Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Blogs > Len Myers
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

Browse Open Actuarial Jobs

Life  Health  Casualty  Pension  Entry Level  All Jobs  Salaries


Rate this Entry

The beginnings of a manifesto.

Posted 09-08-2015 at 07:47 PM by Len Myers
Updated 10-14-2015 at 11:41 PM by Len Myers

Right now, these are isolated thoughts, of varying quality, and some certainly poor.

Perhaps it will be feasible -- or even desirable -- to bind them coherently, but perhaps not. Time will tell.

Some of them will certainly have to be refined or even discarded. The question is: which?!

Welcome, readers. I'm not putting these posts into my sob story because they don't advance that narrative. You wanna read this crap, go ahead. You don't wanna read it? You can still enjoy my harrowing misadventures and mistreatment at the hands of an indifferent bureaucracy and its servant-for-$$$, The Abattoir.
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 270862 Comments 81
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 81

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Drunk driving laws were sold as "They're going to crash into you or run you over. Let's fine and imprison them." So of course, the laws have expanded. Ride a horse drunk? Prosecution. Ride a golf cart drunk? Prosecution. Ride a bicycle while drunk? Prosecution.

    It's worse than that. Crawl into your car, while drunk, and don't actually drive it? If you can get to the keys, prosecution, in some states.

    Surely it's a bad thing to endanger lives, and doing so merits fines, whipping, or imprisonment. Let's confine prosecutions for things that actually hurt, or could hurt people.
    Posted 10-23-2015 at 09:09 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    It would appear that the US is edging into global... what's the word... Universal Jurisdiction. At least in cyberspace.

    Quote:
    The main aim of the amendment to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa), which passed a key Senate hurdle on Thursday, is to lower the barrier for prosecuting crimes committed abroad. But the amended law would make it a crime punishable by US prison time not merely to clone the credit card or steal the Netflix password of an American citizen, but to take unauthorized information from any American company, no matter where it happens.

    In other words, if a French national hacks a Spanish national’s MasterCard, she could be subject to 10 years in US prison under laws changed by the bill.
    As if our legal system doesn't have enough on its plate, and is doing so well with it.
    Posted 10-23-2015 at 09:13 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Grow up, America! A student is being charged with assault for throwing a baby carrot at a teacher.

    Quote:
    "If it's a soft carrot, it may not be as offensive,” said CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone. “But if it's a raw carrot, you don't have to have an injury or show you were hurt to prove a battery. It just has to be an offensive, vindictive touch. That's what the law says."
    To be fair, the "baby carrot" actually hit the teacher in the forehead.
    Posted 10-23-2015 at 09:36 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Never go into a casino. If you lose, you lose, and if you win, the casino will try to hold onto the money. Cases in point: Borgata in Atlantic City and Crockford's in London.

    He never even touched the equipment, they accused him of cheating, Crockfords declined to pay, and while Borgata paid, they sued and even destroyed the evidence.

    Why private casinos are permitted to exist is beyond me. Why people go to casinos is evidence that they're stupid.
    Posted 10-23-2015 at 05:59 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    National Review Online published an article by Conrad Black that I would find eye-opening, save that I've seen much of this -- or at least related things -- before.

    You are welcome to disparage Conrad Black if you like, but consider whether the facts are accurate and presented fairly.

    Quote:
    ... A panel of three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in January, in Pasadena, Calif., erupted when California’s deputy attorney general asked the judge to uphold two murder convictions from 1995 against a man, Johnny Baca, despite lower courts’ having concluded that prosecutors had secured the convictions with false evidence. Judge Alex Kozinski said that if the state’s attorney general, Kamala Harris (a candidate for the U.S. Senate), did not abandon the case, the court would “name names.”

    The hearing was posted online, under a new court policy, and lawyers circulated the video until it became a statewide cause cÚlŔbre, as the facts were laid bare to show a brazen use of admittedly false evidence to secure a conviction, and no resulting investigation of the prosecutors or disciplinary action against them.
    Oh, yeah, there's more.

    This appears to be the video in question. As another site (Virginia Appellate Law) observed
    Quote:
    Skip ahead to 16:03, and be sure to watch all the way to the end. Otherwise, you’ll miss the part where Judge Kozinski stops flogging the poor lawyer and actually starts flaying him alive. It’s as brutal a thing as I’ve ever seen in a courtroom...
    Posted 10-25-2015 at 12:51 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 10-25-2015 at 01:00 AM by Len Myers
  6. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    The US government really, really doesn't like the constitution.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 4th Amendment
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Except for the "Administrative Subpoena." Lots and lots of government agencies don't even need to go to a judge to search your power usage, even if you aren't a law enforcement target! And...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wired
    ...FBI agents given such powers under the Patriot Act quickly began to abuse them and illegally collected Americans’ communications records, including those of reporters. Two scathing reports from the Justice Department’s Inspector General uncovered routine and pervasive illegal use of administrative subpoenas by FBI anti-terrorism agents given nearly carte blanche authority to demand records about Americans’ communications with no supervision.
    Posted 10-26-2015 at 06:31 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    As noted elsewhere, the combination of "no child left behind" and "no corporal punishment" means that kids can act like jerks with impunity -- until the cops arrive, arresting and/or tasing the little darlings. Surely it would be better to let teachers administer discipline, even given that some will abuse it.

    It would also be wise to let the worst-of-the-worst-behaving (and worst IQ'ed) kids fall behind. Evolution is a bitch and a half.

    As for those who are partially disabled, but can still learn. let 'em. There are programs for such, and at this moment the sticking point is that the local school district has to pay for 'em. That's silly, and causes big, silly problems that should never have arisen in the first place. Let the Feds pay, and if necessary, collect from the local school districts at large, as a form of insurance.
    Posted 10-28-2015 at 01:57 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 10-28-2015 at 02:02 PM by Len Myers
  8. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    For a heart-wrenching story of how bureaucrats can **** up your life, I give you the several-year-old story of Megan McArdle and her dealings with the State, err, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's DMV after she had a Rolling Rock years before she even attempted to obtain a drivers' license.

    First article, in which the 19-year-old reprobate has a brush with beer. Second article, in which she attempts to purchase and register a car. Because of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its attendant screwups, it takes her months. At least she's a good enough author to add a certain amount of humor to what was an awful, continuing incident.
    Posted 10-30-2015 at 11:12 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    It's not hard to admit that the US legal system is seriously dysfunctional. And that's the stated theory behind private binding arbitration, enforced by contract.

    But that's not the real story, of course. Because in binding arbitration, the corporation, can decide how to funnel its future business. The arbitrator, of course, is aware of this, and so, the corporation effectively owns the private judge.

    Quote:
    During the proceedings, the practice withheld crucial evidence, including audiotapes it destroyed, according to interviews and documents. Ms. Pierce thought things could not get any worse until a doctor reversed testimony she had given in Ms. Pierce’s favor. The reason: Male colleagues had “clarified” her memory...

    Little is known about arbitration because the proceedings are confidential and the federal government does not require cases to be reported. The secretive nature of the process makes it difficult to ascertain how fairly the proceedings are conducted...

    Unfettered by strict judicial rules against conflicts of interest, companies can steer cases to friendly arbitrators. In turn, interviews and records show, some arbitrators cultivate close ties with companies to get business....

    But in interviews with The Times, more than three dozen arbitrators described how they felt beholden to companies. Beneath every decision, the arbitrators said, was the threat of losing business....

    For Ms. Pierce, the most astounding moment came when her lawyers asked Mr. Kalogredis to sanction the defense for breaking the rules of discovery and destroying evidence. He fined the defense $1,000 after investigating the matter, then billed Ms. Pierce $2,000 for the time it took him to look into it.
    It might be possible to repair binding arbitration -- at the very least it should be non-secretive. But at the moment, it's a scam. "Deal with us entirely on our terms and let us screw you, if we want or don't deal with us at all." is what it says today.
    Posted 11-01-2015 at 07:19 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    If you enjoy the benefits of being a sociopath, The United Nations is the place to work!

    I can't recount the number of dastardly things that I've read over the years attributable to UN staff and soldiers: Rape, Drugs, Child Porn, the list goes on and on and on.
    Posted 11-01-2015 at 07:58 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    The SFBs that try to regulate our speech patterns are off to new levels of silliness, suggesting ever-so-gently that.. and here I must quote:
    Quote:
    In a recent thread on NextDoor, a group of neighbors living in the Noe Valley-Glen Park area were engaged in a discussion around the city's crime and debated whether labeling a person who commits petty theft as a "criminal" is offensive.

    In the site's Crime and Safety area, where residents share strategies for fighting crime, Malkia Cyril of S.F. suggests that her neighbors stop using the label because it shows lack of empathy and understanding.

    Cyril pointed out that instead of calling the thief who took the bicycle from your garage a criminal, you could be more respectful and call him or her "the person who stole my bicycle."

    "I [suggest] that people who commit property crimes are human and deserved to be referred to in terms that acknowledge that," Cyril, who's the executive director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland, writes in the thread.

    "I think we should think twice before speaking in disparaging terms about 'those criminals,'" she adds later in the thread.

    Cyril started the thread because she wanted to shift the NextDoor conversations about security cameras, alarms and the police to more thoughtful discussions about strategies for addressing the cause of crime. In her posts, she blames our societal problems — gentrification, economic inequality, lack of affordable housing, the defunding of public schools — for pushing people into lives of crime.
    I won't deny that there are root causes of crime. It's true that economic opportunity is taken away from us by our betters. But the fundamental root cause of crime is a willingness to kill, harm, or steal.
    Posted 11-02-2015 at 06:00 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    I think I've said that some things are worse than murder, and child abuse heads that list. Having said that, there's more than a small amount of evidence that post-prison sex-offender registries, which, for a lifetime, conflate long-term child abuse with
    • streaking,
    • public urination,
    • nude selfies,
    • "romeo and juliet"-style consensual sex,
    • rape rape, and
    • single alleged acts of child abuse, generally in a setting of post-marital squabbling
    , are an idea gone very wrong.

    And I don't know what to do.

    I'm going to start with a suggestion that actual sexual abuse / torture of actual children be punished cruelly and severely, along the lines of death after a year of torture. I think that we can safely determine whether a child is objecting, if this is caught on video, and at least some of the time, catching the abuse on video is the whole point.

    I suppose it's possible that for the target market being able to view such despicability for free could reduce the incidence of actual child rape, much as porn has reduced the incidence of classical rape, and, however disgusting the idea is, if it's true that pedophile viewing of child porn sates their desire to commit child porn, then let's use videos to diffuse those urges. We could even entertain the possibility of "Pedophile Colonies" along the lines of "Leper Colonies."

    LIkewise for rape rape, (the Goldberg (Whoopie)) categorization. I suppose we're getting to the point that everyone needs to have his/her own sex-cam, streaming in real time, so that allegations can be sorted out. Certainly the law should absolutely discount any post-facto allegations made more than... two days later, barring physical prevention.
    ___

    It's worse than you think. According to WaPo, this whole sordid mess started when Psychology Today, in an unsourced (sort-of pre-internet 1986) article wrote
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WaPo
    The Practitioner’s Guide itself provides but one source for the claim, but it’s no scientific study. It’s a 1986 article from Psychology Today, a mass market magazine aimed at a lay audience, which had this sentence:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PT
    “Most untreated sex offenders released from prison go on to commit more offenses–indeed, as many as 80% do.”
    Freeman-Longo, R., & Wall, R, Changing a lifetime of sexual crime, Psychology Today (1986). That sentence is a bare assertion with no supporting reference.

    Nor did its author have the scientific credentials needed to qualify at trial as an expert on recidivism. He was a counselor, not a scholar, and the article containing the sentence isn’t [even] about recidivism statistics. It’s about a counseling program for sex offenders he then ran in an Oregon prison. His unsupported assertion about the recidivism rate for untreated sex offenders was offered to contrast with his equally unsupported assertion about the lower recidivism rate for those who complete his program.
    Posted 11-03-2015 at 12:53 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 11-14-2015 at 10:32 PM by Len Myers
  13. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    One of the sordid things about the SJW movement is that they know they're lying, or are going to lie, and just can't help themselves when they think they can get away with it. Maybe "just can't help themselves" is a lazy turn of phrase. They're doing what they want to do.

    Case in point: Linus Torvalds. If you're familiar with open source software you know of him. He invented the Linux kernel and what became your Android OS. Among other things. He's a software God. So of course by reports that I can't evaluate:
    Quote:
    Raymond quoted excerpts from an online chat with a trusted source, who told him that the Ada Inititiative, a recently-discontinued feminist advocacy group in tech, was trying to “collect scalps” by concocting charges of attempted sexual assault against male software developers.

    The source told Raymond that the “MO” of the feminists was to “get alone with the target, and then immediately report attempted sexual assault.” The source said he had stopped mentoring female developers over fears that they might fabricate such charges.

    In another explosive claim, the source also alleged that Linus Torvalds, the renowned creator of the Linux kernel, perhaps the most famous example of open source software, is a top target of the Ada Initiative. “Linus is never alone at any conference,” claimed the source. “This is not because he lets fame go to his head and likes having a posse around. They have made multiple runs at him.”
    If you can't legitimately keep up, try to tear your target down. Sickening, perverted, and a fact of life.

    It's crap like this that makes some of the Islamic State executions seem almost appealing. Who are these people?!

    A substantial portion of Muslims are the same way. They know what the truth is, and systematically set about to hide it, for the greater good of the cause.
    Posted 11-04-2015 at 01:54 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 11-14-2015 at 09:42 PM by Len Myers
  14. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    referring to the Mizzou Campus hysterics, being surrounded by a hostile crowd or being impeded on one's path (if there's no reasonable way around) = assault.

    People who block public streets or, for instance, railroad tracks, deserve whatever others do to them. I'm not saying I'd do anything, but it ought to be codified.

    In general, minor defensive mayhem, perhaps applied with a little non- "oomph" should always be sanctioned by the courts; one's time and expenses to be borne (tripled) by the "Agents Provocateurs."
    Posted 11-14-2015 at 09:09 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 11-14-2015 at 09:25 PM by Len Myers
  15. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Flag Burning.

    Let's get a few things straight.
    • When a flag's useful life is over, it is appropriate to burn it in a dignified way; and
    • even if a flag is still fit for use, burning / pooping on, or stepping on a flag is absolutely free speech.

    It's free speech saying, "I don't like The United States and I want to leave, permanently." They should be accommodated, forthwith.

    Counterthought
    : Suppose one is very irritated with the actions of our dysfunctional political class. Solution: Let's make a flag for them, and poop, piss, stomp on and/or burn on that flag!

    I recommend a white "1%" in the corner on a field of US Currency Green, and alternating yellow and brown jagged stripes, with depictions of Carter and Obama in the striped foreground.
    Posted 11-14-2015 at 09:16 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 11-14-2015 at 09:22 PM by Len Myers
  16. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    No-Knock Raids are totally unnecessary in 99% of non-hostage situations. In practice, they're a license to murder under color of law. If a bunch of armed, screaming men dynamically break into your house for anything short of a need to save lives, there should be no penalty associated with killing the lot of them. 'nuff said.

    The common-law arrest mechanism is "Knock, announce, and wait a reasonable time." It's appropriate. Police, aided by tame judges, are doing whatever they can to abuse not-so-honest- and actually honest citizens. Because They Can.

    Judges should be on the hook for these travesties, as should the individual police, and their bosses as a collective unit.
    Posted 11-22-2015 at 08:10 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  17. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    The Boy Scouts. Everyone seems to want The Boy Scouts to exist, just not as they are, much in the way that increasing multitudes of California refugees want other states to exist -- as long as their governments resemble that of California.

    I say we adopt Canadian ideas and allow states to only import women or intact families from other states.
    Posted 11-23-2015 at 08:18 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    One sentence of the Constitution is eminently reasonable:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by US Constitution Article 1, section 9, in part
    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
    Yet tax law seems to be immune from the constitution. If taxes can be levied after-the fact, and assuredly they can (and are), then how can anyone regard his property as being safe?
    Posted 12-01-2015 at 07:25 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Stump v Sparkman (1978) is another on the long list of execrable supreme court rulings. The Wiki article has to be read to be believed.

    Certainly, as the Seventh Circuit ruled, a judge must, at the least, "observe 'elementary principles of due process.'" and if not, lose qualified immunity.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Justice White
    A judge is absolutely immune from liability for his judicial acts even if his exercise of authority is flawed by the commission of grave procedural errors.
    What self-serving bullshit.

    See how close this and the following case were in real time. It's one reason to get rid of Democrats in office and in the court system.
    Posted 12-04-2015 at 02:39 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 12-04-2015 at 02:48 AM by Len Myers
  20. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    While on the topic, Prosecutorial Immunity is also a Supreme Court fabrication out of whole cloth.

    [quote=wiki]Prosecutorial immunity is the absolute immunity that prosecutors in the United States have in initiating a prosecution and presenting the state's case. "Firming up what had long been held as common practice, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 ruled that prosecutors cannot face civil lawsuits for prosecutorial abuses, no matter how severe."[1] Prosecutors have qualified immunity in other activities such as advising police and speaking to the press.[2][3][4]
    Posted 12-04-2015 at 02:47 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 12-13-2015 at 11:33 PM by Len Myers (I should lean how to spell.)
 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.63297 seconds with 19 queries