Did the U.S. Supreme Court Just Return Part of Oklahoma to the Indians?

Oklahoma Indian reservationsIn a Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday, 2020-07-09, McGirt v. Oklahoma [PDF], the court ruled 5–4 in an opinion written by Neil Gorsuch, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, that an 1833 treaty between the United States and the Creek Nation granting the Indian nation a reservation “in perpetuity” remains in force.  Gorsuch wrote for the majority,

The federal government promised the Creek a reservation in perpetuity. Over time, Congress has diminished that reservation. It has sometimes restricted and other times expanded the Tribe’s authority. But Congress has never withdrawn the promised reservation.... [Read More]

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Five Old-Fashioned Values We Rightly Reject

After a steady diet of period films, literature, and historical nonfiction, I’ve realized that in some ways, our culture has changed dramatically in the last 250 years or so. If you or I were transported to say, 1820, and we mingled with Americans then, we would struggle to fit in. We often grouse about the loss of shared values over time, and it is true that some of the beliefs that strengthened family units and held our culture together have been eroded. However, a few of those entrenched traditional attitudes were harmful and encumbered our progress. Some of them were held in opposition to the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding documents, or worked against the family unit–and I say good riddance. Here are some examples:

Marrying Advantageously: One is probably wise to consider a prospective mate’s financial situation (especially to the degree that they reflect work ethic). However, novelists such as Jane Austen–who were contemporaneous to rank-and riches-conscious cultures–detail for us a milieu of shameless social climbing and gold-digging. Behaviors that would today be considered tacky seemed to be somewhat acceptable then, even expected: discussing openly how many pounds a year one was given as an allowance, or whether there was an inheritance to be had. One’s spouse needed to be of the right social class, and (as one biographer argued was true of George Washington’s marriage) even calculated to move one up the social ladder. We might argue that today’s criteria for marriage–a sense of romantic connection, for example–are even flimsier than they were in the past. Even so, we ordinarily do recognize today that character, kindness, and work ethic come into play in choosing of a good spouse and likelihood of a productive future together.... [Read More]

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Election Betting Markets: June Update

Back on February 9th, 2020, I posted “Prediction Markets on the U.S. 2020 Elections”, which explained the concept of prediction markets and the Web site Election Betting Odds.  If you’re unfamiliar with the idea and site, please refer to that post for details.

With all of the disruption and chaos which have transpired since then, I thought it would be worth looking at where the situation now stands in the minds of punters putting their own money at risk betting on election outcomes.  Let’s start with the market for “Next President”.

Next President: election betting odds 2020-06-25 Continue reading “Election Betting Markets: June Update”

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Virtue Signalling Gallery

Post examples of corporate and institutional virtue signalling in the comments.  Here are a few to get the ball rolling.

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space


Continue reading “Virtue Signalling Gallery”

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Archbishop Viganò to President Trump: “Children of Light and Darkness”

Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganòRoman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States between 2011 and 2016, today (2020-06-07) published a letter [original PDF] to U.S. president Donald Trump in which he warns,

In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.... [Read More]

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L. Neil Smith: “There ought to be a law!”

L. Neil SmithL. Neil Smith has, for decades, been the libertarians’ libertarian.  Author of more than 30 works of science fiction and commentary, including Down with Power, a practical guide to libertarian policy alternatives in the real world, he has been steadfast in opposing “nerf libertarianism”, which advocates “reasonable compromises” that infringe liberties the authors of the Declaration of Independence and framers of the Constitution considered “unalienable” (which means you can’t even give them away yourself).  He, like I, became an advocate of uncompromising liberty through contact with Robert LeFevre, whose life was devoted to promoting liberty.

In the most recent edition of his Web magazine, The Libertarian Enterprise, he offers this suggestion to deal with the accelerating wave of corporate suppression of dissident speech.... [Read More]

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a long long time ago….

from a publication that is still being published and I give them the credit, “TIME”, but I doubt that this could be found anywhere else than libraries. I present it here as a reference what the cartoonist thought about the news media then in 1994 and it is so much more true today because they had twenty six years to hone their actions. Look at it and reflect…

(this may be bleeped…)

Continue reading “a long long time ago….”

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Public Health versus Individual Health

Over many years of intermittently reading various medical journals I began to notice that the arguments in favor of public health measures were often based solely on society-wide benefits. The effects are usually small on an individual basis and only matter when applied to a large population. As reported in the popular press, the recommendations are simplified to do this because it will make you live longer.

The arguments in the journals tend to go like this:... [Read More]

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