July 24, 2006
Mars & Venus
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:49 PM
First, a disclaimer: I have no training that would allow me to judge the merits of the scientific argument that follows.
That said, I found this article fascinating, and not because of the science.
What interested me was the wrath California neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine has incurred from peers for suggesting significant neurological differences between men and women.
The article offers no suggestion that Brizendine wants women to stay home and bake cookies. The former Berkeley student and feminist bookstore worker admits her scientific observations stray from political dogma.
Brizendine realizes she's going to take some heat. "I know it's not politically correct to say this," she says, "and I've been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. But I believe that women actually perceive the world differently than men. If women attend to those differences, they can make better decisions about how to manage their lives."
But her progressive bona fides do not earn her a free pass. One critic says "she's disgusted by scientists, writers and publishers who exploit trivial differences between the genders."
To Brizendine's credit, she's sticking to her science rather than swaying with the wind of P.C. biliousness.
Things that make you go ... huh?
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 8:26 PM
When a crazy person says something crazy, he usually believes what he's saying.
That's why I shook my head and furrowed my brow while reading this article in the latest Newsweek.
Rod Nordland interviewed a fellow named Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, the new chief cook and bottle washer in Somalia. He's a top dog in the Islamic Courts Union.
I had a hard time believing the second paragraph quoted below:
He praised bin Laden to NEWSWEEK, comparing him to Nelson Mandela in that "South Africans said that Mandela was a terrorist and his people know him as a hero." He also justified Al Qaeda's attacks on the World Trade Center. "Since Osama was fighting against his enemy, he could use any tactic he had available to him," he said. "It is not compulsory to think as the Americans want us to think."Despite Aweys's stated views, many observers give the Courts the benefit of the doubt. "Most of us in the international and relief community do not see them as a new Taliban," says World Food Program country director Zlatan Milisic. "There may be extremists among them, but overall they're providing relief for suffering people." [emphasis added]
What will it take for Mr. Milisic and his colleagues to believe that the Sheik is a nut?
CONsolidation in hospitals
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:12 PM
An odd thing happens when discussing health care in America.
Otherwise intelligent people make seemingly contradictory points.
Despite a general concern that health care competition is too
localized, meaning low volumes of procedures and low levels of
specialization, Michael Porter and Elizabeth Olmstead Teisberg lament the lack of local competition due to consolidation.
course, there is nothing contradictory in the desire for both
competition and specialization -- specialization is how most firms
respond to competition. But among health care providers, mergers
eliminate competition and Certificate of Need (CON) laws prevent new competitors from entering the market. They write:
In North Carolina, only 18 of 100 counties were served by multiple hospital systems in 2000. [footnote - Sizable markets, such as Asheville and Greensboro, North Carolina, have gone from two hospital systems to one.]
Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:22 PM
Rock expert Drew Cline, writing for American Spectator, thinks the "Big Dig" needs a new name.
Open for comment
Posted by Hal Young at 12:22 AM
The junior senator from Massachusetts chided the populace and the president for the situation in Lebanon:
"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor. (Detroit News, 7/23/06)
What a wonderful straight line. "I don't know, Sir, why wouldn't this have happened if he was [sic] president?"
Incase there were any doubts.... $$$
Posted by Matt Mittan at 11:25 AM
From a Press Release today:
'On Friday, July 28, 2006 from 5 to 7 PM, Western NC Working Families Win will hold a celebration of the increase in North Carolina’s minimum wage. The event will also focus on the next step: pressuring Rep. Charles Taylor to push for a vote to increase the federal minimum wage. Even working full-time at the new NC minimum wage of $6.15 / hr, a person would only make a little over $12,000 a year. According to the NC Justice Center, a one parent/one child household in Western NC would need to earn $28,000 a year (or $13 an hour) to pay for the basic necessities of living. The Justice Center estimates that 49% of families with children in NC are earning less than $13 an hour.'
So - the goal is clear. Get a $13/hour minimum wage in NC. Think of how much this would 'help' poor families in NC. -smile- However, what is most troubling to me is that the celebration is being held at Three Chopt Restaurant - and organizers did not say whether or not they plan to offset the cost of the meal based on income or if they plan on paying the difference to the wait and cook staff to be sure those workers make the $13/hour they 'deserve' while helping serve the celebration attendees.
Re: responding to nonsense
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:27 AMTerry, your post reminded me of Roy's friend's remarks in agreement with a "liberal" anti-Wal-Mart diatribe:
... they turned to my friend, who had chosen to remain silent during the conversation, and asked him, as a supporter of free markets, what he thought of Wal-Mart. ...
[H]e said that, like them, he was rich and really had no use for Wal-Mart. He told them how he hated going there and having to park his expensive car next to the inexpensive cars owned by all those lower class people who shop there. Furthermore he certainly didn't like going into the store and having to associate with these people. He also told them that he'd much rather pay the higher prices that are charged at the local "mom and pop" stores that Wal-Mart puts out of business (part of their complaint against Wal-Mart) because these higher prices keep the lower classes away.
How to Silence Liberal Nonsense
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:00 AM
While in Richmond this weekend, I listened to a Virginia Beach/Norfolk radio station that featured guest comedian Todd Glass. After some decent jokes, Glass started a mediocre bit about Home Depot and its supposed ruinous effects on local businesses and communities.
Almost immediately, the DJ interrupted Glass and said, "I bet you do not mind paying Home Depot prices. We like free markets."
Taken aback, Glass stopped his bit and moved on.
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:57 AM
Why not just take the money it costs to run this thing and provide them with some essentials?
US blamed for Europe's failure
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:45 AM
of Doha round of world trade talks will be blamed on US farm subsidy
policy, as India and the EU said reform should happen here first.
Subsidies of $19 billion are expensive for the federal government and consumers,
but the USTR had made many offers to cut subsidies -- the problem with
these offers was that they demanded more cuts from Europe, which
provides $60 billion in subsidies to its farmers under the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). The US government also called for agricultural tariff reductions of 66 percent on average.
For all the complaints about America abandoning trade leadership
with the 2002 Farm Bill, it provided some leverage for negotiation. The
US position was always in support of common, low levels for tariffs and
subsidies. EU complaints were always about the proportion of cuts to
get to that common level. If trade talks had succeeded, the Farm Bill
would have deserved much of the credit. The gamble failed because
Europe can't compete.
Re: Grand Abstractions and Individual Actions
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:09 AM
The tendency on the left to think in abstractions leads to Jonathan Chait's
claim that they do not have an ideology, but operate on an ad hoc, or
case-by-case, basis. Unlike the racist in old TV shows who would say
"But you're OK, it's those other ____ that are the problem," Democrats
apparently are less generous with disaster relief for certain groups (second heading - Miserly Republicans, Unprincipled Democrats).
difference between a person's policy preference (the rich should pay
higher taxes) and the voluntary actions that person could take to
achieve the same result (Bill Clinton paying what he would have owed
the IRS before the Bush tax cuts) is not hypocritical in this view
because the individual does not matter.
Woods and Angelina Jolie get exempted from the definition of "rich"
because they are clearly different from the rest of us in their
talents. Anyone can run a company if they're greedy enough, according
to the myth of the left.
Political Science Road to Serfdom
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:08 AM
I recently read this book and I can confirm the Mises Institute and Hayek recommendations. In some ways it is the political science version of "The Road to Serfdom." Written at about the same time, 1948.
On Power: The Natural History of Its GrowthAUTHOR: Jouvenel, Bertrand de
is the primary menace to peace, freedom, and civilization--such is the
lesson we learn from the great works of literature, philosophy, and
history. Why then do we tolerate it? Where did it come from? How did it
come to be unleashed in such fury in the last century and this? What
can we expect can be done to curb it?
These are the themes of this erudite treatise, of which F.A. Hayek said
when it appeared in 1948: "his picture of one of the great historical
forces is a work of art."
Bertrand De Jouvenel, scholar and liberal aristocrat, provides a
sweeping history of the development of power in the age of the rise of
the nation state, and traces it through the democratic age that has
given presidents and parliaments power that would have been the envy of
His theme is the steady expansion of power, its pyschological roots,
and its cultural effects. In particular, he explains the dangers of
majoritatarian democracy, and what they are sure to mean for the idea
of liberty. On this particular point, he is especially illuminating.
This is a challenging and serious work of historical analytics. No one
studying the history of power and its effect can overlook it. A true
Hardbound: 444 pp.
Competition: A beautiful thing
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:02 AM
As I read this article, I wondered how much technology would have advanced had we still been dealing with the old monopoly of the taxpayer-financed U.S. Postal Service.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places........
Posted by Michael Moore at 08:45 AM
I heard this on the radio this morning this student at UCF in Orlando really has some HOT streaks...
Paul Krugman's income inequality bogeyman
Posted by George Leef at 08:08 AM
A perennial leftist issue is the supposedly unjustifiable distribution of income in the US. It is always a problem -- make that a problem with deep social implications -- that some people earn more than others. At least people like Paul Krugman say it's a problem. Perhaps it's more of an opportunity to capitalize politically on the envy of some voters and the guilt of others.
Anyway, Russ Roberts takes on Krugman here.
As the late Robert Nozick pointed out in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, there are two ways of looking at the question of distributive justice. Leftists adopt an end-state approach, declaring that the distribution of wealth in society is unjust if the top earners have more than some percentage of the wealth. Nozick, however, rejected that view. Instead, he maintained that you need to ask how the distribution of wealth came to be. If each person's earnings derive from a series of actions that are themselves peaceful, then there is no problem of distributive justice. If, however, the actions of some have been unjust (stealing, for example), then the distribution of wealth is unjust and the corrective actions must involve those individuals.
Tiger Woods has a stupendously high income. Every dollar of it, however, comes about through peaceful transactions, none of which can be assailed on grounds of injustice. Should any of his wealth be confiscated by the Krugmanites of the world so that they can say they have done something to narrow the "income gap" in society? I think not.
The trouble here is that leftists tend to look at society in grand abstractions rather than looking at individual actions.
One street, two names
Posted by Paul Chesser at 07:11 AMFriday it was misheard lyrics; today it's misspelled signs, in a N&O story about how some streets in the area are marked with grammatically challenged posts ("Russling Leaf" not "Rustling Leaf", etc.)
I have a contribution to the list from my own neighborhood. On one corner of a nearby street the name is "Zachary Way." At the next corner it's "Zackary Way." I still don't know which is correct, but I assume it's the former.
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