Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Principles matter even to Dow Jones

NEW YORK (Feb. 17, 2009) — The Wall Street Journal Europe has revoked its sponsorship of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships due to the decision of the United Arab Emirates to deny a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer, preventing her the opportunity to participate in the tournament.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial philosophy is free markets and free people, and this action runs counter to the Journal's editorial direction
Good for WSJ-E! What of the rest of Europe?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

With Sotomayor, race and ethnicity trump all

In selecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the Souter replacement, Obama opts for identity politics over intellectualism. Cato Institute scholar Roger Pilon brands her a radical almost solely based on the reverse-discrimination New Haven case. Can't say I'm surprised.

My general rule is the POTUS gets to select his people for the highest court; he did win the election, fair and square. Generally Sotomayer is fairly competent which is good enough for a seat on the SOTUS. I just wish liberals would share my outlook rather than engage in scorched earth politics (see the bloody Bork and Thomas nominations.)

Professor Richard Epstein opines on Sotomayor here. He writes the Senate "should subject this dubious nomination to the intense scrutiny that it deserves."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where did all those knowledge workers get us?

New York Times The Case for Working With Your Hands
High-school shop-class programs were widely dismantled in the 1990s as educators prepared students to become “knowledge workers.” The imperative of the last 20 years to round up every warm body and send it to college, then to the cubicle, was tied to a vision of the future in which we somehow take leave of material reality and glide about in a pure information economy. This has not come to pass. To begin with, such work often feels more enervating than gliding. More fundamentally, now as ever, somebody has to actually do things: fix our cars, unclog our toilets, build our houses.

When we praise people who do work that is straightforwardly useful, the praise often betrays an assumption that they had no other options. We idealize them as the salt of the earth and emphasize the sacrifice for others their work may entail. Such sacrifice does indeed occur — the hazards faced by a lineman restoring power during a storm come to mind....

If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college (though they certainly need to learn). Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things. One shop teacher suggested to me that “in schools, we create artificial learning environments for our children that they know to be contrived and undeserving of their full attention and engagement. Without the opportunity to learn through the hands, the world remains abstract and distant, and the passions for learning will not be engaged.”

Hat tip to Slashdot.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A little story about tax competition

Why would anyone shop along the Vermont side of the border? N.H. Union Leader "Thanks, Vermont! Saving NH liquor stores."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Optimism Unbound

If market sentiment is all psychological, what's wrong with a little boost from White House Economists? BLOOMBERG: White House Sees 3.5% Growth by Year-End, Exceeding Forecasts

Monday, May 04, 2009

A useful idiot turns 90

The very overrated Stalinist apologist and folk singer Pete Seeger turns 90. Useful idiot Bruce Springsteen is thrilled.

The joys of competition

Honda vs. Toyota.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The great Jack Kemp. R.I.P.

Jack Kemp was a likeable football player and a thinking man's politician. R.I.P.