Tuesday, September 2, 2014
While the US economy seems to have achieved just about enough momentum to reach escape velocity, the eurozone isn't so lucky, quite the contrary. Now even the German economy, for long the well performing exception in a pool of economic malaise, is also stuttering and the problems with Russia over Ukraine aren't making things easy.
I think it should be called Krugmanification.
Last Friday, Taylor Swift, a pop star known for her many Instagram-worthy lady BFFs (and her woefully uninformed understanding of the feminist movement), credited fellow celebrity feminist -- and close friend -- Lena Dunham with ushering in her recent feminist awakening.
On Monday night, a Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Florida made an emergency landing after a dispute between passengers over reclining seats in crowded airplane cabins. It was the third flight diversion for a reclining-related altercation in nine days.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has beheaded Steven J. Sotloff, the second American executed by the Islamic militant group, and posted a video of it on the Internet, the SITE Intelligence Group, a research organization that tracks jihadist web postings, said Tuesday. Mr. Sotloff’s family issued a statement saying it believed he had been killed.
Obama critics have pointed out his fondness for the first person singular. He said "I," "me," or "my" 63 times in his 1,631-word eulogy for Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. He spoke twice as long about his own family experiences as the heroism for which Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Monday, September 1, 2014
For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
And failing that, you can spin up the B-52's.
Sure, you've crossed your t's and dotted your i's, but you haven't yet learned to "check your privilege." That's what orientation is for. Perhaps you're only now learning that white is a synonym for racist. Brace yourselves for lectures all week on how to spot diversity and workshops about how to ensure your room is a safe space.
Here are some tips for surviving PCU, the politically correct university of your choice:
This might help out my monosyllabic, jazz playing guitarist son, and maybe yours too.
Men have outpaced women since the jobs recovery began in 2010. That's largely because they were hit much harder by job losses in manufacturing and construction during the 2007-09 Great Recession and benefited more as those sectors bounced back.
You go men.
Bill Mccready scoped out stars for a living, back when he ran a space observatory. Today he scopes out investment dollars for fledgling companies. The consultant, who runs Venture Planners in Carlsbad, Calif., is a "finder." His is a little-known profession, yet one that is playing an increasingly important role in the start-up world. And one that's steeped in controversy.
Amid crises, Obama's busy social schedule means double duty for Air Force One | WashingtonExaminer.com
Of course, no one should begrudge presidential travel; it's part of the job. And it is necessarily expensive for a President of the United States to move from place to place. But in recent days, the combination of Obama's frenetic travel, for less-than-urgent reasons, and his admitted lack of a strategy for dealing with pressing national security issues, has underscored the impression of a president who is constantly in motion, but doesn't know where he is going.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
In Rotherham there is a real-life “rape culture.” But you will not learn anything new about it from Salon, the Daily Beast, Jezebel, or Slate. It has gone unmentioned at Feministing, Bitch Media, or the Feminist Majority Foundation. There have been no outraged op-eds from Jenny Kutner, Jessica Valenti, or Samantha Leigh Allen.
These are, apparently, not the rapes they are looking for.
Such an appalling story I am temporarily speechless about it. This is just a commentary on the feminists. About the PC culture in the UK that made this possible and much else, just google "Rotherham".
MANY white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.
Bill O’Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”
Indeed, a 2011 study by scholars at Harvard and Tufts found that whites, on average, believed that anti-white racism was a bigger problem than anti-black racism.
Yes, you read that right!
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Sometimes I wonder if modern feminists are really a bunch of fun-loving, hyper-aware pranksters, conspiring to hoist an elaborate hoax upon the world. “Oh, Amanda, be real,” someone might type in a secret feminist chat room, chortling over a Diet Coke. “Isn’t this piece calling babies ‘time-sucking monsters’ that should die so you can freely watch “True Detective” a little over the top?” Another chat participant, reviewing a call for legalized abortion until birth, would type swiftly and frantically: “Jessica, come on, seriously? Don’t publish this—they’ll finally figure out that it’s all a joke!”
This isn't funny.
The current Chesty was introduced to the Marine Barracks in February 2013, and this year had solo responsibility for the evening parades. Partisans of the current mascot, suggest Cpl. Chesty is better around other animals and less focused on sleeping than his predecessor.
"Yes, we tan," says a third.
Obama wears taupe. Finally, I know what taupe is. I would have guessed something else. I think I will defend this fashion choice. I would, but I lack the energy unfortunately. Additionally, I resent this criticism of "mom jeans." Anybody who is a little broad in the beam and who makes the rational election to be comfortable gets panned for wearing mom jeans. I say wearing tight jeans is just obviously sacrificing comfort for what? For making some sort of fashion statement I guess.
Friday, August 29, 2014
By now, President Obama's remark that "we don't have a strategy yet" has made the rounds. Republicans were quick to pounce on it, as well they should have.
But while the White House went into damage-control mode, emphasizing that it was a reference to the lack of decisions about increasing military action in Iraq and/or Syria and not a lack of a broader strategy there, the damage was already done.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
It’s hard to think of a critter that inspires as much hyperbolic hysteria as the brown recluse spider. They’re pretty much universally hated. If you believe the tales, these small arachnids are biting people all day, every day, producing massive, stinking flesh-craters that require months of intensive care and perhaps a prosthetic appendage. Sometimes, it seems these spiders have nothing better to do than hunker down in dark corners throughout North America, waiting for tender human skin to present itself.
Though there are strands of truth in the hype, on the whole, it’s bunk.
Yeah, right. And great whites are just exploring their world they only they know how, by eating it.
When the recording industry smashed Napster with a $20 billion lawsuit more than a decade ago, filesharing morphed into Bittorrent, a fully peer-to-peer system with no central server for law enforcement to attack. Now the developers behind one software project are trying to pull off a similar trick with the anarchic model of bitcoin e-commerce pioneered by the billion-dollar Silk Road black market. And just as with Bittorrent, their new system may be so decentralized that not even its creators can control exactly how it will be used.
Details on the new developments are scarce, however. “It’s a quantum leap to making a supersonic submarine,” says Arndt. “What they’re showing doesn’t give an inkling of what technology they’ve got.”
Those darn Chinese. Lots of military sci-fi submarine novels (cheap on Kindle!) have dastardly Chinese armed with these supercavitating torpedos and such. It's a caution.
US News has established something close to a monopoly on rankings. Rankings would appear to be a good with strong network externalities. US News isn't a magazine or even a website anymore, at least in terms of profits. Just about all their income comes from the sale of premium subscriptions to their rankings of colleges and grad schools. It's a strange business and hardly unambiguously good for education.
This is an interesting paper. I have mixed feelings about billionaires. You have the Koch brothers but you also have George Soros.
I was really surprized by the paper's observation that actually it is countries with onerous regulatory regimes that have the most entrepreneurs, defined as self-employed persons. This connected with something a student told me of her visit to Vietnam -- she said it seemed everybody had a little noodle shop or store, too many, she said. How could this be? I thought. Wouldn't a communist regime repress all of that entrepreneurial activity? The paper points out that this is evasive entrepreneurialism. You enter into business for yourself because there are not enough big enterprises to employ you, and enterprises cannot get too big because they have to fly under the radar and not attract the gentle ministrations of the state. Counter-intuitive in a way, but it makes sense. There is a not so transparent ceiling.
But as to billionaires, they exist most abundantly in countries that protect personal property and are not onerous in terms of their regulation, and they are most abundant the wealthiest countries as well. If I recall correctly, the top entrepreneurial countries were Hong Kong, Israel and the US, in that order. This sheds some light, I'm thinking, on the debate over wealth distribution as well. There has been a lot of talk lately about how a "maldistribution" of wealth reduces wealth overall. I'm not sure this is the case. If the richest countries also have the most billionaires, this suggests that they create more wealth for everybody. Obviously, it's only suggestive.
Years ago, researchers traveled to the Racetrack Playa with plenty of instruments in tow. They first installed a weather station and several time-lapse cameras around the playa. They also placed 15 GPS-embedded limestone rocks of various sizes throughout the playa. Then, it was time to wait.
Only five percent, though, said they have discouraged their child from playing in the last two years as concern over head injuries has increased at all levels of the game.
LWJ and I aren't going to let our 10 year old play football. It's soccer for him. I'd probably have a Nobel Prize by now if I hadn't bashed my head so much in high school. Not really, but I do wonder if it's made a difference.
A recent Quora thread posed the question of "what are some of the most ingenious weapons throughout history?" The answers span a wide spectrum of inventiveness, while providing insights into some of the truly remarkable — seemingly batty — ways humans have waged war.
Some of these I didn't know about.
The Associated Press reports that the two wed in Correns, France this past weekend at a small chapel in Chateau Miraval. The ceremony was said to be attended by friends and family, and their children helped out with the family affair as well. Sons Maddox and Pax walked her down the aisle, daughters Zahara and Vivienne were flower girls, and Shiloh and Knox were ring bearers.
This is so exciting. Maddox and Shiloh are OK, but Pax and the others have weird names. I guess Knox is ok if it's a family name.
Football stadiums will be packed this weekend for the kickoff of the college season. But many of the student sections are likely to have empty seats.
Average student attendance at college football games is down 7.1% since 2009, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of stadium turnstile records from about 50 public colleges with top-division football teams. The decline was 5.6% at colleges in the five richest conferences.
I don't think students as a group are that into football, yet in the population at large, plenty of people are so that stadiums can be filled. I suspect many of these people are not the sort that send kids to the colleges in question or alums. If football doesn't just wither, this is going to lead to odder and odder situtations.
I bring this up because of a dispute you may have heard about: On Sunday, a United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver made an unscheduled stop in Chicago to discharge two passengers who had a dispute over seat reclining. According to The Associated Press, a man in a middle seat installed the Knee Defender, a $21.95 device that keeps a seat upright, on the seatback in front of him.
A flight attendant asked him to remove the device. He refused. The woman seated in front of him turned around and threw water at him. The pilot landed the plane and booted both passengers off the flight.
I see this as a property rights question. Granted, the rights are defined by the airline in question, or possibly by the airline and its regulator(s). But I take it the seats can and will recline and the passenger seated in them has a right to recline, even though this occupies space that could otherwise be enjoyed by the person behind you.
On some cross country trip, my young son reclined his seat and the woman behind him violently pushed his seat back up. After several tries, he informed me and I turned around and asked the woman what she was doing. She informed me that my son could not recline his seat and wasn't too polite about it. I didn't argue with her. I just called the steward-person and informed her of the problem and she immediately told the woman that my child could indeed recline his seat and she just had to put up with it. She left, my son reclined his seat and I smugly enjoyed my adult beverage. So much is mere justice. Obviously installing a "Knee Defender" ups the ante. Airlines will probably have to ban them.
WASHINGTON — NATO released photographs on Thursday that it said shows Russian artillery units operating in Ukraine, and asserted that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers had now joined the separatists fighting there against the Ukrainian armed forces.
Can't say this is unexpected. I do feel uneasy about the consequences this will have for our President. Will he be able to focus on his drives? What about his short game? It's how well you perform under pressure that defines a true player.
Those wanting a U.S. war in Syria could not clearly show a U.S. national interest then, and they have been proven foolish now. A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe. Only after recognizing the practical limits of our foreign policy can we pursue policies that are in the best interest of the U.S.
This is from Rand Paul in the Wall Street Journal. So I take it he's against intervening in Syria. But the big point is whether is was a good idea to crash into Iraq, which President Bush the Younger did. It's beginning look like his dad has the better of that particular intergenerational debate. Saddam may be evil but ISIS and Assad, and maybe even Saddam's successors, look eviler. In any event, it's not clear that the Iraq intervention was such a hot idea. I was for it at the time, but that was because I believed that Iraq had and was developing WMDs as fast as they could. Where did I get that idea? In any event, Rand Paul attempts to contextualize this debate but does so by cutting off the context of our intervention in Iraq. Not quite fair that.
Inside Higher Ed, Don't Email Me:
I don't find this to be a problem. Students rarely or only occassionally email me and when they do, they have some reason to do so, about three-quarters of the time. But these are law students, who have already survived an important cut. I suppose this could be annoying for undergraduate professors.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The former San Diego City College student turned guerilla fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) last lived in Spring Valley with his family, NBC 7 has learned.
Of course he did. And that's where one (or two?) of the 9/11 highjackers lived as well. It's really very nice. Ha. Just kidding. Though it is the site of the Catholic academy where my ten year old attends and other offspring attended school, though that is in the nicer part of Spring Valley, I guess. Though it's not that nice. It's at the base of Mt. Helix, which has some big nice houses on it, including the compound of the Spanos clan, which owns the Chargers, peace be upon them. I guess back when they built it, they didn't let Greeks live in La Jolla.
But on Monday, one family’s adventure went horribly wrong: A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her side, trying to guide her. A video of the shooting, which her parents recorded by cellphone, suggests that the girl, in pink shorts and with a braided ponytail, was unable to control the gun’s recoil; the instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas, where he died Monday night.
Obviously, Uzis should be banned, these sorts of tours should be banned, 9 year olds should be banned and Arizona should be outlawed.
The bloody Aug. 24 incident, which landed 40 freshmen in the hospital with bone fractures and gashes, is being parsed on China's active social web as either evidence of the wholesale corruption of the Chinese military, or the hopeless degeneration of China's youth.
One G-man’s “social pollution” is another free man’s First Amendment right. The very term sounds like something out of a 1920s Italian fascist tract. And why is the federal government even deciding which ideas are “false and misleading,” let alone tracking them?
That’s according to scientists at the University of Leeds, who report that a woman’s figure could play a crucial role in her decision to have sex. Specifically, women with wider hips are more likely to hit it and quit it, and to have more sexual partners in general. Less-hippy women, on the other hand, tend to take a more prudent approach to sex.
This via instapundit, which I repeat I can't link to on this lame typepad app. I bet this is one of those irrepoducable results but it's still kinda fun.
After being told repeatedly by a number of administration officials -- including the IRS Commissioner -- that former top IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer problems resulted in the destruction of thousands of her key emails, we have now been told that those emails actually exist - backed up by an emergency system in the event of a catastrophe.
Justice Department officials have now told a federal court that the problem was not that the Lerner emails couldn't be found, but that the back-up system was “too onerous to search.”
The too onerous to search defense. Hmmm.
George Will on IRS: "It Is Off The Rails And It Is Now Thoroughly Corrupted" | Video | RealClearPolitics
GEORGE WILL: I can just hardly wait until the IRS lawyers go into that courtroom and tell the judge that it would be too onerous to stop obstructing justice in this case. That's a really interesting defense. You know, Lily Tomlin, the comedian, used to have a character, the Bag Lady, who said, 'no matter how cynical you get you, just can't keep up.' And that's the way it was with the IRS.
It's really bad. I can't see it going away. If it does, it's time to start looking for overseas properties.
Is the human condition becoming more unequal? Many assert it is, but their focus is almost exclusively on economic inequality. This is problematic for two key reasons.
First, even in data-rich America, statistics on wealth distribution are at best rudimentary. Measured economic equality differs dramatically depending on whether one looks at income (pre- or post-tax? by the year or over a lifetime?), or at personal consumption, which seems to be distributed much more equally.
More crucially, income is not the only important measure of human well-being and life chances. Consider two global revolutions that are improving the human condition and making it more equal.
Smart guy Eberstadt.