I want you to know and for history to record that we all knew at this time: the selection of the next King of Saudi Arabia is a sinister matter.
Like Darwin, Dyson appreciates top-soil. Like Darwin he sure looks like the upper class Brit.
I am increasingly seeing signs that jurors are using their phones to google information relevant to the trial they are sitting in.
I expect the legal and judicial world to be turned upside down by this development. More than 400 years of jurisprudence and our own Bill of Rights are the product of efforts to make the judicial system fair. Technology is changing all the ground rules of evidence admissibility.
First, the legal Luddites aren't going to stop this trend with any new laws, punishments, rewards or opprobrium. I know they'll waste their time and ours but I also know in advance that they'll fail.
Second, deal with it. The two biggest problems are common sense and misinformation.
The problem of common sense is that nearly all material excluded from trials is of the nature that this trial is about this set of events. Did the burglar commit this burglary? Common sense says a person who committed many burglaries in the past, probably committed this one. The law says juries must ignore the past burglaries in the trial. Technology is the friend of common sense in this matter.
Common sense also says that a woman riding in a car with a man who gets out of the car and, unknowingly to the woman, commits armed robbery, is guilty as an accomplice. Under some laws the punishment is automatically 10 years in prison. No jury will find her guilty knowing the extreme punishment. Common sense will prevail again.
The problem of misinformation. Many people believe that lie detectors are reliable. They aren't but with google it is likely the results of a lie detector will get to jury members. Positive and negative lie detector tests results can be wrong, badly wrong.
Why should this be a unique phenomenon of San Francisco?
Catherine Campbell is due credit for the explanation of this one. Catherine, a brilliant analyst of San Francisco life, used to say: 'San Francisco is a crucible, people come here to find out who they are.' (Then they usually move to where they will most likely succeed.)
Sexuality is indeed one of the most prominent elements of the San Francisco crucible. San Francisco is certainly the center of sexual experimentation on the American continent.
I'm reading a manuscript of a new book by Joyce Appleby, my favorite historian of industrial commerce.
I encouraged Dr. Appleby to write this book because it is very lonely out in the pro commerce world without others to talk with.
Dr. Appleby and I have disagreed slightly on the sources of modern industrial commerce. I placed great emphasis on Holland as the point of origin. She is a true historian and is convincing me in her manuscript that England deserves the recognition as the source of industrial commerce.
All that aside, one of her interesting points is that the booms and busts of early commerce were a constructive development. The boom lead to rapid capital accumulation for manufacturers and new entrepreneurs. The busts lowered prices significantly and expanded markets.
I love the black 'Yo mama...' series so much that when a Chicago Tribune reporter wrote to ask about cussing contests (my grandfather, Henry, was a San Francisco champion in the 1920s) I did a google on 'Yo mama..' which probably grew out of the same cussing contest traditions.
The 95 year old Federal Reserve system failed to halt the most recent financial crisis.
The regulatory world needs to solve multiple financial problems at the same time with a) a single financial auditor's office (b) of the highest quality and c) make use of a competitive whistle blower reward system.
Most SEC, FDIC and other financial regulatory agencies turn over their auditing and investigative work to teams from joint agencies, most often under the Department of Justice which has the greatest enforcement and prosecutorial power. In lieu of the current system:
The NRA won a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court last year in the District of Columbia v Heller case on June 26th 2008. The Supreme Court said the Second Amendment to the Constitution specifically created the right of individuals to own and keep guns.
It is my humble view that the ability of ordinary people to read the Bill of Rights and see this interpretation which flew in the face of the entire Lefty gun control world is what gave the National Rifle Association so much power, vigor and coherence for so many years.
I further believe that now that the NRA's view of the Bill of Rights has been vindicated by the U.S. Supreme court that the NRA will lose members, vigor and political power.
When you are right it is hard to be self-righteous. Even for an organization.
The U.S. State Department has a perverted concept of a peace treaty. These arrogant self-righteous Ivy league people have been pushing Israel to sign a peace treaty with their neighbors (who call themselves Palestinians) for half a century. The reality is that the so called Palestinians are not a coherent people, they are a cluster of Arab tribes, who could never sign anything much less a treaty.
I would like to offer the State Department whiz kids a short course called: The list of wars that have lasted over 100 years long.
Frankly, the so-called Palestinians will be carrying on war against the Israelis for several centuries to come. That is their history, that is who they are. A low level battle is the most to work for.