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Current Affairs

November 24, 2014

Now with even more Gruber!

Sorry, I just can't help myself.

"This Gruber-gate supercut video is positively enraging".

"Dear Democrats, Don't Even Think about Running from Jonathan Gruber".

"It’s Time For Leftist Gruber Truthers To Give It A Rest".

"Gruber's bad political analysis driven by bad economics".

"Earth in the Grubering".

Hitler finds out about Gruber.

And best of all, Megan McArdle's "GruberGate's Insider Problem".

So let me finish by noting what I actually find disturbing about the whole Gruber episode. It is not that voters aren't particularly well-informed; voters could not possibly be well-informed about all the issues that our government deals with. No one can be, which is why, when people ask me my opinions about foreign policy nowadays, I say, "I don't know. Looks like a hard problem to me."

Nor is it that politicians lie to voters. We reward them for lying, because we want to be told that we can have everything we want, plus a pony, and the only cost will be that some undeserving layabout will get their benefits cut off, or some very rich person we don't like will have to sell the second yacht and pay higher taxes instead. We should not be surprised when they tell us exactly that.  I'm not saying that I approve of this, mind you; I'm just saying that the way to stop it is not to tut-tut at the politicians, but for voters to stop demanding that they give us the pretty moon.

To which the right response is: expose the politicians' lies, embarass and shame the liars, and then elect new ones. Repeat until the costs of lying outweigh the benefits.

More on lying from Kevin D. Williamson:

The lies are everywhere: California teachers go to the mattresses to protect child-molesters while po-facedly insisting that whatever they do, they “do it for the children,” even as their colleagues do it to the children. LAPD promises “To Protect and Serve” even as the officers in its crime-ridden ranks plant evidence in hundreds of cases, as its gang task-force turns into a gang itself, as the traditional game of cops-and-robbers breaks down completely, with police robbing banks. Politics corrupts even our best institutions. “Semperfidelis”? Not at the top. In the upper echelons, “Saepe fidelis” would be more accurate.

"Finally shred the charter-school cap"

Amen to this:

And for those who defend the arbitrary charter cap, it’s time to admit it: You’re not concerned because New Yorkers don’t want charter schools. You’re concerned because they do.

(Link via Instapundit.)

BTW more charters might well help with this: "There Are Nine Middle Schools In NYC That Are Tougher To Get Into Than Harvard".

November 22, 2014

"The Intersection of Race, Sports & Money: 'C'mon Man'"

Everett Glenn, "Pioneer in professional athlete representation," argues that Ol' Roy had to knowabout the goings-on at UNC-Chapel Hill. (Dang gummit!)

Related: "Bob Smizik: How best to punish UNC".

November 20, 2014

"SF Rent Ordinance: Like a Bomb You Don't Hear Till It Hits"

Ah, Baghdad by the Bay: I'm so glad I turned down a chance to work there.

"The 25 Most Educated Cities In America"

Raleigh NC ranks second. (Second only to the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.)

November 18, 2014

"Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ endures after all this time"

Summary: because he was right.

See also "Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time For Choosing’ Is 50 Years Old Today: Does It Hold Up?"

"The 10 Easiest Classes for North Carolina Athletes"

Sample:

History of The Triangle Region 215

Requirements: Students will be required to write a 75-page research term paper on the people, economy and culture of the Triangle Region from the 1600s to modern times. Or, for a C-grade, students may draw a triangle or correctly identify a picture of Phil Jackson.

All are good except for the last one, which is a low blow.

"A Beginner's Guide To Laundering Money"

Mind you I'd definitely not advocating or endorsing these activities. I just find them to be of intellectual interest.

November 17, 2014

"Marc Andreessen in Conversation"

This is just spectacular. If he's not willing to run for office as a conservative he should at least be willing to contribute a bunch of money. Just one great bit:

The critique of Silicon Valley is also that it isn’t very diverse. At Twitter, for instance, 90 percent of the tech employees are male and more than 50 percent of them are white.

I think these discussions are totally valid. Now, I disagree with many of the specific points.

What’s your take?

Shall we? Let’s launch right into it. I think the critique that Silicon Valley companies are deliberately, systematically discriminatory is incorrect, and there are two reasons to believe that that’s the case. No. 1, these companies are like the United Nations internally. All the diversity studies say that the engineering population is like 70 percent white and Asian. Let’s dig into that for a second. First, apparently Asian doesn’t count as diverse. And then “white”: When you actually go in these companies, what you find is it’s American people, but it’s also Russians, and Eastern Europeans, and French, and German, and British. And then there are the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Indonesians, and Vietnamese. All these different countries, all these different cultures. To believe in a systematic pattern of discrimination, you’d have to believe that we’re discriminatory toward certain people without being discriminatory at all toward an extremely broad range of ethnicities and religions. Because of Pakistanis, we’re seeing a higher-than-ever proportion of Muslim employees in a lot of our companies.

No. 2, our companies are desperate for talent. Desperate. Our companies are dying for talent. They’re like lying on the beach gasping because they can’t get enough talented people in for these jobs. The motivation to go find talent wherever it is is unbelievably high.

(On diversity in tech see also the excellent "Cellophane Diversity".)

And here is Mr. Andreessen citing Claudia Goldin. Good on you, sir.

"Washington's Mathematical Mess: America's Looming Entitlement Tsunami"

Yes, indeed. Unless there are some major changes it won't be too long before the federal government does little more than cut entitlement checks

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