In the first half, political commentator and economist John Lott discussed his latest book Dumbing Down the Courts, in which he contends that intelligence has now become a liability for judicial nominees. Smarter judges, feared by their political opposition, are more frequently failing their confirmation proceedings resulting in reduced quality and intelligence of the judiciary, he argues. For Appeals and District Court judges, there's been a steady increase in terms of how long it's taken them to get confirmed, and confirmation rates have fallen, he cited. Lott found that it was nominees who'd gone to the best law schools, ranked highest in their class, and had the finest records who had the most difficulty getting confirmed as judges.
The more successful and smarter people were actually about 40% less likely to get confirmed onto courts, he continued. The fact that some of the best and brightest are not getting confirmed is a major problem because federal courts decide on many crucial issues and aspects of our lives, Lott asserted. He also updated his research into gun-related topics and concealed weapon carry laws. The president of the newly formed Crime Prevention Research Center, Lott reported that there are now almost 12 million Americans who have concealed carry permits, plus six states that no longer require permits. When a person is alone and confronted by a criminal, having a gun is by far the safest remedy to the situation, he remarked.
In the latter half, theoretical archaeo-astronomer Walter Cruttenden addressed how our solar system could be orbiting around a second or binary star, and how this affects civilizations and cycles over great periods of time. Actually, 80% of all stars are in binary or trinary systems, he detailed. The latest discoveries of dwarf planets and more objects in our outer solar system indicate that there is some very large mass out there that is aligning them in a certain direction, he noted. The dwarf planet Sedna, Pluto, and a newly discovered object all are pointed in the direction of Sirius, he added.
While one theory posits that the second star in our solar system could be a burned out brown dwarf, another theory conversely suggests that it's Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, that is our sun's binary twin, Cruttenden informed. Presently, Sirius is some 8.6 light years away, but since our solar system is moving faster than originally thought, "it's not unlikely that we could get around a center of mass with Sirius in 24,000 years if we're moving about 430 kilometers a second," he commented. Cruttendon will be a featured presenter at the CPAK Conference in October, and his film The Great Year about the cyclical truth of human history is screening free online on Thursday, October 2nd.
A mysterious structure on Saturn's moon Titan has been detected. An odd island-like feature off Ligeia Mare-- one of the moon's large hydrocarbon seas, appears to have doubled in size over the last year. More on the enigma at Space.com.
Bumper music from Tuesday September 30, 2014
Midnight Express (The Chase)
Livin' on a Prayer
The Magnificent Seven
The Sound of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond