Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

True Facts re Owls

True Facts is another pretty funny, and informative, series of videos. The internet is really great, but it can be exploited rather easily, as we have seen.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Hurricane Michael

This hurricane ramped up really quickly from a mere tropical wave in the Caribbean. This is what we fear most: not a storm off of Africa where we have two weeks advance notice, but a rapid intensification of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico.

For each of the last two years, a hurricane of immense destruction has hit the U.S. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey scraped much of Rockport, Texas clean, and then dumped 45 inches of rain on Houston. This year, Mexico Beach, Florida got the same treatment. 

Who's next?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

law professors

Will the GOP ram Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, despite Kavanaugh's display of intemperance and hyperpartisanship? Justice?

The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh
Signed, 2,400 Law Professors
The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4.
Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”
We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.
The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as “a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.
As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.
We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.
Signed, with institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only, by the following:
Go here to see the long, long list of names.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

overly partisan

The guy is a liar, is hyper-partisan, and certainly does not deserve to be on the Supreme Court. If the Republicans approve him after all of this, they will have no more redeeming values at all.

Brett Kavanaugh has shown he doesn't belong on the Supreme Court

The man who testified Thursday can't control his temper, he is overtly partisan and he doesn't always tell the truth.
Portland Press Herald

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford delivered emotionally devastating testimony Thursday, alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they both were teenagers.

Recalling the traumatic event, she gave the Senate more than enough reason to put on the brakes and fully investigate Kavanaugh’s past. We welcome the effort by a group of senators, which includes Maine Republican Susan Collins, to delay his confirmation vote until the FBI can dig deeper into all the allegations of sexual violence against the judge.

But regardless of what questions the investigation can answer, we already know this: Based on what he demonstrated in his own testimony, Kavanaugh lacks the character and judgment to serve on the Supreme Court.

In his widely watched appearance, Kavanaugh revealed that he has an explosive temper and resorts to bullying when he feels threatened. He was understandably under stress and fighting a high-stakes battle for his reputation, but his temperament was tested during the hearing, and he failed the test.

Kavanaugh also showed himself to be impermissibly political for a job that is supposed to be above politics. We’re not naive. We understand that federal judges are nominated by presidents and confirmed by senators, and that electoral politics influences their decisions about who gets to serve.

But we have never had a Supreme Court nominee who ripped off the nonpartisan mask the way Kavanaugh did Thursday and identified himself as an enemy of a political party that represents the policy preferences of millions of Americans. He blamed his predicament on bizarre conspiracy theories, claiming that his troubles stemmed from “pent-up anger about President Trump” and opponents seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” and were not the result of allegations that emerged while he was being evaluated for an important job. After his partisan rant, Kavanaugh will never be able to judge a case without the animus he expressed being considered a factor in his decision. This is not the road we want to take.

And when he was talking about his high school years, he said things that, frankly, could not be believed. The self-proclaimed treasurer of the “100 Kegs or Bust” club says he was not much of a drinker.

His comment about “ralphing” was an innocent reference to his sensitive stomach and not related to heavy drinking. And, most incredibly, a group of football players posing for a picture calling themselves “the Renate Alumni” – a stunt that reeked of sexual boasting about a girl named Renate – were “clumsily” trying “to show affection” for a friend. The attempt was so clumsy that they never shared it with their friend, who learned about the joke only recently. She told The New York Times: “The insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way.”

These are small things, but they matter. Many adults are embarrassed about what they did when they were young, and it is human nature to minimize some of the details. But when you have taken an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it’s not time to fudge the facts. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would bring this same lack of credibility with him to the place in the country where credibility matters more than anything.

If there were nothing else on his record, the Senate would have solid grounds not to confirm Kavanaugh. But it’s not the only thing. Not by a long shot.

Kavanaugh is the subject of credible allegations of sexual misconduct. It is incredible that any senator would want to vote to confirm him until the allegations have been thoroughly investigated.

The only accuser who has publicly testified was Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh jumped on her when they both were teenagers, groped her body, stifled her cry for help by putting his hand over her mouth and tried to tear off her clothes.
It was many years ago, and there are understandable gaps in her memory. But when Ford testified about the traumatic event, it was clear that she was profoundly affected by it and was absolutely certain Kavanaugh was her assailant.

Like Kavanaugh, she spoke with great emotion, but unlike him, she answered every question that she was asked without trying to turn the tables on the questioner.
Ford had nothing to gain by making her allegation at such a late date. She would derive no benefit if Kavanaugh were denied a seat on the court. Her statements have been consistent, conform with other known facts and carry other hallmarks of credibility.

After Ford’s testimony, it would be a mistake to confirm Kavanaugh without a full investigation into her charges. But senators don’t even need to consider these explosive allegations. They can use their own eyes and ears and apply their own common sense.

The man who appeared before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday can’t control his temper, he is overtly partisan and he doesn’t always tell the truth. Based on his own testimony, Kavanaugh has shown that he does not belong on the Supreme Court.