30 September 2010

Dirty Jobs Indeed

Mike Rowe is awesome.

24 September 2010

Nice Review

Good little book review from the mises.org page. Might have to pick the book up.

Novel Concept

Commentator, legal-eagle, super-genius, Canadian...just some of the words one could use to describe Dahlia Lithwick. She covers the Supreme Court and other legal matters for slate.com and the NPR program Day to Day, among other things.

She recently wrote in an exchange at the "DoubleX" forum on slate.com (where questions about "what women really think about news, politics and culture" are answered--thank goodness) about Christine O'Donnell, the woman who won the Republican nomination for Senate from Delaware. She writes that she has "been fascinated by Christine O'Donnell's constitutional worldview. ... O'Donnell explained that 'when I go to Washington, DC, the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not its constitutional.'"

I don't know anything about O'Donnell. She could be the next Henry Clay or the next John Keryy. She could be nuttier than a squirrell's turd. I don't know. But I like where she's coming from, as far as her approach to legislation.

But what I think matters not. What matters, apparently, is what women really think about news, politics and culture. So, Ms. Lithwick, what did you think about Ms. O'Donnell?

"How weird is that, I thought. Isn't is a court's job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn't that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?" (italics in original).

I would like to take a quick moment and reiterate that this woman, though born in Canada, got her JD from Stanford University and writes on the Supreme Court and other legal matters and, by god, helps let us know what women really think about news, politics and culture.

Well, Dahlia, you might want to look into another line of work and at least a partial refund from Stanford. Judicial review, the concept about which she seemingly knows nothing, is not provided for in the constitution. And legislators keeping in mind that the constitution (which can, in fact be read and understood even by those who haven't studied at places like Stanford) placed certain limits on what each of the branches of government can do is, to me anyway, refreshing.

Hoover Redux

I think Eliot Spitzer should stick to whoremongering, or at least stay away from history and economics. Because he doesn't know what he's talking about.

20 September 2010

Brass Tax

So the economy will be put back on track by the government directing where money is to be spent because individuals and firms, facing uncertainty, are reluctant to spend. The logic here is that the government knows that money should be spent (to boost aggregate demand) and that it know on what to spend that money better than the individuals and firms in the market place.

Oh, and the better part, the government will do the spending with money that doesn't exist.

What could go wrong?

18 September 2010

What She Believes

Mt local NPR station, the 13,500 watt flame-thrower known as WHYY-FM (90.9 on your dial, but #1 in your heart), airs little essays that serve as a bumper between stories from NPR on Fridays afternoons during All Things Considered (the last great source of news on NPR since Steve Inskeep took over Morning Edition, which is still good but has become decidedly worse).

Anyway, the essays, called This I Believe are harmless little vignettes featuring local people with some sort of back story and, well, what they believe. I heard this one on the way home yesterday. The woman's main point, what she believes in, is that the ability to think critically is an important lesson for children to be taught. Which is fine so far as it goes, though I've found that those who often lecture others on their inability to "see" that which is plainly in front of them are so ideologically screwy that it beggars belief--e.g. 9/11 "truthers," Obama "birthers" and Michael Moore to name just a few.

Almost on cue, the woman proves my point. The teacher helped foster this in our local artist, who taught her to see "propaganda in all forms," who dared to be "liberal" (in the 60s?), he "fought alongside Castro and Che, in the Cuban Revolution, against the dictator Batista."

I almost drove off the road. Batista is described as a dictator, accurately. He was a bad dude and America did itself no favors by any support it ever provided to his regime. But she mentions only Batista as a dictator. She either failed to mention or, more likely, doesn't see that Castro and Che were both almost incomprehensibly evil men, one of whom still graces our good earth. Both revelled in and thrived on the use of propaganda and killing those that had the temerity to see through the disgusting, harmful bullshit they were selling and question or try to stop it.

Did her dear teacher ever realize what he helped bring upon the good people of Cuba? Did he ever feel regret over the thousands of lives that were taken in the name of the socialist revolution he helped bring about? Did she ever realize that her teacher was, in reality, a dunce?

This is the kind of idiocy she believes in. Good for her.