Posts tagged ‘Charles Murray’

Assorted Links – 2/19/12

  • Lessons of a very sexy pirate costume – “I was in love with my own incongruity – being a poetry-spouting college graduate in a pleather miniskirt. And I loved this notion of doing something at which I was entirely unsuited, and which seemed to go so much against my personality. I would never have said it at the time, but I very much believed I was above being a fun-loving pirate wench selling shots. I had read Meno and lived in cardigans and went to museums for fun. I was a terrific little snob who thought she knew everything, and subsequently, I was about to learn a great deal. … As ridiculous as it sounds, that was the first time I became aware that clever people are buried in every nook and cranny of life. It is astonishing that no one pointed this out to me sooner.
  • Libertarians: A matter of perspective
  • The nexus of elite formation and higher education for American New Class – “The system of high school college placement and higher education itself induces fantastic risk aversion, and that is accelerating, in large part on account of grade inflation that leave students in high school (applying to college) and in the university compressed against a top grade – in which there is mostly room to fall and fail. When the median grade in the liberal arts is an A-, you mostly have only to go down and given the cost of the credential and its consequences – well in excess of any educational value in the liberal arts – you will act in the most risk averse, strategic way and take only classes in which you already know you will do at least that well. The analogue of risk aversion in higher education in real life is downward mobility.”
  • Think Tanks Are Nonpartisan? Think Again – “One of the strangest institutions in Washington – and perhaps the hardest to comprehend from the outside – is the think tank, that quasi-academic, sort-of-political organization that offers, as its primary output, ideas. Universally, think tanks claim to be nonpartisan, and as tax-exempt nonprofits, this is a basic requirement in the tax code. But most people in Washington know the ideological leanings of think tanks that may obscure this fact in their titles: There’s the Cato Institute (libertarian), the Heritage Foundation (conservative), the Brookings Institution (moderate liberal) and the Center for American Progress (progressive).”

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  • CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression – “After three years with unemployment topping 8 percent, the U.S. has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, the Congressional Budget Office noted in a report issued today. And, despite some recent good news on the economic front, the CBO is still predicting that unemployment will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The report also notes that, including those who haven’t sought work in the past four weeks and those who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment, the unemployment rate would be 15 percent.”
  • Over-regulated America – “The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation. … Two forces make American laws too complex. One is hubris. Many lawmakers seem to believe that they can lay down rules to govern every eventuality. The other force that makes American laws complex is lobbying. The government’s drive to micromanage so many activities creates a huge incentive for interest groups to push for special favours.
  • The Case For Dying Broke – “In your 60s live off taxable accounts and your corporate pension. Leave your Social Security and IRA untouched until you’re 70. Deferring Social Security benefits buys you, in effect, an incremental inflation-protected annuity. Deferring the IRA cash-out makes tax sense. When you turn 70 put a third to a half of your money into fixed annuities, using the IRA. Most of the outlay should be for immediate annuities. A sliver should be used to buy an annuity that kicks in only if and when you reach age 80. That’s to keep up with inflation. For every dollar invested at age 70, a male can get 7.4 cents of immediate annual income or 20 cents of annual income starting a decade later. With your basic needs covered you can take big risks with the rest of your money. Put it in stocks and junk bonds.”

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  • Mandatory Drugs Tests by Record Companies, Media Scoldings, and Other Helpful Suggestions for Preventing Further Whitney Houstons – “One of Dr. Drew’s recent show guests suggested that record companies start mandatory drug testing. Drew [Pinsky] said ‘I love that.'”
  • How much would (did) it cost to build the Death Star? – A LOT!
  • Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids – “This overheated hostility toward public schools runs throughout the new literature on liberal homeschooling, and reveals what is so fundamentally illiberal about the trend: It is rooted in distrust of the public sphere, in class privilege, and in the dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which at least one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work in order to manage a process—education—that most parents entrust to the community at-large. … Of course, no one wants to sacrifice his own child’s education in order to better serve someone else’s kid. … If progressives want to improve schools, we shouldn’t empty them out. We ought to flood them with our kids, and then debate vociferously what they ought to be doing.” Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart, agrees with the author, except he says that what school your kids attend doesn’t really matter. He sent his children to public schools.
  • Home-schooling demographics change, expand – “There was a time when Heather Kirchner thought mothers who home-schooled their children were only the types ‘who wore long skirts and praised Jesus and all that.’ … Secular organizations across the country report their numbers are growing. Though government records indicate religion is still the driving force in home schooling, members of these organizations say the face of home schooling is changing, not because of faith, but because of what parents see as shortcomings in public and private schools.”

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Assorted Links 2/12/12

  • The PPACA Mandate: The Government’s Best Case” – “We are all familiar with an individual mandate that was authorized by the U.S. Congress and notoriously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court: the affirmative duty of persons of Japanese descent to report to a Civil Control Station. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1943).” And that worked out so well….
  • Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking? – “Even if you dismiss the recent plunge as an outlier, the declines in retail gasoline deliveries are mind-boggling. If you look at the data from 1983 to 2011 on the link above, you will note that delivery declines align with recessions.”
  • How Many Kids Are Sexually Abused by Their Teachers?,” by Brian Palmer, Slate, February 8, 2012 – “Probably millions.”
  • Lead Cooled fast Small modular reactor design could be a ‘SUPERSTAR’ – “‘Small modular reactors, or SMRs, are small-scale nuclear plants that are designed to be factory-manufactured and shipped as modules to be assembled at a site. They can be designed to operate without refueling for 15 to 30 years. The concept offers promising answers to many questions about nuclear power–including proliferation, waste, safety and start-up costs.'”
  • Dealing with the Dreaded CEL (check engine light) – “‘the five most common causes of a check engine light and what you should do about them…’ The list: faulty oxygen sensor, loose or faulty gas cap, faulty catalytic converter, faulty mass airflow sensor, bad spark plugs and/or wires.”
  • If You See Something, Shut Up – “M. Zudi Jasser is a physician, a U.S. Navy veteran, an American patriot and a Muslim who does not hold with those who preach that Islam commands its followers to take part in a war against unbelievers.” The film is The Third Jihad.


Beniamino Gigli – Wikipedia

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  • 6 Ways The Job Search Has Changed Post-Recession – “4. Social media is the new recruiting tool
  • Ditch the Textbooks – “The majority of the modern management texts are written by theorists who render the content into endless seas of meaningless terminology. A better idea is to forgo textbooks altogether.”
  • Why Not Hire Your Own Adjunct? They Are Very Inexpensive – “Since college tuition is so high, why not skip the campus middleman and ‘hire your own professor’ as a private tutor?
  • Charles Murray, Author of ‘The Bell Curve,’ Steps Back Into the Ring – “Publishers, forget about carefully reasoned, nuanced discussions of the issues of the day—that stuff is for college professors, or yuppies off yammering away in their salons. If you print politically oriented books and you want to make the big bucks, you need to think like a boxing promoter and stage fights that will get attention. And nothing, but nothing, draws hype like a match-up between liberal pundits and the man they love to hate, the belligerent behind the The Bell Curve, the warrior against welfare, the proudly politically incorrect Charles Murray. Mr. Murray’s newest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum), makes a pretense of making nice. It bills itself as an attempt to alleviate divisiveness in American society by calling attention to a growing cultural gap between the wealthy and the working class.”
  • Drescher: Getting fit can give a new lease on life – “Taking a forced sabbatical from politics has been a blessing in almost every way,” Morgan wrote in his 2008 book, The Fourth Witch, which he describes on the cover as “a memoir of politics and sinning.”

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  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) faces insider-trading investigation
  • Can you change your partner in marriage? – “Ultimately, though, she said it was necessary to accept the other person. She knocked on the square wooden table and said ‘You can round off the corners, but your spouse will still have the same basic shape.‘”
  • 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes – “Which and That – ‘Which’ introduces a relative clause.
  • The Kodak Moment – Unleashed from Scarcity, Editing Becomes More Important – “There is a burden in … abundance, a pain we’ve all experienced. It’s the burden of whittling down the flood of photos into a coherent and efficient package. Because there isn’t a barrier at the input end anymore, we have to erect that barrier later, or the insanity of fifteen photos of the same mountain, the same animal, the same sunset, the same flower, or the same family smiling becomes clear. We only need one or two good ones. We don’t need them all. In fact, maybe we don’t need most of them.”
  • IT guy answers daughter’s Facebook rant by shooting her laptop – “You can have a new one when you buy one” (video at link)
  • Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die – “[O]wing to medical advancements, cancer deaths now peak at age 65 and kill off just 20 percent of older Americans, while deaths due to organ failure peak at about 75 and kill off just another 25 percent, so the norm for seniors is becoming a long, drawn-out death after 85, requiring ever-increasing assistance for such simple daily activities as eating, bathing, and moving. This is currently the case for approximately 40 percent of Americans older than 85, the country’s fastest-growing demographic, which is projected to more than double by 2035, from about 5 million to 11.5 million. And at that point, here comes the next wave–77 million of the youngest Baby Boomers will be turning 70.”
  • The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate – “Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for ‘insurance’ that covers contraceptives?
  • Obamacare vs the Catholic Bishops – “There is some tragic irony to all this. We should not forget that many religious leaders have long-supported increasing the role of the state in health care and the economy at-large, perhaps thinking that conscience clauses would protect their institutions against any undue interference. Well, they were wrong; what the state giveth, the state taketh away. If you invite the state to ‘assist’ more and more of your activities, it will eventually start telling you how to do things. … Economic ignorance among religious leaders comes at a very high cost to their own good works.”

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