Assorted Links 8/2/09

Dave Barry, Award-Winning Humorist, Speaks Out on College Censorship in New FIRE Video

  • Advanced Federal Budget Process, August 3-4, 2998
  • Advanced Legislative Strategies, August 5-7, 2009
  • Air Conditioning and Civilization – “I find it something of a wonder that civilizations sprouted in climate hell-holes such as India, Egypt, what is now Iraq, and Mexico-Central America. With heat slowing one to a snail’s pace and sweat dripping off the nose, how did they even think of creating writing, arts, and other things we associate with civilized life? And to what heights might they have arisen had they invented air conditioning?”
  • NCSL: Too Liberal? – “legislators in Utah and other red states are thinking about pulling out of NCSL [National Conference of State Legislatures] due to their conviction that the group leans left”
  • Is There a ‘Right’ to Health Care? – “If there is a right to health care, someone has the duty to provide it. Inevitably, that ‘someone’ is the government. Concrete benefits in pursuance of abstract rights, however, can be provided by the government only by constant coercion. People sometimes argue in favor of a universal human right to health care by saying that health care is different from all other human goods or products. It is supposedly an important precondition of life itself. This is wrong: There are several other, much more important preconditions of human existence, such as food, shelter and clothing.
    . . .
    The question of health care is not one of rights but of how best in practice to organize it. America is certainly not a perfect model in this regard. But neither is Britain, where a universal right to health care has been recognized longest in the Western world.

    Not coincidentally, the U.K. is by far the most unpleasant country in which to be ill in the Western world. Even Greeks living in Britain return home for medical treatment if they are physically able to do so.”

  • How did ADHD evolve and survive? – “many people with ADHD can use their ‘jumpiness’ to propel themselves to sample and learn extra new pieces of information. The current distribution of identified cases from the ADHD population likely suffers from selection bias, namely that it identifies ADHD cases associated with greater life problems.”
  • Resurrecting the New Deal in Perry County, Tennessee – “Instead, for long-term economic health, former manufacturing centers need to allow the private investment to direct their labor pools toward their new comparative advantages.”
  • Coincidence? I think not – “And where is this powerful hospital with all the lobbying money located? Why in the metropolitan area of McAllen, Texas. McAllen, Texas? Hmmm…now where I have heard that name before?”
  • Did Warren Burger Create the Health Care Mess? The 1975 antitrust decision that gave you physician-owned hospitals. – “Where there’s death, my friend, there’s always hope.”
  • Ignorant bloggers go nuts over Michelle Bachmann – “A single afternoon of C-Span should be enough to teach you that this sequence of postponing votes until the evening occurs nearly every day in the House of Representatives, especially with relatively uncontroversial measures that are expected to get two-thirds of the vote, and totally uncontroversial resolutions like this one.”

    Or you can sign up for our Congress in a Nutshell course. Or listen to our two tapes about C-SPAN – the House and the Senate. Sheesh.

  • Ain’t Misbehavin’: The 1940s Versions – “I still wanted to make time to get another one of these ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” blogs out there. Today will focus on the 1940s, which was THE decade of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” in Armstrong’s career. I have over ten versions in my collection from this decade…and I’d be a nut to share all ten. But I’d at least like to pepper in four or five”
  • *Imperial*, by William Vollmann – “It is glorious in its 1100 pp. plus of text, analytical diatribes, love stories, monomaniacal rants, ecological analyses, and unevenly eloquent prose. I’m on p.206 and so far it’s a first-rate book on the Mexican-American border (Imperial is a county in California), low lifes, the desperation of America’s empty spaces, and this is from an author who issues books like others do blog posts.”
  • Immigration Raids Circumventing the Fourth Amendment – “It looks as if we can add ‘illegal immigration’ to the growing list of issues so critical, they deserve exceptions to the Fourth Amendment.”
  • Eight hours of Bach for three bucks – “Even though Bach’s works preceded copyright protection, this is a good example of how our culture benefits from sensible copyright term limits: eight hours of some of the finest music ever composed for about the price of a Happy Meal”
  • Street Urinal Makes Public Peeing Practical – “The Axixa is a design by Mexican Miguel Melgarejo, and could be deployed cheaply and easily on any city wall. Inside there is a traditional U-bend water trap leading to a drainage pipe. The outside could actually be any shape, but a yellow streak of piss seems appropriate enough. But would people use them? If you are desperate enough to pee in the street anyway, we doubt you’d be too embarrassed to use the Axixa instead.”
  • Mysteriously High Tides on East Coast Perplex Scientists – “From Maine to Florida, the Atlantic seaboard has experienced higher tides than expected this summer. At their peak in mid-June, the tides at some locations outstripped predictions by two feet. The change has come too fast to be attributed to melting ice sheets or anything quite that dramatic, and it’s a puzzle for scientists who’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
  • Pasara Thai – “It was one of the very best Thai meals I’ve eaten in this area — ever — superb in every way. The minced chicken with basil was especially good, also the drunken noodles and the chinese broccoli with small pork fritters. I can’t promise you’ll succeed in getting the same treatment, but like I said it’s worth a try.”
  • 32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business – “Facebook’s not just for keeping tabs on friends and filling out quizzes– it can also be used as a highly effective business tool. It’s great for marketing your products, landing gigs and connecting with your customers.”

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