Log in

Nicholas D. Rosen's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Nicholas D. Rosen's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Sunday, June 26th, 2016
7:38 pm
Pizzeria in O'Hare Airport
What happened is disputed, but it is at least alleged that Prime Minister Cameron and another British politician or two first discussed a Brexit referendum in a pizzeria in O'Hare airport.

I have memories of a pizzeria in Chicago's O'Hare airport. Back in 1985, I was flying to Texas to go to graduate school at UT Austin, and stopped at O'Hare. If I recall correctly, there may have been some delay or reassignment to a different flight than I had expected to take. I seem to remember getting a slice of pizza, and then a woman who was there with several small children asked me to keep an eye on them for a few minutes while she took care of something, so I sat with them until she came back; I guess she thought I looked like a decent, trustworthy young man.

Could this possibly be the same place where David Cameron and his associates planned the Brexit referendum twenty-seven years later?
Saturday, June 25th, 2016
1:15 am
The Red Queen's Race
I got one regular amendment this week, which appeared on my Amended docket, and one After Final amendment which appeared on my Expedited docket. I also found something on my Special Amended docket, but that isn't an actual amendment; it's a Board of Appeals decision affirming me in part; the Board agrees with my rejections, except regarding one dependent claim, so the applicant may now want to incorporate the language of that claim into the independent claims.

My supervisor signed off on the Examiner's Answer I wrote last week, so I was able to post that, get it off my docket of amendments, and send it in its way to the Board of Appeals. On net, I'm now up to five amendments of one kind or another.

I also did a first action on my oldest non-RCE Regular New case, and then one on my oldest Request for Continued Examination case, and now I'm working on my current oldest Regular New; I need to post an Office Action on that by 3:00 PM Monday, and be finished for the quarter.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
11:39 pm
Two Books
On Friday, I went to e bookstore and bought a copy of Ron Chernow's Hamilton. I have about 800 pages to read, and had better start soon, because the book club will be discussing it in less then a month; my job is keeping me busy, with the end of the quarter almost at hand.

I downloaded Tom Simon's Style Is the Rocket and Other Essays on Writing, which I finished an hour or so ago. It's a rather short book, but full of cogent observations on writing, reading, and other matters. I highly recommend it!
Monday, June 20th, 2016
11:35 pm
Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Sixty-Four
To continue with the morning of Sunday, August 9, after Ed Dodson's lecture on Francis Neilson, Limdy Davies asked what Neilson would have done about World War Two. Ed Dodson replied Neilson knew that Hitler was evil, but distinguished Hitler from the German people, and thought that the mass destruction of cities was wrong. [No doubt it was wrong, but could the war have been won without committing that and other evils?]

Dodson had spoken about the Lusitania; David Triggs took the opportunity to speak about the "live bait squadron" on 22 September, 1914. Thre ships were sunk and 1500 men killed by U-Boats, Triggs's grandfather among them.

Then we had Open Mike brainstorming, with discussion of how future conferences are to be done.

Then we had our farewell brunch, and went our separate ways. This concludes my account of the 2015 Georgist Conference.
Saturday, June 18th, 2016
1:11 am
Philadelphia's Soak-the-Poor Soda Tax
One of the few points on which I agree with Bernie Sanders is his condemnation of Philadelphia's proposed soda tax to help finance governemnt preschool, and paternalistically discourage soda consumption, a position which led some writer for Slate to reprove him a month or three ago.

Sodom on the Schuylkill has proceeded to enact a soda tax which also applies to diet soft drinks, but not sugary fruit juices, so it doesn't even help fight obesity; it's just a regressive tax to raise money for the city's general fund, and make the poor help pay for government preschool for their children. I don't think that government, or Philadelphia's government in particular, is likely to do a very good job of teaching and babysitting toddlers, or to do it efficiently in a financial sense.

It's a pity that the folks in City Hall didn't listen to the Center for the Study of Economics, which has its offices in their somewhat grungy city.
12:55 am
The Red Queen's Race
I didn't get any new amendments this week, and I didn't get any old ones off my docket, so I'm still at three.

However, I did write an Examiner's Answer in response to the Appeal Brief that is on my docket of amendments, and sent it to another examiner who participated in the appeals conference; she emailed me that she had signed it, and sent it on to He Who May Not Be Named, our supervisor. If he approves, then I can post the case for credit, and get it off my docket of amendments.

I finished my then oldest non-RCE Regular New case before 3:00 PM Monday. I then finished an Office Action on a Request for Continued Examination case, and now I'm working on my current oldest non-RCE Regular New case; I'm also juggling more stuff.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
11:10 pm
A Different Possibility for First Woman President
A few days ago, The Washington Post referred to a Simpsons episode where the adult Lisa Simpson became President, and inherited a fiscal mess from President Trump. I saw that show, back when.

This got me thinking: Lisa Simpson is a responsible, thoughtful, and ethical lady, and worthier of election than Hillary Clinton, so we should make her our first woman president instead of HRC, and instead of Trump, not after him. I may not agree with all of her or Matt Groening's opinions, but I can respect her virtues and abilities, and I'm sure that millions of other Americans can as well, so let's get behind her.

Just when did Simpsons cartoons first start running, and can we add eight years to that if Lisa was eight at the start? She is a natural drawn Citizen, but there may be a question as to whether she has attained to the Age of thirty five Years.
11:00 pm
Blood Donation
I donated blood today for the first time in years. I used to be a regular Red Cross donor, but then they stopped accepting my blood based on my having spent six months or so in Europe after 1980. Today and tomorrow, the Patent Office is hosting Inova Blood Donor Services, and they would only disqualify me for having spent five years or more in Europe, or for some other things that don't apply to me.

I asked, and was told that they and the Red Cross follow the same rules, made by the FDA, so perhaps the Red Cross would have accepted my blood, too. Anyway, I hope someone benefits from a pint of A positive.
Monday, June 13th, 2016
11:44 pm
Logically, it is not possible for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both to be worse disasters for the country than the other, but I have begun to wonder whether logic applies to politics this year.
Sunday, June 12th, 2016
5:43 pm
Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Sixty-Three
To continue with Ed Dodson's lecture about Francis Neilson, during World War One Neilson resigned from Parliament, went to the United States, urged the U.S. to stay out of the war, and later became an American citizen.

He was a friend of Ashley Mitchell in Great Britain.

Neilson wrote a book, Duty to Civilization. He was first introduced to Winston Churchill shortly after Churchill became a Liberal. He said that Churchill loved three things: war, politics, and himself, and that he was dangerous to friends, enemies, and himself.

Francis Neilson's was a passenger on the Lusitania, which carried both passengers and ammunition, but for which no destroyer escort was provided. Was the ship deliberately sacrificed to kill American passengers and help drag the United States into war against Germany? The matter is disputed; it may well have been just errors in judgment.

Neilson said that Churchill recriminated others, but was himself sensitive to criticism, and made various other remarks on Churchill's character. He wrote "The Churchill Legend."

Neilson saw the rise of Fascism, etc., as a consequence of vengeance after World War One. He later wrote The Tragedy of Europe. A historian who reviewed it said that Neilson held unpopular opinions, but would take the other side instead if those opinions were unpopular.

Churchill's deal with the devil, Stalin, raised Neilson's ire.

Churchill's 1909 book, The People's Right was more famous than Neilson's writings.

And that ends my summary of Mr. Dodson's lecture; a summary of the Q&A will be posted.
Saturday, June 11th, 2016
12:45 am
Virtue Libertarians
Reason magazine has an article which I found interesting, arguing that libertarians, while rejecting the initiation of force to make people virtuous, should not be indifferent to how people live their lives. People should marry and stay married to bring up children, for example, and should not spend all their time smoking dope and playing video games. Two authors presented their ideas, and then several other members of Reason's stable weighed in with their views, as did various commenters.

I am also in favor of virtue and self-discipline, while holding generally libertarian views. People should not go throught life in a a drug-addled haze, but, for example, the War on (Some) Drugs has failed to achieve its objectives, and caused numerous ills of its own. I am reminded of a line from Theodore Dalrymple's Life at the Bottom, "They [young people of the British underclass] are left to discover for themselves that the enjoyment of liberty requires the practice of virtue if it is not to turn into a nightmare."

Dr. Dalrymple and others have reported on the nightmares that result, and yet trying to impose virtue on people can also turn out badly.
12:30 am
Two-Ton Tony
I recall a science fact article by the late Sprague de Camp in Analog some years ago. He took the view that Homo Sapiens Sapiens had interbred with Neanderthals (as I understand it, there is now genetic evidence that this is the case), and that an occasional chance combination of genes creates someone of Neanderthal appearance. De Camp reminisced on having met the heavyweight boxer Tony Galento, and asserted that Two-Ton Tony could have walked into a Neanderthal camp dressed in furs without looking the least bit out of place.

I got curious, and searched for images of Tony Galento. He was certainly burly enough, but he did have a chin, and apparently a forehead without actual browridges. I didn't find any photographic evidence of whether the back of his head had an occipital bun or not, but I would bet against it.

De Camp seems to have exaggerated a trifle.
12:01 am
The Red Queen's Race
One After Final amendment showed up in my Expedited docket this week, and one case showed up on my docket of regular Amendments. I dealt with the Expedited case, so I'm now up to a total of three "amendments." I use quotation marks because one of them, the new one, is actually an Appeal Brief. I have made an appointment to meet my supervisor (and presumably a third conferee) next week, and should probably get approval to write an Examiner's Answer, and let the Board of Appeals decide who has the better arguments.

I finished a first action on my Special New case this week, and I've been working on my oldest Regular New case, which I hope to have finished by Monday at 3:00 PM, the deadline for the biweek.

Then I'll have one more biweek before the end of the quarter.
Monday, June 6th, 2016
11:46 pm
The variant spelling of the title is to remind us that the word usually spelled "politics" is derived from the Greek "poly", meaning many, and "ticks", blood-sucking vermin.

I was conversing with someone last week about America's favorite billionaire demagogue and would-be caudillo, when I said, roughly, "I knew that there were plenty of poorly educated people in America, plenty of resentful people, plenty of people with authoritarian personalities, and plenty of people who are just plain stupid. What I didn't expect was that Trump would get them all lined up behind him," causing my interlocutor to laugh.

What I should have added was, "Especially considering the various things he's said and done to offend proletarians, women, military veterans, serious Christians, and racial minorities, substantial segments of the population all."

How he has managed to get so many votes while saying and doing things that would have wrecked the career of any other politician is one of life's mysteries.
Sunday, June 5th, 2016
8:02 pm
Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Sixty-Two
The final day of our conference was Sunday, August 9, and at 9:00 AM, Ed Dodson began his lecture on "How Francis Neilson Came to Hold Winston Churchill in Such Low Esteem." (I thought that the answer would be, "Because Churchill, who had given some eloquent Georgist speeches in his youth, did not attempt to implement Land value taxation when he was a senior politician." This turned out not to be the reason, however.)

Neilson was the author of twenty or so books and plays, a philosopher and an excellent writer, and an early contributor to The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. He was the author of the 1915 book, How Diplomats Make War.

He had humble beginnings in Birkenhead, and left school at the age of 14 in 1881, and became an apprentice in an engineering firm. His father did not have much formal education, but was cultured, and had a library. At the age of 18, Francis went to New York, and learned about racism there, among many othe things. During a spell of unemployment in Boston, he read at the Boylston Library.

At New York's Cooper Union, he heard Henry George speak, and George gave him a copy of Progress and Poverty.

His second play was a great success. Back in Britain, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1909, although opposed by landed interests.

To be continued.
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
5:28 pm
It has been determined that Prince died from an overdose of Fentanyl, and Slate published an article by Jeremy Samuel Faust on how our alleged over reliance on dangerous opioids developed. I don't say it's all wrong, but I didn't agree with Faust's take on it. Undertreatment of serious pain is a real problem, too. I mentioned my views on this to a friend of mine, and she described how her husband, who has severe back and neck problems, needs a fentanyl patch and sometimes Vicodin to function.

Faust gives an example of how far things went in the early twenty-first century: "Patients started receiving opioid prescriptions when they got wisdom teeth removed." Wrong, Mr. Faust. I got a prescription for codeine when my wisdom teeth were removed in 1981, and I was very glad to have it as the Novocaine wore off.
5:16 pm
AstroTurf-root Campaigning
I got an email from my Congressman the other day, seeming to respond to a letter of mine, and assuring me that he supports wind power. This isn't the first time something like this has happened.

I went to his website, and sent an email to him that I had not written to him on the matter, and urging him to beware of AstroTurf-roots letter-writing campaigns. I resent my name being used to send phony messages.
2:48 am
The Red Queen's Race
Here I am online, after working late, then dinner, then a nap. I got two amendments this week, and I dealt with one old amendment, so I'm up to a total of two.

I also finished an Office Action on my oldest Regular New case, just before 3:00 PM on Tuesday, so it was counted for last biweek. I am now working on my one Special New application.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2016
8:49 pm
Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Sixty-One
To continue with Saturday, August 8, after our final session of the afternoon, we held our gala banquet, and the Economic Justice Advocate of the Year award was given to Clay Berling.

After the meal, Alanna Hartzok spoke on, "My 2014 Congressional Campaign and Movement-Building for LVT." She had been the Democratic candidate for the 9th District of Pennsylvania, against Bill Shuster, the Republican incumbent. She had campaigned on a shoestring, and lost, but she certainly got more votes per thousand dollars spent than her opponent, something of a K Street Republican. She showed slides of the campaign.

I don't agree with all of my friend Alanna's views, but I respect her sincerity as well as her having seen the cat -- oh, and did I mention her lobbying in Harrisburg to expand authorization for local governments in Pennsylvania to tax land more than buildings?
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
10:52 pm
Going Downhill
About eighteen years ago, some comedian proclaimed, "George Washington could not tell a lie. Richard Nixon could not tell the truth. Bill Clinton cannot tell the difference."

Let us hope that the Oval Office is not polluted by the presence of Donald Trump, who has accomplished the difficult feat of making Bill Clinton appear, by comparison, to be a gentleman of integrity.
[ << Previous 20 ]
Nicholas Rosen   About LiveJournal.com