Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Immigration, Megadeth, and Fingers!

Sorry I haven't posted anything recently, but here's a start in making up for it.

1) Since immigration is all the rage right now, I'll weigh in. I don't have strong views on immigration one way or the other. I do support immigration if for no other reason than that is a check on government tyranny. If you can move, government has less control over you. As for new legislation, maybe existing legislation should be enforced first? As for new immigration restrictions, they could be helpful for Mexico if fewer Mexicans can go to U.S. thereby forcing Mexico to institute economic and institutional reforms to encourage economic growth, property rights and stability. However, restrictions would reduce the number of immigrants and industrious people will be excluded from the U.S. I want just as many industrious people in this country as we can get! As always, Thomas Sowell has a good column on immigration:
His Migrations and Culture is also well worth the read and applicable to immigration.

2) For those of you care about such things, the new Megadeth album United Abominations came out last Tuesday and it is great! Dave Mustaine is one of the most intelligent guys in heavy metal and his lyrics reflect this. The title track of the album is highly critical of the United Nations. He calls out Kojo Anan in the first verse. Here's the chorus:

The UN is right; you can't be any more "un"
Than you are right now, the UN is undone
Another mushroom cloud, another smoking gun
The threat is real, the Locust King has come
Don't tell me the truth: I don't like what they've done
Its payback time at the United Abominations

The music is also much better than it has been on any Megadeth album in the last 15 years or so. Well worth the price!

3) I found this on MSN this evening. According to the book Digit Ratio, if your ring finger is longer than your index finger, it is an indication that you were exposed to higher than average amounts of testosterone in the womb. This correlates with a personality that tends to be logical, decisive, and ambitious. Not sure how valid that is, but it gives me one more reason to stare at people and they tend to get creeped out by me enough as it is!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Picture Worth 1000 Words!

Kudos to Division of Labour for this photo. A new book on West Virginia's poor economy uses the following satellite image you can view at:
If you don't view it soon, you may have to go into the May Archives to find it, but it's well worth it.

The image shows the Kentucky-West Virginia border. The contrast is absolutely breath taking! Well worth your time!

The book doesn't sound too shabby either.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Wild Spending on Wildfire

If you go to www.cato.org and listen to the May 7, 2007 Podcast, you'll hear a great discussion of how the Forest Service has an incentive to stop all forest fires, even beneficial ones, and overspend on fire fighting due to the way Congress structured the enabling legislation back in 1908.

I can't help but think that the exact same incentives probably confront state and local forest and natural resource officials in regards to forest fires.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Virginia Tech and Fertility

I know its a little late to comment on the Virginia Tech tragedy, but a post at another blog made me think of something. Go to Voluntary Exchange for the post that got me going:

There are stories of some people trying to fight back, but not nearly enough people creating a diversion, hitting the guy with books, a chair, anything. It is as if lots of these folks didn't value life itself, or even their own life, to try and stop this psycho from killing. The most likely reason for this that I've seen is the complete and total pacification these students have been exposed to their entire lives: "If there is a problem, just talk it out. We can all come to an understanding. There's no need for shouting or violence."

So, you don't fight back. I see a connection to fertility in that if you don't value your own live, much less the lives of others, enough to try and stop someone from taking it away, is it really any surprise that fertility rates are falling? If you don't value your own life, why would you create another one?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


1) If you visit one California hotel, you will not find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand, but you will find a copy of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. This hotel also has waterless urinals (I call that going outdoors) and recycled paper (I don't want to know what kind of paper. Hopefully they haven't been coordinating with Sheryl Crow on that one).

2) Check out John Stossel's column today and ask yourself whether schooling is necessary for children to develop proper social skills. Stossel also has a 20/20 special on Friday.

3) This story itself is certainly not absurd, but one line in it may be. It is about the rise of religious life on college campuses around the nation. Professor Peter Gomes of Harvard, the university preacher, “There is probably more active religious life now than there has been in 100 years.” Certainly an interesting and potentially welcome development.

The absurd part, or at least a part I don't completely buy, is from the first few lines of the article. "To be seen as religious often meant being dismissed as not very bright, he (Gomes) said. No longer." As someone who is on a college campus, although it is certainly one where religious belief is not under attack, there are still many, many professors who belittle those students and fellow professors who openly express religious beliefs, especially at elite institutions. So to sum up, I think Gomes is a little too optimistic.