Monday, December 30, 2013

Is Europe a Model for the USA to Develop a New Antiobiotic Resistance Plan?

Various expert opinions on antibiotic resistance are presented at the New York Times in When Bacteria Can No Longer Be Stopped.

The cardinal question is the legal structure necessary to optimally fight the developmemt of antibiotic resistance.

Does Europe present workable models for the USA to follow?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Latvia Officially Joins the Euro Currency on January 1, 2014

The European Central Bank (ECB) reports that Latvia joins the Euro currency as the 18th member of the Euro area on January 1, 2014. The Latvian currency, the Lats (LVL), ceases to be legal tender on January 15, 2014. The fixed exchange rate is € 1.00 = LVL 0.702804, which is equivalent to ca. 1 Lat to 1.42 Euros.
In Latvia

Latvian post offices will exchange the old money until March 31, 2014 while normal banks will exchange the old currency until June 30, 2014. In addition, the country's central bank, the Latvijas Banka, i.e. the Bank of Latvia, will exchange unlimited amounts of LVL currency (notes and coins) for an indefinite period into the future.

Outside of Latvia in the Euro Area

Outside of Latvia, Euro area national central banks (NCBs) will exchange Latvian banknotes in amounts limited to €1000 for any given party/transaction on any one day until February 28, 2014.

General Comment

Although the shift from the Latvian lat to the Euro area currency is not massively popular among the Latvian populace, the fact is that "Latvia has, for all practical purposes, been part of the euro zone since joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 2005." (WSJ)


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Do the Brits Have it Right? Merry Christmas! (and/or) Bless the Winter Solstice! The Celebration of Feasts in an Age of Political Correctness

Heather Long has it right at the Guardian in The Brits have it right: forget Happy Holidays, just wish people Merry Christmas, writing, inter alia:
"Personally, I think the Brits have this one right. I'd rather be able to wish people a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they'll be offended. I'd also rather have people wish me Happy Hanukkah, Happy Diwali or Eid Mubarak when those holidays come around. It makes me feel more a part of their celebration. Let's call each holiday what it is instead of trying to lump Jewish, Christian and even the Kwanzaa ritual together. If we need a generic holiday, we've already got the New Year, which touches all people and cultures."
In Germany, along the same lines, you "celebrate the feasts as they come" (Feste feiern, wie sie kommen).

If more people would read our websites, blogs and postings, they would understand that many modern calendric fixed and moveable feasts have their origins in the ancient cultures of humanity and in time-keeping by astronomy.

Religious and commercial institutions are simply capitalizing in the modern era on human traditions much older than they are themselves.

The fact that many people think they need to be "politically correct" here is simply an aberration of our modern, often fully misguided world, that for the main, has no understanding of human history.

Bless the Winter Solstice!
and the gradual return of the Sun!

oh,
and

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Monday, December 23, 2013

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants in America, the British Empire and the Anglo Cluster: VALUES are More Important than Race, Nationality, Gender or Religion

How many of the nine current U.S. Supreme Court Justices fit the description of being "white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant"? NONE of them! There are six Catholics and three Jews as Justices in a predominantly Protestant nation.

In this vein, Joseph Epstein has probably done the world a valuable service by raising numerous controversial issues about leadership in America in his piece at the Wall Street Journal on The Late, Great American WASP.

Epstein talks about an America no longer led by WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) but rather by a mixture of persons from a presumed meritocracy of diversity. It is an analysis, however, which is cast in the contemporary American insular and provincial habit of viewing things only as "We, in America...."

We (of America) in Europe were reminded upon reading Epstein of a chat we had some years ago with an English friend, "a commoner" and employee of several Lords over the years, who served on the front lines in WWII and sang the praises of the military officers from English nobility, who he said had proven superior in wartime, because, in his words, "they knew how to lead men", under the motto that there is no substitute for experience.

Critics of Epstein in the USA seem to focus on "current" issues in vogue like the American race ramifications of his analysis, fully forgetting that the question of LEADERSHIP is the true issue, and long predates the present United States.

It was indeed the heritage of knowing and understanding how to lead men that made the American Founding Fathers so eminently successful and that paved the way for their many -- but not exclusive -- WASP successors to ultimately catapult the ever-increasing number of united American States to world leadership down the road of history, but only in the 20th century, for prior to that, the British Empire of WASPs ruled the roost, and that is where one should look for the sources of that heritage of leadership:
"The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.[1] By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world's population at the time.[2] The empire covered more than 33,700,000 km2 (13,012,000 sq mi), almost a quarter of the Earth's total land area.[3][4] As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse across the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories."
What Epstein is criticizing in the USA is the loss of American understanding of the values of leadership and society that made the nation great, leadership characteristics and values that can be traced to the legacy of the British. We find written in the Abstract in Neal M. Ashkanasy, Edwin Trevor-Roberts, Louise Earnshaw, The Anglo Cluster: legacy of the British empire, Journal of World Business 37 (2002) 28-39, www.journalofworldbusiness.com:
"The Anglo Cluster comprises Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa (White sample), and the United States of America. These countries are all developed nations, predominantly English speaking, and were all once British colonies. Today, they are amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. The GLOBE results show that the Anglo Cluster is characterized by an individualistic performance orientation."
That PERFORMANCE orientation of the Anglo Cluster is traced back in that article to British Protestantism.

America took over Protestant values, not unlike those in Britain, and that was one main secret to American success.

To better understand AMERICA and the countries of the Anglo Cluster, who still lead the world, it would probably be advisable for everyone to read the above article. There is more to this than just WASPs. It has to do with VALUES.

Hat tip to CaryGEE and MW.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Map of the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU)

Update: Please note that the European Union was expanded to 27 States on January 1, 2007 as Romania and Bulgaria joined the ranks of Member States, and to 28 States on July 1, 2013, as Croatia joined the EU. Here is the new map which I just got around to creating for my websites and blogs:


__________

Below is the original posting from December 8, 2003....

European Union Expansion to 25 Member States - Map (German - Karte)

NEW EU MEMBERS as of May 1, 2004

On May 1, 2004, ten (10) additional countries will join the European Union as new member states, raising the number of EU Member States from 15 to 25.



This extremely important development for the world will change the taxation and legal systems of the new EU Member States, according to a report of May 1, 2003 of PriceWaterhouseCoopers which writes:

"The enlargement of the EU will fundamentally change the tax and legal systems of the ten accession countries requiring harmonisation to ensure they are in line with EU legislation and case law. Areas affected include: VAT, customs and excise duties, direct taxation, commercial law, consumer and competition law, social security and employment law, intellectual property, e-commerce, financial services, and data protection.

Peter Cussons, international corporate tax partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said:
"The need for a large measure of tax and legal harmonisation is inevitable, the list of areas affected is huge, and the compliance clock is ticking.
"Companies with existing operations in the ten accession countries should be re-evaluating their operations now to enable them to implement necessary changes in time for the accession date of 1 May 2004. It should also be noted that these changes will have implications not just for companies which already operate within the accession countries, but also companies which plan to invest in or have or plan to have other business relations with those accession countries.

"I cannot emphasise enough that, with only 12 months remaining, businesses need to act now to ensure they are fully compliant with the new largely harmonised EU tax and legal environment."


And now there are only 5 months left for these changes to be made.

The enlargement of the European Union will have further long-term political, economic and legal repercussions as ebusiness.com has stated:

"In the Treaty on European Union which came into force in 1993, Article 49 says that any European State which respects the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law may apply to become a member of the Union.

Further clarification was given by the European Council meeting in Copenhagen in 1993 which laid down the basic conditions for membership - the so-called "Copenhagen criteria" :

stable institutions guaranteeing democracy;
rule of law, respect for and protection of human rights and minorities;
existence of a functioning market economy;
capacity to cope with market forces and competitive pressures within the Union;
ability to take on the obligations of membership, including Economic and Monetary Union."


As seen on the map above prepared for this purpose, these ten new members starting in the north and moving southward are:

Estonia
Latvia
Lithuania
Poland
the Czech Republic
Slovakia
Hungary
Slovenia
Malta
Cyprus


United States and European Union compared

The European Union has similarities but also differences to the United States.

Predecessor Organizations and Member States

The predecessor organizations of the European Union started with six (6) members.
These were Belgium, West Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Currently there are 15 so-called "member states" in the European Union including the original six member states (Germany after the reunification added the 5 East German Laender on October 3, 1990)

plus the following nine additional member states added as follows:
Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom joined in 1973. (numbers 7,8 and 9)
Greece joined in 1981 (number 10)
Spain and Portugal joined in 1986. (numbers 11 and 12)
Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined in 1995. (numbers 13, 14 and 15)

Norway signed an accession treaty in 1994, but Norwegian voters rejected membership in a referendum, so that Norway is NOT a member of the European Union.

The accession to the European Union affects the monetary systems of the new member nations and their currencies.

What about the EURO in the new member states?
As you can read at that link, in spite of membership in the EU, the adoption of the Euro in the new member states is conditional upon meeting certain monetary requirements.

The Maastricht Treaty and Other Treaties forming the EU

The Maastricht Treaty also known as
The Treaty on European Union
entered into force by ratification of the Member States on November 1, 1993.

See the milestones of the EU in a timeline of events for the European Union

See the factsheets for the European Union

Europe is Impacted by American Politics: How Strong is the Political Center in the United States?

American politics impacts Europe.

Just how strong is the American political center?

Thomas Edsall at the New York times writes that
The Center Cannot Hold.

Is that true?
Is the study that he reports analytically correct?
We think not.

Edsall reports on a publication titled "Why American Political Parties Can't Get Beyond the Left-Right Divide" by Edward Carmines of Indiana University, Michael Ensley of Kent State University and Michael Wagner of the University of Wisconsin.

As follows, Edsall shares the image of the distribution of American voters, 2012 American National Election Studies, showing the Ideological Distribution of the 2012 American Electorate in terms of Economic and Social views (horizontal and vertical labels) into five groups rather than two: Conservatives, Libertarians, Liberals, Populists and the resulting centric Centrists (image linked from the New York Times):


The argument is that the center is too small to hold the four groups together. Wait a minute!

We suppose that it all depends on how large you draw that middle circle and where you place the center!

We are political centrists, but not moderates, as suggested about centrists in Edsall's article, and one thing we can get quite immoderately upset about is the tweaking of facts to suit some political purpose, regardless of which party.

We have drawn a new (larger) circle which shows that there is in fact a MASSIVE center, albeit somewhat larger than that in the original graph.


Moreover, as shown above, a larger drawn center shows in our opinion that the midpoint of that center is located more to the left than the original graph suggests. This accounts for the fact that the "Centrists" in the middle of the original graph show a tapering off to the right rather than being circular as at the left, i.e. the central midpoint is falsely located in the original graph.

Lastly, there is no reason for these four groups to be distributed circularly in terms of distribution, and in fact they are not, as a turned ellipse better fits the facts at the center, with the majority congregating as liberals and conservatives, and with populists and libertarians clearly narrowing, i.e. having fewer adherents, as their fringe group status would predict.


Accordingly, a candidate who is able to attract the voters in that larger center, and this can only be a true political centrist, can not be beaten in a national Presidential election. Artificially narrowing the size of that center is wrong.

Conclusion:

The idea that the center can not hold is simply false.
Centrists decide elections. That has not changed.
Just do not describe us as "moderates".
We are in fact quite immoderate to all forms of tyrants and political dogmas.
Rather, we are prudent, practical, realists.


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

European Union (EU) Policy on Intellectual Property and the Abuse of IP Rights in the USA: Who is Winning?

What is the European Union doing about intellectual property, and does the EU have a better policy on copyrights, patents and trademarks that the USA?

See Intellectual Property Rights: Europe’s asset, Europe’s priority.

We were brought to this topic through an editorial by The New York Times Editorial Board reporting that
Congress Takes on Abusive Patent Suits.

For comparison, take a look at some LawPundit patent postings about "the patent problem", some of which go go back ca. 10 years in obviously anticipating what have become serious intellectual property problems....

November 2, 2003 - LawPundit, Patent Law and Policy : FTC Report : Bonito Boats v. Thunder Craft Boats : Selden Case : Eolas Case

January 18, 2004 - LawPundit, Money to Burn - Judge Zagel, Robins et al., M. Doyle, Eolas and Microsoft

January 19, 2004 - LawPundit, A Call to Legal Vigilance against Overly Broad Patents being issued by the USPTO for Mechanical Juggling of Prior Art

January 27, 2004 - LawPundit, Indigenous intellectual property, art, architecture, cultural icons and modern copyrights

October 25, 2005 - LawPundit, IP - Is "Intellectual Property" a Misnomer?

May 22, 2006 - LawPundit, Patents Injunctions and Patent Trolls - eBay v. MercExchange

May 7, 2007 - LawPundit, Supreme Court Redefines Obviousness in Patent Law : KSR is a Landmark Case

May 11, 2007 - LawPundit, KSR Teleflex Obviousness Standard Applied by the Federal Circuit in Leapfrog v. Fisher-Price & Mattel -Price & Mattel

November 30, 2007 - LawPundit, Patent Reform Act of 2007 (PRA), eBay v. MercExchange, KSR, Leapfrog : Vested Interests & Territoriality : Justice Harlan I Wins Again for Modern Law

December 11, 2007 - LawPundit, LawPundit Patent Reform Act Posting is Rated at the Postgrad Level - Megaliths.net is Rated at the Genius level : OK - It's All in Good Fun

November 23, 2008 - LawPundit, In re Bilski : Patentable Subject Matter : Federal Circuit Overturns Pure Business Method Patents : Requires Machine Process / Physical Transformation 

August 21, 2010 - LawPundit, Mouse Trap Economics: Give us a Billion Dollars Says the Judge on Behalf of the USPTO : Did Bilski Kill Sensible Patent Reform?

August 21, 2010 - LawPundit, Speaking of Mouse Trap Economics, What About that Yarn that Patents Stimulate Invention: Les Earnest Testifies Before the USPTO

August 23, 2011 - LawPundit, Samsung Digital Picture Frame 2006 is Clear Designer Prior Art to the Later "Design" of the iPhone and iPad

July 31, 2012 - LawPundit, Patents, Apple, Samsung, Koh's Court & Jury, Poker and the Sucker: Guess Who?

April 15, 2013 - LawPundit, Patenting Human Genes: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Indicates Natural Genes Will be Found Unpatentable as a Matter of Composition but Genes Worked by Human Ingenuity May Be Patentable as to Use

June 13, 2013 - LawPundit, Human Genes Are Not Patentable: U.S. Supreme Court Rules Unanimously

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Google Doodle Today is Raymond Loewy, the Father of Industrial Design: Was the Coca-Cola Bottle Shape Designed by Earl R. Dean or Shell Logo Designer Raymond Loewy? The Prior Art of the Cacao Pod

Today's Google Doodle (talk about locomotives!)


honors Raymond Loewy, the father of "industrial design",
who, for example,
designed (Wikipedia):
"the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery."
The "Shell" design became so recognizable that the printed name could be dropped from the logo by the company in 1999. However, by reviewing the Shell logo design evolution, we see that there is really nothing new under the sun, and that most designs and discoveries are spinoffs from previous ones. See that link for a history of the Shell design. Loewy in fact created today's popular design, but it had precursors, like everything in intellectual property.

This "creation" of things based on prior art is the STANDARD, and is one reason we are so hard on the modern patent, copyright and trademark world, especially in terms of the IP law that prevails in the legal systems of the world. The people in patent law -- e.g. at the Federal Circuit in the USA -- just do not get it on that important point.

One of the matters of historical design confusion over the decades, due to Loewy's work for Coca-Cola in the 1950's and perhaps dating clear back to 1939, was the assumption that he designed the famous Coca-Cola bottle. Also here there have been a series of designs and design changes, and as in the case of the "Shell" logo, the original design was "copied" from nature.

Although Loewy did later make some changes to the "Coke" bottle and designed other Coca-Cola products, the so-called "hobble skirt" shape of the bottle was designed originally by Earl R. Dean, as can be read about in The Man Behind the Bottle, a book by Norman L. Dean, his son.

The story passed down over the years is that the original 1915 design was to have been based on the coca leaf or the cola nut, for which the designers found no useful references in literature, so they took the cocoa pod (cacao pod) as the model from an image they found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica instead:

From the Wikipedia under the entry Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library we find written:
"The Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library ... in Terre Haute, Indiana ... played an important role in Coca-Cola history. In June 1915, Earl R. Dean and T. Clyde Edwards were dispatched to the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library to research the ingredients of Coca-Cola. In the Encyclopædia Britannica, Dean came across a picture of a gourd-shaped cocoa pod. Inspiration from this cocoa pod lead Dean to his design of the iconic contour Coca-Cola bottle."

Note that the original design not only copied the shape of the cocoa (cacao) pod, but that it also copied the striations, which have remained as a cardinal element of "Coca-Cola" bottle design, even though the shape has changed. This shows how human "invention" is based on the prior art of nature.

Especially interesting websites in this context are:

Friday, October 25, 2013

American vs. European Taxation on the Example of the G20 Countries

America shows great unwillingness in its citizenry and political bodies to levy the taxes necessary to pay for:
  • past government spending, mostly of a military nature to finance wars for its own national security, or to pay for
  • current running costs of federal government.
The average taxation per person in the leading G20 countries of the world in 2010 was ca. US$ 16000. In the USA that average taxation was nearly half that, at ca. $10000. See http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2010_National_Spending_of_the_USA_compared_to_G20.jpg

America thus financed its premiere standing among nations over past decades through deficit spending and thus in part also via money borrowed from other nations (who had that money through taxes levied on THEIR citizens).

Incredibly, much citizenry and many politicians in the USA now want to refuse to pay for the blessings so received.

Rather, they are ignorantly pushing already comparatively low levels of American federal taxation and government spending even lower.

In fact, if American levels of taxation were raised to at least an average world standard, the federal debt could be repaid and seriously necessary government programs could be financed.

If that is not done, America could drop into the status of being a "banana republic", no longer the big boy on the block.

Indeed, according to many parameters, it is well on its way in that falling direction.

See NYTimes: In Search of Republican Grown-Ups.

Bicycles Outselling Cars in Europe

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Populist Emergence in Europe (and America) Creates Serious Political Problems and Endangers Stability

Populism is a term that loosely defines any anti-establishment political movement by more or less naive but well-meaning common elements in society who oppose the traditional political parties and their traditional programs.

The Republican "Tea Party" emergence in America is a type of populist movement. Also Europe currently has similar populist political movements that have emerged in numerous countries, mostly due to economic problems.

See Europe’s Populist Backlash.

Populism may sound fine at first glance, but the experience of history shows that rising populism can destabilize traditional governments and established nations, leading to terrible upheavals and wars -- often based on good intentions -- which result from what are essentially "amateurs" thinking they can do better what the professionals have been doing. Usually, that is not anywhere near the case.

We see in America what chaos such misguided "greenhorn" populist politicans can cause, not realizing that good intentions alone are never a qualification for good government.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Astounding Economic Recovery in Latvia as a Model for Other Nations of the European Union?

What are the essential elements for economic recovery?

This is a question that can be asked regarding the arguably complete economic recovery in Latvia over the last 3 years.

A Fistful of Euros in fact asks:

As Good As It Gets In Latvia?

 

Dual Citizenship Permitted in Latvia by Amendments to Citizenship Law Effective 1 October 2013

Amendments to the Citizenship Law of the Republic of Latvia have now made it officially possible under given circumstances for emigrated Latvian "nationals" or their descendants to obtain dual citizenship.

Previously, there was a requirement that a previously existing citizenship in another country had to be relinquished to obtain Latvian citizenship.

See the details at Baltic-Course.com News in Assistance obtaining dual citizenship in Latvia.


Russia, Law and Courts: Supreme Arbitration Court (VAS) proposed to be merged with the Russian Supreme Court

President Putin has proposed to merge the Russian Supreme Arbitration Court with the Russian Supreme Court, thus making the judicial system consolidated at the top in one supreme court.

See Putin's Legal Vertical: Kremlin Seeks To Consolidate Court System

Conflicting court decisions by the two courts are given as the rationale for the consolidation. Putin is quoted as saying:
"People take a dispute before courts of general jurisdiction and then the side that is unsatisfied with the ruling appeals with the same question to the arbitration system and receives the opposite ruling."
That reasoning is understandable enough, without attaching speculative political significance to the development, which may, or may not, bear upon the question.



Economics Nobel Prize Winner Becker and Most Cited Jurist Judge Posner on the Debt Ceiling as A WASTE OF TIME

Both Gary S. Becker (Nobel Prize winner, Economics, 1992) and Richard D. Posner (probably the world's most cited modern jurist and judge) at the The Becker-Posner Blog have postings about the debt ceiling.

It is remarkable that people in Congress and elsewhere do not look to brilliant heavyweight minds such as these for legal and economic guidance, rather than to lightweight extremist demagogues in their midst.

Becker writes, inter alia:
"Conservatives who have supported a debt ceiling to reduce deficits are really usually mainly concerned about the size of government. However, government size depends not on deficits, but rather fundamentally on the level of government spending. Since deficits can be reduced either by cutting spending or raising taxes, both liberals and conservatives can agree on the value of reducing deficits while strongly disagreeing on how to reduce them. Liberals want to raise taxes to cut deficits, while conservatives want to limit many kinds of government spending in order to reduce the size of the government.

To the extent that debt ceilings mainly induce tax increases to slow the growth in debt, a focus on debt ceilings and deficits does not help rein in the size of government. Moreover, the substantial growth in federal spending during the past 50 years under both Democratic and Republican control of Congress and the presidency strongly suggests that the many debt ceilings during this period did little to reduce the size of government. The numerous deficits over this period even suggest that the ceiling has accomplished little, if anything, in reducing deficits.

For those worried about the growth of government, there is no substitute for a focus on the scale of government spending. Having debt ceilings may not be completely innocuous because they may detract from that focus."
Posner writes, inter alia:
"So a debt ceiling is unlikely to reduce the size of government. But it is pernicious, in inviting political tactics that could well be thought to violate the Constitution, or at least the spirit of the Constitution. Republicans want to destroy, or in the short run greatly weaken, Obama’s health care law (“Obamacare”), even though it resembles a health care reform proposed by President Nixon and successfully championed by Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. The Republican preoccupation with Obamacare is thus rather surprising, but may reflect a fear that when once Obamacare is debugged and up and running it will prove popular, which will boost the Democrats. Yet the Republicans are not in a position to repeal or even amend the law by constitutionally authorized means, because repeal or amendment would require a majority vote in both houses of Congress (actually a two-thirds vote in both houses, for given a lesser majority Obama could veto a repeal or amendment without fear of being overridden). The intention, which is contrary to the structure of the federal legislative process ordained by the Constitution, is to coerce Congress to repeal (or by amendments to defang) Obamacare by threatening to precipitate an economic crisis by refusing to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling. If the tactic succeeded, it would mean that a minority in Congress had succeeded in amending a federal statute."
So, essentially, they agree. Using the debt ceiling to try to reduce the size of government is a waste of time. A WASTE OF TIME.

Of course, the minority in Congress has no chance of winning, so that the entire farce of the Republican extremist led extortion-based government shutdown is either simply political "posturing", which has backfired against them, or worse, intentional destabilization of the government, for which those responsible should be criminally punished for "conspiring against rights" outside of their normal and legal House duties, which could then be regarded as a criminal violation of 18 USC § 241 - Conspiracy Against Rights.

U.S. House of Representatives Extortionist Debt Ceiling Crisis Poses Presidential Dilemma of Three Unconstitutional Options: Should Obama Take the "Least Unconstitutional" Path?

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides:
"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
Several law professors have recently analyzed the Constitutional aspects of the debt ceiling crisis.

See As Debt-Ceiling Crisis Looms, Dorf and Buchanan Urge the President to Take the "Least Unconstitutional" Option.

In our view, the House of Representatives has no legal option on raising the debt ceiling -- they must raise it to finance laws in force, otherwise they are calling the validity of the public debt into question, contrary to Section 4 of the 14th Amendment. They MUST pay these bills.

A failure to do so is prima facie illegal in terms of the U.S. Constitution by the very fact that it puts the executive branch of government into a position where no Constitutional options are left open to the executive branch in fulfilling Constitutional duties and where an unConstitutional situation results because of a basic failure of the House of Representatives to do its job as the Constitution provides.

The House is currently trying to do an end run around the Constitutionally set legislative process, and its conspiring ringleaders should in our opinion be strongly punished for doing so as "conspiring against rights", which is a criminal violation of 18 USC § 241 - Conspiracy Against Rights. What the House is doing now is beyond their powers, and therefore they have no immunity for it against criminal prosecution -- so our opinion.

The President is Constitutionally obligated by law to pay debts, salaries, and pay for government programs legally in force as a matter of law, but can not do so Constitutionally if a debt ceiling is imposed by Congress that makes it impossible for the executive branch to make all the required payments.

Abraham Lincoln was put in this position and invoked emergency executive powers, bypassing Congress, and that was correct. But Obama likely does not have the character strength of an Abraham Lincoln.

In any case, that is why reductions in spending by the federal government -- if they are to occur -- must ONLY occur via normal legislation of both houses of Congress and not by unilateral extortionist runs by the House acting outside its powers, as if the Senate did not exist, and is if the House ran the nation.

Any attempt in so-called pending "negotiations" of the House with the President on the debt ceiling to bypass the Senate is doomed to failure. That is not the way the Constitution set up the legislative system. The House must go through Senate in legislation, any and all legislation. That's the law.

The present shutdown crisis is what inexorably happens when Congress and especially the House of Representatives is filled with "American Idol"-like doctors, veterinarians, businessmen, real estate brokers, wrestlers, singers, housewives, darlings of their influential parents, etc., i.e. amateurs "playing" legislator, i.e. with people who have not studied law and have been taught no comprehensive understanding of the American legal system or how to legislate in it, and who should rightly be out practising THEIR learned professions and not screwing up the country with their amateurish notions of government.

There are exceptions in legal background, such as the extremist Ted Cruz, whose alleged brilliance has unfortunately led him down an absolutist path in which he, like the very similar Supreme Court Justic Antonin Scalia, thinks he has found the holy grail of government that has eluded all the other brilliant judicial minds in America over the more than 200-year storied history of the USA.

Beware of these people who think they have all the answers. They do not. Rather, in following their absolutist theories, they cause much more harm than good to others, as the government shutdown shows.

What do Cruz and other leading extremists care about your average American? What do they care about America? Very little.
Their own careers and dogmas are more important to them.

If many "small" people in America do not get their paychecks and have to struggle while these politicos bask in the political limelight, what do they care?

Indeed, as many "small" people in America have no health care while the government shutdowners have no worries about THEIR own health care, it is clear that THEY do not care about YOU or your problems.

It appears to this observer that these misguided people are destructive political "theoreticians", nothing more, and they are terribly, terribly wrong, even if some of them are well-meaning. They are on the path of destruction.

See our previous posting on

Tea Party Political Nihilism: "WE DON'T CARE" as a Philosophy of Anarchism in the Russian Tradition of Mikhail Bakunin


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

American Tea Party Political Nihilism: "WE DON'T CARE" as a Philosophy of Anarchism Comparable to the 19th Century Russian Legacy of Mikhail Bakunin

See the Business Insider reporting the results of a questioning of Tea Party persons by the Potomac Research Group's Greg Valliere at Wall Street Doesn't Get The Tea Party.

Based on that report, the philosophy of the Tea Party appears to be:

"WE DON'T CARE".

The destructive actions taking place via the House of Representatives thus become clearer in placing the Tea Party in the category of

political nihilism,

which we found defined at the Wikipedia as follows:
"Political nihilism is a branch of nihilism that follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of ... the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family or even law and law enforcement." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
Political nihilism is a doctrine that originated in Russia.

It is an irony that those who regard themselves to be the most right wing of all American factional fundamentalist political groups are in fact comparable in their political attitudes to the most left wing of all fundamentalist Russian groups in the 19th century.

Political nihilism led in Russia to anarchism and to a series of terrible wars and great loss of life.

Its leading instigator was Mikhail Bakunin.
"Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian: Михаил Александрович Бакунин, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ˌbaˈkunʲin]) (30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1814 – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary, libertarian socialist, and founder of "collectivist anarchism" philosophy. He is considered among the most influential figures of anarchism, and one of the principle founders of the "social anarchist" tradition of anarchism.[2] Bakunin's enormous prestige as an activist, made him one of the most famous ideologues in Europe; during his lifetime, he was arguably more infamous than Karl Marx. He gained substantial influence among radicals throughout Russia and Europe."
Interesting is that the Tea Party "Town Hall" movement can be compared to the building of Russian socialist communes:
"The 1872 Hague Congress was dominated by a struggle between Marx and his followers, who argued for the use of the state to bring about socialism, and the Bakunin/anarchist faction, which argued instead for the replacement of the state by federations of self-governing workplaces and communes".
In the present USA, the Tea Party is similarly trying to sabotage federal government in favor of local rule in their electorate districts.


Public Spending as the Socialization of Risk and Unavoidable Losses that the Dominant Private Class in Capitalism Avoids Via Local, State and Federal Government

Men are by and large greedy, selfish yahoos (see Gulliver's Travels for the origin of the term) and that is why capitalism is so successful, because its economic and political doctrines are based on a recognition of that human condition.

One area of great and often unrecognized or unacknowledged selfishness is the socialization of risk and losses by the private sector using the government as their handmaiden.

No one who discusses capitalism and socialism can fail to deal with that issue because public debt is primarily the result of the socialization of risk and losses by the dominant economic class and not the result of waste by the have-nots, who have little to say in the running of the system.

Philosopher, life-long socialist, born-again capitalist, and economics historian Robert L. Heilbronner was one of the most popular economic writers of all time, and is the author of the following sentence (1989), written in the New Yorker magazine at "Reflections: The Triumph of Capitalism", just prior to the collapse of the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union:
"Less than 75 years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism and socialism is over: capitalism has won... Capitalism organizes the material affairs of humankind more satisfactorily than socialism."
Heilbronner wrote further in 1992 in Dissent magazine, as referred to by David Boaz in the Free Republic:
"Capitalism has been as unmistakable a success as socialism has been a failure. Here is the part that's hard to swallow. It has been the Friedmans, Hayeks, and von Miseses who have maintained that capitalism would flourish and that socialism would develop incurable ailments. All three have regarded capitalism as the 'natural' system of free men; all have maintained that left to its own devices capitalism would achieve material growth more successfully than any other system. From [my samplings] I draw the following discomforting generalization: The farther to the right one looks, the more prescient has been the historical foresight; the farther to the left, the less so."
Heilbronner was a 100%-er rather than a man of prudence and judgment, who rather tended to make unsupportable and extreme statements and theories, whether on the subjects of capitalism or socialism, and thus was probably as wrong in supporting capitalism completely as he was previously equally wrong in being a staunch advocate of socialism. His strength is the recognition of problems and issues. His weakness is their resolution.

It is unfortunate that Heilbronner is often cited as an authority in the arguments between socialism and capitalism. He is simply too absolute.

The fact is, it all depends on what you define as "capitalism" and what you define as "socialism".

We ourselves are staunch capitalists because we acknowledge the selfish nature of humankind, and the necessity of a political and economic system that understands that. Hence, we define capitalism similarly to what is found in the Wikipedia:
"Capitalism is an economic system in which capital assets are privately owned and goods and services are produced for profit in a market economy."
Socialism in turn is defined quite the opposite, again taking the Wikipedia as a representative definition:
"Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy."
The reason "pure" socialism as defined above does not work well is because people by nature tend to work for themselves and their loved ones and not for society as a whole. That is why Marxism-Leninism failed and will always fail.

On the other hand, we must be aware that pure capitalism exists nowhere, otherwise there would be toll booths on every street and road and you could not go anywhere without paying some private person or enterprise for the privilege of going beyond your front door, from one piece of property to the next.

PUBLIC property and especially PUBLIC roads, lands and services are an essential part of democracy, because they provide YOU, the citizen with freedom of movement. For that you need people in government, e.g. the Park Authority.

Indeed, many activities of human beings involve actions other than production of commercial goods and services, and that is where the problems begin.

Simple examples are the military and police protection.

Protection of the self, of loved ones, of private property (!), of one's local region, of the state, of the nation, or of an alliance of nations is not "capitalistic" per se, because it does not really involve an issue of the commercial production of goods and services. 

Rather, men and women "pool their resources" via varied forms of group taxation, fees or tithes in order to finance e.g. "a safe neighborhood" or, on a broader scale, "national security".

These things could of course be done "privately", and on a local level, and indeed sometimes are done privately, but all ultimately involve a "social" pooling of resources and money, especially at the national FEDERAL level. That is neither capitalism nor socialism, but it is the socialization of risk.

Heilbronner in his book The Nature and Logic of Capitalism talks about this side of the social order as the necessary:
"... provision of the law and order essential for the preservation of [the capitalist system and of private property]".
This encompasses the entire scope of local and federal civil government, including the legal system, its rules and regulations, the lawyers, the courts, the legislatures, etc., including of course the funding of that government.

As Adam Smith correctly wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
"The acquisition of valuable and extensive property ... necessarily required the establishment of civil government".

"...erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works which ... may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society ...  [but these institutions and works ] could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals [because they are not profit-making]...." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
 Heilbronner in this context correctly points out that:
"... the state foists upon the public the costs of those activities that would result in monetary "losses" if they were carried out by the economic sphere, while recognizing as inviolable the right of private enterprise to benefit from its profitable undertakings.

This socialization of losses applies to much of the the network of canals, railways, highways, and airways that have played an indispensable part in capitalist growth, as well as the provision of literate and socialized work forced through public education programs, the protection of public health, and the like.

All these are examples of "public works", behind whose manifest usefulness for the citizenry at large lies the latent economic function of providing necessary inputs for [the circuit of money to commodity to more money], and the political function of strengthening the regime of the dominant class." [emphasis and link added by LawPundit]
The problem in today's America is that the dominant capitalist elite who already control the mass of American wealth and income no longer want to pay anything near their fair share for those very same government services and advantages which benefit primarily the existing capitalist system that enables their wealth and their income.


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Debt Default Risk in America and the Prophecy of the Bandersnatch Who Grabbed a Banker after a Federal Government Shutdown Closed the House of Representatives

Today, we received a most curious letter from a sender unknown, who left a rather strange photographic image titled as if it were from the National Snark Service, U..S.. Department of Jabberwocky, along with a rather bizarre poem that looked very similar to something we recognized as similar to Alice in Wonderland.


Our advisors suggested that both objects were undeciphered true prophecies long found in Jabberwocky and similar "allegedly" nonsense works of the writer Lewis Carroll, unexpectedly foretelling a similarly nonsensical appearing government shutdown and debt default crisis, led by a bandersnatch:
'bander' was...an archaic word for a 'leader' [so that]  a 'bandersnatch' [was] an animal that hunt[ed] the leader of a group".
In their analysis these advisors equate the "bandersnatch" with a modern Böhner ("a stupid mistake") going after a Barak ("a shining one") with a view to take his place, but ultimately being defeated and disgraced.

We share these objects with you for whatever it is worth:
"And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
 In his zeal to discover the Snark.


But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
 For he knew it was useless to fly.


He offered large discount—he offered a check
 (Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.


Without rest or pause—while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around—
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.


The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
 Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!"
And solemnly tolled on his bell."
 -- with apologies to Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark


CNN's Fareed Zakaria Correctly Analyzes Actions of U.S. House of Representatives Leading to Government Shutdown as Unconstitutional

See Daily Kos and US Debt Ceiling Impasse is a Constitutional Crisis in the Making where Maynard writes, correctly in our opinion:
"But it's the ACA [Affordable Care Act] measure in this shutdown battle that has really roiled widespread protest against these tactics. In a CNN video editorial, Fareed Zakaria does a good job explaining why in simple terms.



In short, his argument is that: Because this is settled law that has already passed through congress, already been signed by the President, and already even been confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court, for the House - a single legislative body - to use the threat of default to overrule agreement with the Senate and the President in prior lawmaking, is to extra-constitutionally usurp powers it does not enjoy. Essentially, the House asserts a new postfacto veto authority over prior Senate and conference committee deliberations after reconciliation and passage. Even a law agreed upon by all three branches of government, as is the case of the ACA, could - after the fact - be 'vetoed' by only the House of Representatives simply with the procedural move of refusing to pass a budget or continuing resolution.
This appears unconstitutional. Article I Section VII requires that budgetary bills originate in the House, where they are debated in the Senate. Differences between House and Senate Bills are reconciled in conference committee. The final bill passed is then sent to the President for a signature or vetoed.
Article IV Section I ('full faith and credit') of the US Constitution demands the financial solvency of states, and provides the judiciary with the authority to resolve private financial disputes.
The Fourteenth Amendment clearly states that US Federal debt is sacrosanct and must be honored. This was affirmed in 1935 by the Supreme Court in Perry v. United States.
The Fourteenth Amendment, in its fourth section, explicitly declares: 'The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, ... shall not be questioned.' While this provision was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress, as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression 'the validity of the public debt' as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations."
We conclude that the Joint Resolution of June 5, 1933, in so far as it attempted to override the obligation created by the bond in suit, went beyond the congressional power.
There is absolutely no rational argument that either legislative body in congress has the authority to withhold fulfilling its constitutional fiduciary responsibilities for the sole purpose of exacting policy concessions otherwise unrealizable through normal legislative practice. Funding the government is explicitly their job. For one legislative body to refuse to fund government without policy concessions from either another legislative body, the Executive, or Judicial clearly expropriates authority in an extra-constitutional manner and thus violates the balance of powers our founders initially intended." [emphasis added]
Not only that, but as we noted in our previous posting,

Government Shutdown Crisis Planned in Secret, Months in Advance by Republican Anarchists: A Criminal Conspiracy?

the criminal "conspirators against rights" in the House of Representatives and those outside of it should be sent to jail.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

European Health Care Costs and Obamacare : The True Facts About Medical Charges

This is an important day for Americans because October 1, 2013 opens affordable health care for everyone. See the guide at the NY Daily News:

Your guide to Obamacare: Affordable Care Act to open Oct. 1

To its great shame, the United States of America was not the FIRST but rather the LAST industrialized nation in the world to provide its citizens with national health care.

Small wonder then that America lags far behind other nations in the quality of its health care, even though it SPENDS more -- obviously, only for the chosen few. If you doubt that statement, read the links below.

The Affordable Care Act will change that -- for the better.

In fact, we recently talked to someone about a hip replaced in America for a total cost of $110,000 (NOT unusual in the USA) -- whereas comparable hip replacement in Europe costs a fraction of that as the OECD writes

"[i]n 2009, the estimated price of a hip replacement on average across European countries was about EUR 7300, while the price of a knee replacement was EUR 6800"

-- those figures showing the great failings of the pre-existing US health care system -- a system that well-meaning but badly informed government shutdowners are inexcusably trying to maintain,
at the cost of many people's health.

See these postings for the true facts:



Europe Leads Global Agewatch Wellbeing Index : Income Security : Health Status : Employment and Education : Enabling Environment

See the Global Agewatch Index of income security, health status, employment and education, and enabling environment at First ever Index to measure the wellbeing of older people.

The current federal government shutdown and debt chaos in the USA surely drops America in these world rankings which are nevertheless dominated by European countries, as well they should be.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Economics of Adaptability: Resistance to Necessary Change as a Formula for Failure: Detroit and the USA as an Example

Stephan Richter of The Globalist has it right at the New York Times in What Really Ails Detroit.

America has lost its traditional ability to welcome "change" and to use it for progress. In an age of globalization, the widespread resistance to desperately necessary change in the USA is a formula for failure.

What Really Ails Detroit

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Europa Universalis 4 Release Update

Europa Universalis 4 Release Update 

The game is apparently to be released in little more than an hour,
i.e. ca. 3 p.m. German time August 13, at one portal (steampowered)
that we examined.

No guarantees are made for this non-sponsored information.



European Alert! Europa Universalis IV To Be Released August 16 With Software Bonuses for Pre-Orders: The History of Europe as a Game for Gamers, Education (?), and Europeans in General

For all lovers of European history
and especially for gamers (or those with gamers in the family),
we pass along the non-sponsored information that

Europa Universalis IV 

is scheduled to be released on August 16 (Update: game apparently to be released in a little more than an hour, i.e. ca. 3 p.m. German time August 13 at one portal that we examined!)
and that pre-orders appear to be rewarded with bonus software.

We make no guarantees about either the release date or the bonus software,
because we do not know how the various software selling portals handle that.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Will WhatsApp Surpass Facebook Down the Road?

WhatsApp is an app we use daily
and it seems to us
to be the communication application of choice
among young people
so that we see WhatsApp
surpassing Facebook down the road
in the number of users,
especially given its now announced addition of voice.

See The Verge at WhatsApp adds voice messaging as it hits 300 million monthly active users.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Is an ESSENTIAL Patent Worth Less Than a Frivolous Patent? Obama Administration Overturns ITC Import Ban of Apple Products Violating Foreign Patents

When is a patent worth MORE
and when is a patent worth LESS?

Well, if you follow the patent wars closely, you find that ESSENTIAL patents, i.e. real inventions that are essential to technology are, surprisingly, worth LESS

while

frivolous patents of questionable authenticity are, again surprisingly, worth MORE.

What other conclusion can be drawn from the Obama administration

overturning an ITC import ban of certain Apple products for patent violations, a decision based on the argument that the patents in question are ESSENTIAL to technology,

while leaving intact a billion-dollar judgment in California -- in favor of Apple -- based on a frivolous NON-ESSENTIAL "bounce back, rubber-band" patent, obvious as it was, and arguably stolen as it was, from Atari's PONG anyway.

Beyond that elementary patent distinction, we have a divided opinion on this executive patent action of the Obama administration.

We have been writing for quite some time now at LawPundit about the absurdity of permitting the ITC, a non-judicial agency, to issue import bans based on their interpretation of patent infringement, since we regard the interpretation of the validity and infringement of patents to be an area ONLY within the jurisdiction of courts of the U.S. judiciary. See Constitutional Law: Non Article III Courts Encroaching Upon Essential Attributes of Judicial Power Contrary to U.S. Supreme Court Precedents : ITC Again Plays Judge and Jury on Patents.

The current state of affairs was thus predictable, given the increasing number of import bans issued by the ITC. One ban was inevitably bound not to hit foreign industry, but rather to have a strong impact on a domestic company.

But we find clearly that this was the WRONG case for the executive branch to clamp down on the ITC and to say that enough is enough.

They should have done that long ago when the ITC started to meddle in the patent field.

As it is, this whole thing again smacks not of LAW, but rather of government by the home field advantage, much as the woeful Apple patent cases in their own back yard in Cupertino. A travesty of law and justice.

The above cited Financial Times FT article by Richard Waters on Obama overturns Apple import ban quotes lawyer Susan Kohn Ross, who reportedly stated:
"It could be viewed as the US favouring US companies. Frankly, every other country does it, so why shouldn’t the US?"
So, there you have it, "economic trade protectionism" using the "home field advantage" under the guise of patent law.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chogha Bonut and the Ziggurat Chogha Zanbil as Structures to the Sky to Mark the Pleiades in Ancient Land Survey by Astronomy in Mesopotamia

ČOḠĀ BONUT (CHOGHA BONUT viz. Choga Bonut), 32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E, Susiana Plain, marks the Pleiades in the ancient prehistoric land survey of (Upper) Mesopotamia by astronomy. All the seven sisters of ancient myth and legend and their parents are included, even though this was maybe ca. 10,000 years ago.

We do not know the names of the Pleiads then, of course, so we use here the familiar names handed down to us by recorded classical antiquity, since their stars are well represented at Chogha Bonut. The parents were Atlas and Pleione. The seven sisters were Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Taygete, and Asterope (Sterope). Look at the map below. All are there.

In the map below,
the circular formations at Chogha Bonut
are based on a figure in an article by
Abbas Alizadeh,
ČOḠĀ BONUT: archeological site in lowland Susiana, in the present-day province of Ḵuzestān in southwestern Iran.

The star positions are from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.

The decipherment is by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013.

DECIPHERMENT OF CHOGHA BONUT
as Marking the Stars of the Pleiades

The Blue Circles are circular formations
at Chogha Bonut,

while the black marks are stars
superimposed from Starry Night Pro,
 
and the Red Circles and middle red line

were added by Andis Kaulins
to show the correspondence of circular formations
at Chogha Bonut
to stars of the Pleiades.



ČOḠĀ BONUT (Chogha Bonut)  32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E is deciphered in the map above as marking the stars of the Pleiades. The result is clear, even though there may be detail work to be done in the future since there are several levels of archaeological survey at Chogha Bonu, though most of the circular formations seem to be of the oldest provenance.

The above figure as I have drawn it consists of two halves, each separate from one another to the left and to the right of the middle red line.

These halves were moved somewhat apart from each other to adjust for scale differences between the superimposed star maps from Starry Night Pro and the circular formations as found at Chogha Bonut.

This was necessary because Chogha Bonut puts Pleione and Atlas closer together to Alcyone than is the actual case in the sky. Once Chogha locations are spread outward at the red line, one can easily see how Chogha Bonut marks the stars of the Pleiades.

Indeed, all we have done here is to paste the stars on both sides of the red line in transparent modus from Starry Night Pro, the parents on one side of the red line, and the daughters on the other si

We have made NO changes in either star positions or Chogha positions in the segments to the left of the red line and similarly we have made NO changes to the separate segments to the right of the red line, except to position those segments to better show how the major stars of the Pleiades were clearly marked at Chogha Bonut.

The basis for our map drawing of Chogha Bonut circular formations is a figure at Iranica Online found in an article by Abbas Alizadeh about ČOḠĀ BONUT: archeological site in lowland Susiana, in the present-day province of Ḵuzestān in southwestern Iran. See http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/coga-bonut-archaeological-site.

The star positions are taken from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.

The decipherment is by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013.

Chogha Bonut is located only about 20 kilometers north of the Elamite Chogha Zanbil, viz. Tchogha Zanbil, a world heritage site of later provenance, whose Elamite name has been transcribed for better or worse by the mainstream scholars as Dur Untash.

I include Old Elamite symbols in my book on the origins of writing:
Ancient Signs. The mainstream scholars might want to look at that.

An ancient name for the Pleiades was in fact the similar term Turanya (Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names) and that in our opinion is the origin of the name Dur Untash i.e. durun-tash=Tur-an-ya, "the Pleiades".

Duruntash is a name up to now ascribed by mainstream scholars solely to the Elamite ruler who allegedly built it. Chogha Zanbil was thus not only possibly a temple to a king but almost surely a ziggurat erected to the Pleiades.

We might add that our previous research suggests that the king may not have built or completed the temple himself, but that his surviving wife may have built viz. completed it for him after his passage.


Ali Kosh Archaeological Site in Iran and Neighboring Prehistoric Locations as Marking the Stars of Taurus


This posting shows a map of Ali Kosh near Mousiyan, Iran and includes the surrounding prehistoric ancient sites as marking Aldebaran and the stars of Taurus in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".

The locations are based on an online map of the Deh Luran (Dehloran) plain (by Frank Hole at http://frankhole.commons.yale.edu/ali_kosh/ but the map redrawing, interpretation and astronomical decipherment are by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013. Star positions are from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.


Ali Kosh marked Aldebaran, alpha Tauri. The name Kosh is similar to Akkadian Gish-da, Persian Ghav or Gau and Ughuz in Turkey for Taurus. See Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names.

In Indo-European, e.g. Latvian košs "bright" and the phonetically cognate related term gaišs mean "brilliant" viz. "bright" viz.  in various contexts related to "light" gaisma. One could venture an educated guess that the bright starry region of Taurus and the Hyades was named for "bright light".

The other stars marked are:
  • gamma Tauri by Tepe Musiyan (Mousiyan)
  • lambda Tauri by Tepe Khazineh
  • Xi and Omicron Tauri by Tepe Muradabad
  • Tepe Sefid by epsilon Tauri
  • Omicron Orion by Tepe Farukhabad
  • 97 Tauri by Tepe Sabz
  • iota Tauri by Ashrafabad
  • tau Tauri by Chogha Sefid
  • the triumvirate of stars at 11 Orionis, 15 Orionis and HIP21497 by Chagh Düzd.
We follow this posting with a surprise posting, not previously announced.

We originally looked for an ancient site minimally to the northeast of Ali Kosh in a direction where we would logically expect an ancient prehistoric site to mark The Pleiades. We have found that site a bit to the southeast, however, about 100 kilometers distant.

It is ČOḠĀ BONUT (CHOGHA BONUT viz. Choga Bonut) at 32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E, Susiana Plain, located 20 kilometers southeast of Dezful and 5 kilometers west of Čoḡā Miš. Dezful is about 9 kilometers southeast of Andimeshk.

Chogha Bonut is located only about 20 kilometers north of the Elamite Chogha Zanbil, viz. Tchogha Zanbil, a world heritage site of later provenance, whose Elamite name has been transcribed for better or worse as Dur Untash.

An ancient name for the Pleiades was in fact the similar term Turanya (Richard Hinckley Allen) and that in our opinion is the origin of the name Dur Untash i.e. durun-tash=Tur-an-ya, a name up to now ascribed to the Elamite ruler. Chogha Zanbil was thus not only possibly a temple to a king but almost surely a ziggurat erected to the Pleiades. That follows in the next posting.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Ancient World Sites: Upper Mesopotamia 10th to 7th Millennium B.C. and their Astronomical Significance in Prehistoric Land Survey

Two significant maps are found on the inside front and back covers
of Klaus Schmidt's book about Göbekli Tepe,
Sie bauten die ersten Tempel
(extensive material in English at TempleStudy.com)
and both maps are useful
to demonstrate the land survey
of ancient Upper Mesopotamia
by astronomy.
See reviews of that book in English by Claus-Peter Wirth and Jona Lenderig.

We have redrawn those two maps below and have added our own labeling and astronomical identification of each geographic location as we think it served land survey purposes according to the hermetic teaching "as above, so below", i.e. where we think the pre-existing "map" of the heavens above was used to map the earth below.

In those days, you could not walk down to the store and buy a map of an area, but people still had to be oriented and get around, so the stars were a logical choice as a map model. We find that to be nearly self-evident.

Decipherment of the Ancient Sites of Upper Mesopotamia
as Land Survey by Astronomy

The Overall Decipherment Map:
  • (top of map below)
    Upper Mesopotamian locations 10h to 9th millennium B.C. as listed on Klaus Schmidt's map (this is our independent redrawing and labeling)
  • (bottom of map below)
    Upper Mesopotamian locations 10h to 7th millennium B.C. as listed on Klaus Schmidt's map (this is our independent redrawing and labeling)
Of course, the astronomical identifications are ours alone and have nothing to do with the archaeological content of Schmidt's book, which does not have the term astronomy in its index.

Archaeology is an "earth" science and archaeologists still do not recognise that the ancients used the stars to map their earthly locations. See megaliths.net for a detailed discussion of how ancient megaliths served land survey purposes via astronomy.

This posting and the map below will be followed by explanatory postings about some of the most important of these locations from an astronomical land survey point of view:

As one can see from the above map, we have, among others, made the following identities of ancient locations and stars of the heavens (please note that we do not like to use diacritical markings and do not use them here in this short list because various programs and browsers do not render these correctly, leading to unnecessary confusion and false textual representation. In general, we do not support diacritical markings online for languages or alphabets (see on the topic of the origins of writing our book,
Ancient Signs).

Ancient Sites, 10th to 9th Millennium B.C.


Cayonu - Lynx
Kilisik - Leo Minor
Gobekli Tepe (plus our discovered Gobekli Koyu, Asagi Gobekli), Urfa, and perhaps Sefer Tepe, Karahan, Hamzan Tepe - Cancer
Akarcay, Tell Abr, Djade, Jerf el Ahmar, Cheik Hassan, Mureybet (Regulus) - Leo Major
Hallan Cemi, Kortik Tepe, Demirci, Nemrik, Qermez Dere -Gemini

Ancient Sites, 10th to 7th Millennium B.C.


Ali Kosh - Taurus (Aldebaran)
Jarmo - Auriga
Hacilar (Alkaid), Suberde (Mizar), Catal Hoyuk (Alioth), Musular, Asikli Hoyuk, Kosk Koyuk - all mark the main stars of the Big Dipper of Ursa Major (note that Turkish Catal means "fork" - the Big Dipper then ?)
Gobekli Tepe - Cancer
El Kowm - Leo Major (Regulus)
Jericho, Ain Ghazal, Jawa - Virgo (Jawa marked the star ZaviJAVA)
Palmyra - Hydra (Alphard)
Beidha (near Petra and the Snake Monument), Ba'ja, Basta - Hydra the Serpent
Helwan - Antares in Scorpio the "red star" - Saqqara = Siqor

We post subsequently about some of these ancient sites and will show how they mark stars of the heavens. Those postings may not come immediately and may be sporadic, because it takes enormous amounts of time to write them up decently. For those who have an interest in looking at maps and materials online, Ali Kosh and surrounding locations (Taurus and Aldebaran) and El Kowm (Leo Major and Regulus) provide some nice examples. But it is now summer and time for golf, if the weather holds. God (and the stars) willing ;-).


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