June 24, 2012
GEORGE SCOVILLE: First They Came For The Donor Lists. . . .
GEORGE SCOVILLE: First They Came For The Donor Lists. . . .
GOING UNDER THE KNIFE: Paul Rahe on Prostate Cancer. “If all goes as planned, I will, in fact, be going under the knife on Monday morning.”
ANOTHER “EDITING ERROR” from the news professionals at NBC. “Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky sought a mistrial before his conviction for child sex abuse on the grounds that prosecutors showed jurors an inaccurate version of a bombshell NBC News interview with the former football coach, and the mistake may now form part of the basis for an appeal.”
DAN RIEHL: Priceless: WaPo blames constitutional law instructor Obama for possible ObamaCare Failure. “We can’t know for certain how the Court may rule on health care this week. But watching Washington as usual play out driven by a sense of doom is still something of a hoot. If it does go down and Obama fails to win re-election, he won’t have any positive legacy at all in the end.”
Perhaps if Obama had ever written any scholarly articles on the Commerce Clause, he’d have had a better understanding. But then, he never wrote any scholarly articles on anything. As former Obama colleague Richard Epstein said: “I like Obama but I reject the suggestion that he is an intellectual. He is an activist merely mimicking the mannerisms of an intellectual.”
UPDATE: Reader Dean Cheng writes:
As you regularly warn, “Don’t get cocky kid.”
So, everyone THINKS that the Supremes will overturn Obamacare, at least in part, and perhaps in whole.
But what if that doesn’t happen? What if, by a 5-4 decision, the Supremes decide that Obamacare is Constitutional? Shoot, what if they decide that Obama is right, and it would be politically too hard to overturn the thing? Not that they would necessarily phrase it that way in their decision, of course.
I’m not suggesting that SCOTUS will uphold Obamacare, only to hold off on the schadenfreude and celebrating and end-zone spiking until after the Supreme Court has actually RULED on the thing, AND overturned it?
Good point. Don’t get cocky, kid. Though the lefties’ pre-decisional flailing is too amusing to ignore entirely.
LEFTY DESPERATION: Don’t Like The Supreme Court’s Decision? Propose A Court-Packing Plan!
Related: James Fallows’ Paranoid Conspiracy Theories. They’re really losing it over the ObamaCare decision, which hasn’t even been announced yet.
But in the spirit of suddenly-essential Supreme Court “reform,” here’s mine: Justices to be elected to a single 18-year term, no more than 5 of the 9 to be law school graduates.
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Related: Report: Matt Edelstein and #StopRush Employed Brett Kimberlin’s Pal Neal Rauhauser As Their Private Investigator. If true, that was an unwise move.
STEVE POSTREL: Marginalism and the Higher Ed Paradox.
My hypothesis is that it is precisely the dumbing down of U.S. education over the last decades that explains the increase in willingness to pay for education. The mechanism is diminishing marginal returns to education.
Typical graduate business school education has indeed become less rigorous over time, as has typical college education. But typical high school education has declined in quality just as much. As a result, the human capital difference between a college and high-school graduate has increased, because the first increments of education are more valuable on the job market than the later ones. It used to be that everybody could read and understand something like Orwell’s Animal Farm, but the typical college graduates could also understand Milton or Spencer. Now, nobody grasps Milton but only the college grads can process Animal Farm, and for employers the See Spot Run–>Animal Farm jump is more valuable than the Animal Farm–>Milton jump.
So the value of a college education has increased even as its rigor has declined, because willingness to pay for quality is really willingness to pay for incremental quality.
This is appallingly plausible. I’m not certain, but I think this trend would also be a boon to third-party certification, as a cheaper and more rigorous alternative.
PUTTING WHILE ROME BURNS: Priorities: Obama plays 101st game of golf as fires burn, Egypt elects member of Muslim Brotherhood.
THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE LAST 2,000 YEARS in one little graph.
THE INSTAWIFE: Do Boys “Swagger”? And What Does that Mean? Obviously, they haven’t been feminized enough.
I think what it means is that we’re seeing pathological behavior that 50 years ago was limited to the ghettos and similar marginal environments now spreading to mainstream society, just as high rates of single motherhood have. And the reason these changes have been tolerated (if not actually encouraged) is that they empower a politically influential constituency, one which, coincidentally, is largely female. With that in mind, note which way the suggestions in Swagger point, and ponder the likely result of implementing them. . . .
It was the Cold War and every community in the country had a plan in place for when the bombers arrived or the missiles started dropping. Even Auburn.
In the Earl Crabbe Gym basement, civil defense workers stored canisters of water, hard-tack biscuits and toiletries in anticipation of an attack from the skies that never came.
Over the years, the room was locked up, ignored and then forgotten.
In the past week, however, the cache of containers with the once-common “CD” civil defense emblem were re-discovered by volunteers working to repaint the high school’s weight-lifting room.
Wednesday, some of them were marveling at what they had found in a room that time appeared to have forgotten. Stacks of biscuit containers, tongue depressors, bandages, commode liners, plastic cups, and even containers of clear water were neatly stacked, all seemingly awaiting the day students would be rushed from their classes to escape a nuclear attack.
“It was always rumored that there was a bomb shelter at the high school,” Doug Randall of Auburn’s Consolidated Painting said. “Now it sets the rumor to fact.”
Randy Albright, Warehouse Paint sales representative and a Placer Class of 1983 grad, said he was surprised that the water being stored in plastic bags was still perfectly clear.
“I’m just surprised everything was in good condition after 50 or 60 years,” Albright said.
I wonder if it’s still potable, and if the biscuits are still edible.
BEYOND THE VAMPIRE-KILLING ABE LINCOLN, Secret Histories of Other Presidents. “What most people know about Grover Cleveland is that, alone among U.S. Presidents, he served two non-consecutive terms of office. Less widely known is the reason those terms were non-consecutive. After commandeering an experimental time travel device from a young Nikola Tesla in early 1889, Cleveland spent the better part of the next four years traveling through the past, righting historical injustices. Below he is pictured during his extended stay in the late Cretaceous period.”
NO, BUT IT’S HIGHLY SUGGESTIVE: Egypt: A Muslim Brotherhood President Does Not Prove That We Are All “Chimps.”
JULIE GERSTEIN: Let’s Stop With This “Having It All” Crap. “Being able to ask if ‘you’re having it all’ comes from such a place of middle-class privilege it makes my head spin.”
Actually, it’s upper-middle-class privilege. Most of the debate about feminism is an occupation of upper-middle-class women. Which is why nobody asks — or cares — about whether men can “have it all.” (Answer: No. “The tragedy of life is that not all values can be realized.”)
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SHOCKER: Jon Huntsman Lands A Job At A Liberal Think-Tank. Hard to imagine why he didn’t get more traction in the primaries.
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A MOM WHO KEPT HER MAIDEN NAME. The Insta-Daughter’s middle school kept assuming that her parents were divorced because of the different names. Sometimes they were slow to believe her when she insisted otherwise. You’d think people would be used to that sort of thing by now.
UPDATE: Reader Gerald Hanner writes: “It’s long been my impression that public school administrators and faculty have an alarming lack of judgment, common sense, and real world skills. What they excel at is overreaction and enforcing the politically correct mindset.” Well, a kid who’s in denial about divorced parents is probably more interesting than one whose mother kept her maiden name.
BEYOND ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM: Arthur C. Clarke and other science fiction writers on growing food to feed space colonists.
PANIC IN PENNSYLVANIA: OMG OMG! It’s a Water Gun! With Water in it! OMG! “What’s next, ear-splitting bouts of Marco Polo in the public pool? Short-sheeting beds at camp? Shaving cream in a sleeping kid’s hand? Oh, the humanity.”
CLAIM: Chevy Volt actually underpriced given current lease payments, residual estimate. That doesn’t suggest long-term viability.
IN THE MAIL: Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov.
HOW TO CUT CARBON EMISSIONS: Fracking Cuts Carbon More Than Cap-And-Trade. “Ignore the greens and innovate, and you will cut carbon. Pay a lot of attention to them, spend a lot of money — and you will keep carbon emissions unchanged. . . . Right now, fracking is doing more to control carbon emissions than all the efforts of all the greens in the world. And by promoting American (and Chinese!) domestic energy production, it is doing more to lay the foundations of world peace than all the peace activists and disarmament campaigners in the world.” Which is why it must be stopped. It’s threatening the whole feedlot!
WASN’T HE BLACK BACK IN 2008? Barone: Obama backers use race as alibi for ebbing support. “The fact that some have, at least for the moment, moved away from supporting Obama to opposing him, or remain unsure, reflects not an increasing racism, but the fact that we simply have more information than we had four years ago.”
As Tony Katz said: “It’s not his race. It’s that he’s awful.”
China’s urban areas are booming economically, but that trend is paralleled by another one with serious implications for public health: obesity rates have skyrocketed over the last generation. The number of Chinese people who are obese quintupled between 2005 and 2011, to nearly 100 million people. The World Health Organization estimates that 38.5 percent of the population was overweight in 2010, up from 25 percent in 2002. Male children from high-income families have an especially high rate of obesity.
Personally, I blame George W. Bush.
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION FROM ROGER KIMBALL, on behalf of his new book, The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia.
Obama lied, Mexicans died. (Line courtesy of reader Peter Grout).
CARRY PERMITS for soldiers under 21?
MORE SELF-BECLOWNING FROM THE HARVARD LAW FACULTY: “America Is Racist Because Americans Do NOT Join in Racist Attacks.”
MICKEY KAUS: “That will reassure Second Amendment enthusiasts who suspect the otherwise indefensible Fast & Furious fiasco was really an effort to lay the groundwork for a … ban on the sale of weapons (by confirming the Mexicans’ complaints about the origin of guns involved in Mexican drug violence).”
UPDATE: Reader Fred Boness reminds me of this post about Elijah Cummings from last year.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why Mr. Right Won’t Wait For Sex. “It’s a very competitive world out there.”
SUDDENLY, IT’S A BUYER’S MARKET: Prospective Students Tell Law Schools, “Show us the money.” “Law schools experienced a 25% decline in applicants nationwide during the past two years, due in part to the tight job market for new lawyers and a more widespread understanding of the high costs of attending. Many have responded by accepting a larger percentage of applicants and sweetening their scholarship packages, in hopes of locking in prospective students. For their part, many would-be law students sense opportunity and are aggressively negotiating scholarship offers from competing schools. . . . The trickle-down effect of competition for students may be hitting lower-tier schools the hardest.”
Just as I predicted.
I can only imagine what he’d think about a utilikilt paired with . . . matching Crocs.
POLITICO’S SHRINKING PAINS: Politico’s traffic is down from last year, and it’s an election year. They lost the trust of a number of people on the right last year, so they’re getting fewer looks, and fewer links.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Survive A Boring Meeting.
CAN YOU REALLY LAUNCH A SWARM ATTACK when you only have 3 or 4 viewers?
CONTROVERSIAL? I THOUGHT IT WAS ALWAYS GOOD FOR ARTISTS TO MOCK THE POWERFUL. Right?
DAVE KOPEL: OSHA Targets Shooting Range. More of that “under the radar” gun control we heard about?
THE OBAMA EVENT REGISTRY STORY: So bizarre, people checked with Snopes — but it’s true. I guess Obama is stranger than fiction.
ECONOMICS: We’ve been eating our seed corn.
More than 60 years after his seminal 1950 paper, and following decades of exponential growth in the power of computers, Turing’s thinking machine has yet to be realised outside the realms of science fiction, where the intelligent robot – from Hal 9000 to C3P0 – is common.
Instead, modern AI posses a very different sort of intelligence to our own, one that is narrow and focused on specialised tasks such as helping to fly planes or screening loan applications. In carrying out these tasks, machines can make sound judgements faster and more consistently than people, but lack the versatility of human thought. So where are the thinking machines, and will computers ever match the general intelligence of an individual?
Key bit: “What robots find hard, we find easy — and vice versa.”
BARACK HUSSEIN KARDASHIAN: Rex Murphy on Obama: America’s celebrity president. “When you are in vogue, the editor of Vogue pleads for your attention. When you’re not in vogue, you plead with the editor of Vogue.” Come to think of it, the Kardashians seem to be on the way out, too.
TALKLEFT: “My opinion: This is self-defense. Zimmerman was not the aggressor, he did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon. . . . I see nothing that amounts to a contradiction or a difference. I see a valid claim of self-defense.”
#FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS: Picking a Time of Day for Sex Is More Complicated Than It Looks.
SHOCKER: Chinese Data Said To Be Manipulated, Understating Its Slowdown. “As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles.”
Good thing that could never happen here.
THIS WEEK IN THE FUTURE.
POPULAR MECHANICS IS AT THE Home Safety & Disaster Preparedness Show in Kenner, La.
CAUGHT WHILE BOW-FISHING, NO LESS: Texas fisherman prevails in epic battle with enormous alligator gar. “Whether Brent Crawford has captured the world’s largest alligator gar will never be known — his scale bottomed out emphatically at 300 pounds and he filleted the prehistoric-looking fish after attempting to obtain its weight. But this much is clear: The gar Crawford landed while bow-fishing recently in Texas’ Lake Corpus Christi is among the largest specimens ever captured — and it was captured in a manner like no other gar captured beforehand.”
My favorite bit: “The line went taut and the fish yanked the fisherman into the water headfirst. That’s when Crawford’s dog, Bleux, grabbed him by the cuff of the jeans, creating a bizarre riverbank tug-of-war.”
CHANGE SAME: Views shift little after Obama backs gay marriage.
There is currently no HTTP status code to indicate you can’t access content because it’s been prohibited by a government agency. Tim Bray, a Google engineer, has proposed the status code “451,” in honor of the recently deceased author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, for use when an ISP is ordered by the government to deny access to a certain website.
Cute, though not consistent with the current error-numbering scheme.
DID YOU EVER WONDER WHETHER RATS LAUGH? Wonder no more.
KEEPING COOL: Let Them See You Sweat. “Don’t wipe unless you’re drenched. Sweat releases heat by evaporative cooling. As each gram of sweat transitions from liquid to gas phase, it absorbs 2,427 joules of energy from the body and dissipates the heat into the environment. But if you wipe away the perspiration before it evaporates, that process will get cut short, and you’ll need to sweat more just to achieve the same degree of cooling. On the other hand, any sweat that drips to the ground before it can evaporate won’t do you any good, so if you’re really soaked you may as well reach for the towel.”
WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: The Post-It Desk. Well, maybe not everyone.
IN THE MAIL: No Hero.
The euro is significantly closer to failure and Europe is closer to a meltdown after the leaders of the four biggest eurozone leaders met in Rome and made no progress whatever. The “Fab Four” (Spain’s Mariano Rajoy, France’s Francois Hollande, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Italy’s Mario Monti) reaffirmed a pre-existing agreement to make some mostly symbolic adjustments to European policy, whomping up an air souffle that the Club Med countries plus France can claim is a “growth” package, but it is mostly made of old money and spin.
Other than that, they seem to have just wasted time repeating the stale old things they have been saying to one another for more than two years. The Latin caucus told Germany how very nice it would be if Germany would pay more money to reduce their borrowing costs and Germany thanked the Latins for the advice but declined to share its ATM card and PIN with its hungry friends.
In other words, nothing.
America currently has the worst political class in its history. But if Europe doesn’t, it’s only because of how very bad it’s been in the past. . . .
WORKING YOUR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE HAS GOTTEN A LOT HARDER:
We might have reached a natural limit for how many students can realistically find work while in school, at least until the economy rebounds. The two graphs below are adapted from Department of Education data* on student employment covering selected years from 1970 through 2010. They illustrate a point that’s both obvious and easy to overlook: In a bad job market, it’s a lot tougher for an undergraduate land employment.
And, of course, tuition keeps climbing at a rate that vastly exceeds wage growth. This phenomenon calls for more attention.
HE’S A CORRUPT BASTARD, BUT HE’S OUR CORRUPT BASTARD: Andrew Cuomo Endorses Charlie Rangel.
AFTERBURNER: Bill Whittle On Fast And Furious.
TUNING IN TO RADIO DOOMSDAY.
WHEN YOU SEE STORIES LIKE THIS AT CAFEMOM, IT’S A SIGN THE STRATEGY ISN’T WORKING: Obama’s Immigration Reform Was a Ploy for Votes He Probably Won’t Get.
ERIC HOLDER UPDATE: House Republicans release final Holder contempt resolution. “Republicans late Friday released the final version of the resolution asserting that Attorney General Eric Holder is in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.”
HE’S LIKE SOME KIND OF SUPERHERO WITHOUT SPANDEX: Newark Mayor Cory Booker helps man hit by car? But apparently, Obama’s displeasure is his kryptonite.
“WE WENT FROM HOPE AND CHANGE TO DIVIDE AND BLAME.” Bobby Jindal: Obama is running against Bush, and it’s only about eight years too late for that.
SPEAKING OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER, here’s a review by Bryan Preston.
ANOTHER BAD DAY FOR OBAMA: “It was a quirky day on the road for President Obama. He headed to Florida for a couple of events: a speech to a Latino group in Lake Buena Vista outside Orlando, then a campaign rally in Tampa. But at the first event, the Secret Service made hundreds of guests give up their forks and knives before the president entered the room. Then in Tampa, the normally sure-footed president tripped as he bounded onto a stage.” If a Secret Service agent hassles you, hand him $47 and a condom and tell him to go have a good time. . . .
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Swing An Axe Like Vampire-Hunter Abraham Lincoln.
ONLINE EDUCATION: Will College Leaders Try To Stifle Competition?
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 6 Rules for Sex on a Plane. But the winner is from the comments: “Personally I’m happy to just get on the plane without feeling like I’ve been molested.”
DOUBTFUL: Can George Zimmerman Get A Fair Trial?
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PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: “Aaron Walker filed suit against Brett Kimberlin in federal district court in Maryland today. The counts alleged in the suit include defamation, harassment and invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contract, federal extortion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with business expectations, and federal stalking. Additionally, Walker’s attorney (Bruce Godfrey) filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunctive release asking that enforcement of a state peace order against Walker be enjoined. In addition to asking for a permanent bar of enforcement of the peace order, the complaint against Kimberlin seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.” Copy of the complaint at the link.
JERRY SANDUSKY found guilty on 45 counts.
PATTERICO: “Consider this a tease.”