Assorted Links 7/15/09


Bob Barr on Drug Reform

  • Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments, July 29, 2009
  • Preparing and Delivering Congressional Testimony, July 30, 2009
  • Advanced Federal Budget Process, August 3-4, 2998
  • Advanced Legislative Strategies, August 5-7, 2009
  • No diploma, no job, 3 kids – “The economy makes it worse for unskilled young men trying to support a family. But Bobby’s bad decisions — goofing off in school, quitting at 16, trusting a girl with two kids to stay on the pill — have dug him in a deep hole. He’s not ready to be a family man.”
  • The Path to Corporate Welfare is Paved with Essential Legislation – “When corporations see that politicians plan to get their pound of flesh, they maneuver to give half a pound in exchange for a deal where their competitors give two.”
  • Ask the Best and Brightest: New GM, Same Old Quality Issues?
  • So Much for Academic Freedom: – “What a bizarre and disturbing comment to come from the AAUP president, whose professional obligation is to be a spokesperson for academic freedom! He’s suggesting that if a professor disagrees with the ‘international consensus’ on a particular narrow issue within a much broader field, that professor should be deemed incompetent to teach in that field.”
  • Bureaucrat U – “College tuition increased by 6.6% a year over the past decade, a rate that is approximately 2.4 times that of inflation. One big cause: the bloating of university bureaucracies. Between 1997 and 2007 the administrative and support staffs at colleges expanded by 4.7% a year, double the rate of enrollment growth. The burgeoning army of college bureaucrats defends this extraordinary growth as necessary to provide consumer-oriented students with an expanded breadth of noninstructional services. Yet this obfuscates the underlying mission of colleges to produce and disseminate knowledge. It is time for higher education to go on a diet.”
  • Housing Update – How Far To The Bottom? – “The Case-Shiller charts suggest that the worst may finally be over. However, so far all we can say is that things are getting worse at a decreasing pace. This is not the same as getting better. Indeed it may take 2 years or more to cross the zero-line in the second Case-Shiller chart. That would be consistent with a bottom in 2011.

    Thus I see no reason to switch from my long-held estimate of a 2011-2012 timeframe for a bottom. Furthermore, even once housing does bottom, do not expect a V shaped recovery. Housing prices are likely to remain weak especially in real (inflation adjusted) terms for another decade.”

  • WHAT! The CIA Was Trying to Kill bin Laden? – “A.) Tell me how firing hellfires from Predators is more ethical or legal than sending a team to kill or capture a single person.

    B.) Doesn’t this sort of smack of Sandi Berger-esque national security policy? We know from the 9-11 commission report that Berger got cold feet when he had bin Laden in his sights for a proxy raid in Afghanistan because he was afraid of collateral damage and blowback. Now some of the same national security policy minds are back in the driver’s seat so we cancel a program to kill bad guys using CIA assets. Great idea folks.”

  • Binding arbitration could result in “nationalization of small businesses,” Overstock.com president says – “But if a law like card check were to pass, Overstock.com would probably begin to outsource as much work as possible.”
  • Wind farms will be a monument to an age when our leaders collectively went off their heads – “Let us be clear: Britain is facing an unprecedented crisis. Before long, we will lose 40 per cent of our generating capacity.

    And unless we come up quickly with an alternative, the lights WILL go out. Not before time, the Confederation of British Industry yesterday waded in, warning the Government it must abandon its crazy fixation with wind turbines as a way of plugging this forthcoming shortfall and instead urgently focus on far more efficient ways to meet the threat of a permanent, nationwide black-out.
    . . .
    The Government has now shovelled so much money in hidden subsidies into the pockets of the turbine companies that the ‘wind bonanza’, promoted on a host of fraudulent claims, has become one of the greatest scams of our age.”

  • 5 Auto Atrocities To Throw Down a Black Hole – “We drew up a list of cars that should be wiped from the pages of automotive history. Feel free to set us straight or make any additions– just know that whatever goes in will never come out.”

    We agree with the multiple stunned comments that the AMC Pacer didn’t make the top 5.

  • Which words make you wince?
  • Bricks in iPod boxes: the retail employee perspective: The tech world is full of mysteries. We try to answer one of the least pressing: why do rocks, bricks, and even meat end up in product boxes on a semiregular basis?
  • Vacationers, watch out with Wi-Fi – “The latest trend for the in hacker is what has become known as ‘vacation hacking.’ It works by the hacker setting up fake Wi-Fi hot spots where they can lure in unsuspecting travelers. Some favorite locations are airports and hotels. Vacationers think everything is safe, especially if it is set up to somehow include the name of the place they are currently in while trying to connect. Little do they realize that instead, they are logging on to phony networks, and handing over all the information on their laptops.
    . . .
    Some advice from Symantec comes in five simple steps. While it may seem like common sense to some, it still bears repeating.” [more]
  • EcoBlast Rechargable Air Horn Is Like A Super Soaker For Sound – “ike the Super Soaker, the EcoBlast uses a plastic tank that can be refilled, with air in this case, from a bike pump or air compressor using a standard valve.”
  • Gnome Sweet Gnome – “They’re garden gnomes, and love ’em or hate ’em they’re a fixture of the suburban landscape. The question is, WHY??”
  • Best home improvement projects under $1,000
  • Use The “Egyptian Method” to Sleep Well on a Hot Night – “Wet a sheet or bath towel that is large enough to cover you with cool or cold water, and wring it or run it through the spin cycle on a washing machine until the sheet is quite damp but not dripping wet. Place the dry towel or sheet on your bed underneath your body and use the wet sheet as your blanket. The damp blanket will keep you cool.” Sleep like an Egyptian….
  • Sort Email by Multiple Columns in Outlook – “All you need to do is hold down the Shift key while clicking on the column header for one column, and continue to hold the key down while you click on another column.”

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