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April 24, 2014

"Bill Russell: Working with Red Auerbach"

A whole lot of wisdom about leadership and management in just a bit over six minutes. (And there's Bill Russell's laugh, one of the happiest sounds on the planet.)

To readers of Newmark's Door

If you had trouble accessing this site over the last week, I apologize. My blog software and hosting company, excellent; I strongly recommend it--has suffered a very nasty distributed-denial-of-service attack. I hope the worst is over now. 

"Rationing Nostalgia The British Left has the answer to our problems: End food waste by rationing meals."

James Lileks pens a delightful dissection of one type of Liberal claptrap. Featuring beauties such as these:

The network of outrage is complex, each string vibrating on its own frequency. . . .

To sum it all up: The state must be allowed to consume what it wants and constrain your freedom for your own good — and the chickens’ — but it is not your place to question its appetites.

"David Letterman's top 10 most memorable moments"

Why Madonna--#9--thought she could embarrass or show up Dave is beyond me. 

Bonus: why Letterman's show was "a turning point in American cultural history". Overblown but interesting. 

April 23, 2014

Your humble blogger stands accused . . .

. . . of being one of several people having "ulterior motives" and promulgating "stealth anti-Keynesian propaganda" by Paul Krugman. (My post from last week is here.)

I consider the accusation a badge of honor. 

(And allow me to delete "stealth" and substitute "explicit". As usual on the Left, Krugman's argument for a "pure gain" from employing unemployed resources completely ignores the lessons of Public Choice. Which, needless to say, the last five years have provided ample reminders of.)

Link courtesy of Jim Rose.

"You Go Down Smooth"

Live in concert from Town Hall in New York City, Lake Street Drive.

Gorgeous. Guaranteed to make you smile or your money back.

(Here's Rachel covering Aretha.)

(And for Raleigh-area readers, they're coming to Booth Ampitheatre in Cary June 13.)

Vladamir Putin: "Thanks For Being So Cool About Everything"

The Onion, of course.

Of course, I couldn’t simply stand by and let that happen, so I intervened and ordered a forceful takeover of the strategically important peninsula of Crimea—a territory with historical ties to Russia that our nation had long desired. It’s certainly no easy task to forcefully annex an entire province against another country’s will, so I just wanted to thank you—the government of the United States, the nations of western Europe, and really the entire world population as a whole—for being super cool about all of this.

Seriously, you guys have been amazing. All of you. I really appreciate it.

"The Market For Common Sense"

Conservative economists believe that markets usually work really well, but Richard Fernandez makes a good case for there being some imperfections in the market for "common sense"

"‘The Dread Obodai’: Content Farmer From Hell"

Funny and alarming at the same time

Any website’s comments section — even our fancy new one — gets its share of scam artists, luring in clicks with promises of work-from-home schemes or miracle diets. They seem so easy to spot and resist, it’s a wonder how they can possibly work. The answer might be, as always, to innovate. Consider the case of Austin Obodai, an accused con artist who, before he was arrested, found a way to use the comments section to sue big Internet media companies for millions. According to prosecutors, Obodai came up with a novel method of exploiting intellectual-property law to invent a new type of fraud. You could call him a copyright troll — or, as Google's lawyers did, "the Dread Obodai."

"A Chart About College Coach Salaries That Will Make Academics Weep"

I don't know why it should make anyone "weep". Pay follows productivity

April 22, 2014

Obvious to some of us, part 1

"Majority of Pensions Headed for Bankruptcy".

Investment returns may be up since the recession, but public pensions are still in deep, deep trouble. On Wednesday, the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates released the results of a “stress test” on American public pension plans, and they weren’t pretty. According to the report, 85 percent of all plans are on track to go bankrupt within 30 years unless their average rate of return increases to 9 percent.

Obvious to some of us, part 2

"U.S. policy has gone liberals’ way for 70 years".

In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.

"Here Comes the Sun--The price of a product is a function of the demand for it — or should be"

Kevin D. Williamson offers a nice economics lesson.

Link via Glenn Reynolds who observes "I fought the law of supply and demand, and the law won."

Jagdish Bhagwati on a crucial difference between India and China


Once there was an idea, now mostly forgotten, that the “tortoise” India could eventually overtake the “hare” – China. “That’s an exaggeration, I think,” he says. A crucial difference between the two countries is the type of corruption they have. India’s is classic “rent-seeking”, where people jostle to grab a cut of existing wealth. “The Chinese have what I call profit-sharing corruption”: the Communist party puts a straw into the milkshake so “they have an interest in having the milkshake grow larger”.

"Save Lives & Deter Criminals--Help John Lott start the CPRC"

You can support John Lott on Indiegogo now.  His center concludes that "unbiased research shows that citizens protecting themselves with firearms leads to lower crime".

"Ten Welfare-Reform Lessons"

Robert Doar argues that significant welfare reform is possible.

From early 2007 until the end of 2013, I was the commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), the agency with the 1960s-era name that occupies 180 Water Street. And before 2007, going back to early 1996, I worked at, and for a time led, the state agency that was responsible for overseeing many of the government-assistance programs administered by the city. But while my perspective is that of an insider, the facts speak for themselves: From 1995 until the end of 2013, New York City’s cash-welfare caseload shrunk from almost 1.1 million recipients to less than 347,000 — a drop of more than 700,000 men, women, and children.

April 21, 2014

"ACA Threatens Promise of Concierge Medicine"

Even if the ACA covered everybody, cheaply and efficiently, the complaints wouldn't stop because health care would still be plenty unequal. Look for further attempts to quash concierge medicine

(As Glenn Reynolds comments on the that article, "Of course it does. All workable alternatives must be destroyed." And I'd expect even attempts to undermine or surpress patient power to address their own problems.)

This despite the promise concierge medicine has in fixing doctors' increasing dissatisfaction with their jobs

"The ultimate campaign finance reform is smaller government"

Yesssss! Absolutely! James Pethokoukis:

If you are genuinely worried about the influence of Big Money on Big Government, the free-enterprise solution is to shrink the influence of Big Government. A government able to pick winners and losers through regulation, spending, or the tax code is a government worth influencing, whether through campaign donations or lobbying activities. Numerous studies and analyses have calculated a massive “return on investment” from lobbying. For instance: a 2013 Boston Globe series found that by forking over a mere $2 million over two years to Washington lobbyists, Whirlpool secured the renewal of an energy tax credit worth a combined $120 million over two years.

"President Obama (And Others) Who Don't 'Get' Liberty Should Read This Book"

I haven't read it yet, but George Leef makes it sound very worthwhile:

In early America, people spoke about liberty a great deal. Patrick Henry famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death.” The preamble to the Constitution  speaks to the importance of securing “the blessings of liberty.”

These days, however, we hear or read the word much less often. It doesn’t seem to be in President Obama’s vocabulary at all. He has declared that inequality is the greatest problem we face, but can anyone remember his ever talking about the importance of liberty?

But while the president and all his minions toil away to subject us to an ever-increasing burden of mandates, prohibitions, and taxes, a few individuals are trying to convince people that we have already lost a great deal of liberty and should strive to get it back.

One of them is Tom Palmer of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Palmer has written and edited quite a few books, most recently Why Liberty: Your Life, Your Choices, Your Future.

George Will comments on another, related books that sounds worth reading: "Progressives are wrong about the essence of the Constitution".

And a current application of the argument: "In D.C., Republicans are the enablers, Democrats the mandators". (See also "Cataloging Washington’s Hidden Costs: Part 1: The Loss of Liberty".)

"Good sense and better health"

George Will makes an excellent point:

A significant part of America’s health-care bill — caused by violence, vehicular accidents, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, AIDS, Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity, among other problems — results from behavior widely known to be risky. So as we wallow in the muddy debate about health care, recall that the relationship between increased investment in medicine and improvements in health is complex and tenuous.

"Billionaire Brothers Got Good Insider Trading Advice, Says SEC"

Here's some excellent advice about insider trading:

A service that I sometimes provide for free to my readers is telling them how not to insider trade. The first rule of insider trading is "just don't insider trade," but the second rule is, if you are going to insider trade,don't do it by buying short-dated out-of-the-money call options in companies that you know are going to be merger targets. The SEC always notices that.

"Dems Wise to Flee the Coming Tsunami"

Yes, I'll believe Obamacare is "working," when most Democrats running in competitive states vigorously endorse it. Currently, not so much

April 20, 2014

"It Is Staggering How Much Australia's Mining Boom Has Changed Perth And Its People"

No surprise to conservative economists, but it sounds like the changes have been mostly good. 

"A Complete Guide to New York City Pizza Styles"

I'm not going to NYC any time soon, but I really think this is all one would need to know about the pizza there. 

April 19, 2014

Three on survival

"5 Survival Myths That Will Kill You".

"6 Little-Known Driving Tips That Could Save Your Life".

"Here's How Long Someone Could Survive At Sea".

"What Does a Black Widow Spider Bite Feel Like?"

I really don't want to know. But in case you do.

April 18, 2014

"The World's Most Spectacular University Buildings"

The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo is certainly different looking.

". . . the world's most important 6-sec drum loop"

Almost certainly as much as you'll ever want to know about the "Amen Break".

"Let's Just Listen to Marvin Gaye's Isolated Vocal Tracks All Day Long"

"All day" is a bit much, but it's certainly worth one listen or two

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