you think it will.

Eh, at least Sanders says what needs to be done. Obama never even did that. I mean, do you remember how many things Obama's supporters said he was going to do that Obama himself never said?

No. Please provide detailed list.

All I remember are "hope and change" and fundamentally transform.

Right, "Hope and change" was what Obama said.

But I was hearing people saying all sorts of things, like "Obama is going to give us free healthcare," "Obama is going to give us free college educations," and even, "Obama is going to legalize marijuana." Of course, he never said any of those things, but I met so many people so convinced of this, you couldn't help but know in advance how let down everyone was going to feel in 2009.

A president Obama can't legalize marijuana without Congress, but he can relax enforcement, which he did.

And you may disagree with the ACA, but you can't deny that it's a huge change.

The seas stopped rising, correct?

Ooh, yeah, "Obama will solve climate change!" was another one.

I mean, heck, if you've ever watched Doctor Who, there's that one episode that parodies all this because in the backdrop, there's plans for a live speech to be delivered worldwide, where, "Obama's going to fix the economy!"

I just can't understand why Bernie is not running for the Republican Party nomination. Does Bernie think the Republican Party is better than the Democratic Party? Why not try to improve the candidate offered by the Republican Party, especially if he's correct in believing the overwhelming majority of citizens are sick and tired of party politics?

And Bernie is claiming the polls prove he can beat Trump, Cruz, et al, so he would have had a lock on the Republican Party by bringing in 50 million independents to the Republican Party to restore it to its progressive roots. After all, conservatives were traditionally Democrats, Republicans were liberals or progressives.

Oh, yeah, eldcted Republicans have traditionally as ordered by party elites which is what Bernie would need to get his agenda passed by Congress.

I dislike it when people who should know better refer to the "Catholic" church when they mean the Roman Catholic church. The old Catholic church was split up when the Romans flounced out in 1054.

It wasn't exactly one sided, both sides were to blame, but it was Michael Keroularius, the Patriarch in Constantinople who removed the Pope's name from the diptychs and more importantly had all the Latin churches closed and trampled on the eucharist inside because they were of unleavened bread.

@RoyLC - so the Massacre of the Latins 22 years earlier justified the Siege of Constantinople in 1204? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Constantinople_(1204) Keep in mind the Byzantine ruler of the mob that killed the Latins was deposed and tortured to death by Latins well before 1204, so don't you think that was sufficient payback?

Of course it didn't I am speaking about events from 150 years earlier. The events of 1202-4 were a horrific scandal for all christendom.

The thing is that Rome and New Rome were at it for centuries before 1054, and the patriarchs were hardly blameless. Much of the problem was that they were under the thumb of the emperor.

And when it comes to people like Photias, they are so indefensible that very few orthodox want to bring up particulars there.

If you take a quick read to the "Catechism of the "Catholic Church" (2nd edition, Jean Paul II, 1997) you'll have some trouble to find the term "Roman Catholic". The document that states the beliefs of the Catholic Church is oblivious to this issue. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P26.HTM The 1997 Catechism was a good opportunity to settle the branding issue but Jean Paul II opted for ambiguity. Why? Brevity? Let the door open for future reunification?

So, it's complicate. Any of both terms is fully charged with lots of ideas and meanings. It doesn't matter which term you use, some people will point the finger to say WRONG.

He reminds me of people who say "Arabs are semites so I'm not anti-semitic!"

The Great Schism was not based on a complex dispute. It was semantics, about the Nicene Creed (wherein somehow the Greeks alleged that the NC subordinates the Holy Spirit to the Other Persons of the Holy Trinity and the (real cause). And, in their arrogance in that the Greeks refused to recognize the successor of St. Peter (Upon this rock . . ) as the Supreme Pontiff. For the crimes of sowing discord in the Church, God sent them Saracens to chastise them.

Another casus: Western barbarians refused to Greek follow custom and drink their bath water.

#2: How does "left-leaning" become "left-wing"?

Same way objectively conservative SC justices nominated by Republican presidents acquire the "moderate" label, or even liberal.

So the process known as Jan's fervid hard left imagination.

Because they're the same thing. That's a pretty pedantic point.

6. What is the best case scenario for Republicans? They block Obama's nominee, win the presidency and nominate a very conservative justice? Sorry but he's not going to be a Scalia. There is a huge difference in a reliable vote (Thomas) and a justice that makes brilliant - even if they are sometimes incorrect- arguments (Scalia).

In such a scenario do you think Senate Democrats are going just roll over? Not even to consider the precedent that establishes.

The 2017 Republican Senate eliminates the filibuster for Supreme Court Nominees?

When Harry Reid used the Nuclear Option in 2013, the inevitable (and widely predicted result) would be the elimination of the filibuster for SCOTUS.

" The change was so significant that Reid and his leadership team held a victory party with liberal activists afterward in a room just off the Senate floor.
Republicans said the way Democrats upended the rules will result in fallout for years. “It’s another raw exercise of political power to permit the majority to do anything it wants whenever it wants to do it,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the GOP’s parliamentary expert, told reporters.

Republicans vowed to reciprocate if they reclaim the majority."


The Chickens often come home to Roost.

The precedent is set, for better or for worse.

All that remains is to see who can play the game better.

The best case requires Obama to make an unforced error which Obama has not done when dealing with Republicans in Congress.

Obama will nominate a candidate, as he must do by the Constitutional duties as president, that can not be rejected on objective grounds under advise and consent. Thus Republicans will be forced to act on purely partisan lines, and that will be a key part of the campaign to defeat Republicans running for Congress that will influence people who want government to fix problems for the good of everyone.

Scalia chose to die at the wrong time, and that was an unforced error. He could have chosen to die in October, or at worst July. McConnell could have kept him mouth shut, but he opened it again for yet another unforced error. Republicans squander FUD by spreading it way too soon so We the People get so tired of hearing it that we tune it out. And Obama gets to turn it into jokes at Republican expense, or better yet sees it used by Republicans against Republicans. The irony of Cruz being told he's not qualified to be president because of his birth certificate, by Trump!

But remember, Scalia knew when he chose to die this month that Obama had to name his replacement. He should have chosen to die at a better time, maybe 2008. The prospect of President Trump nominating his replacement made him chose Obama instead.

Maybe calorie notices work after all:


Isn't there any easy way to settle this? Restaurants know what they sell. Couldn't somebody just run the numbers for a chain and see if there has been any shift following the postings?

It all comes down to how the information shapes overall consumption. I, a late 50s male, use an app when I need to lose a few pounds. The app benefits from a deep database.

This study suggests others in my demographic are using the information effectively, even if when we are at the steakhouse, we have the streak.

The "streak" is for losing weight after having the steak ? :-)

3. The explanation for the Reformation (that Protestantism was accommodating of capitalism) is similar to the explanation for how the Jesus movement, a movement of a group of observant Jews led by a Jewish Messiah, quickly evolved into a Gentile religion (that Gentiles were accommodating of the Romans). Maybe. Both can also be explained by the Great Man theory of history: Saul (or Paul, his Gentile name), a Jew (a Pharisee no less), couldn't live up to strict Jewish Law so he rejected it and the hierarchy of the Temple of which he was not a part, and Martin Luther, a Catholic, couldn't live up to strict canon law of the Catholic Church so he rejected it and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church of which he was not a part. Individualism is at the heart of both Paul's and Luther's rejection of law and hierarchy: both Paul and Luther taught that a Christian is justified solely by faith in Jesus and a personal relationship with Him. Individualism and Capitalism, the twin pillars of Western civilization.

Individualism is the antithesis of the "Great Man Theory". Personalities do indeed reshape or eliminate institutions but that can't be done without widespread consensus among individuals. Who, for instance, would be the "Great Man" responsible for the current change in acceptance of sexual deviation, same-sex marriage, as an example?

Or you might view the Reformers and Jesus in the same light. Jesus looked at the priests in Jerusalem, with money changers in the temple, and their attention to the minutiae of the law rather than its thrust. Luther was somewhat similar, with more rage against corruption, perhaps, and without the Son of Man claims or the magic tricks.

#3 Fascinating very well researched article about a, nowadays, underrated event.

Even then I'm missing the Marxist aspect (though contemporaries of Marx might have had the same 'common knowledge' idea about this). In those days opverwhelmingly 'Land', was the main kind of capital. In many protestant areas, lands belonging to the monasteries were seized and the rental incomes were used to finance wars and orphanages (who often received a considerable land grant). Do not underestimate the amount of land owned by these monasteries! Some of it was also seized by farmers who, when all kinds of deeds about land ownership were destroyed and burned, claimed it as their own. Monks lost their incomes. Capital (in fact, using 'classical' terminology, 'Land' or using the terminology of the national accounts, 'unproduced capital') was redistributed in a revolutionary way. And so was the income connected to the ownership of land: other social and political classes and institutions started to reap these benefits. It shows the revolutionary (protestant?) roots of our concept of 'capital' and distribution..

Interestingly, often land belonging to parishes, which was used to fund churches and preachers/clerics/reverends, was not seized, even when these parishes became protestant.

Remarkably, the influence of this very revolutionary change in ownership is hardly if at all visible in production series, at least not for the one area I really do know something about, Friesland. Hmmm...

Here a Wikepedia link about the dissolution of the english monasteries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Monasteries

You should add the link below. It even has a good picture:

Monday, a group of well-fed students and jumpers-on will march with signs. In a world full of actionable atrocities, these folks have centered their time and energies on a scourge that threatens the progress of mankind-- A dozen ISU students will be paid to eat bananas that carry a banana gene that allows the fruit to produce beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. The orange stuff in carrots.

Say it isn't so.

An apparently vitamin A sufficient and sighted student dons a banana costume to protest bananas being developed to provide nutrition to the developing world. A passer by checks out the happenings, then rubs his butt in confusion.

Too solutionist?

"Complains about lack of testing. Complains about testing."


"Someday when health problems are solved with a banana that delivers the nutrition of a carrot, I'd like to send them a note reminding them that their privilege stood in the way of progress that saved lives. "

A citation from Floccina's linked story.

"6. Game-theoretic analysis of the politics of the Scotus nomination."

My gut feeling, is that only hard core ideologues really care much about nominations for the Supreme Court. I suspect that your average Presidential cycle independent voter won't know or care much about this issue. The charisma of the candidates and their ability to avoid campaign disruptions will matter more than 8 vs 9 Justices on the SCOTUS.

"But the general consensus is that it hurt the Republican brand overall among independent voters."

I don't see any data that says Ted Cruz shutdown hurt the GOP brand.

Did they lose seats?

general consensus is BS.

Re. #6 - The article mentions Kamala Harris as being the nominee which is most difficult to refuse, but takes her off the table, because she has big political ambitions in California, and could even make a run for the presidency. Because she has all this other stuff going on, there is no way Harris would give it up to spend the rest of her life on the court. But the article ends concluding that every nominee will get voted down by the Senate. So if we're getting game theoretic about this, we are just putting up someone to extract a cost, not to seat them on the court. That should mean that Harris is back on the table. Once all the Republicans are on record that they will block any appointment, Harris would blindside them. It would sew disunity, because many would surely argue for calling Obama's bluff and take her out of politics for good. Harris herself would surely benefit from all the publicity and the coordinated outpourings of national love for her. But with Republicans having bound their hands ahead of time, they would have to vote against her anyway, and the damage to them would be maximized.

She went to Howard and got her law degree at Hastings college. That's super great and all of that and I see she's done well in her life. But we expect a little more from our Supreme Court justices. Don't well? Please say that we do.

Harvard, Yale, or bust.

"Take her out of politics."

Do you think Kamala Harris is some national threat?

She is not. She's extremely left-leaning.

Besides, Gavin Newsome is a much larger threat: he's left-leaning but also shows some sensibilities and will be governor.

Another way to reframe #6 is that Obama is or ought to be asking himself what the proper mix race, creed, or gender in a nominee will, if/when rejected by the Senate, will sow the most discord and indignation amongst the public, or at least the part of it that shares that race/creed/gender.

Diversity really is our greatest strength, isn't it?

Going through the process will not be costless to whomever consents to be Obama's sacrificial lamb. Even though the GOP has pre-committed to blocking any nominees, if Obama nominates someone who the GOP can legitimately Bork you can rest assured they will go through the process of doing so in order to demonstrate that their prediction the President would not act in good faith was correct from the get-go. This is why candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Loretta Lynch should be non-starters for the administration--far too much potential for blowback.

Obama will nominate someone center left - more centrist than left - to help the Republicans continue to paint themselves as extremists. He won't want to allow a full Bork. Republicans may even take the offer - or at least let the nominee out of the judiciary committee.

You mean if it's smart Obama he'll go with a centrist. I agree. But if it's thin-skinned Obama, we can expect to see a Loretta Lynch nominee.

I expect that he will nominate someone with a reasonably moderate track record, but whom the left won't mind seeing toxified by the process in a way that precludes a possible later renomination. That's why, even if nominating Harris wouldn't have the de jure effect of preventing her from running for the Senate, it would do so de facto because of the mud she would get dragged through as part of the process. It's not in Obama's or Harris' interest to go down that road.

Re. #6

I like these kinds of writeups. One thing that I've yet to see is the improvement in turnout for the left, at the margin, for having an open SCOTUS nomination during the November election. After 8 years of having Obama in the office, and having HRC as the likely candidate, there really is not a huge amount of energy to win the presidency on the left - especially relative to eight years ago. That's the nature of presidential elections.

HOWEVER, if I'm doing GOTV activities (for the left), I'd be talking non-stop about the (no more theoretical) nomination of a likely 30 year lefty justice to whomever gets elected (I'd also bring up many SC things like Roe v Wade). This is more of a benefit to increasing turnout on the left, than it is on the right. Not that the right doesn't care, but the right already (thanks Obama) is highly motivated to win this election. At the margin, Scalia's death is a gift to the Democrats.

That makes sense, though the real kicker may be LIV turnout.

LIV who came out for historic Obama may not care so much about the Supreme Court.

Well, I more or less agree with the #6. If Obama gets a nominee through, it won't be until late in the Summer, and only if it appears the Republican candidate is both toast and Obama hasn't nominated a left-wing die-hard. Otherwise, there is literally no rationale for Republicans to approve anyone.

However, I don't think Lynch will be the nominee. It is far more likely to be someone who has been approved within the last two years to the lower courts, and is under 50 years of age.

> there is literally no rationale for Republicans to approve anyone.

I believe there is a turnout aspect that should be considered.


I see nothing in that article to suggest it is any more likely that this issue will motivate D turnout more than R turnout. GOP intransigence on the issue could just as easily turn the election into a referendum on the Supreme Court itself--which polling indicates is widely considered "too liberal"--as into a referendum on Obama versus Congress. And even if it turns into the latter. I'm not sure that's the worst strategy to utilize against someone whose approval/disapproval is on the wrong side of 50% and currently trending in the wrong direction.

My thinking is that currently, the right is PLENTY motivated to get to the polls. 8 years of Obama has ensured this. The left? Not so much. I've heard from some lefty friends that if HRC is the candidate, they're not sure they're going to vote. (They will, but they're certainly not going to volunteer or be active in ensuring a win.)

With a SCOTUS nomination staring them in the face, the left would be super motivated to ensure their guy/gal gets in the whitehouse. Regardless if the nominee is Bernie or Hillary.

Similarly, Obama's _overall_ approval rating is immaterial - even though it is better than GWB and similar to Reagan. What is important is his approval rating in the blocks of people that will and might vote for the dem candidate over the republican one.

tldr; The marginal improvement to turnout appears to favor the dems if the nomination remains open into the election.

But the GOP has only two-thirds the votes needed to elect a president, and must get about half the people who left the Republican and Democratic parties because they hated the party politics trumping what's good for the people.

The GOP blocking nominees to the Supreme Court purely for partisan reasons and out of spite for Obama will not win many of those voters to vote Republican.

#6. I take it nobody seriously thinks the Republicans will actually confirm any Obama nominee, right?

Republican's are unlikely to confirm anyone who's not a centrist. Obama's unlikely to nominate someone who is a centrist. So no.

However, I imagine that will see a lot of declarations about how centrist the person Obama nominates is by the NYT's & MSNBC.

Why do you think Obama will not nominate a centrist? How will you determine they are a centrist since you have decided the news media won't tell you accurately? And finally, why do you think the Republicans would approve even a centrist nominee from Obama?

He uses the Cruz criteria that anyone to the left of Scalia is a radical leftist socialist.

I expect a confirmation. It will be drawn out and I expect the first nominee to get rejected, but I expect the next justice to be confirmed prior to September.

I expect a lot will depend on who wins the nominations of the two parties.

Gotta admit, this year's presidential race has been pretty interesting compared to 4 years ago.

Meant to add: the Scalia news is just fuel for it, lots going on.

#1 and #2: "He who opens a school door, closes a prison." Victor Hugo.

#6: The writeup understates how asymmetrical the situation is, and how much it favors the Republicans. Look at the forces: Not replacing Scalia does not endanger anything that Democrats can campaign on. Replacing Scalia is pure gravy for them. However, replacing Scalia with *anyone* endangers many Republican goals. Loss Aversion will energize conservatives deeply. Furthermore, there's no history of anyone being energized by the preventing a Supreme Court nominee from coming forward (see Miguel Estrada, Janice Rodgers Brown). Hearings do energize people (see Bork, Thomas).

My wet finger in the air methodology predicts an increase of 1.5% in Republican voter turnout in November relative to Democratic voter turnout if Republicans hold fast.

This is what I mean, hasn't been this much intrigue since the 2000 election, and we're still a ways away.

I think it might be the other way.


1) Sure hope that public money is not being spent on this project for dogs to fly planes, which could not possibly be of any practical use.

2) I think the description of "liberal leaning" in the source article is a lot more accurate than "left wing". Ever met a "left wing economist" who describes spending plans related to universal health care as "puppies and rainbows"?

I think the major factor which I have not seen discussed in that the full savings of universal health care will not materialize immediately. Presumably there would be a certain period of reorganization, leading to direct costs and various shorter term inefficiencies while the kinks were worked out.

6) Can you really call it "justice" with such uber politicization of the appointment process?

When justice can blow with the wind, is it justice? At least there are lifetime appointments. Imagine how bad it would be if judges were appointed every 2 years or something.

Also, I'm not sure why they would conclude that the youth vote doesn't matter just because the potential nominees are not youth. I think this expresses quite a lot of disrespect for young voters.

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