Thursday, January 11, 2007

Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act

"The well-intentioned desire of Congress to help the poor apparently will
not be restrained by the rules and principles of the free market that
otherwise do restrain American businesses and workers. Apparently Congress
can change the rules that otherwise affect the affairs of mankind. And so,
Mr. Speaker, I have asked my staff to draft a measure I call the Obesity
Reduction and Health Promotion Act. Since Congress will apparently not be
restrained by the laws and principles that naturally exist, I propose that
the force of gravity--by the force of Congress--be reduced by 10%. Mr.
Speaker, that will result in an immediate weight loss for every American."

-- Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID), during debate on minimum wage legislation on the
floor of the House

(Nod to KL)

Phallus 101: The competition was stiff....

THE "DIRTY DOZEN" list of "America's Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses" is out — and Los Angeles-area institutions of higher learning have walked away with one-fourth of the ranked honors (or dishonors). Occidental College, an 1,800-student liberal arts school in Eagle Rock, is the only college on the list to collect not one but two citations for excellence at offering trendy theories of gender, skin color and white-male oppression at the expense of actual academic content.

Such a disappointment. Duke only mentioned once. I had high hopes for the course in my own Department, "Politics and the Libido." But the judges were obviously paid off.

I have to admit that I have only limited sympathy for such lists. Some of the courses are actually quite interesting and useful, but have funny titles. Some of the rest...well, I do have limited sympathy for such lists.

But, the "Politics and the Libido" course I mention above....an excellent course. Well-taught, thoughtful, and interesting. Pretending sex does not matter in politics is just as bad as pretending that only sex matters.

Still, some of the courses on the list....unbelievable.

ATSRTWT

(Nod to EJ)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Great Mungers of the Past

Google has a new "patent search" engine.

And....it turns out that once again I am humbled by great Mungers of the past. This time, it is N. Q. Munger, of Casco, Michigan, making us all proud. He invented (along with one Pomeroy) a device that does double duty. It can be forced down the throat of a cow to clear a blockage that is choking the poor girl.

AND (this is the important part) it can be pushed up the anus of the cow to relieve her of that uncomfortable gaseous bloat that cattle get.

The description of the device, in more detail, I leave to your own reading. ATSRTWT, indeed.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cuba Libre

Greg nails a diagnosis of the sickness that is the Cuba policy of the U.S.

My own experience, once, and then again.

I don't think this trait is adaptive....

Fainting goats....

One of the people on the video says the goats never make each other faint. I don't buy it. I would definitely hide behind a tree, smoking goat cigarettes and telling goat jokes, until an unsuspecting friend walked by. You could jump out and bleat loudly, and the friend would go belly up, legs in the air. I think I may try this over at the Duke faculty club this week; it could work. Though our faculty are not really goats, I suppose; more sheepish.

(thanks to Jeremy B., for the notice)

Price Controls More Generally

A reminder that my article on EconLib, about price-gouging, is now up. Lots of other interesting stuff on EconLib also, including (blush) an extremely fine podcast, for those of you who pod. (Not that there is anything WRONG with that...) (I just checked; Roberts/Munger podcast was not posted as if 9:30 EST. Should be up in the next couple of hours).

And a link to a nice piece at a fine blog. David Tufte is keeping it pretty darned real in southern Utah.

That Ol Debil Work

From Drudge:

DEM VOW ALREADY BROKEN: HOUSE SETS 4-DAY WORK WEEK
Sun Jan 07 2007 15:03:38 ET

Democrats ran to expand the work week in the House to 5 days.

But guess how long that lasted?

Not even one week!

"Culture Shock on Capitol Hill: House to Work 5 Days a Week" front-paged the WASHINGTON POST in December.

Majority leader Steny Hoyer said members of the House will be expected in the Capitol for votes each week by 6:30 p.m. Monday and will finish their business about 2 p.m. Friday.

Explained the POST: "Forget the minimum wage. Or outsourcing jobs overseas. The labor issue most on the minds of members of Congress yesterday was their own: They will have to work five days a week starting in January."

But on the morning after the night before, on the first full week of the new congress, Hoyer has pulled back from his vow!

A Hoyer press release obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT boldly declares: "Monday, January 8, 2007: The House is not in session."

Hill sources claim The House is taking Monday 'off' this week, because of the championship football game between Ohio State and the University of Florida.

And, of course, the following Monday is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

100 hours...starting...soon


I'd say this: The 5 day week was always unrealistic; can't be done, for members who are further away than about 2 hours travel time. Members have to spend time in the district, and have to be able to schedule a week day predictably. Monday makes good sense.

Now, Pelosi and co. knew this all along, and fibbed about it. But anyone who believed them was the one who was silly. And not for the last time. A lot of claims in December are going to be dead and buried by February. Just part of governing. Doesn't mean the Dems are liars. Pelosi will just say, "You know how I roll," and that will be that.

(Nod to Anonyman)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Girls Just Want to Have....

Pen pal S sends a video link.

Nicely done. And makes a reasonably serious point. When men say stupid things, most of us nod. When women say argumentative things, most of us get mad. Even other women, perhaps most of all. Like the speaker is breaking union work rules.

Growing Old

Signs I am, in fact, not as young as I once was:

1. I would prefer a belly laugh from a six-month-old girl I'm holding to a wink from a 25 year old woman three seats down at a bar. By a lot. Babies are my favorite toys.

2. A great bowl of soup is better than a good dessert.

3. Give me some nice poached fish rather than a steak, anytime.

4. I have a two drink limit. Not so I can drive, but so I don't fall asleep at the party.

I am not saying these preferences are a matter of prudence. Soup seriously tastes better to me than dessert. And who wants to have to take a nap at a party?

At one time, any one of these comparisons would have gone exactly the opposite way.