Archive for May, 2010

The UVA Panic

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It never fails. A terrible murder takes place on a college campus. Next follow the “we’re all in danger” articles. College campi have been and remain some of the safest places in the nation. Can we please not exploit every tragedy to tighten the grip that Administrators have over students?

Wednesday Linkorama

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
  • For some reason, the financial overhaul bill includes regulation of the internet.
  • An absolutely appalling story of prosecutorial misconduct in Puerto Rico.
  • I take it back. When Glenn Beck is the voice of reason, we are really in trouble.
  • Speaking of which, why did people admire Joe Lieberman and John McCain so much?
  • Short-selling, betting on a stock or a bond to fall, is neither illegal nor unethical. It is the way we keep bubbles under control. It may be unpleasant, but if everyone long-sells … well, we saw what happened when the real estate bubble burst. Right now, Congress is criticizing Goldman Sachs for short-selling. Do the idiots in Washington not know that the internet exists and that their hypocrisy will be discovered? Apparently not.
  • 13 things that saved Apollo 13.
  • I am glad to see some holes poked in the Camelot Myth.
  • Unsung Heroes

    Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

    I love stories like this from Cracked about unsung heroes who saved the world.

    It’s interesting, of course, to see the usual anti-Green-Revolution trolls slamming Norman Borlaug. Apparently, we’d be better off with a billion or two dead people and a lot more wars. It’s amazing how much green bullshit has infiltrated certain minds. The Green Revolution produces more food with less resources that traditional farming. And as a side effect, a more certain food supply has produced declining birth rates.

    I’m also glad to see more attention going to Henrietta lacks. Her story is both inspiring and disgraceful. Inspiring in that this woman accidently saved so many lives. Disgraceful in that no credit was ever given to her until recently.

    Update: It’s worth linking up two recent articles on farming. Foreign policy points out that Africa is realizing a fraction of their food potential thanks to their reticence to use modern farming and Reason points out a recent study claiming that biotech crops improve the environment.

    Monday Meme

    Monday, May 3rd, 2010

    Megan McArdle has the idea of going to your Amazon history and seeing what the first thing you ordered was.

    Apparently, I did not mess around. I ordered:

    Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? : Baseball, Cooperstown, and the Politics of Glory by Bill James. This is still the gold standard for HOF discussions and I re-read bits of it frequently.

    The Law by Frederic Bastiat. This is one of the books that has guided my political philosophy.

    The Tenth Insight : Holding the Vision : Further Adventures of the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. This was a gift for my sister, who is into new-age crap.

    The Death of Common Sense : How Law Is Suffocating America by Philip K. Howard. Howard is someone conservatives should pay more attention to. He’s a progressive who believes in government and is incredibly frustrated with the way it is hamstrung by too many rules, too little authority and no accountability. It isn’t often I site a progressive as a big influence, but Howard is.

    The Crying of Lot 49 : A Novel (Perennial Fiction Library) by Thomas Pynchon. Read on the advice of my English major girlfriend of the time. Not a bad read.

    Lost Rights : The Destruction of American Liberty by James Bovard. Bovard is a radical libertarian even by my standard. But he has credibility on the subject since he has gone after both Democrats and Republicans. A compilation of constitutional abuses that is enraging. This is a big part of the reason I am against the War on Drugs and was instantly suspicious of the excesses in the War on Terror.

    Slow Learner : Early Stories by Thomas Pynchon. A gift for said English major girlfriend.

    Fear and Loathing : On the Campaign Trail 72 by Hunter S. Thompson. Kind of long but an interesting insight into the ’72 election from a radical liberal.

    Looking over that list, I must say that I hit the jackpot on my first Amazon order. Of the five books I ordered for myself, all were good and at least three have been critical to my thinking.

    Weekend Linkorama

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010
  • I said it before: when Tom Tancredo is the voice of reason, we’re in trouble.
  • James Bovard critiques the tea parties. When you embrace Arizona’s law and torture, you aren’t a pro-freedom party.
  • Psychic frauds.
  • A really fair and through article examines colony collapse disorder, i.e., the disappearing bees. Personally, I blame the Daleks.
  • Megan McArdle looks at some of the misaligned incentives in the healthcare bill.
  • Aww. Poor bikes. Stupid city.
  • The future is now. Star Trek scanners.
  • More picture coolness.