Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Legal Scholars" Inciting Disobedience of U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Appear Not to Understand the Fundamentals of "The Law"

America currently has numerous serious problems, many of which directly impact Europe, not the least of which are people in the legal profession who appear not to understand "the law".

Our statement above reacts to an article at cnsnews.com headlined Legal Scholars Urge Officeholders: Refuse to Accept Same-Sex Marriage Opinion as Binding Precedent.

To our great astonishment so-called "legal scholars" urge government officials in the United States to ignore U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The entire basis of "law and order" in the civilized world, especially for people conservatively minded, is that law court decisions must be obeyed, even if they involve minor transgressions such as illegal parking or minor traffic violations.

Imagine if U.S. citizens and residents could select which laws to follow and which to ignore. There would be anarchy and chaos everywhere. We already have enough examples worldwide of the consequences of the breakdown of judicially imposed "law and order".

How can people within the legal profession seriously incite government employees to disregard U.S. Supreme Court decisions and thus to feel free to "pick and choose" the laws and court decisions that they choose to obey in the exercise of their paid and sworn duties?

They have a legal option: if government officials disagree strongly with what the laws and court decisions tell them to do, then they should look for another job.

Who has the legal right here -- according to law?

It is the U.S. Supreme Court which possesses Constitutional jurisdiction as the nation's highest court to have the last say on what is constitutional and what is not constitutional as a matter of law.

Individual citizens, also as government employees, are free of course to have their own "opinions" about U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the legal, political, economic and societal issues to which those decisions may relate, but they have ZERO jurisdiction to decide what is constitutional as a matter of law and what is not constitutional in any particular government-related matter.

In the government offices which they hold, government officials are sworn to uphold the nation's laws, and what those laws require is decided by the nation's highest court, and not by individual government employees either in their private or employment capacities.

One can be sure that the present ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court has issued many more decisions which are repugnant to liberal views than the decisions they have made which are opposed by those who oppose the Supreme Court's decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Picking out one case that did not go their way as a case for disobedience is ludicrous. If what the "alleged" legal scholars write were true, then we could all just ignore any Supreme Court decision we chose. Just do as we please. LOL.

We say "so-called" and "alleged" legal scholars because the label "legal scholar" generally derives from some kind of authority of position granted to an individual by some organization or institution which is recognized as having the jurisdiction to grant that authority of position in contemporary American society.

But why give ANY credence to the decisions of those lesser institutions, including the titles they have granted, if the dictates of the much higher institution, the U.S. Supreme Court, are incited to be ignored?

What do we care what "title" some group has granted to ANYONE?

Thankfully, civilized society is governed by the sane consent of the governed to the main rules and orders of civilized life in a democratic nation such as the United States.

If that were not so, then people would feel free to challenge anyone and any institution, including the so-called "legal scholars" and the institutions who pay their salaries, to which the average U.S. citizen or resident has no "privity", i.e. they mean nothing to them, either in law or in fact.

Judge Learned Hand commented on "the spirit of liberty" as follows [formatted]:
"What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty?

I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts.

These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes.

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it."
If the dictates of the highest court of law of the nation are not to be observed, then government and academic positions are equally non-sacrosanct from challenge and can be alleged to mean "nothing". Who says you are who you are? What is the authority? And why should we recognize THAT?

Those who choose to attack the pillars of society must recognize that in doing so, they also destroy the foundation upon which they themselves are sitting.

It reminds us of James Clerk Maxwell's poem (Maxwell was the founder of electromagnetism and one of the greats of modern science) which he wrote as his "notes" regarding the President's Address at the British Association, 1874. His comments on "petty promotion[s] in nebulous kingdoms of mist" are instructive: 

"In the very beginnings of science,
the parsons, who managed things then,
Being handy with hammer and chisel,
made gods in the likeness of men;

Till Commerce arose, and at length
some men of exceptional power
Supplanted both demons and gods by the atoms,
which last to this hour.

Yet they did not abolish the gods,
but they sent them well out of the way,
With the rarest of nectar to drink,
and blue-fields of nothing to sway.

From nothing comes nothing, they told us
naught happens by chance, but by fate;
There is nothing but atoms and void,
all else is mere whims out of date!

Then why should a man curry favour
with beings who cannot exist,
To compass some petty promotion
in nebulous kingdoms of mist?

But not by the rays of the sun,
nor the glittering shafts of the day,
Must the fear of the gods be dispelled,
but by words, and their wonderful play.

So treading a path all untrod,
the poet-philosopher sings
Of the seeds of the mighty world
the first-beginnings of things;

How freely he scatters his atoms
before the beginning of years;
How he clothes them with force as a garment,
those small incompressible spheres!

Nor yet does he leave them hard-hearted
he dowers them with love and with hate,
Like spherical small British A[...]
in infinitesimal state;

Till just as that living Plato,
whom foreigners nickname Plateau,
Drops oil in his whisky-and-water
(for foreigners sweeten it so);

Each drop keeps apart from the other,
enclosed in a flexible skin,
Till touched by the gentle emotion
evolved by the prick of a pin:

Thus in atoms a simple collision
excites a sensational thrill,
Evolved through all sorts of emotion,
as sense, understanding, and will

(For by laying their heads all together,
the atoms, as councillors do,
May combine to express an opinion
to every one of them new).

There is nobody here, I should say,
has felt true indignation at all,
Till an indignation meeting
is held in the Ulster Hall;

Then gathers the wave of emotion,
then noble feelings arise,
Till you all pass a resolution
which takes every man by surprise.

Thus the pure elementary atom,
the unit of mass and of thought,
By force of mere juxtaposition
to life and sensation is brought;

So, down through untold generations,
transmission of structureless germs
Enables our race to inherit the thoughts
of beasts, fishes, and worms.

We honour our fathers and mothers,
grandfathers and grandmothers too;
But how shall we honour the vista
of ancestors now in our view?

First, then, let us honour the atom,
so lively, so wise, and so small;
The atomists next let us praise,
Epicurus, Lucretius, and all.

Let us damn with faint praise Bishop Butler,
in whom many atoms combined
To form that remarkable structure,
it pleased him to call his mind.

Last, praise we the noble body
to which, for the time, we belong,
Ere yet the swift whirl of the atoms
has hurried us, ruthless, along,

The British Association
like Leviathan worshipped by Hobbes,
The incarnation of wisdom,
built up of our witless nobs,

Which will carry on endless discussions,
when I, and probably you,
Have melted in infinite azure
in English, till all is blue."


- James Clerk Maxwell,
Notes re the President's Address
at the British Association, 1874

Friday, October 09, 2015

Digital Privacy in Europe and the USA: California Governor Signs Landmark Electronic Communications Privacy Act Into Law

We posted previously about developments in transatlantic digital privacy.

It is interesting in this regard to note that the landmark Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA viz. CalECPA) in the State of California, USA, has just been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

CalECPA provides that a warrant is required for a great variety of digital searches and seizures by law enforcement agencies and similar bodies.

Read California Now Has the Nation's Best Digital Privacy Law in an article by Kim Zetter at WIRED, who writes:
"The landmark Electronic Communications Privacy Act bars any state law enforcement agency or other investigative entity from compelling a business to turn over any metadata or digital communications—including emails, texts, documents stored in the cloud—without a warrant. It also requires a warrant to track the location of electronic devices like mobile phones, or to search them.
The legislation, which easily passed the Legislature last month, is the most comprehensive in the country, says the ACLU."
Read the article here.

See EDRi for the newest developments in Europe on protecting digital freedom.

We are not always in agreement with the sources we cite, but one should be aware of what is going on in these areas of law, which impact everyone.

1410 Czech Prague Astronomical Clock Celebrated as October 9, 2015 Google Doodle

Today, October 9, 2015,
the Google Doodle celebrates the
Prague Astronomical Clock 
-- Prague orloj (Czech Pražský orloj) --
whose first recorded mention was October 9 in the year 1410.


"Prague (Praha, CZ) - Karlsplatz (Karlovo nám) Uhrenturm" by Guido Radig 
- Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

View the amazing functions that this astronomical clock already had -- more than 600 years ago and more than 100 years PRIOR to the solar-centric 1543 Copernican Revolution of Copernicus.


"Schema Orloj en". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Google Goes to Alphabet Officially Following the Real Alphabet Leader

Google has officially gone Alphabet.

But make sure you get OUR book FIRST

Click the link for the print version of
The Syllabic Origins of Writing and the Alphabet



Click the image above
for the Kindle edition for Kindle,
and the Amazon Kindle App for Android, iPad, iPhone


and then look at the later
-- now "going official" --

Google Alphabet.

We are ALWAYS ahead of the pack,
even ahead of Google's Alphabet.

When it comes to the REAL Alphabet,
there is only ONE leader,
and it is not Google.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facebook Notes Gears Up for the Blogging Market

Everyone a blogger now? as Facebook Notes makes substantial changes.

Andrew Tarantola has the story at Engadget in Now anybody can be a blogger using Facebook Notes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sky Earth Native America 1, Edition 2, eBook Version via Amazon for Kindle, Android and iOS

Sky Earth Native America 1, Edition 2, by Andis Kaulins is available on Kindle eBooks via Amazon at
and has the specifications listed below. The .pdf mixed text and image files have been converted as graphic images in order to have Kindle MOBI file versions that make it possible to view these volumes with Kindle, Android and iOS.

File Size: 73096 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Andis Kaulins; 2 edition (September 20, 2015)
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B015NNDU3M
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Sky Earth Native America 2, Edition 2, by Andis Kaulins is available on Kindle eBooks via Amazon at 
and has the specifications listed below. The .pdf mixed text and image files have been converted as graphic images in order to have Kindle MOBI file versions that make it possible to view these volumes with Kindle, Android and iOS.

File Size: 73875 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Andis Kaulins; 2 edition (September 20, 2015)
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B015NNWEAC
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled


Sky Earth Native America in TWO Volumes as Edition 2: Table of Contents for Volume 2: Mound Key, Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, Florida as an Ancient Map of North America?

Is Mound Key, Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, Florida an Ancient Map of North America?

Sky Earth Native America 2
: American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy, Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.  Publication Date: September 20, 2015. Language: English. List Price: $49.99. Trim Size 7" x 10" inches viz. 17.78 x 25.4 cm. Full Color on White paper. 266 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1517396831 (CreateSpace-Assigned). ISBN-10: 1517396832. BISAC: History / Americas. Create Space Title ID: 5745813. http://www.createspace.com/5745813

Table of Contents by Page and Subject for Volume 2, Edition 2
  • page 3 - Table of Contents, Volume 2
  • page 11 - Preface
  • page 13 - Book Publications by the Author on Law, Legal History, and Ancient Astronomy and Land Survey
  • page 17 - Mounds of the State of Florida Revised Map includes Mound Key as a Map of North America ca. 1150 B.C. [#61]
  • page 22 - The Ultimate Test for Art and Archaeological Aptitude - "ArtArchApt" Shows Your "ArtArchAptness" [#62]
  • page 25 - Mound Key and Other Sites in the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve South of Fort Myers Florida as Stars of Cetus [#63]
  • page 28 - Dali and da Vinci through July 26, 2015 at "the Dali" Museum in St. Petersburg: Minds Machines & Masterpieces
  • page 28 - The Lake Jackson Mounds in the Florida Panhandle Mark a Rectangle of Stars to the Left of the Head of Cetus at the Lower Extremity of the Stars of Taurus [#64]
  • page 30 - The Grand Mounds at Little Talbot Island State Park in Northeast Florida near Jacksonville mark Ecliptic, Vernal Equinox, and Calculate Precession ca. 240 B.C. [#65]
  • page 33 - Shields & Grant Mounds at the Mill Cove Complex Jacksonville Florida Have the Shape of a Fishhook & Fishing Weight as Located at the Mouth of Pisces [#66]
  • page 37 - Alternative Browser "Pale Moon" as a Fork of Mozilla Firefox but No Australis Keeps Firefox 28 Customizability Including Tabs BELOW the Address Bar and Full Profile Migration
  • page 40 - Shell Rings Sapelo Island Darien Georgia Mark Upper Stars of Pisces as Early Snorkeler Water Serpent Whale/Manatee, Shark, Sardine, Octopus, Starfish and Tropical Fish [#67]
  • page 44 - Pinson Mounds in Tennessee -- Largest Middle Woodland Mound Complex in the USA -- Sauls Mound, Ozier Mound, Earthworks -- Mark the Stars of Cassiopeia as a Bird [#68]
  • page 48 - Terra Ceia Island and Madira Bickel Mounds Between St. Petersburg and Bradenton Florida Represent Stars in Cetus as Mortar Pestle Dough & Bakers Peel [#69]
  • page 50 - Long Key White Sand Mound Boca Ciega Bay Gulf Coast Florida St. Petersburg as Stars of Cetus and Eridanus [#70]
  • page 54 - It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear: Sequential Presentation of Information More Important than Content
  • page 54 -Big Mound City and the Big Circle Mounds in Florida Marked Neighboring Groups of Stars in Cetus Separated by the Celestial Meridian in ca. 670 A.D. [#71]
  • page 58 - Philip Earthworks at Lake Marion, Florida show the Circle of Stars at 34 Ceti, 38 Ceti, 39 Ceti and 42 Ceti, with 34 Ceti the Star On the Edge of the Circle [#72]
  • page 60 - Fort Center Lakeport Florida Mounds Earthworks Mark Cetus Left of Stars Marked by Big Circle Mounds [#73]
  • page 62- Letchworth-Love Mounds Monticello Florida's Largest Pre-Columbian Earthworks, Mark Stars of Aries [#74]
  • page 64 - Kolomoki Mounds Blakely Largest in Georgia mark the Bright Stars of Aries at the Vernal Equinox ca. 200 BC [#75]
  • page 66 - Antiquarian Discovery Charles Dickens Pickwick Papers
  • page 68 - Tick Island DeLeon Springs Lake Woodruff Florida marks Stars at the Circlet of Pisces [#76]
  • page 72 - Rollins Shell Ring and "Ringlet" Mounds Fort George Island Cultural State Park Jacksonville Florida, SW of the Grand Mounds Little Talbot Island State Park, Mark Stars of Pisces at Alpha Piscium and Portray a Man of Native America [#77]
  • page 75 - Tomoka Mounds Middens Ormond Beach Florida Mark Primarily the Stars of the Lower Fish of Pisces as a Shark with the Head to the Left and the Body to the Right [#78]
  • page 78 - Turtle Mound Largest Shell Midden USA Near New Smyrna Beach in Florida Marks Delta Piscium and the Mount Royal Temple Mound Near Welaka Marks Xi Piscium: Map of Florida Mounds of the Lower Fish of Pisces [#79]
  • page 81 - Does Mankind Really Want Mysteries of the Past to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions [#80]
  • page 85 - Native America Contributions to Modernity: Maize (Corn), the Potato, the Tomato, Tobacco, and Machu Picchu [#81]
  • page 89 - Machu Picchu Peru Marks Ophiuchus in its Architectural Design Construction as Inca Cosmological Levels[#82]
  • page 92 - Intihuatana (Inti Watana) at Machu Picchu as Solar Apex, Apex of Sun's Way on its Galactic Orbit in the Galaxy [#83]
  • page 93 - Other Stars Marked in the Environs of Machu Picchu? [#84]
  • page 94 - Cognition of Geographic Information and Human Spatial Orientation : Systems of Landmarks in Ancient Eras
  • page 95 - Population Genetics Puts Origins of Indo-European Languages in the East in the Corded Ware Kurgan Culture
  • page 103 - New Genetic Research Says Human Out of Africa Migration Was Via Egypt and Not Via Ethiopia
  • page 104 - Saksaywaman in Cuzco, Peru Represents Aquila as the Quechua ch'aska kancha "Stellar Constellation" Cha(s)kay Waman, the Falcon Constellation [#85]
  • page 112 - SaksayWaman as Star Groups of the Heavens Between Tullu Mayu and Sapphi Mayu, the Ends of the Milky Way [#86]
  • page 115 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman as Inca Astronomy - Image 1of 14 Decipherment Images taken Left to Right - Here Marking Libra, Virgo, Corvus, and the Equinox Line [#87]
  • page 117 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman as Inca Astronomy: Image 2 of 14 Marks Crater & Tail of Hydra [#88]
  • page 118 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman - Image 3 of 14 Marks Leo Cancer Hydra Canis Minor & Major and Canopus [#89]
  • page 119 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 4 of 14 Marks Orion Gemini Taurus Auriga [#90]
  • page 120 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 5 of 14 Marks Perseus Pleiades Aries Andromeda Pegasus [#91]
  • page 121 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 6 of 14 Marks Cassiopeia Equinox Cepheus [#92]
  • page 122 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 7 of 14 Marks Draco Aquila Cygnus Lyra Ophiuchus Cygnus Cepheus [#93]
  • page 123 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 8 of 14 Marks Serpens Caput Sagittarius [#94]
  • page 124 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 9 of 14 Marks Inca ATOQ the Fox, Scorpio (tail to the left) [#95]
  • page 125 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 10 of 14 Marks the Great Llama Centaurus Lupus [#96]
  • page 126 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 11 of 14 Marks Llama Cancha Yutu Tinamou [#97]
  • page 127 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 12 of 14 Marks Crux the Southern Cross [#98]
  • page 128 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 13 of 14 Marks Dark Constellations Toad Hanp'atu Serpent Mach'acuay [#99]
  • page 129 - Decipherment of SaksayWaman: Image 14 of 14 Marks the End Section of Mach'Acuay the Dark Constellation [#100]
  • page 131 - A "Readable" Full Decipherment Photo Image for SaksayWaman via a Link to the Bitmap [#101]
  • page 132 - Qurikancha Gold Altar Map Cuzco Peru Inca Inti Sun Temple as Crux Southern Cross plus Milky Way and Galactic Meridian [#102]
  • page 139 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Uses Same Astronomical System as Found at Cusco: Inscripcoes em rochedos do Brasil Figure 4 Hartt: First of a Series of Six Postings [#103]
  • page 142 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Figure 5 Hartt[#104]
  • page 143 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Figure 6 Hartt[#105]
  • page 144 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Figure 7 Hartt[#106]
  • page 145 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Figure 10 Hartt[#107]
  • page 146 - Rock Art Ererê Brazil Figure 1Hartt[#108]
  • page 147 - "Heart of the World" at La Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City of Colombia, South America, Marks the Stars of Corvus and Also Has a Southern Hemisphere Sky Map Megalith [#109]
  • page 151 - Petroglyph Boulders viz. Petroglyphic Megaliths as Former Tribal Boundaries in Native America [#110]
  • page 153 - Kokopelli as Boötes Playing Flute Extending to Ursa Major: Mortendad Cave Petroglyphs Los Alamos New Mexico USA as Marking Stars of the Heavens ca. 1750 B.C. [#111]
  • page 154 - Kokopelli as Kokopetiyot (koko-petiyot): Boötes the Herdsman with Flute or Horn[#112]
  • page 156 - Blythe Intaglios California Arizona Border as Astronomical Tribal Landmarks Involve Environmental Suits[#114]
  • page 162 - Painted Rock, La Piedra Pintada, Carisa Rock viz. Carrol Rock, Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo County, Largest Pictograph Site in California, Marks Stars of Virgo [#115]
  • page 166 - Keystone Petroglyphs Mendocino County, California, Mark Stars of Virgo at the Autumn Equinox ca. 500 B.C. [#116]
  • page 169 - Spyrock (Spy Rock) Petroglyphs Mendocino County California Mark Stars of the Sky ca. 3000 B.C. [#117]
  • page 171 - The Klamath River Petroglyph Boulder as Sky Map [#118]
  • page 173 - A "Virgo" Fertility Origin for the Name of Oregon? [#119]
  • page 177 - Roosevelt Washington Columbia River Rock Inscriptions at Horsethief Lake State Park are Sky Map ca. 750 B.C. in the Shape of a Dog-like Animal's Head like Machu Picchu [#120]
  • page 180 - Lost Slakaiya Rock Petroglyphs of Eel River California are a Sky Map ca. 3400 B.C. and Perhaps an Ancient Map of the Northern Pacific Northwest Including Alaska [#121]
  • page 184 - Rock Formation at Big Butte Montana Marks Boötes [#122]
  • page 188 - Pictograph Cave State Park Montana Giant Cliff Wall "Cupules" (Holes) as Stars ca. 3000 B.C. [#123]
  • page 191 - Medicine Wheel Locations in Alberta, Canada Mark Stars of Sagittarius, Corona Australis and Telescopium [#124]
  • page 192 - Distribution of Pictographic Rock Art Sites in Alaska and a Decipherment Map as Astronomy by Location [#125]
  • page 195 - Tuxedni Bay Clam Cove Alaska Carvings Rock Art SW of Anchorage: Tuxedni as Cygnus Clam Cove as Aquila [#126]
  • page 204 - Alaska Rock Art Geographic Distribution Corresponds to Traditional Tribal Territorial Divisions of Cultures [#127]
  • page 215 - Feniak Lake Alaska Noatak National Preserve 3-Sided Megalith Marks Stars & Astronomical Parameters [#128]
  • page 218 - Rumsen Rock Presidio Monterey California Near the Sloat Monument is Fertility "Virgo Megalith" [#129]
  • page 221 - Rio Hurtado Valley Norte Chico Chile Rock Art Deciphered as Crux Centaurus Musca ca. 600 A.D. [#130]
  • page 225 - Anasazi Ancestral Pueblo Rock Art St. George Ivins Utah as Sky Map from Serpens Cauda to Aquila ca. 1000 B.C. at the Emergence of the Early Basketmaker Era II [#131]
  • page 227 - Skaitok Boulder Spence's Bridge British Columbia Canada as a Sky Map of Stars Similar to Anasazi Pictographs [#132]
  • page 230 - Sambaqui - Shell Midden Mounds of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Jabuticabeira Region Mark the Turtle viz. Tortoise of Heaven as the Stars of Columba at the Bottom of the World [#133]
  • page 235 - The Great Google Earth Eagle Mystery Challenge and the Seven Principles of an Eagle: The Eagle as the Messenger to the Great Spirit, the Creator [#134]
  • page 238 - A First Nations Clue to the Location of the Eagle of The Great Google Earth Eagle Mystery Challenge: The Boundary Commission Trail as the Oldest Highway in the West and the Boundary Between the USA and Canada [#135]
  • page 242 - Manitoba Manitou and the Eagle [#136]
  • page 243 - A Hypothetical Ancient Land Survey Map of Native America and the Cahokia Birdman Tablet Compared [#137]
  • page 245 - Location of the Mystery Eagle at the "Old" Pilot Mound, Manitoba: Aquila in Land Survey of Native America [#138]
  • page 248 - Jeffers Petroglyphs of Minnesota as Sky Maps ca. 750 B.C. Minnesota Marks the Stars of Hercules [#139]
  • page 252 - Petroglyphs of Area of Slabs, Area das Lajes, Amazon Basin, Manaus, Brazil, as a Sky Map ca. 3000 B.C. [#140]
  • page 255 - The Equator Megalith of Brazil Highway BR-174 North of Manaus near Rorainópolis, State of Roraima, Brazil [#141]
  • page 259 - About the Author

Sky Earth Native America in TWO Volumes as Edition 2: Table of Contents for Volume 1: Astronomer Surveyor Priests from Europe in Ancient Days?

Sky Earth Native America 1: American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy, Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins. Publication Date: September 20, 2015. Language: English. List Price: $49.99. Trim Size 7" x 10" inches viz. 17.78 x 25.4 cm. Full Color on White paper. 266 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1517396817978-(CreateSpace-Assigned). ISBN-10: 1517396816. BISAC: History / Americas. Create Space Title ID: 5745812.
http://www.createspace.com/5745812

Table of Contents by Page and Subject for VOLUME 1, Edition 2
  • page 3 - Table of Contents: Volume 1
  • page 11 - Preface
  • page 13 - Prologue 1: The History of Civilization: Winston Churchill on the Rule of Law as a Prerequisite to Human Progress
  • page 15 - Prologue 2: Anthropomorphic Rocks Featured in America's 1st Surrealist Film, Object Lesson, already in the year 1941
  • page 22 - Prologue 3: Book Publications by the Author on Law, Legal History, and Ancient Astronomy and Land Survey
  • page 26 - The Great "Google Earth" Image Mystery
  • page 27 - The Great "Google Earth" Image Mystery: Hints to Solution
  • page 29 - Judaculla Rock Cherokee Dividings : Research Beginnings
  • page 30 - Starry Night Pro as our Astronomy Software for Research
  • page 31 - Judaculla Rock Decipherment 1
  • page 33 - Petroglyphs of North Carolina and Georgia Mark Stars
  • page 36 - Two Petroglyph Boulders of Northeast Georgia near Helen Mark Stars of Canis Major, Canis Minor, Orion & Taurus
  • page 38 - Allen Rock Petroglyphs in Habersham County, Georgia USA Mark Stars of the Heavens Principally Orion
  • page 41 - Hiawatha: Holder of the Heavens: A Solution to The Great Google Earth Image 34.890653 -83.880198 Mystery
  • page 46 - Hiawatha as Atlas and Orion, the Iroquois Aron-Hiawagon with Hiawagon = Hiawatha, the "Holder of the Heavens"
  • page 49 - Prehistoric Mankind's Primary Technologies Were Rooted in Astronomy; Economies Were Based on Land & Property
  • page 51 - The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America Begins! [Posting #1 of this Series]
  • page 52 - Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex Moundsville West Virginia Marks Cygnus [Posting #2 of this Series]
  • page 55 - The Center of the Mound System of Native America: Great Serpent Mound, Newark, Chillicothe [#3 of the Series]
  • page 58 - The North Ecliptic Pole and Draco as Marked by the Newark Earthworks in Ohio [#4]
  • page 61 - Draco and the Hopewell Mounds of the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe, Ohio [#5]
  • page 62 - Precession: North Celestial Pole and Ursa Minor as Marked by Mounds and Earthworks in Chillicothe, Ohio [#6]
  • page 68 - Criel Mound Dunbar South Charleston West Virginia Mark Stars of Cepheus and North Celestial Pole in ca. 300 BC [#7]
  • page 71 - Wolf Plains Mounds of Ohio as Southeasterly Stars of Draco Near the North Ecliptic Pole [8th]
  • page 73 - Google Earth Pro Free as of February 1, 2015
  • page 73 - The Paint Creek Valley Mounds, Seip and Baum Earthworks, and Fortified Hill in Ohio as Stars of Ursa Major near the Big Dipper and North Celestial Pole [#9]
  • page 76 -The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio Marks Stars of Draco & Mounds and Earthworks Help to Calculate Precession [#10]
  • page 83 - Effigy Mounds National Monument, Harpers Ferry, Iowa, as Stars of Libra, Boötes, Ursa Major, Perseus, Pleiades [#11]
  • page 87 - Effigy Mounds at Poverty Point, West Carrol Parish, Louisiana as Astronomy: Thunderbird of the Pleiades [#12]
  • page 90 - Poverty Point Needs Review [#13]
  • page 91 - Painting in Cave of Indian, Tamaulipas, Burgos Municipality, Mexico, Marks Taurus, Orion ca. 2300 B.C. [#14]
  • page 96 - John Bedell on Aztec Surveying & Ancient Civilizations: Land Survey and Astronomy Drove Mathematical Progress
  • page 96 - Las Labradas Petroglyphs Baja California Sur Mexico Mark Tropic of Cancer Summer Solstice Canis Major [#15]
  • page 101 - Sierra de San Francisco El Vizcaino Reserve Baja California Sur in Mexico: Rock Art as a Sky Map ca. 1000 B.C. [#16]
  • page 105 - A Baseline X,Y Axis for An Ancient Native North America Land Survey with a Portrait of an Astronomical Land Surveyor as an Ollama Game Player on Tlachtli [#17]
  • page 109 - Etowah Ocmulgee Lamar Mounds Georgia Mark Summer Solstice ca. 1200 A.D. and 1450 A.D. Respectively [#18]
  • page 112 - Great Thunderbird Challenge for World's Archaeologists, Astronomers Archaeoastronomers: 1 Petroglyph 60 Stars!
  • page 115 - The State of Modern Archaeology and Astronomy: Thundering Acclaim for the Thunderbird Challenge or Not?
  • page 123 - Y-Axis of Native North America Land Survey - Herschel, Saskatchewan Canada to Ancient Sites in Mexico [#19]
  • page 128 - The Bottom of the Y-Axis of the Ancient Native North America Land Survey by Astronomy in Mexico: Monte Alban, Santos Reyes Nopala, Mitla, Rio Copalita [#20]
  • page 132 - Rock Art Sites of Southern Saskatchewan, Canada, Mark Stars of Scorpio and Autumn Equinox ca. 3000 B.C. [#21]
  •  page 134 - Herschel Petroglyphs, Monoliths & Rocks Mark Primarily Stars of Scorpio and Autumn Equinox ca. 3000 B.C. [#22]
  • page 139 - Herschel Petroglyphs Monolith #1 as Sky Map ca. 3000 B.C. and Survey Plan of Ancient Native North America [#23]
  • page 143 - Herschel Petroglyphs Monolith #2 Marks Stars at Head of Scorpio Marking Autumn Equinox ca. 3000 B.C. [#24]
  • page 146 - Herschel Petroglyphs Monolith #3 Marks Scorpio [#25]
  • page 148 - Thunderbird of Roche Percée Petroglyphs of Saskatchewan Canada Marks Stars Below Hydra by Canis Major[#26]
  • page 153 - Temple of Seven Dolls Dzibilchaltun Merida Marks Front Shield Stars of Orion at Celestial Equator ca. 200 B.C. [#27]
  • page 157 - Mitla in Oaxaca Mexico Marks Stars of Lepus Columba [#28]
  • page 159 - Palenque Chiapas Mexico Marks the Stars of Columba [#29]
  • page 161 - Texas Man-With-Raised-Arms Petroglyph Marks Stars of Taurus at Palo Duro Canyon (2nd largest in USA) [#30]
  • page 164 - North Dakota Mounds at Valley City State University Medicine Wheel Park Mark Stars of Serpens Caput and Ophiuchus and the Autumn Equinox in ca. 3000 B.C. [#31]
  • page 166 - The Megalith of Cañon el Porvenir Zaragoza, Coahuila, Mexico near the Twin Peaks of Los Picos de Davis and near Del Rio, Texas Marks Gemini ca. 3000 B.C. [#32]
  • page 170 - Rock Art Sites in Southwestern Arizona Mark Stars of Leo and the Summer Solstice ca. 3000 BC at Quitobaquito [#33]
  • page 173 - Toltec Mounds Arkansas Mark Stars of Auriga as a Boat, plus Milky Way, Galactic Equator & Galactic Meridian [#34]
  • page 175 - Spiro Mounds in Oklahoma Mark Stars Between Gemini Auriga and Lynx and Mark the Galactic Meridian [#35]
  • page 177 - Cahokia Mounds Platforms & Palisades Mark Stars of Ursa Major as a Bow-and-Arrow Wielding "Galactic" Hunter [#36]
  • page 181 - Cahokia Monks Mound Birdman : Mystery of Official Cahokia Logo Tablet and Monks Mound [#37]
  • page 183 - Cahokia Monks Mound : The Missing Heart[#38]
  • page 185 - Cahokia at the Heartland of Ancient Native America! [#39]
  • page 189 - Cahokia Birdman Tablet Has Sky Map Etched on the Stone Surface: The Crosshatch Back Side Diagonals Each Marked Six Degrees of the Heavens: The Birdman was Surely the "Astronomer Surveyor Priest" [#40]
  • page 195 - The Winterville Mississippi Mounds Mark Theta Aurigae at Mound A and Nearby Stars in Auriga Lower than the Upper Toltec Mounds Star Menkalinan [#41]
  • page 198 - Marksville Emerald Mound and 46 Locations in Louisiana and Mississippi Mark Stars of Auriga: The Indian Trail Natchez Trace Thus Followed Edge of the Milky Way [#42]
  • page 202 - Moundville Earth Mounds near Tuscaloosa Alabama Mark Stars of Perseus [#43]
  • page 205 - The Shelton Stone Mound Complex Group 2 near Jacksonville Alabama Marks Stars of Perseus [#44]
  • page 208 - The Shelton Stone Mound Complex Group 1Marks Stars of What We Today Call Camelopardalis Above Perseus [#45]
  • page 209 - Shelton Stone Mound Complex Group 3 near Jacksonville Alabama Marks the Pleiades and Stars of Aries [#46]
  • page 210 - Flinders Petrie and the Shelton Mound Wall and Boulder Complex Groups 12 3 Together as a Weaver & Vertical Warp-Weighted Backstrap-Type Loom [#47]
  • page 217 - The Bottle Creek Mounds North of Mobile Alabama Mark the Stars of the Pleiades [#48]
  • page 219 - Ancient Mounds of the Florida Peninsula Mark the Stars of Cetus -- Crystal River Mounds, Horr's Island (now the "other" Key Marco), Miami Circle and More [#49]
  • page 224 - Crystal River Mounds of the Crystal River Archaeological State Park in Florida Mark Stars at the Head of Cetus [#50]
  • page 226 - Crystal River Mounds Megalith (Stela #1) Deciphered [#51]
  • page 233 - The "Next" Great Google Earth Image Mystery [#52]
  • page 235 - Brickell Point Miami Circle Florida as a Sky Map[#53 - #57]
  • page 245 - Miami Circle, Nazca, Northern Hemisphere Sky Map, Aztec Calendar Stone, Izapa Stela 5, Google Earth Mystery [#58]
  • page 255 - Location of Next Google Earth Image Mystery Image [#59]
  • page 258 - The Fact Avoidance Syndrome in Mainstream Science
  • page 258 - Nazca (Nasca) Mystery Image as Anthropomorphic Cupule Marking of Stars of Andromeda and Pisces on Earth [#60]
  • page 264 - About the Author
The next posting has the Table of Contents for Volume 2 of Sky Earth Native America.

What About the European - Native American Connection via Haplogroup X? Sky Earth Native America Published in TWO Volumes as Edition 2: General Description

What About Haplogroup X?
Was there European influence via ancient seafarers in Native America?

Why do Native American populations have Haplogroup X?

Haplogroup X is also found in European populations, also e.g. especially in the Orkney Islands of Scotland.

Did the megalithic culture of Europe, found extensively on the Orkneys, bring systematic astronomy to the New World thousands of years ago?

The Wikipedia writes at Haplogroup X (mtDNA):

"Haplogroup X is found in approximately 7% of native Europeans, and 3% of all Native Americans from North America.... Sub-group X2 appears to have undergone extensive population expansion and dispersal around or soon after the last glacial maximum, about 21,000 years ago. It is more strongly present in the Near East, the Caucasus, and Mediterranean Europe; and somewhat less strongly present in the rest of Europe. Particular concentrations appear in Georgia (8%), the Orkney Islands (in Scotland) (7%), and amongst the Israeli Druze community (27%). Subclades X2a and X2g are found in North America, but are not present in native South Americans."


The book Sky Earth Native America has now now been published in TWO Volumes as Edition 2 and may provide some answers to the above questions. 

Sky Earth Native America has been published as a book in TWO Volumes via CreateSpace.com and can be viewed at the following two links. Both volumes are "Edition 2" since there had to be a change made from "Edition 1", which is no longer published, and that is why this posting has been amended as follows:
  1. http://www.createspace.com/5745812 Sky Earth Native America 1: American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy, Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins. Publication Date: September 20, 2015. Language: English. List Price: $49.99. Trim Size 7" x 10" inches viz. 17.78 x 25.4 cm. Full Color on White paper. 266 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1517396817978-(CreateSpace-Assigned). ISBN-10: 1517396816.
    BISAC: History / Americas. Create Space Title ID: 5745812.
  2. http://www.createspace.com/5745813 Sky Earth Native America 2: American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy, Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.  Publication Date: September 20, 2015. Language: English. List Price: $49.99. Trim Size 7" x 10" inches viz. 17.78 x 25.4 cm. Full Color on White paper. 266 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1517396831 (CreateSpace-Assigned). ISBN-10: 1517396832. BISAC: History / Americas. Create Space Title ID: 5745813.


Both volumes have the same cover except that one has "Volume 1" on the front cover and the other has "Volume 2" on the front cover. The earth image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of the Earth from NASA.

Although this publication is primarily for my own records, there may be a few persons who are interested in acquiring these two volumes. The following two postings after this one present the Table of Contents of each book volume.






Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
"Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska, geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens. See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report, American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote: "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars, drawing them according to their magnitude. The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.... They were keen observers.... The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men." See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map, American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.

In our book, we take these observations one level further and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America, together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America, whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs, cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.

These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."
Both volumes have the following "internal" cover:


I also appended the following information about myself as the author:
"Andis Kaulins is a joint EU and USA citizen, born in Germany in 1946, who received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska in 1968 in English and Political Science and his J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) law degree from Stanford University Law School in 1971.

Kaulins is an alumnus associate of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, an international law firm headquartered in New York City. Kaulins is also a former FFA Law Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, University of Trier Law School, Trier, Germany, where he taught Anglo-American Law, Legal Research and Legal Writing to ca. 200 students per semester.

Kaulins is a co-author of the leading German-English English-German Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance, published by Langenscheidt and Routledge, now in its 4th edition in the Langenscheidt version under lead author Ludwig Merz. The other co-author is Dr. phil. Heinz Werner.

Education, Past Positions and Publications
  • - Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • - B.A. University of Nebraska 
  • - J.D. Stanford University Law School 
  • - Associate: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, an international law firm headquartered in New York City 
  • - University of Nebraska Law School -- Project on Appellate Court Delay (a National Center for State Courts project working with the Nebraska Supreme Court as a staff attorney) 
  • - Arizona State University Law School -- Project on Law Enforcement Policy and Rulemaking (writing Model Rules of Procedure for police departments of major US cities) 
  • - University of Kiel Law School, Germany -- Visiting Fellow, Institut für Ostrecht (East-West trade, Soviet Union, divided nations (Germany, Korea), Latvian Supreme Court decisions) 
  • - FFA Law Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, University of Trier Law School, Trier, Germany, teaching Law, Legal Research and Legal Writing to ca. 200 students per semester 
  • - Pharmaceutical and computer company consultant 
  • - Co-author: Langenscheidt Routledge German-English English-German Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance 
  • - Author: Stars Stones and Scholars 
  • - Author: Ancient Signs: The Alphabet and the Origins of Writing 
  • - Author: The Syllabic Origins of Writing and the Alphabet (Create Space print edition) (Kindle ebook edition) 
  • - Men's Golf Champion at the age of 61 at the Mosel Golf Club, Cochem, Germany"

Monday, September 21, 2015

Online Fantasy Sports and Gambling and Gaming Laws : What is Legal? What can be Prohibited?

The paternal nature of gaming and gambling lawmaking arises out of the well-meaning illusion that human vices can be eradicated by prohibitions, a faulty line of thinking already clearly repudiated by the failure of the Prohibition of alcohol beverages in the USA via the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which was subsequently repealed by the 21st Amendment to that same Constitution -- for the simple reason that the law did not work.

Amber Phillips at The Fix in the Washington Post asks:

Are daily fantasy sports even legal?

American and international laws on gaming and gambling reflect the minds of legislators trying to cope with "games of chance" in the real world.

What are the odds that the legislators have it right? Not very good.

Anyone who does not realize that life itself is in many respects a "game of chance" just has not been around long enough or seen enough. Life is a lottery in many, even important, aspects. You roll the dice and take your chances.

Is there ANY empirical evidence anywhere that gambling and gaming laws work, e.g. that they actually help to eliminate gambling or gaming addiction?

While it is regrettably very true that excessive gambling can cause personal and/or family ruin and can also be the cause of great harm to third parties, is there ANY evidence that legislation in force achieves ANY of the goals that moralistic prohibitionary laws intend? or are people simply kidding themselves?

The harms that excessive gambling viz. gaming cause should of course be reduced, but what is the right way to do it?

Chief among these harms is the simple fact that too many people modernly spend too much time on gambling viz. gaming pursuits, often to the detriment of their family, profession, and social and other responsibilities. How is that to be corrected?

Various age-old human vices may be bad, but simple prohibition does not appear to be the right method to get rid of them.

For laws, there has to be some empirical proof that prohibition-type legislation works. What is that proof for current gambling and gaming laws?

Certainly the prevailing standards are ridiculous,
and not just in the United States.

Take Germany as an example, where the German Lottery is state-owned and is a marvelous source of income for the government, expressly prohibiting private institutions from doing the same. Does that make it better? See:
We understand very well society's need to keep people from gambling away their fortunes, or their salaries, simply for the sake of gambling (or gaming). 

Those who are addicted to such pursuits and who risk their financial well-being must ultimately be taken care of by others, so that the State has an over-riding interest to make sure this does not happen, at least, as far as possible. Anyone who wants to gamble away his or her fortune can still do so in the present world and "a fool and his or her money is easily parted". Do not worry about that.  Many even do that on the stock market. Can we prohibit that gambling too?

Instead of strict prohibitions, why not put LIMITS on how much anyone can game or gamble in a given year, or month, or week, based on how much they earn, own or have? Why do gambling laws have to be totally permissive or totally exclusionary? Why not have the tax authorities issue individual gambling permits for given amounts, based on a person's financial returns?

A similar solution would be a possibility for alcohol abuse and drunk driving. One strike and you are out. Prohibit purchase and use of alcohol for offenders, not for those who can deal with alcoholic beverages responsibly.

Gambling and Gaming Laws and Online Fantasy Sports : What is Legal? What can be Prohibited? - See more at: http://lawpundit.blogspot.com/2015/09/gambling-and-gaming-laws-and-online.html#sthash.5jdWTlkn.dpuf

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stay Away from the New Sway of Microsoft 365

Swayed Away! and do we mean AWAY.

Check out this Sway! "Swayed Away: The Problems With Microsoft's Sway"

We tried the new Microsoft 365 addition "Sway" today and here are the first text additions we made via the "plus symbol" that appeared when we clicked our first "card" which consisted originally of 5 points, as we added points 6 and 7:

6. What a complicated mess!!!!
7. Oh boy, it gets worse.

We have no idea who Microsoft has been hiring in recent years to design its programs viz. (modern-day jargon) "apps", but there are serious problems in Redmond.

It is clear that some things appear to be much faster under the hood in terms of better "app" programming, but the user interfaces have simply been awful, and Sway is no exception as we were confronted with various text and graphic layers of who knows what. Ridiculous!

We were fed up with the app Sway in no time because of a labyrinth of illogical paths that someone apparently thinks to be clever, but which your average user is going to throw into the wastebasket because of the underlying sentiment of "who needs that kind of a complicated mess!"

Interface designers and programmers forget the essential truth that PC and mobile "screens" move "bits" and "bytes" around, just like in the original days of the digital revolution. Nothing has changed on that score.

We can in fact describe those groups of "bits" and "bytes" as being essentially what people call "text" and "graphics". So we are dealing with text and images.

THAT'S IT. THAT's ALL THERE IS TO IT.

The job of app viz. program software designers is to forge the middle-man medium between "user" and "machinery" in order to get the software and hardware to do what the user wants as fast and efficiently as possible, or, if you are an artistic sort, as fast, as efficiently, and as creatively as possible.

To put it simply, as basketball's legendary coach John Wooden might have said, you have to do the basics FIRST. Things like, learn to tie your basketball shoe shoelaces properly so you do not get blisters because of unnecessary rubbing. Learn to make layups before you go out and practice razzmatazz behind-the-back sleuth passes, etc.

Sway follows the exact opposite philosophy and tries to present itself razzmataz-like from the outset and appears to hope that the user will figure out the basics later, if the user is willing to take the time and effort to do that. The answer is in many cases the user is probably NOT prepared to do that.

We applaud the idea of trying to come up with an application viz. program that makes the job of creation and sharing of text and images easier, but the less boilerplate the user must wade through, the better.

So we tried to illustrate the problems with Sway by placing the text of this posting into a Sway "Storyline" which we have titled "Swayed Away: The Problems With Microsoft's Sway". See Check out this Sway! "Swayed Away: The Problems With Microsoft's Sway"

It did not take long for the first serious impediment to appear as we clicked on the "insert" button (a menu item whose design seems to go back 40 years) via which we were going to insert this text posting into Sway from Blogger.

Sorry, but the only thing we saw there were the "suggested" inserts, consisting of photos of Microsoft founders and other Redmond or otherwise located dignitaries. We had to click on the "downward" arrow next to "suggested" to get a short list of available sources, which were limited to OneDrive, OneNote, Facebook, Flickr, Bing, PicHit, YouTube, Twitter, + Add Source, Upload.

Kind of limited, we thought. We clicked "+ AddSource" and were then asked "Where do you want to get content from? Tell us all of your favorite places to find content for Sways, and we'll work on adding them. Thank you for your help." This is followed by unchecked boxes for iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Pinterest, Instagram, Vimeo, Vine and an option line to enter another app viz. program at "Other" (Please specify), all followed by two clickable box buttons of "Not now" and "Send".

Entering the app "Blogger" and clicking "Send" did not result in an affirmation of any kind that the suggested "other" app had been sent, but rather, the screen returned to the same Sway into which we were trying to insert Blogger material.

What were we to do now?

So we clicked the next "menu" item, "Cards" which led us to a dropped-down kind of menu at the left of the screen with the overall heading "All Cards" and various options under that:
the option "Text" (and the submenu items "Text" and "Heading"),
the option "Media" (and the submenu items Picture, Video, Tweet, Embed, Chart (Preview),
and the option "Group" (and the submenu items Automatic, Stack, Comparison, Slideshow, and Grid).

As we passed the mouse cursor over "Text" we got a pop-up text reading "Insert Text Card".

Clicking that item produces a NEW card under the previous one which contained the title heading.

What a surprise. They managed to fool us by thinking that the menu heading "Insert" would cover the insertion of text.

Hunt and peck. Hunt and peck.

Try to find out where some cloudy minds in Redmond had put the command one was looking for. You want to insert text? Do not look under "Insert". Look under "Cards". This is sort of like relearning the meaning of English-language words.

Gee, this is 21st century programming? Not in our book.

So we now "inserted" this entire text up to this point (i.e. this paragraph) in our Blogger posting in the "new" Sway card using the old tried and true method of copy and paste.

(subsequently)

The double-line formatting it presented to us was not our taste at all and as we tried to get that straightened out an animated bar of some kind kept disturbing us immensely as it popped up and down out of the right upper Sway area called "Preview". What it was doing there we have no idea but it was VERY disturbing and inimical to our work. Perhaps someone out there knows what it is.

Then we clicked on the menu item "Cards" and under that "Image" and double-clicked on the Microsoft image of what appear to be Microsoft graphic user interface designers about a mile distant from what we presume are their users.

April Fool . Nothing happened. If you think double-clicking here will work for you, you are mistaken! But wait, additional clicking produced two messages viz. "command options" in an upper Sway line (upon one click), and you have to see this to believe it, the first offering you to "clear selection (1)" and the second a button with the word "Add".

Why the negative first?!!! Ridiculous. Does the "Add" mean "arithmetic" or do they mean "add the selection"? and why is it a mile removed from the actual selected image?

With trepidation, we clicked the outdated "Add" clickbox button. The initially clicked picture now appeared as an "Insert" in the "Card" and then another image card appeared, perhaps because we had been double-clicking. I clicked on the trash can and the extra card disappeared. Well, at least they got SOMETHING intuitively right.

We then added a picture as a "Card", a video as a "Card", and a Twitter posting as a "Card". We were going to embed the following:

"<a class="embedly-card" href="http://lawpundit.blogspot.com/">LawPundit</a>
<script async src="//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js" charset="UTF-8"></script>"

but met an impediment via the Sway message that "Sorry, we currently only support iframe based embeds." Copying that text is not allowed, so you have to write the whole sentence out by hand if you want to use it, as here. That is hardly sensible, these non-copy parts of apps and programs. To what purpose??

So we added the iframe tags

<iframe src="http://lawpundit.blogspot.com" style="width: 90%; height: 300px"
scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" vspace="0" hspace="0">
</iframe>

No cigars. Sway gives us the message: "Sorry, we do not currently support non-secure embeds. Please use an embed with an HTTPS source."

So we tried this one:

<iframe src="https://www.createspace.com/4923438" style="width: 90%; height: 500px"
scrolling="yes" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" vspace="0" hspace="0">
</iframe>

Forget it. Sway tells us: "Sorry, we do not currently support this site. Please look at the more information link above for a list of supported sites."  Well, why not say that at the very beginning.

So we did that and to our absolute astonishment we find a meagre list limited to the following "sources": Channel 9, Docs.com, Flickr, GeoGebra, Giphy, Google Maps, Infogram, Mixcloud, Office Mix, OneDrive (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents), Sketchfab, SoundCloud, Sway, Vimeo, Vine and YouTube.

That is all. It is a VERY limited world out there, from the viewpoint of Microsoft. And then we tried out the "play" feature and made some "edits". One can hardly imagine it worse.

Sway is a joke, given the possibilities of other programs in our digital world.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Conversion of Books to eBooks: Kindle-Capable MOBI Files Created From Book Docs viz. PDFs Having Both Text and Images Using K2PDFOPT and CALIBRE

We make no warranty that this will work for you. Perhaps another, simpler method is available. When we first did this, none was. The procedure described below is complicated, but doable and it works for us. Here is what we do.

The objective: Creating a MOBI file usable in a Kindle publication when the book to be converted to Kindle format includes images. Normally, this can be difficult or impossible to do, since Kindle is set up mainly for text-based books. When we used the automatic CreateSpace link to convert our print book to Kindle, all we got back was impossible garble. We needed a different solution.

The method: Converting native (i.e. normal) pdf files of text and images to a pdf file consisting of each page as a singular graphic image page, i.e. including text and graphics as one image, which is then shown in that format on Kindle.

First: Create a normal "native" pdf file of your book from e.g. a .docx file which can be done in Microsoft Word (latest version) via the "Export" function under the menu item "File". This works for us in the subsequently described conversion procedure. We can not speak for pdf files created by other programs.

Second: Download and use K2pdfopt. Load that native pdf file into the file list of the program K2PDFOPT (download the version suitable for your system). K2pdfopt has dozens of commands for tweaking pdf files.

Our objective is to obtain each page of our book as a separate image for our pdf file and then automatically obtain a new pdf file of the whole book formatted in that manner.

Here is how you do it with k2pdfopt.exe.

The Command settings in k2pdfopt for conversion of pages as graphic images:

Load your normal "native" pdf file into the file list (do not click "native" ! in the lower commands or you just get a "normal" pdf file again).

Add these options from the options below that list:

Additional options:
  • enter exactly the following text with hyphens and space
    -bp -mc
Command-line version options
  • enter exactly the following text with hyphens and spaces
    -mode copy -de 1.5 -odpi 167 -h 1180 -w 800 -ws 0.2
Settings
  • Max columns: 1
  • Document Resolution Factor 1.0
  • Crop Margins (in): Left 0.00 Top 0.00 Right 0.00 Bottom 0.00
  • Pages to convert: (all)
Check (select) with the checkmark the following options:
  • Color output if your pdf has pages in color
  • Ignore small defects
  • Forget the rest unless you have special option requirements
At the right top of that same command page at k2pdfopt,
enter the following settings:
  • Device: Kindle 1-5
  • Width 800 px
  • Height 1180 px
  • DPI 167 (not sure if this is standard or determined by the pdf)
  • Conversion Mode: copy
Make sure the conversion mode is "copy". Then click "Convert All Files" and each page of your pdf will be converted to a graphic image, one by one as you can see on the screen. If not, you may have to reformat your Word file and make sure you have "page breaks" after each page or your result can lead to different pages on the screen than what you had in the original.

The resulting pdf is a pdf composed of each page of the original source converted to one graphic image (both text and graphic image parts). This, however, reduces what the reader can do with the text in Kindle but is better than any other alternative known to us. The reader can zoom any page like a graphic image for easier reading, which is not only useful for texts, but also great for graphic images. Negative is that the font and text sizes can not be changed as such per se but can only be "zoomed". But it works.

Download Calibre. That k2pdfopt pdf "image" file of a book can then be converted to the necessary Kindle "MOBI" format using the program Calibre which can be downloaded online at http://calibre-ebook.com/.

Load the resulting k2pdfopt pdf file into Calibre and select the "Convert books" option and then pick MOBI from the list of options. Calibre converts the pdf file to MOBI -- if memory serves correctly, placing it into an automatically created CalibreBooks directory in a file named after the book author. At least, that is what we use.

Download KindlePreviewer. Check now to see how the book looks with the KindlePreviewer, which allows you to see the book in all Kindle versions, also iOS. You can now upload your book to Kindle.

Caveat Emptor: Please note that we do not do any personal consultations on this matter. We are simply reporting our experience, and if it is useful to you, fine. If not, you may have to tweak your own solution. We have at least shown then how it "could" be done. Surely improvements are possible.



Sunday, August 02, 2015

Patent Law and the European Union (EU): Software-Related and Business-Method Patents Limited by U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Alice and Other Cases

Patent-happy lawmakers in the European Union (EU) should be paying particular attention to what is happening in the United States in terms of patent law developments regarding software-related and business-method patents.

We missed this earlier due to our massive work on the ancient land survey of Native America by astronomy, but we were gratified to read a perspicacious article by Steven Seidenberg at the ABA Journal in Business-method and software patents may go through the looking glass after Alice decision.

We were light-years ahead of the competition -- i.e the rest of the legal community --  in our inexorable assessment more than 10 years ago and in years thereafter that patents had gotten totally out of hand and that something had to be done by the legal system to avert the economy being totally clogged by patent trolls and patents that had no business being granted.

The Alice case decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and several other patent decisions by SCOTUS have finally led to some long-needed reform of the patent monolith, although much more still needs to be done in the future to stop the pervasively negative influence that patent practices have had on technological innovation in recent years.

As Seidenberg writes:
“It’s a new world order in the aftermath of Alice,” says Dale S. Lazar, a partner in DLA Piper’s Reston, Virginia, office.
... and well it should be.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, July 27, 2015

European Union Cookie Law Implementation is a Colossal Waste of User Time and Otherwise Valuable Webmaster Resources, Plugging the Networks Uselessly and Slowing Down Browsing

The wheels of law turn slowly and one would think that something sensible is being done in the interim by the powers that be, but it is difficult in the present case to discover what that might have been.

We posted about the impending and in many regards superfluously invasive effects of the European Union Cookie Law more than three years ago, see e.g.:
How surprised we were then as a "publishing" blogger to receive an email today, July 27, 2015, from Google and the Google Ads Policy Team regarding "Important information regarding the user consent policy" which reads as follows:
"Dear Publisher,

We want to let you know about a new policy about obtaining EU end-users’ consent that reflects regulatory and best practice guidance. It clarifies your duty to obtain end-user consent when you use products like Google AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers, and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Please review our new EU user consent policy as soon as possible. This requires that you obtain EU end users’ consent to the storing and accessing of cookies and other information, and to the data collection, sharing, and usage that takes place when you use Google products. It does not affect any provisions on data ownership in your contract.

Please ensure that you comply with this policy as soon as possible, and not later than 30th September 2015.

If your site or app does not have a compliant consent mechanism, you should implement one now. To make this process easier for you, we have compiled some helpful resources at cookiechoices.org.

This policy change is being made in response to best practice and regulatory requirements issued by the European data protection authorities. These requirements are reflected in changes recently made on Google’s own websites.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.


Regards,
The Google Policy Team


© 2015 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

As a publisher using a Google ads product, you are receiving this email to inform you of an important policy change." 
We were gratified to see among the "EU cookie law solution choices" at cookiechoices.org that the solution we recommended more than three years ago, Cookie Consent by SilkTide, has emerged as the most popular solution. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the lawmakers at the European Union (EU) appear in the intervening years to have made little or no progress in adopting a user-friendly and webmaster-friendly set of rules and solutions regarding opt-ins and opt-outs for cookies.

Quite the contrary, they are contributing to a massive bloating and absolutely useless boilerplate bottlenecking of the Internet, thereby costing users valuable time by demanding even more superfluous clicks via the consenting process for every cookie-using web presence. A ridiculous state of affairs.

Opting in or out of cookies can be better and faster done simply by making the appropriate changes to the cookie options in modern browsers. The EU law is a colossal waste of time for webmasters, bloggers and users. WHO is responsible for this nonsense? They should not be in Brussels.

When one takes a look at the Cookie Consent Kit that the EU has developed, one really must ask for whom it was designed. Code-savvy webmasters need little coding assistance of this kind, whereas coding novices who run blogs or websites via the many portals and services offered, can do nothing with that overly complex, virtually useless kit. We will be surprised if anyone uses it.

We ourselves, as already stated more than 3 years ago, rely on the simple solution that SilkTide presents. Thank you.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Wisdom ? of Parliaments and the Case of Weather Forecast Pioneer Admiral Robert FitzRoy

How misled can your average politician or scientist be in thinking what is right?
today and yesterday?

Consider the story of the fate of weather forecast pioneer
Admiral Robert FitzRoy,
captain of the HMS Beagle for Charles Darwin's famous voyage.

Peter Moore at BBC News relates that story to us in
The Birth of the Weather Forecast
where we read informatively that:
"When one MP suggested in the [House of] Commons in 1854 that recent advances in scientific theory might soon allow them to know the weather in London "twenty-four hours beforehand", the House roared with laughter."
As amazing as it may appear to us in our modern world today, the idea of the possibility of "weather forecasting" was considered a lunacy by most people in mainstream politics and science as late as the 19th century.

Indeed, weather forecast pioneer Admiral Robert FitzRoy, "the father of weather forecasting", met with vast resistance in his era, but as Moore tells us:
"[T]oday his vision of a public forecasting service, funded by government for the benefit of all, is fundamental to our way of life. 
His department, which began with a staff of three, now employs more than 1,500 people and has an annual budget of more than £80m.... 
Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office's current chief scientist explains: "FitzRoy was really ahead of his time. He was not mistaken or eccentric, he was just at the start of a very long journey, one that continues today in the Met Office."
Little has changed in people, politics or science in the intervening 161 years.

Mankind remains as difficult to teach to rise above its biases, ignorance and superstitions as it was in the Commons of 1854 where weather forecasting was literally laughed out of the House -- by the unfit.

Paradoxically, Darwin is famous
but who knows about FitzRoy?

And yet we all should daily thank FitzRoy, and not Darwin.

FitzRoy was right -- weather can be forecasted.
Not perfectly, but enough to be of a very big help to mankind.

Darwin on the other hand told us that the "fittest" survive.
When we view the daily news, however, we are not sure about that.

Things appear to be more chance than merit,
and probabilities seem to guide survival outcomes more than fitness.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Massive Eurozone Lending by Strong EU and Other Nations to Weak Economies as a Clever Long Term Plan of Indirect Currency Devaluation?

The Economist has a piece on the Greek debt crisis.

Here is our question for the pundits.

Let's say for purposes of calculation that there are ca. 10000000 Greeks (it is actually more like 11 million) with a government debt of ca. €300000000000 (some say 320 billion). Reduce both by 7 zeros and you get ca. €30000 per Greek. The question then becomes why it was permitted to loan out that kind of money to a basically non-industrial 3rd world nation that has no structural basis to ever repay that kind of exorbitant debt.

Is the indirect devaluation of the Euro over time actually a clever long-term financial plan instituted by strong nations via absurdly exorbitant lending to weak borrower nations? What other rational explanation is there?

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Greece and the Debt Crisis: A Basic Analysis of Options

Zachary Goldfarb at the Washington Post Wonkblog sizes up the debt crisis in Greece.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Greece: Where Some of the Money Owed Went: The 2004 Athens Olympics Venue and its Now Abandoned Building Infrastructure

We don't know what percentage of the 2004 Athens Olympics total building infrastructure this involves, but the linked article gives some idea of where at least some of the money now owed by Greece arguably went. What the 2004 Athens Olympics venues look like today

Friday, June 26, 2015

The European Union, the Eurozone and the Financial Crisis in Greece: Has Anything Substantial Changed in the Last Four Years?

We have always been fans of Greece, particularly ancient Greek history, and have even written about it. See The Phaistos Disc: An Ancient Enigma Solved: Two corroborative Old Elamite scripts can be deciphered using the Greek syllabic values obtained for the Phaistos Disc by A. Kaulins in 1980.

Greece is a marvellous country and we have also vacationed there -- some years ago, enjoying superb Greek hospitality, food, music and lifestyle.

Ever since antiquity, and surely since the days of the Trojan Horse, the Greeks have always had the reputation of being keen and clever persons, a cleverness that modernly extends deep into the business and economic world.

As written at Bloomberg in Billionaire Greek Ship Owners Surface While Home Economy Sinks:
"Greeks have long dominated the shipping business. The nation’s fleet, numbering 3,669 vessels in 2013, is the largest in the world, according to the annual report of the Union of Greek Shipowners, making up more than 7 percent of the Greek economy and providing 192,000 jobs in 2013.

Greece’s shipping magnates control 23 percent of the world bulk carrier fleet, according to the report, even as their home country accounts for less than 0.4 percent of the world economy. 

...
As social pressures mount, the privileged tax status of the shipping industry has come under increasing scrutiny as successive Greek governments look to boost revenue. The industry pays no tax on international earnings brought into the country under rules incorporated in Greece’s constitution in 1967." [emphasis added]
But that cleverness poses modern problems.

Given the above knowledge about the virtual non-taxation of shipping in Greece, many observers in the world and in the European Union viz. Eurozone have little sympathy for the present Greek financial crisis. A government that does not tax its major industries is not going to have much money.

Moreover, observers are astounded that Greece not only has the highest pensions spend in the Eurozone, but seems unwilling to reform its vast overspending habits or to make major reforms to a totally skewed national economy that has ca. 800000 civil servants, whereas, by population, if compared to the number of civil servants in the United Kingdom, it should have maximally only 80000 civil servants, i.e. 1/10th that amount.

The reality is that e.g. citizens in France and Germany have saved their money over decades and have saved that money in banks who have loaned that money out inter alia to Greece, in effect, as it turns out, to finance Greek overspending and to subsidize the Greek shipping business, which, as noted above, pays virtually no taxes.

Now that is cleverness on the part of the Greeks and one should view it as such. We live in a world where people get what they can, if you let them.

But now the trick is known, and it should not go on indefinitely.

It turns out that the Greek government owes so much money to banks that Greece has little hope of ever repaying the vast monies that have gone to finance the past decades of Greek overspending with money financed north of the Alps. As written by Mehreen Khan at the Telegraph: "Greece's debt mountain is set to rise to 180pc of GDP this year."

Is there a workable path out of the situation?
or is this now the end for Greece in the Eurozone?
See
Greece talks to go down to the wire amid fears of imminent banking collapse

The problem of the European Union, the Eurozone and the Greek financial crisis was discussed in understandable form at the London Review of Books by John Lanchester in Once Greece goes…: Any hope for the euro? · LRB 14 July 2011.

That was FOUR years ago.

If one reads the article now, and one really should read it to understand the core essentials of the problem, it would appear to this observer that virtually nothing substantial has changed in the last four years in terms of any truly effective structural economic and financial improvements in Greece.

As Paul Krugman has long pointed out, simple austerity is not working and of course can not work. It never has, because it shrinks an economy that needs to be growing fast to meet its spiral of increasing debts. Austerity has merely led to increasingly high levels of unemployment and many other social evils.

As for obtaining more government money via taxation, a government must focus on the people who have that money, and not on those who do not have it. In Greece, the rich pay few taxes, and, indeed, the richest industry, shipping, is virtually freed from taxation. How is government finance then supposed to work? Where is the money to come from if home industry does not pay it? The answer has been that loans from northern nations have been paying the bills.

In other words, it is no wonder that the problem of Greece persists still today.

It is equally understandable that there are many proposed solutions:
  • The Greeks themselves, as could be expected, are pragmatic. As written by John Hooper at the Guardian in Greece’s plight at odds with public's lack of concern as default deferred – for now (this was in May):
    "Kostas Panagopoulos, of Alco Polls, said a survey he carried out last month indicated the public was already resigned to compromise: 52% of respondents said they wanted a deal with Greece’s creditors “even if the prime minister had to step over those red lines”.
    Hence, we expect a compromise whose reaching Greece will surely prolong as long as possible simply to win time.
  • No Simple, Painless Solutions for Greece: Das - "Risk Consultant and Author Satyajit Das discusses Greece’s attempt to get new bailout terms from Germany and the ECB with Bloomberg’s Rishaad Salamat on “On The Move.
  • Mikio Kumada - Greece Should Sign Any Deal, LGT Capital's Kumada Says - "Mikio Kumada, a strategist at LGT Capital Partners Ltd., talks about the standoff between Greece and its creditors. He speaks in Hong Kong with Angie Lau on Bloomberg Television's "Asia Edge." (Source: Bloomberg)"
  • At Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden's picture - The Austrian Solution to Greece
  • A Greek exit from the Eurozone as the last option - Michael Nevradakis interviews Economist Roger Bootle in "Grexit" Is the Only Solution for Greece
We have a simpler solution: nationalize the shipping industry, confiscate private and business assets of the rich, wherever found, pay off the nation's debts, and go from there.

Of course, that will never be done, but our proposed solution, easily implemented, very clearly puts the focus on the cardinal question which is always: who pays????????

The clever ones seldom do.

Look at the digital era companies Apple and Google in the USA, who pay little corporate income tax, which is not "tax avoidance", as Tim Worstall has correctly pointed out at Forbes in Can We Please Get This Straight, Apple And Google Do Not Avoid US Corporate Tax, but is simply utilisation of tax rule options provided to them by the laws, i.e. the government. It is comparable to the tax preferences viz. "exemptions" granted to the shipping industry in Greece. And Greece shows us where that kind of preferential treatment of corporations -- who make full use of the free infrastructures of government -- ultimatley leads: to government insolvency.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

President Barack Obama via The White House Email Sends Out Letter on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Today Upholding Obamacare

In what should be a topic of interest in Europe, the President of the United States via The White House just sent out this email (as follows in content) regarding today's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare:

"On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone.

Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today:

This law worked. It's still working. It has changed and saved American lives. It has set this country on a smarter, stronger course.

And it's here to stay.

If that means something to you today, add your voice here.

This morning, the Supreme Court upheld one of the most critical parts of health reform -- the part that has made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance, no matter where you live.

If the challenges to this law had succeeded, millions would have had thousands of dollars in tax credits taken away. Insurance would have once again become unaffordable for many Americans. Many would have even become uninsured again. Ultimately, everyone's premiums could have gone up.

Because of this law, and because of today's decision, millions of Americans will continue to receive the tax credits that have given about 8 in 10 people who buy insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month.

If you're a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26 -- something that has covered millions of young people so far. That's because of this law. If you're a senior, or have a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions -- something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1,600 so far. If you're a woman, you can't be charged more than anybody else -- even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you're a woman. Your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms. They can't place annual or lifetime caps on your care.

And when it comes to preexisting conditions -- someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who got sick. Because that's something this law has ended for good.

Five years in and more than 16 million insured Americans later, this is no longer just about a law. This isn't just about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

This is health care in America.

Today is a victory for every American whose life will continue to become more secure because of this law. And 20, 30, 50 years from now, most Americans may not know what "Obamacare" is. And that's okay. That's the point.

Because today, this reform remains what it always has been -- a set of fairer rules and tougher protections that have made health care in America more affordable, more attainable, and more about you.

That's who we are as Americans. We look out for one another. We take care of each other. We root for one another's success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation that comes behind us.

And today, with this behind us, let's come together and keep building something better. That starts right now.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama"

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