Assorted Links 10/1/09


  • Speechwriting: Preparing Speeches and Oral Presentations, October 16, 2009
  • Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing, November 12, 2009
  • Writing to Persuade: Hone Your Persuasive Writing Skills, November 13, 2009
  • The Story Behind the Story: Where to Meet the Mayor – “Before I went to Memphis for our September 2009 cover story on Shelby County, Tennessee, Mayor A C Wharton Jr., at least two people had told me where I could find him — the Starbucks on Union Avenue in Midtown.”
  • Traveling the World’s Economic Bubbles – “Every possible passion seems to have a travel trend associated with it. So why not econotourism, for people who are interested in how the economy affects a local culture?”
  • Trial lawyers lobby sinks $6.2M in debt – “The American Association for Justice, the most prominent group representing plaintiffs’ attorneys, has seen a shake-up in its executive suite and has struggled to deal with what appears to be a mounting budget shortfall. To help it fight congressional efforts to make it harder for patients to sue doctors and lawyers, it recently sent out an extra solicitation to its members, asking them to fork over money for a lobbying campaign.

    The most striking evidence of its financial woes is a swift decline in income, which resulted in a more than $6.2 million deficit in its operating budget for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.”

  • Nanny State Doesn’t Like Competition — the English Version – “A previous post by David Boaz poked fun at bureaucrats in Michigan for threatening a woman for the ostensible crime of keeping an eye on her neighbors’ kids without a government permit. English bureaucrats are equally clueless, badgering two women who take turns caring for each other’s kids. The common theme, of course, is that bureaucrats lack common sense — but the real lesson is that this is the inevitable consequence of government intervention (especially when politicians say they are ‘doing it for the children’).”
  • Even the Professors Union Thinks David Horowitz Should be Allowed to Speak at Colleges! – “St. Louis University, a Catholic school, has stopped a David Horowitz appearance, claiming that the controversial speaker might offend Muslims:”
  • Verizon: LTE rollout to be ‘as close to all-at-once as possible’ – “Historically, wireless rollouts have been miserably long, protracted affairs that take countless years to complete, but Verizon’s talking in some really aggressive terms as it moves to LTE. The company wants to be at or near 100 percent overlay with its legacy CDMA footprint by 2013, but a ton of major markets will be covered and commercially well before then — up to 30 in 2010.”
  • The Most Powerful Regulatory Agency in the History of the World – “Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Environmental Protection Agency, which plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions no matter what the elected, policy-making branch of government does.”
  • Gene Healy: The Imperial Presidency comes in green, too – “The Obama team appears to believe it has the authority to implement comprehensive climate change regulation, Congress be damned. Worse still, under current constitutional law–which has little to do with the actual Constitution–they’re probably right. ”
  • Inflation Warning – “Most economic forecasters profess to see little inflation risk. They need to reconsider their forecasts in light of the inflation warnings from within the central bank.”
  • Put Down the Cold Pills, Grandma, and Come Out With Your Hands Up – “A few months ago, Sally Harpold bought a box of Zyrtec-D allergy medicine for her husband at a pharmacy in Rockville, Indiana. Less than a week later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a drugstore in Clinton. Isn’t it sad that you already know where this story is headed?

    Early on the morning of July 30, Harpold and her husband were awakened by police banging on the door of their home. The officers hauled her away in handcuffs, charging the ‘grandmother of triplets’ (the Terre Haute Tribune-Star’s descriptor) with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.”

Michael Moore: Jesus Scholar

  • The Last Days of the Polymath – “Isaiah Berlin once divided thinkers into two types. Foxes, he wrote, know many things; whereas hedgehogs know one big thing. The foxes used to roam free across the hills. Today the hedgehogs rule.”
  • Alive and Living in Argentina – “Hitler was born 120 years ago 20 April, so I doubt that he’s likely to magically appear anytime soon in Munich hale, hearty and rarin’ to start the Fourth Reich.”
  • The Housing Tax Credit and the Consumer Price Index – “According to the NAR, the ‘first-time’ homebuyer tax credit will lead to an additional 350 thousand homes sold in 2009. As I’ve mentioned before, this tax credit is inefficient and poorly targeted, costing taxpayers about $43,000 for each additional home sold. And where are those 350 thousand buyers coming from? My guess is most were probably renters (a few might have been living in their parent’s basements!).”
  • None Dare Call it Art – “After battling a head cold all weekend (with the old family cranberry juice and vodka remedy) I was delighted to discover my inbox runneth over with submissions for the prestigious Iowahawk Endowment for the Arts $33.18 Steel Cage Art Death Match.”
  • Dogs Better Exercise Companions Than Humans – “A good dog is a great professional trainer.”
  • Strategic Defaults – “Here’s an example where the high foreclosure rate is feeding on itself, leaving many more possible defaulters behind with high mortgage balances and little hope.”
  • Blowback – “So no, we don’t ‘vote’ for Hollywood stars. But we do pay them. And now Whoopi Goldberg has gone on record making the distinction between ‘rape’ and ‘rape rape’ in the case of a 13-year old girl that was unquestionably drugged, raped and sodomized by a middle age movie director. Deborah Winger has said that, oh, that was such a long time ago. As though the failure see justice done is not the fault of the child rapist who successfully fled justice.

    The list of those who would apologize for child rape goes on; Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen (!), David Lynch, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.

    And now the rest of us are forced to ask ourselves, who are these people? And what on earth can have compelled us to invite them into our homes? Why are we paying for this?

    And how do we get them out?”

Rotten Tomatoe’s Best Reviewed Movies of All Time – # 3: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

  • Students aren’t really feeling the Kindle love – “The Kindle DX might be a good e-book, but the consensus among students at Princeton is that it is a very poor replacement for real books. Very poor, sir.”
  • Pictured: The tiny kingbird that took a piggyback on a predatory hawk and lived to tell the tale – “In a bold move, the aggressive little bird launched itself at the fearsome red-tailed hawk and sank its talons into the larger bird’s back.”
  • Can’t Touch This – I’ll Take The IPod Touch – “The debate keeps raging about whether you need an iPhone if you want the entertainment, productivity and other useful apps available in the App Store, along with iTunes. Regular readers know that I am an iPod Touch proponent. Who needs to pay AT&T for a substandard phone and network, when you get everything in the Touch except the phone? I do phone and email on a little Palm Centro that stays in my pocket or on my hip. For everything else, I have the Touch. iPhone proponents say, wait, we have access to all the web apps wherever we are, and you have to find a WiFi hotspot. Well, yes, unless you carry a portable router with mobile broadband access, like the Verizon USB 760, a tiny USB accessory that gives WiFi everywhere.” Or the MyFi
  • The French Paradox – “Compared to Americans, the French consume four times as much butter, three times as much pork and 60% more cheese. Their overall consumption of saturated animal fat is double ours. Since the experts have told us over and over that saturated fat will clog your arteries, the heart-attack rate in France must be higher than the Eiffel Tower, right?”
  • Former markets in everything – “Might the Finnish portable sauna someday make a comeback?”

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