"A complete list of things caused by global warming"

Immigrants changing the US

Rush Limbaugh's Take on Last Night's Republican Presidential Debate

"Except for Fred Thompson, all the GOP candidates swerved into moderate mushiness last night."

Here is a new Thompson ad on youtube.

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Possibly global warming fanatics have gone too far with this one

GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2007

Someone asks me about Lieberman-Warner's Climate Security Act

Someone asked me what I thought about this bill before congress. "The first, most important thing is that any bill has to include real, mandatory cuts in global warming pollution." Here are some questions to think about:

Is there clear evidence that mankind is contributing to global warming? Hardly.
Even if there were evidence, is warming on net bad? Hardly.
Even if there were evidence of mankind's contribution and that warming is bad, we already have a lot of gasoline and other taxes. Do we know if those taxes are already too high? If so even if the arguments being made are true, we might have to actually cut the tax.

I have made these points before on this blog with some more references, but apparently it was necessary to make this point again.

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Some of the media for Thursday.

I will be in a call-in program on CSPAN1 to discuss Freedomnomics tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 10:40 AM EST. I will be on after Ron Paul and before Pat Buchanan. As long as you have a computer you can watch a live stream of the event here.

At noon, I will be on Air America's Thom Hartmann's Show. The telephone calls on that show the last time that I was on were pretty wild. Overall, it was one of the livelier radio shows that I have been on. It seems safe to predict that there will be a lot of fireworks.

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Some Feedback on My Op-ed on Women's Suffrage

Gore friend's cruise ship on tour of impact of global warming strikes iceberg.


New Op-ed: Does the Fear of Jail Actually Prevent Crime?

Even Environmental Agency Worries about Problems with fluorescent light bulbs

Grandma Stops Burglars with Guns

Two new Fred Thompson Ads

Obama the strongest Democratic Candidate, Clinton the Weakest

Thompson is very strangely left out of this comparison, and it is especially strange given that he is number 2 among Republicans in the polls for the Republican nomination and also that he has been doing very well against the Democrats in the past. (UPDATE: Sean Hannity said on his show today that Thompson is also ahead of Clinton in these polls.) In any case, I wonder if Dems will start to desert Clinton if they thought that she was their weakest candidate. What is interesting is how little variation there is in the percent obtained by the different Republican candidates when you look at any individual Democrat. The range of percentages of Republicans against Obama is only 2 percent and the same is true when one looks at the Republicans against Edwards or Clinton. By contrast, there is a much bigger spread among the Democrats when you look at an individual Republican (6 percentage points is typical across the Democrats).

Possible match-ups - 2008 U.S. presidential election

John McCain (R) 38% - 45% Barack Obama (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 40% - 46% Barack Obama (D)

John McCain (R) 41% - 42% John Edwards (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 42% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 42% - 45% John Edwards (D)

John McCain (R) 42% - 38% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 44% - 39% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

Source: Zogby Interactive
Methodology: Online interviews with 9,150 American adults, conducted from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26, 2007. Margin of error is 1 per cent.


New Op-ed: Women's suffrage over time

Freedomnomics Recommended as "Great Gift" for Holidays

Craig Newmark recommends Freedomnomics for Christmas presents.

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CBS Correspondent Predicts Close Decision Over DC Gun Ban Case with

Even more importantly he predicts that with Kennedy as the swing vote, most gun control will still be allowed. I assume that this isn't the same standard that Kennedy thinks applies to the first and fourth amendments.

One of Justice Anthony Kennedy's law clerks, Orrin Kerr, recently predicted this precise scenario. After declaring that there is an individual right under the Second Amendment, "Kennedy will endorse a relatively deferential standard of review that will end up allowing a great deal of gun regulation," wrote Kerr.

It matters what Kerr thinks about Kennedy because it matters what Kennedy thinks about the court. Almost certainly he will be the "5" if the gun case is decided, as most think it will be, through a 5-4 ruling. The litigants surely know this and so will cater their briefs to push the Swing Justice in one direction or the other. But will Kennedy, in the end, be willing to forge the compromise that ends that individual/collective "dichotomy" that Professor Cornell complains about? . . . . .

Thanks to John Lazar for sending me this link.

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Well I actually know a murderer

I have frequently written and talked about how unlikely it is for the type of people who I lecture to at universities to know someone who has committed murder. When you consider that about 90 percent of adult murderers have an adult criminal record, that they have long histories of social problems, that they overwhelmingly live in just a few percent of the counties in the US and are usually young black males, the odds are just very low. Well, I can now say with certainty, that I know a murderer. Rafael Robb was an economics professor at Penn when I was there, and we went out to dinner a couple of times. I had very briefly meet him when I was in graduate school at UCLA.

A former Ivy League professor pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter for killing his wife as she wrapped Christmas presents last year, telling a judge he "just lost it" during an argument.

Rafael Robb, once a tenured economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faces a likely prison sentence of 4 1/2 to seven years for bludgeoning his wife, Ellen, on Dec. 22.

Robb, 57, said Monday that he got into an argument with his wife about a trip she was taking with their daughter and whether they would be returning in time for the daughter to return to school.

"We started a discussion about that. The discussion was tense," Robb said. "We were both anxious about it. We both got angry. At one point, Ellen pushed me. ... I just lost it."

This is one part that reminds me of the unjustified egos of a lot of academics:

A former Ivy League professor pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter for killing his wife as she wrapped Christmas presen Robb was an expert in game theory, a complex melding of psychology, human behavior and economics — all aimed at determining what one's adversary will do next.

With that background, police say, Robb may have thought he could outsmart them.


Why Athletes need guns

A few years ago I wrote an op-ed on Athletes and Guns. It is hard for some to understand why athletes, people who are so big and strong, would want to have a gun for self protection. Take the case this week of Sean Taylor:

Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor was in critical condition Monday after surgery for a gunshot wound to his leg during what police are investigating as a possible armed robbery at his home.

Athletes are attractive targets because they are wealthy and so high profile.

Here is another recent robbery of another professional football player's home involving Houston Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson.

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C-SPAN 2 tonight at 7 PM EST

I will be on CSPAN2 tonight for 46 minutes to discuss Freedomnomics.

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Most Acquaintance Murders in NYC involve Criminals Killing Criminals

This is a point that I have tried to make in my books on crime. Too often the term acquaintance murder is used to imply people who are somehow emotionally close to each other:

It is extremely common around the nation to find in killings involving acquaintances that those involved are not family members but criminals or drug gang members, said David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

In the 412 killings this year, the number of people with previous arrests for narcotics was striking: 196 victims and 149 assailants. And 77 percent of the assailants had a previous arrest history, while 70 percent of the victims did, the statistics showed.

Killers and those killed are overwhelmingly male and most in both categories are between 18 and 40, according to the police analysis. In terms of race and ethnicity, whites make up 7 percent of victims and assailants, while 66 percent of the victims and 61 percent of the assailants are black and 26 percent of the victims and 31 percent of the assailants are Hispanic.

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New Posting up at Jurist.law.pitt.edu

Here is a piece that I have just had posted at Jurist.law.pitt.edu

What is also interesting is how the Supreme Court has rewritten the question posed by DC. DC originally asked that the question be: "Whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns." The new question is: “Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”

What is most striking about this revised question is that the court appears to be questioning the city's claim that the ban comes "nowhere close to disarmament of residents. The District's overwhelming interest in reducing death and injury caused by handguns outweighs respondent's asserted need . . . ." DC adds that they don't believe that the regulations that lock up and require the disassembling of guns does not "prevent the use of a lawful firearm in self-defense." Of course, this is highly debatable because under DC law as soon as a rifle or shotgun is made operational it becomes illegal.

But taking DC claims as accurate, locked guns are simply not as readily accessible for defensive gun uses. In the U.S., states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a 5 percent increase in murder and a 12 percent increase in rapes. Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes and those attacks are more likely to be successful. . . .