Why I can’t help reading Mark Steyn

June 30, 2008

for example

Ron Paul and Rush Limbaugh

June 30, 2008

I think Mr Douthat's analysis is spot on.  It's nice to see a conservative admit this (obvious) point.  The strategy laid out in Mr Douthat's book seems like a great strategy for the Republican Party.  If followed it has, realistically, a 100% of increasing the size of government.  Then again, the same could easily be said for all the Republican Presidential candidates, except Dr Paul.


A good summary of capitalism

June 29, 2008

In an article about Bill Gates.


June 29, 2008

Good summary here but I think the third quote deserves full context:

The tactical error of the libertarian, Rothbardian or otherwise, is to believe that the state can be made smaller and simpler by making it weaker. Historically, the converse is the case: attempts to weaken an unauthority either destroy it, resulting in chaos and death, or force it to compensate by enlarging, resulting in the familiar "red-giant state." The pronomian prefers a state that is small, simple, and very strong. It respects the rights of its clients not because it is forced to respect them, but because it has a financial incentive to respect them, and it obeys that financial incentive because it is managed responsibly and effectively.

I can't resist adding one more:

Most observers interpret bureaucratic sclerosis as a sign of a government which is too powerful. In fact it is a sign of a government which is too weak. If seventeen officials need to provide signoff for you to repaint the fence in your front yard, this is not because George W. Bush, El Maximo Jefe, was so concerned about the toxicity of red paint that he wants to make seventeen-times-sure that no wandering fruit flies are spattered with the nefarious chemical. It is because a lot of people have succeeded in making work for themselves, and that work has been spread wide and well. They are thriving off tiny pinhole leaks through which power leaks out of the State. A strong unauthority would plug the leaks, and retire the officials.

Great article

June 29, 2008

Originally in First Things:

The only evidence that can be said to support this so-called scientific consensus is the supposed correlation of historical global temperatures with historical carbon-dioxide content in the atmosphere. Even if we do not question the accuracy of our estimates of global temperatures into previous centuries, and even if we ignore the falling global temperatures over the past decade as fossil-fuel emissions have continued to increase, an honest scientist would still have to admit that the hypothesis of man-made global warming hardly rises to the level of "an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure." Global warming may or may not be "the greatest scam in history," as it was recently called by John Coleman, a prominent meteorologist and the founder of the Weather Channel. Certainly, however, under the scientific method it does not rise to the level of an "item of physical knowledge."

Nevertheless, the acceptance of man-made global warming as scientific fact has become so prevalent that the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, recently declared: "The debate is over. It's time to discuss solutions." Leaving aside the question of the secretary-general's qualifications, that is certainly one of the most antiscientific statements ever made. The first question that this raises is why have so many scientists chosen to ignore this glaring failure of the global warming hypothesis to meet the standards of their own profession? The second question is what, if anything, can be done about it?

The first, and most obvious, temptation for this sort of willful blindness is financial. Hearst made only a fraction of his estimated $140 million in net worth from yellow journalism. Global warming, on the other hand, has provided an estimated $50 billion in research grants to those willing to practice yellow science. Influence in the public sphere is another strong temptation. It might not be as impressive as starting the Spanish-American War, but global-warming alarmists have amassed a large group of journalists and politicians ready to silence any critics and endorse whatever boondoggle scheme is prescribed as the cure to our impending climate catastrophe.

Finally, one should not underestimate the temptation of convenience. Just as it is far easier to publish stories without verifying the sources; so is it much more convenient to practice yellow science than the real thing. It takes far more courage, perseverance, and perspiration to develop formulas, make predictions, and risk being proved wrong than to look at historical data and muse about observed similarities. Yellow scientists have fled the risks of science that Albert Einstein described when he said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right, a single experiment can prove me wrong."

The vision of environmentalism

June 29, 2008

A review of "The Happening"

Few major studio releases are so thoroughly pro-death, so deeply anti-human. We have arrived at a strange moment in American pop culture when movie-goers spend two hours in the theater being informed that we all deserve to die.

Republicans as realistic Democrats

June 29, 2008

That seems to be about the summary of the book discussed here (they could out-FDR the Democrats) (the prescription drug bill on steroids).  Of course, such an agenda would do very little to further Conservative ideals.  It would also actively work against libertarian ones.  Other than that, I don't see any problems!

Wealth stats

June 29, 2008

I don't like referring to them as "the rich" and "the poor" since they are not static groups, but these are interesting stats:

Kahneman found that wealthy individuals, those earning more than $100,000, spent less than one-fifth of their time in passive leisure. Those earning less than $20,000 a year, spent more than a third of their time in passive leisure.

The author of the post goes on to discuss the desire for ever more wealth as if it were a psychological disorder.  Who knows, maybe it is?  I guess all psychological diseases don't have to be bad for society.

I wonder

June 29, 2008

if any of the people who signed the letter that Professor Somin criticizes here realized that they were reducing the concept of diversity to absurdity?  After all how can it promote diversity to prohibit naming something after someone who doesn't think in the proper way?

Great post

June 29, 2008

on a topic (in the abstract) that I've been thinking about a lot lately.