August 2, 2009
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT? Jobless Grad Sues College for $70K Tuition.
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT? Jobless Grad Sues College for $70K Tuition.
WHY AMERICA’S HEALTH SYSTEM is better than you might think.
DEBUNKING misconceptions about sharks.
“JUST SAY NO:” Rep. Lloyd Doggett meets some unhappy constituents at a healthcare forum in his district. Remember, protest is patriotic!
AN IPHONE-KILLER? A look at the Palm Pre.
THE HEALTHCARE BILL: Too big to pass? “In recent months many observers have said that if a company is too big to fail (i.e., in a pinch the government will bail it out), then it is too big to exist. I think there is a lot of merit to that idea. Here is my corollary: if a bill is too vast for a Congressman to read and understand, it is too big to pass. If a Congressman can’t read the bill, he shouldn’t vote for it. The appropriate response to any such legislation is: just vote ‘No.’”
CAN YOU BRING VODKA TO A PRESIDENTIAL KEGGER? Stephen Green on the latest PJM Political.
THOUGHTS ON ruthlessness in international law.
BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of news from the Apple empire, including the latest on Apple and Google voice.
PROTEST IS PATRIOTIC (CONT’D): A news report on the Savannah, Georgia Tea Party.
A FORMER STUDENT SENDS A LINK TO Operation Embarrass Your Congressman. Remember, protest is patriotic, and dissent is the highest form of patriotism!
JENNIFER RUBIN on how Obama’s governance style is playing.
TRYING TO FIND THE TRUTH BEHIND the Jupiter impact. “Something invaded our solar system and whacked Jupiter, but professional astronomers were looking the other way at the time. Now, as the shock wave slowly subsides, astronomers are working around the clock to find out exactly what hit Jupiter–and why they didn’t see it coming.”
GUERRILLA ARTIST SPEAKS TRUTH TO POWER. Well, that’s what art is all about, right?
IN THE MAIL: From Eric Flint and David Drake, Belisarius III: The Flames of Sunset. Note that this collects previously published books.
HERE’S A NEWS REPORT on that Columbus Tea Party protest. “Cheering messages of limited government, lower taxes and states’ rights, thousands rallied yesterday at the Statehouse, hoping to continue a movement that began in the spring with nationwide tea parties. The enthusiastic crowd took aim at government bailouts, rising national debt, ‘socialized’ health care and even Columbus’ proposed income-tax increase.”
WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE GOING TO THE BEACH? Well, I’m doing my part. En route to a conference where I’ll talk about the Second Amendment.
EVANGELICALS MARCH NORTH. “Hallelujah religion is a-rising in Yankee country. As liberal congregations die in a secularizing region, conservative churches with roots outside New England are replacing them with a passionate brand of faith that emphasizes saving souls – even in a land where many think there’s nothing to be saved from.”
TOWN HALLS GONE WILD: “On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.”
Hope and change! But if you cancel the town halls, the angry constituents will still find you somewhere, won’t they?
UPDATE: Col. Douglas Mortimer writes:
Well, remember that it was Senator Everett Dirksen who reportedly said: “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
HEALTH CARE, DRUG DEVELOPMENT, and Megan McArdle’s excessive wealth. Plus, I promise that if the government lets people like me buy cruise missiles, the technology curve will bend upward.
Depending on motive the space probes will have different capabilities and missions.
If the motive of aliens is defensive then an artificial intelligence might be sitting out in the asteroid belt monitoring Earth for a hundred million years watching for signs of intelligence. The AI might have algorithms for rating intelligences by aggressivity and hostility. It might have a means to sterilize this planet if it decides we are a threat. Such an AI would not have been sent to leave a clear record of its presence.
Scientists have actually looked for alien probes in likely spots in the Solar System, but an advanced alien technology could presumably avoid notice. This piece on extraterrestrials by Gregg Easterbrook is worth reading, for those interested.
A PJTV EXCLUSIVE: Honduran President Micheletti on Hugo Chavez, Cocaine & American Media.
WINDOWS 7 UPDATE: Windows 7 Family Pack prices, Anytime Upgrade details.
ANDREA MITCHELL: People are too stupid to know what’s good for them.
FAST FORWARD RADIO: Risks, Dystopias, and Uncertain Futures.
BIRTHERS VS. true believers.
STACY MCCAIN: Dodd-Gate and IG-Gate: The Connection.
A BUNCH OF INTERESTING FOOD LINKS. Doesn’t everyone want to make their own pop tarts?
AN ALFONZO RACHEL THRILLER: I See White People!
A “TEA PARTY” RALLY IN COLUMBUS, OHIO: Justin Binik-Thomas emails:
Ohio State Sovereignty Tea Party Sponsored by Ohio Liberty Council Scheduled 2 to 4
Surrounding streets closed Front lawn and walkways full
People still coming Will update photos throughout event
~1000 bussed in from around state
These Blackberry/iPhone gadgets do come in handy. Pic below. Looks like a crowd.
UPDATE: Another pic from Lisa Mathisen.
JOEL KOTKIN: Forget Second Stimulus: We Need Economic Vision. “Whatever the politics, no new stimulus should be considered unless it deals with the fundamental illness undermining the country’s long-term economic prospects. Such a stimulus would address the country’s essential problem: persistent overconsumption amid underproduction.”
DREAM FLYING on electric wings.
AN “ADULT TOY” FOR DOGS. Really, you can’t make this up. Though I wish I were . . . . But hey, it’s all about kindness, really, and enlightened self-interest: “During the doll’s test period with a few canines, including the Maltese Flock (responsible for the idea), the pets showed a better quality of life based on less anxiety, less barking, and less territorial demarcation. In other words, the dogs live a better life, satisfying their repressed sexuality, in some cases for many years.” I don’t want to be the guy in charge of the “easy-to-clean reservoir,” though.
JOHN HAWKINS: Why Sarah Palin Fans Feel Betrayed.
IN THE MAIL: Hank Reinhardt’s Book of the Sword. A nonfiction book about, well, swords.
MORE CRITICISM OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH. Like the Canadian “human rights” officials, they give the whole subject a bad name.
WELL, GOOD: Obama Justice Department Softens Porn Stance.
CASH FOR CLUNKERS GOES CLUNK: The New York Times’ Kit Seelye writes: “The White House and Congress may be giving the ‘cash for clunkers’ program a reprieve, but one can’t help wondering how many dealers and customers will have the confidence to go forward at this point. Things sound like a total mess in the showrooms.”
SOUNDS LIKE THE BEGINNING OF A DISASTER MOVIE: Scientists Drill a Mile Into Active Deep Sea Fault Zone.
ANN ALTHOUSE: Gates’s daughter gets catty about Crowley’s daughter: “she was wearing an appropriately heavy and charmingly untrained amount of green eyeliner.” Class condescension trumps race condescension in Barack Obama’s America.
AGGREGATING THE AWFUL: JoeBidenSaidThat.com.
PHIL BOWERMASTER on libertarians and transhumanism.
FROM PRIMETIME TO PARODY in just one week.
BODY LANGUAGE. “I am stunned that the official White House Blog published this picture and that it is in the public domain. The body language is most revealing.”
LIGHTNING GUNNERS Take to the skies.
AT AMAZON, an eclectic Friday Sale.
I THINK IT’S THE MOLE PEOPLE DRILLING UP FROM BELOW: Mysteriously High Tides on East Coast Perplex Scientists. “From Maine to Florida, the Atlantic seaboard has experienced higher tides than expected this summer. At their peak in mid-June, the tides at some locations outstripped predictions by two feet. The change has come too fast to be attributed to melting ice sheets or anything quite that dramatic, and it’s a puzzle for scientists who’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
UPDATE: Reader Kenneth Mitchell writes:
Your note about anomalously high tides is matched by the item about the Fermi Paradox. The answer? The aliens are here NOW, hiding in the L2 lagrange point on the far side of the Moon. Their ship is powered by some exotic drive involving a small black hole; hence the higher than normal tides.
See how it all ties together?
It all makes sense now.
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD: Parental genes fight for control during child development.
WELL, DANG: Toyota may not produce a Hybrid Yaris after all.
JULIE AND JULIA: A movie involving food and blogging. What’s not to like? Plus, a recipe for herb roast chicken with pan sauce.
ASK DR. HELEN: Marriage Myths Dispelled and Does Size (of The Ring) Really Matter? A discussion with Alex Wellen, author of Lovesick.
STEVE CHAPMAN: A Hole They Dug for Themselves: There’s nothing surprising about the crises in state budgets. “The crisis in state budgets is not an accident, and it wasn’t unforeseeable. For years, most states have spent like there’s no tomorrow, and now tomorrow is here. . . . If they had known the revenue flood wasn’t a permanent fact of life, governors and legislators might have prepared for drought. Instead, like overstretched homeowners, they took on obligations they could meet only in the best-case scenario—which is not what has come to pass.”
WE MAY NOT BE ALONE, BUT STATISTICALLY WE’RE LIKELY TO BE LONELY: Fermi Paradox Points to Fewer Than 10 Extraterrestrial Civilizations.
IS THE GOVERNMENT making people fat?
DELIVERING MALARIA VACCINE via mosquito?
ARE AMERICANS warming to the idea of Chinese and Indian cars?
MY POPULAR MECHANICS COLUMN: Collision Course: The Need For Better Space Junk Regulations.
IN THE MAIL: From David Wessel, In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic.
REASON TV: I talk with Nick Gillespie about stuff.
CHRIS DODD UPDATE: Democrat resists subpoenaing VIP mortgage records. “House Democrats have declined to subpoena available records that might reveal whether other members of Congress got discounted VIP mortgages from subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. similar to the sweetheart deals given Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.”
FOLLOWING UP ON YESTERDAY’S POST ABOUT THE CHEAP AND GOOD FLIP MINO HD VIDEO CAMERA, I notice that Gizmodo really likes the Kodak Zi8. For $180 (about the same as the Flip) the Kodak has image stabilization, 1080p recording, and an SD slot. Plus an external microphone jack (key) and the ability to take 5 MP stills. Sounds like the perfect guerrilla-videographer’s tool. But the Kodak won’t be out until September.
TAX FOUNDATION: Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%. “Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the ‘rich’ are not paying their fair share of taxes. Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.”
BYRON YORK: Probe Finds New Clues in AmeriCorps IG Scandal.
JOHN STOSSEL: The unseen costs of minimum wage laws.
UNSOLD REAL ESTATE: Downtown Fort Myers condo has 32 stories, and one lonely tale: Condo can get spooky for tower’s only family. “Vangelakos, 45, his wife Cathy and their three children are the only residents in the 32-story Oasis I condo on the east edge of downtown Fort Myers.”
A HEALTH-CARE SLOGAN FROM READER JOSEPH HRUTKA: “If the bill’s so great, why not deliberate?”
ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES: We won’t meet with you if you videotape.
SO I GUESS THE BEER THING DIDN’T END IT: Black cop in Gates arrest sends letter to Obama about being called an “Uncle Tom”.
UPDATE: Joe Hicks: If this was a “teachable moment,” what did we learn?
A TEA PARTY PROTEST on Long Island.
STEPHEN CARTER: When did profits become evil?
“For-profit” firms come under constant attack from activists and members of Congress.
Thus, a recent news release from the AFL-CIO began with this evidently alarming fact: “Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007.” Even had the figures been correct — they weren’t — we are seeing the same circus. Profit is the enemy. America could be made pure, if only profit could be purged.
This attitude was wrong in 2006. It is wrong now. High profits are excellent news. When corporate earnings reach record levels, we should be celebrating. The only way a firm can make money is to sell people what they want at a price they are willing to pay. If a firm makes lots of money, lots of people are getting what they want.
Some people don’t like that. I hope Carter makes money on his new book, which I’m taking to the beach with me.
IS CONSERVATIVE THE NEW GAY?
ANOTHER MIS-STEP ON THE RECOVERY PLAN: AP sources: Govt to suspend ‘cash for clunkers’.
Congressional officials say the government plans to suspend the popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new car purchases.
The Transportation Department called congressional offices late Thursday to alert them to the decision to halt the program, which offered owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.
Hmm. So the program ran through the money faster than they thought. I wonder how their healthcare plan will work out? . . .
Remember, people respond to economic incentives.
A TEA PARTY PROTEST IN OKLAHOMA CITY. Reader Thomas Hoyt emails: “The Sooner Tea Party and OKC 9-12 Project teamed up to hold an anti-Obamacare rally today at 11 a.m. in front of the building where Sen. Tom Coburn’s OKC office is. I counted about 80 or so people midway through. Here are some photos I took, and I hope you’ll like one (or more) of them enough to post at Instapundit.” Okay. Here’s one. I think Coburn is reachable on this . . .
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Analysis: White House beers a way to change topic.
UPDATE: Poll: Obama mishandled comments on race. “The president’s approval ratings fell, especially among working-class whites, as the focus of the Gates story shifted from details about the incident to Obama’s remarks, the poll said. Among whites in general, more disapprove than approve of his comments by a two-to-one margin.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: If only it had worked out this way. Instead, from the video, the get-together looked rather strained.
WHITE HOUSE MAKES C.E.O.s PAY FOR LUNCH. “Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval Office. But even for powerful CEOs, there’s no such thing as a free lunch: White House staffers collected credit card numbers for each executive and carefully billed them for the cost of the meal with the president. The White House defended the unusual move as a way to avoid conflicts of interest. But the Bush administration didn’t charge presidential guests for meals, one former official said, and at least one etiquette expert found the whole thing unseemly – suggesting it was a serious breach of protocol”
I’d say it shows the kind of humility and concern for others that we’ve seen in other settings. A reader says that Jimmy Carter did the same thing. That fits, too . . . .
UPDATE: Reader Richard Humphries writes: “Glenn, apparenly the Obama White House has been listening to Vaughn Meader’s recording of ‘The First Family’ from 1963. There was a skit where JFK has a lunch for De Gaulle, Kruschev, and several other heads of state and at the end he presents them with the bill.” Heh. Before my time, though, which means it’s also before Obama’s.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Yeah, it’s on YouTube.
TAXPROF: Newt Gingrich’s Tax Reform Plan.
UNVEILING the new Nikons.
ALL YOUR MEDIA ARE BELONG TO US: Movie/record industry rep says that you shouldn’t expect to be able to play your media for as long as you own it.
TOM BLUMER: The A.P. Declares War On The Online World.
COCKPIT PHOTOS from Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnight Two.
A FIRST LOOK AT THE 2010 CAMARO. Sounds cool, except for the fact that you can’t actually buy one . . . .
GOOD NEWS, OR BAD? Organic food is no healthier, study finds. “Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007. A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.”