Clippings: Free Speech in India, Einstein’s convoluted brain, and more

Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook post

How that became categorized under Yahoo! Finance, I cannot imagine.  The article informs as to (1) some of the personalities involved in Hindu religious-and-political extremism; (2) the apparently puzzling state of Indian law pertinent freedom of speech and of religion; and (3) a situation where some “loose goose” police officers, or perhaps a “loose goose” province, took matters into their own hands.  “Creating enmity and hatred” is a criminal offense.  The Wikipedia article on Bal Thackeray is an exercise in hagiography.

Einstein’s Brain Reveals Clues to Genius

I don’t understand why it has taken so long for this information to become public.  The photographs in question show the organ whole, before it was microtomed.  I have long supposed the cerebral cortex here was, as it turns out it was, significantly more convoluted than that of the average person.

What Happened to the Tea Party?
Rep. Allen West concedes after Fla. recount fight

The Democratic Party of Florida has already released a statement: “We congratulate Congressman-elect Patrick Murphy on defeating tea party crony Allen West,” said Rod Smith, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party. “Tonight, the people of this district rejected divisive, hateful rhetoric in favor a fresh-faced, bipartisan approach centered around the issues important to Florida’s middle class families.”

I have no prior awareness of Allen West, and am uncomfortable with the word “crony” here, but feel informed by the rest of the quotation.

Recent Outbreaks Of Violence Cause Some To Question Gun Control Laws

I am asking the same questions.


Ann Coulter: once and for all

Ann Coulter Defends ‘Retard’ Tweet, Says ‘Screw Them’ To Critics

This may be the opportune occasion for me to make my first and last remark concerning Ann Coulter.

Anyone so utterly clueless cannot say anything that deserves any attention.

Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

Democrats: Political slant marks Romney tax return

Without in any way defending the candidate, I have scratched my head all along at the controversy surrounding his tax returns.  What about yours?  What about mine?  Is there no end to the invasion of privacy?

So he may have taken fewer deductions than he was entitled to.  Tsk tsk.

A feature of his 2011 tax return that the media reported, but that the media and his opponents have otherwise ignored:  he gave 30% of his income to charity.


How much did you give?

More than that, since job creation is a central issue in this Presidential race: a sizeable portion of that 30% went directly into jobs creation.

Continue reading

Virginia Heffernan’s “The Joke’s on Us”

The joke’s on us: how Joe Biden became America’s favorite punch line

When this “Yahoo! News” item appeared two days ago, I did not know what to make of it.  I have no background with the author.

Now it seems to me to be merely a sustained personal attack on Joe Biden.

I don’t see the purpose.

* We are the 47%

Romney: Obama voters ‘believe they are victims’

First, let me say I believe the Republicans nominated the right person.  Second, I have no special mission here to post things that put Mitt Romney in a bad light.  I also am not keen on secret taping of anyone.  (Remember Linda Tripp?)

Those things said, this report gives me lots of mixed feelings.

And my “facts” are certainly subject to correction.

I find it hard to believe 47% of Americans pay no income taxes.  For the past several years I have had income so low as to have no income tax obligation, so that I get a complete refund of all taxes withheld; but one has to have a REALLY low income for that to happen, and with the U.S. median household income at roughly $50,000/year, I have to believe most of the folk in that lower 50% face some income tax liability.

The characterization of people who work full-time as “dependent” is questionable.

And I would look forward to polling or other public opinion research to verify what portion of this 47% hold to “entitlement” or “victim” mentalities.  Such data will be much harder to come by during the current controversy.  Please note that I myself speak to those frames of mind in this blog.

Not all the 47% will vote for Obama.  They include a disproportionate number of folk who don’t vote at all, including convicted felons who cannot vote.  And I have to assume a significant portion of the 47% have been Romney supporters all along.

Postscript, 09/20/12:

Who are Mitt Romney’s 47 percent? A breakdown

This article helps some, but I want still more information.  How many of those who don’t pay income tax, support Romney?

talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

Two factors doom Romney candidacy

In the final months of the 2008 Democratic primary race, a series of inexplicable blunders doomed Hilary Clinton’s candidacy.  It appears to me that similar mistakes now doom Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

First, he is proposing that America take, as it were, a defiant stand in the face of uproar reacting to the “film” Innocence of Muslims (See previous post.).  Now, most of Romney’s most notable blunders have been in the realm of foreign policy, and IMHO this one’s fatal.  That path would lead folk to believe the “film” somehow has the nation’s imprimatur, which position (a) will yield no end of hostility toward us from abroad and (b) will be rejected by the overwhelming majority of the electorate.  We value free speech, of course, but must abhor this particular speech sample.

Second, I am not aware that Romney has yet spoken to this himself, but the response from other Republicans so far is politically damaging.  When the Federal Reserve announced several days ago that it would take new, stronger steps to stimulate the economy, I apprehended that this would be taken as a partisan political move.  I don’t know how much liberty the FRB has to time its decisions and public statements according to how they may be perceived.  In the event, some Republicans have called the Fed’s action a partisan, political gesture; which is unhelpful given that the welfare of the entire country is at stake and the Fed (I believe) is normally held to be above politics.  The same Republicans might as well characterize Standard & Poor’s August 8, 2011 lowering of the U.S. bond rating as a political act, though this effect of Tea Party intransigence benefited no one.

“Penn State Braces For NCAA Sanctions,” and other stories


Random comments:

Romney: Obama did the ‘right thing’ by going to Colorado

No comment needed.

Penn State Braces For NCAA Sanctions For Covering Up Jerry Sandusky’s Child Sex Abuse

The sanctions as reported strike me as inappropriate. As far as I know, the only pertinent information Penn State had concerned one (1) incident, about which the sole eye-witness made inconsistent statements.

Continue reading