Sunday, December 30, 2012

Laws Are for Little People - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

Laws Are for Little People - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: "Anything involving guns is even less amenable to “obviousness.” A few years ago, Daniel Brown was detained at LAX while connecting to a Minneapolis flight because traces of gunpowder were found on his footwear. His footwear was combat boots. As the name suggests, the combat boots were returning from combat — eight months of it, in Iraq’s bloody and violent al-Anbar province. Above the boots he was wearing the uniform of a staff sergeant in the USMC Reserve Military Police and was accompanied by all 26 members of his unit, also in uniform. Staff Sergeant Brown doesn’t sound like an “obvious” terrorist. But the TSA put him on the no-fly list anyway. If it’s not “obvious” to the government that a serving member of the military has any legitimate reason for being around ammunition, why should it be “obvious” that a TV host has?"

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Laws Are for Little People - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

Laws Are for Little People - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: " Not far away from David Gregory, across the Virginia border, eleven-year-old Skylar Capo made the mistake of rescuing a woodpecker from the jaws of a cat and nursing him back to health for a couple of days. For her pains, a federal Fish & Wildlife gauleiter accompanied by state troopers descended on her house, charged her with illegal transportation of a protected species, issued her a $535 fine, and made her cry. Why is it so “obvious” that David Gregory deserves to be treated more leniently than a sixth grader? Because he’s got a TV show and she hasn’t?"

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

John Lott's Website

John Lott's Website: "This is from John Fund's op-ed piece in the Hartford Courant:
•Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media.
•In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
•Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.

•The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.
•Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany."

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The Corner - National Review Online

The Corner - National Review Online: "I just read the e-book by Jonathan Martin and Glenn Thrush about the end of the presidential election campaign. As someone who hasn’t fully recovered from the loss, I was appreciative of these two facts included:

1. After the 47-percent video aired: “Romney knew it was a disaster. He felt so bad about his remarks that he sent an email to some of his senior aides taking responsibility for the damage he had caused and apologizing.”

2. After Chris Christie appeared with the president after Sandy Romney said to advisers, according to aide recollections cited in the book: Guys, he’s the governor of the state — he’s got to do what’s best for his state.”

It’s not a strategy point or breaking news, but: He’s a good man, that Mitt Romney. And I’ll always be grateful for good men who are still willing to bother with politics. "

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge — Page 2

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge — Page 2: "My conclusion: Nate Silver is a man who deeply believes in experts, even when the evidence is not good that they have aligned incentives with the public.

Distrust the experts

Call me “asinine,” but I have less faith in the experts than Nate Silver: I don’t want to trust the very people who got us into this mess, while benefitting from it, to also be in charge of cleaning it up. And, being part of the Occupy movement, I obviously think that this is the time for mass movements."

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The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: "Once upon a time, TV viewers from distant states descending on a Connecticut town to attend multiple funerals of children they don’t know might have struck some of us as, at best, unseemly and, at worst, deeply creepy — a Feast of the Holy Innocents, so to speak."

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The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: " For a parent to bury a child offends against the natural order — at least in an age that has conquered childhood mortality. For a parent to bury a child at Christmas taints the day forever, and mocks its meaning."

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The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

The Massacre of the Innocents - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: "‘Lullay, Thou little tiny Child, by by, lully, lullay . . . ”

The 16th-century Coventry Carol, a mother’s lament for her lost son, is the only song of the season about the other children of Christmas — the first-born of Bethlehem, slaughtered on Herod’s orders after the Magi brought him the not-so-glad tidings that an infant of that city would grow up to be King of the Jews. As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. "

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The Corner - National Review Online

The Corner - National Review Online: "Did anyone else catch this comment from Obama’s presser the other day?

It is a deal that can get done. But it is not going to be — it cannot be done if every side wants 100 percent.  And part of what voters were looking for is some compromise up here.  That’s what folks want.  They understand that they’re not going to get 100 percent of what they want.  And for some reason, that message has not yet taken up on Capitol Hill.  And when you think about what we’ve gone through over the last couple of months — a devastating hurricane, and now one of the worst tragedies in our memory — the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good, and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don’t make much sense."

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Translation: "After Sandy Hook, Republicans need to stop being so small minded and give in on raising taxes." Disgusting.

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge: "If decent economics textbooks teach their students that “cutting government spending causes the economy’s overall output to fall, tax revenues to decrease, and spending on benefits to increase,” and “the end result is slower growth (or a recession) and high budget deficits” then we should be using the indecent ones. Because there’s no conclusive evidence or natural experiment to support that view."

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Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge: "hich brings me to John Cassidy’s recent New Yorker piece, It’s Official: Austerity Economics Doesn’t Work. HT: JoshDoody) It’s been recommended by 17K people on Facebook. Over 2000 people have tweeted on it. The New Yorker is a fine magazine. I’m sure those 19,000 people and the other thousands who found the article believe that if something is in the New Yorker, it is probably true, especially if it confirms your other views. They will join the millions of people who know that reducing government spending is a bad idea when you’re running large deficits.

But just in case some of those people find their way here, I thought it might be worthwhile to examine Cassidy’s analysis. Is it official? Is austerity economics a failure?"

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Amitai Etzioni: Gun-Free Homes and Communities

Amitai Etzioni: Gun-Free Homes and Communities: "We should not wait for our elected officials, in President Obama's good words, "to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics." We should do our share. One way to proceed is to mark our homes, apartments and condos, with a "gun free" sign. Parents should notify their friends that they would be reluctant to send their child over for a play date unless the home was safe from guns. Residential communities should pass rules that ban bringing guns onto their premises, clearly marking them as gun free.

Anyone who puts up such signs will become an ambassador for gun control, because they are sure to be challenged by gun advocates to explain their anti-gun positions. Here are some pointers they may wish to use against the typical pro-gun talking points."

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Funny how This is the exact argument John Lott uses against gun control.

Pale Amitai

Pale Amitai: "This short piece by Amitai Etzioni captures the difference between economists and non-economists. He says that rather than wait for gun control laws, we should just ban them in our own homes and post signs outside announcing that our homes are gun-free thereby becoming “ambassadors for gun control.”

I am reminded of the Hillaire Belloc poem:

Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight.
But Roaring Bill who killed him thought it right."

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Piers Morgan's Argument for Gun Control: 'You're an Unbelievably Stupid Man, Aren't You?' - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Piers Morgan's Argument for Gun Control: 'You're an Unbelievably Stupid Man, Aren't You?' - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "You are talking complete and utter nonsense....

What you just said, Mr. Pratt, was an absolute lie....

You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?...

What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America. You don’t actually care....

It’s complete nonsense....

I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It’s down to idiots like you....

You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense, and you shame your country."

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Scandal Alert: Congress Is Quietly Abandoning the 5th Amendment - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

Scandal Alert: Congress Is Quietly Abandoning the 5th Amendment - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic: "What everyone must understand is that American politics doesn't work the way you'd think it would. Most people presume that government officials would never willfully withhold penicillin from men with syphilis just to see what would happen if the disease went untreated. It seems unlikely that officers would coerce enlisted men into exposing themselves to debilitating nerve gas. Few expected that President Obama would preside over the persecution of an NSA whistle-blower, or presume the guilt of all military-aged males killed by U.S. drone strikes. But it all happened.
"

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The New York Times Spills the Beans on the Casey Greenfield / Jeffrey Toobin Affair « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, Law Suits, Judges and Courts

The New York Times Spills the Beans on the Casey Greenfield / Jeffrey Toobin Affair « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, Law Suits, Judges and Courts: "When Ms. Greenfield first informed him of her pregnancy, she said, Mr. Toobin questioned the paternity, balked at submitting to a test and vowed to take no responsibility for a baby he wasn’t sure was his. Both hired lawyers. Inevitably, the tabloids and gossip sites took notice of the scandal, dropping increasingly detailed hints about the behind-the-scenes drama."

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A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse of the Iran-Contra Case - Los Angeles Times

A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse of the Iran-Contra Case - Los Angeles Times: "More important, there are hard personal feelings between Walsh and his former employee. The chief prosecutor has declined to be interviewed, citing pending Iran-Contra cases. But a spokesman for the independent counsel says Walsh feels betrayed and is particularly irked that Toobin announced his decision to write a book only after resigning his staff position in May, 1989."

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Time For Gun Owners To Be Good Sports About Gun Restrictions : NPR

Time For Gun Owners To Be Good Sports About Gun Restrictions : NPR: "I've never had any interest in hunting. Among other things, I'm a terrible shot, but I have friends who hunt, and it appears to me to be a perfectly reasonable sports hobby — certainly every bit as honorable as fantasy football. Moreover, shooting a deer or a duck with a bullet seems to me no more inhuman than catching a trout or a marlin with a hook."

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Althouse

Althouse: "Straightforward, almost boring health care policy story about a government taking sensible, cost-effective measures to curb a public health problem. But the story isn't really about health care policy — the underlying narrative here is that the French are yet again making American politicians look like a bunch of out of touch prudes....

Needless to say, the measure sailed through the French legislature without any kind of political battle..."

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That's one view of government.

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person | Cracked.com

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person | Cracked.com: "Because in my non-expert opinion, you don't hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don't do anything. Not even you can just "love you for you" -- that's why you're miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life."

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6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person | Cracked.com

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person | Cracked.com: ""But I'm a great listener!" Are you? Because you're willing to sit quietly in exchange for the chance to be in the proximity of a pretty girl (and spend every second imagining how soft her skin must be)? Well guess what, there's another guy in her life who also knows how to do that, and he can play the guitar. Saying that you're a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn't make you sick. You're like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is "The actors are clearly visible.""

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unusual Agreement Means Settlement May Be Near in 'Lott v. Levitt' - News - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Unusual Agreement Means Settlement May Be Near in 'Lott v. Levitt' - News - The Chronicle of Higher Education: "The letter of clarification, which was included in today’s filing, offers a doozy of a concession. In his 2005 message, Mr. Levitt told Mr. McCall that “it was not a peer-refereed edition of the Journal.” But in his letter of clarification, Mr. Levitt writes: “I acknowledge that the articles that were published in the conference issue were reviewed by referees engaged by the editors of the JLE. In fact, I was one of the peer referees.”"

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Austin Noodle House Owner in Hot Water Over Racially Charged Comments About Sandy Hook Shooting

Austin Noodle House Owner in Hot Water Over Racially Charged Comments About Sandy Hook Shooting: ""I don't care if a bunch of white kids got killed," the Thailand-born Eddie Nimibutr wrote in the update he posted on Friday, shortly after the incident took place. "Fuck Post-Racial bullshit. When kids from minority groups get shot, nobody cares. When Israel launched missiles at the school on Gaza, everybody was too busy jerking off. Why should i care about people who dont give a damn about me?""

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The Volokh Conspiracy » Robert Bork Remembered

The Volokh Conspiracy » Robert Bork Remembered: "As John just noted, author Robert Bork, a former-Yale law professor, who also served as Solicitor General of the United States and a as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, died today at the age of 84.  He had been in ill-health for some time.  Bork flirted with libertarianism before becoming perhaps the leading advocate of judicial conservatism. Among his lasting achievements was the support he gave to some Yale law students seeking to found an organization called the Federalist Society."

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I definitely see some aspects of constitutional law differently from how he did. Still, Bork is probably the public intellectual most responsible for my interest in the constitution and my eventual career path. Rest in peace.

Time Magazine Names Mitt Romney Man of the Year 1912 : The New Yorker

Time Magazine Names Mitt Romney Man of the Year 1912 : The New Yorker: "In a press release explaining its decision, Time’s editorial board wrote, “Even though his quest for the Presidency was unsuccessful, Mr. Romney’s ideas about foreign policy, taxation, wealth inequality, and women’s rights typified the year 1912 as no one else has.”"

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You stay classy, New Yorker! I guess this is what qualifies as high-brow satire.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Corner - National Review Online

The Corner - National Review Online: "Why should excellent schools incubate mass murderers? Because the more exalted the reputation of a school, the worse it is for a student who feels trapped in such a school. Trapped? Yes, students in excellent schools are learning what they need to know to get in to selective colleges and, ultimately, to land well-paid jobs in our information-oriented society. But still they can feel miserable for what adults may consider trivial reasons. . . .

A more practical approach to preventing some mass murders at school would be to give children who are miserable at school for whatever reason more options. For those old enough to drop out and go to work, make it legitimate to stop school for a while and try a job in the real world. (The Swedes speak of kids being “school-tired” and do not stigmatize those who leave for a time-out; most eventually return a year or two later.) In the torrent of words commenting on the murders at Columbine in Littleton, Colorado, an obvious question was not raised: Why, if Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were so miserable at school, didn’t they simply drop out and try a job in a nearby ski resort? [Emphasis mine.]"

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Instapundit

Instapundit: "A man is going to come home with the real bacon. Anything I did was just like extra credit.

I didn’t realize I unconsciously thought these things until I was a 28-year-old woman.

“You haven’t played your career out to its full potential because you didn’t have the stress of making as much money as possible,” my friend told me.

I rolled my eyes, but I realized he was right. First of all, it’s true that being a man who feels wholly responsible for providing for a family is as stressful as it is liberating. My father was fortunate, yet not. I’m sure he fought for raises twice as hard as I have because he really fucking had to. But I don’t have a wife and daughter, so all these years, when I have gone into work it has been with the understanding that I am so grateful to have a job at all, so excited to be in a workplace. I am less concerned with where my career is going or what my paycheck is.

The need to support a family focuses the mind wonderfully."

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The Corner - National Review Online

The Corner - National Review Online: "Yesterday in this space, I pointed out that Adam Lanza’s Bushmaster .223 is banned for deer hunting in many states on the grounds that it’s too weak. I thought the relevance of this fact was pretty clear: It wouldn’t make sense from an anti-crime standpoint to ban this gun without also banning guns that are more powerful, and thus more dangerous to humans — but you can’t ban more powerful guns without banning many deer rifles, something most in the anti-gun crowd swear they don’t want to do."

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rob Parker on RGIII’s blackness | DC Sports Bog

Rob Parker on RGIII’s blackness | DC Sports Bog: "“Well, because I want to find out about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancĂ©e. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”"

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Opinion: When thuggery is OK - Rich Lowry - POLITICO.com

Opinion: When thuggery is OK - Rich Lowry - POLITICO.com: "Civility is one of the most absurdly abused of our political values. It is always centrally important to our functioning as a democracy — right up until the time someone proposes crossing the unions. Then, it goes from “can’t we all get along?” to “nothing to see here.” Then, out come the Hitler signs, the accusations of dictatorship, the huge inflatable rats, the sit-ins, the threats and even the fists, and all anyone can think to say is, “Isn’t it a shame someone had to go and get the unions angry?”"

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do We Really Have to Condemn the Union Protestor Who Punched Fox News Comedian Steven Crowder?

Do We Really Have to Condemn the Union Protestor Who Punched Fox News Comedian Steven Crowder?: "I have a third solution: Steven, stop whining, take your licks, and accept that getting hit in the face is a hazard of inserting yourself in the middle of an argument between billionaire-funded know-nothing ideologues and people whose livelihoods and stability are being threatened by the insatiable greed of the super-rich and the blind extremism of their wooden-headed political allies. In exchange, liberals will buy you a band-aid for the cut on your forehead and re-iterate that Punching Is Bad. Sound good? Send your answer on Twitter."

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The Rotten Spouse Theorem, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

The Rotten Spouse Theorem, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty: "Even after a bitter divorce, people often pay their ex a compliment: "He was a bad husband, but he's always been a good father" or "She was a bad wife, but she's always been a good mother."  Gracious, yes.  But accurate?  Hard to see how.

A family isn't a set of independent relationships.  They're all connected.  Damaging one foreseeably damages the other.  This is particularly obvious when parents fight in front of their children.  When your children hear you yell at your wife, you don't just hurt her feelings.  You hurt their feelings.
"

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Althouse

Althouse: "Only 7. And it's not really about being atheist. It's about talking about it. This is the old freedom of speech issue, and we still have a problem with that in the United States. Last I noticed, that man who made the "Innocence of Muslims" video was in prison, right here in the U.S."

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Dem Senators Ask Delay in Medical Device Tax - By Wesley J. Smith - The Corner - National Review Online

Dem Senators Ask Delay in Medical Device Tax - By Wesley J. Smith - The Corner - National Review Online: "The irony could choke a horse. The invaluable Byron York Tweets that 18 Democrat U.S. Senators have asked to delay the Obamacare medical device tax because raising taxes on manufacturers will cost jobs. Knock! Knock! Knock! Hello? Is anybody home? "

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110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years - Popular Mechanics

110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years - Popular Mechanics: "· Vaccines will wipe out drug addiction. The human immune system is supremely adept at detecting and neutralizing foreign substances. Why not train it to target illicit ones? That's the idea behind addiction vaccines: Persuade the body to produce antibodies that shut down drug molecules before they get to the brain. The concept works in mice. Human trials are under way. "

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If this happens will using drugs no longer be considered immoral?

I remember reading an article about how someone had developer a kind of pot that has therapeutic effects, but doesn't get the user high.

Is getting high what's wrong with pot? Not the adverse health effects?

Greg Mankiw's Blog: The Poverty Trap in France

Greg Mankiw's Blog: The Poverty Trap in France: "For this mother of two, working again will bring her family an additional income of only $170. Moreover, this $170 is likely to be lost in the cost of transportation to work, since the cost of gas in France is $7 per gallon. In any case, such a small amount of money is not an incentive to go back to work. Between staying home and working, the choice is simple: welfare is a better deal."

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Monday, December 10, 2012

What Guns Do, and What they Don't - The Daily Beast

What Guns Do, and What they Don't - The Daily Beast: "Could that particular conflict have gone worse with a gun?  It's hard to see how.  It might have gone better; if one person had waved a gun, the fighting might have stopped.  "

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jurassic rockers the Rolling Stones deliver satisfaction with Barclays Center concert - NYPOST.com

Jurassic rockers the Rolling Stones deliver satisfaction with Barclays Center concert - NYPOST.com: "The group may have looked older than a meeting of the Supreme Court — but they were able to summon the ghosts of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll past.

There were a few, creaky, Metamucil moments at the start, such as when Jagger tried his hand at comedy."

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EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty: "I saw a woman on Stossel tonight who works for McDonald's. She said she was paid $8 an hour, but felt she deserved $15. I thought: Wait a minute, McDonald's isn't the only company not paying you $15 an hour: neither you nor I are aware of anyone willing to pay you that much. So why is your problem with McDonald's?"

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Corner - National Review Online

The Corner - National Review Online: "I’ve long wondered whether it is possible to create an anti-spending pledge as effective as the famous anti-tax pledge. Jonathan Bydlak writes about an effort to do that on the home page today. I’m with him in spirit, but I don’t think the pledge would work very well. It generally requires an affirmative vote of Congress for taxes to rise, making accountability easy. (The fact that this condition doesn’t apply right now, of course, is causing anti-taxers all sorts of problems.) Yet spending rises automatically all the time with no affirmative vote, because of entitlements–and the anti-spending pledge does not account for this fact.

Also, refusing to raise taxes generally does not keep the government from sending out Social Security checks, maintaining the military, and doing other things the vast majority of people want it to do. Holding the line on appropriations bills, as the pledge demands, can lead to partial government shutdowns; so can refusing to raise the debt limit, as the pledge also demands.

So while I wish it could be done, I don’t think it’s possible to pledge our way to lower spending."

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Where Masturbation and Homosexuality Do Not Exist - Alice Dreger - The Atlantic

Where Masturbation and Homosexuality Do Not Exist - Alice Dreger - The Atlantic: "Given all this, the Hewletts conclude, "Homosexuality and masturbation are rare or nonexistent [in these two cultures], not because they are frowned upon or punished, but because they are not part of the cultural models of sexuality in either ethnic group."

The finding with regard to homosexuality is perhaps not that surprising. As the Hewletts note, other researchers have documented cultures where homosexuality appears not to exist. If homosexual orientation has a genetic component to it -- and there is increasing evidence that it does, in many cases -- then it would not be surprising that this complex human trait (one that involves non-procreative efforts) would be found in some populations but not others."

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I basically agree with Ross Douthat here

I basically agree with Ross Douthat here: "The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place."

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Volokh Conspiracy

The Volokh Conspiracy: "I should say at the outset that I approach this delicate subject sheepishly, but this development bears noting. In a rare example of a Western country taking steps to restrict previously recognized sexual liberties, Germany is seeking to ban bestiality. (Its supporters call it zoophilia – are opponents zoophobes?) This will presumably put out to pasture Germany’s erotic zoos, where visitors go beyond heavy petting."

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