Archive for May, 2009

May 31, 2009

AT AMAZON, a Father’s Day Blu-Ray sale.

May 31, 2009

A. C. KLEINHEIDER:

Guns have been so fetishized and derided in our politically correct and increasingly suburbanized culture that they have transformed into this huge monster that clouds what firearms really are and always have been

To rural folks who grew up with guns in their house, firearms are just a way of life. You learn what they are, how to use them safely, and what not to use them — for ever.

They are, in fact, a tool. A dangerous tool to be sure but no more than a circular saw or a chainsaw.

Read the whole thing. Plus, Phil Bredesen weighs in:

“I would suggest that it is cultural on both sides: that strong anti-gun advocates can be just as culturally biased and irrational as the most avid gun-toters. I enjoy pointing out to my more liberal friends that when they want to (e.g. choice v. right to life issues) they can happily find justification for their (and my) position in rights emanating from implied privacy rights lurking in the penumbra of our Constitution, but where they disagree (e.g. on guns) they are perfectly happy to wave off or reinterpret the clear language in the Bill of Rights.”

But he vetoed the guns-in-restaurants bill.

May 31, 2009

REVEALED: What’s on Obama’s Blackberry.

May 31, 2009

TEXAS SENATE endorses freeway spy cameras.

May 31, 2009

IT’S NOT JUST SPONGEBOB: Happy 10th Birthday to Seti@Home.

May 31, 2009

BILL ESKRIDGE AND DARREN SPEDALE: Stop The Gay Marriage Lawsuit: “Let the states experiment with gay marriage—it’s not time yet for a federal lawsuit.”

May 31, 2009

HOPE AND CHANGE: The Detainee Shell Game.

May 31, 2009

A BUNCH OF INTERESTING food links.

May 31, 2009

POLIWOOD ON PUNDITRY:

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May 31, 2009

WHICH IS WORSE: DRIVING DRUNK, OR DRIVING STONED? And don’t leave out driving stupid, which seems to be quite prevalent. . . .

May 31, 2009

MEET EMBER, the Littlest Warbot.

May 31, 2009

AS SEEN ON TV: Does the Windshield Wonder work?

May 31, 2009

HMM: Evidence For Vitamin D As Alzheimer’s Risk Reducer. Just to be safe, I plan to spend plenty of time sitting in the sun and drinking red wine.

May 31, 2009

BUT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO TRUST THE GOVERNMENT WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE INFORMATION: “Federal inspectors found that sensitive, unclassified information was potentially vulnerable at ORNL because the lab wasn’t purging information accessible via storage devices on leased printers and copiers.”

May 31, 2009

A QUESTION FROM CANADA: “What sort of research group ‘plagiarizes’ a report advocating for stronger intellectual property laws?”

May 31, 2009

TOM GOLDSTEIN: Judge Sotomayor and race.

Plus, some thoughts on the “wise Latina” brouhaha from Ann Althouse. “It was not an unguarded spontaneous outburst. It was a carefully written speech delivered to a particular audience. Sotomayor was saying the things that would be well-received by her audience. . . . What Sotomayor said was actually a weak, feel-good version of the kind of racial talk that is widespread in the legal academy.”

May 31, 2009

IS THE U.S. TREASURY smart or generous?

May 31, 2009

IN THE MAIL: From Stephen Talty, The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon’s Greatest Army.

May 31, 2009

COMING SOON: An English revolution?

May 31, 2009

ILL-ADVISED WORDS from Charlie Rangel.

May 31, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! “The little fry cook from Bikini Bottom, down in the benthic zone of the Pacific Ocean, has been with us longer than the iPod. . . . As a cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants absorbed the advances made by John Kricfalusi’s The Ren and Stimpy Show—the mood swings, the fugue-like interludes, the surreal plasticity of the characters—but without the earlier show’s edge of psychic antagonism. There are plenty of gnashing monsters at the borders of Bikini Bottom, and deep-sea gulches where the breath of nothingness blows. SpongeBob is dismembered; SpongeBob explodes; intense emotion flays the sponge-flesh from his sponge-bones. But where Ren and Stimpy seemed bent on freaking out the more fragile (or stoned) sectors of its audience, the SquarePants writers are interested in stories, even in lessons. Again and again, a kind of innocence triumphs—over fear, over snobbery, and over skepticism.”

Plus this: “In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, it is the evil Plankton—sort of a condensed dark-green Bond villain, minute in size but with a huge, bombastic voice—whose brand is triumphant. Having stolen the secret Krabby Patty formula from Mr. Krabs, he then enslaves the population via the distribution of free bucket helmets secretly loaded with brainwashing circuitry. ‘All hail Plankton!’ drone the toiling masses, as fascistic monuments are erected and Bikini Bottom becomes ‘Planktopolis.’”

Whew. That’s scary. Good thing it’s only a cartoon.

May 31, 2009

ADVICE TO COLLEGE GRADS from Andrew Klavan.

klavancapitol

May 31, 2009

ANOTHER “TEA PARTY” PROTEST, in North Carolina. “Community members held a Tea Party Protest outside Kernersville’s City Hall Saturday. Taxpayers we talked to said their concern is for the next generations who will have to pay for the government’s mistakes. Protestors also said lawmakers should put in an end to wasteful spending on all levels. The group meets once a month on a Tuesday.” There’s one scheduled for Raleigh, N.C. on June 3, too.

May 31, 2009

RAND SIMBERG: New NASA Administrator Will Have His Hands Full.

May 31, 2009

HOW TO LAND A GOVERNMENT JOB. “And remember, the pot at the end of the rainbow is quite golden: moderate work hours, unmatched job security, great benefits, and ample vacation and holidays. Thank you, taxpayers.”

May 31, 2009

seattlehealthA MARCH BY UNIONS, ETC., FOR OBAMACARE IN SEATTLE brought out a counterdemonstration of about 100 according to this report from reader Michael Babbitt:

Amazingly, we had about 100 or so there — and that is on pretty short notice for downtown Seattle — a few days.

We chanted, “Who Will Pay?” and “Healthcare Yes, Socialism No.” Baghdad Jim McDermott spoke to the group and he was upset with us as we made a lot of noise. We got to them. Here are a few pics.

It seems to me that some people are really getting into this whole protest-turnabout thing.

Related: Obamacare will lead to a U-Turn on life expectancy. “Specialists, and underpaid generalists will hang it up years ahead of their planned exit from medicine in just about any system that the Obama administration is likely to devise. They’ll scarcely need to ration care: there just won’t be anyone around to deliver it. Government will kill the golden goose, and then blame it upon everyone and anyone else. As usual.” Seems plausible to me. Plus, what to do about it.

May 31, 2009

BLAMING IT ALL on the nights on Broadway.

May 31, 2009

CALIFORNIA UPDATE: CBS5: State Worker Obligations Dwarf California Deficit.

May 30, 2009

TIME FOR A TEA PARTY? Big tax increases planned in Illinois. Didn’t Blago warn us about that?

UPDATE: Illinois Senate passes 67% income tax increase.

May 30, 2009

GETTING IT BACKWARD:

The Tennessee Firearms Association is seeking to publicly identify each law enforcement officer and prosecutor who attended Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto of a bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to take their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas said Friday that the move could be seen as an effort to “chill people’s rights to speak their opinion.”

If government officials do it to citizens, it might be an effort to chill people’s speech. But when citizens do it to government officials, it’s called political accountability.

May 30, 2009

TRAINS FOR AMERICA.

May 30, 2009

DEVO ACTION FIGURES? So wrong, and yet, somehow, so right . . . .

May 30, 2009

MICHAEL RUBIN: An Open Letter To Amnesty International.

May 30, 2009

WHEN POLITICIZING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is O.K.

May 30, 2009

SO MUCH FOR FIERCE MORAL URGENCY: U.S. vows to keep using ‘state secrets’ defense.

UPDATE: The Emily Litella Presidency? “It’s one more in a long series of instances in which the Obama administration has backtracked on its campaign promises–fortunately!–by keeping Bush administration anti-terror policies in place.”

MORE: Some related thoughts at The Belmont Club.

May 30, 2009

P.J. O’ROURKE: “The fate of Detroit isn’t a matter of economics. It’s a tragic romance, whose magic was killed by bureaucrats, bad taste and busybodies.” Plus this: “We’re way the heck out here in Valley Bottom Heights and Trout Antler Estates because we were at war with the cities. We fought rotten public schools, idiot municipal bureaucracies, corrupt political machines, rampant criminality and the pointy-headed busybodies. . . . And thanks to our cars, when we lost the cities we weren’t forced to surrender, we were able to retreat.”

UPDATE: Larry Kudlow: Little Green Cars.

May 30, 2009

ILYA SOMIN: Property Rights Cases are Not “Pro-Business” vs. “Anti-Business” Cases.

May 30, 2009

NEWSWEEK WRITES ABOUT RAY KURZWEIL. Ray Kurzweil points out some errors.

May 30, 2009

ABC NEWS: First President in US History to Have Voted to Filibuster a Supreme Court Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process. Heh. That’s their headline, not mine.

May 30, 2009

THE LATEST PJM POLITICAL includes me on Judge Sotomayor, and valuable shaving advice from James Lileks.

May 30, 2009

MICKEY KAUS: “Obama may be doing many good things with the GM and Chrysler bailout deals, but one thing he isn’t doing is ‘reinventing capitalism for the 21st century’–which is Marc ‘Spin Me’ Ambinder’s characterization of what Obama thinks he’s doing.” I think that Arnold Kling has a better handle on what’s going on.

May 30, 2009

AN INCONVENIENT Tennis Court.

May 30, 2009

POLITICAL CORRUPTION AND ADMISSIONS SCANDALS at the University of Illinois.

May 30, 2009

BOB OWENS: Sotomayor: Obama’s End Run on the Second Amendment.

May 30, 2009

A “TEA PARTY” PROTEST IN NEVADA: Hundreds protest taxes in front of State Legislature:

Drivers passing by honked in support of signs reading, “Government is the Problem,” “I’m Mad as Hell Harry” and “Let’s Put the Taxanation Devils on a Starvation Diet.”

Shyrl Bailey of Washoe Valley said legislators need to start paying attention to the people who pay their salaries. Most politicians would rather spend taxes on new programs than consider the consequences of spending, she said.

“I just feel like I have to do something,” she said. “We wouldn’t run a house like our country’s being run. We’re borrowing, borrowing, borrowing instead of living in our means like I would do in my household and it’s wrong. It’s wrong for younger generations.”

Olavo Kluft of Reno said he is angry about new state taxes and bailouts for auto makers.

“It’s like every time I turn on the news, something new is going on,” he said. “It’s socialism creeping in — not creeping in, it’s almost a complete takeover.”

Another account here: Gov. Gibbons joins tax opponents at rally.

Several hundred anti-tax foes, including Gibbons, staged a late afternoon rally on the Capitol Mall, many of them lining Carson Street with signs bearing anti-tax and anti-Harry Reid slogans. Organized by the group Anger Is Brewing, the event was billed as a “Tax Freedom Day Tea Party.”

Gibbons and conservative Assemblymen Chad Christiansen, R-Las Vegas; John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas; Don Gustavson, R-Sparks and Ty Cobb, R-Reno, urged attendees to turn their attention to the Legislature, especially in the next election.

As I say, these things are happening all over, mostly below the national-media radar.

UPDATE: Reader Rand Keller writes:

It is remarkable that the tea parties are still going on (even on Friday afternoons in Carson City)

But what I really can’t figure out is this: Is someone (other than you) tracking these? Do we know how many parties/people are still going? Instapundit seems to be the only news source on these. I’ve looked at various sites on the web, I’ve looked at twitter, I’ve looked at FreedomWorks, PJM…I can’t find anything. For example, FreedomWorks – Nevada has news last posted in 2006!!!

I know, I know Army of Davids and all that, but still….Obama has his well organized Meetups on Healthcare in June (I bet with fewer people), are these tea parties strictly local eruptions? Locally created, locally reported?

Yeah, pretty much. Which has its pluses as well as its minuses.

May 30, 2009

MORE INEXCUSABLE INTERNET LAMENESS FROM BILL O’REILLY.

May 30, 2009

BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of news from the Apple empire.

May 30, 2009

TED RALL thinks Obama should resign. “We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through.” I think this is just something Axelrod set up to make Obama look more centrist . . . .

UPDATE: Rand Simberg emails that Rall is probably bitter and clinging to his lack of religion because he got laid off. And the “stimulus” doesn’t look likely to save him.

MORE: “If Obama’s lost Ted Rall, he’s lost un-America.” Heh. Now that’s funny. Plus, a stroll down memory lane.

May 30, 2009

GENE HEALY: Time to downsize the imperial vice-presidency. Plus this: “Joe Biden’s antics are certainly amusing, but they may also be useful if they prompt the president to put some much-needed distance between himself and his potential successor.”

May 30, 2009

ACTION / REACTION? Conservatism on the upswing in Minnesota, Midwest? “Ostermeier’s data suggests that the way forward for Republicans isn’t to find people who will meekly acquiesce to Obama’s fiscal policies, but to find candidates willing and able to express and defend conservative principles. If every action produces an equal and opposite reaction, Obama’s radical restructuring of the American economy gives conservatives a great opportunity to take seats in Congress at the midterms.”

May 30, 2009

MORE ON THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S ACCEPTANCE OF voter intimidation.

In light of this, I suppose no one will object if armed Republican backers show up at the polls next time.

May 30, 2009

NICK GILLESPIE: What Norm Coleman & Al Franken Have Taught America: The Senate is carrying more dead weight than a Uruguayan rugby team. “Think about it, is any near-bankrupt work unit in America this side of a shovel-ready stimulus project more clogged with redundant and/or phantom employees? Does Massachusetts really need John Kerry and Ted Kennedy? Does Arkansas really need Blanche Lincoln and somebody whose last name is Pryor? I’m betting dollars to donuts that Idaho can get by with either Mike Crapo or Jim Risch.”

May 30, 2009

IN THE MAIL: The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome.

May 30, 2009

IN WEST CHESTER, Tea Party activists get organized. More here.

The president of the Cincinnati Tea Party organized the community tea party, which was much more subdued than other rallies held earlier this spring.

And that’s how it was intended.

“It’s about organization. This is where we get people involved in the movement and really it was a relatively small group that put together the rallies on April 15 and March 15,” said Mike Wilson. “Here we’re trying to branch out and harness some of the energy, get them involved and get them making a difference spreading our message.”

Similar community events are planned in June and on July 4.

Good.

May 30, 2009

WHAT TO DO ABOUT NASTY INTERNET COMMENTERS: A forum organized by the News-Sentinel.

May 30, 2009

AN IMPORTANT CLEAVAGE MYSTERY SOLVED.

May 30, 2009

MORE STATE-LEVEL TEA PARTY ACTIVISM IN NEW YORK: “The people who organized ‘tea parties’ across the state are now planning a rally in front of the state capitol in Albany as they speak out against elected leaders. Rus Thompson is now looking for people to join him on a bus trip to Albany for the rally. It is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16th from noon until 3 p.m.” There’s a website, too.

May 30, 2009

NIALL FERGUSON ON INFLATION: How Economists Can Misunderstand The Crisis. “On Wednesday last week, yields on 10-year US Treasuries – generally seen as the benchmark for long-term interest rates – rose above 3.73 per cent. Once upon a time that would have been considered rather low. But the financial crisis has changed all that: at the end of last year, the yield on the 10-year fell to 2.06 per cent. In other words, long-term rates have risen by 167 basis points in the space of five months. In relative terms, that represents an 81 per cent jump. Most commentators were unnerved by this development, coinciding as it did with warnings about the fiscal health of the US. For me, however, it was good news. For it settled a rather public argument between me and the Princeton economist Paul Krugman.”

May 30, 2009

LAYERS OF EDITORS AND FACT-CHECKERS SLIP UP: Pa. newspaper ad calls for Obama assassination. “Elchert tells The Associated Press that the newspaper’s advertising staff didn’t make the historical connection.”

It could have been worse. It could have said “Snipers Wanted.”

UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford writes:

What does it say about the effectiveness of our educational institutions that no one connected that list of presidents to assassination? I can forgive not recognizing McKinley and Garfield as being murdered, but Lincoln and Kennedy?! Wouldn’t those two names make you wonder?

*sigh*

Nothing good. Sigh, indeed.

May 30, 2009

WHITE HOUSE MOVES TO restrict criticism of stimulus projects?

UPDATE: “How dare you petition the government!”

May 30, 2009

REASON: Islam, The Media and Political Correctness.

May 30, 2009

OH NO! “Sigh. Yet another morning show segment designed to scare the crap out of parents by declaring a ‘new’ trend that’s taking our nation’s youth on downward spiral towards hell.”

May 30, 2009

IS THE STIMULUS WORKING? Arnold Kling explains:

As we know, most of the stimulus spending does not take place until next year and beyond, so the short-run gains are puny. On the other hand, the big increase in the projected deficit creates the expectation of higher interest rates, which raises interest rates now. These higher interest rates serve to weaken the economy.

According to this standard analysis, the stimulus is going to hurt GDP now, when we could use the most help. Much of the spending will kick in a year or more from now, with multiplier effects following afterward, when the economy will need little, if any, stimulus.

This is the flaw with using spending rather than tax cuts as a stimulus. The lags are longer when you use spending.

Of course, if the real goal is to promote government at the expense of civil society and to create a one-party state in which business success is based on political favoritism, then the stimulus is working exactly as intended.

Indeed.

May 30, 2009

REUTERS: Global Markets Weekahead: Return of inflation? “Surging oil and commodity prices coupled with a falling dollar are prompting some investors to brace for a return of inflation, which would benefit equities and damage most government bonds.”

On the other hand, there’s this: Euro-Zone Inflation Rate Falls to Zero.

May 29, 2009

MEGAN MCARDLE: Sotomayor and the Problem of Affirmative Action.

May 29, 2009

1974: Lots of praise for the 5 mph bumper requirement, in the comments.

May 29, 2009

STIMULUS! Crude Oil Caps Biggest Monthly Gain Since 1999 on Dollar Drop. Money quote: “The devaluation of the dollar is leading to the revaluation of energy and commodities in general.” Nothing says “economic recovery” like “expensive oil!”

May 29, 2009

SO SEND HIM A BILL TO REQUIRE WEAPONS TRAINING IN HIGH SCHOOL: Phil Bredesen conflicted on guns: “He may be against guns in restaurants but by his own admission seems to have no problem with minors having guns at high schools.”

May 29, 2009

EUGENE VOLOKH: “Wise Latina” speech: troubling.

President Obama agrees.

UPDATE: Latinos for impartiality.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Paul Harper writes:

Is it just me or does the administration seem to be very, very much on the back foot right now? Maybe it’s Kim, maybe it’s the appalling jobless figures, the debt, failed treasuries, or something the Chinese said, but it looks to me like the WH is very much looking for some enemies to blame.

The initial ‘be exceedingly careful’ preemptive attack failed completely to divert attention from the ‘wise Latina’ statement. As a result, the administration can’t rely on patterns of accusations that worked extremely well in the past. Are the Brits the new French?

I think it a big mistake to underestimate the President’s mind-control powers, however, especially over the press. I expect pliant Dems will give him everything he wants. Republicans are currently rudderless.

Well, the press covers for people until it stabs them in the back. Will that happen with Obama? Probably, eventually. I think they hope to put it off 5 or 6 years . . . . Meanwhile, the backtracking probably doesn’t help.

MORE: From James Taranto, an Archie Bunker analogy. Plus, “the infamous ‘douche bag’ case.”

May 29, 2009

A STRONG REVIEW for the new, lightweight, Eee PC 1008HA Seashell Netbook. Looks like they’ve made the keyboard on this one as good as on the HP 1035, which is saying something, especially as the keyboard was always Asus’s weak point.

May 29, 2009

HOW MANY JOBS HAS THE STIMULUS CREATED? Stimulus Czar doesn’t know.

May 29, 2009

LUCKILY, IT WASN’T IN A PARK: Woman holds fugitive at gunpoint awaiting police in Maryville. “Ryan said she never actually pointed the gun at Rummage, keeping the muzzle pointed toward the floor. But she did tell him, ‘If you run, I will shoot you.’ She says she did not know whether Rummage might try to arm himself with a knife and take her and her daughter, who prefers to remain unidentified, hostage or possibly harm them. And she did not want him loose in society.”

May 29, 2009

STEVE CHAPMAN: Identity Politics, Left and Right.

May 29, 2009

DO CREDIT CARDS REALLY INCREASE SPENDING? Apparently not.

That’s my experience, too. I used to put nearly everything on Amex, but a few years ago I started using cash for all my ordinary purchases. I couldn’t tell that I was spending any less.

May 29, 2009

POLITICO: White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001.

UPDATE: Associated Press: “Sotomayor did not live her entire childhood in a housing project in the South Bronx — she spent most of her teenage years in a middle-class neighborhood, attending private school and winning scholarships to Princeton and then Yale. And Sotomayor’s life and lifestyle after law school largely resemble the background of many lawyers who rise to powerful positions in Washington.” But there’s also this: “Her ethnic consciousness was apparent in the earliest days of her career, in the New York City prosecutor’s office.”

May 29, 2009

MORE DOUBTS about whether Republican Chrysler dealers were actually targeted. Given the bullying that went on with the secured creditors — and the way the whole Chrysler restructuring deal was set up to favor Obama constituencies — these charges were certainly plausible. But the evidence doesn’t seem to be there.

May 29, 2009

POPULAR MECHANICS: Test-Driving the Chevy Volt. A generally positive review. I was pretty interested in the Volt, but now that it’ll be a government product I’m not so interested any more. Maybe an Aptera, though . . . .

May 29, 2009

THE HITS KEEP COMING: Defense contractor with ties to Murtha suspended.

May 29, 2009

CAR LUST: 1974: It Was A Very Bad Year. But not so bad that it can’t be repeated . . . .

May 29, 2009

I REMEMBER WHEN POLITICIZING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: Career lawyers overruled on voting case: Black Panthers had wielded weapons, blocked polls. “Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews. The incident – which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube – had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms. Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as ‘the most blatant form of voter intimidation’ that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.”

Obviously, we need to allow voters to carry weapons to the polls, to protect themselves from such thuggery. . . .

UPDATE: More thoughts, and some video, from Power Line.

May 29, 2009

PETER ROBINSON: The Problem With California.

The state of California employs some two-and-a-quarter million people, includes almost 400 state agencies, oversees 29 different legal codes, administers a tax code that runs to more than 60,000 clauses or sections and spends more than $100 billion a year.

You’ll hear it said these days that all this complexity makes California ungovernable, and I suppose that even when the economy is booming, not gasping, California will always prove more of a trick to run than the tiniest state, Rhode Island, or the least populous, Wyoming.

Yet the central problem in the Golden State–the disorder that affects every aspect of state government–can be described very simply: The political class in Sacramento believes the people of California exist for the state government, not the other way around.

Read the whole thing.

May 29, 2009

MICHAEL TOTTEN: The Mother Of All Myths: “The biggest problems in the Middle East – and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons surely is one of them – have little or nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

May 29, 2009

THOUGHTS ON THE SPELLING BEE, from Suzanna Logan.

May 29, 2009

DAVE KOPEL: Guns in Parks: The Hoplophobes’ Travel Guide to the United States.

May 29, 2009

ILYA SOMIN: Sotomayor May be Wrong About Race, but She is No Racist.

Related post here.

May 29, 2009

CONNECTICUT DEMOCRATS encouraging Chris Dodd to quit? “The Connecticut State Senate is rushing through legislation to strip (Republican) Governor Jodi Rell of her power to appoint a successor to Senator Chris Dodd, if he should resign his office.”

May 29, 2009

UP NEXT: Interest rates?

May 29, 2009

MICHAEL BARONE: Massively higher U.S. spending driving up government’s interest rate. “The ability to borrow money cheaply is a tremendous asset to any government, and we seem to be squandering it.”

Plus, You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, America! “These milestones remind that what we’ve seen ‘nuthin’of so far during the Obama administration is the aggressive accountability journalism relentlessly aimed at the Bush administration during the eight years prior to the ascension of President Obama.”

May 29, 2009

JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: GM Shows Obama Is No Vulcan. “Given all that intelligence and self awareness, it’s surprising to find Team Obama’s approach toward GM (and Chrysler, for that matter) marbled with so much illogical economic policy that could have a terrible long-run impact. . . . By favouring a political ally over the rule of law — in this case, the fundamental principles of contractual rights — the White House has created both a terrible precedent and enormous uncertainty (perhaps resulting in even higher interest rates for borrowers with worrisome debt loads) as the government continues to inject itself into the private sector.”

May 29, 2009

P.M.A. UPDATE: Visclosky’s office subpoenaed.

May 29, 2009

SCHWARZENEGGER: We’re Broke, But We’ll Keep Supporting Hydrogen.

May 29, 2009

MAKE EVERYTHING TASTE LIKE BACON! Reader Paul Havemann writes: “All’s right with the world. Or will be when my order arrives!” Because nothing’s better than bacon!

May 29, 2009

THE GENERATION GAP: Remembering Knoxville’s own Partridge Family. Er, except that they actually played their own instruments.

May 29, 2009

UH OH: US official in France diagnosed with swine flu. “A U.S. official in Normandy to prepare President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit has been diagnosed with swine flu and is being treated in a hospital, French authorities said Friday. Eleven other members of the U.S. delegation were placed in isolation for 24 hours in their hotel rooms and given medical treatment, said an official at the Calvados region administrative headquarters.”

May 29, 2009

AN UPDATE ON what’s happening with fusion research.

May 29, 2009

RIDING THE RAILS IN STYLE. And you can still rent private rail cars, an idea that’s always appealed to me, though I assume it’s a bit pricey for us law-professor types.

May 29, 2009

RON BAILEY: Really Great Stem Cell Research News. “Researchers at Harvard and Advanced Cell Technology are reporting that they have been able to turn ordinary skin cells into stem cells by dousing them with the proteins made by four specific genes. The researchers were then able to turn the stem cells into mature cells of various tissues.”

May 29, 2009

WELL, DUH: Obama says nation needs more nerds. “Increased education efforts” are nice, but why would a rational person go into engineering and computer science unless the payoff looked better than, say, law school? Perhaps we should increase the rewards for nerddom? (Nerdhood? Nerdosity?)

UPDATE: Reader Greg Smith writes:

Your comment about the lack of rewards is accurate, but it’s worse than you think. Lower pay, lower respect, and lower job security do not add up to a compelling combination.

My father was an aerospace engineer (inspired by the moon program) and retired a few years ago after a long career. I followed in his footsteps as an electrical engineer in the networking industry. While I did start out in R&D, today I’m in marketing, both because of the higher compensation and the superior recognition. The “nerds” are largely viewed as interchangable by management and face a much higher risk risk of being outsourced overseas (esp. China and India).

While I still believe that an engineering education provides an excellent background for many careers, what I tell young people today, including my own kids, is that you either want a skilled trade like auto repair or plumbing where the work has to be done on site here in America, or a college education that can lead to a career that cannot easily be sent overseas. Computer science and many branches of engineering do not meet that requirement.

Perhaps if we had more engineers who actually understand the challenge of getting things built instead of lawyers in Congress we wouldn’t be in the mess we face today.

Our political system (and, heck, our overall culture) rewards those who divide up pies far more lavishly than those who bake them. This is probably not sustainable over the long term.

May 29, 2009

IN THE MAIL: From Tony Jeary: Strategic Acceleration: Succeed at the Speed of Life.

May 29, 2009

WHY DID THE TALIBAN attack the ISI?