Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  What a silly slippery slope argument!  That whole, "if we regulate cigarettes, then we'll be regulating chain restaurants, and eventually even family-owned restaurants."  That could never happen.  Whoops.  New flash:  some Mexican food meals have quite a few calories.  (UPDATE:  As WH points out, Dr. Roberts is saying that people want more choices.  And what she means by "want" is that SHE, Dr.. Roberts, wants it.  And what she means by "choice" is to to be forced to do something by the government.  You have a choice NOW, Dr. Roberts.  Stay home and have a salad, go to a different restaurant, etc.)

2.  Nauseatingly sweet prom story.  Just the way I like it.  I'm a sucker for chickflix, on any scale.
Some background. All together....AWWWWWWWW.....

3.  Germany is concerned that the U.S. might actually mean what it said.  After all, Pres. O said chemical weapons would be a "red line."   I think we can reassure our German friends.  This goofball of a President just talks and talks.  He never actually does anything.  And in this case that may be just as well.

4.  One of the reasons that poor people and minorities think the Republicans don't care about them is that most Republicans just straight up do NOT care about them.  That may be okay, from some perspectives, if your program really is "we'll leave you alone."  But it isn't.  The Republicans pledge to cut benefits and ALSO harass, arrest, and abuse Latinos, blacks, and the poor.  The Repubs need to choose:  either do the "we care" thing and actually care, or else stop pretending.  An argument for the "we care" side, which makes sense to me.

5.  I'm not unemployed! I'm....retired!  Yeah, that's the ticket. Retired!

6.  Finger-lickin' good!  After you wash your hands, which got all dirty going through the tunnel.

7.  No evidence--none--that helmets reduce injuries.  Just faith-based medicine and a pathetic desire to order people around.

8.  No evidence--none--that reducing salt intake helps normal people achieve better health outcomes.  Just faith-based.. (see above).  (MORE AFTER THE JUMP...)

9.  Couple months old, but interesting.  Where Higher Ed Went Wrong.

10.  Can disability be an asset?  Tour guides at the Tragic Kingdom.

11.  Why was the internet created?  So you can watch some guy un-eat cotton candy.

12.  The reliable Gene Callahan finds a good one.  I laughed.

13.  Mother tries to find adoptive family, because she is "in a bad place."  Oh, and she's pregnant.

14. My good friend, and now giant loser (he's becoming chair of Chemistry at Cornell) Dr. David Collum.  A podcast/rant that is quite entertaining.

15.  To fake, or not fake, the kick.  Does it work?  And if everyone decides that it does (or doesn't) work, wouldn't that change the probabilities?

16.  I am willing to believe that the higer-ups in Treasury were unaware of the IRS Tea Party witch hunt.  But shouldn't the actual people responsible be fired, rather than promoted?

17.  This can't be true.  Can it?

18.  LeBron points out an interesting web site, but is careful to avoid endorsing it.  And well he might not.  As WH notes in an email: Cross subsidy is the order of the day. Without extracting cross subsidy information, regarding the subject of "health insurance price", all price is a mal-price-signal. 

19.  Sen. Feinstein's husband wins the contract for constructing the high-speed rail that Sen. Feinstein is so interested in forcing taxpayers to pay for.  Coincidence?  Only if you think that the Democratic party is a bunch of corrupt crony capitalists.  (i.e., no, not coincidence).  What I like is that it is actually railroads.  No way Dagny T. could get the contract in that rigged bidding system.  


Zubon said...

#7 is somewhat overstated. Helmet use prevented injuries, but given baseline rates of helmet use, helmet requirements did not have an effect.

Pelsmin said...

#7, reminds me of the surprise finding in WWI that the introduction of metal helmets INCREASED the rate of head injuries. They were baffled until they realized that the helmets also DECREASED the rate of deaths from head wounds. i.e. the mortal wounds became treated (and counted) head injuries.

Note, by the way, footnote 22 of the report, which references another study that found children reduced injuries by 50% because of helmets. Adults saw no benefits, yet the researchers still concluded that adults should be required to wear helmets.

Pelsmin said...

#4. Mike, not one to accuse you of hyperbole, but Republicans "pledge to...harass, arrest and abuse...the poor"? And blacks? And latinos?
That's more than a stretch.

Leave aside the "pledge" part. Still, where are you coming from on this? If you consider our ridiculous drug laws an attack on the poor or blacks, you've just signed up for the "disparate impact" brigades. End antisemitism in the NBA Draft!!

Do you consider it "caring" for the Democrats to take money from people who have earned it and distribute it to poor people as long as they promise not to get a job or improve their financial self-sufficiency (and thus lose their qualification)?

The column references the sad state of our schools. How does the explicit pledge from the Democrats to ally with teachers' unions help poor and minority students in failing schools? Yeah, Republicans are lousy at making things better, but that's because they're politicians, not because they're Republicans.

What does it mean to "fight for the vulnerable," or offer (e.g. spend money for government programs) free market alternatives to the welfare state? The free-market alternative is to let people find their own way, allow economic growth, ensure that motivated people can get an education, and provide a safety net that keeps people at the bottom of the ladder fed and clothed but not so comfortably that they want to live like that.

Jack P. said...

@7 (Bike helmets): Don`t forget Peltzman's effect (aka moral hazard): helmet-wearers likely bike more recklessly, so the two effects might cancel out.

I think the two previous commenters on #7 are more insightful than the authors of the study. Go KPC!

Roger Powell said...

I'm no advocate of helmet laws - but it always made sense to me to wear a helmet when bicycling. Good thing I did, because I a few years ago I fainted when riding (purely out of the blue - no prior history - probably a rare prescription drug interaction.) According to witnesses, I just went down like I'd been shot - no attempt to defend my head which hit the pavement.

I had a broken collarbone, contusions, and a busted-up helmet. The only indication of any brain damage is a continued enjoyment of Mungowitz' work - even though I'm understandably more of an advocate for wearing a helmet (not for laws.)