Friday’s ruling did not directly disturb the role of Amtrak as the sole operator of the nation’s passenger train — a duty given to it by Congress when the for-profit corporation was first created in 1970. But the decision did find invalid key parts of Amtrak’s powers that Congress gave it in a new law in 2008.
A key facet of the new decision was that, although Amtrak is a part of the government (as the Supreme Court ruled in March 2015), it also operates as the private, for-profit firm that competes with freight railroads for the use of the same tracks. Congress dictated that Amtrak get first priority in the use of those lines, to help assure that passenger trains run on time as often as possible.
Gee, doesn't that make it both umpire and player in the same game?
Exactly. You have become wise grasshopper. Now, try to snatch this pebble from my hand.
David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.
Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.
His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.
Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.
The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.
This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…