University Cancels Final Exams Because of Bomb Threats
School officials decided to take action after groundskeepers found two plastic bottles that possibly contained flammable liquid near a burning palm tree outside the Life Sciences building around 5:25 a.m., said campus Police Chief Mike Lane. . . .
Putting partially aside the fact that this bomb was pretty trivial, do you really want to give people an incentive to get final exams canceled by threatening to set off a bomb.
Another Review of Freedomnomics
I don't argue that the liberalization of abortion increases the number of wanted kids. What I argue is that it increased the number of single parent families, with all the well known problems in raising children there compared to a two parent family. It is an empirical question whether the reduction in the number of "unwanted" children as a result of more abortions is offset by liberalizing abortion rules increasing the number of single parent families. The book lays out why there is an increase in out-of-wedlock births and single parent families.
Some of the bigger radio interviews this week
Monday, June 18
11:15 AM-11:45 AM Radio Dennis Miller Show (Nationally Syndicated) -- Miller is a very unique host. He is incredibly laidback, and I love the way that he cracks jokes during the interviews.
6:20 PM-6:50 PM Radio Lars Larson (Nationally Syndicated)
Tuesday, June 19
11:15 AM-11:35 AM Radio Laura Ingraham (Nationally Syndicated)
4:00 PM-4:30 PM Ave Maria Radio, nationwide
Wednesday, June 20
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Radio USA Radio Network Kerby Anderson
Thursday, June 21
1:06 PM-1:17 PM Radio Tom Hartman (Nationally Syndicated)
Apparently Hospital Food in Britain is Much Worse than in Canada
Online discussions that I am having regarding Freedomnomics chapter 1
Rationing in British Health Care
Scaring Kids about Global Warming
This is a very distrubing, though not a very surprising story, about how public school senselessly terrify children about the world being destroyed. Can't kids be kids without being put in the middle of a political battle?
Such a warming of the ocean is fuel for more severe hurricanes such as Katrina. Katrina was only a Category 1 storm when it crossed Florida. It became a monster storm by feeding off the extremely warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.
Boy, this is new. This is obviously the first time that there has been relatively warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.
"On record," gives people the impression that this is the highest temperature ever. What they mean is over the last 140 years, and there are real issues about how temperatures have been measured over that time period. World temperatures have in fact been significantly higher than today's over many periods of time in the past.
Red State reviews pharmaceutical price control discussion in Freedomnomics
Schwarzenegger gets into trouble for this?
Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria, recently told a group of Hispanic journalists that immigrants should stay away from Spanish-language television, books and newspapers.
"You've got to turn off the Spanish television set," Schwarzenegger said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, Calif. "You're just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster."
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., called the governor's advice a "typical sound bite solution to an important issue," said Jim Dau, a spokesman for Sanchez.
Sanchez said immigrants face the challenge of taking an ESL course because of long lines and up to a three-year wait to get into a class.
A Hispanic advocacy group said Schwarzenegger's comments show his "ignorance on immigration issues." . . . .
Is Sanchez saying that these immigrants can only learn English if the government provides it? Possibly if they followed Schwarzenegger's advice, they wouldn't have to rely so much on the government program.
UPDATE: Here is a video of Arnold and Neil Cavuto discussing it here.
John Fund on Pork Barrel Spending
Even some Democrats were stunned earlier this month when House Appropriations Chairman David Obey unilaterally decreed that pork projects would henceforth be "airdropped" into conference reports once appropriations bills pass the House and Senate. By circumventing rules designed to allow earmarks to be challenged on the House floor as bills come up, House Democrats were setting "a new standard for secrecy and subterfuge," complained Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, the chief earmark scourge of Capitol Hill. . . . .
Brendan Miniter adds this interesting insight:
That letter came back to haunt Ms. Pelosi as her new Democratic House gutted these reforms and was getting ready this week to pass eleven spending bills to fund the government in the forthcoming fiscal year -- and, oh, also slip an estimated 32,000 earmarks into law. Under a new rule enacted last month, Appropriations Chairman David Obey would have been able to certify a particular bill "earmark free" even if it's full of pork-barrel special projects. Another rule barred members from objecting to a particular earmark on the House floor if it's part of a larger bill that itself contains a list of its earmarks. This applied even if the list is inaccurate and even if the earmark in question is not on the list. (The same rule recently enabled Rep. John Murtha, chairman of a defense appropriations subcommittee, to quash a Republican attempt to stop spending on an unneeded "drug intelligence" center in his district.) . . . .
Oil Company Greed Responsible for higher Gas Prices
As you may know, gas prices have been rising over the last year and the average price of regular gas for your car is about $3.50 a gallon in some areas. Who or what do you think is the main reason for the higher gasoline prices these days: Is it the Bush administration, or the oil exporting countries, or the U.S. oil industry, or supply and demand, or environmental regulations, or is there another reason for the higher gasoline prices?
U.S. oil industry (gouging, greed, profits) 38%
Bush administration 21%
Supply and Demand (market forces) 12%
Oil exporting countries 10%
Environmental regulations 5%
No one / No one thing in particular 1%
Don’t know 4%
Source: Bloomberg / Los Angeles Times
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,183 American adults, conducted from Jun. 7 to Jun. 10, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
Bizarre Government Regulation: Dems going after one particular company
The legislation would require publicly-traded partnerships to be treated as corporations for federal tax purposes. Under current law, income distributions for many private-equity funds are taxed at the capital-gains rates of 15% -- well below the top corporate tax rate of 35%. . . .
What is the point of imposing a 20 percentage point higher tax rate on a company just because it is publicly traded? Here you have only one company that this legislation could possibly be aimed at.
Vaclav Klaus Sets the record straight on global warming
The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence. . . .
Talk at New York Young Republican Club on Thursday
UPDATE: This talk was fun and there was a lively question and answer period after the talk. It was also nice to meet some of the people there: such as Daniel Peterson (the club's president) and Simone Mele (with the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and who lead off with the first question).
John Fund on Democrats Discouraging Investigations in Vote Fraud
For months, since the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys sparked a mini scandal, Democrats have insisted that the president has improperly politicized the Justice Department. Specifically, the accusation is that, under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, DOJ has pursued a political agenda by enforcing laws to curb voter fraud.
Last week, Judiciary Committee Democrats held a hearing aimed in part at discrediting a 2005 Justice lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to cull ineligible voters from its rolls. But while the Missouri case was thrown out by a district judge, similar Justice lawsuits in Indiana and New Jersey led to voter rolls being cleaned up. . . . .
Ben Wittes on Ditching the Second Amendment
It's not hard to see where the anger comes from. The two-to-one decision by the famously conservative Judge Laurence Silberman is, indeed, radical. Consider the following:
• The "central object" of the Second Amendment "is to arm 'We the People' so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. ... [T]he amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification. ... That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right ... on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in defense of themselves and their homes."
• "For too long, most members of the legal academy have treated the Second Amendment as the equivalent of an embarrassing relative, whose mention brings a quick change of subject to other, more respectable, family members. That will no longer do. It is time for the Second Amendment to enter full scale into the consciousness of the legal academy."
• While at the Founding, the Second Amendment may have embodied a "collective" right, after the Civil War amendments, the constitutional landscape changed dramatically, and "gun-toting was individualistic, accentuating not group rights of the citizenry but self-regarding 'privileges' of discrete 'citizens' to individual self-protection."
Radical stuff, indeed. But there's a big problem with blasting Silberman for entertaining the notion that the people's right to "keep and bear arms" may actually include an individual right to, well, keep or bear a gun in the District of Columbia: None of these words actually come from his opinion. All, in fact, were written by esteemed liberal law professors. . . . . .
Another Review of Freedomnomics
This is a very nice and thorough review of the book. I need to apologize to Larry for not citing his related research when I discussed the paper by Tollison and coauthors.
Repeal the Second Amendment?
Wittes, who said he has "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of a gun culture," said that rather than try to limit gun ownership through regulation that potentially violates the Second Amendment, opponents of gun ownership should set their sights on repealing the amendment altogether.
"Rather than debating the meaning of the Second Amendment, I think the appropriate debate is whether we want a Second Amendment," Wittes said. He conceded, however, that the political likelihood of getting the amendment repealed is "pretty limited."
Wittes said the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms meant more when it was crafted more than 200 years ago than it does today. Modern society is "much more ambivalent than they [the founders] were about whether gun ownership really is fundamental to liberty," he said. . . . . .
UPDATE: Ben Wittes was nice enough to write me and point out that this was indeed not Randy's argument. Ben writes me that "His comments about the dangers of the intellectual arguments against the Second Amendment came not in response to my arguments about repeal but in response to the idea of judicial interpretation that renders the amendment a nullity. His point was that the same intellectual and doctrinal strategies used by gun control supporters in arguing against the individual rights view of the amendment could easily be deployed against any other provision of individual right in the Constitution. While I assume he disagreed with my call for a repeal, I don't believe he addressed the merits of it at all."
New Haven Citizens Launch Armed Patrols
They made the announcement Monday afternoon at Yeshiva of New Haven (aka The Gan School) on Elm Street. They plan to begin patrolling Monday evening in two-person teams wearing "Edgewood Park Defense Patrol" T-shirts and carrying concealed, licensed firearms.
The patrols are scheduled to run from 6 to 10 p.m. daily in the area bounded by Norton Street, Edgewood Avenue, and West Park and Whalley Avenues.
That's the neighborhood where Greer's organization has rehabilitated 40 old-style New Haven houses and planted 450 trees over the past 18 years. It surrounds the old Roger Sherman School, which Greer's organization converted into an Orthodox Jewish school. The organization has also worked with neighbors to combat prostitution in the area, instituting a successful "John of the Week" effort which featured pinched patrons' names on flyers.
"We are unwilling to give up," Greer said at Monday's announcement in a classroom on the school's second floor. . . . ..
Gas price conspiracy? Revisited
Most Americans Oppose Stricter Gun Control Laws
Does the United States need stricter gun control laws?
Will stricter gun control laws increase or reduce violent crime?
No impact 40%
Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on May 29 and May 30, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
More Reviews of Freedomnomics
King Banian's review of my book concludes that "students of economics inside and outside classrooms will learn some great stories to explain that markets actually work rather well." It was nice of King to have me on his radio show this past Saturday.
Colorado Sheriff Discusses Problem with Gun Free Zone
Listen to Michael Medved's interview with me
Aging in Japan
Kenneth Sokoloff Passed away last month
This is very sad news. Ken was always an interesting person. I took him for American Economic History while I was a student at UCLA. I also had many chances to interact with him. It wasn't what I would call warm and friendly conversations (even when we would have him over to our apartment for dinner a couple of times) and he was often quite critical of my work, especially my dissertation on indoctrination which upset him greatly, but I valued his comments and I enjoyed arguing things with him. Indeed, I can only think of one paper of mine that he gave an unreserved positive comment on -- my work with Larry Kenny on the impact of women's suffrage on the growth of government. He was a smart guy, who sufferred great health problems during much of his life. I always felt very sorry for him, but I admired his determination.
Something for those not yet wary of following the latest medical research
Things started going south for this romance 13 years ago when a Finnish study of 29,000 male smokers showed a higher rate of lung cancer in men who took beta-carotene and vitamin E and, more shockingly, found that those who took beta-carotene had an 8 percent higher risk of death from all causes. Two years later, an American study reported similar findings for beta-carotene. I've never been a smoker, but a red flag is a red flag. Out went the beta-carotene. . . . .
Freedomnomics: Radio interviews that are set up for this coming Monday
7:15 AM-7:30 AM Radio WMT Cedar Rapids, IA
8:35 AM-9:00 AM Radio KRCS Midland, TX
10:00 AM-10:30 AM Radio WLW Cincinatti, OH (Also Syndicated)
11:15 AM-11:40 AM Radio KRMS-AM Osage Beach, MO
12:07 PM-12:30 PM Radio WDAY Fargo, ND
2:35 PM-3:05 PM Radio WMUZ Detroit, MI
4:09 PM-4:28 PM Radio WIBA Madison, WI
5:10 PM-5:30 PM Radio: Jerry Doyle ( Nationally Syndicated)
6:15 PM-6:40 PM Radio WTKF Morehead City, NC