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Linky Friday #142: Plumber Payday( 278 )


toilet plumber photo

Image by Anne Worner

[L1] A pilot says that Allegiant Air fired him for putting passenger safety first.

[L2] Noah Smith says minimum wages are great, except when they’re not.

[L3] It’s not just a retailers’ payday. Black Friday is a big moneymaker for plumbers, apparently is the busiest day in the year for this profession due to people having problems with garbage disposals with the residues of Thanksgiving, if you result to have a problem with these, you can always get the plumbers Lexington sc to fix your problem.

[L4] Adam Ozimek continues his sysiphean quest to make the point that no, government assistance to low-wage workers are not employer subsidies (except possibly the EITC)… even though in his view (as in Oren Cass’s) we should structure things so that they kind of are. My own view is actually expressed pretty well by Coyote here, though without the first-hand perspective.


[E1] From Christopher Carr: Dyske Suematsu has been blogging since the 90s, steadily, slowly. Over the years, I’ve read a lot of his pieces. Many have forced me to change my worldview, or are things I still think about from time to time. Here is a recent one about education.

[E2] I recently linkied about the extreme measures taken against students deemed troubled. On the other side of the ledger, take them out of regular classes may be good for everyone else, especially the smart kids.

[E3] Boom. Students who go to liberal arts colleges earn less.

[E4] This makes sense: Vox reports that during recessions, college students pick money-making majors.

[E5] Andrew Flowers points to some research in Sweden suggesting that nurture, not nature, is more responsible for wealth.


victory photo

Image by Mark Ittleman

[P1] This is definitely true for me: Once a superior product is available, I stop worrying about breaking what I have.

[P2] Stuart Richie argues that IQ tests have been unfairly maligned.

[P3] Oliver Emberton says that if you don’t think life is fair, it’s probably your concept of fairness that’s broken. I’ve commented quite a bit here and there on the subjectivity of fairness.

[P4] When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible. {via Oscar}


Image by emilykneeter

Image by emilykneeter

[M1] Bloggingheads is ten years old. Founders Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus reunite to talk about it.

[M2] When local newscasters try just a little too hard.

[M3] Emily Yoffe has announced that her days of Prudence are at an end.

[M4] The Montana Standard is unmasking its commenters. {More}


shotgun wedding photo

Image by MizterForbz

[F1] Kay Hymowitz says that parental self-expectations are making parents miserable.

[F2] Uncle Steve applies Moynihan’s Law to a recent David Leonhardt and >Bradford Wilcox pieces on and happiness in red and blue states and Europe.

[F3] Whether you get formally married or not, the decision to long-haul it really ought to be made actively and not passively.

[F4] According to a study in the Oxford University Press, children of two-parent households do better even when there is a generous welfare state. (PDF) Another study by the NIH looking at Sweden shows that the effects on criminality among teenage mothers is attenuated when looking at other factors, though educational attainment (of the children) is not.


[S1] Alanis Morissette updates Ironic.

[S2] The Force is strong with this one. I used the Imperial Death March, along with the themes to Mario Bros and Zelda, to distract Lain when she was tiny.

[S3] Over at Hit Coffee, Gabriel writes of the new Cosmos and I write of Waffle House.

[S4] I did not think I would like this article, titled “Why I’m Sick of the ‘Body Positivity’ Movement“, but it’s actually really good.

[S5] Attention Saul Degraw! Attention Saul Degraw! The case for expensive clothes.


Catalonia photo

Image by Arjan Richter

[W1] Parliamentary Problems.

[W2] Catalonia takes steps towards independence.

[W3] Developing countries are told they will need to make some sacrifices to avert Climate Change. Samir Saran says India should decline.

[W4] Chinese Muslims may have beaten Columbus to the punch.

[W5] How countries around the world see democracy.

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Linky Friday #141: God, Family, Terror( 280 )


[T1] One of the questions I asked myself while I was watching things unfold in the aftermath of Paris was why they didn’t go into the stadium. Question answered.

[T2] While we were watching Paris, a hero did this in Beirut.

[T3] You know what else saved lives (well, a life)? A Samsung smartphone. And not for the first time.

[T4] Michael Weiss interviews Abu Khaled, Daeshian spy.

[T5] One of the terrorists of the Paris attack got in to Paris using a fake Syrian passport, which are apparently pretty easy to get. That he wasn’t actually a Syrian is less comforting than that he apparently snuck in through the refugee system is discomforting. At least, for the European system. (Hopefully ours is a lot better.)

[T6] The National Front in France is allegedly gaining support among gays.


[I1] Before the attacks, Tanvi Misra made the case that Syrian refugees are likely to help the cities they settle in. Maybe, but when you’ve lost Rick Snyder

[I2] Last week I linkied a liberal case against Birthright Citizenship. This week, the conservative case for Birthright Citizenship.

[I3] When the Obama Administration paused refugee entry.

[I4] Images from Ellis Island.


Image by DonkeyHotey

Image by DonkeyHotey

[P1] I’m not laughing at all about The Jeb Scenario. He’s still #3 on my poll position, and I think I might be too bearish. {More}

[P2] Also, the whole bit about Jeb helping a National Review reporter with tips on how to clean her room is kinda cool.

[P3] Some black voters may disagree, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar believes that Ben Carson is perpetuating black stereotypes by denying science. Not sure about that, but he does carry some black comic book character stereotypes (wherein black characters tend to fall into one of three categories, one of which is being incredibly successful and smart).

[P4] Orac looks Ben Carson and why intelligent people aren’t always skeptics. Somewhat related, from 2013, Tea Partiers know science.

[P5] Though I think there was a window of opportunity for him to run, Mitt Romney would not be wise to enter the fray now. He could possibly do his party a lot of good by endorsing Rubio, however.

[P6] Say what one will about the Tea Party, but no faction of the GOP has done more to recruit minority candidates.


paul ryan photo

Image by

[H1] Matthew Walther is not a big fan of Paul Ryan’s anti-smoking sentiment, brought to light on account of his need to detoxify the Speaker’s office. I am somewhat sympathetic to Ryan’s plight – especially since he doesn’t have a DC residence, though it does actually kind of make me glad he didn’t run for president…

[H2] … because Obama’s seemingly reasonable regulatory regime for ecigarettes is looking worse and worse with each passing month. It’s far enough in the future that the next president will have a lot of influence over what’s going to happen. The decision looks more like a punt.

[H3] Is institutional racism (against minorities, to be clear) responsible for substance abuse deaths among whites?

[H4] The biology of morning sickness. (This is not a hint that Clancy is pregnant. Elizabeth Stroker Bruenig is, though!)

[H5] Horrifying.


Image by sabertasche2

Image by sabertasche2

[R1] The Problematic Bible.

[R2] Sergio types out participants in the Catholic Dating World. They ain’t no Amish, I fear.

[R3] Ardis E Parshall explains (sympathetically) the Mormon policy on children of gay parents.

[R4] Jerry Coyne wants the Quiet Atheists to lay off the New Atheists.

[R5] They may not be enthusiastic about getting Syrian refugees, but The Economist explains why Muslims are heading for Dixie.


[F1] Daniel Drezner argues that work/life balance might be easier if childcare isn’t split 50/50. I tend to agree, and would argue both that typically careers can’t be 50/50, either. And in a statement against interest, it’s actually going to typically (though far from always) be easier to fly in the traditional formation.

[F2] The combination of automatic birthright citizenship and the requirements of expatriates to pay taxes makes for a troubling combination for young Americans born abroad.

[F3] Harry Benson argues that giving cohabitating couples the same rights as married couples undermines men’s commitment. I hadn’t thought about it in quite that manner, but even setting aside some dubious incentives my view is that if you want the obligations and benefits of marriage, there is only one thing you need to do to make it happen. Including for…

[F4] It’s time for gays to get married or lose their benefits. Which is exactly as it should be. When I was living in Deseret, I had a couple of friends – both of which fervently supported SSM – who were irritated that gay couples could get work benefits without getting married, while they would have to get married.

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Linky Friday #140: Criminal Ed( 134 )


heidelberg university photo

Image by Harald Groven

[E1] RAND writes about the Department of Education taking another look at Zero Tolerance.

[E2] Isolation rooms: Schools like prisons.

[E3] Scott Shackford seeks to set the record straight on Germany’s free college.

[E4] MIT’s free online classes now have a pathway to a degree! (Also, a catalog of free online college courses (that presumably don’t grant credit).

[E5] As the university becomes marketized, perhaps we should embrace a model where some students have to go to chapel, and others to workshops.

[E6] Jane the Actuary asks what elite universities are for.


prison photo

Image by x1klima

[C1] GNC is accused of spiking their dietary supplements with Russian drugs.

[C2] Seduced by a teacher’s aide, a British school boy says he was scarred for life.

[C3] Police officers are taking advantage of superpowered comrades to fight crime. No masks and capes, alas.

[C4] Women are less likely to be exonerated of their crimes. Why? Sometimes, there was no crime.

[C5] Richard Marshall interviewed Costica Bradatan about murdering philosophers.


[M1] From Sam Wilkinson: Here’s an excellent essay about growing up mixed race and the weight that comes with that. I know it’s Gawker (BOOO GAWKER BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) but good writing is good writing.

[M2] Keli Goff makes a progressive case against birthright citizenship, as part of a larger bargain. I’m not in favor if the idea, and it’s not going anywhere, but until the issue got all Trumped up I hadn’t realized that most of the movement on the issue has been towards restriction.

[M3] Samuel Liu looks at the self-segregation of Silicon Valley between white and Asian students.

[M4] The testimony of a white man with black names.


mental health clinic photo

Image by CG Hughes

[P1] Men are more likely than women to be down with the idea of being time-traveling assassins.

[P2] If you’re immune from contagious yawning, you might just be a psychopath.

[P3] Scientific American looks at how to ethically extract a confession.

[P4] Your brain is actually capable of remembering crazy-random passwords, if you know how.

[P5] “It turns out when you lock constitutionally anxious people in a new environment full of psychotic people, they become really really anxious.” –Scott Alexander


[D1] Well, this is one way to propose. Not that I can say a whole lot, because I used a blog to pop the question (though I was kneeling behind her and said the words verbally).

[D2] Shocker: Dating couples and married couples communicate differently.

[D3] Decoding superior online dating profiles.

[D4] In the online dating world, having an enhanced photo makes you more trustworthy to women, but less trustworthy to men.

[D5] Yes, women are using Tinder to get laid. No, not with you. Anyway, stop freaking out about Tinder.


[A1] Ole Miss is now (likely) the only state university that will no longer fly its state flag on campus. Here’s hoping that the state changes the flag into something the university will fly proudly.

[A2] What happens when the world’s driest desert gets some rain? This happens. Wow.

[A3] Puerto Rico’s solution to its debt problem may be to just stop paying.

[A4] This is a pretty heartwarming story.

[A5] State lines – or in this case provincial ones – can lead to weird results (see also, Texarkana).

[A6] In Canada, immigration officials have a checklist of what to look for when trying to detect their equivalent of green card marriages. Some are saying it’s problematic.

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Linky Friday #139: Humans, Robots, & Onions( 381 )

Star Wars:

alderaan photo

Image by eshplagami

[SW1] Daniel Drezner writes of the catastrophic success of the Rebel Alliance, as revealed by the new Star Wars trailers.

[SW2] Trumwill favorite Jonathan Last, famous for making the original pro-Empire argument, explains why the Jedi are the bad guys. Ted Cruz, however, sides with the Rebels. Ever the politician, Marco Rubio seems wishy-washy on the whole thing, as does Drezner.

[SW3] The hardest thing to justify about the Empire is the destruction of Alderaan. Sonny Bunch is on it. Trumwill favorite Lyman Stone disagrees.

[SW4] Roland Dodds pointed to this theory of Jarjar Binks as a villain. Jacob Brogan and Alexandra Petri aren’t buying it.

[SW5] Our own CK Macleod responded to Roland’s original post about Star Wars with his own, touching on Star Wars, leprous ideology, and alternate looks at the history and present through different eyes.


robot photo

Image by Paul Keller

[Pr1] Technology Review writes about the emerging science of human computation.

[Pr2] Spinal chord simulation and robotic exoskeletons.

[Pr3] GMOs: Myth vs. Fact

[Pr4] Stowe Boyd writes of the emergence of algorithmic HR.

[Pr5] BBC asks why we are the only human species still around. Relatedly, where might evolution take humanity?


jeb bush photo

Image by DonkeyHotey

[Po1] Former Alabama Democrat turn Virginia Republican turn Alabama Independent Artur Davis is not eligible to become an Alabama Democrat again right away.

[Po2] Will electoral reform come to Canada? Trudeau favors it, but its time may have passed.

[Po3] Hillary Clinton is fun.

[Po4] Peter Beinart argues that Jeb Bush’s tumble is proof that democracy is winning. I think the most underreported story this cycle is that campaign finance reform has worked so impressively this cycle.

[Po5] If Attorney General Katherine Kane (D-PA) is going down, she’s not going alone.


[L1] Woohoo! This is what the economy has long needed.

[L2] CVS is (at least temporarily) is scaling back its experiment with self-checkout. Virginia Postrel outlines why self-checkout is going to be an uphill climb.

[L3] This stands to reason: If your job is routine, there’s a good chance it’s going to disappear.

[L4] The oil slump has hit the petroleum engineering community hard. My Man in Texas says that this is a mistake, because they’re going to be needed down the road.

[L5] Steve Denning takes the consistent argument that the jobless future is a myth. Nobody should be worried about there not being work or things to do. What I’m worried about is that there work that is of enough value that the amount people are willing to pay for it can provide people with a reasonably comfortable life.

[L6] “Do what you love” is still terrible advice. As always.


rugby photo

Image by KRB events

[S1] Rugby… a game that makes soldiers, can honor indigenous culture, and has limited prospects in the US.

[S2] All he could say is that his life was pretty lame. I’m not sure any song captured the moment better than that one.

[S3] Christopher Orr is unimpressed with Truth, the movie that pretends the TANG documents might have been real.

[S4] Raising Baby Hitler.

[S5] It looks like we will have Phil Collins to kick around again soon.


jeb bush photo[W1] I’m not gonna lie, a McDonald’s burger with a grey bun sounds intriguing to me.

[W2] I hope that Anonymous might consider leaving the UK rather than the medical profession. Montana and Idaho need you!

[W3] In an interview with Russian astronauts, of course you ask how they will cope without men and makeup because that’s the important thing.

[W4] Not good: Masked gangs are going after Syrians in Germany.

[W5] The Dark, Haunted Joe Biden Center. “This table was just full of old alarm clocks and printed rules for the Biden Center.” I don’t know if I’d rather go there or to Dismaland.

Coming Soon: Technology, Education, Crime, and North and South America

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The State of the Art( 48 )

So… big changes have been afoot. I’ve been lurking, and one of the lesser changes around here is that I won’t be lurking anymore.

I’ve been writing a book, which now is done, publication date still unknown. I’ve been writing more for Cato’s audience. I’ve been writing here and there a bit. I’ve been keeping busy, more or less.

But basically… I still wasn’t writing as much as I wanted. Something about it requires a kick in the pants, and that’s what you folks can be at your best. A good solid kick in the pants. Just like I need.

CK MacLeod suggested that by way of reintroduction I should offer some thoughts on the state of the art in blogging. Here they are.

1. The Structures Have Changed

Everyone of a certain age remembers the old-time blogosphere. It seemed to have appeared magically, fully formed, on the afternoon of 9/11. A shoulder to rant on. It was exactly what we needed.

Less than ten years later it was mostly dead. But for that short while it was glorious.

The old-time blogosphere died because of changes in how we aggregate. Professionalization didn’t kill it. Professionals were in blogging before, during, and after the golden age, and while “I do nothing but blog, and I get paid for it” was unknown in the early days, that wasn’t the killer either.

Here’s what was.

In the golden age, organizing one’s blog reading was a solitary activity. News aggregators weren’t social at all. Aggregators could work well or badly, and they came and went. The key is that they were run by you, for you. A good aggregator was like a good toilet: unobtrusive, solitary, and clean.

Aggregators were tools, not communities. Feedback, such as it was, went directly to the blog, to which one had already in effect pledged one’s allegiance. The blog was the community.

You all have mostly carried on in that tradition, even as the old aggregation process faded away. For that I salute you.

Today, though, and for most who make Reading Stuff on the Internet a big part of their unstructured time, the community exists not at the blog, but at the aggregation site, which is to say that it’s social: It’s Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, Reddit, and the like. When people write nowadays, they write with an eye to that.

In social aggregation, other people mostly put stuff in front of you. And that stuff becomes the community, through algorithms that most users don’t understand in the least. I don’t pretend to either, but I can say this: Much of it is tuned for outrage; the offhand remarks of others are taken as telling, revelatory, and final.

The reading experience is impersonal and optimized. The desired product is not a reflection, but an emotion. OMG. LOL. WTF.

Or just: TRASHY.

It’s also a business. To be specific, it’s a Target, not an antique shop. Don’t like it? There’s a Costco down the street. Their selection is slightly different, and you may always affiliate with it instead.

The winners in this environment are quick, funny, accessible, shocking, and conventional, at least to the audience at hand. (Yes, you certainly can be shocking while being conventional. It’s the easiest thing in the world.) The winners are memes.

Memes are never discursive. They are never ragged about the edges. A good meme ends a discussion before it begins, because that’s what it’s been artificially selected to do. Even disagreeing with a meme seems somehow in bad taste. And so we don’t disagree, and anyway there’s no one around who would disagree (thanks, social aggregation!), and then false memes proliferate. Not that the old way was perfect – it certainly wasn’t – but nobody fisks anymore, and for that we ought to be ashamed.

The results speak for themselves, and the damage goes beyond mere memes. Do you all remember the piece in Slate that said spooning was sexist? That’s a symptom too:

As you know, this is a stupid thought only an intentionally provocative person would think, and the Internet let the author (whose name we’re also not printing, because we’re not rewarding this kind of thing) know exactly that. At some level, you’ve got to admire the guts: this guy had to have known that no person with real problems on this Earth shared this thought, and yet he spent hours of his human life writing about it before disseminating it on a big media platform with his face next to it.

But it’s still profoundly stupid. And he knows it. And he printed it anyway.

And why?

Because the metric is messed up. The metric rewards Spooning Is Sexist.

Tony Haile, the CEO of Chartbeat—the kings of metrics on the web—tried to warn us about this last year.

“The click had some unfortunate side effects. It flooded the web with spam, linkbait, painful design, and tricks that treated users like lab rats. Where TV asked for your undivided attention, the web didn’t care as long as you went click, click, click,” he wrote in TIME. “In 20 years, everything else about the web has been transformed, but the click remains unchanged, we live on the click web.”


I confess that I’ve Tweeted way more than I should, and I intend to cut back. I want a return to a chattier, more discursive, more local blogosphere. I thank you for leaving the lights on here.

2. Fuck Civility Though. Seriously.

As some of you may already know, I left this space when it dawned on me that I was having essentially the same tiresome conversation over and over again. It went something like this:

Me: Here are some public policy ideas. Here’s what I think of them.

They: What he really means is FYIGM. Because that’s what libertarians think!

Me: Here’s a book I read, and here’s what I think about it.

They: Which is to say, FYIGM.

Me: “FYIGM’ is a gross misrepresentation of everything that I stand for.

They: What he really means is FYIGM.

Me: No, really. I really don’t mean that. Really!

They: That’s just secret libertarian code for “FYIGM.”

Me: Ugh.

They: Hey look, here’s somebody else saying “FYIGM.”

Me: I’m not going to talk about it.

They: Well. We already know what you think.

It’s the same beast, I suspect, that eats the progressive ideology and craps out Spooning Is Sexist. Dealing with it got real, real old. But the worst part about it was having to maintain the stifling pretense of civility.

I’ll explain what I mean.

When a speaker claims he’s being civil, it’s not a pure win. It may seem that way, and for a long time I told myself that it was. But it isn’t. To claim civility is to forfeit the stance of righteous outrage entirely to the other side. It practically begs the other side to take it on.

That is, civility makes the other side worse. Because anger shows that you care.

The other side gets to say, in effect: I care enough to forfeit civility. Definitionally, the civil one can’t do that. Ever. To insist on civility is to appear perpetually shallow and disengaged. Civility sacrifices earnestness.

So… I ended up agonizing a lot about how to be nice to people who hadn’t the slightest intention of returning the favor. All to no good end. It ended up getting presumed, I think – because I was trying to be civil – that I must be pretty smugly satisfied: in favor of the status quo, or at least of the most FYIGM aspects thereof.

And not even all that committed to those! After all, I wasn’t righteously angry.

Having a proper conversation requires, perhaps, some strategic ambiguity about our intentions. And that’s the course that I intend to take: strategic ambiguity. I do hope that I have some other, more interesting conversations in me. And if it happens that you don’t? Then you, dear reader, may go fuck yourself.

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Linky Friday #138: Pan-Nordica( 153 )

McDonalds photo

Image by doviende


[F1] Bangaladesh is about the get the green light on golden rice.

[F2] How the Egg McMuffin came to be. Relatedly, while I think there is something to this, I really want my all-day breakfast sandwiches. (Though, oddly enough, I have yet to take advantage of it. The only time I’ve eaten a McDonald’s breakfast since was before 10:30.

[F3] Nicholas Bagley is exasperated by the snacks being pushed on young’uns.

[F4] Yeah, I think synthetic meats may be like the flying cars (at least, until there’s a pressing need). I actually find some of the veggie-burgers and bean-burgers to be pretty okay.


[N1] Sometimes I miss the Mountain West. Meanwhile, in New Jersey… and Europe!

[N2] “A former meerkat expert at London Zoo has been ordered to pay compensation to a monkey handler she attacked with a wine glass in a love spat over a llama-keeper.” –Sacramento Bee

[N3] It’s apparently long been known that if you put a joey in a kangaroo’s pouch, the kangaroo might adopt it. Apparently, they adopt on their own volition, too.

[N4] Rhinos were once the largest animals in the land. Tangential, but why isn’t rhino a more common sports mascot?

Resources & Extraction:

landfill photo

Image by ColinD13

[RE1] In Greenland, it’s Farming vs Mining.

[RE2] Norway’s turn as Europe’s boomtown may be coming to an end as the oil glut takes its toll.

[RE3] My wife and I have been muttering on the small size of our recycling bin, but it turns out smaller may be better. Besides, maybe recycling is overrated anyway.

[RE4] There’s water in that there valley, and oil in them there hills, in Antarctica.


[L1] Video game voice actors are going on strike. Game companies don’t seem too worried.

[L2] But hasn’t this guy heard of the NJ/PA minimum wage experiment?

[L3] Relatedly, regardless of the merits, that a majority of Republicans in Pennsylvania support raising the minimum wage ought to scare the crap out of the GOP.


airplane photo

Image by mrkathika

[M1] Some Hungarians want you to know that they are sorry about their Prime Minister.

[M2] “Are we over American airspace yet?” They were, and an American was born. The mother was not allowed to stay, however.

[M3] According to Nima Sanandaji, Sweden’s immigration strategy is reaching a breaking point.

[M4] The most educated immigrants to the US seem to be coming from Africa.


clothesline photo

Image by Mike Lacon

[G1] California has become a right to dry state! It’s a bit of a dilemma for libertarian-types as it pits ownership against contracts. I fall in favor of the former and consider it perfectly appropriate for California to say “Home ownership has to include this as a right and privilege.”… but I’m not a very good libertarian.

[G2] The Bureau of Land Management may be instigating a huge land grab on the Red River.

[G3] It’s a clear statement of… something… that after years and years of using taxes to incentivize the purchase of electric and hybrid cars, we’re complaining about the taxes they aren’t bringing in.

[G4] Lion’s piece on sock puppetry links to this really interesting story of the CIA using sock-puppets to spread pro-US propaganda.


graffiti photo

Image by Lieutenant Pol

[S1] This reminds me of when all of the guns were out to explain that there was no good reason to object to a black stormtrooper when in fact there was decidedly a lack of objection to a black stormtrooper. Except about sports.

[S2] Subversive graffiti on the set of Homeland.

[S3] Freddie Armstrong writes about Dooce’s semi-retirement and the possible end of the mommyblogger.

[S4] Sonny Bunch writes about ethics in shaming.

[S5] From Christopher Carr: I’m 99% certain what the outcome would be if these kids were poor and black.

Relationships & Dating:

online dating photo

Image by Don Hankins

[RD1] Over at Hit Coffee I talk about grammar and online dating.

[RD2] Kashmir Hill talks about her time as an emotional escort and invisible girlfriend. A service, by the way, which is expanding and changing its name.

[RD3] I had a dream about a particular ex-girlfriend after reading this Onion article. I… suspect that a gender reversed variable would remind another ex-girlfriend of myself…

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Linky Friday #137: Nixon’s The One( 213 )


nixon1[Ho1] If Matt Y is right, then this is another reason why zoning is bad. {via Murali}

[Ho2] Some teenagers designed a movable village of tiny houses for the homeless.

[Ho3] Jeff Fong argues that California spending more on schools means fewer permits for housing.

[Ho4] At least arguably, the best and most cost-effective way of dealing with the homeless is to give them housing. Too bad you could never get Republicans on board with the idea.

[Ho5] On the other hand, half of state housing in New Zealand tested positive for meth.


nixon2[C1] Spencer Stone, one of the heroes of the French Terror attempt, was stabbed in an altercation in Sacramento. Sketches of the culprits have been released.

[C2] Yikes. A school district in Florida is paying out a six-figure settlement due to some hypnotism gone very wrong.

[C3] While using racial slurs is wrong in most contexts, I kind of think this might be an exception.

[C4] An obstetrician and abortion doctor – previously sanctioned for performing home abortions – was found with a bunch of fetuses in his car.

[C5] Federal prosecutors are going after a Fox contributor for falsely claiming having worked for the CIA.


nixon5[Po1] Hillary Clinton is apparently getting taller. I was actually under the impression that Rubio was shorter than 5’10″… roughly Paul’s height, actually. Am I wrong or has he grown taller, too?

[Po2] Sometimes Jeb is cool in spite of himself. But seriously, don’t mess with the SEC.

[Po3] Babies for Bernie!

[Po4] Harry Enten is giving Ted Cruz another look. Cruz wouldn’t have much of a chance in most elections, but this is an unusual one. I think there’s a non-trivial chance that the nomination is going to come down to two Cuban-American candidates. Tom Coburn probably isn’t happy about this prospect.

[Po5] For several Republican candidates, we’re approaching game time.

[Po6] It looks like Justin Trudeau is about to be prime minister. Richard Nixon called it when Justin was in diapers.

[Po7] From Greginak: An essay by Will Wilkinson regarding what can be learned from looking at social democratic countries like Denmark. It doesn’t provide easy answers to ideologues of any sort. Neither ideological left or right have all the comfortable answers to a free and prosperous and high government place like Denmark.


nixon3[Pr1] Scientists have totally found an alien satellite! Well, probably not.

[Pr2] Self-driving cars are coming to Canada!

[Pr3] Jason Kuznicki speaks of the Two Deepities from Martin Heidegger {via Jaybird}

[Pr4] From Aaron David: The healing power of Atomics!


nixon4[Hi1] Argo of the Sea: The history of “The CIA’s Most Famous Ship“, which came with a cover story that alarmed environmentalists.

[Hi2] I didn’t know anything about King Edward VIII other than the whole “Eddie the Quitter” thing. I definitely didn’t know about the Nazi thing.

[Hi3] Cooling may have been responsible for the end of Viking Greenland, but warming may not have been responsible for mammoth extinction.

[Hi4] Nabokov in Utah.

[Hi5] A nice little recap of the 1960 election.

United States:

nixon6[US1] Now that they no longer issue them, Maryland may take back its confederate license plates.

[US2] A surprisingly touching essay by The Voice of Richard Nixon. (or, more specifically, @dick_nixon).

[US3] I’m kind of hoping that Kimmie has some insider info on this story.

[US4] Redlining: Thank goodness this doesn’t happen anymore. Well, not out loud, anyway. (Also: this)

[US5] They say that buying is better than renting. Unless you’re black, anyway.

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Linky Friday #135: Katy & Lamar( 382 )


homer simpson power plant photo

Image by calamity_sal

[R1] Shell is pulling up its stakes and leaving the Alaskan Arctic.

[R2] Thanks to plenty of win and subsidies, Texas wind power producers were paying people to use their electricity.

[R3] R-Street criticizes a plan to charge solar customers for energy they’re not using. I could actually imagine it being a defensible policy, but the forces behind the policy certainly raise questions.

[R4] Will Boisvert makes the case for California keeping its last nuclear plant.

[R5] Black solar cells are pretty cool, for both aesthetic and technical reasons, and they’re advancing.

[R6] If oil extraction is causing earthquakes in Oklahoma, it may not be an issue of fracking as much as salt water disposal.


[N1] A goat at a Tim Horton’s in Canada was arrested by the RCMP, who I am sure were very apologetic to the goat about the inconvenience.

[N2] Kerry Howley explains the self-absorption of our response to the death of Cecil.

[N3] Dallas is struggling with a serious stray dog problem.

[N4] Wolf-Coyote Hybrids are migrating to cities.

[N5] Tanzania has lost 2/3 of its elephant population in the last four years.


Image by Lunchbox LP

Image by Lunchbox LP

[S1] Social media and modern sensibilities: Unfriending is workplace bullying and sending too many follow requests harassment.

[S2] Katy Perry is a pro.

[S3] Pumpkin spice is very problematic.

[S4] Zach Barnett argues that college football really needs to do something about the length of its games. It seems to me that keeping the clock running on first downs up to the last two minutes of each half would be a good place to start.

[S5] Credit where due: Alan Sepinwall admits when he is wrong, and a long time back he was very wrong about the prospects of a new show called CSI.

[S6] Sometimes, TV shows have to either temporarily replace cast members or cute things up.


taxes photo

Image by soukup

[G1] In a piece about Iran, Spengler argues that rule-of-the-minority is superior to democracy. I was actually pondering a minoritarian form of government for an alien race for a story. The basic idea is simple: The minority’s innate vulnerability leaves them in a position where they have to heed the majority, in a way that’s not true for the inverse.

[G2] Adam Ozimek pushes back against the Georgist tax proposals, most recently advocated by Salon and Peter Orzsag and Noah Smith.

[G3] Cato takes a look at the pros and cons of guaranteed national income.

[G4] Heather Gerken and James Dawson explain the virtues of spillover state laws, which is when a law in one state has an effect on another. They approve! As a would-be federalist, so do I.

United Kingdom:

[UK1] In the UK, Mohammed Umar Farooq read a book about terrorism, which was declared a red flag that he might be a terrorist.

[UK2] The Telegraphy denounces the EU as an oligarchy and says it’s time for the UK to leave.

[UK3] No Offence causes offense.

[UK4] Explained from the inside, how Jeremy Corbyn rocked the Labour Party.

United States:

Image by mamamusings

Image by mamamusings

[US1] Jack Hitt is not a fan of Paul Theroux’s new book on the South.

[US2] Utah is apparently adding a pretty significant “Doctor tax.”

[US3] Jews have gradually shifted in the public mind to being more white than not, but Gil Steinlauf wants that play called back.

[US4] The Economist reports that the “model minorities” may be losing patience.

[US5] Russell Saunders dissects Lamar Odom’s cocktail.

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Linky Friday #134: Shoot The Skunk( 138 )


active shooter photo

Image by COD Newsroom

[H1] I… get the argument here, but no. You can paint it as a collective action problem, but you can’t really paint it as honorable or noble. Relatedly

[H2] Jay d’Brooklyn makes the uncomfortable argument that despite the outrage at the horrifying and evil nature of it, there’s not much we can do about Afghanistan’s boys.

[H3] The Governor of Alabama and his wife are getting a divorce.

[H4] Jesse Singal is not impressed with the UN report on cyberharassment.


copyright photo

Image by DaveBleasdale

[Co1] I do think that running for president does kinda sorta mean that you don’t get to have your name trademarked in quite the same way you did when you were a business brand.

[Co2] This leaves me torn. On the one hand, aggressive copyright enforcement. On the other hand, memes. How do you pick a side in that one?

[Co3] TNR explains how patent law is jacking up the costs of car repairs.

[Co4] The state of Georgia cannot copyright its own laws.

[Co5] The Microsoft Zune is no longer in production, and the subscription services are no longer available. So if you have one… now what?


[M1] German mayors are looking to build up for incoming refugees. Which is better than kicking people out of their homes, I guess, though the political tide in Germany may be turning as the number of refugees climbs to 1,500,000.

[M2] When it pays to be Syrian, migrants will become Syrian. The Danes are concerned.

[M3] Refugees are less than impressed with Finland, and Nordic countries are squabbling among themselves over the issue. {More}

[M4] A North Korean refugee wants to return to North Korea.

[M5] An anti-immigration argument I hear pretty regularly is that because of Univision, this generation of immigrants won’t learn English. It seems to me that 100+ English channels outweighs a few Spanish ones far more than the English/Non-English breakdown of media in generations past. Here is how things presently look.


[P1] In a piece about replacing John Boehner, Voteviewblog reveals something interesting: as southerners have switched parties, the ideological divide between southern and northern congresscritters has become larger in the GOP than in the Democratic Party.

[P2] I’m not a fan of Trump, but autographing protest signs is pretty cool. Jeb Bush, meanwhile, has the political smarts of a walnut.

[P3] The Democratic Party’s says it has a 200 year history fighting for civil rights, but starts its history right after Woodrow Wilson.

[P4] What will the presidential candidates look like in 2025? USA Today is on it! Rand Paul seems to look more presidential with age. It seems to overestimate how much hair I suspect Ted Cruz will have.

[P5] I’ve been saying pretty regularly that the appropriate analogous Republican primary isn’t 2012, but 2008. It’s good to see the New York Times making the connection, right down to the hazard of Rubio being Romney. (Trump as Rudy, Jeb as McCain, Cruz as Huckabee, and Carson as Thompson.)

[P7] John B Judis looks at the Middle American Radical that’s propping Trump up.


Our kitchen after the movers left...

Our kitchen after the movers left…

[Cr1] Well this is a half-lovely story, if true. A man’s wife runs off with their daughter. Sixteen years later he finally tracks her down, discovers that she spent most of that time in foster care, and then is handed a bill.

[Cr2] This is a really bad idea.

[Cr3] I thought we had a bad moving experience, but… could have been worse.

[Cr4] In Australia, the 11 year old totally wanted, so the 21 year old goes free.

[Cr5] Police chase, Kansas style! (It involves officers unloading on a combine being driven away by the assailant.)


[T1] Lyfe is going country, but Nashville is apparently especially susceptible to a robot invasion, coming to seize their jobs.

[T2] Tent cities in Tennessee: Should Nashville accept tent cities as a short-term approach to a lack of affordable housing? {via Chris}

[T3] There’s Nashville hot chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Pittsburgh! {via Chris}

[T4] An East Tennessee police officer is suspended after refusing to shoot a skunk that needed to be shot (and tested for rabies).

[T5] Here’s a nice story of a program in Tennessee to help foster kids adjust to their post-fostered lives.

Coming soon: Society, Resources, US, and Britain

Feature Image by ??

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Linky Friday #133: Body, Mind, & Spirit( 270 )


[E1] Conor Williams writes that liberal opposition to inequality ends where their schools begin.

[E2] Paul Campos writes more on the subject of college costs.

[E3] Let them fidget! Fidgeting may be helpful for kids with ADHD.

[E4] Tom Lindsey writes about Texas’ ongoing effort to make college genuinely affordable.

[E5] One of the arguments that confounds me is “Why not lower the threshold of proof for sexual assault and stack the standards of evidence are stacked against you if the only consequence you face is getting kicked out of a college?” The logical next step, though, is that it not be just one college.


[G1] Alex Cuesta offers a list of simple ways to reduce football head injuries, while the University of Cincinnati has reduced football concussions with a new visual training program.

[G2] Eye-tracking technology can help detect concussions in football and maybe Alzheimer’s.

[G3] If the NFL is dissatisfied with the training that quarterbacks are receiving in college, there is a rather straightforward solution to this.

[G4] Here’s a fascinating look at women playing football in the 70’s.


Image by cudmore

Image by cudmore

[F1] According to a new-ish Rand study, food deserts are not the cause of the obesity epidemic. Relatedly, poor people don’t eat more fast food than the rest of us.

[F2] Maybe we should just start calling natural(ish) watermelons “seeded watermelons.”

[F3] Food color affects more than how food looks, but also how it tastes.

[F4] It sucks when Americans don’t like your ethnic food and apparently when they do.

[F5] Gustavo Arellano writes of Los Angeles’s long history against the “wrong” kinds of food, including and perhaps especially of the Mexican variety.

[F6] HD Miller writes of the Great Sushi Craze of 1905, which was shut down in part by unions and racism.


Taken by Trumwill

Taken by Trumwill

[B1] Russell Saunders reports that science is getting closer to figuring out why some people just don’t die from smoking.

[B2] Danny Resnic contracted HIV, and has made it his life’s mission to build a better condom.

[B3] Fortunately for people who like their contact lenses, people in power like contact lenses, otherwise they might not be legal.

[B4] It’s really, really difficult to describe why exactly watching little ones can be as exhausting as it is. There’s just nothing to compare it to. Here’s some research.

[B5] Justin Moyer takes aim at sweat-shaming. {via Jaybird}


[M1] Sometimes being smart can help you be much more impressively unwise.

[M2] When you’re wrong, you can always convince yourself you’re right.

[M3] Introverts are getting a lot of attention, which seems kind of weird.

[M4] Unleash the power of your brain using brain dumps.

[M5] It doesn’t take much to impact people’s beliefs towards the non-existence of climate change. Also, how repeated falsehoods become truths.

[M6] It seems that before we make a decision, our brains are laying the groundwork for us to decide what we’re supposed to decide.


moroni photo

Image by ricketyus

[S1] Time magazine ties together Mormon breast implants and six-figure Jewish dowries.

[S2] Joe Carter asks why Black and Hispanic Evangelicals are more favorable to prosperity gospel.

[S3] Is a five-year old Oklahoman a reincarnated film actor? (What’s odd about this link is that I’ve gotten it on Facebook, from about four okies that I know. All of whom are super-devout Christians.)

[S4] It turns out, when gay Mormons marry, they often divorce.

[S5] Caste-based discrimination is helping Christianity convert Indians.

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Linky Friday #132: Showtime!( 265 )


Ron Perlman as Norman Arbuthnot in "The Last Supper", Four Stars

Ron Perlman as Norman Arbuthnot in “The Last Supper”- Four stars

[Me1] So, as some suspected, it turns out that Tanya Cohen was not real after all.

[Me2] Kevin D Williamson writes the editor notes that he wishes the New York Times foreign desk editor had written.

[Me3] Matt Lewis argues that conservative commentators need to better assimilate.

[Me4] It’s not just the US! Journalists all over Scandinavia lean heavily to the left.

[Me5] … which, a British sort, is perhaps what gives rise to outfits like The Daily Mail.


John Glover as Daniel Clamp in "Gremlins 2".

John Glover as Daniel Clamp in “Gremlins 2” – One Star

[Mo1] Publishers’ success in getting Amazon to raise prices may have backfired, as people buy fewer ebooks. It’s possible that they’re making it up in dead tree editions, but I’m not sure how substitutable these really are anymore.

[Mo2] Using mobile phone data to to study the economic shock of mass-layoffs.

[Mo3] A play that turns its liberal hipster audience in to tyrannical capitalist participants.

[Mo4] This bothers me more than the pig.

Religious Liberty:

Wynona Ryder as Abigail Williams in The Crucible

Wynona Ryder as Abigail Williams in The Crucible – Zero stars

[R1] Big Mountain Jesus emerges victorious against some atheists who wanted it gone.

[R2] In case there was any uncertainty, Kim Davis’s cause is a political loser, and actually threatens more credible cases.

[R3] So when can we start donating to Brian Mason’s County Clerk campaign? The slogan writes itself: “Mason ’18: He does his job.”

[R4] Meanwhile, a different Kim in a different office is not Kim Davis.


Phil Hartman as The President in The Second Civil War - 3.5/4

Phil Hartman as The President in The Second Civil War – 3.5 Stars

[P1] I was wondering about this: Deez Nuts may have committed a campaign violation.

[P2] The folks at 538 discuss their bets for the GOP nomination. For my part, I’d Buy Cruz (a lot), Rubio (a lot), Kasich (a little). Sell Jeb (some), Trump (to almost 0), Fiorina (to almost 0), Carson (to 0), Huck (to 0).

[P3] Before Donald Trump ruined everything, Jeb Bush ruined everything.

[P4] Even before the Trump mess, Jeffrey Anderson and Jay Cost believed that the GOP primary process needs to be revamped. Right now it seems prophetic. {More}

[P5] The City Journal suggests that California’s blanket primary system could cost Democrats.


Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne in "Shawshank Redemption"

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne in “Shawshank Redemption” – Four stars

[C1] Some industrious Russian youths did not accept their prison walls. Also, they wanted a Jaguar.

[C2] Those Ashley Madison leaks sure were funny, weren’t they?

[C3] ICP vs FBI, cntd.

[C4] A Detroit neighborhood is looking for a few good squatters.

[C5] There are some stories with happy endings of people who use technology to locate their lost or stolen smartphone or laptop. This is not one of those stories.


Dylan Baker as Bill Maplewood in "Happiness" - Four stars

Dylan Baker as Bill Maplewood in “Happiness” – Four stars

[F1] I wonder what would happen if a kid took this clock to school.

[F2] Zaid Julani passes on a story of some Georgia cops refusing to move to a racist call, and explaining that no, they won’t investigate cases of a single white kid in a car full of non-whites.

[F3] Here’s a nice story of a dog that went missing in Yellowstone National Park for 42 days before being found.

[F4] A look back at the Unabomber’s manifesto.

United States:

Sandra Bullock as Angela Bennett in "The Net" - Two stars

Sandra Bullock as Angela Bennett in “The Net” – Two stars

[U1] Median household earnings for African-Americans are lower in Minnesota than Mississippi. This could be related to the refugee debate see also, Maine).

[U2] Some folks in Sunnyvale, California, are suing a family with an autistic child to have said child declared a “public nuisance” and kept out of public. The family moved out, but the neighbors have not dropped their case.

[U3] Anthony Weiner lasted only a couple weeks at a PR firm, only to be canned. The PR firm being a PR firm, they tried to minimize the conflict by suggesting it was mutual, but Weiener was having none of it.

[U4] Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead. Rather, things to do in California when your bank thinks you’re dead.

Coming Soon: Education, Society, Health, Copyright, and Energy.

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Linky Friday #131: Japan & Beyond( 198 )


smartphone photo

Image by Ari Helminen

[Cr1] This I did not know: Trained dogs can sniff out thumb drives.

[Cr2] Well, this is one way to impose a data retention policy: Keep the data on a Windows XP computer with an 80GB HD.

[Cr3] A story that encapsulates so much… a seventeen year old in North Carolina is being charged as an adult for having nude pictures of a minor on his phone. The minor being himself.

[Cr4] This seems like an incredible plot from a TV show that would be abandoned way before two seasons/years due to audience incredulity. Definitely going to use the name Kye Fortune somewhere, though.

[Cr5] As shocking as it may seem, the question of whether heated rhetoric shares the blame for violence might depend on partisan sympathies.

[Cr6] I’d known, vaguely, that Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D-PA) was in trouble. I had no idea that the scandal was so weird, though.

[Cr7] The Yakuza has an age problem.


ranma photo

Image by AHLN

[E1] Lanae Erickson Hatalsky argues that No Child Left Behind was a success and shouldn’t be rolled back.

[E2] Charter schools have been declared unconstitutional in Washington state.

[E3] From Vikram Bath: Japan is ordering universities to close social science and humanities departments in favor of concentrating on things that better serve society’s needs.

[E4] Also, Japan is looking to export its school system to developing countries. I want Japanese system charters!


[H1] Ghost cities suburbs of Tokyo. In twenty years, one quarter of Japanese houses could be empty.

[H2] Ross Elliot argues that better suburbs make for better cities.

[H3] Katerina Cizek argues that Canada needs to recognize that it is a nation of highrises.

[H4] Are investors getting in the way of traditional home-buyers?

[H5] How costs, regulations, the economy, and more are killing the starter home.

[H6] Not only is the Great Inversion not really happening in the US, but Europe is suburbanizing.


japanese road photo

Image by diloz

[T1] I thought the incline/decline in Western Wyoming was rough, but this puts that to shame.

[T2] I don’t really actually find this proposed airline seat configuration to be all that disturbing. Maybe because I won’t have to sit with strangers, though.

[T3] Uber, but for Big Yella.

[T4] The automobile and the invention of dating.


[S1] I missed out on what was probably my last chance to own an Amazon Fire Phone. Not that I really wanted one, but for $10-30? Yeah, I would have done that. Anyway, people gettin’ laid off.

[S2] Rivals Apple and Samsung are teaming up to replace SIM cards.

[S3] I find it hard to disagree with this: The Samsung whistle really is horrible and it’s the first thing I change when personalizing a Samsung device.

[S4] Evidently, your cell phone battery can be used to track you.

[S5] Is the physical keyboard making a comeback?


[Cu1] That time when the CFL had its opportunity to take center stage in the US… and sucked. (For those of you familiar with the history, it’s the NFL strike and not the CFL US expansion.) Canadian-rules football also got a mention in this Hit Coffee post.

[Cu2] Jonathan Jones and Sam Jordison debate Terry Pratchett and Discworld. It’s not an especially fair debate since only one of them has actually read the books in question.

[Cu3] I will absolutely watch Dante’s Divine Comedy film(s), but I will absolutely go into it with low expectations.

[Cu4] Freddie Freddie.

[Cu5] Good news! Japan may have passed peak suicide.

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Linky Friday #130: Martyrs & Migrants( 253 )


Marshall University photo

Image by starmanseries

[E1] School districts have been scrambling to hire teachers.

[E2] Start. School. Later.

[E3] Anne Continetti of the Weekly Standard and Anya Kamenetz of NPR look at a new book suggesting that the US is failing its brightest kids.

[E4] For all of the criticism that it got, No Child Left Behind lead to federal intervention of comparatively few schools.

[E5] Hanley’s post about Labor Day and seeing his daughter off to college is worth reading.


If Jeb did this, I would want to vote for him. (Via Twitter)

If Jeb did this, I would want to vote for him. (Via Twitter)

[P1] Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that immigration may be the definining issue of the 21st century. I think that’s probably more likely to be true than his belief that Romney and Mormons can save the GOP.

[P2] I somehow missed this when it first came out in January, but a lot of what we think about Republican primary strategy – especially in 2012 – is wrong. To wit, there is little upside to Republican candidates shifting to the right in the primaries, and his decision to do so did not actually seem to change perceptions of where Romney stood on the left-right axis (which was considered closer to most voters than Obama!)

[P3] I bet this would be worth five points in the GOP primary in August a year before an election.

[P4] In an article about problems in the conservative coalition within the GOP, Daniel McCarthy and Nate Cohn make a point frequently made by Michael Cain, which is that establishment candidates win the GOP nomination on the shoulders of blue states.

[P5] Is The New Republic makes returning to its old ways? It’s making surprisingly sensible or at least interesting arguments against letting Syrians in, in favor of Chris Christie against Bruce Springsteen, and against Kim Davis going to jail.

[P6] Jim Gilmore’s stealthy stealth campaign is something I still can’t quite grok.


[R1] This piece on why Gulf States aren’t accepting Syrian refugees made me more rather than less sympathetic about inviting some here. And Syrians might prefer Europe to both the US and the Gulf States anyway.

[R2] If we’re looking for a relative success story for refugees of war, Bosnians in St Louis may be an example that could give Detroit hope.

[R3] Germany is getting a lot of good press for taking in so many refugees, but some of it may be that they so desperately need young people. And UK, for all of its faults, may be putting itself at a disadvantage by going about it in the more morally admirable way.

[R4] In what has to be the most obvious headline of 2015, the New York Times fears that the influx of refugees might help the far-right politically. Ya think?

United States:

[U1] Who isn’t sold on Kim Davis’s plight?: Rod FrigginDreher isn’t.

[U2] As we celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s term as the longest-reigning monarch, Seth Mandel explains why Americans are so fond of the Queen.

[U3] Robert Greene II writes of the southern identity that Jimmy Carter and Julian Bond tried to forge.

[U4] Jonathan Coppage writes how Brad Pitt hindered New Orleans’ recovery.

[U5] Employers have to be careful not hire unauthorized immigrants, but not too careful, or it may cost them.

[U6] Fifty intelligence analysts are alleging that senior officials are sugar-coating their intelligence reports to fit a public narrative.


argentina immigration photo

Image by blmurch

[W1] Here’s a really cool map of population growth/loss trends in Europe. It’s interesting how uniform growth is in France and the UK (and Ireland!).

[W2] The ISIS Sex Slave Market, from the point of view of the slave.

[W3] The Washington Post’s Rick Noack’s piece on Germany’s fascination with the United States helps explain why Germany is one of the non-adversarial developed countries with rather high levels of disapproval for the US.

[W4] Is it outlandish to believe that Chinese drivers are intentionally killing pedestrians due to incentives? It may have been a thing in Texas (sort of).

[W5] OpenBorders writes about Argentina, which has made migration a fundamental human right (almost).

[W6] Atlantis didn’t exist (unless we count this!), but here’s where it was mapped.

[W7] The Clintons and Haiti.

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Linky World( 47 )


[C1] To combat infanticide, China set up “safe havens” for abandonment (like we do with fire stations). Unfortunately, so many babies are being abandoned that they’re shutting them down.

[C2] Beijing’s smoking bans are not going over well.

[C3] Residents of Beijing are fleeing the pollution.

[C4] China, where wealthy women embark on an expensive campaign to find a status-appropriate man.

[C5] Made in China means more than you might think.

[C6] From Aaron David: I find propaganda completely fascinating

Latin America:

mayan art photo

Image by vaticanus

[LA1] Is Puerto Rico’s debt crisis about to cause a mass exodus? How can those left behind rebound?

[LA2] Maybe the solution for Puerto Rico is to ditch the US and rejoin Spain.

[LA3] Peter Weber is worried that the leftist leaders of Latin America today may become the rightist leaders of Latin America of yesterday.

[LA4] I made a bit of a joke a while back about Elian Gonzales getting on to Facebook when he “gets enough Internet”, but Cuba’s Internet problem is serious.

[LA5] Good news in Mexico? Murders are declining. Bad news in Mexico, the economy is struggling. The two were supposed to be connected.

[LA6] Protests in Brazile, demanding that the president be removed. Such calls seem to be frequent in South America.


african art photo

Image by thebard1

[Af1] Ryan Cooper looks at why African independence turned out to be such a disaster.

[Af2] Laura Seay and Alex de Waal discuss how to help people victims of international violent conflicts.

[Af3] Ayo Sogunro looks at what Africa might look like if colonialism had never happened. Benajamin Denison and Andrew Lebovich argue that there were already borders before colonialization, thank you very much.


[N1] Nima Sanandaji argues that Scandinavia’s success as a social democracy is exaggerated, and it’s success was despite rather than because of its welfare state.

[N2] Sweden’s tumble in the international education rankings has been blamed on school choice, but could at least some of it be immigration?

[N3] Sweden is experiencing white flight.

[N4] This is a pretty brilliant ploy, reminding me of the climactic line of A Time To Kill.

[N5] We think of Icelanders as being Nordic, but they might be more Anglo-Saxon.

[N6] Looking more closely at the Iceland miracle.

Eastern Europe:

hungarian art photo

Image by Orin Zebest

[EE1] Hungary may be trying to cozy up to the Russians, but they’re learning English.

[EE2] Kiev has some pretty attractive cops, and they’re available for selfies.

[EE3] Charles Brett kind of likes Estonia’s digital citizenship regime.

[EE4] Serfdom has consequences.

[EE5] Andy Pascal went to his summer house in Romania and discovered it had been replaced by a cornfield. More on the history of house theft.

[EE6] Via Aaron David, a look at ancient Greek art.


[Ra1] Australia has something of a Wyoming problem with the Northern Territory, which is insufficiently populated for statehood but too big to be ignored. What about merging it with South Australia?

[Ra2] I hadn’t thought about it explicitly in this manner, but the Australia-Siberia connection kind of makes sense. And here is Stanislav Zakharkin talking about the Siberian movement.

[Ra3] In case you were curious about how to go about purchasing a Russian tank.

[Ra4] Dostoevsky Reads Hegel in Siberia and Bursts into Tears.

[Ra5] Castrating sex offenders? What could go wrong?

[Ra6] A look at Alice Springs, Australia’s murder capital.

Image by Cea.

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Linky Friday #129: Scary Things( 215 )


[T1] When more than half of the stadium was empty, I thought that might register with media depiction of the event, but the media keeps letting him pretend the stadium was full.

[T2] Over at Hit Coffee, I explore the question of whether or not Trump could cause a brokered convention.

[T3] Sonny Bunch blames the rise of Donald Trump on pop culture and professional wrestling.

[T4] Contrary to the claims of Trump and other lefty weirdos, Jeb Bush’s PAC did not actually photoshop him on to a black guy, and it was kind of a weird theory to begin with.

[T5] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry takes issue with Donald Trump on birthright citizenship, arguing that the US is doing it right while his own native France got it wrong.


Picture by EDK

Picture by EDK

[F1] A millionaire in the UK is fined after recycling gravestones for his patio.

[F2] South Carolina passed some rigid laws to prevent pesky calls, but a recent court decision has placed it in jeopardy.

[F3] George Orwell recently turned 110, and a Dutch Artist celebrated by putting party hats in surveillance cameras.

[F4] I’m on board with re-evaluating the Confederate Flag and other things, but this is silly.

[F5] Zic passes along… The Naked City!


katrina photo

Image by laffy4k

[D1] In Ferguson, some Oath Keepers decided to arm black protesters in solidarity.

[D2] In the tenth anniversary of Katrina, Owen Courreges wishes that people would stop calling New Orleans better after the disaster.

[D3] A couple that was getting it on fell in a moat and died.

[D4] Dan Kahan writes about the problem he sees with consensus messaging in the climate change debate.

[D5] While we debate the merits of birthright citizenship, Haitian immigrants are fleeing the Dominican Republic after their citizenship has been revoked.


[P1] Vice asks the very Vicey question: What are things going to be like for Jared Fogle behind bars?

[P2] Companies that sell phone calls to prison inmates are, it turns out, really icky. Among other things, working with prisons to limit visitation.

[P3] Relatedly, private prisons may be bad, but according to German Lopez they are not responsible for mass incarceration.

[P4] How two similar-looking black men with the same name gave birth to the process of fingerprinting in criminal justice.

Courts & Judges:

[CJ1] The bad news is that judges, like the rest of us, are susceptible to motivated reasoning. The good news – which unlike the bad actually is news – is that they are less so.

[CJ2] Sue Bell Cobb, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is not happy about what she had to do to get that position. Judicial elections are a really, really bad idea. The topic is explored in John Grisham’s underappreciated novel, The Appeal.

[CJ3] Some Alabamians are saddled with such court costs that they end up committing crimes to pay for them.

[CJ4] Lifehacker debunks some traffic ticket myths. Some of them aren’t myths so much as “A lawyer might be able to do it, but you are less likely to.” Like Marco Rubio, I hired a traffic lawyer who got me out of a ticket where I was pretty clearly guilty.

Courtship & Dating:

date photo

Image by kevin dooley

[CD1] Tracy Moore in Jezebel asks if deep debt should be a reason not to marry someone. It seems to invariably depend on a lot of specifics. I easily shrugged off my wife’s six-figure debt, but really got into it with an ex about her four-figure debt.

[CD2] Susan Krauss and Matt Huston look at how to break up, and how not to break up, while Maureen O’Connor writes about how to win your break up.

[CD3] Priceonomics has an article on what words and inflections correlate with good and bad first dates.

[CD4] We were taught that getting married later in life is better for marital prospects. While this is true up to a point, it may have its limitations and there may be such a thing as waiting too long.


[B1] A bear poking its head through a doggie door? I’m going with scary.

[B2] Even if they’ve made the long transition from scourge to the cute mascot of anti-global warming efforts, maybe you should hunt polar bears because polar bears will hunt you.

[B3] You have maybe seen the videos of the bears playing in the pool. Uncle Steve makes a good point, which is that while it may be an exotic novelty to most, it’s probably a common plague to them.

[B4] Australia is running so low on koala food that they might have to start euthanizing.

Coming soon: Latin America, Scandinavia, Education, Energy, Society…

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Linky Friday #128: Ubersafe( 85 )


nuclear submarine photo

Image by Defence Images

[S1] UberX could be responsible for saving lives.

[S2] Will there be a restaurant at which we can watch? Or will we have to make due with charts?

[S3] BBC explains how you dismantle a nuclear submarine.

[S4] This story, about a man who refused to stop and help an injured person on the side of the road that turned out to be his mother, sounds like a contrived TV show plot.

[S5] Snake People are having fewer sexual partners than Generation Xers. Good for them, I say.

[S6] From Glyph and/or dhex: FIRE and Haidt, on campus speech (microaggressions and trigger warnings and offensensitivity, oh my).

[S7] No link here (yet), but as of today, it has been two years since my last cigarette.


Dan Rather photo

Image by Peabody Awards

[M1] It’s really quite remarkable to me that they’re going forward with the movie valorizing the Bush-TANG debacle. What has me a bit concerned is that it might work.

[M2] Fortunately, since nobody’s going to get killed over this, we can consider it provocative and brave instead of provocative and mean and reckless.

[M3] Mother Jones actually has some nice words to say about the Washington Free Beacon. The WFB is… odd. Good news stories juxtaposed against obvious photoshopped images of birds combusting mid-flight due to solar panels. But it works, and it’s one of comparatively few conservative sites I read with devotion.

[M4] Damon Linker looks at Vox’s terrible track record on ISIS, and touches on just about every problem I’ve had with the site since its inception. It has a roster whose writers I enjoy, and somehow made me enjoy each of them less together than I enjoyed them separately. Also, here’s the voxiest headline ever written.


[H1] Amy Tuteur argues that obstetricians may have gone too far in trying to prevent elective early deliveries.

eyeball photo

Image by eek the cat

[H2] New eye drops may be able to combat cataracts without the need for surgery.

[H3] Colin from Violent Metaphors argues that politicizing anti-vaccination sentiment is a really bad idea.

[H4] The biggest lab diagnostic company in the country is about to let patients bypass doctors and order tests on their own.

[H5] Charles Krauthammer explains why doctors are quitting.


[C1] Ryan Cooper tries to make the case for hitchhiking, but seems to be making the case for Uber. I used to be pretty generous with giving strangers lifts. Not sure when that changed.

[C2] Yeah, this is pretty much what almost every middle school kid wants to hear. Truthfully, at my middle school, most of the worst flamed out by high school. I don’t think that’s especially typical, though.

[C3] Why are people so fixated on the race when it comes to characters in video games? Like these white people?

[C4] The history of the meme font.

[C5] According to Brookings, even controlling for the obvious factors, getting welfare correlates with unhappiness. They blame the stigma.

[C6] A woman in the UK had to legally change her name to be able to log in to Facebook.

[C7] If you objected to what Gawker did, you probably shouldn’t be gleeful over the Ashley Madison hack. My head knows this. My heart still giggles.

United States:

navajo flag photo

Image by Ron Cogswell

[U1] North Dakota is welcoming Uber with open arms, and would frankly welcome some poop.

[U2] Written before it became deeply, deeply relevant: Neal Dewing believes that the GOP really needs to get over its star fixation.

[U3] Rob Greene II has some nuanced thoughts on the South and the Confederate Flag, and Jonathan Blanks about racism outside the South.

[U4] Congressmen are hesitant to be alone with female staffers, which hurts female staffer careers. Missouri toyed with the idea of addressing the issue by instituting a dress code.

[U5] “Nashville’s district attorney (somewhat) recently banned his staff from using invasive surgery as a bargaining chip, after it became apparent that local attorneys had been using sterilization as part of plea bargains.”

[U6] Hadn’t thought about it, but it makes sense: Gay marriage is still illegal in Navajo Nation.

[U7] Remember the cops who ate marijuana comestibles whilst on a raid? They have been told that the video evidence of them doing so is, in fact, admissible.

{Coming soon: Latin America}-

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Linky Friday #127: Crime, Coin, & Sesame Street( 259 )


[H1] A World War II vet and Walmart employee celebrates his 103rd birthday.

[H2] The joke writes itself: The daughter of the Governor of Oklahoma had to disconnect her trailer from the Governor’s Mansion.

[H3] A paper that boosted Golden Rice has been retracted over concerns of subject consent. (There is, it should be added, no evidence of falsification or fabrication.)

[H4] To quote Jesse Walker: “No!”

[H5] Color me a bit surprised: In the UK, seven in ten homes that had the decision to filter out pornographic content chose to do so.

[H6] Some people seem rather upset that Charlie Hebdo has announced that it won’t be doing anymore Mohammed cartoons. I am glad that they didn’t back down at the time, but the attacks did not impose a requirement that they produce these comics indefinitely. Besides, there are always safer targets where you’re brave and provocative instead of mean and reckless.


undercover photo

Image by lareneg

[C1] A deep undercover agent in London went a little too deep, and a woman won a $685,737 judgment.

[C2] The courts in the UK have ruled that making private copies of your music is illegal.

[C3] A bounty hunter in Arizona raided the wrong house. No, I mean he really raided the wrong house.

[C4] Some pictures on a cell phone in a town dump lead to the arrest of a sailor.

[C5] I’m trying to imagine how this guy explains the gap in his resume. “I cared about the success of my clients a little too much, it turns out.”

shotgun wedding photo

Image by satanoid

[C6] A judge in Texas ordered a 20 year old man to marry his 19 year old girlfriend within 18 days.

[C7] By ending up on the sex offender registry, Zach Anderson (the 19 year old who slept with the 14 year old who represented herself as being 17) was prohibited by an animal shelter from getting a dog.

[C8] So here’s the thing… while such a relationship is entirely and utterly inappropriate, and the man should never be able to teach again, if the young lady is willing to marry the guy in order not to testify against him, I can’t say I am in favor of trying to prosecute him whether they can make a case without her testimony or no.


[E1] The New York Times reports that manufacturing is making a comeback in the South, but Adam Ozimek says “Not so.”

[E2] Moody Analytic’s model looks (mostly) the economy and suggests the slightest of slight victories for Hillary Clinton a Democrat next year. 270 EVs.

[E3] Well, this sounds like a pleasant working environment.

[E4] As it turns out, giving people health insurance doesn’t save money. (“But long term, preventive care saves money!” Not exactly.)

[E5] Despite some bad news recently, Ben Thompson argues that ESPN is going to be okay.

[E6] Come on, Jared, all you had to do was keep your weight off and not be a creep, and you were pretty much set for life. Or maybe not, since Subway’s fortunes have changed dramatically. Which can be attributable to a lot of things, I suppose, in conjunction with some other companies having fallen on tough times (to the celebration of some), I fear it has more to do with the lack of market in trying to sell downmarket, which is sometimes good but I don’t think good in this case.

Sesame Street:

sesame street photo

Image by mark sebastian

[SS1] Vox explains Sesame Street’s move to HBO. Boy, mixed feelings about that. But more episodes is good. I had no idea that they produced so few a year.

[SS2] Alia Wong looks at the history of Sesame Street, and what we did and didn’t learn from it.

[SS3] Though they say we still need preschool (but do we?), should we work harder at putting a TV in every home, so that kids can watch Sesame Street? It’s almost kind of funny that PBS – which is free – is one of the reasons I am itching to pay money for Satellite.

[SS4] I got some old Sesame Street shows on video. They come with a disclaimer. Here’s the story on that. (Oscar the Grouch being orange was weird to see.)

[SS5] Speaking of Sesame Street, is it responsible for the gentrification of Brooklyn?


putin photo

Image by AZRainman

[R1] Some Russian Nationalists want to fly the flag of the Tsarist imperial standard. I can’t speak to the history, but it’s certainly a cooler flag than their present one. (For that matter, the so was the Soviet flag).

[R2] Boris Pastukhov says that had the anti-Bolshevik White Russians won almost 100 years ago, Russia would… actually look a lot like it does under Putin.

[R3] Well, I suppose bribery may indeed be an inelastic good.

[R4] Wired has a fascinating article on Russia’s Cold War mapmakers. There was an episode of Homicide, Life on the Street about an American counterpart.

[R5] I wonder if Russia Today’s illuminati correspondent has access to the state’s Trolling Treasure Trove.

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Linky Friday #126: USE! USE!( 134 )


[U1] Ever want to give a eulogy at your own funeral? Now, maybe, you can.

[U2] You know that round thingie at the end of your laptop charger? Well this is what that round thingie is all about.

[U3] Jan Chipchase looks at unexpected ways self-driving automobiles might play out in our daily lives. An example: [M]asturbating in an autonomous vehicle while driving will be a far more practical use case, but is not something that corporates are going to talk about any time soon.

[U4] When my mother-in-law was last in town, she used MapQuest to map her way to the airport. Apparently, MapQuest still exists! (Their Android App is pretty useless.)

[U5] Here’s an interesting concept. Safety Trucks that allow people behind trucks to see what’s in front of it.

Image by Cesar Mascarenhas

US Education:

[Ed1] Here’s an interesting idea: An Oklahoma school system seeks to deal with a budget crunch and a teacher shortage by condensing the school schedule.

[Ed2] According to a report from the FRB-NY, federal student loans and grants don’t increase enrollment, but do increase price tags.

[Ed3] Hayley Manguia reports that the class of 2014 is doing alright. Naturally, I’m more interested in the helpful chart about positive and negative outcomes for various majors.

[Ed4] Kristin Wilcox looks at ways liberal arts colleges need to try to sell themselves. (Not sure if I got this from Hanley or I need to forward this to him.)

[Ed5] IJR points out that 68 public university presidents make more than the President of the United States. And yet, university presidents have employees who make a lot more than they do.

US Economy:

[Ec1] War or no war, the Slave Economy was in for a lot of hurt.

[Ec2] The TPP could have some bad consequences for generic drug availability.

[Ec3] Roberto Ferdman is angry at the trend of restaurants wanting to clear plates one at a time (instead of when everybody is finished). I… have no problem with this, really.

[Ec4] You can AirBnB in an igloo in Massachusetts.

[Ec5] Tyler Cowen looks at the economic states in Kansas and Louisiana. Scott Sumner tackles Louisiana.

[Ec6] Google is repurposing a coal plant in Alabama to be a new data center.

United States of Europe:

[Eu1] This is the #1 reason – and indicator – that it will be a very, very long time before we see a United States of Europe.

[Eu2] Andrew Orlowski is concerned that EU copyright plans will drown Europe in a worthless pop culture. I can sort of understand where he’s coming from, but targeted international release dates are a losing proposition anyway.

[Eu3] Desperate migrants are trying and dying to swim across the English Channel from France to England. I asked Matt Feeney, who gave supplied the link, why immigrants consider the UK so much better than France, and he sent me this.

[Eu4] Italy promised pain if the EU didn’t agree to distribute the superstate’s refugees, but France and Germany are not so sure about the solution.

[Eu5] David Frum makes the case for closing Europe’s harbors to refugees, who are in many cases not that distinguishable from immigrants looking for work.

[Eu6] Dutch immigrants are desperate to have white classmates

United Society & Entertainment:

[SE1] David Whitlock makes the case against foul ball nets in baseball. I think #2 and #4 are especially strong points, and that #2 helps push along #1 and #3.

[SE2] Hollywood allegedly has a pedophilia epidemic.

[SE3] Tom Selleck and the White Tattoo Guy have been vindicated!

[SE4] Jon Cryer wrote an autobiography where he talks about watching the meltdown of Charlie Sheen.

[SE5] This is pretty brilliant: Just Another Day In Hell.

United States:

[US1] Idaho is down to one full-time federal judge.

[US2] From aaron david: No Irish Need Apply was true, fourteen year old girl discovers.

[US3] Reihan Salam argues that Mexican immigrants have more to fear from the US than vice-versa. Or as Orrin Judd likes to say, we’re importing the superior culture. (An old college professor had a similar line, that immigrants are wonderfully used until we drag them down to our level.)

[US4] Our wild very regulated west. Personally, I blame UFOs are apparently most prevalent in the west.”>aliens.

[US5] John Nova Lomax writes about the deliberate transformation of Texas from a southern state to a western state. I don’t blame Texas for wanting to move past its confederate associations. Would that more states had a way of doing that. I’m far more perplexed by people in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia who seem to feel some allegiance to something they should be trilled that they weren’t (technically) a part of.

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Linky Friday #125: After Alaska( 262 )


[H1] Seattle may be getting rid of single-family zoning! Wait, no!

[H2] The Anti-planner takes issue with the new HUD fair housing rule. On which, regardless of the merits (I have no real problem with it), I continue to believe represents a liability to Democratic unity.

[H3] Rent-controlled apartments in Sweden are less segregated by income, but more segregated by ethnicity.

[H4] Should a mobile home park be able to ban children?

[H5] I’m a tad skeptical of the plan of this DC developer to build “shared space housing.” You can think of it like dorms or retirement communities, but those places are narrowly selecting.

[H6] When it comes to flipped houses, buyer beware. We found out our house was quasi-flipped some time after we bought it. Oh, and that a dog was left to starve in our basement after an acrimonious divorce.


[W1] Attention Saul Degraw! Attention Saul Degraw!

[W2] Scott Sumner wonders if the minimum wage hike proposal in the UK has an anti-immigration angle.

[W3] Kansas City is going forward with its attempt to significantly jack up its minimum wage (discussed here). New York, meanwhile, is raising the minimum wage rather selectively. These carve-outs could make for some interesting incentives.

[W4] In his argument against raising the minimum wage, Reihan Salam makes a point that I have in the past: The appropriate minimum wage for Massachusetts is probably not the appropriate minimum wage for Mississippi (even if we assume the same value system). Catherine Rampell makes a similar point here. All of which could bode ill for upstate New York.

[W5] Good walls make good coworkers. I actually found, over the years, that I prefer cubicles to offices and prefer the open environment to a closed one. This is, for me, quite odd.

[W6] In Virginia, it requires 40 hours of training to be a badge-carrying “conservator of the peace”, and 1,500 to be a barber.


[L1] It turns out, if you remove something unfavorable to liberals in the description, it may be that your social science work is more likely to be published.

[L2] Have recent studies and reports exaggerated the prevalence of racism?

[L3] According to a new study study, conservatives have more self-control than liberals. On the other hand, this may be unhealthy for them.

[L4] I am not surprised that support for government redistribution is falling among the elderly (a lot of what they get, they don’t see as such), but I am a bit surprised about African-Americans?

[L5] This Eric Posner chart sheds some light about why conservatives are so paranoid about Supreme Court picks. A part of me wonders if Roberts and Kennedy see the writing on the wall, regarding the court’s future, and are hoping by playing nice now the future liberal court will play nice when they are in the majority.


[P1] Zic sent along this article from the Washington Post that points out that we are indeed reserving the right to our own facts, and wonders what that means for democracy.

[P2] Vote Cruz ’16, Because Let’s Just Get This Over With.

[P3] Judd Legum makes the progressive case for Donald Trump.

[P4] Jesse Ventura is Feeling the Bern.

[P5] Sayeth the Department of Energy: Drill, Baby, Drill.

[P6] It used to be that whenever I took one of those “Which party should you belong to” quizzes, I’d get the Natural Law Party. Maybe that’s what fuels my (so far unsuccessful) desire to like Rand Paul. (I sometimes still use the NLP as a dodge to “Are you a Republican or a Democrat?” questions when I don’t want to answer them.)


[S1] Perspective! Here are well-placed photographs that make some dogs look huge.

[S2] Atticus Finch’s name is being tarnished due to the release of Go Set a Watchman, but the seeds were already there on account of his rape-denialism and insufficient liberalism in To Kill a Mockingbird.

[S3] Kate Knibbs’s identity was stolen to become a blogger.

[S4] Remember Blockbuster? Over at Hit Coffee, I report that Alaska still has one!

[S5] Highly educated women are reproducing in higher numbers.

[S6] Ermm

[S7] Puppies are so great. You get them when they’re so tiny and watch them grow… into bears? Imagine the come-down, thinking that you have dogs so smart that they can sit on their behinds, only to discover…

{Front Page image taken from an Alaska Airlines flight. Alaska Airlines is pretty great and I wish they operated on the East Coast.}

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Linky Friday #124: Northern Invasion( 111 )


[A1] From Christopher Carr: Conor Williams on setting the bar high for education reform.

[A2] Elias Isquith notes the problem with speaking to political opponents in their language. And he’s right; it’s important not to consistently give up the rhetorical ground.

[A3] Freddie de Boer seeks to find out if Bernie Sanders is a true socialist.

[A4] Jamelle Bouie looks into the unsinkableness of Trump’s campaign.

[A5] Kyle Cupp has moved to the land of Trailblazers and Tod Kelly, a move that has caused him to think about the need to put down roots.


[P1] From Zic: Maybe everyone is entitled to their own facts.

[P2] Canada’s Prime Minister has created a wall between him and the press. Justin Ling can’t fishing stand it any longer.

[P3] Canada is coming up on a federal election, and the Finance Minister is runningaway from the press.

[P4] Is Bernie Sanders correct to focus on economic justice when asked about racial justice? Rachel Cohen say yes. Ben Taylor says no. Personally, I’d say the pro-Sanders position is wrong. Economics matters, but it’s not everything.

Can-Am Relations

[C1] Canada rules baseball. Deal with it.

[C2] The War of 1812 might be over, but a new border dispute is brewing on the east coast.

[C3] Canada rules basketball, too.

[C4] Ignore the War of 1812. Ignore a border dispute in Maine. Shots have been fired…between Glendale and Edmonton.

Justice, Social and Otherwise

[J1] “It could have been me.

[J2] For decades, Canada committed cultural genocide, ripping children away from their families and communities to send them to residential schools. At those schools, children were beaten, raped and tortured. One RCMP officer who took children away is speaking out.

[J3] From James K: Statistics New Zealand has introduced a new standard for collecting data on sex and gender. In a world first, this includes categories for people who don’t identify as male or female.

[J4] From Burt: Can a Tuba bring about a post-racial America? Probably not, but this is still pretty great.

[J5] From Burt: The UK must determine what constitutes a hate crime.


[M1] Throw pillows are the worst, apparently.

[M2] Surfer punches shark. (Do not try this at home.) (Also, why would you have a shark in your home?)

[M3] My town is all about infidelity…but I doubt this is actually true.

[M4] There are times I can’t tell the difference between Vice and Clickhole, but Jar Jar Binks probably could.

[M5] From Aaron: Apparently the truth is not out there!

[M6] Canada has an armed forces base at the top of the world. This is a great read and pretty solid web/mobile development.

[Image: Luke Clennell’s The Press-Gang]


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Linky Friday #123: Middle East Meets West( 104 )


[J1] Four dead, three injured in Chattanooga.

[J2] ThinkProgress has a good story on an Imam talking kids out of joining ISIS.

[J3] So happens when a Jihadi returns home?

[J4] This is disconcerting: a website is creating a blacklist of Pro-Palestinian activists.


[A1] David Cameron is doing a good job of making me think maybe I’d be a Liberal Democrat.

[A2] The thing is, if Australian officials can’t actually be expected to look at every game that’s released, the best solution is not “well, then, games just won’t be released.”

[A3] From Brother Judd: All Anglospheric Politics Is Identical.

[A4] Written before the shooting (but published after), Robert Greene II’s piece about black lives mattering in South Carolina takes on an added significance.

[A5] The HUD SCOTUS ruling was a policy victory for the left, but could create problems politically.

[A6] Canada appears to be (formally) opening the door to ecigarettes.

[A7] Scott Gilmore says that Canada is too self-satisfied with the status of its racial progress. I can’t speak to that, though it seems the comparison with the US (and the racial concerns of African-Americans therein) is rather unfair. Aboriginies/Indians/etc – especially with regard to reservations – are a uniquely difficult issue in the US and Canada.


[L1] From Oscar Gordon: I’m sure someone will find a way to put this in a negative light or just claim they aren’t doing nearly enough.

[L2] This corresponds with my experience: Employees of small and locally owned businesses tend to display more loyalty.

[L3] A medical resident in Mexico was caught sleeping on the job and attempts were made to shame her. Residents from across the western hemisphere responded with pictures of them also sleeping on the job.

[L4] Should unemployment insurance duration terms change with age?


[U1] From Oscar Gordon: I support the idea of public universities, but they need to be more insulated from the whims of political wiles. My Alma Mater had it’s issues, but Walker is taking a sledgehammer to drive a finishing nail.

[U2] Americans may be able to take advantage of low tuition rates in Germany. It’s an intriguing proposition.

[U3] Average SAT scores and graduation rates track very, very closely (in California).

[U4] Mormons pay their debts. Their student debts if they went to BYU, at any rate. Other praiseworthy schools: Vassar, Harvey Mudd, and Notre Dame.


[S1] From Oscar Gordon: The debate has been won, but the winners are so busy trying to wipe out all dissent that they are building distrust.

[S2] From Oscar Gordon: The big one. Why I focus on disaster prep (and also want to be able to own guns).

[S3] From Oscar Gordon: Theory predicts, experiments confirm. Science bitches (it works)!

[S4] A battle of stars versus lawns: astronomers and the maker of robotic lawnmowers are going at it.


[P1] From Oscar Gordon: Nuclear rocket engines!

[P2] From Oscar Gordon: Plastic Roads. I am intrigued. Pros: Light, easy to install, as recyclable as asphalt, more efficient production. Cons: Traction? Strength? Durability? Cost? Feedstock source?

[P3] The Atlantic looks at what it would take to double a cell phone’s battery life. Getting to 24 hours with intense use is something that absolutely happens. If you want to take away my removable batter, you absolutely need to do that first. If Samsung hasn’t by the time I need a phone, I may have to get LG (assuming they don’t flip).

[P4] Michael Brendan Dougherty says we will not all be having sex with robots in the future. I tend to think he’s right about it not replacing traditional relationships (for anybody), but it might make other sorts of sexual gratification more enjoyable.


[C1] Churches are often told they need to liberalize in order to avoid irrelevance, but Alexander Griswold argues that liberalization leads to irrelevance. Along similar lines, Mollie Hemingway is sadly correct when she criticizes the New York Times for calling United Church of Christ (and the Episcopal Church) “major denominations.”

[C2] Here is a thought: If someone goes so far as to change their name to avoid undue public attention, how about we do not actually publicize their new name?

[C3] Damon Linker argues that Choice Paradox is making us romantically miserable, a position with which Jason Kuznicki disagrees.

[C4] From Oscar Gordon: BLM wants more money & lavish accomodations in order to approve the permit for Burning Man

[C5] John McWhorter argues that black people need to stop caring so much what white people think, while John Metta says that white people need to be confronted.

{Feature image adapted from the original photograph}

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Linky Friday #122: Lain Edition( 143 )


20150710_110232[H1] Kindred Winecoff has some thoughts on Piketty’s comparison between the debt forgiveness that Germany received and what people are advocating for Greece, but Mainly Macro says that Greece is running a primary surplus.

[H2] The headline says it all: Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California.

[H3] Man, I did not need to see this so soon before our three-legged flight to Alaska.

[H4] A man in Texas says “Fuck that alligator,” gets eaten by alligator. The death was avenged, however.

[H5] I’m not saying this is okay, but I will say that people have died in fights over dumber things.

[H6] Meanwhile, in Toronto


20150704_093724[P1] Nancy Pelosi says that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party and she is, of course, quite right. In terms of non-presidential players, the party is more capably defined by… Nancy Pelosi.

[P2] Erica Grieder shares five takeaways after reading Ted Cruz’s book. Written by someone who has respect but not love for Cruz and what he represents, it’s quite interesting. Especially the thought of Ted Cruz’s natural place on The Court (in a different timeline).

[P3] Marco Rubio isn’t backing off his support for a pathway to citizenship. Ultimately, I think this is the wise course and even if he wanted to trying to reverse his position would do more harm than good.

[P4] Jon Rauch looks at predictions he made nine years ago about gay mariage and rights, and compares them to the current reality.


20150613_183531[T1] Hey! Look at some infamous, interesting, and scary roads.

[T2] In the future, between now and self-driving cars, will cars watch you drive?

[T3] Singapore seems to take the prize for being most enthusiastic about driverless cars.

[T4] Fender benders are almost a thing of the past.

[T5] Kevin Williamson argues that our current transportation systems are royalist. There are actually some good points in here, but they’re not all easy to notice amidst attempts are partisan point-scoring.


2012-10-25 16.17.27[R1] According to Alana Semuels, women are increasingly finding men they know to be sperm donors, instead of going the anonymous route.

[R2] Joe Carter gives nine things you should know about adoption.

[R3] Here’s a story from 2006: A woman was applying for aid and was denied because the maternity test said that she wasn’t her child’s mother.

[R4] When I created my abortion map a year or two ago, I was really surprised by Delaware’s astronomic abortion rate. It turns out, maybe it’s the product of a really high number of unexpected pregnancies.


20150626_194153[S1] This has been discussed somewhat recently here at Ordinary Times, but here’s an article on adults and coloring books.

[S2] Even critics of the Confederate Flag are rolling their eyes at the removing of Dukes of Hazzard from TV, but Tommy Christopher argues that – even though Dukes of Hazzard actually had more black characters than did Friends – it’s actually complicated. Made more so, in my view, that I’m not sure anything legitimized the use of the flag among my generation as much as that TV show did. I’m personally hoping that this spurs A&E to do a reboot with a couple good ole boy weed-couriers driving a car sporting a new design.

[S3] You may be familiar with a famous Mary Ellen Mark photograph of the smoking nine year old. NPR tracked her down, and her life turned out how you might expect. Interesting story.

[S4] At Hit Coffee, I commented on Allison Ng and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

[S5] The thing is, if smoking is to remain legal, smokers need to be able to smoke somewhere. We’re not going to effectively ban it in a giant game of process-of-elimination.

[S6] Gundam/Voltron is happening!


20150615_201906[E1] Western learning techniques are all the rage among the Chinese wealthy.

[E2] “The promise of the management class is that they could manage colleges better than faculty. They have wildly failed at this on every level.”-Garry Canavan

[E3] There’s not much particularly novel in this Glenn Reynolds piece on the cost of higher education, but I hadn’t heard this statistic before: Cal Poly-Pamona has one administrator for every two students.

[E4] Wall Street Journal looks at how colleges are struggling with Chinese student application fraud.

[E5] Meanwhile, Asian-Americans unsuccessfully attempted to lodge a complaint against Harvard and hiring consultants to tell them to downplay the whole ‘coming from Vietnam with $2 in a rickety boat and swimming away from sharks’ thing. (Perhaps swimming lessons are a mark of privilege…)

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Linky Friday #121: Slimy Critters( 168 )

United States:

rural west virginia photo

Image by dbnunley

[US1] If you’ve lived or work there, Minnesota may owe you money. But if so, they aren’t telling. Some years ago I found out Deltona owed me money (somewhere between $100-200, if I recall). I found out about it shortly before I found out that it was going to claim it outright. My wife just got a notice from Estacado that the state owes her money.

[US2] Once we get rid of the Confederate emblem on Mississippi’s flag, and the Union Jack on Hawaii’s, I want to go after state seals next. Relatedly, here are some great and terrible flags of cities in Texas.

[US3] How Appalachians and ruralians became the new noble savages.

[US4] Francis Wilkinson blames illegal immigration on baby boomers.

[US5] America’s true silent majority: German-Americans. I’ve got some German on my mother’s side.

[US6] A peek inside the birth tourism industry. In the greater scheme of things, this sort of thing isn’t likely to involve the kind of numbers to have an effect.


small house photo

Image by daryl_mitchell

[H1] Erica Barnett looks at new rules in Seattle that would serve to limit density.

[H2] A report suggests that Austin needs to increase the number of granny flats

[H3] Jes Howen McBride says that small homes make for better cities.

[H4] Sweet: Turning a silo into the ultimate treefort.

[H5] Housing in some suburbs are being consolidated, swallowing up multiple more modest homes to make room for mansions. One of the reasons that inequality is more felt in urban and land-scarce areas than elsewhere. {More}


Photo: Andreas Praefcke

Photo: Andreas Praefcke

[So1] Varad Mehta says that we can’t let the Wookies win, but Anthony Domanico disagrees.

[So2] Friend of Trumwill Abel Keogh is quoted in this story about sex and the grieving widower.

[So3] It looks like Terry Pratchett will have no successor to write the Discworld novels.

[So4] From Oscar Gordon: Gotta hand it to the Girl Scouts: $100K is no small thing to turn down

[So5] In Mansfield, Ohio, Stranger Danger training has possibly saved children from a nefarious man who got out of his car to wave to his children.

[So6] So what’s the deal with the medieval art with knights fighting snails?

[So7] From Oscar Gordon: And so it begins


[E1] Ricardo Hausmann argue that the relationship between education and economic progress is more mixed than we think.

[E2] Cleveland State wants its students to graduate on time, and they’re willing to pay for it. As we seek to hold colleges accountable for the results of their students’ progress, there may be more programs like this – and more done to entice the very students most likely to graduate on time. It’s an interesting set of incentives.

[E3] Jane The Actuary looks at College For All, Lee Siegel, and path dependency, with an eye towards Europe’s different expectations for its college-bound than we have.

[E4] Emma Pierson contemplates being an affirmative action admit.

[E5] Kevin Carey argues in favor of a national university, making heavy use of technology as a way to address runaway costs. This idea might sound familiar to you. The George Washington angle is great. Too bad “George Washington University” is taken.

[E6] The business of fake diplomas. Not those ones from unaccredited colleges that give credit for “life experience”… but rather, completely fake ones from real schools (or, at least potentially, fake ones). I wonder if there’s one I can get for Will Truman from Southern Tech University, to put aside the one with my real name and real institution.


waves photo

Image by ahisgett

[Sc1] From Oscar Gordon: Cleaning up oil with sugar.

[Sc2] From Oscar Gordon: Wave power test bed.

[Sc3] From Oscar Gordon: New property of light discovered.

[Sc4] From Oscar Gordon: Garbage to gas

[Sc5] Jose Duarte says that the “97% consensus” on climate change is closer to 80%, and InsideClimate investigates why TV meteorologists are among the dissenters.

[Sc6] Relatedly, Francie Diep looks at physicians who don’t believe in evolution.


[N1] Whenever there is a breakout at the zoo, it’s only the flamingos that get away. Here’s why.

[N2] From aaron david: A facinating tale of hippos in America.

[N3] Huh. Ick. Goodness, gracious. What the hell, mother nature? I mean, what the hell? Good grief: what. the. hell?

[N4] On the other hand, ants are really cool.

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Linky Friday #120: Rebels & Empires( 71 )


obama smoking photo

Image by wellohorld

[Po1] Though maybe it wasn’t actually a cigarette in Obama’s hand, I agree with Philip Bump that we shouldn’t really care if it was.

[Po2] John Kasich has apparently decided to go Full Huntsman, breaking several of Dan McLaughlin’s rules (3,50,52, and 65) and removing himself from my list of credible candidates.

[Po3] Amber Frost reports back (sort of) from the Commie Con, a gathering of leftists known as the Left Forum.

[Po4] Erica Grieder expresses sympathy for the social conservatives in Texas, who had a disappointing legislative session.

[Po5] The networks made fools of themselves ignoring Ron Paul in 2012. Is Fox continuing the tradition in 2016 with Rand? I find their explanation less than satisfactory.

[Po6] The Republicans should use this data to keep Donald Trump out of the debates.


Fate_of_the_Rebel_Flag[Pr1] I was really surprised to discover that there was a lyme vaccination for our dog, since I knew that there wasn’t for people. Turns out that there is and we just can’t get it either because of anti-vaxxers or market failure.

[Pr2] Among the more surprising about-faces on the Confederate Flag: The Southern Avenger.

[Pr3] I don’t really buy Cyanogen’s alleged plan to steal Android from Google. I just don’t see how they get passed the referenced 800-pound entity. Judging by the closing, it seems like Cyanogen may feel the same way. Which is unfortunate, in a way, because some of the forced tying-in is beginning to grate. (I wouldn’t mind Google wanting me to use their products if their products were actually better or as-good as the alternatives.)

Our_Heaven_Born_Banner[P4] A couple years ago, Sweden instituted a program to text people who knew CPR when there is someone around who needs it, and now they’re texting blood donors when their donated blood is used.

[Pr5] Solar-powered airplane? Cool.

[Pr6] Will virtual reality help college football players practice more safely?


austin photo

Image by adactio

[Co1] From Christopher Carr: A friend of mine is doing this staging thing right now. It seems pretty interesting.

[Co2] Amazon is changing how ebook authors are paid under Kindle Unlimited, from “must have read 10%” to looking at page count. Friend of Trumwill Abel Keogh passes along this defense of the plan. I’m wondering – and kinda hoping – that writers try to game the system by adding art to beef up their page count. More books should contain art.

[Co3] Has Silicon Valley been displaced by Austin?

[Co4] Saudi Arabia is claiming success in killing US shale drilling, but production in the US is rising as the drilling costs are falling. My man in Texas says that Saudi Arabia is having some short-term success, but it’s likely to be a Pyrrhic victory as technology advances.

[Co5] How activists investors are improving our lives, Olive Garden edition.


dinosaurs photo

Image by InfoMofo

[Cu1] One of the result of family-friendly policies is that women end up being paid less. Whenever Clancy interviewed for a job, I was always concerned that they would see her as a woman of reproductive age – with not a lot of time to spare – who would need some time off in the near future.

[Cu2] Jonathan V Last argues the greatness of Jurassic Park. I watched it again earlier this year, and was really impressed by the movie’s pacing.

[Cu3] That fathers on television are portrayed as bumbling idiots is not new to a lot of people, but the thing about working class fathers being portrayed more generously than middle class ones is interesting.

[Cu4] Teachers – of all races – are more likely to give out harsh punishments to black students.

[Cu5] How Superman kicked the KKK’s butt.

[Cu6] In the past’s future, we were supposed to be able to choose our skin color.


[H1] From Oscar Gordon: Putting WWII in perspective.

[H2] Maybe the answer to the question of how New France survives in one of my alternate timelines is “Napoleon moves there.”

[H3] Harry Mount says the Greeks invented the courtroom drama.

[H4] Stanford Classics Professor Josiah Ober makes a case that, contrary to long-held belief, ancient Greece had substantial economic growth.

[H5] Colin Storer takes issue with the notion that the Weimar Republic was a failed state.

[H6] Camestros Felapton explains that no, the Nazis were not leftists.


[W1] Marshall Islands, where the US tested our nuclear weapons, is suing the nuclear-superpower world.

[W2] Some Tories are complaining that Cameron is rigging the EU referendum.

[W3] I don’t think the use of the Confederate Flag in southern Italy and Donetsk changes the context here in the US, but it is interesting.

[W4] Vladamir Putin’s relationship with Texas secessionists is interesting.

[W5] Lelia Shevtsova looks at Russia’s alleged Weimar Syndrome, mentioned last year by Roger Cohen.


[V1] This is a pretty fascinating discussion between Tim Noah and Wharton Professor Peter Capelli on the current job market, the (alleged) skills gap, H1B visas, on-the-job training (and lack thereof), and whether college pays off.

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BYOL: Bring Your Own Links( 99 )

There will be no Linky Friday this week. I’ve decided that for my sanity I need to reduce my interaction with the Internets for a few days and Linky Friday tends to be a very, very Internets-busy day for me. But I have some submissions to share, and LF is always an opportunity for you all to share your links. So this week, it’s Bring Your Own Links. Linky Friday will be back next bull hoodies

Aaron David Submission:

[1] Confirmation bias confirmed.

Oscar Gordon’s Submissions:

[2] 3D Printed bridge, relating to jobs and automation.

[3] I love designers. They come up with the coolest ideas that are only marginally connected to reality.
monster energy apparel
[4] For a taste of what I do.

[5] Diamonds & graphene come together to for a near perfect lubrication (just don’t get it wet or feed it after midnight)

[6] Water tables: This is both seriously cool (that we can get this data from gravitational analysis) and a bit disturbing (that aquifers are being depleted).

[7] One of the best ways to avoid the shocks from adverse weather is take farming indoors on a large scale. Avoid the effects of drought, pests, weeds, disease, reduce water usage, reduce labor costs, reduce energy consumption & food miles.
fox hats
[8] Related: I’m starting to think that when we finally do build orbital or deep space habitats, we’ll be looking to Singapore for lessons learned.

{Image Source}

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Linky Friday #119: Money & Sport Edition( 402 )


[B1] From Tod Kelly: Alice Hines explores why Utah, of all places, has become the nation’s go-to place for get-rich-quick schemes.

[B2] From Oscar Gordon: Why startups succeed: It’s all in the timing

[B3] From Oscar Gordon: Black market innovation!

[B4] If Firefox is worried about staying relevant in a mobile world, they ought to think less about having their own OS and more on making an Android browser that’s awesome. There are some good Android browsers out there, but no great ones. Make it happen, Firefox. (Or don’t worry about it, and make your desktop browser better.)


[A1] UAB Football program, terminated last year sparking a lot of anger, is coming back. It has a tough road ahead of it, and ifthis is true the university itself as it exists may be doomed.

[A2] The Connecticut Huskies went 2-10 last year, with its only FBS-level victory against UCF. So what they did they do? They made UCF a rival and gave themselves a trophy. UCF is scratching its head, but UConn says that UCF’s permission is not necessary in the declaration of a rivalry. The two schools have played each other three times.

[A3] I don’t know whether the SEC was more obnoxious when they were full of themselves for winning championships, or when they whine when they don’t.

[A4] St. Thomas University has a pitcher who weighs in at three-hundred pounds.

[A5] HBCUs are having a lot of trouble meeting NCAA academic requirements.

[A6] From Tod Kelly: Sometimes — times few and far between, to be sure — the little guy triumphs over Evil.

[A7] Vice argues that the next president of FIFA should be… Mitt Romney, but Mark Thompson tweets explanations as to why that can’t happen.

[A8] Former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M football coach Mike Sherman has taken a new job… at a Massachusetts high school.


[Po1] It has been making the news lately, and here’s an article on what makes Nebraska’s legislature different.

[Po2] Rick Perry is kicking off his presidential campaign with a BBQ. Though I hope not to be in a position to vote for Perry or Jindal, I might want to fly down and attend the latter’s kickoff if it includes a crawfish boil.

[Po3] Will Wilkinson defends Rick Perry’s glasses. I still say Jeb Bush did a better job picking glasses out than Perry’s wife did.

[Po4] Robert Mann explains why Bobby Jindal is so unpopular, and Tunku Varadarajan explains his uncomfortable relationship with his race.

[Po5] As a general advocate of school choice Nevada’s bill makes me nervous in the same way that some of the aggressive minimum wage increases should make advocates nervous.


[E1] In the UK, Nick Cohen says Labour doesn’t realize why it lost, and in Alberta, people – such as myself – may be underestimating the NDP victory.

[E2] The Cameron government wants to ban pleasure. Well, not quite, but they’re drafting some laws so broad that it’s hard to tell.

[E3] From Tod Kelly: Last year the Twitterverse fell for a hoax about a massive chemical refinery disaster in Louisiana. Adrian Chen traveled to find Russia to find the perpetrators of this and many other hoaxes — working in an nice office building and being paid very well to be professional Internet trolls.

[E4] From Tod Kelly: I honestly can’t decide if this European welfare program for the unemployed is one conservatives would embrace or see as the final straw.


[Pl1] From Oscar Gordon: Color me intrigued: Plan to be running on renewables in 35 years

[Pl2] From Oscar Gordon: California sinking: It’s like California dreaming, but more depressing.

[Pl3] It’s like a pimple that showed up on the planet earth, except it’s an 800C pit of fire.

[Pl4] Pluto & her dance partners

[Pl5] When looking for interstellar life, maybe we should look less for water and more at icy planets.


[S1] Erik Kain takes serious issue with how Jonathan McIntosh and Anita Sarkeesian and the Feminist Frequency have characterized a recent video game release.

[S2] From Vikram Bath: Scott Adams says he has old white guy privilege.

[S3] A snake person quest, in cartoon form.

[S4] If you want to know why the words “snake people” have started appearing in my text “snake person” should go, this is why.

[S5] From Oscar Gordon: King Fury is so bad, so deliciously, awesomely bad:

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Linky Friday #118: Evil Dentists, Haunted Mansions, and the Scent of the Dead( 348 )


[O1] Erik Kain’s piece on outrage culture is worth a read, in which he starts with this story where Internet Avengers managed to get two elderly hearse drivers fired on account of their need for sustenance.

[O2] Here’s an incredibly sad story of a woman who, on a plane, was texted by her husband that he was going to commit suicide, and the flight attendants wouldn’t let her try to call him to talk him out of it.

[O3] Bryan Lowder seems to really want to put gays in a pretty small box.

[O4] I found #CancelColbert to be silly until I realized that it was just a catchy phrase to raise a pretty ordinary complaint, and found the backlash against Suey Park to be kind of overdone. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig wrote a piece on Park, and Freddie and Jay Caspian Kang had a dialogue about it.

[O5] The “bake my cake” argument, in reverse. A jeweler in Canada who opposes same-sex marriage agreed to make a wedding ring for a gay couple, and the gay couple is upset and wants their money back.


[L1] A DC councilmember wants to restrict charges of assaulting an officer to people who actually assault officers.

[L2] Courts in West Virginia ruled that drug addicts can sue their physicians even if they admit they have obtained the drugs illegally. Frances Coleman argues that bad pain doctors make things more difficult for good ones.

[L3] This pediatric dentist is the supervillain of the nightmares of young children.

[L4] Even though she lost, and I’m not on board with the anti-circumcision movement, I am with Heather Hironimus here. Circumcision should require the ongoing consent of both parents.

[L5] The atrocious ‘Innocence of Muslims’ ruling has been reversed.

[L6] The Supreme Court rules that two states can’t tax the same income. Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, and Sotomayor were in the majority, and Ginsburg, Scalia, Thomas, and Kagan dissented. This will be of limited utility when state borders have sales tax on one side and income tax on the other, however.


[Pr1] From Oscar Gordon: Hover Trike! Oooh, fun!

[Pr2] Australian researchers may have a breakthrough on Alzheimer’s.

[Pr3] From Oscar Gordon: Self-healing concrete via bacteria.

[Pr4] From Oscar Gordon: Energy generating rubber – soon to be found in the rubberized floor of crossfit gyms everywhere.

[Pr5] I… don’t even know how to feel about this: How would you like a perfume that smells like a dead loved one?

[Pr6] I love this: Peeing on a particular wall in Germany was becoming such a problem, they invented a way so that the wall will pee back.

[Pr7] SF author/former marine biologist Peter Watts wants to know Do we really want to fuse our minds together? (via Glyph)

Cities & Towns:

[CT1] From Oscar Gordon: Old ships become new towns.

[CT2] Purple City has a post about edge cities, looking at Chicago and Houston (which, by the way, is very large). An eye-opening tidbit in the second part, the reverse commute in Houston (people starting in town and driving to the suburbs for work) is worse than the traditional commute inside the city’s loop.

[CT3] Gracy Olmstead laments – and collects lamentations – on the expanding empire of child-free cities. Seattle is contemplating membership in the club.

[CT4] It might indeed be “good for cities” to take cars off the road. Except that it’s not what people want.

[CT5] A haunted ghost town is hiring residents.


[Po1] From aaron david: Time heals all wounds?

[Po2] How employers are attempting to influence their employees’ vote.

[Po3] In Virginia, it requires 40 hours of training to be a badge-carrying “conservator of the peace”, and 1,500 to be a barber.

[Po4] During a window in which Alabama had gay marriage, they had a problem with local clerks declining to perform their duties. A new law being passed seeks to prevent that from happening by relieving them of those duties (via aaron david)

[Po5] Leonard Pitts laments the equating of politics and moral character.

[Po6] While it’s as possible for him as it is for a couple other candidates, I’m not very bullish on Jeb Bush’s chances at the GOP nomination.


[S1] Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill has turned twenty. It’s unfortunate that Ironic is the song that will always be remembered from a CD that’s pretty good from end to end.

[S2] Elian Gonzalez is all grown up, and while he would like to visit the US seems happy in Cuba as an engineering student. He’ll share some pictures on Facebook when he “gets enough internet to open a Facebook account.”

[S3] At Hit Coffee, I point to two eccentric mansions and in the comments Murali tells a ghost story.

[S4] If you’ve never heard the song Crossing Muddy Waters, you should. Here you go:

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Linky Friday #117: Oil Everywhere( 230 )


[L1] Oilman or Cowboy? The oil boom has been enticing more people to the former, creating a shortage of the latter. So what now?

[L2] How the minimum wage moved from a national and state issue to a local one.

[L3] Child care providers in Los Angeles are concerned that they won’t be able to cope with a rising minimum wage.

[L4] Chinese businessman Li Hejun went to a clean energy conference, and lost $14,000,000,000 in the process.


JerryBrown[P1] Reddit users may be wondering “How did Cameron win? Nobody I know voted for him.”

[P2] Obaman-turn-Tory (not quite) Jim Messina has some advice and warnings for the GOP. While most free advice from people who would never vote for your party is worth exactly what you pay for it, Marco Rubio should pin this on his wall.

[P3] Martin O’Malley is trying to suss out his position the The War… of 1812.

[P4] SurveyMonkey correctly called the UK election that others missed. Their different methodology could prove to be very important at cutting through American equivalents of Shy Tory and partisan weighing. Also, the importance of presidential non-candidate Emily Farris.

[P5] Robert E. Kelly says that the Obama administration, like Japan, is getting tired of South Korea’s fixation on past wrongs.


[E1] States (like Connecticut) are often looking for a good excuse to go after homeschooling parents, and some Michigan legislators think they may have found one, and combined with recent events in North Carolina and revelations in Arkansas leave me concerned that “We need to crack down on homeschooling so the government can keep a closer eye on kids” is going to be a more oft-used argument.

[E2] Students attempting to strip a state senator of his college degree for skepticism of global warming were unsuccessful.

[E3] Ronald Nelson, a Memphis high school student, was accepted into every Ivy League school. He chose the University of Alabama.

[E4] Carols Lozada explains why conservatives give better commencement addresses than liberals.


Twin Peaks - Waiting Room[S1] Sady Doyle argues that interconnectivity and branding is ruining the Marvel popcorn movies.

[S2] I find this “Startup Castle” – with rules for residents covering everything from tattoos to exercise – to be intriguing. Though very much in a “not for me” way.

[S3] Freddie really put his finger on what sometimes causes me discomfort with the way that some people gush of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

[S4] David Lynch is back on board Twin Peaks.

[S5] has been hacked. If exposed, divorces likely to follow…

[S6] The Mindy Project has been booted off Fox and landed on Hulu. Mary Katherine Ham writes an ode to the show, the protagonist, and its creator. It’s one of only a couple sitcoms I’ve been keeping up with.


[R1] A Mormon Temple in West LA is letting its lawn go brown. Brown lawns have a bad rap.

[R2] California farmers are starting to see the writing on the wall, and are offering to cut water usage by 25%.

[R3] From Oscar Gordon: Simple, yet effective. Going to be a while before PV solar can match solar thermal.

[R4] From Oscar Gordon: I’m telling you, things like this are going to be how large parts of Ag are done.

[R5] From Oscar Gordon: Twenty-five percent of cars is still a huge number, but this is interesting nonetheless. I wonder how this works out compared to places like Germany, where the laws mandate more mechanical maintenance, etc.

[R6] Sometimes, compared to the alternatives in oil transportation, Pipelines aren’t so bad.

United States:

Flood_on_Franklin_Avenue[U1] I don’t object to swapping out Andrew Jackson’s mug from our $20, or with Harriet Tubman being on a bill (or coin), though I am hoping that we hold out for a currency overhaul.

[U2] According to a new lawsuit, a veteran committed suicide after being given a terminal misdiagnosis by the VA. Also in Arizona, a suicide with a message, in front of a VA hospital.

[U3] Chicago’s bond rating is now junk.

[U4] Discussed here recently: The “Florida Man” phenomenon is more a product of Florida’s open government laws than anything to do with the Sunshine State.

[U5] At Hit Coffee, some pictures of the wreckage in Texas.

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Linky Friday #116( 282 )


George H Bush & Barbara[P2] Democrats, it would seem, have no beef with socialism.

[P3] Joe Battenfield argues that if things don’t work out with Hillary Clinton, the Democrats can always go with Kerry. Before Mitt announced he wasn’t running, I was pondering the violently dull (albeit unlikely) prospect of a Kerry-Romney election.

[P4] It feels a bit like corporations are going out of their way to make H1-B visas look bad, but the reality is that they have little reason to care about public opinion. More from Dave Schuler.

[P5] Over at Hit Coffee, I explained how the death of Bush 41 could help make a Bush 45 possible.

[P6] Aaron David sent this neat visualization of the gerrymandering of America.

[P7] From Stillwater: Nebraska abolishes the death penalty. It’s a really amazing story to read, what with the number of political vectors in play. Good on ya Big Red.


Rentgen[H1] From Oscar Gordon: In case you need another reason to vaccinate.

[H2] Sandeep Jauhar looks at the importance of medical cost transparency.

[H3] Texas is moving to become the newest state to allow terminally ill patients the ability to try non-FDA approved medications.

[H4] Leana Wen argues that patients should see their medical records.

[H5] Nathan Washburn looks at the decline of the rural hospital and what can be done about it. Or maybe we shouldn’t worry about it.

[H6] At Hit Coffee, I explained that bureaucratic inertia may be more responsible than profit interests when it comes to explaining why hospitals aren’t developing communicative EMR.


[S1] The DC Cinematic Universe looks like a real trainwreck. Bizarrely so, in my view, given that all they had to do was hire Paul Dini.

[S2] Dear DC Comics, cut this $#!+ out, please.

[S3] Saul-Bait: When should men wear short pants?

[S5] From Glyph: Fascinating and informative piece on the recent historical evolution of gay culture, and drawing distinctions between the concepts of ‘gay’ and ‘homosexual’.

[S6] Alice in Wonderland remains a classic, but its author’s reputation has taken a beating.

[S7] In a restaurant review that isn’t really a restaurant review, Jack Baruth investigates the male privilege of potential invisibility.

Puerto Rico:

Puerto_Rico_departamentos_1886[PR1] Jeb Bush supports Puerto Rican statehood, but I have to agree with the National Review that it’s not presently a good idea for anybody involved.

[PR2] Puerto Rico is losing its middle class, but gaining millionaires.

[PR3] Lydia DePillis looks at Puerto Rico to see what a massive minimum wage hike to $12 will do, because they had a hefty rise from $2.03 to to $3.35. It tries to explain away a whopping 9% drop in employment (Might have happened anyway!) and emigration (It’s good for people to leave!) and despite admitting at the end that raising the minimum wage didn’t do its economy much good. Despite an optimistic tone, it does little to alleviate my concern about what a $12 minimum wage would do to Mississippi.

[PR4] The territory is raising its taxes to settle a budgetary shortfall, but Ike Brannan of the Weekly Standard argues that it should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.


[C1] Muslim shopkeepers in China are being required to sell alcohol and cigarettes

[C2] If they aren’t interested in taking over Pitcairn, maybe would-be seasteaders need to cozy up to the Chinese, offering to be human flagpoles in exchange for relative independence!

[C3] An Indian-American friend of mine argues that one of the main reasons that India never became a manufacturing hub the way that China did is because graft made it impossible. American-expat-in-China Matthew Stinson tweets of this New York Times article, that graft in China is so ubiquitous that it tends to go unnoticed.

[C4] Nuclear power is making a comeback in China, and an Airbnb-type company is making a splash.

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Linky Friday #115: Fools, Criminals, & Politicians( 268 )


[C1] At CATO, Jason Kuznicki argues that property rights matter more for the poor than the wealthy.

[C2] Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re somebody that has (a) stolen a bike and (b) disemboweled a Portland man, you are a “Disemboweler who stole a bike” rather than a “Bike thief to disemboweled a Portland man.”

[C3] Montana joins New Mexico in clipping the wings of asset forfeiture.

[C4] Hawaii’s Swift & Certain program, mentioned by Dan Scotto here, looks to be going national.

[C5] One of Montana’s most wanted is caught when he “likes” his most wanted poster on Facebook.


[D1] A woman’s daughter dates her mother to kiss a random, good-looking stranger. Which she does, and then tries to use social media to catch his attention, and caught his wife’s instead.

[D2] An aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris is evidently part of a secret society dating back to… well there’s some confusion over that.

[D3] An employee at a Waffle House in Georgia was caught on camera pleasuring himself. The only thing missing from this perfect story are the words “… in celebration of his favored SEC team winning a championship.”

[D4] A flight from Florida to Portland was diverted to Salt Lake City after a tantrum by a teenager with autism who wanted/needed hot food.

[D5] A principal in Georgia blamed the Devil for some racist comments she made. Oh, wait, nevermind.


[M1] There’s something wrong with David Brooks.

[M2] Ahh, Politifact, you suck.

[M3] Jesse Walker wrote an opinion piece on Jade Helm 15 for the LA Times, which a publication in the UAE reproduced… except they cut off the second half, leaving it on a pretty ominous note.

[M4] For the second time in the last couple years, the Washington Free Beacon unearths a story only to be omitted from getting credit. Last time (the HRC archives in Arkansas) news organizations initially danced around mentioning them. This time, the targets (George Stephanopoulos and ABC, who have done this before) turned the story over to Politico. Fortunately, Politico’s own Jack Shafer called them on it.


[P1] The “cadillac tax” was billed by Jonathan Gruber as a backdoor to getting employers out of healthcare. Some House Democrats want to quash it.

[P2] Andrew Stiles explains the 2016 election in the only four charts you need to see.

[P3] President Obama is touting community colleges. That’s not the particularly cool part, though. The cool part is that he’s doing it in South Dakota. Thank you, Mr. President.

[P4] I’ve long been of the opinion that Barack Obama will be an activist former president. He’s making noise that makes me more confident of that prediction.

[P5] From Oscar Gordon: John Oliver nails it again


[A1] Some have grumbled at the obligation we have incurred by providing defense for the Marshall Islands, but Greenpeace says they’ve paid a price for it. And for those worried about the Maersk Tigris, while the administration and the Pentagon punted, it was released, and we’ve taken to escorting ships.

[A2] This story, of a Jewish student who was arrested for posting an image of a swastika he’d gotten while in India, raises some interesting questions about iconography and context. Leaving aside freedom of speech (ie even if we assume the legal right is there), are there words and images so offensive that there is no context in which they can be acceptably reproduced?

[A3] According to a new lawsuit, a veteran committed suicide after being given a terminal misdiagnosis by the VA.

[A4] The sale of Staten Island was discussed here recently. Here’s an article from Slate, arguing that it was sold under duress but not without concessions by the colonists.

[A5] Ali Akbar is one of those blacks, that upstanding whites and conservatives can trust, but he wants them to know that there are some race problems in this country.

[A6] Here’s another piece by Akbar on the failures of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and Barack Obama.

[A7] From Oscar Gordon: California water, in context.


[E1] Norway is reducing the incentives to buy electric cars, and in response to Charlie Hebdo retiring it’s blasphemy law.

[E2] PRI shares the story of an American who saved 250,000 people during the Armenian genocide.

[E3] Putin and Medvedev have been comparing their annexation of Crimea to the reunification of Germany, but some historians take issue with that.

[E4] Liberland, mentioned last week, had a good run, but that run is at an end as the nation was invaded and its president arrested by Croatia. Here’s an interview.

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Linky Friday #114: Food, Family, & Fun( 141 )


[Cu1] Full House is the latest “classic” to get a reboot. Naomi Shaeffer Riley argues that this is demonstrative of a hunger for family entertainment. It mentions ABC Family and how it’s kind of gone off the rails. My friend and I were watching TV a few years ago, and there was some ad for a raunchy comedy that I didn’t think too much of until my friend said “Wait, did they say ABC Family?!”

[Cu2] Is Kraft Macaroni And Cheese still even Kraft Macaroni And Cheese if it’s not radioactive orange?

[Cu3] Julian Sanchez explains why the planet of Krypton doesn’t really make sense, when you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint.

[Cu4] From Oscar Gordon: A nice critique of a rhetorical tactic I despise.


[E1] From Oscar Gordon to Chris: The backwards bike will break your brain.

[E2] Want an advantage to take to battle? Wear a crying baby. {via Oscar}

[E3] Joe Carter looks at the implications that an ultrasound-on-a-chip will have for abortion. {More}

[E4] It turns out, men on a sexual hookup site behave quite superficially. I’m not sure what this has to do with men and dating in general, though.

[E5] Andrew Swift believes that reading to your children may be justified, but is the enemy of social mobility, and that things like private schooling cannot be justified.


[B1] From Oscar Gordon: One more reason why I will not willingly give business to Wells Fargo.

[B2] I don’t even know what this game is, but I kind of want to play it.

[B3] Verizon is trying to unbundle cable, which has Disney calling foul.

[B4] I’ve long speculated that the future of legal pot may lie with the much-maligned tobacco industry. Apparently, they’ve peeked into it themselves. I’m caught between believing it’s one thing they could do to perhaps help their image, and believing that opponents of decriminalization need to convince them to throw their hat in the ring immediately.

[B5] Bob Marley’s family is launching a cannabis brand. I’ll bet a certain fictitious tobacco company is hiring lawyers as we speak.


[Cr1] Jailed criminals think pretty highly of themselves.

[Cr2] Alex Tabarrok writes about three felonies a day and its ramifications.

[Cr3] Alice Goffman wrote a book on the fugitive life, and here’s an excerpt.

[Cr4] When we decide to make something illegal, we really need to think through what we’re going to do with the people who do not or cannot comply.


[A1] From Christopher Carr: This map from the New York Times shows where poor children experience the most and the least income mobility.

[A2] An NYPD officer with a replica of the General Lee has been informed that he cannot park the car at the precinct. I really wish the rebooted movie had taken advantage of the opportunity to change the design of the roof.

[A3] Washington, DC, is home to some very historic gravel, apparently.

[A4] A mostly private venture to connect Houston and Dallas with HSR is running in to some opposition. I’m sympathetic to the concerns of guaranteed ridership numbers and bailouts, though not much else.

[A5] Standardized tests are much-criticized among white and middle class parents, across ideology. But they’re popular with minorities.

[A6] A lake in Boulder, Colorado, has a whole lot of goldfish.


[W1] Liberland may or may not exist, but 250,000 people have applied to live there.

[W2] FM radio in Norway is signing off… for good.

[W3] Is Mexico about to be the next failed state? The more curious question is whether democracy has utterly ruined the third most populous nation in the sphere.

[W4] Kyle Smith says that Scandanavia isn’t all that as they have high depression rates, but Scott Alexander says that depression is not a proxy for social dysfunction.

[W5] As we continue to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm presents the contrast between East German and eastern Germany.

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Linky Ole England: Election 2015( 149 )

United_Kingdom_Flag (1)On May 7th, the United Kingdom will be either re-electing their current Prime Minister or electing a new one. On the heels of the Scotland Referendum and what seems to be a significant realignment, this will prove to be one of the most interesting elections in the UK of my lifetime. Probably the most interesting. It goes beyond liberal versus conservative, and lands on existence versus non-existence.

If you are so inclined, take this quiz and share the results with us on who you should be voting for.

The overwhelming coverage of the UK that I have been reading has been that of a nation in distress. The first couple of links appeared on Linky Friday, but I will reproduce them here anyway:

Scotland’s two tribes are more divided than ever – they see reality differently (Alex Massie, The Spectator)

The nationalist advance, it need scarcely be said, is aided and abetted by a Tory campaign in England that has die-hard Unionists in despair north of the Tweed. The idea, peddled by Teresa May, that a Labour government propped-up by SNP votes would be the biggest constitutional crisis since the abdication is the kind of thing to tempt even solidly Unionist Scots to back the nationalists. If you make Scots choose between Scottishness and Unionism the latter will always lose. That seems to be the Tory campaign, however.

Nevertheless, the latest polling confirms that Scotland is two tribes now. Unionist and Nationalist simply see reality differently and there is very little that anyone can do to bridge the gap between these alternate worlds.

The End of Britain as We Know It? (Alex Massie, Politico)

The nationalists believe they have time—and demography—on their side. Only 45 percent of Scots voted for independence last year but the Unionist campaign relied on the votes of older voters aged more than 65 to carry the day. Their younger compatriots voted for change. Of course, demographics are not destiny, but as matters stand, each year the population profile shifts a little towards the SNP.

In any case, in Scotland, this election is merely the first half of the game. Next year’s elections to the Scottish parliament, where the SNP have been in power for eight years, will prove just as important. Another nationalist victory then might make it hard to avoid holding another referendum on the national question. Ms. Sturgeon says there would need to be a “substantive” change in circumstances to justify another “once in a generation” referendum but the thing about politics is that circumstances are always changing. No wonder many Scots fear a so-called “Neverendum.”

The English Threat to the U.K. (Daniel Larison, The American Conservative*)

One problem for the unionists is that they have been making two very different kinds of arguments in Scotland and England, and the one undermines the other. The unionists in the referendum campaign emphasized that independence would be too costly and would leave Scotland worse off than it was. Unionist critics of the ‘No’ campaign complained that it was an uninspired, bloodless case for the union, but it was good enough at the time to persuade most Scottish voters that independence was too big of a risk to take. Meanwhile, the unionist message to English voters is that they should be expected to subordinate their interests to the preservation of the union no matter what. They appeal to an emotional attachment to the union that does not appear to exist for a lot of people in England. The union was pitched to Scottish voters last year as being in their best interest, but it is presented to English voters as something that they must maintain as a matter of duty. No wonder so many English voters are unhappy with the prospect of possibly having the make-up of the next government decided by the election results in Scotland.

Why British politics are even more dysfunctional than America’s (Stephen Collinson, CNN)

Will Jennings, a professor of politics at Southampton University, said the U.K. was caught in a cycle of “huge, pervasive distrust” of political institutions and other traditional centers of power, including the scandal-ridden parliament, print media and the police.

David Cameron became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 2010, leading a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. He is the current leader of the Conservative Party.
UK party leaders 7 photos

The bile that poured out at the leading candidates in the question-and-answer session on Thursday was comparable to the assaults American politicians are used to receiving on conservative talk radio and partisan liberal websites. But in the U.S, candidates rarely confront such copious fury from the general public face-to-face.

When South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during an address to Congress, it was roundly criticized. In contrast, the vitriol at the candidates forum on Thursday night barely raised eyebrows.

The U.K.’s political distemper comes at a consequential time, when the unity of the nation is again in peril from Scottish independence aspirations and support for continued European Union membership is in doubt.

No time for sleep! Dave has just 100 hours to save the country (James Forsyth, Daily Mail)

Miliband, who has benefited from a carefully controlled Labour campaign, had a poor outing at Thursday night’s Question Time session.

His dogged refusal to admit that the last Labour Government spent too much money will have reminded swing voters why they are so reluctant to trust Labour with the economy again. And his failure to shut down discussion about how a minority Labour government might depend on the SNP was telling.

Indeed, the fact that Miliband again felt the need to try to choke off this issue on prime-time TV shows that this Tory attack is cutting through.

Cameron will return to the Scottish question time and again in the next few days as part of his closing argument. As one ally puts it: ‘We’ve got to hammer the SNP thing.’ It is the charge that it is almost impossible for Labour to rebut.

But will a late Tory surge be enough to return Cameron to Downing Street? Even some Cabinet Ministers are sceptical. One told me this week that while he expects Cameron to come back as the leader of the largest party, he didn’t think the Tories would have enough votes to put together an alliance that could command a majority in the Commons. This Minister lamented that ‘in nearly every region, there are a few seats that are in trouble. It makes it very hard to see how David can get back.’

Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success (Peter Oborne, The Spectator)

Four brave interventions, each one taking on powerful establishment interests: the Murdoch newspaper empire, the corporate elite, the foreign policy establishment and pro-Israel lobby.

Most people will not agree with all these positions. But there is no doubting Mr Miliband’s integrity or his courage. And he needs these qualities because when you attack powerful interests they use all their influence to fight back.

The Murdoch press is now persecuting Mr Miliband. It is hyping up the attacks on him by big business, while mocking him in a personal way. Recently in a Westminster restaurant I saw a top News International henchman having lunch with David Cameron’s culture minister (and unofficial ambassador to the Murdoch press) Ed Vaizey. The alliance between the Murdoch press and the Tory party, knocked temporarily off course during the phone-hacking scandal, is back in business. Mr Murdoch has powerful allies in other newspaper groups who are desperate to avoid another brave commitment from Ed Miliband — his call for full implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations on press regulation.

Meanwhile, corporate Britain is exacting its revenge on Mr Miliband because of his refusal to share the world view of big business. Donations to the Labour party have dried up, so much so that he will have difficulty financing his election campaign.

However, Tory coffers are full to bursting and much of this money is being used to vilify the Labour leader through questionable techniques of vile advertising imported from the United States.

* – I recognize it’s kind of goofy to cite an American publication on what’s going on over there. Larison is riffing off of a Financial Times article that’s actually reporting from over there. However, Financial Times’s copyright policy is such that virtually any blockquote including more than the first 140 characters or over 30 words is or may be considered by them to be an infringement. This runs contrary to fair use policy, but while Larison is willing to take a chance on that, I will simply cite Larison.

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Linky Friday #113: University Sport Edition( 199 )

Great Britain:

[G1] Sean Kemp argues that British politics are too obsessed with American politics.

[G2] Take a quiz to find out who you should be rooting for in the UK elections! It includes a question on “non-domicile status” which I happened to read an article on a couple weeks ago.

[G3] Alex Massie writes about the two tribes of Scotland, and how the Scottish independence movement isn’t over. Meanwhile, Janan Ganesh and Daniel Larison think that English impatience is the greatest threat to the United Kingdom.

[G4] Benjamin Schwarz argues that urban planners are demolishing Britain’s working families.

[G5] As overboard as I believe our CPS goes sometimes, at least we aren’t Britain, where parents are being warned that they will be reported if kids play the wrong video games.


[A1] Washington state looks to have a 75mph speed limit. Welcome (back) to the west, Washington! Seriously, the low statewide speed limit happens when a majority of people in the state live in a place where something is appropriate for that part of the state and not necessarily the state as a whole.

[A2] Even though they tend to be net beneficiaries of tax dollars, I often wonder if secondary and smaller cities in populous states like New York, California, and Illinois would be better off if they weren’t anchored to those cities. Articles like this touch on why.

[A3] From Oscar Gordon: Today on “Politicians Desperately Seeking Relevancy.”

[A4] From Oscar Gordon: That’s one way to indicate to a union that you aren’t interested.


[L1] It is becoming increasingly apparent that Scooter Libby got screwed.

[L2] The System must be preserved, demonstrable innocence be damned.

[L3] New York has high cigarette taxes, which results in a significant black market. Much of which comes from Virginia. So what responsibility, if any, does Virginia have here? There are some interesting parallels here with NY:VA::USA:Mexico.

[L4] The estate of Marion Barry is suing his kidney donor.

[L5] No serious harm was meant, and no damage was done, but let’s go ahead and charge an eighth grader with felony hacking.

[L6] Henry Rayhons, the guy who was arrested and charged with having sex with his wife (who had dementia) in a nursing home, was acquitted.


[U1] Former Corinthian graduates are going on student loan strikes, while another is suing. But the colleges are shutting their doors.

[U2] Saul bait via Oscar Gordon: Why should states fund university philosophy departments?

[U3] Liberty University is the first FBS school to announce that it’s going to pay its students athletes the full cost of university attendance. Notably, they’re also the FBS school most anxious to move up in to the FCS.

[U4] Meanwhile, Colorado State, which like a great many schools is looking to upgrade from G5 to P5, is taking on a whole lot of debt on a bond to build a new football stadium, in addition to a plethora of student-related goodies like luxury dorms and student centers.

[U5] Louisiana State, on the other hand, can’t even get a bond.

[U6] Jason Rabedeaux was once an attractive rising star in the world of college basketball coaching. He was found dead, fat, and wasted away in Saigon.


[H1] Russell Saunders got his first mammogram.

[H2] From Christopher Carr: My wife was wondering why we hadn’t seen lychees at the supermarket lately and found this.

[H3] The Science of Ouch: Why it hurts so much when you stub your @$*@ing toe.

[H4] News I can use: Facts about urine, including how to train yourself to pee less often.


[P1] From Oscar Gordon: This makes me just want to build my own printer…

[P2] This will not only add economic efficiency to consumer products, but will be great for those of us who are allergic to waste.

[P3] From Road Scholar: An alternative to carbon sequestration?

[P4] David Shultz wants to know if you’ll be able to read modern-day articles in 1,000 years, with an eye towards antiquated hardware. To answer his question, I think the answer is “yes” for text, due in large part from the transition from binary to marked up text. You won’t necessarily have the formatting, but you’ll have something readable. I’m less sure about image files, and skeptical about anything dynamic like video games or interactive anything.


[C1] I recently listened to a graphic audio that was incredibly painful. It was simultaneously so busy that I had no idea what was going on, yet also quite boring. But I had to see it through to the end. Because of that, this story about “purge-watching” (as opposed to binge-watching) really resonated.

[C2] From Glyph: Daniel Scotto asked if I was Herman Kahn, which led me to this not-new but very-interesting profile of the man

[C3] Christopher Carr passes along this link about where binge drinking occurs most in the US.

[C4] At Hit Coffee, I wrote some more about Atlas Shrugged as well as [C5] commuting costs and satellite cities.

[C6] Ben Schwartz argues that we are in an age of a comedic bubble and satirical excess.

[C7] This video – Via Oscar – cannot be unseen, and since life is long, you’re likely to see it at some point. So go ahead and watch it now. I can’t say you won’t regret it, but you will have satisfied the inevitability:

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Linky Friday #112: Campus Edition( 460 )


[C1] pcu2Oscar Gordon: “We should have taught them that it’s shameful to oppose liberty and work to undermine it. We didn’t. They grew up in a world where a man can advise the government to disregard our liberties and waffle on whether the state can crush the testicles of children to torture information of of their parents, only to be rewarded by a prestigious position at a top law school.” -Ken Popehat

[C2] From Oscar Gordon: Remember that Hugo brouhaha?

[C3] College students are drinking less than they used to! They’re also hanging out and going out less, too.

[C4] It seems to me that posting sample photos on a “fake boyfriend or girlfriend” site is kind of counterproductive.

[C5] I sort of suspect that a good part of the sex ed debate is tribalism and signialling. Maybe because I grew up close enough to millenials that this doesn’t surprise me.

International Art:

[A1] cowboybebopAlex Suskind writes on the enduring legacy of Cowboy Bebop. I don’t rewatch nearly as much of my old anime as I’d like, but I find myself rewatching Cowboy Bebop every few years.

[A2] Kotaku looks at how anime art has changed.

[A3] Odessa Jones makes the case for Korean television. I… don’t do well with subtitles, I’m afraid.

[A4] Mapping East Middle Earth.


[H1] inglourious-basterdsBad news! Teddy Roosevelt never rode that moose. Also, that picture you may have seen of yesteryear’s economy (airplane) cabin is totally fake. Relatedly, if you’ve seen that image showing the alleged browning of earth from 1978 to 2012, very misleading.

[H2] The story of Hitler’s attempt to build the perfect Nazi cow, and the story of their attempts to build a Nazi Brides.

[H3] Check out some artifacts of war.

[H4] Adam Ozimek fact-checks Merle Haggard.


[L1] bostonlegalOscar Gordon and I are both quite happy that a biproduct of the Walter Scott killing is the attention that the issue of debtor prisons for child support has been receiving.

[L2] From Oscar Gordon: While I am horrified at the use of police for what seems to be a political witch hunt, part of me is experiencing a bit of schadenfreude when I think of how willingly conservatives were to expand police powers in this direction.

[L3] From Vikram Bath: Do these photos of houses whose owners refused to sell to developers mean property rights are stronger in China than in the US?

[L4] Nobody does lists like Cracked does lists. Here are five really fished up court trials.

[L5] Janet Halley looks at sex, gender, race, and Title IX enforcement of rape charges on campus.


[R1] irongiantRaising the minimum wage has some expected (though eminently logical) new supporters.

[R2] Jesse Walker argues that Philip K Dick was right, the fear shouldn’t be that robots will become more man-like, but that we will be reduced to robots.

[R3] Erik Sofge thinks we’ve been tricked into fearing AI.

[R4] How do we feel about robots taking our jobs? Top scientists are worried about them taking over.

[R5] From Oscar Gordon: Youtube video of 1700 mechanical linkages.

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Linky Friday #111: Pit-Fight Edition( 110 )


[A1] As elections in the UK approach, Ben Lauderdale gives a quick primer on UK’s political history.

[A2] Britain’s Labour Party wants to do away with “non-dom” status, which is essentially preferential tax treatment for people whose primary allegiance is to another country.

[A3] Sadly, Canada appears to be undermining its own census process. Even more than we did, it looks like.

[A4] Tour a Canadian 80’s-era abandoned mining town.

[A5] Russell Saunders says he “probably” won’t #StandWithPaul, but this sounds like an endorsement to me! (Not really.)

[A6] Louis Jordan was lost at sea for over two months, and allegedly survived. Experts say it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

[A7] From Oscar Gordon: I like how they imply that the amendment would sell off National Parks, rather than just transferring some federal land back to the states.


[L1] Should small theaters in Los Angeles have to pay union wages?

[L2] Ron Hira and Hal Salzman argue that the H1-B visa debates aren’t really about immigration. They’re about jobs, and people being laid off to make room for immigrants taking the jobs that Americans can’t and won’t do.

[L3] Do you single-space or double-space after periods? If the latter, it may be dating you on your resume. I actually grew up right on the cusp of the transition. I single-space.

[L4] Take a look at this trippy Microsoft recruitment video. If it weren’t Microsoft, you wouldn’t think it was from 2008.


[G1] I think there is some truth to this article about Gamergate ultimately being about a sort of cultural colonialism. I saw some of this when anime started to gain cultural traction. A non-trivial number of die-hards responded very unfavorably to the prospect of something not being “theirs” anymore.

[G2] “Dragon Age: Inquisition is easily the most personal, well-designed relationship system I’ve ever seen – and if we learn anything at all from the media we consume, then our awkward, virtual sexual encounters in games like this could maybe shape us all into better, more respectful people.”

[G3] The evolution of Lara Croft. Does anyone else remember how amazing the graphics of Pit-Fighter were when it came out?


[C1] It’s Dawn on Ceres, as we look at the universe’s leftovers.

[C2] NASA is pondering airship cities over Venus.

[C3] A new rocket has the potential to take us to Mars. Buzz Aldrin and Elon Musk would approve, as would 200,000 would-be astronauts.

[C4] Laura Dattaro says that we need to stop babying Mars.

[C5] A former NASA employee says that she saw men walking on Mars in 1979.


[T1] As air travel becomes easier and cheaper, European sleeper trains are retiring.

[T2] Everybody knows that bike helmets reduce bicycle injuries… but maybe they do so by convincing kids not to ride bikes.

[T3] Don’t steer, hit the deer. I still haven’t figured out what the deal with this sign is, other than to confirm that it was a turtle and not a hard hat.

[T4] The egalitarian in me agrees with this Kriston Capps article: Airline pre-check status is bull&@#$.

[T5] Matt Yglesias laud’s changes in Houston’s bus transit system.


[V1] From Aaron David: The Mathematics of Hipsters.

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Linky Friday #110: Sprawl Edition( 175 )


[A1] As California tries to figure out its water problem, Alissa Walker argues that people should back off the almond-hate.

[A2] As the city of Houston tries to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, here are some pictures of people who broke in. Yesterday they actually allowed people in for a tour.

[A3] I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that our county isn’t on this list of fast-growing exurbs of DC.

[A4] A while back, I posted on Hit Coffee about Whittier, Alaska, a building and an entire town. Meanwhile, Canada made the decision to close one of its borders in the night-time hours, which left residents of an eastern Alaska town in a lurch because there is no emergency care otherwise. Fortunately, they came to an arrangement.

[A5] Georgia has had a problem of half-built communities. Alana Semuels tells the story of what the town of Covington did about it, to the applause of some and the consternation of others.


[P1] Read an Australian slowly realize that the political organization he’s working for is rather xenophobic.

[P2] Rand Paul’s presidential announcement was taken offline due to YouTube’s copyright system.

[P3] From Oscar Gordon: Dr. Tribe is politically attacked for expressing legal opinions that are critical of Obama Administration policy.

[P4] Mormons and LGBT advocates in Utah came up with a compromise often heralded as what can be achieved by working together. Libertarian-minded conservative and gay rights advocate Walter Olson doesn’t like it. Also, Olson talks about how corporations became liberal culture warriors.

[P5] From Tod Kelly: If you have a half hour, John Oliver might have come up with a way to get Americans interested in debating the Patriot Act’s Section 215: make it about their junk. No, really.

[P6] From Tod Kelly: In the midst of potentially disastrous term politically speaking, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has created a rather amazing fictitious boogeyman to go after: people using food stamps on luxury cruise ships.


[Cr1] A man in Texas was thrown in jail for failing to mow his lawn.

[Cr2] Officials in South Carolina and elsewhere have been very concerned about the illegal exporting of automobiles. Coincidentally, they’ve been seizing said luxury automobiles. The good news (depending on your POV) is that they’re backing off.

[Cr3] From Tod Kelly: From GQ’s Daliel Riley, a rollicking tale of a treasure hunt for buried cocaine gone awry. And just in case you’re wondering, are there elephants? Yes. There are elephants.

[Cr4] “A Louisiana man on trial for murder has claimed that he thought the victim was an alligator.” // I think Florida Man needs to step up his game.

[Cr5] A Pennsylvania phony posing as a lawyer made partner and was president of the county bar.

[Cr6] From Glyph: He who controls the sand, controls the universe.


[Cu1] Katie Kilkenny thinks that Twin Peaks without David Lynch may not be so bad. Two thoughts: First, stop calling everything a “reboot” as this is a continuation, not a reboot. Second, I suspect this will die a quiet death.

[Cu2] After Rolling Stone has announced that it will not fire anybody involved with the atrociously bad Rape on Campus story, you might wonder what it takes to get fired from Rolling Stone. The answer? Giving Hootie and the Blowfish a negative review.

[Cu3] Who knows college basketball? Mitt Romney knows college basketball.

[Cu4] I disagreed with Sonny Bunch about women in comic books. The more I’ve read about recent efforts, though, the more I am thinking he might have been more right than wrong in some respects.

[Cu5] Kristi York Wooten looks at how Atlanta became the backdrop of so many movies.

Suburban Renewal:

[S1] McMansions are back.

[S2] Millenials are flocking to the suburbs.

[S3] But only certain types, says Jordan Weissman. There are class implications, because educated millenials are still moving to the city. Personally, I would guess this is a function of family formation as much as inequality. {link via Saul}

[S4] Are they being driven to home ownership by rising rents?

[S5] More on the exurban revival.


[V1] From Oscar Gordon: I love shear thickening non-Newtonian fluids! (Fluids Geek!)

[V2] A creepy black and white video of the Teletubbies has gone viral:

[V3] Stone Temple Pilot already touched on telecreepies in the music video for Sour Girl:

My wife hates that music video because she says it makes the lead singer look like he masturbates to pictures of himself. I don’t disagree with that particular assessment, but I kinda like it anyway, even if the teletubby knockoffs kinda creep me out.

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