Saturday, November 06, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

K-Olbermann Favors Dems over Repubs! Who Knew?

This is garbage. You can watch Olbermann, or not watch him. But why in the world should he be prevented from making small, fully disclosed contributions well within the law? MSNBC donates millions of dollars in free air time to shill for Dems, just as Fox donates tens of millions of dollars in free air time for Repubs.

As Angus and I might have said in college....why can't we just all get a baung?

K-Wine on T-Cow

K-wine over at IPE@UNC does a nice job of summarizing the Cowen talk yesterday. Here is his post.

One nice touch was that Kindred tweeted about the talk, during the talk, and got a question tweeted back. He asked it, and the answer was interesting. How 2010 of you, Kindred!

Oklahoma is OK!

Some pix from my visit to OK for the KPC Summit meeting.
First, U of OK Prez David Boren wants to be sure he is not forgotten, even before he is gone. So he claimed a prime niche for his little statue (circled) on the admin building. Beautiful building, though.

Then, the main library reading room. This pic doesn't do it justice. It's breathtaking, "prairie Gothic."

Very nice campus, terrific little "college town" strip of restaurants and bars within easy walking distance. Great place.

Tagline contest update

People, we've received 10s of entries, many of them excellent. We'll accept entries through the weekend, with a winner announced on Monday. I have designed and ordered a custom Starbucks gift card that goes to the winner.

Thanks again and keep 'em coming!

November 5th

In honor of Guy's day, the speech from V for Vendetta.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The best column I've read this week

Jeffrey Goldberg chronicles his battles with the "dick-measuring device".

You really must read the whole thing, but here is a teaser:

"Yes, but starting tomorrow, we're going to start searching your crotchal area" -- this is the word he used, "crotchal" -- and you're not going to like it."

"What am I not going to like?" I asked.

"We have to search up your thighs and between your legs until we meet resistance," he explained.

"Resistance?" I asked.

"Your testicles," he explained.

'That's funny," I said, "because 'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles."

Finally the TSA has done something useful; provided fodder for an awesome article.

Big Doings

September and October were the highest traffic months in KPC history, so Mungo and I would like to thank the KPC nation for their patronage.

As you know we have a rotating tagline below our nameplate (currently contributed by Mr. F. Zappa), but now we want you to choose / create our new tagline!

That's right, it's our first ever "tag KPC" contest.*

Winner gets immortalized on our masthead along with an awesome, custom KPC gift card from Starbucks (really!). Send your entries via Twitter, Facebook, or email to Angus (my email is available through my Blogger profile page), and thanks again to all of you.

*KPC employees and relatives of employees are ineligible. The decision of the judges will be final. Void where prohibited.

Obama = Keynesian

I had heard about this, but had not actually seen it.

And then yesterday @kohenari got all pissy on Twitter about how the political left is not anti-intellectual. Maybe, but some of you people sure are dumb, Ari. Also, check the guy in the Hitler outfit. Nice.

(Nod to Angry Alex)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Many Analysts, All of Them Wrong

A number of us opined about what happened in NC in the election.

But I don't buy the explanation given by my colleagues. The fact is that 7 out of 8 incumbent Dems at the US House level won their races. But there was huge turnover in the state house and senate races, AND Richard Burr won reelection by a country mile.

So how do you get an explanation that says national swing, huge Republican tide, corrupt state legislature....except for pretty much all the Democratic members of Congress won, most of them by 5% or more.

Doesn't make sense. I think my colleagues should just admit they have no freakin' clue, which is what I did. Because my ego strong, like bull, can admit when wrong, predict better next time, that sort of thing...

In Counting There Is Strength

Cool. The Dems still control the state apparatus here in NC, and they are going to try to steal the Ethridge seat. And who's to stop them? After all, in counting there is strength...
(Click for more bodacious image)
It will be Al Franken "winning" Wisconsin in 2008 all over again.

D-Zet Rulz!

David Zetland, after 40 months in the wilderness (longer, actually) finally crosses the Public Choice Jordan and reaches the promised land.

Well done, lad! It's a pleasure to work with you!

No habla Sharia

I will sleep much easier now knowing that my fellow Okies have seen fit to amend our state constitution to (1) make English the official state language, and (2) outlaw the practice of Sharia law inside our borders.

Let this message serve as fair warning to all you Spanish-speaking Taliban: Get the hell out and stay the hell out!

The Culture that is Singapore

The Boston Globe breaks it down for us:

"More than 80% of Singapore's population lives in public housing, in buildings designed to government specifications. And Singapore's government ensures that every apartment building mirrors the country's ethnic mix, with Chinese, Malays, and Indians living as neighbors in proportion to their share of the population - 77%, 14%, and 8% respectively."

Lets see here, Singapore's population is around 5 million, so 80% of that is 4 million. Shall we assume 1000 persons per building? So 4,000 government owned, government designed buildings each with 770 Chinese, 140 Malays and 80 Indians (somehow I lost 10 people!)?

That's just plain crazy, innit? Keep it in mind the next time you hear someone comparing some other country unfavorably to Singapore. The Singapore model has a lot of unsavory trappings.

Culture and Humor: Guest Post by Richard Fulmer

A guest post....

Alas, Poor Yorick: The Jester in the Dock
by Richard W. Fulmer

In his short but thought provoking book, Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged, British philosopher Roger Scruton offers a critique of multiculturalism. He begins his analysis by asserting that a culture is largely a bundle of judgments – subjective beliefs about what is beautiful, what is art, what is appropriate or inappropriate, and what is or is not funny. Scruton goes on to explore the value of such cultural judgments by examining laughter.
To illustrate his arguments, I offer a thought experiment. First, imagine someone attempting to amuse his friends with the old “Why did the chicken cross the road?” riddle. Very likely the attempt will fall flat, and the stale punch line will not elicit even a groan.

Now suppose that we give the riddle a twist, answering it as a person from history might. For example, Adam Smith: “It was moved as if by an invisible hand.” Thomas Jefferson: “It was in the course of chicken events.” Sigmund Freud: “The chicken witnessed the sex act as an egg.” Likely, the revised versions will receive more positive responses.

Finally, let’s change the riddle again, this time replacing the word “chicken” with a derogatory epithet for a member of an ethnic, religious, or racial minority, and basing the punch line on a negative stereotype of the targeted group. What response could the joke teller expect? Well, if he were a participant in a Ku Klux Klan rally, the reaction might be quite positive. On the other hand, if he were a Harvard professor regaling his peers in the faculty lounge, the response might very well be shocked silence, frozen faces, and demands for his resignation. (I base the latter prediction on the response Larry Summers received for uttering - not a politically incorrect joke - but a politically incorrect fact, namely that that men tend to do better on standardized math tests than do women.)

Why should these three sets of jokes fare so differently? If we believe, as multiculturalism demands, that all cultures are equally valid, the response to each joke should be precisely the same. Each should be greeted with appreciative laughter based on the sympathetic understanding that the teller is trying to entertain us with a joke that is, according to his culture, amusing. One cannot react negatively without insinuating that he judges his own culture superior to that of the teller.
Yet the Harvard professors’ predicted response, if accurate, would seem to suggest that they do consider the Harvard culture to be superior to the Klan’s. This, despite the fact that a majority of the Harvard faculty almost certainly believes in multiculturalism’s fundamental tenet that all cultures are created equal. Their belief, however, would not stop them from attempting to ruin a fellow faculty member’s career for offending their own subjective cultural judgments (as it did not stop them in Larry Summers’ case).

In defense of Harvard professors, might we believe it possible that there may actually be objective standards by which jokes can be judged? Might we muster the courage to assert that a joke that demeans others is objectively inferior to one that merely amuses? Having conceded so much, might we even go so far as to venture that a culture based on love of knowledge and wisdom is superior to one based on hatred and coercive repression of minorities?

I only pose these as questions, of course, lest I be thought judgmental....

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Second Stimulus?

The end of a bromance

My favorite basketball player for a long time was Shaquille O'Neil. Then I read this blogpost (which I got from Shaq's twitter account) on "10 Fun Facts about Shaquille."

Consider #4: "My best NBA moment was scoring 61 points in a game against the LA Clippers."

This from a man with 3 rings and 2 finals MVPs? Really? Going Barry Switzer on the Clips is the highlight of your career? Not winning a title in Miami after getting run out of LA?

It also appears that one of us does not know what Top Ramen is.

Midterm Election Rock

Midterm Elections: Daily Show Rock

Problem: Your vote matters even LESS in Prez elections.

Still, pretty good stuff....

(Nod and much love to Dan Lee, at Mich State U)

Do Three Rights Make a Left?

KPC friend Shirley R writes from cold Rhode Island, on voting day:

Well up and dressed. waiting for more light to go on my way to vote. Middle school, 3 rights to get there and a right to get home. Made for me.

Um...what? Then I remembered: Shirley does NOT like to turn left.

Fortunately, the "three rights" maneuver, going the long way around the block, got her safely to the voting place. Thirty minutes later, this update:

That was easy and quick. All rights get me there and home... It was [quite] cold!

Get out there and vote, people, or else get out there and gloat about NOT voting! Either way, it's a big day...

Der Spiegel article on US

Der Spiegel article on the demise of the US.

I have to admit, I just don't get it. So let's play the grand game...


(Nod to the amazing Mr. Fox)

'lection day

Hello people. Election days always make me melancholy. People get so worked up and excited about who is going to "take power" and "govern us". People get so worked up about ballot initiatives telling other people what they can and cannot do.

I just hang out, keep a low profile, and hope for some anarchy.

So please consider (a) voting Libertarian, or Green or some other alternative, (b) going the creative write-in route, (c) spoiling your ballot (I absolutely LOVE that term), or (d) not voting at all.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Will Supreme Court Grant Cert in Manhattan Eminent Domain Case? (Story) (Nod to J-Wo)

What did the Porkulus actually "multiply"? (Story) (Nod to Angry Alex)

The Dems think no one appreciates them. The Dems are right. (Story) (Again, thx to Angry Alex)

So you think the little fishies are cooperating? Not so much... It's actually a straightforward PD problem: If all the little fish would scatter at the same moment, most would escape, because there are so many and the predators are few. But if I expect YOU to take off, I should stay in the ball. One or two fish trying to escape will be caught. And if I expect you to stay in the ball...I should STILL stay in the ball.
(Nod to E-New)

Okies out in front of the curve

From the LA Times:

As the country grapples with its worst economic downturn in decades and persistent unemployment, voters in Oklahoma next week will take up another issue — whether they should pass a constitutional amendment outlawing Sharia, or Islamic law.

Supporters of the initiative acknowledge that they do not know of a single case of Sharia being used in Oklahoma, which has only 15,000 Muslims.

"Oklahoma does not have that problem yet," said Republican state Rep. Rex Duncan, the author of the ballot measure, who says supporters in more than a dozen states are ready to place similar initiatives before voters in 2012. "But why wait until it's in the courts?"

Are my fellow Okies so unconfident in the power of their religions that they foresee an imminent Islamic takeover? Will Sooner football games soon be stopped for mass prayers at the appointed hours? Will Van's Pig Stand shutter its succulent doors forever?

Or is the Oklahoma State Legislature just bats*&#t crazy?

DING-DING-DING! We have a winner!

"Nudge" and the university

The University of Missouri-KC has an *awesome* idea for getting more candidates for University committee slots: Put everyone on electronic ballots unless they go on line and opt out!

"According to Daniel P. Hopkins, an associate professor of geosciences and the previous chairman, "The faculty is extremely busy and stressed," and unwilling to spend time on administrative duties like deciding each major's academic requirements and reviewing the college's budget. "The idea that someone should be asked to run for an office that they don't want is, on the face of it, crazy," he says, but it was the only way to fill the posts.

Since 2009, faculty members have been expected to log on to see which positions they were eligible for and, if they chose, to remove their names from consideration. Professors who logged on to the Web site but did not remove their names were assumed to be willing to serve. Those who did not log on at all were also listed, but voters were warned that the candidates' willingness to serve was uncertain."

Well, if it's the only way, then I guess it's OK!