Assorted Links 8/19/09

While I was away

  • Capitol Hill Workshop, September 23-25, 2009
  • Roubini Project Syndicate Op-Ed: A Phantom Economic Recovery – “So, the end of this severe global recession will be closer at the end of this year than it is now, the recovery will be anaemic rather than robust in advanced economies, and there is a rising risk of a double-dip recession. The recent market rallies in stocks, commodities and credit may have gotten ahead of the improvement in the real economy. If so, a correction cannot be too far behind.”
  • Drug Policy Debate Is Under Way in Latin America. What About the U.S.? – “A serious and open debate about the future of drug policy in Latin America seems to be underway. The question remains on whether Washington is paying any attention to this.”
  • New at Reason: Radley Balko on Bernard Baran, Wrongful Convictions, and Prosecutorial Misconduct – “What happens to prosecutors who withhold exculpatory evidence in cases that result in wrongful convictions? Not much. Senior editor Radley Balko reports on the case of Bernard Baran, a man who served 22 years in prison after he was convicted of molesting several children at a daycare center in Massachusetts. Evidence pointing to Baran’s innocence was never introduced at trial, and the prosecutor who may have committed serious misconduct in winning Baran’s conviction not only was never investigated or disciplined, he was soon promoted to judge, a job he has held for the last 20 years.”
  • We’re Not Getting Older, We’re Getting More Powerful – “For Congress to attempt to restructure one-sixth of the US economy prior to repealing the Law of Unintended Consequences is daunting to any reasonable person.”
  • Is Obamacare Constitutional? – “3. It violates Substantive Due Process, and interferes with doctor-patient medical decisions to a vastly greater extent than did the laws declared unconstitutional in Roe v. Wade.”
  • Our Ongoing Catharsis – “We must remember that America is a naturally rich country. We inherited a lavish infrastructure. Our Constitution is singular. We largely solved the problem of a multi-racial, multi-religious society not devolving into the Balkans, Rwanda, or Iraq. Our higher education in the sciences is superb. American individualism is a magnet that draws kindred spirits the world over. Our military is 19th-century in its patriotic outlook, and 21st century in its competence. So the fumes of America are strong and can keep us fueled for a long time.

    But like it or not, at some future date, we will lose what we inherited if we keep borrowing trillions. At some point racial identity politics will result in factionalism. No country can survive with open borders. An educational system that is therapeutic rather than knowledge-based will result in that terrible combination of an arrogant and ignorant electorate that becomes a mockery on the world stage.”

  • Rose Friedman Passes – “Rose Friedman, co-author of several books with her late husband and Nobel laureate economist Milton, passed away this morning. Rose and Milton co-wrote Free to Choose the wonderful book that formed the basis of Milton’s PBS television series, as well co-writing their joint auto-biography ‘Two Lucky People.'”

Texting While Driving
Disclaimer: The video above contains graphic images and pulls no punches with the depiction of an auto accident. Gear Diary is in no way liable for any nightmares or post-traumatic stress syndrome caused after viewing this video. You’ve been warned…

  • How Aware Are We of Our Own Distraction? – “One factor that promotes overconfidence in one’s ability to “safely” multitask while driving is the idea that we cannot often correctly monitor our own level of vigilance.”
  • Kirzner at FEE – “FEE has just posted the video of Israel Kirzner’s opening lecture at the FEE Advanced Austrian Economics seminar from earlier this month. I have to say that to have at almost 80 years of age, Israel’s energy and passion for ideas that he has talked about hundreds of times before is just stunning.”

Economist Richard Vedder on Why College Costs So Damn Much!

  • What are health care co-ops? – “I am in any case puzzled by the topic. If, say, rescission is a major problem, why do not health insurance customers seek out health insurance mutuals or co-ops, both of which offer the possibility of greater consumer control and thus less opportunism from the supplier.”
  • The Gypsy In My Soul – “‘The Gypsy in My Soul’ was written in 1937 by two graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, Moe Jaffe and Clay Boland. It was written for the 50th anniversary of UPenn’s Mask and Wig show and according to sources, wasn’t much of a hit at the time of its composition but over the years, it grew into something of a minor standard. Some jazzmen tackled it, such as Lester Young, Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessell, but really, it was a tune tailor made for the pop ilk such as Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr., Patti Page and Doris Day.”
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA, 1005HA compared, contrasted – “There are three computers in the Asus Eee PC ‘Seashell’ lineup. The Eee PC 1005HA and 1008HA each have 10 inch displays, while the Eee PC 1101HA has a larger 11.6 inch display. It also has a higher screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, and a slower Intel Atom processor that clocks in at just 1.33GHz.”

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