"Last Man Standing: The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson"

Next week Willie's 73rd studio album drops.

“Willie invites almost universal love from hippies and rednecks, liberals and conservatives — everyone except the professional pot-stirrers,” R. G. Ratcliffe wrote in Texas Monthly last year. He’s right. It’s a wildly impressive achievement. The world of Willie Nelson fandom, thank goodness, is largely a politics-free zone. We need more of that in our country, not less.


"Why do philosophers make unsuitable life partners?"

I was listening to this Craig Ferguson interview and Craig said something to the effect that most of the leading philosophers had no kids. I thought: really? I'm empirically oriented, so my first thought was to get a list of philosophers and check. I tried Wikipedia for the list, but it was very, very long. I sampled six I had actually heard of and found . . . they all had no children. But needless to say, a non-random sample of six is not much evidence.

I mentioned this to my wife and she said why not Google it? I did and turned up this piece

Have I mentioned recently that I love Google?


"A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash"

Article in the New York Times, which at my last check was not a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Governments are struggling as mounting pension obligations crowd out the rest of their budgets. Oregon faces a severe, self-inflicted crisis. . . .

A county road recently washed out, stranding 300 people. Ms. Dwyer, of the Three Rivers School District, reported the problem to a public-works official.

She recalled his response: “I have trucks, but I can’t put gas in them to come to you and dig it out.”

Related: "Garcetti, Wesson DROP $1.6 Billion Pension Bomb on Angelenos" and "Pension Crisis: Former California State Controller Warns About CalPERS".


"The End of Peak Oil"

While I think it's a little early to declare "the end," it sure is trending strongly that way

How's this for a really bad prediction?

In 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that "the world's supply of recoverable petroleum" was no more than 60 billion barrels.  It was wrong.  The world has already produced 1,400 billion barrels of oil.  Worldwide, there is about 1,700 billion barrels of oil in reserve – nearly a 60-year supply at current production rates.  And the size of the ultimate resource is likely to be greater than 10 trillion barrels.


"Why not taxes?"

John Cochrane with an excellent answer to the "Democratic economic establishment".

Their bottom line, really, is that entitlements and deficits are not a problem. They put the blame pretty much entirely on the recently enacted corporate tax cut.   (I'm simplifying a bit. As did they, a lot.)

By contrast, we focused on entitlement spending -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, pensions, and social programs -- as the central budget problem, and entitlement reform (not "cut") together with a strong focus on economic growth as the best answer.