Apparence on Dennis Prager Show on Monday

Dennis Prager is nice enough to have me on his show for a full hour on Monday from 2 to 3 PM EDT. You can find his stations to listen to here.

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Medved Show Today

I should have put down that I did Bill Bennett's show yesterday. But today at 4 PM EDT I have Medved's show again. It is extremely nice of him to have me on for a second hour within a month. I have something like eight radio shows today.

Note all times EDT:

Kirby Wilbur
Friday 6/29/2007 at 11am ET for 10 to 12 minutes

Friday June 29, 1:00-1:30pm ET
1820 Eastlake Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
Contact: Tina (producer) 206.726.7000

Host: Chuck Bates
Friday 6/29/2007 at 2:00pm ET for 30 minutes (maybe 1 hour - please see below)
Contact: Chuck Bates: (800) 325-0919 Ext. 212
Notes: Our flagship program is News & Views heard daily in approx: 70 markets nationwide from 1-3pm EST on AM & FM stations.


Another note on Freedomnomics


At least three reviews on Amazon.com for Freedomnomics are by Economics Professors -- All are very positive (Thank you!)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
More than just three cheers for the free market., June 28, 2007
By Douglas W. Allen - See all my reviews

I'm a professor of economics, and I'm very familiar with the work of John Lott. I bought this book because I enjoy reading arm-chair econ books ... just can't get enough econ! Normally I'm disappointed because the examples and applications are usually stolen and reworked material that's been around for years. Not so with Lott's book.

The great thing about the book is not just the refreshing topics, but Lott's gifted approach to understanding them. Take, for example, the growth of government. Many bright minds have worked to explain why did governments grow so fast after WWI? Dozens of theories have been spun, none very successful. Not only does Lott have an ingenious answer (women's suffrage), but he also has an ingenious test and exploits the fact that some states voluntarily granted the right, while other states had it forced on them. It is Lott's ability to come up with clever and convincing tests and evidence that separates him from others.

I don't like the title of the book, and I don't like the sub-line "a rebuttal to Freakonomics." The book is much more than this, and I'm sure the publisher had more to do with the cover than the author. If the cover turns you off, I'd open the book and read a few pages.

The book is well written and accessible to anyone interested in social behavior. A very good read and highly recommended.

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Toward Understanding How Markets Work, June 16, 2007
By Edgar K. Browning (Texas) - See all my reviews

As a professor of economics, I am aware of how difficult it is to communicate the "simple" principles of economics. The approaoch that seems to work best involves the use of lots of examples, especially ones that engage and challenge students. John Lott's new book is filled with such examples. While it can be recommended to anyone with an interest in how the economy works, it should be especially valuable to teachers and students of economics. (I am going to assign the section "Women's Suffrage and the Growth of Government" in my public finance class in the fall.)

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent defense of free markets, May 17, 2007
By James D. Miller (South Deerfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews

Excellent book showing the power of free markets and the harm that manifests when governments interfere in markets. Many economists claim that free markets work great in theory but there are many types of market failures that require government intervention. Lott points out how markets themselves can overcome these so called market failures and how government attempts to correct these failures often makes the situation much worse.

Lott takes on very politically incorrect topics that the mainstream media would never touch such as how affirmative action influences police effectiveness and how giving women the right to vote has influenced the size of the government.

The book is very readable and is clearly intended for a general audience. I would strongly recommend it to people who enjoy the writings of columnists such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.

I have also gotten nice emails from Ralph Winter at UBC and a young professor at Univ of Wisconsin as well as many others.

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Who says that criminals don't care about getting the death penalty

More Reviews of Freedomnomics


Scalia on Rules When Dealing with Terrorism

I meant to post this a while ago, but John Fund in Political Diary reminds me about this:

The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada reports [Scalia] positively gushed about the Fox series recently at a conference on homeland security in the Canadian capital of Ottawa that was attended by an international panel of judges. Mr. Scalia couldn't refrain from commenting after Canadian federal Judge Richard Mosley opined: "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra, 'What would Jack Bauer do?'"

As viewers know, Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, is a federal agent known for roughing up suspected terrorists who are holding out on important information.

"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles!" Mr. Scalia interjected. "He saved hundreds of thousands of lives!"

Indeed, Mr. Scalia was just warming up. "Are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him?" he asked rhetorically. "Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so!"

Other panelists promptly challenged the American jurist, arguing that some prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay on terrorism charges could be innocent.

"I don't care about holding people. I really don't," Judge Scalia replied. After the panel broke up, he continued to wax enthusiastically about his favorite show.



Rosie O'Donnell Posts Pictures of 4-year-Old Daughter Dressed as Guerrilla Fighter Complete with Bullets and Guns

Unemployed gabfest queen Rosie O'Donnell, who last went to war with Elizabeth Hasselbeck only to retreat from her position on "The View," appears to have drafted a reinforcement in the form of waify 4-year-old Vivian Rose, better known as "Vivi."

Rosie posted a video and photo of her little soldier on her Web site Rosie.com on Tuesday, which drew immediate reaction -- some not so kind -- about the media transformation of her daughter from little princess to bullet-toting guerrilla fighter.

"That is a horrible picture of VIvi!!" one viewer wrote to her blog. Other comments included:


"wow Ro that photo of Vivi with the bullets made me cry-it’s scary to think that there are precious little ones really walking around like that in our world “for real”. Come on people! Help our babies"

"what’s with the new pic? it’s rather disturbing!" . . . .

I assume that the obvious answer is that this is just a PR ploy.

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A new attempt at deterrence

British Government Caught Distorting British Crime Survey Numbers: Violent Crimes 3 million higher than reported

Government figures 'missing' two million violent crimes
By David Barrett, PA Home Affairs Correspondent
The Independent
Published: 26 June 2007

An extra two million violent crimes a year are committed in Britain than previously thought because of a bizarre distortion in the Government's flagship crime figures, it was claimed yesterday.

A former Home Office research expert said that across all types of crime, three million offences a year are excluded from the British Crime Survey (BCS).

The poll caps the number of times a victim can be targeted by an offender at five incidents a year.

If anyone interviewed for the survey says they have been targeted more than five times a year, the sixth incident and beyond are not included in the BCS.

The authors of a report by think-tank Civitas said the five-crimes limit is " truly bizarre" and "misleading".

Professor Graham Farrell of Loughborough University and the former acting head of the Home Office's Police Research Group, Professor Ken Pease, calculated that if the cap is ignored, the overall number of BCS crimes is more than 14 million rather than the current 11 million a year estimate. . . . .

Please see the Liberty Zone here for a very nice related discussion.


New Op-ed Tech Central Station: On the new Energy Bill Going Through Congress

Here is a link to my new op-ed:

With gas prices around $3 a gallon, the Senate last week passed new energy legislation. It will ultimately go to conference with the House to work out differences between the Senate and House bills. But any bill that gets agreed upon seems certain to increase the swings in gas prices and leave the average American worse off.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) claims that oil companies are colluding to drive up the price, "they wink at each other and do the same thing." Likewise, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) blames the companies for taking advantage of Hurricane Katrina to raise prices: "You have a hurricane, and all of a sudden you see prices going up like that. That has... everything to do with people trying to make money off the backs of this tragedy."

With such reactions, it is not too surprising that a new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows that 38 percent of Americans view the U.S. oil industry's "gouging, greed, profits" as the main reason for higher gas prices. The second reason is "the Bush Administration" at 21 percent. . . . .

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Dennis Prager on the importance of reputations

My new book discusses the reputational penalty that people face in even being charged with a crime and I gave the Duke case as an example. Dennis Prager also looks at this issue:

The rape of a name can be as vicious a crime and as destructive an act as the rape of a body. Sometimes the rape of a body is worse, sometimes the rape of a name is worse. But they are both rapes. And morally likening the two is in no way meant to lessen the horror of rape; it is meant only to heighten awareness of the horror of intentionally destroying the name of an innocent person.

These words are written in the aftermath of the destruction of three young men's names by a lying woman whose name is still hidden by The New York Times and other major newspapers whose commitment to truth is not as strong as their commitment to political correctness. . . . .

The point that I would make is that for the vast majority of those convicted of crime the reputational penalty is the most important penalty that they face.


SayUncle points to another Newspaper publishing the names of concealed handgun permit holders

SayUncle points to another Newspaper publishing the names of concealed handgun permit holders here.


New Rasmussen Poll Puts Fred Thompson in Lead for Republican Nomination

Thompson sure seems to have the momentum:

Thompson, preparing to formally announce his candidacy, leads the pack in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey with 27% support. That gives him a four-point advantage over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who is currently preferred by 23% of Likely Primary Voters. A week ago, it was Thompson 28% and Giuliani 27%. Two weeks ago, they were tied at 24%. Prior to that time, Giuliani had been on top in every weekly Rasmussen Reports poll for five months

Thompson leads Giuliani by 13 percentage points among conservative primary voters while Giuliani leads among moderates.
Among Republicans, 74% now have a favorable opinion of Giuliani. That’s down from 82% in late May. Twenty-three percent (23%) of Republican voters have an unfavorable opinion of the former Mayor. Thompson’s numbers among the GOP faithful have been moving in the opposite direction. Sixty-six percent (66%) of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of the actor while just 18% have an unfavorable view. . . . .

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"Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court"?

A blog at the Washington Post notes:

Legal and political conservatives hit for the cycle Monday morning when they "won" four long-awaited rulings from the United States Supreme Court. The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school. . . . .

I would more likely say 2.667 for 3.

1) The sign case seems like a difficult one. Students obviously don't have free speach rights at school, but the event was a school "sanctioned" one. Yet, this kid was not really in school at the time. One could even argue that he was skipping school at the time. Of course, this might explain why I am conflicted. The Circuit court decision raised an interesting point that "All sorts of missions are undermined by legitimate and protected speech -- a school's anti-gun mission would be undermined by a student passing around copies of John R. Lott's book,'More Guns, Less Crime . . . ."

2) The campaign finance case was only a marginal win given that Roberts and Alito were not willing to go anywhere near as far as Thomas and Scalia. They differentiated between different types of political advertising.


The bizarre myth of the bad economy

Some useful numbers in this piece. It has been a real puzzle for many why people think that the economy is doing so much worse than it actually is. With a 4.5 percent unemployment rate, and growth in everything from personal income to the stock market, it is very hard to see how people see things as getting worse. Donald Lambro has a nice discussion in his column:

Seventy percent of Americans now say the economy is getting worse, a belief contradicted by a growing workforce, increased wages and household wealth, and a stock-market rally that has boosted worker-retirement investments. . . . .

Kevin Hassett and I have a discussion on this general issue here.



Eastern Tennessee Experiencing sharp increase in Concealed Permit Holders

Saturday classes offered by the Knox County Sheriff's Department have been booked. They've even added extra sessions.

Instructor Sgt. Mike Lett says many students are coming through because of the brutal murder of a Knox County couple and the Virginia Tech campus shooting. He trains officers the same way he trains citizens -- to pull the trigger only as the last resort. But he says people have to decide if they can do that, before they pick up a gun. "Each individual person has to decide if they want to carry a firearm for their own protection, " said Sgt. Lett. "It's not a decision I need to make or anyone else."

In December of 2005, 63 people in Knox county applied for permits, versus 205 in April. That's a 225% difference. The number in Blount County went up by 50%. Campbell, Claiborne and Grainger counties saw single digits turn to double.


Some more reviews of Freedomnomics

Margaret at State of Nature:

This morning's radio program King Banaian and I interviewed economist John Lott, author of More Guns Less Crime and the new Freedomnomics . . . . Everything is a market failure, if you leave the market to its own devices, the market will surely screw us all.

Lott shows with many simple examples how that's just not so.

Giltner Review notes that
Perhaps the most startling claim that Lott makes is that women’s suffrage caused a dramatic increase in the size of government, because the “gender gap” reflects a genuine difference in how men and women—-especially single or divorced women—-see the appropriate role of government with respect to income security and education. He points to how state government expenditures changed in states as the percentage of women voting increased—and how the varying years in which different states granted women the vote confirms that this was not a coincidence.

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