Saturday, July 03, 2010

Al Gore: Poodley

Some questions:

1. Why is it that "women's gropes... um, groups" support these losers? All creeps like John Edwards and Al Gore have to do to get unquestioning support from women is to jabber about how much they like women's causes. But groping, attempted rape, and bizarre adultery schemes don't seem like support to me.

2. In any other setting, a woman who sells herself for a small consideration would be a prostitute. But when women's "interest groups" do it, it's called lobbying, right?

(Nod to Anonyman, who never was poodley)

The Grand Game


I think there are some silly mistakes here. But there are also some insights. And the animation is tremendous.

However, all the actual insights are Public Choice insights. Marx was, after all, the first public choice theorist. The basic Marxist syllogism is this: 1. If government is powerful... 2. Then in a democracy that government will be dominated by business interests. 3. Therefore, get rid of private business.

The "if" part (1) and the "then" part (2) are both substantially correct, actually. But the "therefore" part is dumb. The correct "therefore" is:

Therefore, get rid of powerful government, which mostly restrains competition. Competition won't be perfect, and in fact there will be problems like those in 2008-9. But the problems will be much smaller, and of shorter duration, without the meddling of powerful and self-interested government agencies.

(Nod to Kindred, from here)

I'll have what he's having

Man, NBA executives have got wicked good drugs. How else can one explain that Rudy F. Gay getting a max contract from Memphis wasn't even close to the worst deal done at the beginning of free agency.

Don't get me wrong, it's pretty bad. Rudy went for 17 points and 5 rebounds per game with more turnovers than assists last year and he's a max guy?


But you have to consider that the T-Wolves are signing Darko Milicic for $20 million and the Bucks are going to go for Drew "8 teams in 8 years" Gooden at $32 million.


I know that's chump change compared to what will get thrown at LeBron et al, but you have to remember that Darko and Drew are completely and totally worthless! Seriously, they should be playing in a rec league somewhere.

As bad as those deals are though, they pale in comparison to the worst deal done so far, which is Atlanta signing Joe Johnson for 6 years at $119 million.

People, Joe Johnson is a ball-pounding machine who makes his teammates worse, not better! Plus he'll be 29 when next season starts. So the Hawks will be paying him over 20 million a year when he's 34 and 35 (i.e. unable to do even the crappy stuff he does now).

So far, Joe's career averages are 17 points, 4 boards and 4 assists per game.

This is a signing worthy of the Knicks. In fact, if they give a 5 year guaranteed max contract to Amar'e Stoudemire, that will be ultra dumb, but nowhere near as bad a move as what Atlanta has just done.

So whatever those NBA suits in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Minnesota and NYC are smoking, sign me up!

And thank goodness for Sam Presti.

Time Warp

Water balloon face

Lighter in a blender

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Real Debate, For Once

Three candidates.

Three candidates, representing three parties, debating as equals on the same stage, on television.

(Photo Credit: Matt Born, Wilmington Star-News)

And the voters get to decide.

My respects to the NC Bar Association. As sponsors, they got to decide whether to include the Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate, Dr. Michael Beitler, in the debate. And for the first time ever, they did.

So, it's up to us, now. We have a seat up on the stage. We just have to use it.

The most recent poll I have seen on the Senate race....
Burr 50%, Marshall 40%, Beitler 6%. The crosstabs are interesting, in the poll. For example, Beitler gets 4% among "Conservatives," 5% among "Moderates," and 8% among "Liberals." The Libertarians need to run as the center-left party, and emphasize the futiilty of the war on drugs and the war on gay people.

Voting on How to Vote

The Brits are thinking of ending their FPTP voting system.

Perhaps the experience of the Liberal Democrats is the reason.

(nod to THE Chelsea)

A Scot on a Desert Island

One day a Scotsman, who had been stranded on a deserted island for over 10 years, saw a speck on the horizon. He thought to himself, "It's never a ship. Too small." As the speck got closer and closer, he began to rule out even the possibilities of a small boat or a raft.

Suddenly there strode from the surf a figure clad in a black wet suit. Putting aside the scuba tanks and mask, and zipping down the top of the wet suit, there stood a drop-dead gorgeous blonde!

She walked up to the stunned Scotsman and said to him, "Tell me, how long has it been since you've had a good cigar?"

"I've nod hae a smook in ten yahrs!" replied the amazed man.

With that, she reached over and unzipped a waterproof pocket on the left sleeve of her wet suit and pulled out a fresh package of cigars and a lighter.

He took a cigar, slowly lit it, and took a long drag. "Help ma boab!" said the castaway. "Och, that is verra goot! I'd forgotten how gra' a smook ken beh!"

"And how long has it been since you've had a drop of good Scotch whiskey?" asked the blonde.

Trembling, the castaway replied, "Ten years, but Crivvens, I ken still take a goot bucket!"

Hearing that, the blonde reached over to her right sleeve, unzipped a pocket there and removed a flask and handed it to him.

He opened the flask and took a long drink. "Tis nectar o' the gods!" murmured the Scotsman. "Losh, 'tis truly fantastic!!"

At this point, the gorgeous blonde started to slowly unzip the long front of her wet suit, right down the middle. She looked at the trembling man and asked, "And how long has it been since you've played around?"

With tears in his eyes, the Scot fell to his knees and sobbed ........."Michty me! Ken it really be ya hae golf clubs in there too!"

(With thanks to Shirley)

Democracy and the Deliberative Conceit

Mark Pennington, "Democracy and the Deliberative Conceit." (A little over an hour...)

Mark Pennington - "Democracy and the Deliberative Conceit" from oxford libertarian on Vimeo.

From Kosmos.


What a remarkable fellow. The first five seconds are hard to beat. He looks a bit like the British goalie in the match with USA.

Now, this is manipulative, and the guy is just trying to make money. That's enough to make me send him some. Well played.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

James Booker, Henry Byrd, Mac Rebennack

Who ya got, people??

Henry Byrd was better known as Professor Longhair and Mac is Dr. John. I love the Doctor for introducing me to New Orleans piano, and Fess for pioneering it, but James Booker is my favorite.

This post is dedicated to Mark Perry!

Apparently sombody is not an Obama fan

People check out this cartoon by Steven Pastis (the strip is called Pearls Before Swine):

As always, you can click the pic for a larger image and thanks to "Not a Sheep" for the pointer!

Wilmington - Wrightsville Beach

Had a great time in Wilmington - Wrightsville Beach last week. Had some adventures. First, went to Redix several times. Hard to explain Reddix. Here is the sign out front:

So....yes, they really do sell fine clothing (if you are a frat boy like me, who likes orange and blue plaid pants with a pink polo shirt, all way over-priced. This is HEAVEN for my tastes in clothing.) (If you put Angus in Redix, he would be screaming like the witch in Oz after they poured water on her: "I'm melting! MELTING!"). And they really do also sell hardware and fishing tackle. You have to see it. Lots of hardware, and lots of appropriate clothes if your name is "Trip" or "Trey" or "Reg."

Of course, a declaration on a sign that anything is "in" is suspect. Perhaps they meant that they had just received a shipment of SillyBandz, but I think they were trying to tell their audience about style. (No hipsters go to Redix, unless they were sentenced to community service among the hip-impaired like me).

Later one evening we went to Jungle Rapids, a finely tuned entertainment complex that hoovers the wallets of parents most effectively. That's fine, I played pinball and put a new high score on the Simpsons machine, easy because I think no one had played it at all since the last power failure. Then we played Putt-Putt, and I got smoked by the EYM and the YYM, neither of whom have any respect for their elders. (If Angus had been there, he could have told the boys that I am really, REALLY good at Putt-Putt. But he wasn't).

There was one appalling thing at Jungle Rapids: This game below. You likely know the game "Whack a Mole!" where you take a mallet and hit the mole that pops up. Pretty fun, especially when I used to pretend all the moles were Ken Shepsle. (Okay... I still do that). But this game with the cow? You have to hit the lit tit, or rather milk it. They light up and go dark, quickly and in random sequence. If you look closely (click on the pic, for a better view) you will see that the back left tit is lit.

I watched for a while, and only saw one little kid play it. His parents thought it would be cute, and tried to take pictures. But when the tits started lighting up in sequence, the little kid (he was maybe 4) starting crying his head off. He was NOT going to grab those things.

Sachs Bomb

People, Jeffrey Sachs is pissed! I know, I know, what else is new, right?

But in this case he's mad because aid from the G-8 nations to the world's poor went up by $40 billion relative to 2004!

You see, the G-8 leaders pledged in their 2005 summit to raise it by $50 billion.

For this offense, he argues that the G-8 should be disbanded!

I don't even know what that means, that the component countries should cease to exist? That they shouldn't be allowed to meet? Or make statements? Or give aid?

He also seems angry that aid to non-African poor went up by more than was promised.

Dr. Sachs is definitely not a "glass half full" kind of guy.

Face it people, we are all evil. Like the great Louis C.K. says people are dying every day and we drive around in fancy cars with that knowledge in our heads.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The King is Dead. Long Live the Queen

I'm not chair any more in....

...wait for it....

less than two minutes....


Good luck, Karen!

We are really lucky to have a person like Karen Remmer to take over as chair. Not only will she do way better than I did (a pretty low standard...), I think she is going to make a huge difference for Duke.

The Embarrassing 2nd Amendment.

Had a nice glass of wine last night, and re-read one of my favorite essays, by one of my most favoritest lefties....Sandy Levinson, of the UT-Austin Law School.

Here is the essay: The Embarrassing 2nd Amendment.

Sandy (whom I got to know down at UT-Austin when I was there) is honest. He does not like the 2nd Amendment. But he believes in the rule of law, and so feels obliged to point out two things.

First, the words in the 2nd Amendment have meaning. They appear to mean that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms. Subject to regulation, not an absolute right, all that's true. BUT. SOME. INDIVIDUAL. RIGHT.

Second, we can't pick and choose which amendments to enforce. If the Bill of Rights is important, if the Constitution cannot be violated, then we have to enforce all of it. If you don't like the 2nd Amendment, then amend the Constitution.

I enjoyed re-reading the piece, as I said, given the events of this week. I particularly liked these passages:

To put it mildly, the Second Amendment is not at the forefront of constitutional discussion, at least as registered in what the academy regards as the venues for such discussion — law reviews, casebooks, and other scholarly legal publications. As Professor Larue has recently written, "the second amendment is not taken seriously by most scholars."

...I cannot help but suspect that the best explanation for the absence of the Second Amendment from the legal consciousness of the elite bar, including that component found in the legal academy, is derived from a mixture of sheer opposition to the idea of private ownership of guns and the perhaps subconscious fear that altogether plausible, perhaps even "winning," interpretations of the Second Amendment would present real hurdles to those of us supporting prohibitory regulation. Thus the title of this essay — The Embarrassing Second Amendment — for I want to suggest that the Amendment may be profoundly embarrassing to many who both support such regulation and view themselves as committed to zealous adherence to the Bill of Rights (such as most members of the ACLU). Indeed, one sometimes discovers members of the NRA who are equally committed members of the ACLU, differing with the latter only on the issue of the Second Amendment but otherwise genuinely sharing the libertarian viewpoint of the ACLU.

Give Sandy credit: that is an honest portrayal of the problem. He at least realized that he should be embarrassed. And he was.

For two decades, I have been given at best a condescending hearing when I have claimed that the 2nd Amendment clearly confers at least a limited individual right to bear arms. And since these same super-silly-ass folks also claim to believe the Constitution says what the Supreme Court says it says....well, I love America.

Kelo Goes to NYC

Columbia Univ gets to steal a bunch of land, and doesn't have to pay retail for it. I know the New York motto is "NEVER pay retail", but....YIKES!

Ilya says what needs to be said, and links what needs to be linked.

Don't know how I missed this.

there ain't a horse that can't be rode

and people, here (thanks to KPC friend Shawn) is the perfect rider for yesterday's tiger-bike:

Don't forget to click the pic for an even better look at the gbike Mr. Leopard is riding!

11 hours and 45 minutes

Less than 12 hours now.

700 minutes.

42,000 seconds.

And then I will chair no more forever. It's been ten years. Bad for me. Worse for my department.

There is some 18 year old Scotch waiting to help me celebrate tonight at midnight. If I can stay up that long.

Terrorist Attack Averted, News Cur Criticized

Al-Qaeda Calls Off Attack On Nation's Capitol To Spare Life Of 'Twilight' Author

Mr. Putin! Tear down that wall

I'd Like to feed the children/Find a cure for disease
Rebuild the cities/and Plant a lot of trees

I'd like to help the sick/Build factories
Give money to students/hospitals and galleries

But, I'm afraid of the Russians/I can't sleep at night
So afraid of the Russians/Afraid we've got to fight

I'd like to go to space/Clean up rivers and lakes
Put everyone to work/ whatever it takes

But, I'm afraid of the Russians/I can't sleep at night
So afraid of the Russians/Afraid we've got to fight

They've got ships at sea/They've got missiles in the air
Tanks on the border of Europe/and spies everywhere/
--Made for TV

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rationality and Sex

Men are often accused of thinking with their winky, and behaving badly. Apparently women "think" with their.... well, other parts, also. The brain is overrated.

Reproduction expediting: Sexual motivations, fantasies, and the ticking biological clock

Judith Easton, Jaime Confer, Cari Goetz & David Buss
Personality and Individual Differences, forthcoming

Abstract: Beginning in their late twenties, women face the unique adaptive problem of declining fertility eventually terminating at menopause. We hypothesize women have evolved a reproduction expediting psychological adaptation designed to capitalize on their remaining fertility. The present study tested predictions based on this hypothesis—these women will experience increased sexual motivations and sexual behaviors compared to women not facing a similar fertility decline. Results from college and community samples (N = 827) indicated women with declining fertility think more about sex, have more frequent and intense sexual fantasies, are more willing to engage in sexual intercourse, and report actually engaging in sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups. These findings suggest women’s “biological clock” may function to shift psychological motivations and actual behaviors to facilitate utilizing remaining fertility.


The effect of a woman's incidental tactile contact on men's later behavior

Nicolas Guéguen
Social Behavior and Personality, Winter 2010, Pages 257-266

Abstract: Previous research has indicated that a light tactile contact is associated with a positive response towards the person who is touching. The effect of touch on courtship was investigated in this experiment, which was conducted in a field setting. A female confederate either slightly touched or did not touch a man in a bar when asking him for some help. It was found that men who were touched showed more interest toward the female confederate than when no touch occurred. It was also found that touch was associated with stronger courtship intentions by men. The importance of women's nonverbal patterns in the courtship context and the trend of men to misinterpret women's intent are proposed to explain these results.


I only have eyes for you: Ovulation redirects attention (but not memory) to
attractive men

Uriah Anderson, Elaine Perea, Vaughn Becker, Joshua Ackerman, Jenessa
Shapiro, Steven Neuberg & Douglas Kenrick
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract: A number of studies have found a disjunction between women’s attention to, and memory for, handsome men. Although women pay initial attention to handsome men, they do not remember those men later. The present study examines how ovulation might differentially affect these attentional and memory processes. We found that women near ovulation increased their visual attention to attractive men. However, this increased visual attention did not translate into better memory. Discussion focuses on possible explanations, in the context of an emerging body of findings on disjunctions between attention to, and memory for, other people.


Timing of Sexual Maturation and Women's Evaluation of Men

Stefan Belles, Wilfried Kunde & Roland Neumann
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, May 2010, Pages 703-714

Abstract: Many antecedents and consequences of an accelerated sexual maturation are associated with negative experiences with the opposite sex. Here we show a connection between menarcheal age, a salient sign of female sexual maturation, and the implicit attitude toward men in later adulthood. In Study 1, earlier age at first menstruation was associated with automatic negative evaluations of male faces but not female ones. Study 2 revealed a relationship between early age of menarche and an implicit association between the concepts male and danger. In Study 3, the earlier the menarche, the larger was the estimated egocentric distance of virtual male voices and the shorter the estimated distance of female voices. These results, obtained about a decade after onset of menstruation, suggest that apparently subtle differences in the onset of sexual maturation may have long-lasting implications for intersexual relationships.

(Nod to Kevin L)

Carnivores Tired of Getting Dissed

The "why else would people keep pigs?" line was the theme of one of my podcasts with Russ Roberts. Is it really better for ALL cows if NONE of them had ever lived? 'Cause nobody would keep them as pets.

(Nod to Angry Alex)

Supremes Decline Hearing for RNC v. FEC

The Supreme Court decides not to hear RNC v. FEC.

Leaving us in the bizarre situation that corporations have more political speech rights than parties. Regardless of how you view Cit Untd, that is strange.

G-bike gets pwnd!

I long for the days of Mungowitz in Germany, riding his inimitable, self decorated Gbike.

However, I think I've found a bike that tops it:

(click the pic for a larger and more glorious image)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kartik Artheya

Kartik Artheya makes a reasonable point, perhaps.

"Economics is hard. Really hard. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly hard it is. I mean you may think doing the Sunday Times crossword is difficult, but that's just peanuts to economics. And because it is so hard, people shouldn’t blithely go shooting their mouths off about it, and pretending like it’s so easy. In fact, we would all be better off if we just ignored these clowns.”

(Note: no link, because it was taken down. I heard about this from that cutie Will Wilkinson)
(UPDATE: Here is a link. Thanks, Angus!)

Though, to be fair to Angus and me, we rarely say what government or anyone else SHOULD do. Neither of us believes we really know that, and we are most skeptical of people who say they do know.

What we generally say is that what IS BEING DONE is pretty darned dumb. Kartik A is saying that what is BEING SAID is pretty darned dumb, too.

World Cup: Referees Shouldn't Be Part of the Game

La copa mundial... Some things to concede at the outset.

--Ghana p'wned the U.S. No way the U.S. could have won that game.
--If El Tri falls in a forest, and no one plays defense, does anybody hear it?
--England....Jeez, England was terrible. Not as bad as Les Bleus, or Il Azzurri, but bad.
--Brazil beat the bejeesus out of Chile. Sad. But not close.

Having said that, wtf?
--The referees? No golden balls, more like a golden shower, right on the games.
--The faking? These weenies make the Celtics' Paul Pierce look stoic and undemonstrative. Why in the world are there not more yellow cards for diving?
--Vuvuzelas. Really? Why?

I can see why futbol is so big in Europe and Latin America. Largely arbitrary, controlled by officials who are in no way accountable to anyone, yet who are remarkably incompetent and indifferent. Everyone constantly pretends to be a victim, and rolls around on the ground crying until they get a subsidy they don't deserve. And then they waste the free kick, just giving up the ball. And then they run around in random patterns, hoping that someone will get lucky and do some actual work, so we can all celebrate.

Wait, I need to update. Soccer is the perfect sport for Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. Congress.

UPDATE: Tommy the Brit posted this on his FB page. And got the following comment, from a fellow Brit:

I can see why "football" is so big in America - the black guys do all the work, the white guys have all the power, obesity is an advantage, and there are commercial breaks every five minutes...

We are Clean!

After a thorough investigation, the Munger 2008 Gov campaign can breathe a sigh of relief. There were no additional unreported donations of private jet rides to the campaign, the candidate, or its staff.

Partly because there were no donations of private jet rides.
Partly because there were no private jet rides.
Partly because there were no airplane rides. We used the thing called "the car."

Bev Perdue, the people's choice, had 42 unreported private plane rides donated to the campaign, as part of the $19 million she spent for a job that pays $130k. Pat McCrory spent less than half that.

Makes me wistful. Maybe someday I'll get someone to donate a trip in the air, so I can report it. Maybe something like this:

Soccer Shennanigans

If you think the 2010 FIBA world cup is whacky, you haven't seen anything! Check out this story about the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup:

There was an unusual match between Barbados and Grenada.

Grenada went into the match with a superior goal difference, meaning that Barbados needed to win by two goals to progress to the finals. The trouble was caused by two things. First, unlike most group stages in football competitions, the organizers had deemed that all games must have a winner. All games drawn over 90 minutes would go to sudden death extra time. Secondly and most importantly, there was an unusual rule which stated that in the event of a game going to sudden death extra time the goal would count double, meaning that the winner would be awarded a two goal victory.

Barbados was leading 2-0 until the 83rd minute, when Grenada scored, making it 2-1. Approaching the dying moments, the Barbadians realized they had no chance of scoring past Grenada's mass defense, so they deliberately scored an own goal to tie the game at 2-2. This would send the game into extra time and give them another half hour to break down the defense. The Grenadians realized what was happening and attempted to score an own goal as well, which would put Barbados back in front by one goal and would eliminate Barbados from the competition.

However, the Barbados players started defending their opposition's goal to prevent them from doing this, and during the game's last five minutes, the fans were treated to the incredible sight of Grenada trying to score in either goal. Barbados also defended both ends of the pitch, and held off Grenada for the final five minutes, sending the game into extra time. In extra time, Barbados notched the game-winner, and, according to the rules, was awarded a 4-2 victory, which put them through to the next round.

Here's a video summary:

Monopoly is Over-rated

When I was at the FTC, early in the Reagan administration, we had a test for whether an industry was a monopoly:

1. Rank the firms in the industry by size, from largest to smallest.
2. Now count the number of firms.
3. If the number is bigger than 1 it is NOT a monopoly.

Here is a slightly more sophisticated approach, but pretty much the same idea. Monopoly simply does not exist, outside of government action and a (very) few extraction industries such as diamonds.

SC Strikes Down Chicago Handgun Ban!

Yay! Supreme Court strikes down handgun ban. CNN reports it. BizWeek version.

The 2nd Amendment is finally incorporated, and with a strong personal liberty component. Guns are NOT for hunting. They are for personal protection, if the person chooses to purchase one and use it responsibly.

Russ Robert on FvH

Russ comes up big with the Hayek piece in WSJ. Do read it.

Oh! The Things That We Will Do!

A happy day. I had not seen this before.

An entire blog devoted to the intellectual hi-jinks of one P. Krugman, Nobel Laureate and PhD in economics. Here you go!

The cool thing about the title, "Krugman in Wonderland," is that it echoes the famous "Durham in Wonderland," which chronicled the lies and fabrications of the New York Times news staff, sports staff (take Selena Roberts, please), and editorial page, as well as the criminals who run the police force of Durham, regarding the Duke Lacrosse Hoax. Nice.

(Nod to L. Smith for the assist)

BP Spills Coffee

BP tries to handle coffee spill.

I like how the only woman is the only one who tries to do anything.

(Nod to G. Mankiw, via MJE)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My man BobLee has some thoughts about Raleigh's mayor.

What Mayor Meeker said: Members of the Wake County school board "are not from this area and do not share our values..."


Let me translate that for you: "Y'all Yankees git yer sorry, carpet-baggin' racist asses back on I-85, headed north, and don't even stop to pee 'til you hit South Hill"

The cool thing is that Mayor Meeker.... is... NOT... FROM... NORTH CAROLINA, and went to school in Connecticut. As we native southerners say, "Bless his heart."

As Bob Lee points out, Mayor Meeker's own WIFE is on that very school board that does not share "our" values.

People on the left only believe in democracy as long as the majority agrees with them. As soon as the majority shows a mind of its own, it's time to bring out the guns.

No Kid Can Resist a Mud Puddle


Wow, Joe B gets mad as easy as Bob Ethridge does.

The authoritarian streak among "progressives" is remarkable.

Still, it is easy to see why Joe Biden and the Obama admin generally have no sympathy for the tax burden on small businesses.

1. They themselves have never run anything, or had any job other than in "public service," where pretty much everything is done FOR you, not TO you.

2. They don't actually PAY taxes, as we found out in confirmation hearings over and over again. Taxes are for the little people, not for the titans of government.

(Nod to Angry Alex)

don't let our youth go to waste

Ah, France, where reality is optional. Thanks for this:

The front lines of the latest French protest against raising the retirement age revealed a remarkable sight: Not the slightest wrinkle, not a single gray hair.
Brandishing "Save our Pensions!" banners, students who haven't even entered the job market yet are already worried about what happens when they leave it.
Welcome to France, where workers' rights are so deeply entwined into the culture that even teenagers are unsettled about plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, which is still among the lowest in Europe. The reform protest brought nearly a million people out into the streets across the country Thursday.

and here is the belle of the ball:

Despite the protest's colored balloons and jovial atmosphere, Julie Mandelbaum, a 23-year-old geopolitics student from the prestigious Institut de Sciences Politiques, was not in a party mood.
Four years ago, she erected barricades in front of several French universities to stop a contentious work contract that would have made it easier for companies to hire — and fire — young workers. The government then abandoned the proposal.

Mandelbaum says the government should tax high wage-earners and banks instead to ensure there is enough money for pensions when she retires.

"Don't let the government squander away our pension!" she bellowed into her microphone, leading the march for France's main student union UNEF.

The wrong Weigel

Wake me up when the interweb blogging heads start discussing THIS Weigel:

How to succeed in soccer, or where's Vlade Divac when you really need him.

Consider this the equivalent of a 2,000 word essay: