Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good for Indiana in trying to do something about the over zealous penalties for arrests. Maybe it will become a comparative advantage for the state. Elsewhere in the WSJ yesterday, the benefits of 'broken-windows policing' were emphasized by Bret Stephens. Part of the benefit of that is for the police to teach people how to behave. On the other hand to make people repeatedly humiliate themselves over past possible offenses may actually alienate people and contribute to disorder as seen in Ferguson.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Government, Pay to Play business, Corruption in Dallas

The problem and mechanisms complete with deniability and, yes, ambiguity of government corruption were on display in last Sunday's, July 27, Dallas Morning News. The problem: 'Entities backing the Dallas hub filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. Allen, who had guaranteed loans for the project, filed for personal bankruptcy later that year.' 'Allen, who declined to hire Price's consultants, had refused the effort to shake him down.' Price's alleged scheme impeded economic development and was unjust to Mr. Allen and his investors. Eerily, we also had the story of Bill Moore and Recognition equipment which 25 years ago was trying to get a U.S. Post Office contract. A Postal Service board member suggested to Bill Moore, the REI executive that he hire a John Gnau, paying Gnau's 'consulting firm' $30,000 a month, a lot of money especially then, to help get the contract. Gnau and the board member were shortly to be convicted; there was a kickback to the board member. Bill Moore 'didn't know' but might have suspected I guess. He himself wasn't convicted when he himself was charged but didn't win his suit against the postal employees who got him charged also when Mr. Moore's case against the government employees finally went to trial and was reported in the paper July 27. Further commentary on the current event is here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Romney may be making his contribution to America by highlighting a good hiking trail. I think Romney is showing off. The comments about him are positive. I think maybe Romney here gives me an insight into Mormonism as a super Protestantism. The Calvinists saw God as having an elect; and it was by faith that you might be a member. No works, i.e. charity, were required. So ostentatious displays of material success show that you are part of the elect. Inriguining that those following and commenting on Ann Althouse's blog, she being raised, I speculate, as a secular Jew, are of that persuasion.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A new government for Gaza

A government that deliberately puts children next to offensive rockets for the purpose of their being killed as propaganda pieces is committing a war crime. Hamas has shown itself thus criminal and an improper government, the UN an unreliable interlocutor. Ideally the Israelis should remove Hamas and give the territory to the Egyptians, who have done the only surprising thing in this conflict, blowing up Hamas tunnels or allow the people there to choose another protectorate such as the Arab League.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The progression of the Diagnostic Codes in Psychiatry and archaeological implications

All official diagnoses have a numeric code attached to them. It struck me a while back that there is a bit of history implied in those codes. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, combined type is 314.01, inattentive type alone is 314.00, but hyperactive type alone is 314.01 which I suppose suggests that the original perception of the diagnosis was of something associated with hyperactivity and only later was it seen as useful to consider the criteria and make a diagnosis in the absence of hyperactivity.

Perhaps there is a psychiatric resident's progress or the fields progress implied in the mood disorder codes. As a first year resident you confront the awe inspiring threatening pellucid black cloud of Major Depression, 296.2. Getting something of a grip, you find that the patient did too but lost it and progressed to 296.3, Major Depression, recurrent. But there is more to mood disorder. Sometimes the patient might have prominent irritability or high moods and be in Bipolar I disorder, manic, 296.4. And sometimes they have been there but are in a state perhaps now indistinguishable from Major Depression but, having been to 296.4, they are now at 296.5, Bipolar I disorder, depressed. And, finally, or not, they may be having alternating or mixed states together and, no longer a child in psychiatry, you see Bipolar I Disorder, mixed, 296.6.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why aren't 2nd term presidents popular?

Megan McCardle asks. Of course, notpresidents aren't all that popular either. It's like playing poker. You've got to put together a hand that wins you the office. Recently this has been harder for a Republican candidate though Bush drew into a straight almost busted by his past alcoholism in light of Clinton's misbehavior and our desire for propriety. What might be considered an anti-Republican constraint affected Bush later in the game though in that he effectively was told he had to sell a casus belli on Iraq to the U.N.; so he emphasized the likelihood of present WMD in Iraq. Ever after, 'he lied;' actually he presented his best evidence at the time about which there was rough consensus, kind of like global warming now; and he was probably more concerned about future dangers. Hubris plays a role. It may be that of the American people who can demand that other people not idealize communists as Eisenhower and Dulles and Kennedy, following through the presidential door, did in VN. Or it can be that of a man such as Nixon, who, perhaps following the example of predecessors, breaks'little laws,' but, in his case, wants meticulous evidence of what he did. Obama plays his cards by not leaving 'one scintilla of evidence' which satisfies his partisans completely. Others not so much.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Popular art in Dallas

Marc Ramirez recently reported on salvaged elements of Dallas history, appealing decorative sculpture. When I moved here many years ago, I realized in the summer heat I wasn't in Chicago, mostly a loss, but the gigantic tableaux picture of the Mexican woman in the land at the El Chico on a large open wall was intriguing and reassuring. This I believe still is at the Lovers lane location now near the Tollway. One author has called the regional culture El Norte, and for me this picture better represents the ongoing issues of adaptation that the imposing Amercan culture faces than did the hitching stake did at the DMA.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Slate has a couple of great articles: One on the development that made Paris stand out really as an international city, one on Trey Gowdy R-S.C., the appointed chairman of the House Select Committee looking into the Benghazi issue. Reading the Volokh Conspiracy has left me really impressed with the skill in law in organizing an argument or logical proof and Gowdy, in a video clip there, really shows that skill. Speaking of satisfying a social need, which is the accomplishment in Paris, Dallas would make an advancement in shifting the time of school break for kids to a time other than summer, the heat being so restrictive here.