Extensive interview with Bill Steigerwald at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Another Review of Freedomnomics
Senator John Edwards asks if Cuba has a government health care system?
"I'm going to be honest with you -- I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system," Edwards, D-N.C., said at an event in Oskaloosa, Iowa. "Is it a government-run system?"
But just three days earlier, the candidate was asked a question about the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" -- which focuses extensively on the Cuban healthcare system.
As Willie Nelson's classic "On the Road Again" blared, Edwards leaned out of a window of his campaign bus dubbed "Fighting for One America", to hear an off-camera voice howl, "I wanted to ask ya, is it required that everyone go see "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko"?
Edwards, in between autographs outside Dan's Pizzeria in Onawa, Iowa, replies, "I watched Sicko," later adding, "It's a great movie."
You can watch the moment captured by C-SPAN and spread to the world on YouTube by clicking here. . . . .
Regulating Prescription Drug Prices Will Cost Lives
"All Democratic presidential candidates agree on pharmaceutical price controls, which means people will die," John R. Lott, Jr., a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, told a gathering Tuesday at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
Leading Democratic contenders rarely if ever use the words "price controls," which are prominent in socialized European economies and Canada, Lott observed. . . . .
Census Bureau Asks that ICE stops rounding up Illegal Aliens
Raids during the population count would make an already distrustful group even less likely to cooperate with government workers who are supposed to include them, the Census Bureau's second-ranking official said in an Associated Press interview.
Deputy Director Preston Jay Waite said immigration enforcement officials did not conduct raids for several months before and after the 2000 census. But today's political climate is even more volatile on the issue of illegal immigration.
Enforcement agents "have a job to do," Waite said. "They may not be able to give us as much of a break" in 2010.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman declined to say whether immigration officials would halt raids. "If we were, we wouldn't talk about it," Pat Reilly said.
"For us to suspend that enforcement would probably take a lot more than one meeting," Reilly said. "We would have to discuss this at the highest levels of both agencies." . . . .
Most of the victims at Virginia Tech were over 21 years of age
Robert concludes by noting that "It is very significant to me that, if they had been allowed to carry on campus, there certainly could have been an individual who was responsible enough to insure their own and others safety."
Talk at the Cato Institute available here
More on Students Carrying Guns on Campus
One professor, Barbara Nash, who is interviewed claimed that the idea that more guns would mean a safer place is a "stupid" idea. It would have been nice if the professor could have pointed to some evidence that students with a concealed handgun permit posed a danger. On the other hand, another professor in the Business School, Randall Boyle, said he actually felt safer now that some students in the class legally have concealed handguns.
George Mason Students Come Out for Carrying Concealed Handguns
Some Los Angeles Police Discuss Letting Citizens Carrying Concealed Handguns
Media Bias Revealed in Seattle TImes
What happened? According to Boardman in the latest email installment of what he calls "Dave's Raves" it was this: "When word came in of Karl Rove's resignation, several people in the meeting started cheering. That sort of expression is simply not appropriate for a newsroom....As we head into a major political year, now's a good time to remember: Please keep your personal politics to yourself."
The incident was described in a blog by chief political reporter David Postman. He comments: "I wasn't there, but I've talked to several people who were. It was only a couple of people who cheered and they, thankfully, are not among the people who get a say in news play. But obviously news staff shouldn't be cheering or jeering the day's news, particularly as Boardman points out, 'when we have an outside guest in the room.' . . . . (Emphasis added)
I emphasized the word "particularly" because why should it be that they should hide their political views "when we have an outside guest in the room."
Apparently, the reaction at the Seattle Times is not unique. Joe Scarborough witnessed a similar event at MSNBC:
The revelation came on "Morning Joe" today at 6:02 A.M. EDT. Joe was discussing a recent episode at the Seattle Times in which reporters and editors cheered the news that Karl Rove had resigned. Scarborough applauded Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman for issuing a memorandum reproving his colleagues. For more, read NB items by Brent Baker and Ken Shepherd.. . . . (Emphasis added)
More problems with Wikipedia
Mexico Deports Illegal Aliens in its Own Counrtry
Up to 7,000 people - mostly from Guatemala and Honduras - got stuck in southern Mexico when a rail link to the US ceased operating. . . . .
The Slippery slope: Banning Twisting Balloons into the Shape of Guns
"At this rate I will have no act left. Things are going from crazy to ridiculous," Mr. Turner, from Sheffield, northern England, told the Yorkshire Post regional newspaper.
"This country is going crazy with its political correctness and health and safety issues and it's making us a laughingstock," he said.. . . .
The story also mentions allergies to latex. Here is my question: when will schools be banned from giving out condoms?
Reputations matter, even for China
Some evidence that it matters to consumers:
"It's really difficult to find anything," said Keely Dennis, mother of a one-year-old boy in Vancouver. "It's really hard to find toys that aren't made in China that are age-appropriate, and are just cool, that your kid will play with."
For the second time in two weeks, the toy giant began recalling millions of Chinese-made toys over concerns that small parts could pose choking hazards and that excessive amounts of lead may be present. This is the latest in a string of problems that are raising doubts over the safety and quality of Chinese products, including toothpaste and pet food. . . . .
Washington Post Article from 1922 Showing Early Signs of Climate Change
The 1922 article, obtained by Inside the Beltway, goes on to mention "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared."
"This was one of several such articles I have found at the Library of Congress for the 1920s and 1930s," says Mr. Lockwood. "I had read of the just-released NASA estimates, that four of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. were actually in the 1930s, with 1934 the hottest of all."
As I have blogged before about the new NASA data, I believe that it is 5 out of 10 years with the highest temperatures were before WWII.
For something a little different
Video from C-SPAN performance can be seen here
Gun ownership drops further in Massachusetts
According to the Boston Globe, the number of legal gun owners has declined by more than 25 percent in the past six years . . . .
Students at Virginia Colleges Push to carry concealed handguns
The liberal imbalance in Academia
My new book, Freedomnomics, tries to explain why academia is as heavily liberal as it is and, more importantly, how the tenure process works to keep it that way.
Thanks to Butch Browning for sending me the link to this study.
One of the problems with survey data
The problem with this is that it produces a systematic bias in the survey data. The high end of the survey results are biased downward. The problem is probably even worse than might be claimed here if those being studied in this case understood why their urine samples were being taken. The reason is that the people may have been relatively more accurate in their answers if they thought that they were being checked for accuracy. As the article points out, claims that sugar intake are unrelated to health problems or obesity could simply be due to this bias in the data.
Freedomnomics on C-SPAN this Weekend
My appearance on CSPAN 2's Booknotes seems to have engendered some reaction:
On the positive side you can find this: "I almost forgot to mention that John will discuss his terrific book, Freedomnomics, on C-SPAN at 11:00 am EDT. The interview repeats at midnight and the booktv site has the full schedule for subsequent replays.
Go see it, the book is wonderfully ingenious, clearly written, and the balance of evidence and analysis makes John one of the formidable economists in the public policy arena."
On the negative side you can find this: "John Lott is scary. He's on CSPAN2 right now, giving talk on his book. What's scary about the guy is that he has no concept of the idea that human beings might be less than rational in the way they go about making life decisions. He really thinks everybody is hyper-rational. And, he's the chief economist for the US Sentencing Committee." I did put in a reply to his post on his website. It will be interesting to see if he has any response. Update: Well, there wasn't a substantive response, just some name calling.