Two Strange Thoughts

First off, this weekend, we get a high “holy” pi day, after all, 3/14/15 is 5 digits of pi, not just 3. Except it isn’t. See. 3.1415 are the actual first 5 digits of pi. Except if you were to give pi to the five significant figures, that wouldn’t be 3.1415 but 3.1416 as the next digit after 5 is a 9 and you’d round to 6. So if you want to be a pedant, and we all do, right? Then on Saturday correct people and tell them that next year we’ll have pi to 5 significant figures and this year is the wrong year for that. Also, you could point out your envy for that march day in the 16th century, 3/14/1593 (or 1592 depending on your point of view). Also, April 31 doesn’t exist, so the Europeans are just plain out of luck. On the other hand, computer programmers put dates YYYY/MM/DD … so that things sort numerically naturally, we’ve got quite while before pi days become interesting for real people, i.e., programmers. I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader (or Wolfram Alpha) how many days until May 9, 3141.

And secondly, this GOP letter to Iran is just plain dumb. Look. Nothing Kerry or Obama say means squat. Practically every statement either of them ever utters is a bald-faced lie that has little to no relationship to reality. What they say is about what effect they figure their statement will have on the listener not whether the statement itself bears any relationship to intent or truth. On the other hand, that is probably true of the Iranian delegation as well, so birds of a feather and … they can craft a document wich history will likely regard in on a par with the Stalin/Hitler Poland pact … and anyone believing that they have any more sincerity than that pair has been smoking in Colorado too much.

 

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14 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    There’s loyal opposition for you. There’s no difference between your own President and his representatives and the leader and representatives of a foreign gov’t. If Obama attacked Iran would out of office Republicans think it would be ok to take a job as defense consultant for Iran?

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Oh, there is a difference between my President and the leader/reps of a foreign government. However, when it comes too good faith in these negotiations, not so much.

  3. Boonton says:

    Good faith is irrlevant IMO. It is disloyal to the US to directly address a foreign government, esp. one who is hostile to the US, and advise them to not make a deal with a sitting US President. The US Senators who signed the letter are, effectively, declaring themselves to be agents for the Iranian gov’t rather than loyal to the US one.

    This is yet another piece of evidence in my thesis about the sytem coming apart.

  4. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    The US Senators who signed the letter are, effectively, declaring themselves to be agents for the Iranian gov’t rather than loyal to the US one.

    I don’t think that logically follows.

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    So sue them. Oh, wait, … you don’t have standing. Hmm. More evidence? Apparently it is touted on the left that a “legal” (not in my opinion) out for the Admin regarding the ACA State funding case is that the Admin should rule that if the case rules against them, they should interpret that to mean “only for the four involved in the case” and that this statute should not be applied generically. I wonder if they’d like aff action interpreted that way by a future conservative admin. That is close to being the dumbest argument I’ve every heard.

  6. Boonton says:

    Actually it follows quite logically. What business do Senators who took an oath to the United States have advising Iranian officials to disregard any deal offered by the President of the US? It is one thing to declare you don’t think a deal the President arrives at is good, or to say you think the President should negotiate in a different manner but to directly undercut the President by appealing directly to foreign leaders? I don’t think so.

    Re the ACA….I’m still not exactly clear how anyone involved in the case has standing.

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I’m still not exactly clear how anyone involved in the case has standing.

    Yah. Well, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not clear on how lack of standing makes an un-Constitutional act a thing which can be done without the court having recourse.

  8. Boonton says:

    Courts are not charged with either proactively offering advice on what is Constitutional or not nor are they charged with going out and trying to find unconstitutional laws to challenge. Courts can only hear actual disputes in which the parties have standing and the court in question has jurisdiction. That’s how the judicial system was set up in the US and how it was imported from English Common law.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I understand what “standing” means and how it is used. I don’t see how it makes sense with respect to the notion that the people have a good defense against the state being Constitutional if unConstitutional acts can be done freely and openly as long as “standing” is refused or obfuscated to the point that the court cannot or will not rule on an action.

    I’m curious with respect to that. Say in the future a popular man runs for President. He is not a natural born citizen. Who has standing to sue?

    Seems to me with respect to Constitutional matters, I shouldn’t have to be specifically harmed by an action to sue. That weakening the meta-legal document on which the country stands is universal harm that anyone should be able use as a basis for suit.

  10. Boonton says:

    I’m curious with respect to that. Say in the future a popular man runs for President. He is not a natural born citizen. Who has standing to sue?

    The guy who came in second place.

  11. Mark says:

    Boonton
    Why can’t you sue? You are affected (and possibly in your view to your harm) by this guy ignoring the Constitution.

  12. Boonton says:

    You might be able to make a case that you have standing in that you vote didn’t count if electors voted in someone who doesn’t meet the qualifications for office. That is, however, a rather traditional argument that you have standing.

    How is that an argument in favor of eliminating standing as a concept in US law?

  13. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I think that you are I have standing if someone does something un-Constitutional. Period. My suggestion is that Constitutionality tests shouldn’t necessarily require a close reading of what defines “standing,” that is the an electoral opponent is not the only one harmed by ignoring the Constitution regarding election. If the President decided to ignore the Constitution regarding abortion or immigration it isn’t only the unborn and immigrants who should have standing to sue.

    It’s not eliminating standing. I don’t have standing to sue if you renege a contract to which I am not party, or if you assault someone I don’t know. Those aren’t Constitutional issues.

  14. Boonton says:

    It’s not eliminating standing. I don’t have standing to sue if you renege a contract to which I am not party, or if you assault someone I don’t know. Those aren’t Constitutional issues.

    Actually the constitution says contracts have to be respected by law. So Congress can’t just pass a law saying no one has to pay their mortgage anymore! But suppose it did. I’m not really convinced how you would have standing to sue if you were not a bank or mortgage holder affected. Nor do I see why you should.