Archive for May, 2009

Sci Fi Cliches

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I’m Mike Siegel and I approve of this message.

What’s Old Is New

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Brink Lindsey eviscerates the notion that our economy was so much better back in the old days when workers had good union jobs and there weren’t so many rich people.

The Treaty of Detroit was built on extensive cartelization of markets, limiting competition to favor producers over consumers. The restrictions on competition were buttressed by racial prejudice, sexual discrimination, and postwar conformism, which combined to limit the choices available to workers and potential workers alike. Those illiberal social norms were finally swept aside in the cultural tumults of the 1960s and ’70s. And then, in the 1970s and ’80s, restraints on competition were substantially reduced as well, to the applause of economists across the ideological spectrum. At least until now.

I don’t understand the thinking that says we can go back to an economic system built on racism, sexism and monopolies without the racism, sexism and monopolies. The reason union jobs were so good was because women and minorities were kept out, most other countries were dirt poor and the companies were gouging the shit out of the consumer. Without those things, no company could afford such ridiculous pensions as the Big Three have. And indeed, they can’t.

The Big Union jobs were completely dependent on having no imports, little domestic competition (thanks to high marginal tax rates) and no foreign competition — which is why they’ve been in a slow 30-year freefall. Unless we’re planning to unleash an airborne strain of ebola on China and India, that isn’t going to change back. Ever. And that’s a good thing. Especially if you’re Chinese or Indian but even if you’re an American.

Read the whole thing.

I Dream of Africa

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Stunning set of pictures.

Saving Carbon

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Russell Roberts is right. Spending $100 million+ on a solar grid to save a million dollars a year is not a good ROI.

Who Do You Believe

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

The Vice-President who has never seen service? Or the guy who has conducted 1000 interrogations?

Wednesday Night Linkorama

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
  • If you want to know why California is in such dire financial straits, here’s why. They’re spending $100 million to reinflate the housing bubble.
  • I’ll say one thing about a VAT. It’s massively preferable to the existing system. Or the stupid Fair Tax.
  • Just great. One more reason to hate ethanol. IT ruins engines.
  • It is a fair point. The only personal freedom the left really believes in is sexual freedom. All other rights can hang (until Obama stops indefinite detentions, I’m not letting the Dems claim to be better on civil liberties).
  • California Scarin’

    Sunday, May 24th, 2009

    Matt Welch tearsthe LA times a new one over their “news article” that is nothing but SEIU talking points. I used to do a feature where I asked people to tell me which was the Democrat Party platform and which was the editorial page of the New York Times. Now it looks like I’ll have to extend that to news coverage.

    Illusion

    Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

    The neuroscience of magic is incredibly cool. A must-read.

    The Future Is Now

    Thursday, May 21st, 2009

    Watching this hilarious and sexist look at the internet back in 1969 reminds me of how much of a crazy world we live in. I can remember, back in the 80′s, when the idea of shopping and buying things on a computer seemed far out, man.

    Climb Every Mountain

    Thursday, May 21st, 2009

    A great post at the Atlantic gets into the heads of the mountain climber who scale Everest at great personal risk.

    Ever since reading Into Thin Air, I’ve had a fascination with the idea of scaling everest. I would never do it — I’m 37 and out of shape — and I just know I would take a wrong turn or something and spend the last few moments of my life running out of air and miserably wishing I could unmake the decision to climb while kicking myself for doing something so dumb.

    But it still fascinates me. The extremes of human endeavor always do.

    Milky Way Rising

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

    Cool

    Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

    BHO at ND

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

    I’m sorry. Am I the only conservative in America who thinks that Obama speaking at Notre Dame is a much ado about nothing? He’s the President; it’s an honor no matter what you think of him. Notre Dame welcoming him does not insult the memories of aborted fetuses.

    Don’t

    Monday, May 18th, 2009

    A great article explored the connection between self-discipline and accomplishment.

    I Convicted An Innocent Man

    Monday, May 18th, 2009

    An absolute must-red. I agree with every word.