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Current Affairs

July 24, 2014

"How Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System Works"

So effective that people go on "Iron Dome dates??" Geez.

July 23, 2014

"Why Are Israelis Rooting for Germany in the World Cup?"

Compare to the habits of most of Israel's enemies

July 22, 2014

"The Worldview that Makes the Underclass"

By Anthony Daniels aka Theodore Dalrymple. Excerpt:

By the time they are 15 or 16, twice as many children in Britain have a television as have a biological father living at home. The child may be father to the man, but the television is father to the child. Few homes were without televisions with screens as large as a cinema—sometimes more than one—and they were never turned off, so that I often felt I was examining someone in a cinema rather than in a house. But what was curious was that these homes often had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave, and no place at which a meal could have been eaten in a family fashion. The pattern of eating in such households was a kind of foraging in the refrigerator, as and when the mood took, with the food to be consumed sitting in front of one of the giant television screens. Not surprisingly, the members of such households were often enormously fat. 

"Peggy the Moocher Gets Wise to Obama"

"Fair enough. What’s the media’s excuse?"

UPDATED: link included now. Thanks to commenters.

July 21, 2014

"The real reason only rich people can afford to live in Silicon Valley"

Timothy B. Lee, Vox:

Badger blames rising demand for the high cost of living in these cities. But the real culprit is strict regulations that make it almost impossible to expand the housing stock in most parts of these cities. . . . 

It doesn't have to be this way. The Bay Area has plenty of room for more housing. San Francisco is less than half as dense of Brooklyn. Surrounding communities are a lot less dense than that. If housing regulations were relaxed, developers would make room for millions of new residents, creating thousands of construction jobs in the process. That would alleviate the severe housing shortage currently plaguing the city. And it would create opportunities for millions of non-wealthy people to live near the opportunities and amenities of America's high-tech capital.

"Liberals go to the barricades to defend crony capitalism"

Heh. Elizabeth Warren, call your office

There's nothing like a good fight over corporate welfare to bring out the Left's love of Big Business.

"Obama's Wrong; The Economy Is Improving Because Of Congressional Deadlock"

Yes, indeed: a day the Congress is not passing new laws is generally a good day for business.

July 19, 2014

"Neymar's cultural significance to Brazil transcends soccer, World Cup"

Why an entire country of 200 million people is nuts over Neymar even though he hasn't done all that much yet. 

July 18, 2014

"The most popular baby names of 2014 so far are . . ."

Imogen and Asher. Silas, Jasper, and Milo have all risen into the top 10 for boys. 

July 16, 2014

"It's Not Your Imagination: The Government Really Is Worse Than Ever"

Fiscal Times, summaring work by Paul Light, Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution:

Using data drawn from news archives, Light identified government failures dating back to 1986 and found that major problems occurred at a rate 1.6 per year until 2001 – nearly doubling in the years afterward, to 3.0. 

It appears to be getting even worse. President Obama may have had fewer major failures than his immediate predecessors have, but as Light points out, his second term isn’t over yet. “At its current pace, government still has plenty of time to set a record average before Obama leaves office in 2017.”

Of course, Professor Light blames the Republicans for this. They have been, allegedly, "willing to vandalize federal programs in service of an ideology that believes smaller government is better government." I, on the other hand, trust the old adage, "The first thing to do when you're in a hole is to stop digging."

(And note I posted on Monday, "Government, particularly the federal government, doesn't work as well now." Score one for me.)

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