Nicholas D. Rosen's Journal|
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|Tuesday, May 31st, 2016|
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.
Occasion does not often arise to congratulate a great and still living scholar on his hundredth birthday, but today, May 31, is the centenary of Bernard Lewis. Happy Birthday, Sir, and many happy returns.
|Monday, May 30th, 2016|
Let us remember.
To you whose graves are decorated today, and to you whose graves are forgotten, or whose bodies were never recovered, thank you, thank you, thank you.
|Sunday, May 29th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Sixty
To continue with the discussion at the end of "Effective Communication to Inspire Social Change," Erich Jacoby-Hawkins asked what the proposed Henry George Ggogle Doodle would link to, the Wikipedia page or something better? Lawrence Bozek answered that that would be determined by search engine optimization. Allen Smith said that we must help each other.
Paul Martin said that we've got something great, thanks to Alodia. David Triggs asked whether "location fee" would be a better name than "land value tax". Martin Adams said that we should have focus groups, etc., to figure out how best to present our message.
Heather Wetzel, who is a grandmother, said to Alodia Arnold, "Don't believe it if your elders tell you that your thoughts are worthless. That's what our elders told us."
Teckla Melchior pointed out that South Africa under apartheid had had a generous welfare state (for whites, of course). Why not now? She advised Patrick to use that in his thesis.
Mark Sullivan talked about "Earthsharing" as a term; someone had said it sounded hippieish. Alodia Arnold said that since we are proposing a tax reform, refusing to use the word "tax" makes us sound disingenuous.
I spoke, and said that at a Georgist conference a few years earlier, I had been the youngest person in the room (I was fifty in August 2015), and I had said that we needed young Georgists. Go for it!
And that was the finale of that session.
|How I Plan to Vote
They may not be perfect, but they look pretty good when compared to the leftwing enthusiast for big government whose husband is Slick Willie, and to the Narcissistic Personality Disorder poster boy with a record of sleazy business dealings.
The other day, I found that the official correct answer for one of the words in the Washington Post's
Scrabble puzzle the day before was "screaky". My answer had been "carkeys". One can argue that car keys should be two words, but what say you?
|Saturday, May 28th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
No amendments appeared on my docket this week, and I didn't work on my single amendment, so I have one amendment, the same as last week.
I finished an Office Action on my oldest Regular New case, and I'm writing one on my current oldest Regular New, which I expect to finish before Tuesday at 3:00 PM.
I did get a Special New case this week; there were different sets of claims which I think amount to different inventions, so I called the attorney to make a restriction, and he called me the next day with his election (choice), so I submitted a search request to the Electronic Information Center, and will do my own searching and examining next week.
|Thursday, May 26th, 2016|
I was struggling with Wednesday's Scrabble puzzle in the Washington Post
, when I figured that the seven letters in one of the four sets could be arranged to spell "uranine," leaving the question of whether that was actually a word. I Binged it, and got results; uranine is apparently a fluorescent dye, and with that, I managed the highest possible score.
Today, I saw the Post's
answers, and I "should" have used aneurin. I had heard of Aneurin Bevan, but not of aneurin as a common noun; it wasn't in Merriam-Webster. An online search found that it's a synonym for thiamine in British English
. I still think that the anagram "uranine" works just as well. I remember an occasion years ago when I used the obscure word "arval," and found out the next day that the proper answer was "larva."
|Wednesday, May 25th, 2016|
|(College) Kids These Days
Reason online has a post about Oberlin
, where some of the young whippersnappers have been too busy with political activism to study, so they've petitioned the college to abolish below-average grades. The whole thing reads like a malicious parody by someone more conservative than I am, and my brother and sister take me for a real rightist. One commenter writes, "If you were to try and write this stuff into a novel, it would be discredited as totally unrealistic."
There's some humor in it, certainly. There are also grounds to take a pretty dim view of the young people involved, and
of the college professors who haven't taught them any better. There is the young coed who complains about all her time studying Marx, who failed to take racial oppression into account along with exploitation of the proletariat.
If these young bozos were studying Henry George and Friedrich von Hayek, they wouldn't necessarily become mossbound conservatives, but they would be better informed, and might have some understanding of what could and could not actually be accomplished to reform some of the world's injustices, and by what means.
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Fifty-Nine
To continue with "Effective Communication to Inspire Social Change," from Saturday, August 8, we heard from Patrick [Somebody], a rising senior at Swarthmore. He mentioned seeing a paragraph in The Atlantic
as a kid (about LVT or Henry George, presumably), and later learning more in college. He had gone on a tour of São Paulo, Brazil; Capetown, South Africa; and India, five weeks each. Regarding the favelas in São Paulo, the urban planners said they didn't have enough money to fix the problems, so they wanted to use public-private partnerships.
A Georgist would know where to find the money.
I have a brief note about Peter Meakin in South Africa -- did Patrick meet him and talk about him? Meakin is trying to get something done based in the 1994 Constitution, which says that the government shall make adequate effort to provide housing.
Then we heard from Alodia Arnold, who updated us on her personal life. I remember her as a teenager whose aging parents (I believe she was the youngest of a fair-sized brood) brought her with them to Georgist conferences some years back. They were from Fairhope, Alabama, originally a single tax colony, where the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation still maintains an existence. Time has passed, I believe that the senior Arnolds are dead, and Alodia has a child of her own.
She is now the Secretary of the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation, be youngest ever. She described what she does, and said that we must implement LVT. We should share our experiences and learn from each other. Paul Martin needs help in Nicaragua. Gordon Abiama needs $25,000 for a project in Nigeria. Alodia presented a music video, and then spoke some more.
After that, we had a Q&A & Discussion session, upon which I will report later.
|Monday, May 23rd, 2016|
I'm back home, after attending the Schalkenbach Foundation
board meeting. We approved a budget, elected new members, amended the by-laws, and so forth, as well as going out to dinner Saturday. For my sins, I have been appointed Chairman of the Program Committee.
I'd better get to bed soon, so I can examine a patent examination tomorrow.
|Thursday, May 19th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
The end of my workweek comes early, since tomorrow I'm taking some annual leave and the Acela to New York City, where I will attend a Board meeting of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
. I didn't get any new amendments this week, and I dealt with two of the three on my docket, so I'm down to one.
I also finished a first action on my oldest Regular New case, although Tuesday afternoon, not before 3:00 PM Monday, as I had hoped.
|Wednesday, May 18th, 2016|
|Comic Strip Item, Again
The link(s) I included yesterday were wrong, but there is now, I believe, a good link. Please try it.
|Tuesday, May 17th, 2016|
|Comic Strip Item
Today's Frazz comic strip involves a point of patent law
, something which one doesn't see every day.
By linking to the comic strip, I am not speaking for the Patent Office, and not endorsing the comic strip as a reliable source of information on what can and cannot be patented. Just keeping myself in the clear.
UPDATE: I made a mistake in the link, but now I hope I've fixed it.
|Monday, May 16th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Fifty-Eight
To continue with our late-afternoon session on August 8, Lawrence Bosek spoke about Google, the most visited site on the Web, and the most used search engine. For Ida B. Wells's 153rd birthday, there was a Google Doodle about her. People could click and learn that she was a Georgist. There was a peak in interest in .georgism from that one indirect reference.
So let's agitate for a Henry George Google Doodle on September 2, he said. He had printed flyers, and urged people to email proposals@Google.com, giving reasons for H.G.'s notability, his connections with other notable people, and other key points about him.
I, for one, did send such an email, but there was no Henry George Google Doodle on September 2, 2015. I do note that another birthday is coming up.
To be further continued.
|Sunday, May 15th, 2016|
|Nothing from President Martin
When I sent a letter to Amherst College's president, Biddy Martin, a few years ago, she sent me a courteous reply. I sent her another letter last month (see my post for April 18), to which I have received no reply.
Perhaps this is because she is not able to tell me that Amherst will stop fighting John Doe's lawsuit, and read it him forthwith. Perhaps this is because she is not able or not willing to have a few jackass administrators disciplined or fired. Perhaps Amherst actually has good reasons to fight John Doe's lawsuit, but its lawyers have advised President Martin against making public pronouncements on the matter.
Perhaps it's because my letter included a warning that, since I was writing about matters of public concern, I would, if I saw fit, post anything she wrote to me. Perhaps some of Amherst's actions are indefensible, and the less publicity they get, the better, at least from the Amherst administration's perspective.
|Saturday, May 14th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
I neither got any new amendments this week, nor worked on any existing ones, so I'm still at the same three as last week.
I did finish a first action rejection of my oldest Regular New case, and I'm working on a first action rejection of my next Regular New, which I hope to finish by Monday at 3:00 PM.
|Thursday, May 12th, 2016|
Tuesday's Wall Street Journal
had an article, "When Daydreaming Becomes a Problem," by Sumathi Reddy. It seems that a professor of psychology thinks that extreme daydreaming should be considered a mental disorder with a clinical diagnosis and treatment options. These maladaptive daydreamers, and I may count as one of them, spend a higher percentage than usual of their waking hours daydreaming, "and more than 80% used kin esthetic activity or movement when daydreaming, such as rocking, pacing, or spinning."
That sounds like me, especially when I was younger. I do note that the article reports that other experts questioned whether excessive or maladaptive daydreaming deserves its own diagnosis. The article says, "For example, experts say it is normal and healthy for children to have imaginary friends and engage in pretend play. That usually evolves into daydreaming as children grow up. Such behavior can be associated with creativity."
I did manage to get an education and hold a job despite my daydreaming and reading habits. I remember imaginary friends, and I think I evolved into daydreaming in the second half of first grade, which I spent at a school for the children of American soldiers in Heidelberg. (My father was a visiting professor, not a soldier, but my parents paid for me to attend.) This was a worse school than Easterly Parkway Elementary in my home town, and I remember daydreaming in class as the teacher repeated stuff I already knew, but which some of the other children were slow to grasp.
|Wednesday, May 11th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Fifty-Seven
To continue with Saturday, August 8, we had a session on "Effective Communication for Social Change," with Martin Adams, Lawrence Bosek, Patrick somebody, and Alodia Arnold. Martin Adams said that people respond to how you make them feel, not whether what you say is accurate. (Nine months the later, insert your own Trump snark.). Georgism is true, but that isn't good enough. "Close your eyes, how would you feel about . . . ?"
He said to say that the value of land belongs to everyone, instead of "land value taxation". It's more honest to say that the value of land belongs to everyone. Henry George said that the movement was not of one man but of many people, so why do we call ourselves Georgists? Consider rebranding from scratch.
To be continued.
There's a button from nancybuttons.com
: "I don't mind if they get the government they deserve. But do I have to get the government they deserve?" Unfortunately, we all have to live with what 51% or so of the voters do to the country.
Another button asks, "Is America ready for self-government?"