I will be appearing Tom Hartman's show at 1:06 PM EDT. I am letting people know about this primarily because it should be pretty fun. I have never been on Air America before.

UPDATE: It has been lively and fun. Tom is holding me over for a second segment.

One listener writes:

"I am truly shocked that you believe that unbridled capitalism is a good idea. . . . ." Bob Hirst

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Appearing on Kudlow & Company on CNBC during the 5 to 6 PM EDT Hour

I will be on Larry Kudlow's show to talk about my new book. It should be fun. I will put up a note when I exact time is known.

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Herpes, not global warming, is killing off coral

This is weird, but funny. I suppose that environmentalists will still say that it doesn't matter because mankind is still responsible.

Corals get cold sores too. Only, for corals, a herpes virus infection isn’t just annoying. It can be lethal, . . . .

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Prediction on Bloomberg

I think that Bloomberg's entry into the race will greatly damage Republicans. It is true that Bloomberg is liberal and would surely be more likely to draw votes from the Democratic presidential candidate, but I think that view is too narrow. Bloomberg has recently indicated that he thinks that the country is going in the wrong direction and that things are getting worse. Personally, I don't see how someone who has actually looked at the economic numbers can claim that, but what I think all this means is that Bloomberg will be spending say $500 million on television ads saying how bad things are. Bloomberg might not get many votes (the ideal state for Democrats), but he may be able to depress voters in enough key states to push down the Republican vote. There is no way that the Republicans can raise enough money to compete with this message beging put out by Bloomberg, let alone with what Bloomberg and the Dems will be putting out together. I hope that I am wrong. Overall, however, I think that this means that a higher premium than usual is going to be placed on a candidate who can effectively communicate his positions and someone who comes across as very positive. This probably pushes me to support Fred Thompson even more strongly than I alread do.

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Concealed Handgun Permit Holder Stops Robbers

Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Seniors feel safer when they carry gun"

May be things are starting to change when you see articles like this in a paper such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Even at 69 years old, Russ Geis has enough vitality to bike through Stark County's remote nature trails.

He said the .380-caliber handgun on his handlebars will ensure he's doing it at 70.

Geis is among a growing number of seniors licensed to carry a concealed firearm. Because of the way the state collects such information, it's hard to determine exactly what portion of concealed-carry permit holders are 60 or older. However, some local permit data and anecdotal information indicate they have steadily packed heat since the state's concealed-carry law passed in 2004.

"You are out in a park, riding a bicycle trail and all of a sudden you're confronted by a drug addict who would kill you for $5," Geis said. "Are you going to sit there and say, 'Boy, I hope the police show up?'

"Having a concealed weapon today is more to my advantage than it perhaps would've been when I was 30 years old.". . . .

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Reviewing Critical Readers' Responses to My Op-ed at OpinionJournal.com on Abortion

The responses to my op-ed piece at OpinionJournal.com were pretty balanced and can be seen here.

Let me just respond to a few of the critiques:

1) Malarkey
Roger Bleier - Houston
This article makes no argument whatsoever for an interrelationship between the various statistical trends cited. In so many words, it simply implies that there is one. I guess nowadays one can write a whole book similarly premised.

Response: The arguments in the piece are based on one paper that I published in Economic Inquiry (See here for an early version of the paper). The evidence that I find on out-of-wedlock births as a result of abortion is based upon state level statistical study. My book Freedomnomics also provides some additional discussion on this point.

2) The Economics of Subsidies
George Marcom - League City, Texas
Mr. Lott has neglected to address the key factor in the increase of illegitimate births and single-parent families: subsidization. Our vast safety net of social programs enables this problem. If you want more of anything--be it cotton, rice, sugar cane, or ethanol--subsidize it and you will get more.

Sadly, the very social welfare programs we have adopted to ease the misery of the single mother have enabled this explosion if "illegitimacy," and have seriously eroded the nuclear family.

Response: This was the main reason that I wrote: "While not all of this rise can be attributed to liberalized abortion rules, it was nevertheless a key contributing factor." I agree that there are other important factors, such as the one you mention, and I definitely do not think that the evidence supports the claim that abortion is the only factor.

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New Op-ed FoxNews.com: Death as Deterrence

My Study Makes the Drudge Report

"'You're fired,' man hears after saving a woman's life"

When a neighbor screamed she'd been shot, Colin Bruley grabbed his shotgun, found the victim and began treating her bloodied right leg.

Tonnetta Lee survived Tuesday's pre-dawn shooting at her Jacksonville apartment, and her sister and a neighbor praised Bruley's actions. But his employers, the same people who own the Arlington complex where Bruley lives, reacted differently. They fired him.

Bruley, a leasing agent at the Oaks at Mill Creek, said he lost his job after being told that brandishing the weapon was a workplace violation, as was failing to notify supervisors after the incident occurred. He'd worked at the Monument Road complex since December and for the owner, Village Green Cos., since 2005. . . .

Some other members of the media are starting to pick up on this story.

Yes, Bruley may have deviated from protocol -- but he did so in an emergency situation. He put the life of his neighbor -- who was also his client -- ahead of his own safety. Which raises the question: Isn't this the kind of person any company would want as an employee?

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These new voting rules are what is insane

“I just think if you are declared insane you should not be allowed to vote, period,” said Joseph DeLorenzo, chairman of the Cranston Board of Canvassers. “Some people are taking these two clowns and calling them disabled persons. Is insanity a disability? I have an answer to that: no. You’re insane; you’re nuts.”

Rhode Island is among a growing number of states grappling with the question of who is too mentally impaired to vote. The issue is drawing attention for two major reasons: increasing efforts by the mentally ill and their advocates to secure voting rights, and mounting concern by psychiatrists and others who work with the elderly about the rights and risks of voting by people with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

This summer, recommendations for national standards will be released by a group of psychiatrists, lawyers and others led by the American Bar Association, suggesting that people be prevented from voting only if they cannot indicate, with or without help, “a specific desire to participate in the voting process.” . . . .

Is this real? "prevented from voting only if they cannot indicate, with or without help, 'a specific desire to participate in the voting process.'" So someone who is insane enough not to be held responsible for murder is sane enough to vote?

How much help can be given? So as long as someone who is obsessed with say mutulating women is able to express with "help" that he wants to vote, that is OK?



Audio from interview Dennis Miller Radio Show

The audio of my interview from the Dennis Miller Radio show can be found here.

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Op-ed in tomorrow's OpinionJournal.com

I think that this is a pretty important piece: It's Not Enough to Be 'Wanted': Illegitimacy has risen despite--indeed, because of--legal abortion. The article is based upon my new book Freedomnomics and a research paper that I have just published in April in Economic Inquiry.

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Bizarre Zero Tolerance on Guns

According to public school teachers at this Rancho Palos Verdes, California school, tiny plastic toy soldiers apparently represent a real threat to public safety.

Who knew a 2-inch toy army man could cause such a stir?

A fifth-grade promotion ceremony in Rancho Palos Verdes turned into a free-speech battleground Thursday, when students were asked to remove weapons from toys that had been placed on mortarboard caps because of the school's zero-tolerance policy for weapons on campus.

Each year, students decorate wide caps with princesses, football goal posts, zebras, guitars and other items to express their personalities and career goals. Cornerstone at Pedregal School is the only Palos Verdes Peninsula public school to practice the tradition.

On Thursday, before the ceremony, one boy was told he couldn't participate unless he agreed to clip off the tips of the plastic guns carried by the minuscule GIs on his cap. Ten others complied with the order before the event.

Parents reacted angrily, calling Principal Denise Leonard's decision censorship, but the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District defended her.

Cole McNamara and Austin Nakata, 11-year-old buddies who share an interest in all things military, said they put the toys on their hats to support American troops in Iraq.

"I was kind of mad because they just went over and clipped them off and didn't say anything about it," Austin said.

His father, Glen Nakata, said he was disappointed that parents were not approached or consulted on elimination of the "firearms."

"I felt they were keeping the boys from expressing their patriotism, their strong beliefs toward the military," he said. . . . .

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Only about 7 percent of private sector workers are now unionized

In the 1950s, 35% of private-sector workers belonged to unions; only about 7% do today.

The economics point here is pretty simple. You raise the price of something (labor through unionization) and people demand less of it. Sometimes the adjustment takes a long time, but it still occurs.

I recommend that people read the entire piece because John Fund does a great job of discussing the Employee Free Choice Act, where 30 percent of workers (some possibly because of union intimidation) can sign a statement that determines whether the entire company is unionized.


Drinking Coffee Could Prevent Blindness

Yet more reviews of Freedomnomics

Michigan: Permit holders extremely law abiding

Concealed weapon license holders are some of the most law abiding citizens in our state [Michigan]. Over the past five years 203,051 concealed weapon permits have been issued in Michigan and only 671 licenses have been revoked. That equals less than one percent (actually .34%) of all issued licenses that have been revoked.

As a State Representative I was elected to pass laws which protect the citizens of Michigan. That is why I introduced House Bill 4759 into the Michigan House of Representatives on May 15, 2007. This legislation would eliminate the above nine safe zones for all concealed weapon license holders. . . .

Note that this seems to include revocations for all reasons. My guess is that revocation for gun related violations is less than even one percent of this rate.

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