Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Postmodernism

On The Federalist blog is a recent essay identifying Pres. Donald Trump as an anti-postmodernist. (“Donald Trump is the First President to Turn Postmodernism Against Itself” by David Ernst, January 23, 2017, here .)  As interesting as it was, I have a different understanding of the anti-hero.

(This is based on my post on this subject at Rebirth of Reason here. )

Earlier on RoR, I suggested that The Thomas Crowne Affair from 1968 portrayed an anti-hero. Played by Steve McQueen, Thomas Crowne lost interest in his orchestrated heist. I contrasted that with the 1999 remake where the screenplay gave Pierce Brosnan’s Thomas Crowne a heroic stance.  See RoR here.)  There, I also pointed to Confessions of Felix Krull Confidence Man by Thomas Mann (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull, which I read in a high school German class).  It is not that the anti-hero has bad values, but that he has none

Writing for The Federalist blog, David Ernst pointed to Tony Soprano as an example of the anti-hero.  (We tried the first episode of The Sopranos, and as much as I liked the ending, it was not compelling.) But I get the point from other stories in the genre such as Goodfellas and The Godfather. In the movie version of The Godfather, at Sonny's wedding, Michael's wife Kay Adams is taken aback by the gangsters around her.  "My father is just a powerful man, like a governor or a senator," Michael says.  "Governors and senators don't have people killed!" she protests.  "You're naive, Kay," he replies.  But if the dons did not care, if they put their men into losing battles just for the fun of it, if they walked away from a deal with all the money on the table because money means nothing, they would anti-heroes. In fact, Michael Corleone is a hero in the romantic sense. (As a side note, under Don Vito, the family never dealt in drugs. He found them immoral. Sonny took the family into drugs by disobeying his father; and his own lack of judgment, his lack of values, got him killed.)

Donald Trump does have values. He is not only not an Objectivist in any sense of the word, his values apparently are not even objective. (Your life is an absolute value. Your career is an objective value. You can choose from many, but to be good for you, your career must meet the absolute standard of promoting your life. In a discussion with her attorney, Henry Mark Holzer, on legal theory, Ayn Rand pointed out that Roman Law was objective. It was not primarily or even necessarily concerned with individual rights. But it was publicly posted for all to know, and it was uniformly enforced. For Rand, the evils in a dictatorship were reflected in arbitrary enforcement of secret laws.) 

The Federal article by David Ernst does make an interesting point, though. When Donald Trump gave money to Democrat Party candidates, no one complained.  My point here is that Donald Trump contributed to the party that buttered his bread. If he tossed contributions to any party, willy-nilly, that would have been anti-heroic.

On the matter of post-modernism, Objectivish writers have been cogent and incisive in pointing out that despite their protests of innocence, the postmodernists are not "value free." They are solidly ethno-centric. I refer to Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks reviewed on RoR . I did not read this book.  But I did have a graduate class in postmodernist theory; and later, here in Austin, at the local Ayn Rand Meet-Up, one of the others at our table, who did read it, spoke well to the truth.  

In my class (criminology theory), my classmates were going on and on about cultural relativism and all cultures being equal and all that.  So, I brought up the then-current investigation of insurance wholesalers by Eliot Spitzer, and the Bernie Madoff scandal.  "They just cheated other rich people. And it's the rules of their own game.  So why do you care? Don't they have a right to capitalist culture?"  Of course, no one had anything to say...

Postmodernists are not cultural relativists.  Postmodernism is an assault on reality, reason, and integrity in order to dominate anyone and everyone by the destruction of other people's values in order to impose their own rule.

De-construction (so-called) can be a valid intellectual tool -- if your goal is to understand how something is constructed. But "de-contruction" is an anti-concept. The concept is analysis.  Ayn Rand was excellent at "taking apart" the intellectual framework of modern politics, showing that collectivism rests on altruism which rests on mysticism. But her point was not to demonstrate that all ideas are meaningless mutterings taught by your local subjective culture. And it was not her goal to impose her own rule to fill the vacuum.

I have had a hard time getting people Galt's Gulch Online to understand why Ayn Rand valued the liberals of her time. She admired Adlai Stevenson, but disagreed completely with his politics. The liberals of that earlier time offered an intellectual approach to politics: they identified problems and offered solutions based on a theory of human action. She disagreed with all of the particulars.  But she also vehemently opposed the "me-too" traditional conservatives who had no ideas except to keep whatever it was we seem to have inherited from the past.  The liberals and progressives of the previous century were wrong in many particulars, but were right in their approach. When the conservatives of Europe wanted to ban comic books, Eleanor Roosevelt spoke up for freedom of the press.

That is a conflict of values, on both sides. The postmodernist anti-hero has no values because those who preach postmodernism want to impose their own rule for no other reason except to rule. Power is an end in itself. All of that was explained well in Ayn Rand's fiction and non-fiction. The most dramatic statement I know on that point is found in George Orwell’s 1984: “Imagine a boot stepping on a man’s face – forever.”  That is the goal of postmodernism.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

War is Good for Absolutely Nothin’

One person can make a difference. Whether that is for good or bad depends on much that is outside the control of that significant mover and shaker. In the cinema version of Charlie Wilson’s War, Gust Avrakotos tells the parable of the Zen master who at each turn of events deflects the popular wisdom with “We shall see.”  In other words, external events can bring unintended consequences to your choices. That is the truth brought forward by these two books. Charlie Wilson’s War is about Afghanistan, and Bright Shining Lie is about Vietnam. 
  • Book Review: Charlie Wilson’s War: the Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003.
  • Book Review: Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan, Vintage Books, 1988. (Material here is from a review first published as a class paper for HIST 586: The U.S. in World Politics, Dr. Kathleen Chamberlain, Eastern Michigan University, Fall 2009.) 

The foundation of each narrative is the nature of the complex person whose work was unperceived at the time. Not all of the damaged souls in our social world are capable of great feats. Not all of those who move the world or shake it wrestle with internal demons. Often they do. Perhaps that internal energy is the secret motor that powers achievement, certainly for them, forcing other people to give way or to follow, but always to succumb to the irresistible force of highly motivated charisma.

Charlie Wilson (1933-2010) was a Congressman from East Texas whose conservative and Baptist constituents repeatedly re-elected an alcoholic womanizing liberal. Fired up by a story about the mujahidin who fought against the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, Wilson made their fight his crusade, turning a $5 million dollar stream of 100-year old rifles into a $500 billion Noahtic flood that included Stinger missiles, cryptologic radios, satellite reconnaissance, Tennessee mules, and the uniting of Israel and Saudi Arabia in a common cause under the control of Pakistan.

The phrase “bright shining lie” comes from Vann’s own description of the press conferences for which he coached Gen. Huynh Van Cao to give optimistic projections for victory. While working for the RAND Corporation, Vann’s close friend, Daniel Ellsberg, discovered that for the first fifteen years of the Cold War, the USSR lacked the hardware for significant intercontinental strikes, raising questions about the origins of the Cold War. Another lie was that Vann’s military career was thwarted by his outspoken advocacy of his own cogent analyses, when, in truth, it was blocked by a charge of statutory rape, the outcome of just one of many infidelities. Thus, John Paul Vann is a symbol for America, outwardly heroic, but factually corrupt, nicely navigating the gray shades of ethics to maintain a towering jackstraw jumble of lies. Vann’s eight years “in country” were so important to the effort in Vietnam that he eventually was given immense military latitude, technically a civilian but with the trappings of a major general, another living lie, reflective of America’s ambiguous status in the war.


Like America, John Paul Vann was self-made. Illegitimate and poor, the son of an alcoholic floozy, Vann took the family name of the man who was his actual father years ahead of the formal adoption.  

The author admits early on that Vann had a detachment of mind that let him criticize his own assumptions. This gave him an intellectual edge over men too easily convinced by their own wishes. However, later Sheehan shows Vann caught in his own web – calling for air strikes, propping up corrupt officials, excusing the very policies he earlier opposed – but Sheehan never shows the transition, if there was one.

In fact, Sheehan says very little about the direct work that Vann did which Vann himself considered fundamental to the war effort. We never see Vann meeting with villagers, meeting with frontline military. We do know of his arguments with the top brass, but we never see the dialectic within his own mind.  In Charlie Wilson’s War, we do. 

A producer for Sixty Minutes, Crile invested years of continuous effort, interviewing the people in the story, constructing a coherent narrative of external events and internal thoughts.  The author takes us with Wilson into the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands, first to see the problem, soon to donate his own blood to the medical efforts (several times), and eventually to travel into Afghanistan on horseback, dressed as a local, to receive the thanks and praise of the mujahidin. We also hear the private reflections of the Congressman, the CIA chiefs (and their “Indians”), the Congressional leaders, even the President of Pakistan and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, among very many others. 


As books go, I found Charlie Wilson’s War to be a pleasure to read. Whether Crile is a true master of good English or had good editors or both, I found none of the many little annoyances that plague modern literature. Better than the lack of negatives, Crile’s history is positively compelling, hard to set aside, always to be anticipated as a reward. I do have a quibble: he refers to the USSR and its soldiers as “the Soviets.” It is common and convenient, but wrong. I learned to avoid that mistake in 2008 from Dr. Pamela Graves (a good Marxist) when taking HIST 456: Modern Europe 1945-Present.

Ultimately, both Vann and Wilson failed. The government of South Vietnam was incapable of prosecuting the war because it was incapable of earning the trust of its populace.  Just as bad for us was the victory we brought to the mujahidin, and our consequential involvement there and in Iraq, and now in Syria.

Ayn Rand pointed out repeatedly that US foreign policy in opposition to the USSR was doomed to fail as long as our government failed (refused) to acknowledge that America’s moral superiority is built on reason, individualism, and capitalism. All through those decades, our government yielded the moral high ground to the USSR, which claimed scientific history, altruism, and collectivism, all of which our own government did not contradict, but in fact endorsed.  Therefore, we failed in Vietnam. And the successful defeat of the USSR in Afghanistan only brought us Abrahamic co-religionists who destroyed the World Trade Center – and who now carry out acts of horror in offices, shopping malls, and airports. 

In the 1960s and 70s, the USA and the USSR competed in Afghanistan by building roads, hospitals, and schools.  Modernism never was strong in Afghanistan. Its reformist monarch Amanullah Khan and the liberal nationalist intellectual Marmud Tarzi had their zenith in the 1920s.  Yet, whatever its many flaws, the one thing that Russian socialism had to offer was modernism founded on public education for everyone.  But the USSR abandoned that path in Afghanistan, resorting to brute force against an enemy that lived for it – and believed that brutality toward one’s Earthly enemy is the path to heaven.  That the USSR pushed an officially atheistic secular humanism only guaranteed an irreconcilable conflict. If the USA had kept to its earlier course in Afghanistan, investing in infrastructure and education, rather than arming the resistance, it is difficult to imagine an alternate history worse than the real one.

Previously on Necessary Facts


Monday, January 16, 2017

What is “Legal Tender”?

Once again, this time on the Galt’s Gulch Online message board, my conservative comrades displayed a disappointing though predictable ignorance about money. For people who claim to honor the bourgeois virtues of trade and commerce, they collectively guard a treasury of incomplete, incorrect, erroneous, and falsified assertions.  In truth, objective investigation demonstrates that the government has the right, the need, and the obligation to define and create legal tender.
 
Gold. Coin-shaped. Issued by Congress.
Not Money. Not Legal Tender.
Last week (about January 8, 2017), this discussion was launched:
Posted by $CBJ 1 week ago to Economics

Several writers declaimed against “legal tender laws.”  So, I asked (rhetorically) for definition of “legal tender.” dbhalling, an attorney-at-law who specializes in intellectual property rights wrote this:
(cut and paste) Posted by  dbhalling 5 days, 20 hours ago [January 9, 2017 --mem]
Here is the exact statute. "Today the legal tender law in the US is 35 USC § 5103 which states: United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts. Why legal tender laws do not require government monopolies on money absolutely, they are almost always used for that eventually. You just wrong that any Legal Tender law is consistent with Objectivism..  (/cut and paste)

Of course, that is not actually a definition. As a lawyer, dbhalling only cares about what the law says. He does not need to investigate further. Moreover, he was not alone in claiming that an “Objectivist government” would not have the power to create legal tender. But if there were such a thing as an “Objectivist government” it would need to define legal tender, as does any government. 
Deed for Sale of Federal Land.
A valuable paper promise of the Government.
Perhaps negotiable. Not money. Not Legal Tender.
According to Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, and in line with much else on the libertarian right wing of American politics, the proper functions of government include operating courts of law. It is for the courts that the legislature defines “legal tender.” If the legislature did not define legal tender, there would be no way to know when a debt has been discharged, or when payment has been made.
 
One Dollar in Lawful Money.
Like much else in our traditional laws, the idea of debt is still mired in the agrarian feudal Middle Ages, and not yet enjoying the free air of commercial city life, i.e., civilization. In fact, very little trade is “cash on the barrel head.” It never has been. Since at least 2000 BCE, merchants have dealt at distances in both space and time, making and keeping promises to buy now and pay later. (See, for instance, The Kingdom of the Hittites by Trevor Bryce, Oxford University Press, 2005.) We now enjoy a vast global city. Cash is accepted – even preferred – on the street, but retailers buy from wholesalers who buy from manufacturers, all on credit and via debt.
 
One of the most valuable
coin-like objects issued by
the Federal government.
Not money. Not Legal tender.
Contrary to common myths, money did not evolve out of barter; and barter did not originate in the desire for economic gain. (See David Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” here.) Ritual gift exchange is taproot of commerce.  For tens of thousands of years, including two ice ages from about 35,000 YA to about 10,000 YA, strangers became friends by exchanging gifts.  Finally, after writing was invented to keep track of commodity promises, we abstracted “money” as a safety to mitigate risk.  If you promise a sheep, but all of your sheep have died, what can you give instead? 

Wheat was first. Then after about 2000 BCE, silver was accepted. The astonishing attribute of silver is that it is useless.  It is pretty when polished, but it cannot hold an edge without being alloyed.  (The same is true of copper, which is why the Bronze Age is a demarcation along our common advance. And we have archaeological evidence of large “oxhides” of bronze offered in trade.) Silver served as “legal tender” i.e., money recognized by the “courts” (king or temple).  Gold is likewise useless, but has the added value of not tarnishing, and being far less commonly found. 
Code of Ur-Nammu
(fragment)
 18. If a man knocks out the eye of another man, he shall weigh out one-half a mina of silver. 
19. If a man has cut off another man’s foot, he is to pay ten shekels. 
22. If a man knocks out a tooth of another man, he shall pay two shekels of silver.
24. [...] If he does not have a slave, he is to pay 10 shekels of silver. If he does not have silver, he is to give another thing that belongs to him.
The Law Code of Ur-Nammu, about 2050 BCE at Real World History here.
In modern times, the governments of the British American colonies created paper money. Whether and to what extent the new Federal government would be allowed to do that was debated. The Constitution did not forbid Federal paper money, and the necessities of commerce almost demanded it. The Federal government had the power to borrow money. That created the power to create promissory notes under the Necessary and Proper clause.  
Coinage Law of June 28, 1834 recognized several foreign coins
as legal tender. Laws before and after this also 

defined the legal tender status of foreign coins.
Moreover, in the USA until 1857, several types of foreign coins were commonly recognized by law as being “legal tender.”  The Spanish Dollar was the foundation of commerce, both for international and local trade. Bank notes from the early 19th century promise to pay fractions of a dollar, but display images of Spanish or Mexican coins.  (See “Spanish Coins on American Notes” here.)
Promises 25 cents. Offers 2 Reales.
(Hence, "2 bits" means a quarter dollar.)
Finally, all governments create a plethora of medals, medallions, certificates, promises, and warrants that may be valuable, negotiable, even fungible, but are not recognized in courts of law as legal tender. That is why a government must define the term in order for objective law to be possible.
  
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Partial Index of Ideas within this Blog

I write about whatever interests me.  Below is a representative sample from the 454 previous posts.

Language and Thought
Philosophy
Computers and Computer Security
Military 
Criminology and Protective Services
Scientific Fraud and Research Misconduct
Science and Mathematics
Nerds
Science Fiction 
Industrial Design, Consumerism, Austin Culture
Numismatics and Economics

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ten Most Popular Page Views

Since, I opened this blog on January 2, 2011, these articles have tallied the most readers.

(3600 pageviews. January 6, 2012)
At the end of the 1939 movie version of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch says that Dorothy could have gone home any time, but she had to learn that for herself.  Scarecrow asks Dorothy what she learned.  …  Clearly, what begins as a cliché ends as a contraction.

(2721 pageviews. August 13, 2013)
This grew out of a discussion on Galt’s Gulch Online.  Ayn Rand suggested that as admirable as the Constitution is, not having been based on a consistent philosophy, it contained the seeds of its own destruction.

(1800 pageviews. May 27, 2014)
With help from my anarcho-capitalist comrades here in town, we brought a screening of this movie and its author here for a weekend.
With a cameo by Ron Paul, Alongside Night is the story of the final economic collapse of the United States. We see it through the eyes of 16-year-old Elliot Vreeland.  Elliott searches for his father, a Nobel laureate economist who was targeted for arrest because he consulted with the Europeans to create a gold-based currency that effectively destroyed all confidence in the U.S. dollar. 

(689 pageviews.  July 3, 2013)
Bob Swanson was 29 when he provided the money for Prof. Herbert Boyer to start Genentech.  Like all overnight successes, the real story is more complicated, with deep roots.  Bright, accomplished, and motivated, Swanson had obvious potential – and a string of failures to show for it.

(603 pageviews. September 1, 2013)
Dr. William Herbert Sheldon, Jr., (1898 – 1977) came from a privileged family. The philosopher William James was his godfather. Sheldon created the 70-point grading scale that is the standard in modern American numismatics.  He also pioneered the study of Early American Copper, the Large Cents and Half Cents struck until 1857. He also stole coins from the American Numismatic Society; and he defrauded other collectors.

(555 pageviews.  December 28, 2011)
In these days of anti-capitalist protest, it is important to know that keeping track of debts led to the inventions of counting and writing, and eventually gave voice to art.

(359 pageviews. September 13, 2014)
What you tax you get less of; and what you subsidize you get more of.  The brightest people in the world are making video games; and no one is on the Moon.  It did not take a genius to figure this out: it is a universal law of human action

(342 pageviews. November 25, 2011)
In Economics 101, the Supply curve and the Demand curve are displayed.   The point where they intersect is called “equilibrium” where the most efficient allocation of resources is claimed to occur.  This ignores the fact that the other choices do not disappear. People are still demanding and supplying all along both curves.

(337 pageviews. August 10, 2013)
Scripophily is the study of stock certificates, bonds, and related fiduciary instruments. It is a subset of numismatics, the art and science that studies the forms and uses of money. Like coins, banknotes, checks (drafts), and tokens, stock certificates reveal the daily life and work of the times. And like other numismatic items, they can be highly artistic.

(323 pageviews.  May 20, 2014)
In point of fact, such a claim would be unnecessary, as for instance, "Republicans for Bush" or "Republicans for Palin."  Logic demands that we accept Voldemort as a Democrat and allow that some Republicans favor his reign.

POPULAR THIS WEEK
In addition to those above, these were among the other posts that recently gained some attention.

(88 pageviews. December 25, 2016)
The defining attribute of fans of the Atlas Shrugged movies is that they are people who want to set themselves apart in a separate, isolated and hidden community of like-minded people. Many dream of a physical locale. Most enjoy online communities. In those discussions, the occasional reports of attempts at a “Galt’s Gulch” receive close attention. Although the plot element of “Galt’s Gulch” served a poetic purpose, it was not a call to action.

(14 pageviews. September 26, 2016)
A short snorter is paper money, signed by people who share a common experience. During World War II, with 16 million men and women in the American armed forces, the custom spread rapidly. After the war, it faded just as quickly.

(7 pageviews. January 23, 2013)
Products become icons because of the insightful and compelling work of advertising.
Art & Copy (2009) is a film by Doug Pray.  “Everything that was done to launch that product is now done differently because of that product. ... Every computer company on the planet does their ads on a Mac.” – Lee Clow, creator of the Macintosh “1984” ad.

(5 pageviews. February 5, 2014.)
"Some of the best things in life are free / If you can steal them from the bourgeosie!" When Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn came to Eastern Michigan University to speak to the New Students for a Democratic Society in 2010, I was there. Bill did not recognize me even though I was at the Flint War Council, December 27-31, 1969.

(4 pageviews. May 31, 2105)
Imagine a successful protest in Berlin 1943 against the Holocaust.  Between February 27 and March 6, about 200 German women stood outside a detainment center, demanding the release of their Jewish husbands. …  "Researchers used to say that no government could survive if just 5 percent of the population rose up against it," Chenoweth says. "Our data shows the number may be lower than that. No single campaign in that period [1900-2000] failed after they'd achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population." She adds, "But get this: every single campaign that exceeded that 3.5 percent point was a nonviolent one. The nonviolent campaigns were on average four times larger than the average violent campaigns."

JUST TO NOTE
I found a mirror site in Sweden:  http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.se/  I did not set it up; someone else unknown to me did that.  I also found that many readers come here via a Russian site, yandex.ru, which I have never visited because my personal protection is not strong enough for me to go gallivanting.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Most Popular Pageviews

I write this blog for myself. As a contract technical writer, I get paid to write what other people want. I enjoy it. That work is near the top of my Maslow Hierarchy as self-fulfillment. But it is still primarily for other people, work for hire. This is my own diary. 

I do publicize some of the essays here. Even so, I only have seven followers. So, to have 178,133 pageviews in five years is interesting, if not laudable. Just under 100 times a day, someone else reads something here. But who reads what?

Sometimes, readers from Russia, China, or India have taken first place. Occasionally, other areas pop up in the standings. Usually, of course, most of the hits come from Americans. If I were not an American, that might not be true, but, of course, America dominates the Internet.

To me, the curious fact is that the most popular essay is "What (if Anything) Did Dorothy Learn?" which examines the penultimate scene of the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Not in this blog, but available elsewhere, is an article that I wrote about the political, economic, and numismatic references in L. Frank Baum's classic fantasy. It appeared first in the Centinel of the Central States Numismatic Society, Vol. 58, no. 2, Summer 2010, p.58-61 as "The Wizard of Oz: Child's Tale or Numismatic Allegory?"  That issue is archived on the Newman Numismatic Portal here.

Generally, the articles here are about science and technology, numismatics, politics, and science fiction. But those easy rubrics mask what I consider to be more interesting threads.

Nerds, geniuses, and gifteds make it possible for the rest of us to survive. When the great glaciers were melting, we might have had one genius every three or four generations. Now, with 6 billion people on Earth, we have more of them all the time. And I am glad that we do.

Recently, I started writing about the military. On November 22, 2014, I volunteered to join the Texas State Guard. I came to that opportunity by way of contract technical writing. I was on assignment with the Texas Division of Emergency Management within the Texas Department of Public Safety. There, I found out about the work of the TXSG, which evacuates people from danger, manages shelters, carries out ground search, and other duties. My next assignment was for the office of the Executive Director of the Texas Military Department. So, it was easy to volunteer.  And I am learning a lot about leadership which is better than management for everyone in the business world. 

Numismatics is the art and science that studies the forms and uses of money. Numismatics opens the door to history, language, fine art, culture, commerce, and, of course, economics. It is a large lacuna that the great economists were not themselves "coin collectors." (A modern exception is George Selgin, author of Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage.)  Money has many forms and functions, and numismatics is about much more than coins. 

I love cities. I admit that a week in New York is about two days too many, but having lived in two small towns and two villages (in America), a city of one or two million is just about right for me. Austin is perfect. My choices aside, megacities are the jewels of planet Earth.

When I was in graduate school (2009-2010), I had a criminology class in Miscarriages of Justice that focused on misconduct in police laboratories and junk science in the courtroom. From there, I expanded my reading into laboratory misconduct and academic fraud. The two areas are inter-connected. They each can be extended to include electoral voting fraud.

But I write about whatever interests me from astronomy to firefighters. Apparently, other people find some of it interesting, also, and I am glad that they do.

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