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Archive for May, 2004

Milton Friedman, Booyah!

May 17th, 2004 by Timothy

It seems my macroeconomic intuition isn’t as bad as I thought it was, as I have held for along time essentially the same opinion as Milton Friedman. I’m sure he’s got much better reasons than mine, and probably some data to back him up, but it’s nice to see I’m not totally off base.

And Yet No One Believes Me…

May 17th, 2004 by Timothy

When I say that many folks in the media want the US to fail in Iraq. Between the way Reuters (the Al-Reuters thing, admittedly, is hyperbole) spins a sarin gas shell and refusal of most of the media to show anything related to Nick Berg for more than a day– not to mention their blatant denial that those images are just as news-worthy as Abu Ghraib– it seems pretty clear that a lot of folks really are on the other side. Call me a jingoist, go ahead, but that doesn’t change the reality of bad reporting. Hell, I don’t even care that the media are overwhelmingly liberal, I just care that they won’t admit that fact and their true motivations.

A Solution To Thong-Ass

May 17th, 2004 by Timothy

Eugene Volokh points to this from Louisiana. I’m sure Flood will be happy with this new development in the war against exposed thongs, knickers, panties, and other forms of undergarment.

Shakra & Kobe

May 13th, 2004 by olly

Hindsight is 20/20, especially if you’re using your third eye to look backwards. What evidence does noted political theorist Aaron Shakra offer us that Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission was, in the words of From The Wilderness Publications’ Michael Ruppert, “perjury – a felony” based on her denial that the administration had “specific advance knowledge as to the time, place and method of the attacks”?

For example, what about the well-documented insider stock trading throughout seven countries only days prior to the attacks? This might be excusable, but considering the trading involved only corporations — including United Airlines, American Airlines, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup — that were severely financially affected by the stocks, the traders may not have known the specifics, but they knew something.

Good Lord. The conspiracy was wider than we ever could have guessed. American Airlines knew, man.

(From The Wilderness Publications may sound like hippies, but they are in fact to be found on the web at – and if you’ve read that site before, you’ll be rolling your eyes along with me.)

The blood of the nameless will spill and spill and spill for a war started over a perverse fallacy.

For God’s sake, give it a rest. Please. I’m not particularly gung-ho about nation-building in the Middle East, and I’m as up in arms about the Abu Ghraib scandal as everyone else – the abuse itself, and also some of the responses to it. (UPDATE: See also here – I know I said no more Reason links, but it’s on-topic, honest.) However, I don’t understand the psychology of people who seem determined to actively root for the worst possible outcome.

The Daily You

May 13th, 2004 by olly

OK, nothing else today on my recent infatuation with Reason magazine, I promise. However: holy shit.

On The Other Hand, I’ve Never Claimed To Be A Journalist

May 13th, 2004 by olly

Yes, I know, cry a river for the foreigners. But pieces like this make me nervous about my infrequent crossing and recrossing of international borders, and (perhaps more rationally) my upcoming visa reclassification.

(For what it’s worth: Not counting time spent standing in lines, it has taken me an average of about forty-five seconds to be admitted to the US.)

“How About I Told You So, You Fucking Fools?”

May 12th, 2004 by olly

Two fantastic book reviews at Reason: one here and one here. Title of this post is from the first link, in case you just want to get to the naughty cuss words.

Not Exactly The Pulitzers, But Still

May 12th, 2004 by olly

I should have caught this before, actually. As reported here, many OC favorites have picked up prestigious honors from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Assocation.

Steve Baggs bags second place for cartooning, Peter Hockaday first place for best writing, and – drumroll, please – Aaron Shakra’s Pulse section first place for best section.

Congratulations, all. However – and there’s no polite way of saying this – now I really want to see this state’s best student cartoonist. Also, how badly do the other sections of other papers suck?

Five minutes browsing the Portland State Vanguard (winner in the “Overall Excellence” category) didn’t turn up anything particularly noteworthy, except for this line:

And the art! Oh, the art. If spring is a time for love, then the art is a reflection of that: the shows this month are aglow with trembling excitement of the new season. And as I find myself, wandering through the flowering trees, with the glimmer of spring dew in my eyes, I realized people still say the stupidest goddamn things.

Heh. Nice one.

Support For Higher Education Crucial, Avers Student

May 12th, 2004 by olly

When you’re holding a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And some of us are more likely than others to end up holding a hammer. Also sprach Chuck Slothower:

Watch out for further solidification of the tax revolt, attacks on public education and abortion rights, militarization and an ever-increasing privatization of government services.

Oh dear. It’s going to be one of those pieces where we recklessly conflate five issues.

The value of other commitments to government are less quantifiable, but just as real. Older Americans should keep in mind that their declining support for government harms us all.

Because government involvement makes everything better! (And aren’t older Americans, as a group, favorably inclined towards the government where prescription drug benefits are concerned?)

Ah, screw it. Nobody, with the possible exception of Colin (and Tim after three drinks) is arguing against a state subsidy for higher education. However, four years of pieces like this have me wondering if the net value of journalism majors to the nation is really as great as all that.


May 12th, 2004 by Timothy

Is the only way to describe today’s ODE editorial. Former Democratic Governor [note how I actually make mention of his party the way big media has not been] raped a 14-year-old girl in 1975, and that makes him a bad person. That’s right folks, Neil Goldschmidt is human filth and garbage. In addition to committing rape in the third degree, Goldschmidt apparently led a life of infidelity. So he has sex with children and he cheats on his wife, yet the ODE thinks it’s important that we remember all the good he’s done over the years? Give me a goddamn break.

Remember Former Republican Senator Bob Packwood’s trouble keeping his lecherous old hands off of his female staff? Was there a call to remember his years of noble public service? No, Packwood was quickly and rightly condemned for acting in such a manner. Goldschmidt should be treated in the same way, condemned and tossed on the scrap heap of history.

As much as I like and respect the Emerald editorial board this year, they really dropped the ball on this one, and might want to reconsider making similar statements in the future lest they find themselves defending even more unscrupulous characters.

“Ethics Week” Inevitably Devolves Into Fistfight

May 10th, 2004 by olly

Having been Drudged, the ODE gets a link (“Full story, with swooning reviews by audience suckups…”) in Hit and Run. (No mention of the ever-so-slightly hysterical editorial, alas.)

The comment thread at the original story is huge and probably worthy of analysis, but I found myself with a crippling migraine after only making it a third of the way through.


May 10th, 2004 by Sho

It’s Power Players Week on Jeopardy, which features influential media and political figures such as Bob Woodward, Ari Fleischer, Anderson Cooper and many others.

By the way, doesn’t Al Franken look adorable sitting on Lincoln’s lap?

Breaking News

May 6th, 2004 by Timothy

KGW is reporting Neal Goldschmidt’s resignation from the State Board of Higer Ed, ostensibly for health reasons. Willamette Week, however, is reporting that his decision had more to do with his sexual indiscresion than his health. Their description is as follows:

BANNER: WEB Exclusive Earlier today, former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt stepped down from the Oregon Board of Higher Education. In addition, Goldschmidt withdrew his involvement in the Oregon Electric Utility Co., a newly formed partnership poised to purchase Portland General Electric. Goldschmidt issued a statement stating that his sudden resignation was related to a heart condition.

WW understands, however, that his decision to step down from the education board and energy company is instead directly related to this newspapers two-month probe into allegations of sexual misconduct involving the former governor. WW plans to publish details of its investigation in next Wednesdays paper.

You heard it here first, folks.

Cinco De Mayonnaise

May 5th, 2004 by olly

It may not be Mexican Independence Day, but it still made this list. Although I’m more enthused by their comment for National Prayer Day, which completely passed me by:

May 3rd: “National Prayer Day” needs counter-protesting with FREEDOM FROM STATE RELIGION DAY. If you would object to Hindu religiosity (Ganesha as the Son of God ) being imposed in our classrooms by any potential United Nations “New World Order” global democracy, then resist people imposing Jesus Christ icons in our classrooms.

Policy? Science? Sweet!

May 5th, 2004 by Timothy

If you ever wanted to learn a quick lesson about consumer choice, go read this and have yourself a drink.

If you’d rather take a look at some issues regarding US scientific competitiveness, read this Tabarrok post over at Marginal Revolution. It’ll be a lot more interesting than the above, I promise.

Lastly, if you’re interested in the economics of obesity (yup, you heard me right) there’s this lovely Bruce Bartlett piece from NRO.