Weekend Linkorama

  • From the WTF File, the Dallas school district had cage fights between unruly students. Thank God e haven’t privatized the schools. I bet those private schools can’t even afford cages.
  • Obama is committing $2.4 billion to develop electric vehicles. This is the exact wrong way to go about energy policy — having politicians dictate investments in technologies that may or may not be feasible. Pouring that money into energy grants would be a far better idea.
  • I’m all in favor of making google block out people’s faces and stuff on their maps. But I find it ironic that it’s Britain — land of a million closed-circuit cameras, that’s pushing for this privacy measure.
  • BBC has a series on legalized prostitution in New Zealand. But there’s a part of me that says, screw the facts even when they’re on my side. To me, this is about who owns your body and what consenting adults are allowed to do. Imagine if the resources we devote toward busting hookers went to cracking down on genuine sex slavery and child prostitution.
  • Cato again makes the case against high speed rail. It’s pissing in the wind at this point. There are too many special interests and too much economic and environmental ignorance lining up behind high-speed rail. Hell, to be honest, I kind of believe in high-speed rail myself. I link to these articles because they contradict my personal view. If I could take a bullet train from Philadelphia to Atlanta, I’d be delighted.
  • Not a link, but a random thought caused by several RSS posts. The reason Dick Cheney and others are saying Obama’s abolition of torture is making America unsafe has nothing to do with America’s safety. They know that we will get hit by another terrorist attack at some point, no matter what Obama does. What they are doing is setting up the narrative. When the next terror attack hits, they will say, “See, I told you so!”.
  • The latest update on the Massachusetts healthcare reform. I haven’t put up another “Myth” post this week. But there will be one at some point arguing that the only way to cut healthcare costs is to cut healthcare. When you commit to “universal coverage”, you commit to more spending.
  • Card check gets worse all the time, although Ambinder is saying that big business and labor are working out a compromise — which probably means that small business will get screwed. Again.
  • I Am The Champion

    I can now name all 232 Baseball Hall of Famers on sporcle. It helps that I’m a baseball nut, so was able to name about 150 off the top of my head. The process is made difficult by the inclusion of Negro League players and 19th-century players — most of whom are not well-represented in baseball folklore. It’s more difficult to remember Luis Santop or John Clarkson than Babe Ruth. I’d just re-read the Negro League section of Bill James Historical Abstract, which helped. It also doesn’t help that the Veteran’s Committee got really stupid in the 1950’s and 1970’s and admitted a lot of guys who frankly don’t belong in the HOF.

    Still, I got ’em all. Eventually.

    I don’t know why these quizzes fascinate me, but they do.

    The Future of Stimuli

    Reason argues that state governors are right to turn down some federal stimulus funds. Accepting those funds will put them on a course of greater spending and even bigger future debts. I must say that I am very bothered by the extreme anti-federalism of the stimulus law. The provision that allow state legislatures to over-ride the governor is flat unconstitutional.

    Not that that useless old document ever stopped anyone…

    Thursday Linkorama

    So much going on now. So little time to blog.

  • It turns out that shovel-ready projects aren’t so shovel-ready. I think the WSJ is being needlessly pedantic. The normal timescale to get a construction project started is years, whereas these projects are on a scale of months (which is why the bulk of the stimulus spending kicks in in 2010). Still, this should be brandished in he face of certain Nobel Prize winners who are already saying the stimulus obviously wasn’t big enough.
  • I wonder if Obama will boast about Caterpillar’s job cuts as vociferously as he boasted about the vague promises to hire. Actually, he’ll probably say the cuts would have been worse without the stimulus. The stimulus must have saved at least 500 million caterpillar jobs a month.
  • I think the increasing protectionism around the globe is the most worrying economic trend of late. We really don’t learn from our dumb mistakes, do we?
  • Good responses to the raw ugly populism surrounding the the AIG nonsense from Harsanyi and, um, me.
  • Why am I not surprised that Bush is going to be more respectful than his Vice-President?
  • How bad is the CPSIA when the government has to retract a demand that libraries pull children’s books off of their shelves due to outrage?
  • Ed Morrissey praises the head of AIG, who was dragged out of retirement, given a salary of $1, then pilloried when Congress allowed AIG bonuses to be paid out. Watching highlights of the AIG hearing yesterday, Liddy was the only one I didn’t want to punch in the face.
  • Anne on Torture

    Anne Applebaum on the Bush legacy of torture:

    The United States is not and never was a fascist state, and the CIA prisons were not and never were the Gulag. These 14 men were not tortured as part of an ordinary and accepted routine, in other words, but according to special rules and procedures, set up at the highest level of government, by people who surely knew that they were illegal; otherwise, they would not have limited them so carefully. What we need now, therefore, is not an endless, politicized circus of a congressional investigation into every aspect of George W. Bush’s White House but a carefully targeted legal investigation of the CIA’s invisible prisons: who gave the orders to use torture, who carried out the orders, what exactly was done, who objected. The guilty, however senior, should be named, forced to testify and called to account — because the rule of law, and nothing else, is what makes us exceptional.

    Read the whole thing.