About Me

My photo
This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Repudiating NAFTA

Years ago, I recall reading about the challenge to NAFTA, some arguing it is a "treaty," and thus wrongly negotiated. Seemed to me like a treaty (think commercial treaties of yore). A question, with various comments (including mine -- see especially the FAS links), involving a future President abrogating it is discussed here. Whatever the accepted rules, personally, generally think if two parties (Senate/President or Congress itself/President) requires entry, it takes both to exit, since revocation is in effect a new (opposite) agreement or treaty. Here there are rules and the President has delegated discretion. A lot more there.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Levy Family and Monticello, 1834-1923: Saving Thomas Jefferson's House

The author wrote a Brandeis biography and was in that video I talked about the other day. Found this book at the library, part of the story summarized here. It also talks about Monticello before and after. Interesting little footnote to history that touches upon bigger themes including antisemitism. Liked it more than one or more of the author's others.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Garden City: Dreams in a Kansas Town

Harper Lee helped investigate a famous couple of murderers involving a Kansas family and a biography referenced this book, the author's family having a cameo. It was published in the 1980s when the author in her early thirties, so one wonders about an update. We get a bit of that from this obit of her mother from a couple years ago. The book itself is a bit limited and plodding but interesting as a window into a life (second half are snapshots of others).

Further Reading

After reading a recent Brandeis bio, saw an event with the author that involved Brandeis scholar Philippa Strum. Interesting. Follow-up with two of her books, part of a constitutional case studies series -- Mendez v. Westminister (Mexican-American students in 1940s; Trump connection obvious) and the more well known Whitney v. California (weak on "why concurrence"). Interesting materials, somewhat tedious (especially the first) accounts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton Slogans (One Version)

If I had to guess the Hillary Slogans, they’d something like:

  •  Muscular Diplomacy as a first resort, Sane Limited Intervention as the last. (Not my favourite.) 
  • Sensible Economic Fairness (restrain the bad, support the good esp. at the bottom) 
  • Woman and Girl Issues Are Core * Social Justice Requires Listening and Respect.
  •  No One Will Work Harder For Everyone Something like that. 

(Just off the top of my head. If I did it again, I’d get a slightly different mix on domestic since there’s so much there.) (This is the positive message I’ve gleaned from her campaign.)

ETA: I would quibble with a lot of this or whether these are the right ones. She has a lot of policy thoughts. And detail is her style.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I'm sad

I am with her for three reasons, in this order: Trump is a clusterfuck, my party's platform and Clinton has intelligence and experience (including dealing with Republicans). Her flaws are also exaggerated. It's sad #1 isn't enough for more people. Now we have this: "Nation's largest police union endorses Trump." Including talk of how he is a "proven leader." WTF? Why should I complain when people protest police if your leadership is for a racist asshole?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Happy Endings Are All Alike

Book by YA and mystery writer Sandra Scoppetone from the 1970s (re-issued later) about two teen girls in a relationship and what happens when one is raped. We get viewpoints from a range of characters, which I like, including unpleasant ones like the rapist. Good overall; the rape chapter is visceral. Also, sense of dread as we wait for the attack.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jane Wants A Boyfriend

But, she has Asperger syndrome. Her sister is settling with a boyfriend and dealing with her first big break in a Shakespearean play, but then her parents says they are moving out of the city and wants her to take Jane. Turns out the answer is a sketchy co-worker who turns out to be deeper than first meets the eye. The couple are well portrayed and some reviews treat Eliza Dushku as the sister a bit unfairly. Overall, it isn't great, but enjoyable.