Impossible to believe news: Ann Coulter accused of plagarism

27 people injured by elderly man driving a car through a crowd

Car Drives Into Crowd at Connecticut Festival, Injuring 27

These headline always strike me as a little wierd in that it seems to imply that the car did this on its own. Two of these 27 people from this tragedy are apparently in very serious condition and it is not yet clear what will happen with them. It is ironic that the article has an advertisement for "AARP Auto Insurance," but there is no discussion in the article about allowing elderly people to drive. It seems to me that several of these cases recently involve older drivers. One exception was the case in North Carolina where a Muslim used his SUV to attack non-Muslims. In any case, could one imagine the news coverage if a gun had been used to wound 27 people?

Some neat water pistols

Are metal bats riskier than wood bats?


Mexican Election Debate Continues

Despite what I wrote in yesterday's piece at NRO, it still seems that you can convince people that an election has been stolen when it is in their interest to claim it.

But Mr Calderón, a 43-year-old former energy minister in President Vicente Fox’s current administration, says opening up the boxes would break electoral law and could invalidate the entire election. In an FT interview this week, Mr Calderón said that a full manual recount was “totally out of the question. Not only that but it is illegal.”

Most legal experts agree, though some argue that the constitution is flexible enough to allow a recount, given the exceptional circumstances. The problem for Mr Calderón is that he faces the prospect of taking office on December 1 with millions of voters believing that he did not win fairly.

In the meantime, many Mexicans believe that Saturday afternoon’s rally in the Zócalo could be just the first – and, perhaps, most peaceful – manifestation of growing social unrest.

Even if you are talking about only 10 percent or so of Obrador's supporters who believe that there is fraud and the election should be challenged (about the number that I saw in a recent poll), that is still millions of people.

UN Gun control report

Details of the UN's gun control report can be found here. I haven't looked through the report yet, but it doesn't look good.

Well, the UN Conference broke down without passing anything.

A U.N. meeting meant to expand a five-year-old crackdown on the illicit global trade in small arms ended in chaos on Friday as delegates ran out of time without reaching agreement on a plan for future action.

"There was a total meltdown at the end. You don't know if it was a conspiracy or just a screw-up," said one delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other delegates said negotiations had simply proceeded too slowly, leaving too much to accomplish on the last day.

But Rebecca Peters of the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms accused governments of letting a few states "hold them all hostage and to derail any plans which might have brought any improvements in this global crisis.

This might be a temporary victory for those who want to be able to protect themselves and their families, but it is a win nonetheless.

Thanks to Brian O'Connor for this last link.


Indiana starts granting lifetime concealed handgun permits

Indiana is the first state in the nation to offer residents lifetime handgun permits under a new law that went into effect this month -- a move hailed by Second Amendment supporters and blasted by gun-control advocates.

The law, which also increases the cost of obtaining or renewing a four-year license, went on the books Saturday. The change is expected to bring in more money to the state and the Indiana State Police.

State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell announced details of House Enrolled Act 1176 at a news conference Wednesday, saying the law will streamline the process to get a permit for law-abiding gun owners. His agency oversees the issuance of permits.

Residents do not need a permit to buy handguns or other firearms but must have one to carry or transport a pistol. State Police officials said Indiana has about 288,000 active handgun permits. Permits are good for four years, but now gun owners have the option of obtaining a lifetime permit instead. . . .

"Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called the law 'ludicrous.'"

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending this to me.

Media Bias: Misreporting on the economy

What we can learn from Mexicon on holding elections

Gunlocks endanger lives


Rankings of economists

For whatever it is worth, there are recent rankings of economists. The rankings examines economists from 1969 to 2000. There are four UCLA Ph.D.'s noted on the list: Ross Levine, Guido Tabellini, Bob Topel, and myself. Personally, I am honored to even be roughly on the same list as these three guys. Based on that ranking in terms of total academic journal output adjusted for quality of the journals I am ranked during that period of time as 26th (obviously I didn't get my Ph.D. until 1984 so that works to lower my rating relative to older economists, still I am surprisingly ahead of older well-known economists such as Robert Barro (Harvard), Ed Lazear (Stanford), and Peter Diamond (MIT) (see Table 8)). In terms of raw number of equivalent size pages in academic journals, I am 4th among all economists worldwide. Based upon citations during the 1969 to 2000 period I am 86th (putting me slightly ahead of older people such as John Roberts (Stanford), Ben Bernanke (Princeton, now head of the Federal Reserve), and Oliver Hart (MIT) (see Table 9)).

Thanks to Butch Browning for bringing this to my attention.

Mexican Stock Market Says PAN Candidate Won

Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

Just wishing everyone a happy 4th of July Weekend! Enjoy the fireworks and be safe.