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« Conspiracy Theories by the Dozen, Oh My! (updated 21may12) | Main | Happy Mother's Day »

13 May 2012


Michael Anderson

George, are you suggesting the Fourth Amendment isn't sufficient to the task?

Russ Steele

Numbers Don’t Lie, Politicians Do

Todd Juvinall

Hell, I think we need to profile everyone.

George Rebane

MichaelA 643am - are you saying that fugitive illegal aliens cannot be pursued by law enforcement officials while traveling the public highways and byways?

The question here is at what level of certainty does probable cause exist for determining that a crime has been committed.

Russ Steele

Will DOJ Discriminate? We will soon find out. They are going after Sheriff Joe, but now the question is will they go after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for the same imagined discrimination?

New York police conducted more than 200,000 frisk searches in the first three months of this year, a 10 percent increase from the same period last year, even as critics say the practice often is racial profiling.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have long defended the program as one that saves lives and has helped bring violent crime down to historic lows, making New York one of the safest big cities in America.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups say that black and Latino New Yorkers are stopped with alarming frequency, even though in the great majority of cases they are found to have done nothing wrong.

Last week, the organization released a study that found that in 2011, police performed more stop and frisk searches of young black men than the total number of young black men living in New York.

So far this year, almost all of the stops have involved men, while blacks made up more than half of the stops and a third involved Latinos. About one in ten of those stopped were white and 3 percent of the stops were Asian.

Michael Anderson

"The question here is at what level of certainty does probable cause exist for determining that a crime has been committed."

Exactly. And I am proposing that existing laws are adequate to the task.

Sheriff Joe is a bully; I don't believe his jihad against illegal aliens has anything to do with illegal aliens. They are just an easy target for him to manifest his personality flaw re. feelings of inadequacy (which is from what bullying behavior is usually derived).

I don't care for unrepentant bullies much.

George Rebane

MichaelA 923am - The only "existing laws (that) are adequate to the task" are the ones that are being enforced. Sadly, yet as predicted, you are again proudly displaying (and hiding behind?) your progressive colors.

Michael Anderson

What hiding are you talking about?

And why create more laws that will then also be unenforced? Sounds like enforcement is the problem, not the lack of laws.

Douglas Keachie

The basic flaw here is that cops have no way of knowing for sure that they have a car full of Hispanics who are not already USA citizens, who happen to be of Hispanic origin.

If we all had national ID cards that included simple internal biometric controls that would be checkable over the net you might avoid all the confusion. Car is stopped. ID's come out and are checked one by one, and anyone without national ID is detained for further investigation. All of the rest are let go, and receive an automatic $5 deduction of their Federal, and state, and local taxes, the last being paid at the local PD.

The end result would be a very careful consideration of what is or is not, "an illegal Hispanic," since the local $5 would come out of the local tax base.

Since we basically are way behind times on national ID, we can catch up to the Germans by using their system:

BTW, I don't think that anyone here is so stupid as to ignore the incredible amount of information on each and every one of us that has been and is continuing to be collected, by private companies in the USA. Quoting Scott McNealy of former Sun Microsystems again, for those who need a reminder:

"Get RSS Feed
Scott McNealy (Co-Founder, Sun Microsystems; Founder, offers entrepreneurial tips [Video and transcript]
Expert AdviceHighlightsVideos July 21st, 2011 — admin

At last month’s Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco, Scott McNealy, Co-Founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems shared his entrepreneurial wisdom in the welcome keynote. In addition to telling the story of the company’s beginning and reflecting on lessons learned since, he also talked about his newest venture, a non-profit called Curriki is the leading K-12 global online community for teachers, students and parents to create, share, and find open learning resources that improve teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. The site, which is summarized in this PowerPoint and PDF, is also highlighted in two case studies (case 1 / case 2).

You can watch McNealy’s speech or read the transcript below:

Summit Keynote:


Sun Microsystems’ Beginnings

I asked everyone at Endeavor what everybody wants to hear, and everyone said how we got started. I’m not sure that’s a terribly great story. It was four 27 year olds back in the olden days. We got to follow in the footsteps of Steve Jobs who was the first inexperienced, semi-ignorant, young, non-credentialed CEO to go found a company and really lay the groundwork. So when there were four 27 year olds who in 1982 went to get VC money, nobody batted an eye, even though I had three years business experience which was more than the other three founders combined. And we raised $4.5 million the first year. We started on February 24, we were profitable in May, we did $8.5 million in our first year, $39 million the second, $115 million the third, $250 million the next year, then it went to $510 million, and then $1 billion dollars, so that was kind of our growth ramp—I might have a couple dollars off.

Now how did it all happen? It was a Stanford and Berkeley University startup. Andy Bechtolsheim had invented the Stanford University Network Workstation under a grant while a PhD student at Stanford, and so it was the SUN network, so that’s how we got our name, on the Stanford University Workstation. And Andy was looking to get people to build his computer, his desktop workstation, but they weren’t really doing a good job; he was licensing it out to different people. And Vinod Khosla, my classmate from Stanford Business School, who I got to know mainly because he always seemed to be the last guy at every business school party–he found Andy and said to me, quit your job, let’s go start this company. And then we went to Berkeley and found the top software engineer for Unix from Berkeley named Bill Joy and the four of us started this. It was a nice combination of hardware, and software, and business school, somebody who had done it before and somebody who was inexperienced when we got started (that’s a joke). And the good thing about it is we didn’t know any better. Ignorance is bliss. That’s an important thing to remember. If you actually knew how hard it is you probably wouldn’t do it, so don’t worry about that.

Have a Controversial Strategy

I’d like to give you some suggestions, some quick ideas and thoughts to think about. Linda Rottenberg [Endeavor Co-founder and CEO] touched on the one I think is the most important and that’s the crazy thing. I’ve said for many, many years, you have to have a controversial strategy. It must be controversial. In fact, the more controversial, the better chance you have of making a lot of money. If everybody thinks what you’re doing is the right thing to do, everybody’s going to do it. Everybody does it, there’s no differentiation. If there’s no differentiation, there’s no pricing power. No pricing power, you’re not going to get a profit. No profit and you’re not going to be able to hire anybody, and you’re not going to make any money. It’s like walking into an interview and they say, “Why should we hire you?” And you say, “I breathe.” Fogging a mirror is not going to differentiate you at all. [hide-this-part morelink="Click here to show the rest"]

The real hard part about a controversial strategy is that it’s actually pretty easy to come up with a controversial strategy, but it has to be correct. Because a controversial strategy that is wrong, is just plain stupid! So, I can’t help you with that one, but don’t be alarmed if it’s controversial.

And our controversial strategy was to share. We used open interfaces, open technologies, open components, and really were able to, as we called it, build a Ferrari out of spare parts. It got us to market quickly, we had the whole world doing R&D for and with us…and against us, but it was a better strategy than trying to beat IBM, with their own mainframe technology which wasn’t possible.

Be Quotable, Be Memorable

The next point I would share with you besides being controversial is you’ve got to pick one of two strategies, and my suggestion is to be quotable. And to be loud and noisy and pick a fight. We always tried to pick a fight with the number one and number two company and say we were number three. And then we would make lots of noise.

And we used the media. And I would explain to the media, “Hey, I’m going to give you lots of good quotes; treat me right and I’ll bring you more.” And we had a little deal. And I said just make sure we’re on the front page, spell our names correctly, and I’ll give you lots of outrageous quotes. Because we couldn’t afford advertising. So people think I don’t like Bill Gates, but it was theater, really, truly. [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer and I went to school together, as did Gates and I. It was all theater, and you know quotes are how you get remembered and why I’m up here today.

People remember me for a quote a long time ago: “the network is the computer.” By the way, people are still figuring that out. I would encourage you to think about that because that should be part of your new entrepreneurial strategy. They call it “cloud” computing. Why didn’t I think of cloud in the 1980s? But, that is a big one.

Another one that is all the rage is a statement I made quite a while ago, which is: “You have no privacy; get over it.” And my Chief Privacy Officer just went crazy on me, because she thought it was the worst thing I could possibly say, but it’s obviously true. You have no privacy.

And interestingly enough, most of the new startups here in the Valley are all about invading your privacy. Figuring out how to profile you even more precisely than even you know. So using the cloud to invade your privacy tends to be the number one venture startup, other than using Obama’s stimulus money to do something green, which tends to be the other way people get things started."

George Rebane

MichaelA 1022am - AZ created its mirror image of the federal law covering illegal aliens in order to give its authorities the ability and duty to enforce that federal law which federal authorities do not enforce. I'm sure that even the lamestream has covered this with sufficient clarity.

Re 'hiding' - you have not addressed the question of my post, and have instead taken the anticipated sidetrack which was not addressed in the post, but which is much easier to discuss in terms of warm fuzzy personal feelings.

Brad Croul

Every time I have been stopped for something, the officer always requests, "license and registration please".

If they are illegal, they won't have a license. What would be the probability that they have a fake license?

What happens to someone caught driving without a license? The cops run a background check.

I would make sure I had my ID on me if I was of Hispanic descent. That is the best way to avoid suspicion.

Of the stops the sheriff makes, what is the percentage of the Hispanics that do not have proper ID, car insurance, registration?

George Rebane

BradC 1241pm - good points and question. Not having grounds for bias against Hispanic legal residents, I would estimate that those legals would evince the same percentage as non-Hispanic legals in carrying proper documentation while driving - i.e. close to 100%, except for the those who occasionally forget.

On the other hand, the Hispanic illegals would come in at close to zero percent (except for the rare excellent forgeries).

If the matter, as presented in this post, were explained to legal Hispanics in AZ, then I wager they would immediately understand and appreciate why the authorities behave as they do re verifying legal residence. There is no (prior) reason to automatically accuse a law abiding Hispanic of tolerating illegal aliens any more than any other loyal American would. And this should be doubly so if the illegal alien was another Hispanic whose presence causes him the extra hassle.

Michael Anderson

George, are you denying that Sheriff Joe is a bully?

Sorry I wasn't clear enough for you regarding what I meant about "existing laws." I was trying to make the same point that Brad made at 12:41 pm, 5/13/12.


The funny thing about AZ and probable cause to ask for papers is that the Feds, when they stop people, need no such pretense, so the AZ law is far more sensitive to the rights of citizens and legal residents to not be bothered.

My Irish-German bro in law who was a California State Park Ranger (a state cop just as a Highway Patrolman is) used to get stopped and hassled regularly by southern California INS backroad roadblocks in east San Diego County when he had his Tommy Chong style beard and wasn't driving a state vehicle.

George Rebane

MichaelA 711pm - IMHO that question is not only off the point, but beneath you.

Todd Juvinall

Based on MichaelA's Plame screed, maybe not.

Douglas Keachie

If you like to pay informal taxes and you are middle class, try driving without proof of insurance. While protesting something else some years back in Fairfield, I got to sit though most of a day's worth of victims. Drivers License, registration, and INSURANCE CARD, otherwise pay $700, or if you are broke with no registration, expired license, and on probation, a greatly reduced sum over time.

Michael Anderson

Nah, it's not beneath me. The Arizona illegals story is as much about Sheriff Joe than anything else.

Back to your post, if you are trying to use a math equation to put forward some sort of advanced theory of probably cause, I suppose you could do the same for just about anything. Meth users, embezzlers, people in the grocery story who are most likely to walk out w/o paying for there something wrong with the existing human-powered police tools that currently embody probable cause, such as noses and eyes and ears?

Sorry if I'm being a grumpy gus on this subject, but I view the trumped-up categories of illegal aliens and voter fraud as Things I Don't Need to Worry About Because They're Not Really a Problem.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1048pm - Bayesian analysis is not "some sort of advanced theory of probable(sic) cause", but the correct tool for assessing uncertainty in the process of making decisions based on reason. Every sector of human activity that has access to its capacity has adopted/embedded it in its products, policies, and planning - its use continues to spread like wildfire. But, as we see here, that doesn't guarantee that all older methods will not die hard.

Todd Juvinall

Sheriff Joe is effective in rooting out the criminals and illegals and the MA's are PO's because they want their votes, simple as that. Holder and Obama are pursuing the law in Arizona and in my opinion they will be rebuffed. State's rights are being released back to the states slowly by the SCOTUS. If they decide against Obamacae by reeling in the Commerce Clause abuses, we will see many more State's released from servitude.

Michael Anderson

"But, as we see here, that doesn't guarantee that all older methods will not die hard."

Will you be working to put forth an Amendment to the United States Constitution that replaces the 4th Amendment with Bayesian analysis?

Michael Anderson

Todd wrote: "Sheriff Joe is effective in rooting out the criminals and illegals and the MA's are PO's because they want their votes."

Yeah, it has nothing to do with justice or the 4th Amendment. It's just craven liberal behavior to screw conservatives, who are just normal people wanting to "take back their country."

Here's a couple of books I would recommend:

George Rebane

MichaelA 219pm - Your question is interesting, but perhaps not for the reason you intended. From Wikipedia -

"The Fourth Amendment has been held to mean that generally a warrant must be judicially sanctioned for a search or an arrest. In order for such a warrant to be considered reasonable, it must be supported by probable cause and be limited in scope according to specific information supplied by a person (usually a law enforcement officer) who has sworn by it and is therefore accountable to the issuing court. However, a dissenting school of thought often found in the opinions of Justice Antonin Scalia is that searches must simply be "reasonable," and the warrant requirement has been overly emphasized." (emphases mine)

Bayesian analysis in its most fundamental form just updates knowledge by computing a probability distribution based on a past distribution (knowledge) and new data/observations of known or proposed reliability. There is nothing in Bayes that will allow it to "replace" anything in the Constitution. And yet there is everything in Bayes that supports one in correctly adhering to the Constitution's prescriptions, especially as they relate to the application of reason and causality.

People who reject Bayes, reject the best formulations of reason, even if such reason has subjective progenitors. These folks place themselves in the category of the historic and spectacularly wrong pronouncements by notables who wanted to close the patent office, and who foresaw the extremely low utility of telephones and computers.

Then there is always the possibility that in explaining Bayes I didn't say it well enough for you to understand. If so, my apologies.

George Rebane

MichaelA 241pm - would you please connect some dots for us between your conceptions of Nazism and classical liberal thought (i.e. today's libertarian/conservatives)?

Todd Juvinall

I think I am missing something in MichaelA's outrage about the 4th Amendment. I seem to recall he supported NH2020 where a government agent could, without a warrant, enter your property to make an inventory of your possessions. Am I getting this right?


George, I realize conservatives get most all of their new and good ideas from libertarians, but the "libertarian/conservatives" line blurs the two. From my experience, the majority of conservatives want nothing to do with classic liberal thought except where it guarantees the rights for all to choose to live the life good Christians are told to live. Not so much to make other choices. They also tend to eschew limits on military adventurism, something that pains classic liberals in most cases.

George Rebane

Gregory 524pm - Actually, according to those who track these ideological fine lines, a conservative is the modern day label for the classical liberal of the school founded by Bastiat et al in the first half of the 19th century.

That today many conservatives are also Christians is another story, and one heartily highlighted by the Left in their desire to characterize the conservatives as knuckledragger regressives. The only thing those of us of the conservative hue insist on conserving is America and the Founders' ideas of governance contained in the Constitution as interpreted by their contemporary essays. As witnessed by history, classical liberals, aka today's conservatives, have included and embraced the most dynamic and innovative minds of the last two centuries.

During the time of Bastiat, conservatives were those who wanted to conserve the autocracies of monarchy and church, exactly opposed by the liberals of the day. The clever progressives that arose at the turn of the last century were able to convince many of the historically light (whose progeny are alive and well with us today) that the classical liberals were those same conservatives. In the process and with little opposition,they co-opted the name 'liberal', one of the permitted great marketing mistakes of modern history.

Classical liberals and today's conservatives have always been for a strong government of limited scope, that evince more than a tinge of national pride and culture. The sovereign nation-state is a holy of holies.

The libertarian movement moved away from the shibboleths of the modern conservatives in the de-emphasis of a strong government (while retaining its limited scope), the nationalistic nation-state, and especially participating in foreign escapades. At the same time they embraced extensive personal freedoms that were not to be encumbered even by cultural norms.

I call myself a conservetarian to indicate the amalgam of these two neighboring ideologies, tending toward the more laissez-faire structure of personal freedoms, yet wanting to practice those in a lawfully evolving sovereign nation-state that has no qualms in maintaining its global interests.

Anyway, in this short space that is my cut at it as it underpins my position and arguments in these pages.


"Actually, according to those who track these ideological fine lines, a conservative is the modern day label for the classical liberal of the school founded by Bastiat et al in the first half of the 19th century."

Actually, not. The Bastiat Institute disagrees with you:

George Rebane

Gregory 650pm - with all due respect, I think you're confusing a government of limited scope (i.e. the functions it legally performs) with the size of government. Having said that, I know of no conservative group with which I am familiar - and we are members of Cato, Heritage, American Enterprise, Hoover, and Mercatus, besides the Tea Party and (last and least) the Republican Party - that are overt proponents of big government or promote government size (regardless of its scope) in their policy and ideological literature.

This does not say that there is no self-described conservative who will so declare, yet they are definitely out of the mainstream conservative thinking. Frank Luntz, whom you may confuse with the Bastiat Institute, is a "conservative pollster" not on that institute's staff, nor a spokesman for it. The link is to a re-post from Reason Magazine published on the Bastiat site, apparently because it strikes a strident chord about long held conservative views. Good discussion topic though.

Michael Anderson

George wrote: "Then there is always the possibility that in explaining Bayes I didn't say it well enough for you to understand. If so, my apologies."

No apologies necessary, I understand Bayes just fine. And I agree with you that the formula you offered above would probably work very well with Scalia's interpretation of the 4th Amendment, in that "reasonable" searches are by definition reasonable.

Sorry to say, I have little use for Justice Scalia. I think it's nice that he and Justice Ginsberg attend the opera together, but my personal opinion is that he is the worst justice since McReynolds. And I am pretty rigid in my belief that the 4th Amendment requires probable cause, which I just don't see how Bayes can possibly address.

Michael Anderson

George asked, "...would you please connect some dots for us between your conceptions of Nazism and classical liberal thought (i.e. today's libertarian/conservatives)?"

First of all, Nazism was a form of fascism (i.e. state-directed, highly regulated, closed market economy) that will never be repeated. It was a uniquely German fascist political movement that was anti-communist, anti-democracy, and anti-progressive. It was also a cult of personality, which all totalitarian forms of gov't take whether they are on the right or the left.
Second, today's American "conservatives" (I put that term in quotation marks since the range is too large for it to be a meaningful term) and libertarians will not be leading us to Nazism any time soon, if that is what you are getting at. Libertarians especially, for obvious reasons.
Third, today's American liberals and progressives will also not be leading us down the path to Nazism.

The reason I mentioned the Klemperer books is because they are a fascinating read, and they give you a sense of how any nation can be susceptible to a cult of personality and the steady (but largely imperceptible) erosion of rights.

My canary in the coal mine is always the Bill of Rights, and I have seen these eroded by both Democrats and Republicans in my lifetime. I wanted Todd to read the Klemperer books because his appreciation for the erosion of rights is so heavily weighted to one side.

Todd Juvinall

Weighted heavily on one side? What in the heck does that mean? Klemperer kept a diary on which his books were based. He was abused by the Nazi's all during the war and had a good insight on how the Nazis manipulated the language, sort of like Orwell wrote about. No, I think I know enough about the erosion of rights under the government and bad Supreme Court decisions. I would say though I place Scalia up there in importance with Oliver Wendell Holmes and Felix Frankfurter and maybe the progressive Brandeis. Besides MichaelA, I was actually in the elected government and have experience in the process. Have you or are you just bookread?


George, you're wandering away from your point: "a conservative is the modern day label for the classical liberal of the school founded by Bastiat et al in the first half of the 19th century."

It was the Bastiat Institute that chose a Reason Magazine (a libertarian rag that I've been reading since the mid 80's) article that quoted Frank Luntz (clearly a conservative and Republican, and I've known him as such since the early 90's ) about how conservatives are NOT in favor of a limited scope of government. They want their goodies, too.

I'm sorry George, but outside of Rebane's Ruminations it appears conservative is not the "modern day label" for any flavor of classical liberal whatsoever. Some conservatives overlap somewhat with Bastiat and classic liberalism, but I think not many.

George Rebane

Gregory 1000pm - you mean all this public rhetoric during the Republican primaries that endlessly defined conservatism as mandating limited scope of government was just bull pucky? That conservatives instead are in favor of government growing endlessly to encompass and control the lion's share of GDP and our lives is then part their desired goodies? That Romney really may be a true conservative, and all the doubts about him written by the pundits, institutions, and reported by the media have been way off the mark?

I will have to sit down and think about all this.

George Rebane

MichaelA 811pm - "And I am pretty rigid in my belief that the 4th Amendment requires probable cause, which I just don't see how Bayes can possibly address."

Well that about tears it then for further discussing the use of Bayes in handling uncertainty and probable cause in matters of law, governance, and public policy. I hope that the Turing Award committee does not hear of this great discovery before awarding the Turing Prize to Judea Pearl next month. Nevertheless, your rigidity is again understood.


George, while conservatives like portions classic liberalism, no one outside of RR that I can find seems to confuse conservatives with classic liberals. The point of the Reason article the Bastiat Institute thought interesting enough to link appeared to make that point.

Perhaps if you could find some scholar of Bastiat who thinks as you. Anyone? This classic essay, "Why I am not a Conservative" by Hayek might also help:

Here's another from the Bastiat Institute: "Ultimately we can find no principle that anyone identifying with the broader conservative movement feels compelled to uphold."

The only classic liberal running for President this time around has been Ron Paul, and Conservatives did their best to marginalize him from the start.

Milton Friedman never self identified as a conservative that I know of. The founder of the Chicago School of economics said "I am a libertarian with a small 'l' and a Republican with a capital 'R.' And I am a Republican with a capital 'R' on grounds of expediency, not on principle" and ""I think the term classical liberal is also equally applicable".

Yes, conservatives and classic liberals can and do overlap a bit, and I appreciate your desire to drag your fellow conservatives more into the classic liberal camp, but they are not there except in narrow spots... like a mutual rejection of socialism in its many flavors.

George Rebane

Gregory 1135pm - good points. And I do admit that modern conservatives as such have not identified a stable ideological anchor (and associated literature), preferring to cast ad hoc hooks du jour to classical liberalism (a la Bastiat), the Austrian school (von Mises, Hayek,...), and the newer libertarian movement.

Let me noodle on the "overlap". I may, as you suggest, be guilty of attempting to add new stitches to bring those notions under one roof. Nevertheless, googling that overlap always brings up a list of a vigorous discussion/debates of the subject that makes me feel as if the notions we have been discussing go quite a bit farther than RR. Thanks.

Michael Anderson

Todd asked, rather condescendingly: "Besides MichaelA, I was actually in the elected government and have experience in the process. Have you or are you just bookread?"

I've had plenty of offers to run for office but have declined so far, for a variety of reasons. I've served on plenty of gov't commissions, committees, and non-profit boards over the past 2 decades here in Nevada County so I am very cognizant of the "process."

One of the reasons I have yet to serve as an elected official is because I am a firm believer that gov't leaders who serve the voters need to bend over backward to serve EVERY ONE of those voters, including those with whom they may have a political, philosophical, or personal difference. I need to be sure I can do that before I throw my hat in the ring.

It's a very high standard to hold oneself to, and I'd be interested to hear your self-critique of the time you were in office in that regard.


George Rebane

The ability of a politician (any leader of a group) to "bend over backward to serve EVERY ONE" of his constituents is formally an impossible task (Arrow theorem). Leaders have to pick winners and losers, or one of an infinite number of 'golden means' which marginally serve a larger fraction of people and give plenty of opportunity for gaming the system. But that's just the real world.

In my experience, the most egregious politicians I have encountered are those who claim to have the ability to "serve EVERY ONE". The notion itself takes more than a dollop of hubris of which longer term politicians have a surfeit.

The best politicians have been the ones who say it straight out that these are my principles, these will be my goals, and they most likely will NOT make everyone happy. But this is what you will get when you vote for me. And if that's not good enough, you'll throw me out the next time around.

Michael Anderson

George, I don't disagree with your narrow definition of "serve."

The "serve" I was talking about has to do specifically with what gov't leaders in Nevada County are mostly faced with, i.e. pot holes/nuisance/programs etc., things that are non-partisan and make up the bulk of these jobs.

My experience is that the best gov't officials in Nevada County are those who can honor the non-partisan nature of these positions, regardless of whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or independents in real life. All I was saying was that before I was to run for office, I would need to be absolutely sure that I could do my job for EVERY SINGLE ONE of my constituents. To me, that is the minimum threshold to Serve.


George, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

You might consider your conservatism may be more cultural and emotional, and you reside more on the libertarian side of the fence if you can make more of a break between conservatism and Rebaneism.

Culturally and generationally, I'm more of a "long-haired, maggot-infested FM type" than a "dittohead", but back in the '70's, faced with Karl Popper's "The Open Society and its Enemies", Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" and actually reading more Marx and Engles, lead me to understand I was a classic liberal (libertarian) and not a left-liberal moderate/social Democrat like I'd thought. Let's just say NRA emblems were not very popular at Grateful Dead concerts, and there are a lot of lefties that just can't be friends with folks who aren't left.

Now to a Bayesian approach to the 4th amendment, something like 60% of the households in Arcata, Calfornia are thought to be growing pot. Is that high enough for the Feds to just go door to door and insist the residents prove they aren't growing loco weed?

Sorry, no. And while it may trouble some conservatives, when an officer of the law starts asking you questions you can always choose to remain silent; everyone had that right even before Miranda, thanks to the 4th. If they have probable cause already for whatever they think you might be doing, they'll act, otherwise they will let you go on your way though possibly not without some bluster on their part that is designed to elicit enough information to possibly give them cause to detain you further.

Just say NOthing. Even if you know you are innocent of any crime.

Michael Anderson

"If they have probable cause already for whatever they think you might be doing, they'll act..."

Gregory, we'll have to agree to agree on this one.

Todd Juvinall

MichaelA places a set of rules on himself which allow him to skate on the question of running for elected office and winning. I used to do that strategy in my teens and I did it so I could go on with the things I liked to and dodge responsibility.

When a person runs for elected office and has no predisposition for partisanship, say, for a County Supervisor position, they usually do it to get some issue resolved or a project completed. In my case in 1984 we had a Board of Supervisors in deadlock about building a government center. The county was spending millions of bucks renting spaces all over Nevada City to house the offices of government. Three of us won and immediately started making the decisions to pursue the government center. We faced recalls and public derision because we were doing what we said we would if elected! Anyway, after many years of indecision,and gridlock by previous BOS we got it done. We saved the taxpayers millions of bucks and lots of inconvenient travel. Filled a lot of Potholes, paved a lot of streets and did it all without being one iota partisan. Paved democrat streets and Republican streets. Met with every person who wanted to meet with me regardless of party or no party.

So MichaelA, you need to think outside your partisan box and realize that when you put your ass out there for all to see, you just might like it. Also, there is nothing more personal than asking someone for their vote and support. It is a very humbling experience and if you are a insecure person or a chicken I would say don't try because even I was rebuffed a number of times. I still won though and am glad I did.

Michael Anderson

"We faced recalls and public derision because we were doing what we said we would if elected!"

I had heard that people were unhappy about the Rood Center being built on top of a swamp (right below Wet Hill Road). But maybe I'm mistaken.

George Rebane

Gregory 202pm - Having also read those tomes, I too came down as an almost libertarian. The 'almost' part that didn't fit into the libertarian slot was their foreign policy stance. Maybe it's because I have seen nations trading peacefully only when there is an ever-present threat of overwhelming force that can either whump the one not playing nice, or upset the applecart for all players unless things get back to copacetic. But most likely you have identified a valid break between conservatism and conservetarianism (aka Rebaneism).

Your Bayesian comment is really not a critique of applying Bayes to quantify the involved uncertainties. After these are quantified, it still remains for the legal framework to determine what the response should be. (I think I explained this before to one of MikeA's 4th amendment comments.)

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