Women suing Dartmouth demanding damages sufficient to send every Dartmouth student to University of New Hampshire

“7 Women Accuse Dartmouth Professors of Sexual Abuse in Lawsuit” (nytimes):

Seven women are suing Dartmouth College for sexual assault, harassment and discrimination they say they experienced from three prominent professors who, according to the suit, turned a human behavior research department “into a 21st-century Animal House.”

For over a decade, the professors — Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen — “leered at, groped, sexted, intoxicated and even raped female students,” according to the court papers, which were filed Thursday in federal court in New Hampshire.

The lawsuit, which seeks $70 million in damages…

There are approximately 4,300 undergraduates at Dartmouth. In-state tuition at University of New Hampshire is $18,500 per year (source). At rack rates, therefore, 4,300 students would pay $79.5 million at UNH. Assuming only a modest amount of financial aid, then, it would cost less to send all 4,300 of these undergrads to UNH than the amount of damages that was inflicted on these seven women.

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The Amazon HQ2 deals show how to implement a planned economy?

I’m wondering if the Amazon HQ2 deals show how to implement a planned economy without having to acknowledge that one’s country has transitioned away from the market.

Planned Economy v1.0: It is illegal for anyone to operate a business without approval from a government ministry. Government experts decide which companies can operate, from which locations, and engaging in which businesses.

Planned Economy v2.0: Set up tax rates that are, by global standards, punishingly high. It is therefore impractical to do business if a company must pay the headline rates. Government experts decide that certain companies, in certain locations, and engaging in certain activities, can operate with tax rates that are closer to global norms.

We’re not quite to this point, but with a few upward tweaks of the tax rates I think that we could be.


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If the migrant caravan demands buses, why not give them plane tickets to Canada?

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau says that Canada welcomes any refugees or asylum-seekers that the U.S. rejects. “Central American Migrants in Mexico Want Buses to US Border” (nytimes) says

Central American migrants in a caravan that has stopped in Mexico City demanded buses Thursday to take them to the U.S. border, saying it is too cold and dangerous to continue walking and hitchhiking. About 200 migrants, representing the roughly 5,000 staying in a stadium in the south of Mexico’s capital, marched to the United Nations office in Mexico City to make the demand for transportation.

What is the practical obstacle to giving them plane tickets to Toronto?

Separately, “Caravan Walks Quietly On, U.S. Opposition a Distant Rumble” (nytimes, 11/9/2018) is interesting for describing the experience of the folks in the current caravan:

Ms. Alvarado and her relatives left their home on the outskirts of Comayagua, a city in central Honduras, on Oct. 12. They came from a family of farm laborers who worked for abysmal wages in coffee plantations. Generations of residents from Comayagua had made the trek to the United States to find better-paying work, and the possibility was always forefront in the minds of those who remained behind.

Ms. Alvarado, one of the few in her family who had managed to escape the coffee fields, had been working as an assistant in a government social development program, but barely getting by on a salary of $200 a month.

(So the woman who gets a monthly paycheck from the Honduran government will have to claim in her asylum hearing (2-3 years from now?) that she is being persecuted by the Honduran government?)

Do-gooders should considering seeting up a shoe distribution center on the southern border of Mexico, rather than thoughts and prayers on Facebook:

They, like most members of the caravan, were ill-prepared for walking. Ms. Jiménez was wearing pink plastic sandals. Ms. Banegas and her son wore flip-flops. Ms. Jiménez’s 3-year-old had to be carried by the adults for much of the way.

The mechanics of getting into the U.S.:

The group did not plan to apply for asylum. Rather, like many other families in the caravan, their plan was to cross between official border entries and turn themselves into the United States Border Patrol. Since they were women traveling with children, they hoped they would be released quickly from detention and allowed to remain in the United States pending the outcome of their deportation cases. It’s a practice that has been widely used for years, but one that Mr. Trump is seeking to end.

Ms. Banegas said she picked Elmer, who left school three years ago to work in the coffee fields, to travel with her to the United States because he was her oldest minor child.

With him, “I might have a better chance of getting in,” she said.

The women had heard that the Trump administration policy of family separation had ended. Other migrants from their hometown had successfully crossed into the United States since then and had been released with their children.

I’m still confused by the policy of limiting refugee/asylee status to those who are fit enough to make an overland trek to the U.S. If we are humanitarians, given that Honduras has an awesome airport with a 9,500′ runway (MHLM), why aren’t we sending a daily Airbus A380 to pick up the elderly and disabled in 900-person groups? If we are not humanitarians, why do we accept any low-skill refugees/asylees?

Circling back to the top of this post… even if we take Canada out of this, why buses? Why wouldn’t the U.N. charter an Airbus A350 (after the A380, the world’s quietest airliner so that caravan members can relax!) to bring caravan members to the U.S. destination of their choice? If the U.S. objects to the daily arrivals, the U.N. can simply cite that the U.S. signed up to the 1967 refugee protocol.


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Family background of the California shooter?

The professor in Why You Are Who You Are: Investigations into Human Personality cites research that personality is highly heritable and disordered personality characteristics are even more heritable.

The Son Also Rises finds that personal success is highly correlated with extended family success.

The perpetrator of the recent Thousand Oaks shooting was plainly someone with a disordered personality and also not a very successful person. The media seems to blame his actions on PTSD from his time in the U.S. Marine Corps. Certainly a high percentage of Americans who serve in the modern military become disabled due to PTSD, but is that enough to explain a shooting rampage?

I’m wondering about this guy’s family background. Were his biological parents, aunts, and uncles simply mild-mannered accountants? Does he have siblings? What are they like?

Readers: What have you heard? Would someone who looked at this guy’s relatives have had any inkling that he was likely to do something crazy and violent?


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Why does Eric Schneiderman run free while Harvey Weinstein is criminally prosecuted?

“Schneiderman Will Not Face Criminal Charges in Abuse Complaints” (nytimes):

After a six-month investigation, prosecutors said Thursday that they would not pursue criminal charges against Eric T. Schneiderman, the former New York State attorney general who resigned in May after four women accused him of assaulting them.

“I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team,” Ms. Singas wrote, “however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution.”

The women, who had been romantically involved with him, accused him of choking, hitting and slapping them, sometimes during sex and often after drinking. All of them said the violence was not consensual.

Harvey hasn’t been accused of being violent, right? He is accused of trading roles in movies for ordinary non-violent sexual favors?

This former New York politician was inflicting non-consensual violence on women, possibly every night year after year (since the women continued their romantic relationship with him despite the violent attacks). Why isn’t that more worthy of prosecution than Harvey’s casting bathrobe operation?

[Separately, the Times also says 

In the immediate wake of the allegations, Mr. Schneiderman at first denied assaulting or abusing anyone, saying he had “engaged in role-playing” with the women. But in a statement issued Thursday morning, he apologized both to them and to the people of New York. He also said that he had spent time in “a rehab facility” and was “committed to a lifelong path of recovery and making amends to those I have harmed.”

What kind of “rehab” would be effective for changing someone’s sexual proclivities? We ridicule anyone who says that they are going to “rehab” people out of homosexual desires, right? Why would it be more effective to rehab this guy out of whatever he was enjoying in bed for the last 5-10 years?]

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Wishlist for when Google employees stop having sex in each other’s hotel rooms

Based on media reports it seems that the Google employees spend a lot of time on stuff that isn’t helpful to end-users. For example, “How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’” (nytimes):

The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013

Mr. Rubin said in a statement after the publication of this article. “Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign by my ex-wife to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle.”

[See this chapter on California family law for how Rubin’s defense in the family court is likely to go; Rie Rubin sued Andy in 2017 and her LinkedIn profile, with no conventional employment since 2009, suggests that she’ll be able to devote full-time effort to maximizing her child support profits. See this chapter on Nevada family law, with its default 50/50 shared parenting and capped-at-$13,000-per-year child support, for how Rubin could have saved his children the trauma of being the subject of custody litigation, himself a huge amount of time and energy that he’d have been able to devote to parenting rather than lawsuit defense, and his personal reputation (since Rie Rubin wouldn’t have had any financial incentive to disclose her defendant’s alleged sex habits) if he’d flown into KPAO from Vegas every day (see “Facebook uses a Malibu-flying engineering manager to promote careers in engineering”). The difference between Nevada and California child support guidelines? Sufficient for Rubin to have purchased a factory-new pressurized airplane and hired a professional two-pilot crew… every year of the marriage and for every year until the cash-yielding child turns 18. (e.g., Rubin could have bought a $2 million jet-powered short-field-capable Piper Meridian every year on January 1 and donated it to charity on Dec 31, times 20 years, for less the difference between what he will likely pay his plaintiff under CA versus NV law)]

On the chance that Google employees will cut back on having sex in each other’s hotel rooms, have a “work-in” rather than a “walk-out,” and manage to streamline their defenses of the various family court lawsuits, I wonder if it would be helpful to put together a wishlist of stuff that we humble users want them to work on. Here’s mine:

  • Make Google Docs as good as spotting spelling errors as Microsoft Word was in 1985. Example: “acquishing” not flagged as misspelled (Millennial attempt at “acquiescing”).
  • Fix Google Contacts. Example: I recently tried to add a phone number for a pilot working on his instrument rating. We had exchanged mobile numbers via email. Google’s Huge-Brained AI (TM) suggested that my own cell phone number should be added as his cell phone number. This despite the fact that I have a Google Voice account and use that number for two-factor auth, etc.
  • Bring back or open-source Picasa. (see this 2016 post on the topic)
  • Restore the portfolios that people took the time to add in Google Finance (2018 post)

Readers: What would you like to see Google coders work on?

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Equatorial countries will attack us with CO2 vacuums?

We in the temperate zones of Planet Earth have been waging war on folks at the Equator for the past few hundred years. We dig up dinosaur blood and coal, set it on fire, and fill with atmosphere with CO2. Who suffers most from the resulting warming? Folks who live at sea level near the Equator, where it was already too damn hot.

Suppose that, 25 years from now, the Chinese develop an awesome solar-powered CO2-extraction machine. Barack Obama dusts off his Nobel Peace Prize to get all of the correct-thinking countries to buy and run these machines until CO2 is reduced to a level that is optimum for the U.S. and similarly-situated nations.

What stops Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ecuador, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, et al. from deciding to buy and run carbon sequestration machines until the Earth gets kicked back into its “going back towards an Ice Age” phase?

It is not as though these folks really owe us temperate-zone-dwellers anything, right?

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Should our new Congress declare war on Venezuela?

We have a new (better?) Congress as of today.

The Uber driver who picked me up recently in “North Bethesda” (Rockville!) happened to be an immigrant from Venezuela. His parents and siblings remain in Venezuela’s “second city”, as he phrased it, of Maracaibo. They are short of food and medicine, both of which he ships to them monthly. “Sometimes it gets through. Sometimes it gets stolen by the army or police.”

I asked him what, in an ideal world, the U.S. government would do to help his family and their fellow Venezuelans. He wanted to see a U.S. military invasion that would remove the current government.

On the one hand, our most recent invasions-followed-by-nation-building efforts haven’t worked out so well. On the other hand, we invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965 and managed to get back out (Wikipedia).

We claim to be humanitarians, which is why we provide free housing, health care, food, and smartphones to low-income immigrants and their children. But, in theory, we could help all 32 million people in Venezuela to a much greater extent at a much lower cost than what we’re providing to tens of millions of welfare-dependent immigrants (at least one million in New York City alone, according to the nytimes).

If we don’t care about helping the vulnerable then obviously there is no need for us to bother. But then why do we spend $1.2 trillion on welfare? If we do care about helping the vulnerable, why don’t we set Venezuela back on its feet? How much resistance would current members of the Venezuelan military and police put up if we said “Staring Monday you’ll all be getting paychecks in dollars”? Are these folks truly fanatically devoted to their current way of doing things?

Plainly we couldn’t promise “free elections” since Venezuelans did freely vote for the current government (see Hugo Chavez: Great politician; poor administrator).

And probably we wouldn’t be successful in meeting expectations. Foreign Policy says “Venezuela was considered rich in the early 1960s: It produced more than 10 percent of the world’s crude and had a per capita GDP many times bigger than that of its neighbors Brazil and Colombia — and not far behind that of the United States.” The author is a brilliant “geoeconomics” expert, but apparently economists aren’t interested in long division because the article doesn’t include the word “population.” The population of Venezuela was 7.6 million in 1960 and dividing oil revenue by 7.6 million resulted in “per capita rich”. The same oil reserves divided by 32 million, of course, yield a disappointingly smaller number.

So of course we probably don’t want to invade Venezuela. But if we don’t, why do we say that our government acts in a humanitarian manner? Who needs help right now more than Venezuelans?

And if we don’t want to use our military for this, why do we need such a huge military? What other country would our new Congress want to invade?

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Barbara Streisand may be moving to Canada after today…

… but not Mexico? 

“Barbra Streisand Can’t Get Trump Out of Her Head. So She Sang About Him.” (nytimes):

How are you feeling these days?

I want to sleep nights, if we take the House I’ll be able to sleep a little bit better.

And if they don’t?

Don’t know. I’ve been thinking about, do I want to move to Canada?

Escaping the tyranny of Republican rule makes sense, but why does Streisand want to go to the Frozen North (TM)? If she likes the LA climate, Mexico offers a variety of upscale neighborhoods with similar sunny warm and dry weather.


  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: “Canada is a whiter country than the US. We have a much larger Asian population and a much smaller Black population.”
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Election outcome predictions?


What are your election outcome predictions?

So much of the ballot in our town is taken up by candidates running unopposed that I haven’t put much effort into considering Massachusetts outcomes.

We have three ballot questions, though. Let me go on record with guesses regarding those.

Nurses want state-set staffing minimums. Nearly everyone in Massachusetts is somehow dependent on the health care industry, so I think this will fail. Max Weber would agree with my prediction, I think.

Question 2 is about forming a commission to complain about Citizens United (nothing is worse than free speech when people say stuff that the righteous don’t want to hear). I predict that this will fail due to its obvious futility. (Though maybe it will win because it enables people to show their righteousness while wasting only a few $million?)

Question 3 is about whether people who attempt to interfere with a biological male using the women’s locker room, for example, should be imprisoned for one year (a longer sentence than the typical Nazi war criminal served). I predict that the “Yes” votes win (preserve the current law, which allows those who fail to keep up with the LGBTQIA times to the pokey). There is no cheaper way to feel virtuous than voting in favor of something that will purportedly help the transgendered.

I haven’t studied the close Democrat/Republican races too closely (I am unable to vote in them), but my general assumption is that most Americans want a planned economy so they’ll vote for Democrats unless a corrupt or similarly flawed candidate is put forward. Then, on the other hand, Americans are fearful of change, so they’ll vote for incumbents. So I will guess that Democrats win 80 percent of the “close” races in which neither candidate is incumbent, 95 percent of the close races in which a Democrat is the incumbent, and only 50 percent of the close races in which a Republican is the incumbent.

Readers: What are your best guesses right now?

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