"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump Administration Apprenticeship Initiative Reminds of Germany's Fabulously Successful Apprentice Programs

Germany's apprentice programs are fabulously successful. The Trump Administration's apprenticeship initiative makes great sense given the example of the German model. See the report at Forbes. This is one way the Trump Administration is surely moving America forward.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gender-Based Citizenship Rule in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 Unanimously Declared Unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court as a Denial of Equality Under the Law

This unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision (8-0) in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an expert on gender equality law, is a sign of the political, legal and social contemporary times. The decision is also a matter of clear judicial logic and decisionmaking regarding the issue presented,
which was
the constitutionality of the different treatment of citizenship of children born overseas, based on whether the unwed parent was the father or the mother.

SCOTUS ruled that Congress must enact a law treating both genders equally as regards the citizenship of children born overseas to unwed parents.

See the reports e.g. at:




Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal in
SCOTUS strikes down citizenship law because of different treatment based on parent's gender

Lydia Wheeler at The Hill in
Supreme Court strikes down gender-based citizenship law

Lawrence Hurley at Reuters in
Supreme Court invalidates gender inequality in citizenship law

As written by the Associated Press and as published at the New York times in
Justices Strike Down Gender Differences in Citizenship Law
about the Justice Ginsburg opinion in the case:

"Ginsburg said the law was based on flawed and outdated assumptions about men and women that pervaded the country's citizenship laws: "In marriage, husband is dominant, wife subordinate; unwed mother is the natural and sole guardian of a nonmarital child."

For close to a half century, she [Ginsburg] said, the court "has viewed with suspicion laws that rely on overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities or preferences of males and females." Ginsburg said the gender line Congress drew "is incompatible with the Constitution's guarantee of the equal protection of the laws to all persons.""




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Freedom of Sexual Choice as a Driving Force of the Growth of Human Civilization

We dare say that ornithologist Richard Prum's take on the role of sexual choice in the development of various animal species as well as the growth of human civilization may tell us more about the state of the present violently confused world than the most learned political, legal, social, economic, or religious treatises. Source: http://m.spiegel.de/international/ornithologist-richard-prum-on-duck-sex-and-human-evolution-a-1151217.html#ref=nl-international

Is Brexit Now Gone Before it Really Started?

Is Brexit now gone before it ever really started?
Some people think so.
See the Spiegel.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stanford Law School Number One Says ATL

Above the Law:

"We’ve made a list that tells you that Stanford Law School is the best school."

...but the list is by declaration not "woke", so do look up the alternative definition of "woke" online....

... in the spirit that "research" is the soul of learning....

Thursday, June 08, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on First Sale and Patent Exhaustion Doctrines

We previously posted at Law Pundit about Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments: First Sale and the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine

and

First Sale and the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine in the Resale and Use of Printer Ink Cartridges

The (virtually) unanimous 8-0, 7-1 May 30, 2017 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts holds that the patent exhaustion doctrine applies to all products sold, domestically and abroad (Ginsburg dissenting on the latter), and that patents can thus not be used to circumvent the first sale doctrine.

Our previous analysis was thus once again proven correct, as it has been for many years in predicting U.S. Supreme Court reversals of what we have regarded to be clearly erroneous Federal Circuit Court decisions in the patent sphere.

For a detailed analysis of this eminently important patent case, see Patently-O: Impression v. Lexmark: Patent Rights Exhausted by Sale, Domestic or Abroad.

The "international" patent rule voiced here by the Supreme Court follows the same general and inexorable legal logic applied regarding the limitation on copyrights expressed in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, 568 U.S. 519, 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013).

Sunday, May 28, 2017

This is GOVERNMENT?

Andrew Klavan on the ongoing investigations of our otherwise government do-nothings.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=87&v=6F0Hv9TUrfs

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses Long-Standing Lax Federal Circuit Patent Venue Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court continues its -- clearly necessary -- reshaping of a patent law landscape that long ago passed the limits of common sense.

Justices rein in Federal Circuit’s lax rules on patent venue
is the headline at SCOTUSblog in an article by Ronald Mann
regarding the May 22, 2017 U.S. Supreme Court reversal
of the  Federal Circuit's long-standing lax rule on patent venue,
a clearly impossible rule which had for many years led patent holders
to engage in widespread and undesirable patent forum shopping
in the nation's courts.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for a unanimous 8-0 Court
(Justice Gorsuch did not participate since he joined the Court
after oral argument on the case had already been held). 

See a summary of the holding at TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Net Neutrality in Danger

Updated on 22 May, 2017

As political centrists -- swing voters who decide elections -- our non-partisan views sometimes find us siding with Republicans, sometimes with Democrats, sometimes with Independents, and sometimes with none of these.

For example, we find the controversy over Trump and the Russians to be an unnecessary, deplorable media-created tempest in a teapot about nothing of consequence, as Trump rightly says, a politically-motivated witch hunt.

By contrast, however, we are very much on the other side of the political fence as concerns the Trump-administration's apparent decision -- a stupid one in our view -- to try to topple Net Neutrality.

Greedy institutions and people are trying to torpedo the existing long-standing standard of Net Neutrality -- which benefits us all -- and instead to bring to the World Wide Web the same flawed system of discriminatory privilege that marks the cable television industry.

See in this regard TechCrunch at

"An open letter to everyone who uses the internet"

at these links

https://t.co/iqLj7Bg0Cz
https://t.co/TyFOYzZ8uH
https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/865409965271404544

Share that TechCrunch post with more networks via http://ow.ly/L5ux100G7KK

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Salvador Sobral Wins First Ever Eurovision Song Contest Crown for Portugal in the World's Most Popular Live Non-Sports Entertainment Show

As reported at The Portugal News Online, Portugal's largest circulation English language newspaper,

Portugal's Salvador Sobral won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev with the song Amar pelos dois ("Loving for the two of us"), written by his sister Louisa Sobral.

The annual competition was televised live and also You-Tube streamed to hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe as the world's reigning most popular live non-sports entertainment show. Bulgaria came in second, Moldova third, our personal favorite Belgium fourth, and Sweden fifth.

It was Portugal's first ever win since entering the Eurovision Song Contest competition in 1964.

In 1956, the first year of the contest, there were seven participating countries -- in 2017 there were 42 participants. As written at the Wikipedia under Eurovision_Song_Contest:

"In the 1950s, as a war-torn Europe rebuilt itself, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)—based in Switzerland—set up an ad hoc committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a "light entertainment programme". At a committee meeting held in Monaco in January 1955 with Marcel Bezençon of the Swiss television as chairman, the committee conceived the idea (initially proposed by Sergio Pugliese of the Italian television RAI) of an international song contest where countries would participate in one television programme to be transmitted simultaneously to all countries of the union. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy and was seen as a technological experiment in live television, as in those days it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. The concept, then known as "Eurovision Grand Prix", was approved by the EBU General Assembly in a meeting held in Rome on 19 October 1955, and it was decided that the first contest would take place in spring 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The name "Eurovision" was first used in relation to the EBU's network by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951."

The Eurovision Song Contest has many supporters and viewers but also detractors, the latter of whom seem to expect a perfection of competition that is simply not realistic.

The Eurovision Song Contest may not be perfect -- surely everyone can agree on that point -- but it beats alternative forms of competition among nations -- need we mention wars -- by a long shot. Given a choice, we take ... MUSIC!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blanche ("Ellie Delvaux") -- Sings "City Lights" for Belgium in the May 13, 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Final - We Find It the Best Song This Year, But Can Blanche Win?

Our own personal favorite in the Eurovision 2017 Song Contest Final on May 13, 2017 in Kiev is the unique, world-class song "City Lights" as sung by Ellie Delvaux -- going here as "Blanche" -- for Belgium. "City Lights" is a listener's playlist delight. Do yourself a favor and listen to it twice .... it grows on you.

We find it to be the best song in the competition, but can Blanche win enough votes to win, as it will be hard to overcome traditional Eurovision Song Contest powerhouses from past years such as Sweden, which has won six times, lastly in 2012 and 2015, and goes into this final with one of the semifinal winners from the same semifinal in which Belgium was 4th place.

However, since "City Lights" is a song that grows on you, it should be more competitive in the final voting as voters will have had a chance to get familiar with the song in the interim -- which can only increase its chances of winning.

There are other fine entries in the competition as well of course, such as favorites from Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, but we always look for a song with that extra "something". This year, "City Lights" has that "something" for us.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Stemming Museum Attendance Decline and Bringing the World of Artifacts and Exhibits of the Past into the Modern Era

Events of the present are just as integrally tied to the past, as the future is tied to the here and now.

But getting people interested in the world of yesterday is much more difficult than motivating them to look to the future, even though both are equally important to an appreciation of human life on Earth.

It is therefore of considerable concern that museum attendance in the USA in the digital age, especially among young people, has been declining strongly over the last decades. Young people particularly are losing their connection to their human heritage.

Efforts are underway at various institutions to stem that tide. After all, to know where you are, and to successfully arrive at where you are going, it is advisable to know where you have been.

The Verge in an article by Nikki Erlick at 20,000-year-old artifacts, 21st century technology reports that "Museums are turning to virtual reality, apps, and interactive experiences to keep tech-savvy visitors engaged."

Take a look.

Friday, May 05, 2017

LawPundit is Approaching One Million Visitors viz. "Hits"

LawPundit is approaching one million visitors viz. "Hits".
It looks likely that we will have to get a new web counter
to permit us to go beyond our six-place present one.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

New EU European Union GDPR General Data Protection Regulation Goes Into Effect in Two Weeks on May 18, 2017

The new, stricter European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes Into effect in two weeks on May 18, 2017 as Germany, for example, rewrites its own new Federal Data Protection Act as a result.

See for example the reports at Out-Law.com at New German data protection laws passed by Bundestag as part of GDPR preparations, as business organizations e.g. will in the future be required to appoint a "data protection officer".

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Revised Decipherment of the Cerutti Mastodon Bone of California, USA

We have revised our initial decipherment of the Cerutti Mastodon Bone -- not by changing any of our illustrative markings or identified cupmarks, but differently interpreting those cupmarks and lines, putting Virgo and Leo higher up in the image, and in the lower part of the image adding Hydra, Corvus, Crux, the Large Magellanic Cloud, Carina, Vela and Canopus in Puppis.

We also now identify a bird and its corresponding cupmarks in the upper left as Cygnus and below it a triangular form as Aquila.

Below is the resulting NEW REVISED decipherment, which we have labelled "May, 2017" to keep it separate from the previous "April, 2017" decipherment, even though both are separated by only one day at the end of April. Usually, we do not publish decipherments immediately, knowing that revisions may be necessary, but here we wanted to get the work out quickly.

We have also corrected the spelling of Cerutti, which is not two R's and one T but rather vice versa....






Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Cerutti Mastodon Bone of California, USA as Astronomy ca. 6000-4000 B.C. perhaps by People of Haplogroup X (mtDNA)

Please Note: The sky map decipherment below was revised in part by Andis Kaulins two days later at http://lawpundit.blogspot.com/2017/04/revised-decipherment-of-cerutti.html, adding more star identifications and changing the position of Virgo and Leo to be higher up above the underworld of stars.
_______________

Archaeology and related professions suffer from their tendency to opt for a self-serving myopic assessment of the available evidence, too often without sober consultation of what "science" might call "good common sense".

When we take the evidence of genetic studies into account, then mankind migrated out of Africa no earlier than about 60000 B.C. according to the Map of Human Migration, National Geographic. Note that we reject and do not use the confusing and allegedly "politically correct" BCE and BPE labels, which are artificial ill-constructed academic notations with little practical value.

ANYONE, no matter what their academic credentials, suggesting the discovery of prehistoric human or human-like locations and/or artifacts outside of Africa that fall far much earlier than that date of 60000 B.C. -- when faced with the genetic evidence -- is likely to have made a colossal dating error in setting the chronology. That may be the case for the Cerutti Mastodon bone.

We have pointed out the above wisdom repeatedly over the years, most recently in our posting Bruniquel Cave "Ring" Construction in France Represents a Sky Map, But it is Not 176000 Years Old and Likely Not Constructed by Neanderthals.

We now are confronted with a report in the New York Times headlined Humans Lived in North America 130,000 Years Ago, Study Claims, reporting on a study -- published in the purportedly reputable peer-reviewed science journal Nature -- whose editors and reviewers need to start to do their homework -- titled A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA.

We are not going to go into any assessment of the radiometric procedures used in dating the Bone from the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site in question, because it is not necessary, as there is no proof that the carvers of the bone broke the bone into pieces, as the writers of the article allege.

Rather, an old broken mastodon bone from an earlier age was arguably found and carved at some later time -- indeed, based on our dating below, probably carved by the still mysterious, but surely then seafaring people of Haplogroup X (mtDNA), who spread their astronomy in the New World at that time.

The New York Times article by Carl Zimmer writes:

"The bold and fiercely disputed claim, published in the journal Nature, is based on a study of mastodon bones discovered near San Diego.....

Some experts were intrigued by the research, but many archaeologists strongly criticized it, saying the evidence didn’t come close to supporting such a profound conclusion."

The key to this mastodon bone is not only the correct interpretation of the carved wavy lines, but also a host of other carvings and cupmarks on the bone. We can explain the wavy lines, as a bonus of our decipherment.

Anyone who thinks that he has seen all the carving on the mastodon bone when he or she has merely noted the wavy lines on it -- the easy part -- is greatly mistaken. We are reminded of Albert Einstein's famous phrase, that "I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy."

There are numerous things carved on the bone, and we present simple and interpreted illustrations below of the lines and cupmarks made on the bone, all of which -- in our decipherment -- are astronomical in nature -- i.e. they represent "stargazing" in ancient times, we estimate ca. 6000 to 4000 B.C. with the stars near the Autumn Equinox to the left of the bone illustration as seen below and the stars near to the Spring Equinox to the right of the bone, as one is looking at the bone and as presented in the illustrations below. The Summer Solstice is then at the stars of Virgo (the main middle figure)

The head of Leo is to the right and can be viewed as either a human head or the head of a cat-like or dog-like creature. Behind that to the left is the head of human female with the wavy lines surely representing the watery underworld toward the southern stars of Centaurus, Lupus etc.

Marked at the left are the stars of Sagittarius and Scorpio, both near the galactic centre, as marked by heads of the deceased, since the ancients believed the souls of the deceased returned there. See my many postings on Avebury Henge and Stonehenge in the last year for an explanation.

Groupings of stars that are represented on the Cerutti Mastodon Bone may not in ancient days have been exactly comparable to our own modern constellations of course, but decipherment experience shows that the ancients adopted similar groupings, based on the brightest stars in the heavens.

Below is our decipherment of the Cerutti Mastodon Bone based on Letter to Nature 544, 479–483, 27 April 2017, doi:10.1038/nature22065 and the image reproduced in the New York Times article cited above.

Decipherment by Andis Kaulins, Traben-Trarbach, April, 2017:


The entire matter is rather elementary -- once one understands that the ancients carved mastodon and similar bones like this for important reasons such as astronomy, calendration and perhaps other shamanistic endeavors.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Andis Kaulins Twitter Tweet Activity

We are paying more attention to our Twitter presence, which is now approaching 6000 tweets.

Andis Kaulins LinkedIn Profile Updated

We have updated our LinkedIn profile.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Return to Culture: The Fashion Style of America's First Lady Forecasts the Societal Trends

Melania Trump, America's First Lady, is featured by Caroline Leaper, Fashion News and Features Editor at The Telegraph, in 'A modern take on femininity and elegance': designer Alice Roi reveals the story behind Melania Trump's First Lady look.

What are the general trends that we might forecast for the near future?
For those, we looked to art in its broadest definition.

Trends in 2017 have been suggested at the linked websites as follows in fashion (femininity), art (reconnection with nature), visual design (return to organic roots, uncompromising clarity), interior design (vintage looks made modern), literature (Norse mythology), theatre (quality) and music (streaming and vinyl, nostalgia). These can serve as forecasting or parallel signals of coming or existing trends in politics and society generally.

One might conclude that the trends have a definite direction and are found also in various "law and order" developments in law and politics worldwide.


Monday, April 17, 2017

The International Law Firm "Paul, Weiss" Continues to Add to its Storied History of Excellence

The law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
(shortened as "Paul, Weiss", "Paul, Weiss et al." or "Paul|Weiss")
continues to win awards and gain recognition in the legal sphere in 2017.
See that link.

Paul|Weiss is an international "Big Law" firm of attorneys headquartered in New York City with offices in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Wilmington, Delaware.

Having been a summer associate and associate in the corporate department of the firm in New York City, the LawPundit was gratified to read that US News - Best Lawyers had named Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
the Corporate Law Firm of the Year in 2016.

Paul, Weiss et al. has a long, unique and storied history extending far beyond corporate law, so that recognition for legal excellence is nothing new.

For example, as written at that history:

"Each of the three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 began her career as a summer associate at Paul, Weiss."

Take a look at the quite amazing history of the firm.




LawPundit Internet Gateways via World Route

We tried out the World Route software program by SoftPerfect network management solutions in order to discover the path taken when readers access the LawPundit blog at Blogspot.

At Discover the path of your Internet data they write:

"With the World Route tool you can easily find out what gateways your data goes through and how fast it travels. You will receive comprehensive route details, with each city and country conveniently marked on the map. Simply enter any IP-address or website and see the path network packets take to that destination."

Here was the route taken when accessing the LawPundit blog Easter, 2017 (clip from World Route - click on the image for a larger version of the graphic):


For comparison, here was the route taken when accessing the LawPundit blog in November, 2016 (clip from World Route - click on the image for a larger version of the graphic):


The round trip times were 19ms and 21ms (ms=milliseconds). Pretty quick!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Chief Justice Roberts: Politically Partisan U.S. Supreme Court Confirmation Battles are Short-Term Thinking contrary to the Actual Long-Term Judicial Realities

Speaking of short-term vs. long-term thinking, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts recently made some cogent comments reported at the ABA Journal by Debra Cassens Weiss in her article Chief justice says partisan confirmation battles create 'real danger' for Supreme Court.

Roberts addresses the problem of short-term thinking applied to the Supreme Court, when long-term Court execution of responsibilities is a judicial reality in which knock-down, drag-out partisanship has little place.

Weiss writes: "Roberts said the justices serve together for a long time, and they have to get along. “Knock-down, drag-out fights” over a big case would interfere with the relationship, he said. “It’s kind of like a marriage, right?” he said. “You hope it goes on for a long time and can’t sort of have every fight be a huge fight.”"[emphasis added by LawPundit]

Futurist Ari Wallach at TED.com on Decision-Making and Long-Term Planning Tactics in Business and Society

Decision-making and tactics for long-term planning are discussed by futurist Ari Wallach at TED.com in Ari Wallach: 3 ways to plan for the (very) long term.

Rather than thinking just short-term, Ari identifies three long-term "tactics" we might consider following to get better results than we have been getting:
  • 1) transgenerational thinking (looking at things in terms of lifespans)
  • 2) futures thinking (Ari says "we've abdicated the future from the high priests in Rome to the high priests of Silicon Valley"), and
  • 3) telos thinking (stopping to think about "to what end" is it all?).

Friday, April 14, 2017

Big Data Conferences in 2017 Listed at Disruptor Daily

Disruptor Daily has a list of Big Data Conferences taking place in 2017.

The Return of the Blackberry? A Nearly $1 Billion Arbitration Award Against Qualcomm May Help

The Return of the BlackBerry?

Pinsent Masons has the story at Out-Law.com in BlackBerry awarded $814.9 million royalty refund from Qualcomm

Will Increased "Big Data" Knowledge Dominate Decision-Making in the World of the Future?

At Forbes.com, Bernard Marr writes in The Complete Beginner's Guide To Big Data In 2017 that the future of the world will be forged increasingly through the use and application of "Big Data" to decision-making.

What does "Big Data" mean?

Marr writes:

"Big Data works on the principle that the more you know about anything or any situation, the more reliably you can gain new insights and make predictions about what will happen in the future. By comparing more data points, relationships will begin to emerge that were previously hidden, and these relationships will enable us to learn and inform our decisions."

Is Marr right?

Does increased "Big Data" knowledge mean power?

The future will tell us.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nebraska Bowls and Real Bowling

Bowls? Football?

Husker football national championships since Ozzie retired are a distant past. It's the coaching, folks.

But there are "other" sports.

How about recent Cornhusker national championships and the "real" bowling at Nebraska?

The Husker women's team bowling coach might give the Big Red football coaching staff some pointers on achieving excellence and success in becoming champions again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Saturday, April 08, 2017

The Incredible Life of William T. Coleman Jr.: A Black Man Who Was a Real Hero in the Fields of Law and Politics

There are few lives and careers so massively filled with impressive achievements as the life of William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr., who passed away on March 31, 2017 as the oldest then still living former Cabinet member.

Just read the obituary of William T. Coleman Jr. by Dennis Hevesi at the New York Times.

Coleman's life is celebrated at the Paul, Weiss Alumni Network at LinkedIn -- of which I am a member as a former Paul, Weiss associate -- via Brian Sogol, Alumni Manager at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who quotes current Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp as follows:

Bill graduated #1 from Harvard Law School in 1946, served as the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter (alongside Eliot Richardson).

Bill tried to land a law firm associate position in his home town of Philadelphia, but was rejected by every law firm at which he interviewed. Through a serendipitous encounter with then-Paul, Weiss associate (and later a respected federal district judge and dean of both Yale Law School and Penn Law School) Louis Pollack, Bill was introduced to Louis Weiss, interviewed at Paul, Weiss and was offered a litigation associate position. Bill commuted daily from Philadelphia to Paul, Weiss's New York office for three years (1949-1952). While at Paul, Weiss, Bill worked with Thurgood Marshall on the historic Brown v Board of Education matter, ultimately leaving the firm to join the NAACP to fight full time for racial justice. Bill spent the next 65 years breaking down barrier upon barrier.


Hevesi at the New York Times writes about Coleman inter alia as follows:

"His memoir, “Counsel for the Situation,” was written with Mr. Bliss and had a foreword by Justice Stephen Breyer. In it, Mr. Coleman reflected on his own life and on the American legal system, and paid tribute to the people who had influenced him — blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats.

“They shared the strong conviction,” he wrote, “that individual talent, brilliance and effort can and will change the course of history.
”" [emphasis added by LawPundit]

__________
As noted in an April 3, 2017 correction at the New York Times to set the "small detail" facts exactly straight: "An earlier version of this obituary misstated the year Mr. Coleman graduated from Harvard Law School. It was 1946, not 1947. It also attributed a distinction to him erroneously. He was not the first black member of the Harvard Law Review; Charles Hamilton Houston had served on the board in the early 20th century. And the branch of the service that Mr. Coleman joined was rendered incorrectly. It was the Army Air Forces, not the Army Air Corps.



Friday, April 07, 2017

Study of U.S. Supreme Court Shows Skewed Gender-Based Interruptions of Justices

At the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss reports that Interruptions of female justices has increased with their representation on SCOTUS, study finds.

That research finding has made a lasting impression on us.

Gentlemen! Let's stop interrupting the ladies.

Neil Gorsuch Confirmed by the American Senate as U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed by the American Senate as U.S. Supreme Court Justice, filling the seat vacated by the passing in 2016 of Justice Antonin Scalia.

See inter alia:
Gorsuch has an outstanding legal track record and was rightly confirmed -- in our opinion, although we disagree with Gorsuch on some fundamental issues of jurisprudence -- especially his adherence to the artificial dogma-like "crutch" of originalism.

Judges cannot be merely "parrots of the past". More is required.

Henry Ford would today not build a car the exact same way he did in the original days of the automobile. Things do change over time. Nothing stays the same. Law is no different. Law is a seamless "living" web that accommodates itself to the changing world as required.

There is no doubt that Gorsuch is well-qualified as a judge per se, so that we hope that his Supreme Court job responsibilities will lead him to adopt a broader view of the U.S. Constitution as he matures in his Supreme Court seat.

Gorsuch will turn only 50 on August 29, so he may have many years of judging ahead of him yet. Perhaps he will surprise us positively as time goes on.
 
Senate Republicans and three moderate Democratic Senators voted in favor of Gorsuch:

Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and
Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments: First Sale and the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine

The United States Supreme Court on March 21, 2017 held oral arguments on the first sale patent exhaustion case Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., which we previously discussed at First Sale and the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine in the Resale and Use of Printer Ink Cartridges.

The issue presented is formulated by the Supreme Court:

"15-1189 IMPRESSION PRODUCTS, INC. V. LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC.
DECISION BELOW: 816 F.3d 721
LOWER COURT CASE NUMBER: 2014-1617, 2014-1619
 

QUESTION PRESENTED:
 

The "patent exhaustion doctrine"-also known as the "first sale doctrine"-holds that "the initial authorized sale of a patented item terminates all patent rights to that item." Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., 553 U.S. 617, 625 (2008). This case presents two questions of great practical significance regarding the scope of this doctrine on which the en banc Federal Circuit divided below:
1. Whether a "conditional sale" that transfers title to the patented item while specifying post-sale restrictions on the article's use or resale avoids application of the patent exhaustion doctrine and therefore permits the enforcement of such post-sale restrictions through the patent law's infringement remedy.
2. Whether, in light of this Court's holding in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351, 1363 (2013), that the common law doctrine barring restraints on alienation that is the basis of exhaustion doctrine "makes no geographical distinctions," a sale of a patented article-authorized by the U.S. patentee-that takes place outside of the United States exhausts the U.S. patent rights in that article.
 

CERT. GRANTED 12/2/2016"

The main question in this case is reflected by the precedent-based reluctance of the U.S. Supreme Court to support the alienation of chattels in commerce, here the first sale patent exhaustion doctrine, a legal issue that goes back hundreds of years to common law and Lord Coke (who has retained his name over the centuries in spite of modern oft overreaching intellectual property protection of generic and name terms):

We think that Justice Breyer's comments during oral argument in the above-cited case represent what the Supreme Court will likely decide on the main issue, based on the logic of Breyer's arguments [here excerpted by LawPundit]:

"JUSTICE BREYER: What about Justice Kennedy's question? I mean, Lord Coke had that very question in mind, I think, that -- that one of the problems with restraints in alienation of chattel is that the buyer may not know, and -- and moreover, it stops competition among buyers. Those are the basic two things that have led that as a kind of underlying principle.
...
Then why don't you require the person who sells it to just resell it with the requirement that they promise not to, you know, whatever it is?
...
[O]ne of the reasons that it's hard to get away with that is the antitrust laws in the contract area. And another reason is because Lord Coke said 300 years ago, you know, it's -- you get into a lot of trouble when you start trying to restrict this buyer who's got the widget and he would like to use it as he wishes. Now, that's been the kind of basic legal principle for an awfully long time.
...
There ... are all kinds of exceptions.

But to go back to your basic point underlying this, of course, any monopolist, including a patent monopolist, would love to be able to go to each buyer separately and extract from each buyer and user the maximum amount he would pay for that particular item.

Dentists would pay more for gold perhaps than someone who wants to use gold for some other thing. Okay? They'd like that.

But by and large, that's forbidden under many laws, even though it does mean slightly restricted output, and it also means a lower profit for the monopolist.

All right. Now, it's against that background that I think the law and economics professors, who are telling what is correct, that -- and the argument that you're making has to be evaluated. That's what I think on the first part.

All this precedent is very hard for you to get around. And I'm not talking about just Lord Coke; I'm talking about the Supreme Court precedent."

Saturday, April 01, 2017

EU Laws and UK Law As the Result of Brexit : The Example of the General Data Protection Regulation

The government of the United Kingdom has now invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and has thus formally triggered the UK intention to leave the EU, a separation widely called "Brexit" for short.

In two years, Brexit will finalize the divorce of the UK from the EU, but that divorce does not automatically repeal laws in force in the United Kingdom.

Brexit has many complex legal aspects, many of which will beset Europe and beyond for many years, among which is a widespread misunderstanding of how EU Law applies to UK persons and businesses in the interim ... and beyond.

Brexit itself does not nullify laws in effect in the UK.

As headlined at Out-Law.com:
Survey reveals UK business' misunderstanding on GDPR and Brexit.

The GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect in the EU before Brexit occurs.

The UK government has said that the GDPR will be adopted in the UK regardless of Brexit.

What happens thereafter is then up to the lawmakers in the United Kingdom.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

House of Lords Backs Down on House of Commons Parliament Brexit Bill and the Resolution of EU Residents' Rights in the UK

We do not question the sovereign right of the UK to leave the EU, but how it is done reflects greatly on what the world can expect from Britain in the future....

In a surprise to us, as reported at BBC News, the House of Lords has backed down on its initial stance on the House of Commons Brexit Bill, giving the present UK government a blank check to trigger leaving the European Union without a previous handling of the after-Brexit rights of present European Union residents in the UK.

The rationale of the House of Lords was stated to be to avoid "divisiveness", a laudatory aim. However, the Brexit referendum with a near 50/50 vote result remains politically divisive ... regardless.

Our surprise is based especially on the fact that we are aware of numerous EU citizens (both in and out of the UK) whose personal and professional lives are integrally tied to the manner in which Brexit is ultimately implemented.

It must be emphasized that the issue of EU citizens' rights in the UK, as well as UK citizens' rights in Member States of the European Union after Brexit is not a "theoretical" legal construct, but represents a very acute real problem.

As widely reported, some UK citizens working and residing in other EU Member States have already applied for or have already obtained dual foreign citizenship in those countries to counteract further possible personal losses and deprivations based on their "in limbo" status.

It is of course apparent that the nationalistic populist trend we see elsewhere in the USA and in Europe is also present in the UK. Obviously, a main objective is "exclusion" of outsiders, which is a territorial political decision.

There is e.g. an ongoing "exclusionary war" from which neither the EU nor the UK are excepted. In addition to the selective travel ban in the USA, see e.g. the visa war at EU escalates 'visa war' with US with Americans set to lose visa-free travel to Europe.

We are similarly familiar with several recent cases of persons applying for various visas in the UK. The UK fees for visa application are steeply priced. The scope of the required visa application paperwork is considerable. And there is no guarantee that the application will be granted.

Perhaps matters will get better once the UK leave of the EU is final.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The UK House of Lords Does Not Rubber Stamp the House of Commons Brexit Bill But Requires Protections of the Rights of Resident EU Nationals

As we previously predicted, we did not expect the House of Lords in the United Kingdom to "rubber stamp" Brexit -- the UK exit from the European Union, and the peers indeed have now voted 358 to 256 against the Brexit bill passed by the House of Commons, which made no provision for the rights of resident EU nationals who would still be living in the UK after Brexit.

This is not an issue that can be "handled" after Brexit is triggered. Rather, applicable existing rights must be protected via any Brexit bill before the EU exit is actually triggered.

This is a matter of the internal legal structure of the United Kingdom and of the tried and true norms of the "rule of law".

From a legal standpoint, the House of Lords decision is of course the correct one.

The United Kingdom can not just say, "goodbye, ta...ta" to the European Union and make no provision for the protection of the rights of EU citizens currently living within its borders under the UK's present European Union membership.

As a matter of legal logic, also a political "divorce" always involves a balancing of the rights of all parties concerned. You can't just run away as if what had been before never happened.

The House of Lords is thus confirming an elementary aspect of traditional legal rights and obligations.

Now it is up to the House of Commons to get back on the right track. As a sovereign nation-state, the UK can of course leave the EU if it so chooses ... but ... it has to do so in conformance with the general rules of law, which protect everyone.

Accordingly, a Brexit bill acceptable to the House of Lords must contain protections effectively applicable to all inhabitants, also resident EU nationals, whose status otherwise would be in a legal state of limbo.

Friday, February 17, 2017

UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Opens Investigation of Heineken Purchase of Punch Taverns While Technology Company Monopolies Flourish

It is time to turn from ephemeral political issues to things that really matter long-term to the average man out there in the real world: like the future of beer and pubs in the Brexit-besotted United Kingdom.

As we read at Out-Law.com, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into the Heineken purchase of Punch Taverns.

Now what could be competitively wrong with that purchase? The number of different beers available in the UK is immense and the number of superb pubs on the British Isles is of course legendary.  Here is what Heineken's managing director, David Forde, wrote about the beverage market in the UK in November, 2014 (fairly recent in terms of publications of this nature):

"Heineken UK is a company that has 42% market share in cider and roughly 24% market share in beer.  And I know you guys know the market well.  It’s a fragmented market.  The UK is a very competitive market.  It’s one of the few markets where the five big global brewers are all present.  We still have a strong regional brewer base in the UK and they have about between 20% and 23% of the market with strong pub estates.  So this is one of the more competitive markets in the UK, or in the world. But we find ourselves with Heineken UK with a remarkably strong position."

Of course, pub acquisition is one way to make sure that your beverage brands retain high visibility and help to expand your markets, if possible. Nevertheless, there is little reason here to worry that the strong competitive beverage climate in the UK will suffer greatly from the Punch Taverns acquisition.

What irritates this writer is that anti-trust and competition authorities in the USA and Europe have no qualms to investigate the highly competitive beverage industry, but seem to do virtually nothing to halt the abusive ongoing and proliferating monopolistic excesses that permeate the oft non-competitive technology industry among the big tech monopoly players (the percentages below are not as recent as they could be, but they give a good general picture of the competitive lay of the land):
  • Qualcomm (90% of small mobile device LTE semiconductors) --- see in this regard the recent FTC Charges Qualcomm With Monopolizing Key Semiconductor Device Used in Cell Phones (is a whopping 90% the monopoly threshold to get the FTC to initiate action??!!!!)
  • Microsoft (89% of the PC operating system market via Windows)
  • Intel (88% of the x86 processor market)
  • Google (88% of the smartphone operating system market via Android)
  • Google (80% of the search engine market share via Google Search)
  • Oracle (55% market share of integrated systems - Oracle is the world's 2nd largest software company, behind 1st-place Microsoft)
  • Amazon (43% of online retail sales in the USA)
  • Facebook (42% of the social network market)
  • Verizon (ca. 35% market share of wireless systems in the USA)
  • AT&T (ca. 32% market share of wireless systems in the USA)
  • Vodafone (ca. 30% telecommunications market share in numerous countries)
  • Apple (ca. 25% of the global tablet market)
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprises (ca. 25% of the enterprise server market)
So, now the competition authorities are going to go after a beverage company with a 24% beer market share in the UK????, a market share LOWER than ANY of the above tech company market shares....

There are 1700 breweries in the UK. One Thousand Seven Hundred. We call that a pretty healthy, competitive industry.

How many competitors are there in each of the above mentioned categories of the technology monopolists and why have the anti-trust and competition authorities in Europe and the USA already long ago not instituted massive corrective measures, and not have passed desperately needed reformed patent laws, to restore healthy competition to the various branches of those technological industries????

That is the question.


 



Friday, February 10, 2017

U.S. President Trump's Immigration Order Analyzed at FactCheck.org : The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 Gives the President the Proclamation Power : Courts Can Not Second-Guess the President's Motives

U.S. President Trump's immigration order is analyzed at FactCheck.org. This is a classic case in the separation of powers.

The critical paragraph in the above-cited article writes:
"Trump's executive order cites the president's authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, specifically this provision:

"Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."" [emphasis added]
Our analysis of this matter is as follows:

The holdings of a federal judge as also the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has an 80% reversal record before the United States Supreme Court) are clearly in error because they are not applying the above law neutrally but rather are "second-guessing" the wisdom of and reasons for the President's order -- a proclamation which is in his power to make based on the above law.

Whether such an order was wisely drafted or not is not within the power of the courts to review, because such an order is the President's responsibility. Indeed, his decision can be based upon confidential information to which only he has access and which he can not or should not make public.

It can not be as a matter of Constitutional Law that local or appellate judges can play U.S. President by second-guessing the reasons for which a President exercises his lawful powers, as granted by the Constitution and the Congress.

The only legal question here is whether the President has the power to issue the order that he has issued, and that is eminently clear based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. He has that power.

That some judge or judges on some court of the land would handle the matter differently is equally clear, but they are not the President, and they are usurping powers in this matter that they do not have, and so the U.S. Supreme Court should decide, once the matter gets to that level of jurisprudence.

Imagine what chaos would ensue if any and all Presidential powers could be limited nationally by some local judge out there who thought differently about the President's actions and orders.

Presidential orders are not at the mercy of local judges. This is because law at this level of the separation of powers can not not be a chaotic button-button, who's got the button process, whereby some judge in the nation substitutes his opinion for that of the President of the United States.

Again, whether the immigration order is a wise one or not is a different question, and one that must be solved within the political process. The legal question, however, is the power of the President. And that power is clear.


Record Germany Trade Surplus Surpasses China : What About Future Trumponomics?

Germany posts record trade surplus: is it exploiting the euro? is the title of an article by Szu Ping Chan at The Telegraph (registration required to view one free premium article per week). Hat tip to CaryGEE.

How will that look in the future in the face of the economic policies expected to be followed by President Trump's administration, known as Trumponomics?




Thursday, February 09, 2017

Trump is Winning ... Again ... as Independent Voters Grow Wary of His Screeching Opponents

The Spectator has it right in Trump has his enemies just where he likes them, writing:
"[T]he US President has perfected the art of winding up his critics to the point that they begin to sound even less reasonable than him. Thus he ensures that, while he will never convince many Democrats that he is their president, support among his own supporters remains solid, and independent voters grow wary of his opponents. Trump built his candidacy around the conceit that a war needs fighting against the liberal elite that has lost bearing on reality, and that elite seems only too keen to prove him right." [emphasis added]
As political centrists, we  emphasize particularly the phrase ... "and independent voters grow wary of his opponents". Exactly.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Betsy DeVos and the Future of the American Educational System

At POLITICO Magazine, Zack Stanton has a very readable piece titled How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics.

A more useful title might have been: "How Does One Reform the U.S. Educational System? Is the Charter School Option Championed by Betsy DeVos a Viable K-12 Reform Alternative?"

We ourselves do not look at the American educational system politically.

Indeed, we think that the USA still leads the world in the quality of its top colleges and universities. That ranking, however, is the result of institutional money investment in education at the highest levels of teaching and research.

Things do not look that good in the public school systems, however, and we share an opinion about American K-12 public schools that we have heard from German foreign exchange students when they return to Germany to tell about their educational experiences in the USA.

Needless to say, the opinions we have heard about the educational level of some American public high schools have sometimes been nothing short of devastating. We say "some" and "sometimes" because there are of course also shining exceptions. But they are not the rule.

A public education system can not be based on wishful thinking. If the overall results are not as high as they should be, then the system and its priorities must be changed as quickly as possible.

Just consider for a moment what American society currently values in their educational system.

The highest-paid public employee in 39 US states is either a football or men's basketball coach! That tells us something important about our priorities.

We are by no means against athletics in education, quite the contrary.

We champion Stanford University regularly for its top college athletic program. See Reigning Champion Stanford University Leads the Division I Learfield Directors’ Cup Fall Standings for College Athletics.

But that athletic ranking corresponds to Stanford's academic ranking as well.

Mind, body and spirit must ALL be amply promoted by the educational system. There is still a long way to go to reach that objective for everyone.

Change is in the air, and change is necessary.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Federal Appointments and the Abolition of The Filibuster - plus - Is the Washington Post Going to Pass the New York Times?

Charles Krauthammer has a winning piece at the Washington Post on the abolition of the filibuster in Thank God for Harry Reid.

Is this the era where the Washington Post passes the now overly partisan New York Times as the best newspaper in the land? The long-time top journalist Krauthammer would be pleased.

As written by Nat Levy at GeekWire about the acquisition of the Washington Post by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in The Jeff Bezos effect? Washington Post is profitable and set to hire dozens of journalists in 2017:

"While many daily newspapers are struggling and cutting staff as a result, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post is growing rapidly."

Indeed, we find ourselves reading the Washington Post more these days and the "screeching" New York Times less. Newspapers should just report the news and let the readers do the screeching.... Just sayin'....


Chill It on Trump Over-Critical Hype, Says Jeopardy Celebrity Champ Tom Nichols at the Washington Post

Jeopardy Celebrity Champ Tom Nichols has it right at the Washington Post in Chill, America. Not every Trump outrage is outrageous.

Nichols is a very smart guy so it pays to read what he writes....

As written at the Wikipedia:

"Tom Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, at the Harvard Extension School, a Sovietologist, and a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion."

The Jeopardy bit sounds good and appears to be true.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.


It Ain't Over 'Til Its Over! The Already Legendary Super Bowl 51 - Boston Patriots 34 Atlanta Falcons 28 - A Game for the Ages

It Ain't Over 'Til Its Over!
Super Bowl 51 - Boston Patriots 34 Atlanta Falcons 28
Take a look at the headlines below about a miraculous game
in which the Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit:

NFL official online site - Patriots make Super Bowl history

Sports Illustrated - Legendary!

ESPN - Tom Brady is the greatest of all time. Period.

Fox Sports  - Tom Brady passed Michael Jordan as the greatest clutch player ever

Boston Herald - This removes all doubt, Tom Brady is the greatest

Boston Globe - In a comeback for the ages, Patriots beat Falcons in heart-pounding Super Bowl

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - The Falcons lose the most Atlanta game ever
 
Nunzio Ingrassia @Nunzioforwork at FoxSports.com
The best newspaper headlines from the Patriots’ Super Bowl win

Scrapped headlines of early newspaper editions pronouncing Atlanta as the game winner.

We would say in summary,
the game showed tremendous leadership at quarterback,
there was great team effort on both sides of the ball,
and a great job of coaching on the sidelines!

And, hey, Atlanta did pretty well too, you know.
The game did go into overtime.

Well done.
This is sports entertainment at its peak.
Congratulations to both teams for this show!
Thank you!


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Metropolitan Museum in New York City in Financial Difficulty ... A Sign of the Times?

Met Museum in Decline? is a question posed by Robin Pogrebin at the New York Times regarding the financially troubled Metropolitan Museum in NYC.

We are certain that such a great institution as the Met will ultimately recover and prosper down the road -- after returning to its core responsibilities -- but its financial difficulties in our opinion may mirror severe similar problems found throughout a "liberal" U.S. society too often marked by what we view as skewed "mainstream" hype, hubris and overreaching (i.e. allegedly "politically correct" activism that extends far beyond "legitimate" duties and roles).

The prevailing "populist" revolt in the USA, the United Kingdom's ongoing path to Brexit, plus strong political populist unrest in Europe in general, seem to reflect an inevitable pendulum swing in mass popular opinion -- a movement which appears to be based on an instinctive, underlying need of the affected nations' inhabitants to restore a sensible balance of powers and interests.

We are not against "liberalism" as such, but it represents at best, only half the world. When the other half is forgotten, trouble ensues.

For example, reporters at the New York Times in their recent political reporting have totally forgotten that something like 60 million voters in the USA are not against the new U.S. President but are likely rooting privately: "Go Trump!".

Where in the pages of the world's leading newspaper is that reported? Either you report the REAL news, i.e. what is actually happening "out there" and not necessarily what media people at the NY Times WANT to happen, or, you become like the Met, a once major player left behind by the times....

The Met may thus not be any kind of a special exception. We ourselves are reading the New York Times less and less these days, because their news reporting has become more and more partisan and vastly overreaching in terms of their actual "news" responsibilities.




Thursday, February 02, 2017

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill Passes House of Commons Easily and Goes to the House of Lords: Brexit Timetable at The Telegraph

We wrote previously in The Forthcoming Brexit Decision of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom that the Supreme Court would require an Act of Parliament to trigger Brexit and that "Quick approval for Brexit from the House of Commons is considered likely, but gaining such approval from the House of Lords will be more difficult."

As written at The Telegraph by Laura Hughes in Brexit timetable: What happens next in Britain's exit from the EU?, Brexit has in fact quickly and easily passed the House of Commons:
"The European Union (Notification Of Withdrawal) Bill will allow the Prime Minister to invoke Article 50 of the EU treaties and was backed by 498 MPs to 114, a majority of 384, at second reading in the House of Commons, its first stage."
That Bill goes to the House of Lords for debate:
"European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

A bill to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

(1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

(2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.

2 Short title

This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017."
We have problems with the all-encompassing wording of the bill in its statement that "(2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment."

The core idea of requiring an Act of Parliament to permit triggering of Brexit is not only to accord by the demands of representative government but also to make sure that all rights and obligations previously in force as a Member of the EU have been examined thoroughly and handled in accordance with the laws in effect.

Obviously, the UK has sovereign power to leave the EU, but the process can not be helter-skelter in terms of legal analysis of the status quo, the obligations that must be fulfilled, and how they are to be fulfilled.

For some of the complex problems involved in leaving the EU, take a look at The Great Repeal Bill in The Law and Brexit at the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

See The Telegraph's Brexit timetable: What happens next in Britain's exit from the EU?, for a schedule of anticipated dates of action.

We expect the peers of the House of Lords to be critical in their debate of the Brexit Bill.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch Nominated to the Supreme Court by U.S. President Donald Trump

Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been nominated by President Donald Trump to the now empty United States Supreme Court Justice seat vacated by the passage of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Debra Cassens Weiss has the story for the ABA Journal at Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court.

Gorsuch is a conservative with impeccable academic credentials. He has been our favorite of the persons listed on Trump's short list for the vacant Supreme Court position and so - as a political centrist - we are pleased with his nomination.

Weiss writes in quoting Judge Gorsuch:
"“When we judges don our robes,” Gorsuch said, “it doesn’t make us any smarter. But it does serve as a reminder of what’s expected of us: impartiality, independence, collegiality and courage.” A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, he said, because the judge stretches for the results he prefers rather than those the law demands."
Looks like an excellent judge to us, regardless of one's political persuasion.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Forthcoming Brexit Decision of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

British newspapers in the past few days (e.g. The Telegraph) have reported that the decision of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on the Article 50 'Brexit' Appeal is scheduled to be issued to the public at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Expert expectations regarding the Supreme Court decision are that a Parliament vote on Brexit will be required to trigger an Article 50 exit, i.e. it is expected that the Justices will rule that Prime Minister Theresa May's government does not have the prerogative power to trigger Article 50 and that this can only be done by an Act of Parliament.

We posted previously that Brexit is Likely Not a Legal EU Exit Without UK Parliament Approval as Required by British Constitutional Law Principles.

Achieving that objective after the court's pending decision may be easier said than done. The Court might even create more requirements.

Quick approval for Brexit from the House of Commons is considered likely, but gaining such approval from the House of Lords will be more difficult.

British Prime Minister Theresa May already backed down last year from alienating the House of Lords. Rob Merrick at The Independent wrote an article last year headlined: Theresa May backs out of fight to curb House of Lords power over Article 50 delay fears: A move to strip peers of their right to veto 'statutory instruments' has been abandoned, sources say - in an attempt to calm their anger over Brexit.

We do not expect the House of Lords to "rubber stamp" Brexit. They are the powerful "unknowns" in the entire Brexit equation.

Many people have assumed that the UK exit from the EU was settled by the Brexit referendum, but they have greatly underestimated the massive long-term legal, economic and political infrastructure that any political and economic alliance involves, especially something as massive as the European Union.

One need remember that the Brexit referendum has no direct force of law and is considered politically "advisory" only. Of course, its populist "yes" result has strong political force as regards the prevailing government in power, but that is not the same as the rule of law. Indeed, political referendums have been ignored by governments before.

Indeed, even if Brexit actually occurs down the road, the long-term negative repercussions on the United Kingdom will be severe for many years.

That is why democracies have "representative" governments -- to assure the continuity of policies and the orderly handling of things, according to the law.

Many people in the United Kingdom have already incurred large, unexpected financial losses as a consequence of the negative expectations raised by the prospect of Brexit.

We recently talked to someone who attends a (previously) very popular "European" trade fair in the UK every year. This time around that same trade fair was "virtually empty".

Similarly, tourism to the UK has in the past been composed to 67% of visitors from the European Union, who spend billions in the UK. Many tourist-dependent enterprises worry that the future will bring fewer EU visitors.

The inevitable solution in such a case of course will be to recruit tourists from far-off lands, meaning that the goal of having fewer foreigners or less foreign influence in the UK, a main objective of Brexit, may not be achieved at all.

It is also no coincidence that British Prime Minister May will be the first foreign dignitary to visit newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. and that trade is scheduled to be a big topic. Brexit will put the UK into a more isolated position economically, so that they will have to find new markets.

It all reminds a bit of the problems faced by the former Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was excommunicated by Pope Pius V, barring England economically from then predominantly Roman Catholic Europe. Elizabeth had to turn to establishing economic relations with non-Christian empires in the Near East to supplant the lost European trade, which brought much foreign influence into Britain.

If the majority of people in the United Kingdom continue to support disengagement from the European Union, obviously, democratic principles require that Brexit ultimately be implemented, but it is a complicated business that can not be executed until the future-necessitated legal details have been correctly legislated and the existing legal obligations fulfilled.

It will in any case be interesting to see how the drama unfolds.

The Star Map Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia

The "Sky Map" viz. "Star Map" Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia has figures that show definite similarities to the lower half of Avebury Stone #10, e.g. serpent, whale.

We made this decipherment in the year 2004. It deciphers a dolmen in the "Seida" complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia. The island is located about 20 kilometers east of the city of Kem. Though of course previously known to the Lapps, Vottovaara was first discovered as an archaeological site in modern times only in 1992. The sky map has similarities to the carvings on the lower half of Avebury Stone #10:

The Karelia Sky Map Dolmen as Deciphered by Andis Kaulins


For Comparison: Avebury Stone #10 at Avebury Henge
Deciphered as "The Summer Solstice Stone" by Andis Kaulins






The Star Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia is Oriented to the Milky Way

The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia was one of our very early astronomical decipherments. We were then examining the origins of Pharaonic civilization in the ancient rock art of pre-historic Norse seafarers. We made the possible connection because the Egyptian wadis have "seafaring" rock art similar to ancient "seafaring" Norse rock art.

We think the Planisphere of Staraya Zalavruga in Karelia, Russia, could be even older than the Hermitage Planisphere. We deciphered this star map also in the year 2002 as marking stars oriented to the Milky Way and preceding some similar features later found in Pharaonic civilization. Provisionally, we date it to ca. 4000 B.C.


The Hermitage Planisphere : An Ancient Milky-Way Oriented Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia

 In the year 2002, we deciphered "The Hermitage Planisphere" viz. "Sky Map" of Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia, now found in the Hermitage Museum in St. Peterburg, as marking the stars of the Milky Way. As we wrote there:

"The Hermitage Planisphere is painted on rock. The outer periphery line of the rock represents the Milky Way and the figures show stars, i.e. the stellar constellations WITHIN it."

The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia -- Decipherment by Andis Kaulins


This was an early decipherment showing that the Milky Way was a major point of focus for ancient skywatchers. The spatula-like figure to the right, based on similar such spatulas carved on megaliths at other megalithic sites, points to an Equinox or Solstice point in the stars.

Avebury Henge, The Sanctuary & the Cosmological viz. Religious Pre-Christian Belief System in Ancient Britain ca. 3000-2500 BC

We are putting finishing touches on our book about the Avebury Henge Stones and present here an excerpt from the section titled: Avebury Henge Stone #10 As the First Deciphered Megalith, which contains new materials regarding the cosmological viz. religious significance of Avebury in its era.

Avebury Stone #10 was the first Avebury Henge megalith that we deciphered, and we knew then that we were on to something extraordinary in terms of human history. We initially pre-announced the forthcoming book at the Ancient World Blog at http://ancientworldblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/introducing-avebury-stones-of-avebury.html. We now present some new aspects here.

Our decipherment of Avebury Henge Stone #10 provides us with key insights into the astronomically-oriented "pre-Christian" cosmological viz. religious belief system of the peoples of Ancient Britain, viz. the peoples in Ancient Britain who created the Avebury Henge Stones & Circles and the related megalithic sites, including Stonehenge, the latter site which also shows later vestiges of the same original belief system found at Avebury.

As we can surmise from our decipherment of Avebury Henge in particular and Avebury Stone #10 specifically (and of course, also from decipherments of the other Avebury stones as well), the origin of the ancient cosmological viz. religious belief system of Ancient Britain was astronomical in foundation.

The "gods" of Ancient Britain were "in "heaven, which we allege are still found today in names such as "Ave" and "Avon" ["Heaven"]. "Avebury" was indeed surely in part an "Ave-Bury", a "heaven's-oriented burial ground".

As we know from our Stonehenge decipherment, whose publication is also being prepared at this same time, the ancients placed the origins of their souls in the heavens, indeed, at the galactic center of their Milky Way galaxy.

The "realm of the living" at Avebury was represented by the Avebury Henge earthwork, which represented the Milky Way, with its megaliths as the stars of the Milky Way and the stars within the elliptical enclosure of the Milky Way.

The stars beyond the Milky Way represented the ocean of the underworld. The far depths of stars at Puppis (Apophis) were viewed as the deep "realm of the deceased", similar to the ancient Egyptian mythological demon Apep (Apophis), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apep, representing the giant serpent of the deep that was regarded to consume the mortal remains of the dead.

Apophis (Apep) at the stars of Puppis is represented in the ancient Avebury landscape by The Sanctuary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sanctuary, a giant serpent-shaped construction. It was the place where the mortal remains of the deceased were arguably placed for all eternity. Indeed, many bones have been found there. As written about The Sanctuary at the Wikipedia:

"The site was largely destroyed in 1723 although not before William Stukeley was able to visit and draw it. Stukeley considered the stones at The Sanctuary to represent the head of a giant pagan serpent marked out by the Kennet and Beckhampton Avenues."

At Avebury, the avenue known as Kennet Avenue or West Kennet Avenue -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennet_Avenue -- leads from the realm of the living – Avebury Henge – to the proverbial giant serpent that figuratively consumed the deceased at The Sanctuary. This was surely the path taken by ancient funeral processions in that era from Avebury Henge to The Sanctuary. Stones as human figures to the side of Kennet Avenue are arguably memorials. The word "kennen" in German means "to know someone", which suggests that these figures of Kennet Avenue were "people once known". Perhaps these were the royal couples.

Click the pic to obtain a larger image of the photograph of the
Henge-Outward Face of Avebury Megalith #10 -- see "the break" ?


Avebury Stone #10 shows that the realm of the living and realm of the deceased were also set apart by the basic lines formed by important astronomical parameters, which in turn then also defined how the ancients viewed the stars in their imagined asterisms.

 Decipherment of the Henge-Outward Faceof Avebury Megalith #10


The "center" of the realm of the living was represented by the circumpolar stars at midheaven, around which all the stars seemed to revolve. On Avebury Stone #10, Boötes is represented as the creative phallic force of heaven. Ursa Major marks the heads of humanity as the living beings depicted in stone, with their heads above the Galactic Meridian, showing the eternal life of the soul. Leo marked their human progeny. Ursa Major was arguably seen as the "cup of life" of the living.

Hydra was drawn as a surface-based serpent that marked the Celestial Equator. That Celestial Equator is not fixed, but varies due to axial precession.  In ca. 3000 B.C., Hydra marked the Celestial Equator almost exactly from head to tail.

The horizontal stone "break" viz. overlapping stone "projection" on Avebury Stone #10 is found in the middle of the front (henge-outward) face of the stone and thus clearly marks Hydra, which is drawn on Avebury Stone #10 with its head pointing to the left, rather than to the right, as is modernly done. It was this strange break in the stone that led us to decipher Avebury Stone #10 before the other stones because we were intrigued to discover why the ancients would do that, which we did not know at that time.

Below Hydra are two large figures and several smaller ones. To the left, a large leg and foot marking the "base" of the galaxy, the known universe, as it were, with the heel of the foot set firmly on the Galactic Equator at Crux, the Southern Cross, at the thinnest part of the Milky Way ellipse. The other large figure to the right is the head of a whale, Physeter macrocephalus, today known as "the sperm whale", marking the watery realm of the underworld.

Alpha 1 Crucis ("ACrux") is the brightest star in Crux and the 13th brightest star in the heavens. It is the "bottom" star of the Southern Cross and sits virtually on the Galactic Equator, which -- as shown by our analysis -- the ancients regarded as one of their fundamental astronomical bases. ACrux was still completely visible at Avebury ca. 2800 B.C. but soon thereafter started to drop into invisibility because of axial precession.

Click the pic to obtain a larger image


An ancient Milky-Way-oriented astronomical system as found at Avebury has some astronomical comparables in northern Europe. We provide three examples of our deciphered ancient star maps from Karelia, Russia in the next three postings:
  • The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia
  • The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia (An Early Astronomical Decipherment)
  • The Sky Map Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia : The Figures on the Dolmen Show Star Similarities to Avebury Stone #10
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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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