Assorted Links, October 16, 2010

For price hikes to stick, demand must be real, not artificial.

Inflation Targeting Proposal an Exercise in Blazing Stupidity; Fed Fools Itself, by Mike Shedlock, MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis, October 15, 2010

Peach is fed up with the bubbles
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sunfox

I put together a collection of tools to get just what I wanted out of the previously reviewed Kindle; a customized daily design, innovation, and anthropology newspaper combined with a collection of all the internet reads that I didn’t get through during the day.

Essential Kindle tools: Calibre + Instapaper, by Paul Cline, Cool Tools, October 13, 2010

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Let’s debate the security of the United States, the strategy to best protect it, and the resources needed to fund the strategy. Any time, any place.

The ‘Spectacularly Misnamed Radicals’ Fire Back on Military Spending, by Justin Logan, Cato @ Liberty, October 15, 2010

Wings & Wheels 2010
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lee Cannon

From pretty much any perspective you want to look — drama, comedy, tragedy, intrigue, farce, oddity, chaos, what if, — it’s pretty hard, among political events, to beat the 1860 Presidential election.

From a basic “what happened” standpoint, it’s easily the most unique election in American history. There were four candidates, representing three parties. One of the parties — the Democrats — had imploded at its convention in May and split into two factions. The second party — the Republicans — did not exist seven years prior. And the third party — the Constitutional Unionist — did not exist seven months prior.

The 1860 election also marked the collapse of the Presidential election system that had been devised by the Founders in 1787, and their attempt to build a system that required candidates who sought the Presidency to acquire a national following with strength in all areas of the country.

Cold Fusion, Matt Glassman, October 15, 2010

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Seventh graders attending Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School were forced to participate in an explicit survey of sexual habits without their parents’ knowledge or consent, according to the Georgetown Dish.

The Metro Teen AIDS survey required 12- and 13-year-olds to choose between four “genders,” state that they could “correctly put a condom on yourself or a partner and convince a reluctant partner to use barrier protection,” and list how many people they had oral, vaginal or anal sex with so far.

Middle school ‘sex test’ riles Georgetown parents, by Barbara Hollingsworth, Beltway Confidential, October 15, 2010

Tennessee State Prison
Creative Commons License photo credit: kelseywynns

Creative writing with some truth:

Literacy levels in prison are fucking awful. If I were in a gang, when I wasn’t selling crack and doing drive by shootings, I’d be making sure prospective gang members knew how to read because inside, there isn’t much else to do.

A lot of cons end up teaching themselves how to read because there isn’t much else to do apart from get a library book. But writing is fucking horrendous. My spelling is bad, and as a few people have pointed out it’s even worse from having studied abroad, but you would be hard pressed to find many convicts who can string a sentence together with a pen.

One of my cellmates was functionally illiterate and so with nothing else to do, I’d help him write letters for his appeals and back to his daughter. He told his people, who then started coming to me as well, so for a while, I had a steady supply of Reece’s Pieces in return for helping people write letters. It wasn’t a Dead Poet’s Society moment or anything – I didn’t teach anyone how to write and we didn’t all end up holding hands and feeling we’d grown as humans. It was just a good way to pass time. But sooner or later I got asked how come I could write, and so I told them I’d been to University, thinking I’d just get put upon for a while – convicts will pick on you for anything. But instead everyone just seemed really disappointed. Instead of cracking jokes about it, they seemed genuinely upset that a white kid, with a college degree, would be so stupid as to get himself locked up inside. So I was made to feel kind of embarrased, and ashamed at having an education – a shame that I still haven’t kicked having got out.

2 Years In Prison – A Man’s Story, teamliquid, hat tip Alex Tabarrok, Prison, Marginal Revolution, October 15, 2010

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