"Carmen Fariña’s ugly lie about which kids charters help"

NYC charter school parent answers the Schools Chancellor, who should darn well know better.

In a radio interview last week, Fariña said: “When you look at the parents who make it their business to enter a lottery, that already predetermines a certain section of the population.”

The teachers union and other critics of charter schools often make this charge to imply that the academic gains made by students have nothing to do with the school — and that charters are shutting out disadvantaged students in the process.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

"The Redistribution Fallacy"

James Piereson tells the truth:

This is one reason that five of the seven wealthiest counties in the nation are on the outskirts of Washington D.C. and that the average income for the District of Columbia’s top 5 percent of households exceeds $500,000, the highest among major American cities. Washington is among the nation’s most unequal cities as measured by the income gap between the wealthy and everyone else. Those wealthy individuals did not descend upon the nation’s capital in order to redistribute income to the poor but to secure some benefit to their institutions, industries, and, incidentally, to themselves.

They understand a basic principle that has so far eluded progressives: The federal government is an effective engine for dispensing patronage, encouraging rent-seeking, and circulating money to important voting blocs and well-connected constituencies. It is not an effective engine for the redistribution of income.

UPDATE: link fixed now. Thanks, Michael.

"What is it that you’re proposing?"

Charles C. W. Cooke asks a very good question of the gun-control folks.

Cooke then points out again that neither Obama nor Biden offered any specific policy proposals. They did the same thing that Halperin and Brzezinski do here — vent righteous indignation, then look around for someone to blame for a problem that almost certainly has no legislative remedy. Congresses under control of both parties certainly haven’t found any, and none of the proposals that percolate out in the minutes after a publicized shooting incident turn out to apply when all of the facts finally come out.

And Eugene Volokh presents an interesting analogy: "Guns and alcohol".

"Failed Climate Scientists Call For RICO Investigation To Stop Criticisms, And Non-Scientist Claims Scientists Will Cause Next Genocide"

William M. Briggs posts a fine response to some Global Warming Fascists. It starts this way:

If I ever meet NCAR’s Keven Trenberth (again), I’m going to punch him in the mouth. Same thing if I cross paths with Rutgers’ Alan Robock. Pow! Right in the kisser. I’m too much of a gentleman to pop one across the chops of University of Maryland’s Eugenia Kalnay, but she has it coming.


These cowards, these inferior intellects, these cry babies, these poor losers, these promulgators of a failed science want to sic the full force and might of United States Government on persons like yours truly and the companies or organizations that might fund me. (None do, unfortunately.)

There is a lot of good stuff at Mr. Briggs's site. In particular, there's great reading on Global Warming. See, for examples, these:

"A Citizen’s Guide to Global Warming Evidence".

"Natural Variations In Weather DO NOT Explain The ‘Pause’: Update, With Letter to Nature".

"We Know The Climate Is Warming Because It Isn’t".

But there's more than Global Warming. Two others I highly recommend are "The Science-Is-Self-Correcting Fallacy" and "The True Meaning Of Statistical Models".

(Initial link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.)

"Why Dodd-Frank Is Already Failing"

This is really excellent:

Every major financial reform in U.S. history was enacted in the aftermath of a substantial decline in equity prices. Each, in other words, was crafted during a time of public anger that politicians hoped to deflect from themselves to Wall Street. The congressional authors always compose a narrative of the stock market crash that blames unscrupulous financial intermediaries or public companies and insufficient regulation of the markets. Just as inevitably, proponents studiously avoid any suggestion that their own prior regulatory innovations had unintended consequences that contributed to the crash. Meanwhile, firms in the regulated industry concentrate on determining who the winners and losers may be under a new regulatory regime, so they can make sure they end up on the winning side.

This routine ensures that the primary losers from financial reform are investors and small, regulated firms. Costly new rules simultaneously serve the ends of Congress and the major financial institutions. They allow Congress to argue that it filled the regulatory gaps that it claims caused the crisis. Large firms can spread the new costs over a large number of transactions, giving them a structural advantage over their smaller and previously nimbler competitors. All firms will seek to pass on to their customers as many of the regulatory costs as possible.

"Remembering Robert Conquest"

I don't know the late Mr. Conquest's writings, but this bit of his verse made me laugh.

“Those teach who can’t do” runs the dictum,

But for some even that’s out of reach:

They can’t even teach—so they’ve picked ’em

To teach other people to teach.

Then alas for the next generation,

For the pots fairly crackle with thorn.

Where psychology meets education

A terrible bullshit is born.