Mental Model by Joshua Kennon

Mental Model: Veblen Goods

Mental Model: Veblen Goods In today’s installment of our mental models catalog, we are going to discuss Veblen goods, which are a special type of item that would appear, at first glance, to violate the law of supply and demand relationships to prices. Veblen goods are a type of commodity, product or service for which…

Everyone Is an Atheist

We Are All Atheists, Every One of Us

On April 11th, 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams. In the private correspondence, the man generally regarded to be one of the three most brilliant founding fathers confided to his fellow founder and former President, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter”.

The Cult of Majority Democracy

The Cult of the Majority (or You Don’t Have a Right to Vote for the President of the United States)

Countless Americans mistakenly believe that the constitution says we are a nation, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Though it’s a nice sentiment, many don’t realize that the line came halfway through the nation’s history in the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln and isn’t part of our constitutional framework at all.

Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Some Things to Think About the IX Amendment of the United States Constitution

I happened to re-read some of Justice Scalia’s opinions tonight and in his Evans dissent, Scalia stated, “Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about this subject, it is left to be resolved by normal democratic means”. This sentiment embodies a fear that founding father Madison believed was inevitable – that someday, someone would come along and convince people that only those rights listed in the constitution were constitutional rights.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger Ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker Analysis

My Analysis of Judge Walker’s Proposition 8 Ruling, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Legalizing Marriage Equality in California (and Possibly the Entire United States)

I finally got through the ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger which overturned Proposition 8 as unconstitutional and it is scathing. I have never read anything worded this strongly other than Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence v. Texas where you could virtually hear the man shrieking with fists flying (and I say that having tremendous, enormous respect for Justice Scalia’s intellect, which at times, soars to the level of an apostle preaching legal gospel).