Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

WHAT BUSH UNDERSTOOD ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST, that Obama just doesn’t get.

October 31, 2011

BACK TO THE FUTURE: The seductive allure of reverting to national European currencies.

October 31, 2011

RUSH LIMBAUGH’S CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE. Plus this, from the comments: “I think the thing that made Rush so popular was his sense of cheerful optimism. Unlike the O’Reillys and Savages of the world, Rush has always been optimistic about the future. I think that the Obama presidency has been such a disaster of Biblical proportions that Rush is no longer optimistic about the future.” I’m still optimistic. But, yeah, I can see that.

October 31, 2011

DO NOT TRUST CONTENT from the Star Tribune? “If you relied on the article for your knowledge about the case, as I stupidly did, you were poorly served.”

October 31, 2011

RASMUSSEN: Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 43%, Democrats 40%.

October 31, 2011

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Toys & Games.

October 31, 2011

PROF. JACOBSON ON THE POLITICO CAIN HIT:

The story was a legitimate issue for a presidential candidate; we only wish the mainstream media would investigate Obama’s past with half as much enthusiasm.

But there’s a bigger point here, visible only from 35,000 feet.

This is a taste of the medicine the mainstream media, which includes Politico as I have pointed out before, has in store for the eventual Republican nominee.

Whatever the source of the tip, the presentation was rolled out by Politico in a fashion to do maximum damage to Cain. The Sunday release was timed to be all over the media on Monday morning. Jonathan Martin, the lead reporter on the story for Politico, even conducted an ambush interview with Cain shortly after the story broke, receiving a muddled response from Cain.

Yeah, it’s pretty clear what was going on here. It’s true it was pretty much a failure — see Pro Publica’s takedown, even — but let me repeat my question: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it? I think we know the answer.

Meanwhile, Roxeanne De Luca has a question for feminists.

Plus, a look back at Politico’s involvement with the Journolist story-coordination scandal.

October 31, 2011

P.J. CULTURE: PJ Media unveils a new team of seven weekly columnists.

October 31, 2011

FIGHTING VIOLENT GANG CRIME with math.

October 31, 2011

SIGN OF THE TIMES: “Some Tennessee legislators are eying a reduction in prize payouts for Tennessee lottery players while letting them buy tickets with debit or credit cards.”

October 31, 2011

AT AMAZON, a coupon sale.

October 31, 2011

JOEL KOTKIN: Overpopulation Isn’t The Problem: It’s Too Few Babies. “For the next generation of Chinese leaders, Deng Xiaoping’s rightful concern about overpopulation at the end of the Mao era will shift into a future of eldercare costs, shrinking domestic markets and labor shortages. This scenario is already a reality in Japan and much of the European continent, including Greece, Spain, Portugal, much of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Germany. Adults over the age of 65 make up more than 20% of these countries’ populations — compared with 15% in the U.S. — and their numbers could double by 2030, according to researchers Emma Chen and Wendell Cox. In many of these countries, rising debt burdens and shrinking labor markets have already slowed economic growth and suppressed any hope for a major long-term turnaround. The same will happen to even the best-run European economies, just as it has in Japan, whose decades-long growth spurt ended as its workforce began to shrink.”

October 31, 2011

LOOKING AT Herman Cain as a turnaround artist. He was good at taking once-valuable properties that had been devalued by inept management and making them work again.

October 31, 2011

WHAT TO DO WITH THE HALLOWEEN CANDY? Eat it.

October 31, 2011

NAMING NAMES: The 99%: Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers.

October 31, 2011

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Woman Burns Husband With Cooking Oil: “A woman in Franklin County is charged with domestic violence and aggravated assault after investigators say she threw a pot of cooking oil on her husband. . . . Her husband, Jason Martin, was admitted to Vanderbilt Medical Center Sunday with third degree burns.” But you’ll have to follow the link to see why this was in the Sports section.

October 31, 2011

HERMAN CAIN’S LEAD IS OPENING UP: That is, his lead over me on the SSRN Top Recent Downloads chart.

October 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Public universities expand recruitment efforts in quest for out-of-state money.

October 31, 2011

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Viruses guide nano-assembly of biomaterials.

October 31, 2011

JIM TREACHER: ‘I have in my hand a list of Herman Cain accusers…’ “So we don’t know specifically what Herman Cain stands accused of doing wrong, who’s accusing him, or how to verify any of it. Other than that, this is some solid reporting from Politico.”

I repeat my earlier question: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

UPDATE: Occupy Politico?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Even the folks at Pro Publica — who are certainly not on the right — aren’t buying this:Politico’s story on possible sexual harassment by Herman Cain may be the biggest investigative scoop of the campaign season. But it would be hard to deduce that from the facts as published. . . . It is clear from the story Politico posted Sunday evening that reporters made extensive efforts to figure out what happened. But much of what appeared came from anonymous sources whose knowledge appeared to be second-hand or unspecific.”

Like I said: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

(Revised to reflect that the Pro Publica folks say that they’re not lefties.)

And reader Frank Glamser emails: “You will note that the attack on Cain came after he assumed the lead in polls just as was the case with Perry.” Are you suggesting that we should question the timing?

October 31, 2011

RASMUSSEN: Wisconsin: Perry 46%, Obama 42%.

October 31, 2011

WHAT STARTUP LIFE is really like.

October 31, 2011

KENNETH ANDERSON: The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, or, Downward Mobility. “In social theory, OWS is best understood not as a populist movement against the bankers, but instead as the breakdown of the New Class into its two increasingly disconnected parts. The upper tier, the bankers-government bankers-super credentialed elites. But also the lower tier, those who saw themselves entitled to a white collar job in the Virtue Industries of government and non-profits — the helping professions, the culture industry, the virtueocracies, the industries of therapeutic social control, as Christopher Lasch pointed out in his final book, The Revolt of the Elites. The two tiers of the New Class have always had different sources of rents, however. . . . The OWS protestors are a revolt — a shrill, cri-de-coeur wail at the betrayal of class solidarity — of the lower tier New Class against the upper tier New Class. It was, after all, the upper tier New Class, the private-public finance consortium, that created the student loan business and inflated the bubble in which these lower tier would-be professionals borrowed the money. It’s a securitization machine, not so very different from the subprime mortgage machine. The asset bubble pops, but the upper tier New Class, having insulated itself and, as with subprime, having taken its cut upfront and passed the risk along, is still doing pretty well. It’s not populism versus the bankers so much as internecine warfare between two tiers of elites. The downward mobility is real, however, in both income and status. The Cal graduate started out wanting to do ‘sustainable conservation.’ She is now engaged in something closer to subsistence farming.”

Read the whole thing.

October 31, 2011

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Strawberries protect stomach from alcohol.

October 31, 2011

POPULAR MECHANICS: What DARPA’s Scavenger Hunt Taught Us About Mobilizing People Fast.

October 31, 2011

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY: De-Orbit Space Junk With High-Powered Lasers.

October 31, 2011

EARLY CANCER DETECTION: Suddenly, it’s not good for you after all. “Now expert groups are proposing less screening for prostate, breast and cervical cancer and have emphasized that screening comes with harms as well as benefits. . . . What changed? . . . Is all this happening now because of worries over costs?”

UPDATE: Reader David Lange writes:

I am probably one of the people the recent articles on prostate cancer screening is attempting to influence. I’ve been tracking my PSA since I was fifty and I am now fifty-nine. Having survived a type of leukemia in the 90s, I am convinced that early detection dramatically increases the chances of long term survival. My PSA jumped from 1.6 to 2.0 in one year and from 2.0 to 2.9 the next. My oncologist recommended a two month follow-up and it remained stable. Six months later, it rose to 3.2 and although my German urologist advised me to retest in six months, my NJ based oncologist was concerned about the velocity of the increase and recommended a biopsy, which came back positive with a small amount of low-risk cancer. I am now traveling to Johns Hopkins for seed implants, but suspect I would fall into the group that would never have been biopsied with the low PSA I have. On my last PSA test, it dropped back to 2.7. Ultimately, it is my decision whether to pursue treatment, but so far, I have not met one patient or doctor who would recommend doing nothing. Until they develop a test that can determine which cancers become agressive and which will not, on an individual rather than a statistical basis, it makes sense to do something.

Many people are concerned that the new “science” that has led to a sudden about-face on testing, coincident with the passage of ObamaCare, is driven by costs rather than patient welfare. This may be unfair, but one of the hazards of politicizing the health care system is that suspicions of, well, politicization of the health care system become unavoidable.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Suspicious reader Fran Akridge notes: “Not detecting cancer early has financial benefits for both the Medicare (too late for anything except hospice) and Social Security (earlier death) pools.”

October 31, 2011

SELLING JUDGMENTS: A law student creates his own job. “This is one possible piece of law’s information revolution, in which the traditional cottage industry of lawyers advising individual clients turns into a robust information market. It’s also an example of the new opportunities that may replace the disappearing traditional law jobs.”

October 31, 2011

THE GERMIEST THINGS WE TOUCH: Gas pumps?

October 31, 2011

SCIENCE: Rabies, Trolleys & Wii Fit: 6 Things You Had No Idea Could Make You A Nympho.

October 31, 2011

CORZINE BANKRUPTCY UPDATE: Full MF Global Bankruptcy Petition… In Which We Find That Corzine’s Bankrupt Firm Owes CNBC $845,397? Making the network his 7th biggest unsecured creditor. Some suggest this may have influenced its coverage. Surely not.

October 31, 2011

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): CNN: Home Prices Heading For Triple-Dip.

October 31, 2011

STACY MCCAIN IS COVERING HERMAN CAIN AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB.

Meanwhile, a question: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

October 31, 2011

MAX BOOT: Obama’s Tragic Iraq Withdrawal: The president says we’re leaving because of Iraqi intransigence—but he never took negotiations seriously. “Mr. Bush spoke weekly with Mr. Maliki by video teleconference. Mr. Obama had not spoken with Mr. Maliki for months before calling him in late October to announce the end of negotiations. Mr. Obama and his senior aides did not even bother to meet with Iraqi officials at the United Nations General Assembly in September.” So much for that “smart diplomacy” we were promised.

October 31, 2011

IN THE MAIL: From Michael Walsh, Shock Warning.

October 31, 2011

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Two Political Parties Are Breaking Down. “The decay of American political parties continues as the real money and power in politics shifts inexorably away from party organizations to informal and ad hoc groups. The combination of citizen grassroots movements, decentralized party structures and the vast sums of money short-circuiting the official party structures is changing the way politics works. . . . American political parties are increasingly being reduced to flags of convenience; party organizations and party institutions have little influence over events. That didn’t use to be true.”

October 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: When A Professor Shouts “Death To Israel!” “The professor’s remarks are being condemned by some — including Kent State’s president — as inappropriate. But others say that he engaged in a legitimate expression of his political views.”

Well, it’s not like he put up a Firefly poster or anything. That would be dangerous hate speech.

October 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Economist:

Signs of strain are everywhere. In September the Department of Education reported that in 2009 the default rate, which is defined as non-payment for 270 days, had reached 8.8%. By some estimates delinquency rates, an earlier indicator of stress, for student loans exceed 10%, ten times that for credit cards and car loans. Ms Loonin’s average client has a low-paying job, $30,000 of debt and is in arrears.

This is despite punitive laws to enforce repayment.

Indeed. Plus this: “The administration says these changes will have no cost to taxpayers. If there is one lesson of the past 46 years, it is to be dubious of that claim.”

October 31, 2011

LOWER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “There are 19 gym teachers in the Farmington School District that make more than $85,000 a year. The average gym teacher salary in Farmington is $75,035. By comparison, the science teachers in that district make $68,483 per year on average.”

October 31, 2011

AT AMAZON, Bestsellers in Video Games.

October 31, 2011

ROGER SIMON: Politico And Cain: The Return Of The High-Tech Lynching. “It took the mainstream media nearly a year to catch up with the John Edwards Affair, but only weeks into Herman Cain’s narrow frontrunner status for the GOP nomination, the goodfellas at Politico are letting the uppity black conservative have it.” Ouch. But let’s correct the record: They weren’t slow to cover the John Edwards story. They covered up the John Edwards story. Keep rockin’!

UPDATE: Four reporters, zero specifics.

October 31, 2011

OBAMA KNEW? U.S. had advance warning of abuse at Afghan prisons, officials say. “In February 2010, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a cable, later uncovered by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, saying that ‘human rights organizations point to a dubious distinction — we are the only detaining nation in Afghanistan that does not have a monitoring program.’”

October 31, 2011

THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEKEND, if you were out, you know, having a life or something:

My Sunday New York Post column: Government inflated the college loan bubble, but Obama isn’t fixing it.

Now online: Video of my keynote speech at the Harvard Law School constitutional-convention conference. All the conference video is collected here.

New York police union protests prosecution of police who break the law.

An epic population bomb fail.

Dartmouth’s diversity problem.

Howard Stern does the #Occupy reporting others won’t.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Is the New Class killing the Middle Class?

Hennepin County prosecutor gets it right.

More on the $10,000 college degree. Why aren’t Rick Perry’s proposals getting more attention?

Unexpectedly! The debt fallout: How Social Security went ‘cash negative’ earlier than expected.

In California, a rural rebellion is brewing.

The Livestrong App wins a fan.

I asked Michael Walsh if there was anything I could do for him after his heart surgery, and he said to plug his new novel, Shock Warning. Authors.

October 31, 2011

NOT MUCH LIKE THE TEA PARTY (CONT’D): Occupy Protesters Arrested in Texas, Oregon.

October 31, 2011

THE ONLY LIVING MASTER of a dying martial art. “A former factory worker from the British Midlands may be the last living master of the centuries-old Sikh battlefield art of shastar vidya. The father of four is now engaged in a full-time search for a successor.”

October 31, 2011

GOLD BOX: $4.99 Halloween movies at Amazon Instant Video.

October 31, 2011

WAYNE CREWS: Regulations Are The Boot On Hiring’s Neck.

October 31, 2011

SHORT-TIMER: Congressional Calls For Eric Holder’s Resignation More Than Double to 17. “Nine more members of Congress have told The Daily Caller that they’re calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over his handling of Operation Fast and Furious, more than doubling the number on record before the weekend calling for his ouster. A total of 17 members of Congress have now called for Holder to step down.”

October 31, 2011

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Dollar Hits Record Low Against Yen.

October 31, 2011

SOLARGATE UPDATE: Beacon Power bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra. “Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy on Sunday just a year after the energy storage company received a $43 million loan guarantee from a controversial U.S. Department of Energy program. The move comes about two months after solar panel maker Solyndra also filed for bankruptcy, setting off criticism of the government loan program.”

Related: Professor Obama’s Investing 101. “It is not surprising, given his lack of real-world experience, that Obama does not understand the meaning of the word ‘investment.’ Like most in his party, Obama thinks every kind of government spending is an investment.”

UPDATE: Famed Member of the 1% and Obama Bundler Runs Brokerage Firm Into Bankruptcy. “Looks like Jon Corzine has done for his firm what he did for the State of New Jersey.” These people certainly do have the touch.

October 31, 2011

ABOVE THE LAW: If This Is the Kind of Law Student Who Supports Obama’s Debt Relief Plans, the President Is in Trouble.

October 31, 2011

ECONOMICS: Mitchell’s Golden Rule: The Private Sector Should Grow Faster Than The Government. “I point out that the fiscal crises in nations such as Greece are the result of the opposite approach – letting the public sector grow faster than the productive sector of the economy.”

October 31, 2011

BARACK OBAMA: Exporting American Jobs Since 2009. “Oh, yeah, and one other thing: Obama isn’t making mistakes with this crap. He’s doing it on purpose.”

I continue to doubt that he’s as bright as either his boosters or his detractors claim.

October 31, 2011

SO MUCH FOR THAT POLAR-BEAR-EXTINCTION CLAIM. The scary yet falsifiable parts of the global warming scare haven’t done so well.

October 30, 2011

SPYWARE: PROGRESSIVE’S “SNAPSHOT.” “Let’s face it – this is the real question here. Is having a device in your car that tracks your driving habits by the second going to end up causing me more trouble than it’s worth?” Is this “progressive?” Yeah, probably . . . .

October 30, 2011

CATASTROPHE BONDS. Is there any other kind, these days?

October 30, 2011

HMM: Libya Finds “Nuclear Materials.”

October 30, 2011

FOR HERMAN CAIN, a high-tech lynching? Well, the press didn’t spend much time looking into the past of the last black guy who looked like he might be President, so they’re putting a lot more effort into it this time. . . .

UPDATE: Byron York: Cain Responds.

October 30, 2011

MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE KNOX COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE. There are professors who think that being part of a noble profession makes them noble, regardless of how ignoble their actions. There are cops who feel the same way. Both are wrong.

October 30, 2011

AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD: One by one, the democracies of Southern Europe are being broken on the wheel of monetary union.

October 30, 2011

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Men’s Running Shoes. Also, Men’s Boots.

October 30, 2011

A RESPONSE TO Michael Yon’s medevac post.

October 30, 2011

DON SURBER ON THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT: They Should Occupy Prison: “This is the face of liberalism, America. It is lawless, selfish, disrespectful and above all mean. The Democratic Party’s embrace, promotion and even logistical support of the Occupy Wall Street movement likely will backfire. . . . The media has by and large been very supportive of the various Occupy stunts organized by unions and radical groups. The allegations of rape, pimping underage girls and underage drinking are largely ignored by a national press that repeatedly lied about the peaceful, law-abiding Tea Party movement. With Occupy, police have had to arrest more than 1,000 Occupiers — even as police ignore permit violations, camping violations and pot-smoking. I cannot recall police arresting a single Tea Party member, even though there were 100 times as many of them.”

UPDATE: Ric Locke emails:

Anybody who’s been to a Tea Party or #Occupy rally knows the media is a pack of bald-faced liars.

There are quite a few who heartily approve, mind you, but not even the most rabid Narrative-maintainer goes to them for information any more, and isn’t that the point of “news”?

Well, it used to be.

October 30, 2011

JUST BY VIRTUE OF BEING AN AMERICAN: Attention, Protestors: You’re Probably Part of the 1%. As my brother always says about going to Africa, no matter what you are in America, when you step off the plane in an African country you’re rich.

October 30, 2011

THE CARNIVAL OF NUCLEAR ENERGY IS UP!

October 30, 2011

SPACE: Something Has Exploded In A Spectacular Fashion On Uranus. I wonder if there’s any connection to the alien base on Saturn.

October 30, 2011

AT AMAZON, warehouse deals in Kitchen & Dining.

October 30, 2011

UNEXPECTEDLY! The debt fallout: How Social Security went ‘cash negative’ earlier than expected. “Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year, as President Obama has proposed, Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits.”

Has anybody looked in Al Gore’s “lockbox?”

October 30, 2011

ILYA SOMIN ON COMMUNISM AND THE JEWS. “Jews’ status as an oppressed minority in early 20th century Eastern Europe also played a major role. The government of the Russian Empire (which ruled over most of Eastern Europe’s Jews until World War I) was highly anti-Semitic and oppressed Jews in innumerable ways. It also encouraged anti-Jewish violence, such as pogroms. Krajewski briefly mentions employment discrimination against early 20th century Jews; but that was only one small part of the prevailing anti-Semitism. Because of this persecution, Jews were more likely to be attracted to radical anti-regime movements than most other groups. A movement that seeks to overthrow the government that oppresses you and promises ethnic and racial equality has obvious appeal to persecuted minorities.”

That’s easily understandable, given circumstances a century ago. But why do so many Jews still embrace left-wing politics today, when it has an unrelenting track record of failure and oppression? For the same reason so many non-Jews do, I guess: There’s one born every minute. But not everyone’s a slow learner: “Although Jews were disproportionately represented among early communists, they were also (as Krajewski points out) disproportionately represented among the victims of communist regimes once the latter seized power. Unfortunately, Krajewski neglected to mention that in the 1970s and 80s, Jews were also disproportionately represented among the anti-communist dissidents in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Several of them played key roles in the eventual overthrow of communist rule (e.g. — Adam Michnik, one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement in Poland). Ironically, Jews were disproportionately represented among anti-communist dissidents for much the same reasons as an earlier generation had been disproportionately represented among communists: the dissident movement appealed to intellectuals, and it opposed highly anti-Semitic regimes.”

October 30, 2011

CLARICE FELDMAN: Self-Reliance For Dunces. Some lessons from the #Occupy movement and other aspects of American politics:

I think it’s a good day when anyone learns something about human nature — no matter how late in the game.

(1) Hand out free stuff and ever increasing number of moochers will come.

(2) There are “professional homeless people.”

(3) Those sanctimoniously protesting the greed of others fight as hard as anyone to keep their own special privileges even if those are just organic beet salad with goat cheese.

Three more good tips to put in your growing How to Be Self Reliant folder.

Indeed.

October 30, 2011

TODAY ONLY: Black & Decker 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Lawncare Center. Also, a bunch of tool-related “lightning deals” coming throughout the day.

And for folks in the northeast, it’s too late for generators and snow removal gear, but not for everyone else. Yet.

October 30, 2011

FROM STEVEN DEN BESTE, a unified theory of left-wing causes. “Isn’t it interesting that no matter what the current global crisis is, according to leftists, the solution is always the same: a benevolent world dictatorship of the enlightened elite, and mass transfer of wealth from rich nations to poor nations.”

October 30, 2011

CHARLIE MARTIN: Another food fight breaks out in climate science.

October 30, 2011

INTRODUCING the anti-gravity Slinky.

October 30, 2011

I MENTIONED GENERATORS EARLIER, but if you’re thinking of buying one, read this post. You might also consider going with an inverter.

October 30, 2011

NOTHING GOOD, APPARENTLY: What’s Going On With The iPhone 4S Battery?

October 30, 2011

LAURENCE KOTLIKOFF: Economists Can’t Be Trusted On Tax Plans. “The presidential campaign has just begun, and it’s already making me queasy. It’s not the smug politicians claiming magical job creation powers or special connections with the almighty. It’s the economists who produce misleading analyses of the candidates’ proposed policies.”

October 30, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The $10,000 College Degree: Rick Perry’s $10,000 degree plan is just one option to obtain an inexpensive education.

Given the #Occupy protests’ focus on student debt, and all the other higher education bubble talk lately, it’s odd that Perry’s reform proposal has gotten so little attention.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Without saying where I work.

I passed this to my Dean some time ago and he dismissed with “you get what you pay for”. My reaction was no you don’t but that is the attitude. It is a business and not one truly interested in educating.

My University is a state research university and so they are interested in research to the exclusion of teaching.

Producers are sometimes interested in finding ways to reduce costs, but seldom interested in finding ways to reduce prices.

October 30, 2011

CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER CUSTOMERS TOLD TO prepare for a week without power. You know, it might have been nice to use some of that stimulus money for toughening up power systems and other vital infrastructure. But that approach might have produced too many jobs for burly men.

October 30, 2011

IN THE MAIL: Lonely at the Top: The High Cost of Men’s Success.

October 30, 2011

NURSE BLOOMBERG HAS HIS PRIORITIES: As Crime Skyrockets in NYC, Bloomberg Focuses on Gun Control … in Virginia.

October 30, 2011

WE SHALL FIGHT THEM IN THE HILLS: In 1940 Churchill built a top secret army: a British resistance movement primed for a Nazi occupation. History tells us it was never needed – but a new movie imagines a very different scenario.

Harry Turtledove, call your office!

UPDATE: Andrew Morriss emails:

Check out When WIlliam Came by Saki – a great pre-WW1 story of German occupation of Britain.

Story summarized here.

Interesting.

October 30, 2011

ED MORRISSEY: Hennepin County makes the right choice in Good Samaritan shooting.

Give some credit to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, even if the outcome of the Evanovich case was nothing more than common sense. Darren Evanovich and his sister participated in an armed robbery outside of a grocery store in Minneapolis last week, which they concluded by pistol-whipping the middle-aged woman they robbed. A Good Samaritan chased after Evanovich, but Evanovich pulled the gun when he turned the corner. Unfortunately for Evanovich, the Good Samaritan had a carry permit and a handgun of his own — which he drew and fired after Evanovich drew first. Evanovich died almost immediately, and the question became whether the police and/or the DA would charge him with homicide.

Not only did Freeman decline to press charges, he commended the Good Samaritan for responding to “his fellow citizen in need.”

Somewhere, Joel Rosenberg is smiling.

October 30, 2011

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON the politics of indulgences:

In a nutshell, our American elites, even if well-meaning with real concern for the less fortunate, have adopted the medieval practice of compartmentalization. Loud demonstrations of general progressive piety exempt one from consistency. Our medieval ancestors could practice usury if they helped repair a collapsed nave or joined a Crusade, as traditional Christianity tried to deal with an imperfect world of important Christians who did not wish to live by their doctrine.

Read the whole thing.

October 30, 2011

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR CAPE WIND:

The Cape Wind experience also shows that it does not take much to gum up the regulatory gears for new projects of this sort. Opposition to Cape Wind has been driven by a few dozen families willing to invest their time and money to influence the regulatory process — and it’s worked. It does not matter whether a proposed project is popular with local residents, as a relatively small group of naysayers can exploit existing regulatory requirements to slow things down in the hope of eventually killing the project altogether. If other offshore wind projects are to succeed where Cape Wind has (thus far) failed, they will must prepare for similar opposition, and encourage regulatory reforms that will streamline wind project development and approval.

Perhaps people on the right should start trying harder to take advantage of statutes that allow people to gum up the works. If nothing else, the use of such techniques to advance rightish causes will cause the press to suddenly take a more critical look at the underlying laws . . . .

UPDATE: From the comments: “I think there is a legal Laffer curve, and we are choking on so much law we are now past the inflection point.” Thanks to reader Fred Siesel for pointing this one out.

October 30, 2011

CAYMAN UPDATE: U.S.S. Kittiwake, before and after Hurricane Rina. As one of my Cayman dive buddies notes on Facebook, “She moved! Holy cow! AND she went seaward!!! that wasn’t even a real storm!” More tie-down chains with deeper anchor posts would seem to be indicated for the future. Here’s my pre-hurricane Kittiwake dive video.

October 30, 2011

BLIZZARD COVERAGE FROM DaTechGuy, who somehow still has power.

October 30, 2011

MY PIECE IN TODAY’S NEW YORK POST: Government inflated the college loan bubble, but Obama isn’t fixing it.

October 30, 2011

OBAMA AND THE LOBBYISTS: Examiner first on story, NYT second, WaPo whiffs. “The bottom line on the Obama lobbyist-connected fundraising: the Washington Examiner got the story first, the New York Times got the story soon after and the Washington Post missed it altogether. Not good for a newspaper that has prided itself over the years, and for good reason, on its political reporting.”

The WaPo doesn’t seem overly interested in being first with bad news about Obama.

October 30, 2011

THE HIGH-STAKES MATH BEHIND the West’s greatest river.

The Columbia is a river of colossal proportions: it’s the most voluminous in the West, draining an area the size of Texas and each year passing 60 cubic miles of water to the Pacific Ocean. The 14 structures that harness it are equally formidable: a dam is likely to be the largest manmade object, the most exuberant feat of engineering that you’ll ever see, and the Columbia’s are among the world’s biggest. But as large as the dams are, their margins are minuscule and operating them takes unerring foresight and subtle management: let too much water fill reservoirs and a rainstorm might flood Portland; keep the reservoirs too empty and you’ll parch farmers. Send too much water over a dam’s spillway and you’ll suffocate fish with dissolved gases; send too much through its turbines and you’ll overload the electrical grid.

The difficulties are not widely appreciated.

October 30, 2011

ANNE APPLEBAUM: It’s not the rich who are destroying middle America, it’s the upper-middle-class.

Related: Stuck At the Bottom: Culture And The American Dream.

UPDATE: Maybe it’s more a New Class problem. Here’s something I wrote a while back:

Rand Simberg blames BBC snobbery on upper-middle-class sensibilities, and I think he’s almost right. It’s really a case of New Class sensibilities.

I can’t help but notice that anti-Americanism, and the various manifestations of what some have called Transnational Progressivism, are most common among people who, well, have state-supported managerial or intellectual jobs, the people who made up what Milovan Djilas and others called the “New Class” of bureaucrats and managers in the old Communist world. Not surprisingly, the New Class was deeply concerned with matters of status and position, and deeply opposed to things that might have led to competition on merit. There’s nothing new about such a view, which predated communism: As David Levy and Sandra Peart note, it’s an attitude that even in the nineteenth century was characteristic of anti-capitalists and anti-semites – and, nowadays, there’s a lot of overlap between anti-capitalists, anti-semites, and anti-Americans.

A common thread among anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-Americanism is the fear of being outdone by people willing to work harder. It’s not surprising that such a fear exists among a disproportionate number of those who take state-supported jobs. It’s thus not surprising, then, that New Class sensibilities are so often anti-American and anti-capitalist, and increasingly (or perhaps I should say, once again) anti-Semitic, too. The New Class, in this regard, as in many others, is like the old haut-bourgeoisie.

The New Class is characterized as much by self-importance as by higher income, and is far more eager to keep the proles in their place than, say, Applebaum’s small-town dentist. It’s thus not surprising that as its influence has grown, economic opportunity has increasingly been closed down by government barriers.

MORE: Further thoughts from Ross Douthat:

The public-sector workplace has become a kind of artificial Eden, whose fortunate inhabitants enjoy solid pay and 1950s-style job security and retirement benefits, all of it paid for by their less-fortunate private-sector peers. Some on the left have convinced themselves that this “success” can lay the foundation for a broader middle-class revival. But if a bloated public sector were the blueprint for a thriving middle-class society, then the whole world would be beating a path to Greece’s door.

Our entitlement system, meanwhile, is designed to redistribute wealth. But this redistribution doesn’t go from the idle rich to the working poor; it goes from young to old, working-age savings to retiree consumption, middle-class parents to empty-nest seniors. . . . Then there’s the public education system, theoretically the nation’s most important socioeconomic equalizer. Yet even though government spending on K-to-12 education has more than doubled since the 1970s, test scores have flatlined and the United States has fallen behind its developed-world rivals. Meanwhile, federal spending on higher education has been undercut by steadily inflating tuitions, in what increasingly looks like an academic answer to the housing bubble. (If the Occupy Wall Street dream of student loan forgiveness were fulfilled, this cycle would probably just continue.)

The story of the last three decades, in other words, is not the story of a benevolent government starved of funds by selfish rich people and fanatical Republicans. It’s a story of a public sector that has consistently done less with more, and a liberalism that has often defended the interests of narrow constituencies — public-employee unions, affluent seniors, the education bureaucracy — rather than the broader middle class.

Do tell.

October 30, 2011

PYTHON FOUND WITH INTACT ADULT DEER IN STOMACH: “This is clearly an extreme event,” he told the Sun-Sentinel. “It shows you they can eat huge things.”

October 30, 2011

ER, PURE DELICIOUSNESS? What’s the McRib Made of, Anyway?

UPDATE: Clarice Feldman writes: “Meat protein glue is used in top restaurants now.” More here.

October 30, 2011

MISSISSIPPI JUVENILE COURT SCANDAL? Parents of jailed Mississippi teens say they may sue. “The parents of three 15-year-olds who were strip-searched and jailed for three days after a trespassing charge expressed outrage Thursday during a press conference and called for the removal of Tate County Youth Court referee Leigh Ann Darby. . . . During an Oct. 20 proceeding with Darby recused, the youths were found not guilty of trespassing.”

October 30, 2011

CELEBRATE DIVERSITY!

Lars Vilks takes all this in good humor. Nevertheless, it is still faintly stunning to me that you can find within a population the size of Waterford and Cork seven Muslims willing to participate in a plot to kill a Swedish artist. Even at the height of the Irish “Troubles”, you’d have been hard put to find seven residents of Waterford willing to participate in a plot to kill, say, a British cabinet minister.

But things are different now.

I predict that this will end badly. Like other poorly-thought-out experiments of Europe’s elites.

October 30, 2011

IS APPLE’S SIRI a Google killer?

October 30, 2011

MARK STEYN: Adult Babies: There’s Almost Nothing You Can’t Get Government To Pay For. Well, actually the likelihood of government subsidy increases as the likelihood of promoting social dysfunction goes up. Or at least, that’s how it seems.

October 29, 2011

HOW TO GET FIRED.

October 29, 2011

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Michelle Obama and ‘the Few at the Top.’ “When Ms. Obama charges, ‘Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top? Who are we?’ one wonders, why, then, in the past three years of hard times, did she insist on vacationing, in iconic fashion, at Vail, Martha’s Vineyard, and Costa del Sol, the tony haunts of ‘the few at the top’? In these rough times, surely a smaller staff, less travel, and budgetary economies would have enhanced her populist message of some at the top enjoying perks at the expense of others.”

October 29, 2011

TELEGRAPH: Why the latest eurozone bail-out is destined to fail within weeks.