Randoms of the day

May 23, 2011

AMcGuinn on left and right.

Vladimir has slightly different thoughts on left and right, plus he adds: "Contrary to popular belief, the rapture happened on Saturday. Unfortunately, nobody actually met the required standard for early entry to Heaven, and there was no visible effect."

This is my nomination for lamest argument ever on the internet (yes, I realize how impressive that title is).

Mitch Daniels seems like kind of a douche.

Ilya Somin defends orange line libertarianism.

Peter Hitchens: Some rapes are worse than others.

Random thought

May 22, 2011

Let’s say it’s 2008 and you work for Barack Obama – i.e. your job is to get him re-elected in 2012.

If you think about it, I think your best move is to pass a divisive healthcare law that looks similar to Massachusetts’ universal healthcare law.

Your biggest potential threat is Romney and passing a law that is similar to his crowning achievement on a national scale really screws him over – as we’ve seen this week.

Is the Obama team that smart?

Some stats on trade

May 21, 2011

The US has a shitty trade policy.

The war on drugs

May 21, 2011

I’ve been dancing around a thesis on the war on drugs that I should make clear.

My thesis is this: the Warren Court effectively made policing impossible, crime exploded, the war on drugs was implemented in response, crime dropped. As such, I’m not surprised by this: "the fourth amendment now has a de facto exception clause when it comes to drug -related crimes." I’d only make one minor correction – "the fourth amendment as interpreted by judges in the ’60s."

Is this state of affairs bad? Yes.

Should we end the war on drugs? No. We’re entirely dependent on it to keep crime in check now that we’ve outlawed old-fashioned (i.e. effective) police work.

HBD and the education bubble

May 21, 2011

For some reason the education bubble was in the news this week. I recommend this piece.

My personal take is that education bubble is driven by diversity. People will pay a lot make sure that their children are around the "right kind" of other children. The university system has found a way to provide this service in a way that doesn’t run afoul of the PC police. This service is therefore incredibly valuable.

As such, I don’t think there’s an education bubble. If there is one, I suspect that it’s in the bottom tier schools as the recommended article makes clear.

Hate crime

May 21, 2011

I feel a bit guilty admitting that the story that interested me the most this week was this one.

Perhaps the best part was Mr Yglesias offering a policy suggestion in light of his beating. If only there’d been more [of the right kind of] people around! Naturally, he left out the bracketed bit, but he obviously meant it.

When Ms McArdle bought her house, I remember her saying that they loved the diversity of the neighborhood. I remember thinking that such a statement was pretty ignorant. Walking back via the route that Mr Yglesias took was a terrible idea. He’s lucky nothing worse happened. At least he got to experience the warm glow of diversity.


May 21, 2011

I report to the sort of people who report to the sort of people who may occasionally report to the sort of people like DSK.

The life a European bureaucrat at my level is very nice. When I have meetings there, the meetings are generally scheduled to start at 9. This means that someone begins serving espresso or coffee at 9. Usually we’re underway by 9:30. Lunch usually lasts a couple hours and is always accompanied by good wine. Everyone stops working at 5.

If you live like this, even for a short time, it’s very hard not to start to feel entitled.

I suppose at the top, they work harder and they play harder.

Randoms of the past week

May 21, 2011

Newt Gingrich took a beating this week but if he keeps getting progressives to admit that blacks are less intelligent than whites, then I may have to start liking the guy.

This was probably the funniest post I read all week.

"The Ten Worst States to be a Dumb Slut"

Ulysses on Southern women.

Violence in Athens – and it’s not because of austerity. (As an aside, is there a better sign of the times than the fact that "austerity" has come to mean living within your means?)

Looks like Auster has come around to Moldbug’s theory of intervention in Libya. America was bored and invading Libya seemed like it’d be interesting for a bit.

I’m taking this as a sign that we’ve hit the bottom of the housing trough.

I’ve often argued that the civil servants are really in charge, and lately, they’re really actually in charge.

Thoughts on various bloggers that I like.

Bruce Charlton on Mormons. I also have highly positive feelings about Mormons.

The democratic apocalypse.

Fugitive Agrarians.

For some reason when I read Hilary Clinton discussing other countries, I get really creeped out.

Randoms of the last few days

May 13, 2011

It’s not often that I disagree with OneSTDV, but I disagree with this:

Basically what I’m trying to say is that reactionary politics might not really be all that great. It isn’t going to make you a better person and it definitely won’t make you feel better going to sleep at night.

Who was happier than H. L. Mencken? The pessimist, after all, is never disappointed. The proper reactionary attitude to mainstream society is detached amusement. You know which things you can control and influence and you see to those things. You laugh at the rest. (In fairness, I think One’s point may be that your political beliefs themselves shouldn’t be a source of happiness. With this point, I agree).

I guess we’re going with Theophile per this discussion.

Nothing is more bothersome to me than progressive discussions of the US prison population. "Despite our “land of the free” rhetoric, we deem it necessary (at great expense) to incarcerate more of our people, 2.3 million, than the world’s most draconian regimes." I’m pretty sure no on sits around saying the US prison population should be a little higher today. Doesn’t it depend on criminals to commit crimes at some point? The post also assumes that prisons have failed because they’re full of people. I don’t understand the logic at all. That said, I’m all for flogging.

The ultimate objection to my argument for the return of a de facto gold standard was that if we start down that route, USG will just take your gold. Instead, then you should take your meager returns from stocks and bonds and like them. Unfortunately, it appears that USG will probably come after those holdings as well.

Nothing puts affirmative action in context better than law school statistics. My wife has some good stories after being a law firm for a few years, but I’m not sure if I should share them.

Something’s wrong when you get better economic analysis from a game website than from economists.

The Sanandaji Principe: "due to the left leaning voting patterns of unskilled immigrant, we can only maximum have two out of three of Open Borders, Libertarianism and Democracy."

Fred Reed on democracy.

Pictures from a crack house.

A few people have asked me why I sometimes criticize Half Sigma. It’s most because he believes he knows the objective value of all goods and services. Even Marx was more skeptical of his own knowledge than that.

"Old books have good humour, proper manners, good smell, and wit: exactly what one expects in good society."

The road

May 13, 2011

I’m off on another work trip to an exotic undisclosed location. Blogging may be slow for a few days.