Quick Roundup 435

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bowden on Judicial Review

With Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick impending, ARI's Tom Bowden does a good job explaining how both the left and the right are wrong about judicial review, and why we need judges who hold a proper conception of individual rights.

On this basic question conservative and liberal judges alike are locked into a crucial error about America’s bedrock constitutional principle: individual rights.

The error consists in regarding rights as gifts from society that can be revoked at will, through the political process.
One of his example quotes is a real whopper from Judge Scalia.

Tom Lehrer on YouTube

At some random moment yesterday, I thought it would be fun to listen to a little Tom Lehrer during my upcoming drive to Boston. I'm not sure how that happened, as I already have plans to listen to John Adams and haven't heard Lehrer's music in years.

In any event, I found his humorous songs all over YouTube this morning. Many, including one of my favorites of his, "New Math," (embedded below) are accompanied by extraneous video, including lip-synching.

Along those lines, here's a re-working of "New Math" I'd never heard of, wherein the mathematics professor explains the intricacies of decimal currency to the British, who were decimalizing the Pound Sterling at the time. This is footage of Lehrer himself on The Frost Report.

Objectivist Roundup

I believe Amy Mossoff will host this week's Objectivist Roundup today or tomorrow.

In the meantime (or in addition), just go there and start scrolling. It looks like she has a succession of very good posts over there. Topics include: whether children should have cell phones, whether students should use the Internet for research, "tantrums and principles," and several posts featuring pictures of Mexico.

Look quickly ...

... before it disappears! I was pleasantly surprised to see my blog mentioned yesterday on the opinion web page of The Houston Chronicle. From a posted list, it looks like Live Oaks has also been mentioned there before.

-- CAV


JG said...

Glad to see your blog mentioned on a news website. May possibly get some more curious, thinking souls to check out what you have to say? -hope so...since you do have a lot to say that makes a lot of damn good sense! Congrats.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, Jasmine!

Kyle Haight said...

Cool, someone else who likes Tom Lehrer.

My parents first exposed me to his work when I was about seven. When I mentioned this to my mother-in-law, her immediate response was "Oh, that explains it." I'm not sure if that was an insult or not.

Andrew Lewis swiped a joke from Lehrer in his mini-course on the virtue of productivity, incidentally, which led me to ask him after the lecture whether he too is a fan. He is, and was a bit surprised that I caught him out.

Gus Van Horn said...

I learned about him from a roommate/fellow math major, who had tapes of most of his songs.

I think when the dust settles after the move, I'll get some CDs of his....

Ryan O. said...

Perhaps I'm unacquainted with "new math" (or far too acquainted with it) but I didn't get the humor in the song. What seemed to be the object of his wit is, to my knowledge, the proper method of subtraction, complete with the proper understanding of "borrowing" from various spots.

Gus Van Horn said...

The "new math" is most obvious when Lehrer starts in on base 8, but his reference to powers of ten and commutativity of addition are also examples, which his staccato delivery makes really over the top. This stuff is too conceptually advanced for beginners in arithmetic.

I got some kind of hybrid. I learned to carry normally, I think, but do remember seeing sets of things instead of numbers on assignments sometimes.

Mike said...

Well, I would recommend this fairly complete box set, but it looks to be out of print and expensive used.


The first and second CDs have the same songs, just the different versions he recorded at different times.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for the recommendation, MIke.