Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Adults tend to be mature enough to recognize that there would be no progress — cures for diseases, ways to harness new energy sources — without people who are different. Successful scientists think distinctively.
So what happens to high school's popular students? Research shows that they are more likely than outsiders to conform, which can also mean they're less likely to innovate.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
With the rise of e-mail and the decline of letters, mail volume is falling at a staggering rate, and the postal service's survival plan isn't reassuring. Elsewhere in the world, postal services are grappling with the same dilemma—only most of them, in humbling contrast, are thriving.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In other words, if you cut spending on school lunches, children will go hungry. If you fail to subsidize housing, people will be homeless. If you fail to subsidize prescription drugs, old people will have to eat dog food in order to be able to afford their meds.
This is the vision promoted by many politicians and much of the media. But, in the world of reality, it is not even true for most people who are living below the official poverty line.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This afternoon, the (4th Circuit) panel ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs by May 31 explaining the consequences if the court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act applies. That’s a bomb for one simple reason: The Anti-Injunction Act applies to federal taxes.
This means that the appellate judges on this case may hold that the Obamacare individual mandate is okay because it is a tax. While the political repercussions of such a decision seem obvious, the legal implications are serious, too.
Under the Anti-Injunction Act, no one can sue to challenge the legality of a tax until after the tax has been paid. The statute specifies that no federal court has jurisdiction to hear a challenge until someone who has already paid the tax files suit, demanding a refund and the tax’s termination.
The individual mandate doesn’t go into effect until 2014. Therefore, if it is ruled to be a tax, then no one will have standing to sue until 2014. The Fourth Circuit cases would be dismissed.
Monday, May 23, 2011
How to build your own Taser. And while you’re feeling crafty, here are instructions for making a urinal out of video game cartridges.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused Western countries of plotting to “cause drought” in Iran by using high tech equipment to drain the clouds of raindrops…
“Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran,” Mr Ahmadinejad said in the city of Arak in Markazi province.
“According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump” their water on their continent, he said.
By doing so, “they prevent rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran,” Mr Ahmadinejad charged.
Iran has experienced several droughts in recent years.
According to salon owners, 40 per cent of customers requesting the body bling are men.
Friday, May 20, 2011
That means we can expect the Rapture to start when it hits 6 p.m. at the International Dateline at 180 Longitude -- roughly the (area) between Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Nuku'alofa, Tonga. We'll know it's Judgment Day because there will be an earthquake of previously unprecedented magnitude, Camping predicts.
So, according to these calculations, the Rapture will actually begin like a rolling brown out across the globe at 11 p.m. PST on Friday, May 20th. "Everyone will be weeping and wailing because they'll know in a few hours it'll come to their city," said Camping.
Crossposted at The Corner.
Man has hand amputated so he can be fitted with a bionic one.
1959 booklet on building yourself a fallout shelter.
’Armageddon House’ Built To Stand Through Doomsday.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
MacRecipes describes what MacGyver used to get out of trouble over the course of seven TV seasons.
Adult stars wonder if they made Bin Laden’s stash.
Crossposted at The Corner.
At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up.Technology Review
The Daily Caller.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
"We have had about a half-century of racial preferences and often unspoken but real quotas for hiring and admission based on racial identity. If the original intent was to level the playing field for African-Americans and Latinos, who had been subject to systematic and often gratuitously mean discrimination throughout much of the American South and Southwest, nonetheless the current rationale for sustaining affirmative action has become a veritable nightmare of contradictions, biases, and incoherence that is now well beyond reform. Conservatives mostly believe this; an increasing number of liberals quietly think it."
via Jeff at Protein Wisdom, who has additional comments.
The brief’s “Introduction and Summary of Argument” is one of the most succinct, elegant, and direct summations of the basic issues that are at stake:
This case is about individual liberty, state sovereignty and federalism. Indeed, whether there remain any limits on the power and reach of the federal government is the fundamental question before this Court. Appellant’s defense of the individual mandate, if accepted, requires the Court to disregard more than 220 years of Commerce Clause application and Supreme Court precedence, fundamentally misapply the Necessary and Proper Clause and disregard the Constitution’s requirements for the laying and collection of taxes.
The heavy-handed demands of temporary politicians who seek to change fundamentally and permanently the relationship between the citizen and government in a manner that no past Congress or Executive have undertaken and which the Constitution clearly does not allow must not be given the Court’s imprimatur. The District Court correctly rejected the individual mandate and its penalty provision as unconstitutional. …
The Commerce Clause is written in uncomplicated, plain English. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution provides that “The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Congress can tax interstate commerce, regulate interstate commerce, and can even prohibit certain types of interstate commerce. There is nothing in the history of this Nation, let alone the history of the Constitution and the Commerce Clause, however, permitting the federal government to compel an individual to enter into a legally binding private contract against the individual’s will and interests simply because the individual is living and breathing. Such a radical departure from precedent, law, and logic has never been contemplated, let alone imposed upon, the American people.
Also, Mona Charen has an article on the subject today on NRO.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Links and discussion at Hot Air.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The measure makes it a criminal offense for any public servant to conduct a search in which “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person” are touched, including through clothing. The bill also wades into Fourth Amendment territory by prohibiting searches “that would be offensive to a reasonable person.” The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.HotAir's The Greenroom.
WSJ.com: If this were a private business, the obvious response to these losses would be urgent cost-cutting to avoid insolvency. Instead, Postal Service management recently concluded negotiations offering the 205,000-member American Postal Workers Union a new four-and-a-half-year contract that will provide a 3.5% pay raise over three years, dole out automatic cost of living wage hikes after 2012, and expand no-layoff protections.
Postal officials say this is the best deal they could get and that, had they not agreed to it, an arbitrator would have been even more generous to the union. But given that 80% of postal costs are for wages and benefits, this contract is unhinged from all fiscal reality.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Our national conversation about deficits is about politics—about ideology—not math. It’s a proxy war in our eternal battle over how much to tax and spend. Republicans care about deficits when spending is on the table, but as soon as they get a chance to pass some tax cuts, they forget they ever cared. Meanwhile, Democrats, who were outraged—outraged!—when the deficit averaged less than 3 percent of GDP under George W. Bush, are now silent about deficits that are running three times as high, and that are projected to stay above Bush’s even after Obama has left office. Very few true deficit hawks are left in America—only deficit vultures.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Poker is much more skill than luck.
As this related Freakonomics blog post notes:
Using data from the 2010 World Series of Poker, Levitt and Miles found that high-skilled players earned an average return on investment of over 30 percent, whereas all other players averaged a 15 percent loss. This finding has serious implications on the legality of online poker, as that debate is heavily dependent on whether the game is based on skill or luck.Also noteworthy:
The differences are "far larger in magnitude than those observed in financial markets, where fees charged by the money managers viewed as being most talented can run as high as 3 percent of assets under management and 30 percent of annual returns."
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"And the Bush tax cuts aren't to blame for the massive fiscal hole that opened up over the past three years. That was partly due to the unavoidable recession-caused drop in revenues. But the big driver was the massive increase in federal spending, which reached an astonishing 25% of GDP between 2009 and 2011."
Monday, May 9, 2011
The currency will collapse; the government will print IOUs to tide things over; and the Egyptian street will reject the IOUs as the country reverts to barter.
It will look like the Latin American banana republics, but without the bananas. That is not meant in jest: few people actually starved to death in the Latin inflations. Egypt, which imports half its wheat and a great deal of the rest of its food, will actually starve.
Half of Egyptians live on $2 a day, and that $2 is about to collapse along with the national currency.