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August 29, 2014

"How a Real Air War Could Demolish ISIS"

At least for right now, ISIS is practically defenseless against air attack

Of course, that could change.

"The Loudest Word in Rock and Roll"

Everything--and I do mean everything--you're likely to want to know about the use of "the" in names of rock groups

"Arby's Has A $10 Secret Menu Item Called The 'Meat Mountain'"

I don't think it's a "secret". Here in NC they're advertising that bad boy on TV a lot.

The $10 sandwich has 2 chicken tenders, 1.5 oz. of roast turkey, 1.5 oz. of ham, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1.5 oz. of corned beef, 1.5 oz. brisket, 1.5 oz. of Angus steak, 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz. roast beef, and 3 half-strips of bacon, writes Sarah Halzack at The Washington Post

August 28, 2014

"Vanity plates rejected by DMV as too racy for road"

The California DMV pays three--three, mind you--employees to keep HAMRJMR, PSTLCHK, RDSN57, and DOOTERS off the road

"Why Are Rotisserie Chickens So Cheap?"

The answer sounds right, if a bit . . . icky.

"The mystery of the falling teen birth rate"

Interesting, but the article doesn't consider my preferred hypothesis: the kids are just too darned demoralized to fornicate. 

"The New Science of Pairing College Roommates"

I'd be surprised, but pleased, if the "science" has improved since I attended. My college's crack housing folks put me--quiet, nerdy--with a hugely unhappy liar and a borderline alcoholic. 

It wasn't fun.

August 27, 2014

"The Future of College?"

I don't think Minera will be "the future of college," but it could well be a darn sight better than a lot of what currently passes for higher education.

And at $11,450/year for tuition and fees, the price seems right.

"Moving to a Smaller Home, and Decluttering a Lifetime of Belongings"

I can certainly relate.

THE amount of goods a couple can accumulate over 44 years living in the same house can be overwhelming. 

This sounds like excellent advice:

For people thinking about beginning the task, here are some ideas from Kimberly McMahon, of Let’s Move..

■ Write some organizing time on your calendar.

■ Set a timer to get started.

■ Start small, even if it’s matching up a cup with a saucer.

■ Get a friend to help.

■ Fill a trash bag once a week.

■ Call and book a donation pickup for the next day.

"How country music went crazy: A comprehensive timeline of the genre's identity crisis"

"Are you aware that Nashville is currently embroiled in an outright civil war?"

"Who Lost the Cities?"

Good question.

A question for the Reverend Jackson: Who has been running the show in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, and in Los Angeles for a great long while now? The answer is: People who see the world in much the same way as does the Reverend Jackson, who take the same view of government, who support the same policies, and who suffer from the same biases.

August 26, 2014

"A Fiscal Reckoning for Oregon's 'Pay It Forward'"

My advice: never ignore "fundamental laws of finance".

Surely, many are wondering: How could Pay It Forward be so expensive if students would be paying for their own educations, perhaps even more than they do now? The answer is that it costs money to move money through time. Pay It Forward enthusiasts often ignored this fundamental law of finance.

"Buffett hoards cash, individuals’ holdings hit 14-year low"

I tend to agree: when it comes to investing, I'd probably rather bet on Warren Buffett than the general public. His track record is loads better.

Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Who do you think has got it right?

Two from Professor Gordon

Fine posts.

"History lesson".

But this California history shows once again that in times of boom, people were too busy to fall into the hole of zero-sum hatreds. Its the old story. Prosperous people or people who take seriously the prospect of prosperity are nicer and more tolerant.

"Three or four-hundred years?"

The story ends with the predictable "give us more money." More money has been going to employee pension funding -- and even then there is a reported unfunded pension fund gap. We get the gap, high prices, floods, and questionable service. There is never enough money when there is a politically influential and unionized workforce.

"Sherman in Gaza"

Victor Davis Hanson seems to like William Tecumseh Sherman's strategy a lot, so he also likes what Israel has just done in Gaza.

(It's apparently popular in Kolkata, too.)

"The Incompetent Pollster Mystery Solved!"

I'd say it doesn't really answer the question, it just pushes the question one level deeper.

But it's an interesting question: why do pollsters with poor track records keep getting hired?

August 25, 2014

"IRS E-mails: The Perfect Storm"

I doubt it will play out as Mr. Walker predicts, but one can hope . . . 

What all this means is that when these records appear – and with a federal judge threatening IRS employees with jail time, these records will appear – then the whole sordid mess will implode like a deck of cards.  The depth of corruption, like the depth of corruption in the VA scandal, will be impossible to fob off as rogue employees acting badly.  Heads will have to roll, and this grim knowledge will move those who know the truth – very likely people we have not heard of yet – to come out of the shadows and to spill their guts to save themselves.  It is the perfect storm, and it is coming up fast.

UPDATE: he's already at least partly correct. "Lois Lerner's emails aren't missing after all, lawyers say". And ya gotta love this:

According to Fitton, the attorneys told him the backup system would be “too onerous to search,” but acknowledged that Treasury Department inspectors were investigating it.

A backup system that is too "onerous" to use. That's our federal government, folks.

"Getting to 2017"

John Podhoretz keeps the faith. I think it would be smart to follow him.

Has the nation that produced the Greatest Generation now become the nation that produces the Lives of Julia instead?

I don’t think so. Pessimists in the late 1970s learned a lesson they might be in danger of forgetting now: It never makes sense to bet against the American ability to bounce back, to reconstitute the nation’s strength and ingenuity after a period of retrenchment and a grave failure of national confidence. We’re not Julia yet. Even eight full years of Obama won’t be enough to rewrite the American character.

"Brandolini’s law"

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it." (Via Cafe Hayek.)

"Is China disguising itself as Belgium to buy US government bonds?"

At the margin, the who-owns-U.S.-debt figures seem to be suspect.

"Top 11 Funniest Papers in the History of Economics"

I'll vouch for #7 and, if you've attended an economics conference or two, #4

"Randi Goes Rogue: Three Secrets About Teacher Tenure And Seniority"

Amazing. But then I should expect it from the leader of the AFT.

On August 6, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” offering up the darndest faux factoid: “Most teachers right now in America have less than two years of experience.” You can watch it yourself: . . . 

In a 2011 report by the National Center for Education information titled, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S.” on page 19 they report that 74 percent of teachers have over five years experience. Meanwhile, data from the National Center for Education Statistics says that in the 2011-12 school year, only 9 percent had less than three years experience (the top data line). Or you could just think about the schools your children attend.

August 24, 2014

"The Most Expensive Homes For Sale In Every State"

From $2.6 million in North Dakota to $135 million in--where else?--California.

"Superman Is Jewish: The Hebrew Roots of America's Greatest Superhero"

Who knew? I certainly didn't.

Bonus: Q and A with one of Superman's biggest fans

 

August 23, 2014

"17 Of The Greatest Political Impressions On 'Saturday Night Live'"

To me, political impressions have always been one of the two greatest strengths of the show.

"12 of Australia's most surreal landscapes"

Pretty "surreal," all right.

August 22, 2014

Late scratch in the mother-of-the-year contest

"Pageant mom fed her teenager daughter TAPEWORMS so she could lose weight".

"The Paper Chase — The Law School Movie Without Reese Witherspoon — Turns 40"

Even leaving aside that I saw it on my first date with my wife of 36 years, Paper Chase (the original version) is a very terrific movie

As the film turns 40 this year (it was released in October 1973), Bloomberg Law compiled a list of the 9 Things You Don’t Know About The Paper Chase.

Sounds to me like Bloomberg is issuing a trivia challenge. Did you already know these fun facts about the dullest law movie ever?

"The Cult of Beyoncé Thou shall not speak against Queen B."

I hope the author's life insurance is paid up.

Beyoncé isn’t perfect. Jay-Z isn’t perfect. Nobody is perfect. But Beyoncé will pretend to be in order to earn your respect. Isn’t that exactly what the feminists of the 1960s fought against? Why are we condoning — and applauding, and worshiping — Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s pretending? Why are we calling Beyoncé a feminist? She is a talented singer, but there are women who are talented thinkers who deserve our adoration more. AdaYonath, the first Israeli woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was never a personal guest of the Obamas at the White House.

Let the Beygency come get me.

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