Saturday, March 08, 2008


This morning, at the Public Choice meetings...Ms. Angus was a discussant on a paper.

The guy giving the paper, just as he was getting started, says: "Oh, and this is work in progress. So, I have continued to work and make progress in the two weeks since I sent the paper to the discussant. So, it's pretty different."

Now, Ms. Angus is nice. She can take care of herself just fine, but she is too nice to be an ass about this.

But me? I said to myself: "WWAD?" (What would Angus do?)

So, I shouted, from the back of the room, "Thanks for coming, discussant!"

I think all of us should ask, every day, in every way: "WWAD?" And then do it. Just do it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

KGM: KPC's Man in Texas

So, I'm here for the Public Choice meetings. Lots of unintentional comedic fashion, and I'm sure I'm part of the show, given my fashion non-sense and ballon-like body.

There were three things salient about my first day.

1. Weather. Really, really cold and windy. And rainy. Mid-40s, 20-25 mph wind, pouring rain on and off. I went for two pretty long walks. It was really cold. Would have been better if I had brought a jacket, I suppose.

2. Food. Obviously one of SA's strong points. For breakfast, I went primal: G/M Steakhouse, across from the Alamo. One of my favorites, for years. You pretty much can't spend more than $8.00, including everything, and that's if you get the main dish, chicken fried steak. I got two tacos, carne guisada and huevos con chorizo, and a coffee. $4.30. The carne guisada is just like abuelita would have made. G/M has many choices, with pancakes and pretty much any "American" breakfast you want. Cheap, solid, real breakfast.

For lunch, I went to Schilos, the famous German deli. Three things are reputed to be worth the trip: split pea soup, Rueben sandwich, and cheesecake. Since these things are all Mungowitz faves anyway...what the hell? I had been walking in polar temperatures without a jacket for an hour, so the calories weren't such a problem. The verdict: Split pea soup--very nice. It helped that I was cold. But yum. Thick and good. Rueben--deceptive. Disappointing appearance, especially if you are used to the east coast presentation of huge sandwich, fried bread, etc. The Schilos Rueben is just two slices of bread, with thousand island dressing, corned beef, and sauer kraut. BUT: Wow. What a difference ingredients make. You wouldn't want to hide this with breading or frying. The rye bread was the best I've had... well...ever.(If you DON'T like strong rye bread, don't get this sandwich). Ditto corned beef: wonderful. A very, very good sandwich. Cheesecake: It was fine. But nothing special. I think the Rueben's remarkable simple goodness had raised my expectations.

Dinner: Out with the publisher for _________, on their dime. We went to Saltgrass Steakhouse. On the riverwalk. They have Shiner Bock draft, which would be silly anywhere else. But it is brewed in SA, so go for it. I think of Shiner Bock as the beer grad students serve because it's cheap, but it has acquired a certain export cachet elsewhere. We all order steaks. I get the Porterhouse, because I am hungry. The salad is okay, nothing special, too much cheese and too much dressing, mostly on iceberg lettuce. Typical steakhouse mediocre salad. Bread is okay. The steak, and fried onions, on the other hand, are tremendous. I don't get steak often, and I admit I was hungry, but this was just about perfect. Cooked just right, tender, juicy: wonderful. I wouldn't want to do that every night, but if you are going to have a steak you might as well go to a real steak place. And Saltgrass is, for the genre, not that pricey and gives good value on sides, instead of making you order them a la carte.

3. In counting, there is strength: Texas can't decide who gets what delegates. Wow! Interesting to read the paper down here. They seriously can't decide, at the county level, who gets what delegates. And, the point in Texas is to hold your county box until late, so you can send it in with the "extra" votes that your guy needs. It appears the delegates from the Texas primary, held this past Tuesday, won't be awarded for sure until...JUNE! Lots of irregularities, some just the result of not reading directions, some...well, some are more sinister. Or, maybe just strange. In the far south counties in Texas, mysterious forces are at work. One county wanted to give its two delegates to: Mike Huckabee. This in the DEMOCRATIC primary, mind you. Reading the newspaper here makes you feel you are reading Robert Caro.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Early nomination for A-Hole of the Year!

Ladies and Gentleman, as happy as I was in my previous post, I am that pissed and disgusted in this one. I give you Tripp Isenhour in all his glory as my early favorite for A-hole of 08.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—PGA Tour golfer Tripp Isenhour was charged with killing a hawk on purpose with a golf shot because it was making noise as he videotaped a TV show

Isenhour was with a film crew for “Shoot Like A Pro” on Dec. 12 at the Grand Cypress Golf course. The 39-year-old golfer, whose real name is John Henry Isenhour III, was charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.

According to court documents, Isenhour got upset when a red-shouldered hawk began making noise, forcing another take. He began hitting balls at the bird, then 300 yards away, but gave up.

Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report.

Isenhour allegedly said “I’ll get him now,” and aimed for the hawk.

“About the sixth ball came very near the bird’s head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close,” Baine wrote.

A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.

Isenhour’s agent, John Mascatello with SFX World Sports Management, did not immediately return an e-mail or telephone message Thursday.

“He just kept saying how he didn’t think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA Tour golfer to say,” said Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot. “He can put a ball in a hole from hundreds of yards away, and here he is hitting line drives at something that’s, I don’t know, a couple hundred feet away?”

Senger said it was “basically like a joke to (Isenhour).” He said no one in the roughly 15-person crew intervened, and many later regretted it.

“It was one of those cases where there’s some trepidation on whether or not they should speak up and do something,” Senger said.

Senger said the killing was not captured on video. The bird was buried at the golf course and later dug up by Florida investigators.

Isenhour, of Salisbury, N.C., turned pro in 1990. He had two wins on the Nationwide Tour in 2006.

What an ass. I mean to just stand there and hit at the thing til you kill it for absolutely no reason other than you are an ass and a sorry excuse for a human. Shoot like a pro indeed.

Rejoicing in Okieland!

It's nervewracking to have students on the job market. For me at least, the responsibility for their placement is a heavy one. So I am thrilled to report that as of yesterday, all three of my students on the market have accepted tenure-track jobs! Two (a couple) at the University of Colorado-Denver and one (who I co-directed with Mrs. Angus) at the B-school of Oklahoma City University. Congratulations guys, go out and keep making us Okie-proud!


So, my boys at 'Dome continue that crack reporting. And, to RMB's credit, points out that we live in a bizarrely self-referring age.

I can now prove that "chilly punk'd" is an actual phrase.

The proof is that it appears in "the Urban Dictionary."

And that reference points to my original claim that the phrase exists.

(Thanks to KPC main man prison rodeo, though, for the ACTUAL word, in comments. SOMEBODY knows what's going on. If you want to know dudespeak, you can't rely on GOOGLE as your reference library. GOOGLE is so five minutes ago.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Music from Old Favorites

Two very strong groups that have been quiet for quite a while announced new albums this week.

First the excellent German collective The Notwist will be releasing "The Devil, You, & Me" in May and will be touring Europe to support it. They last released an album, the outstanding "Neon Golden", 6 years ago. Here is a track.

Second, The Tindersticks will release "The Hungry Saw" at the end of May. More information including a track can be found on their myspace page here.

Groundhog Day

Last night, Hillary Clinton saw her shadow and now we will be treated to 6 more weeks (at least) of this race to the bottom also known as the Democratic Presidential nominating process. Winning the popular votes in Ohio and Texas keeps Hill alive at least to the April 22nd PA primary and most likely beyond.

The conventional wisdom is that further Dem infighting helps McCain. Indeed his new pal, Fla. Governor Crist, has helpfully offered to schedule a do-over for the debacle that was (wasn't?) the Florida Democratic Primary. That guy has VEEP written all over him!

The Other Other White Meat

Eat a whale and save the planet, a Norwegian pro-whaling lobby said on Monday of a study showing that harpooning the giant mammals is less damaging to the climate than farming livestock.

The survey, focused on whale boats' fuel use, showed that a kilo (2.2 lbs) of whale meat represented just 1.9 kilo (4.2 lbs) of greenhouse gases against 15.8 for beef, 6.4 for pork and 4.6 for chicken.

"Basically it turns out that the best thing you can do for the planet is to eat whale meat compared to other types of meat," said Rune Froevik of the High North Alliance, which represents the interests of coastal communities in the Arctic.

"Greenhouse gas emissions caused by one meal of beef are the equivalent of eight meals of whale meat," the study said.

Mungowitz: can I get a Amen??

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sometimes this stuff just writes itself!

Stones guitarist is new frontman for

Louis Vuitton

Fair enough, but I wonder why they didn't go a bit more subtle and use this guy??


Can you really be a competent, professional reporter in the year 2008 if you don't know the verb "to punk". As in "Punk'd!", the Ashton Kutcher tv show?

Admittedly, I used a variant. But c'mon.

Here's how it went down.

The News and Observer, my home town paper (and it's a pretty good paper) had this story. The gist is that lots of races in the NC Gen Assembly will be unopposed.

I protested, via email. The filing period just passed is for the PRIMARY, in May. The Libertarian Party juggernaut (it's a JUGGERNAUT, I tell you!) is finishing up its signature drive, and will soon be able to post candidates to the GENERAL ELECTION, in November.

So, not unopposed, at all.

I went a little nuts. Sent an email. To credit of N&O, they blogged it up, immediately. The appropriate response, no complaints.

Except, in the blog entry, we find this admission:

He also said that Dome's failure to mention the possibility of Libertarian candidates "chilipunked" him. We have no earthly idea what that verb means.

KPC readers! My (mis)spelling aside, let's tell the N&O what "chili punk'd" means! Comment here, and help me out!

Colombian incursion into Ecuador kills Colombian Rebel leader, and Venezuela prepares for war???

Hugo Chavez is a gamer, people. Always ready to get involved. Let's spin this one out:

Colombian military attacks a FARC camp across its own border inside Ecuador. Kills a top FARC guy, maybe its #2 guy, Raul Reyes.

Chavez then starts putting troops on its border with Colombia and mobilizing his armed forces:

Chavez called the killing of Reyes and the other rebels an attack by a "terrorist state," saying Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is a "criminal."

"Mr. Defense Minister, move 10 battalions to the border with Colombia for me, immediately — tank battalions. Deploy the air force," Chavez said during his Sunday radio and television program.

Meanwhile, the Colombians are playing it cool:

Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Monday that his government isn't moving any troops and "we have the situation under control."

"We prefer to leave President Chavez out of this discussion," Santos told Caracol radio. "We don't mention that person, we don't make any comments on what he says, does or suggests."

And the Americans don't see what the fuss is about:

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, said the United States supports Colombia's right to defend itself against the FARC and called for dialogue between Colombia and Ecuador.

"From our perspective this is an issue between Colombia and Ecuador," he said. "I'm not sure what this has to do with Venezuela."

Maybe Chavez is mad because he knew about the information on the laptop computers the Colombians allegedly found in the FARC camp. They've released info claiming among other things that the FARC had financially supported Chavez in the past and Chavez was financially supporting the FARC in the present.

Leaving aside the issue of the cross-border incursion into Ecuador, "getting" Reyes is a huge coup for Colombia. The FARC really seems to be hurting, and the further revelations of ties to Chavez, if they pan out, won't be helping them any either inside or outside of Colombia.

I wonder if Chavez is trying to get out in front of the damaging information he knew to be forthcoming, or if he just can't stand anyone making headlines in South American besides him?

I knew this blogging stuff would pay off

hat tip to E.D.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Munger Bumper Sticker, Seen in the Wild!

A Munger for Governor bumper sticker, seen in its native habitat: Chapel Hill! At the corner of Rosemary and Columbia.

(Photo Credit to DS)

Mark on the Mark

Dr. Perry nails several topics.

First, this. Productivity is a real problem. We should all still be using hand tools, right? Well, maybe not.

And then, this. As Angus notes earlier today, clearly Hillary is just lying about her desire to revoke NAFTA. Right? She can't be serious.

Cleveland nights

Obama is starting to scare me some. He's winning the Democratic nomination, kicking Hillary's butt with the rhetoric of hope and change. He's got the sophisticated advisors, he gets it right the first time.

But holy crap, people, have you seen the stuff coming out of his mouth in Ohio? Isn't it astonishing? Either it's simply wink-wink posturing, in which case how's he a break from business as usual? or he means it which makes you wonder what Austan Goolsbee's been smoking.

He is 100% committed to re-negotiating or pulling out of NAFTA? The vehemence of the rhetoric is so far out of line with the reality of the situation, that it must be a farce, but can it be? Obama the Cynic? He's even channelling his inner Ricky Bobby, loudly proclaiming "I pray to Jesus every night".

Hillary is even funnier of course, but I already expected that and have her pegged. It's pure cynicial pandering on her part. She knows good and well that NAFTA hasn't hurt the US and she probably even knows that the top two destinations for Ohio's exports are Mexico and Canada.

Condomnomics at Duke and Brown

Unwrapping the economics of condoms.

It's all about the opportunity costs.

And the protection. It's about the TRADE protection. An anti-infant industry argument?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Duckman....on Life

I like Duckman.

Some days, I actually FEEL like Duckman. Feel his rage.

Kudos to Jason Alexander for voicing this bizarre cartoon. Not everybody would do this. Kudos.

(And a nod, as always, to Tex. His rage nearly matches Duckman's)

And now for something completely different

As a way to learn and then retain our Spanish language skilz, Mrs. Angus and I often watch telenovelas. One thing that always baffled me was, if someone, no matter how shady, filed a written charge against another person, that person went straight into custody. Presumed guilty. We were told by our Chilango friends that this portrayal didn't stretch the truth too far.

But now, thing may be changing as the Mexican Congress has voted to enshrine the presumption of innocence into the Constitution:

Mexican lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a sweeping judicial reform that would introduce public, oral trials and guarantee the presumption of innocence... President Felipe Calderón praised the measure, which would replace closed-door proceedings where judges rely on written evidence with U.S.-style open trials based on arguments presented by prosecutors and defense lawyers.

"Changing from an inquisitorial system, like the one Mexico has today, to an adversarial system based on oral trials, as are used in the American justice system, will provide much greater transparency, much more agility in the administration of justice," Calderón told a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Interesting. Maybe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons should get their cases moved south of the border!