Jefferson, Hamilton, and the enumeration of rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Declaration of Independence, 1776 “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the… Read more »

Ron DeSantis and the rise of fundamentalist Christian thuggery

DeSantis-Bully

“You gotta put on the full armor of God. You gotta take a stand, take a stand against the Left’s schemes. You gotta stand your ground. You gotta be firm. You will face flaming arrows but take up the shield of faith and fight on.” — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, June 30, 2021 I had to view the video in… Read more »

Power laws and the laws of power

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knob-11

The confirmation hearings for the elevation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court highlighted for me the fight-to-the-death of two types of political power currently jousting both in Washington and Ukraine. In math terms, I describe democracy as a linear function, but autocracy is an exponential “power law.” In democracy, you need to add up millions of equal “integer”… Read more »

Mr. Putin, shall…we…play…a…game?

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Wargames

Will Russian President Vladimir Putin use a first-strike tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine if he cannot succeed there by conventional means? What are the odds? So, it turns out that “the odds” are likely irrelevant in this type of conjecture. The Pentagon instead is more likely at this moment exploring many variations of a mathematical model with the ironic name… Read more »

Cryptocurrencies and the pricing problem

money-changers-Jesus

In a prior post I noted one major obstacle to cryptocurrencies being widely accepted as a “medium of exchange,” which is a key characteristic of “money.” The “price” of most cryptocurrencies relative to the U.S. dollar continues to fluctuate more widely on a daily and weekly basis that most traditional “risky” investments. This is a problem handled for millennia by… Read more »

Ukraine and the Constantine Bargain

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Trump with Bible

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has blown into the open the coalition of the political powers with the religious powers in Russia that I first wrote about back in 2018. The Constantine Bargain is the “deal” that a political power makes with a religious leader to legitimize the church’s dogma and dominance over “heavenly things” relating to the populace,… Read more »

Bullies, goons, and political meanness

No bullies or goons

I do not like bullies. Not one bit. The outside owners of a book and software publisher that employed me for many years would send in a new president every three years or so as part of an executive development strategy for their publishing empire. First year to get settled, second year for changes, third year either up or out…. Read more »

What is the crypto bet, really?

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Bitcoin

When I try to make sense of the cacophony preaching cryptocurrencies, I hear at least four “bets” people are making about how the financial world works, especially the economic concept of money, This is my take on those four bets. I started this year with my overview philosophy of what money really is. In that post I made some hints… Read more »

The political pricing of rooftop solar

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rooftop solar

Take it from a retired accounting professor that utility pricing is ALWAYS much more about politics than it is about accounting. It has long been that way for home versus business customers, and the addition of rooftop solar, which Florida legislators are literally trying to kneecap right now, adds a messy third axis to the politics. Let’s try to explain… Read more »

Betting that you are going to die…or not

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Dice

The old joke about life insurance is that the policyholders are betting that they are going to die, while the insurers are betting that they won’t, at least until the premiums and investment income pass break-even. One significant new social change emerging from this coronavirus pandemic is that the most conservative segment of the insurance industry’s base is refusing a… Read more »