triple falls wallpaper, some stuff about fusion energy, anne frank and censorship, more on free speech and the powers of property

time reflection

One of the great promises of nuclear fusion has been that we would get plenty of cheap energy. So much so that solar and wind energy would be niche energy suppliers. This experiment clears one hurdle – Scientists Overcome Obstacle to Fusion, The world’s largest laser system has uniformly compressed and superheated a fuel capsule. One benefit of fusion is that it can be used to get rid of nuclear waste stock piled around the world – actually down in the comments,

One possible use for this facility would be nuclear waste disposal. The neutrons produced from the implosion have enough energy to break down nuclear waste into much shorter lived isotopes, thus reducing the storage time required for waste.

School district pulls Anne Frank’s diary over ‘vagina’ passage

Anne Frank’s adolescent curiosity about sexuality is too much for a Virginia school district that has pulled the complete version of the young Jewish girl’s diary off its curriculum and off its shelves over a parent’s complaint about sexually explicit passages.

Culpeper County Public Schools has pulled Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition off the shelves because parents complained “over the sexual nature of the vagina passage in the definitive edition,” reports the Culpeper, Virginia, Star-Exponent.

According to Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post, the offending passage is a description of female genitalia:

‘There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!”

The decision to pull the book appears to have been made quickly, last November, on the basis of one complaint from a parent. The Star-Exponent reports:

Citing a parent’s concern over the sexual nature of the vagina passage in the definitive edition, Allen said school officials immediately chose to pull this version and use an alternative copy.

“What we have asked is that this particular edition will not be taught,” Allen said from his office Wednesday morning.

“I’m happy when parents get involved with these things because it lets me know that they are really looking and have their kids’ best interest (in mind). And that’s where good parenting and good teaching comes in.”(emphasis mine)

Do some parents forget what it was like when they were twelve or thirteen. I went to schools and Sunday schools in the south and when adults were not around the language, questions, epitaphs and jokes could be pretty crude and far more explicit than that innocent little passage. I don’t fell like pulling quotes today, but have any of these parents read the Bible. It a bloody sex filled tome that makes Frank look like a Disney movie from the sixties. Keeping Ann Frank away from kids is good parenting? Sir please put down the bong, you’ve taken one too many hits.

Lawrence Lessig’s reply to Glenn Greenwalds post re Citizens United v. FEC, The Principled and Pure Court?

Yet in 1991, in an opinion by Chief Justice Robert’s former boss, Chief Justice Rehnquist, in the case of Rust v. Sullivan, the Court found no First Amendment problem at all with the government’s restriction on doctors’ speech. Indeed, it wasn’t even a difficult case according to the Court (“no question but that the statutory prohibition contained in § 1008 is constitutional.”)

Why? How? Well the doctors at issue worked in family planning clinics that had received at least some of their funds from the government. And in exchange for that benefit, the government was free to gag the doctors however it wished.

[  ]…So how is this case related to Citizens United? For the law wasn’t applying exclusively to entities that had received something from the government. It was applying to all corporations.

But of course, corporations do receive a gift from the government. The government limits the legal liability of investors in that corporation in exchange for their risking their capital to spur innovation and growth. That benefit is significant. And the First Amendment question is whether in granting that benefit, the state would be free to limit the political advocacy that corporations engage in.

It seems astonishing to imagine the state couldn’t. State law has historically had wide freedoms to condition the corporate form as they wished. This fact has led some, including my colleague, Sina Kian, to argue that Citizens United is less than people think. That the decision notwithstanding, states could build this limit into their corporate charters. Or that maybe even Congress could induce states to do the same.

Frequently in debates of this nature leaps in logic are taken – so you are advocating the federal government or state should then have unlimited powers to restrict speech. Anyone read a SCOTUS decision lately from any part of our history or a state statute about the regulation of intrastate commerce. It tends to be tediously exacting. Which makes me doubt that we cannot fine tune legislation that gives corporations and non-profits ( both of which receive government assistance in some form) reasonable speech rights while discouraging the concept that more property equals more free speech ( which has been a John Birch Society meme for years). That property/speech connection is contrary to implicit and explicit ideals expressed in the Bill of Rights which guard individual rights and promote egalitarian ideals.

Nicely done satirical poster of the Tampergate scandal featuring Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, James O’Keefe and Stan Dai. Get Outta Here, Boys, Ya Bug Me! Those repeating the echo that they have been charged with attempted phone tapping, please stop. They have been charged with phone tampering, impersonating phone company workers to gain illegal access and face possible felony conspiracy charges. If O’Keefe keeps violating the terms of his bail, he may face even further charges wating jail rather than mom and dad’s house. Big Government hack Andrew Breitbart seems have forgotten to take his meds in this defense of his buddy O’Keefe. O’Keefe was Andrew’s poster boy for good journalism, but has mysteriously become a mere prankster. ACORN made them do it anyway. Because ACORN is the all powerful center of the known universe.

Pay-as-you-go rules (PAYGO) passed the Senate along party line – 58 Democrats, 2 Independents for, versus 40 Republican deficit peacocks who voted against. Senate Republicans Called For Commitment To PAYGO Before Voting Against It

And in the last few weeks, all of these Republicans have voiced concerns about the deficit and spending. So what changed? And why did all the supposed deficit hawks in the Senate — like Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) — vote against it as well? Could it be that they’re actually deficit peacocks, who “like to preen and call attention to themselves, but are not sincerely interested” in addressing deficits?

President Obama, in one of his naïve attempts at bipartisanship  would have had Judd in his administration as Commerce Secretary. So the country thankfully missed that bullet when Gregg declined. Gregg has strutted around claiming he can think of dozens of great ideas that would solve our fiscal problems faster than Samantha could twitch her nose. Asked to explain what some of those ideas are he starts calling the interviewers names. Yea, how dare you ask his Holiness Judd Gregg to be more specific about actionable public policy proposals that would affect 300 million Americans.

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