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Kee Hinckley
Fascinated by the boundaries of technology and social behavior.
Fascinated by the boundaries of technology and social behavior.

Kee's posts

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"In fact, independent courts were extremely important in stabilizing democracy. Often they were they only factor that made the difference between democracy and authoritarianism. The courts were more likely to prevent executive overreach and consolidation of power than other governmental institutions, most especially the legislature."
On the value of an independent judiciary

We often hear political outcry against "unelected judges" as being anti-democratic and a betrayal of what the People (i.e., the leaders) want.

But a study looking at judicial systems within democracies around the globe (including the US) finds that, especially in times of crisis, a independent judiciary helps restrain a creep toward authoritarianism -- serves as a check on executive power that reaches out too far.

That's regardless of politics. Executive overreach can come from the Left or the Right, for reasons that seem evil or reasons that seem good.

For that to work, though, the courts need to be seen as legitimate by the citizenry; they need to be respected by the political elites, and there needs to be healthy democratic competition. When those are lacking, the courts become weaker and less able to keep the democracy in balance and effectively restrain increased authority within branches of government.

The lesson being, if you see someone working to undermine those factors -- the legitimacy of the courts in representing the people, respect for the courts by the political elite, and a healthy and competitive democracy -- it's a harbinger of weaker courts, weaker rule of law, and increased authoritarianism. And that may be by design.

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This is the issue that Trump shouted down in his press conference.

If the CIA wants to get through to Trump, they need to set up a private TV channel just for him. Hire some newscasters. Hold talk shows. Invite guest speakers. Show graphic images.

I wonder what the breakdown is of Trump voters vs. non-Trump for whether they get their news from text or video.

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Presidents Day is a time to remember a lot of things

On this Presidents Day, a look back at Richard Nixon and Watergate, and a Nixon's "brazen and daring assault against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law."

It can happen. It did.

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My own theme today. "Grandmothers".

No joinindaily today as +Johnny Wills is out with health problems. Best wishes to him.

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NASA announces a major press conference on "a discovery beyond our solar system".

h/t +shadi fotouhi 

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Kansas gives up on trickle down. Cutting taxes on the rich drove them into debt, despite cutting services. How many times do we have to see this before reality overcomes idealism?
Finally, Republicans in Kansas have accepted that tax cuts for the wealthy have no magic.

Anyone else seen an uptick in spam calls? I used to get one a week, but more recently it's more like three a day. One of them likes calling with a number whose first six digits match mine (presumably to fool me into thinking it's someone local). The rest are random. From the few that leave a partial message on voicemail it appears to be the standard garbage. Resort scams. Retirement scams. Etc. I'm just curious why the uptick.

Does anyone offer a "prove you're a human" call forwarding service? Or I'd be happy with an option on my phone to send everyone to voicemail who isn't in my address book. That's what I'm doing; why can't my iPhone do it for me?

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Where the Booze Can Kill, and Putin Is Deemed a ‘Good Czar’

And of course he blamed foreigners for the ersatz vodka that makes up 20% of the market. Because that's what you do when your economy is bad and you want to stay in charge. 
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