April 29, 2001
William Kucewicz provides much needed
William Kucewicz provides much needed sane analysis of California's energy crisis:
Kucewicz also mentions that federal regulators haven't found the price gouging Gov. Davis and others claim is causing sky-rocketing electricity prices. Investigators found:
The bureaucratic blocking of new generating plants is also mentioned as a cause of the electricity crisis.
For a solution to California's problem, Kucewicz goes back to Economics 101. There's more demand for electricity than producers are willing (or financially able) to supply. Since there's a ceiling on retail prices, prices can't go up. As a result, California has a power shortage. California needs more electricity, so Kucewicz recommends "jettison[ing] all controls on power prices." With prices allowed to rise, new suppliers would want to offer Californians electricity. The added supply will eventually force prices down.
Along with removing price controls, new in-state power production must be freed from government hassles. Kucewicz likes the idea of "cookie cutter-style" plants that would meet environmental standards. These could then be quickly build without time-consuming bureaucratic interference.
"California's Dreaming: California Electric Power Crisis; California Electricity Policy, Power Blackouts"
Cato Institute's collection of electricity articles
Michelle Malkin gives President Bush
Michelle Malkin gives President Bush a tongue-lashing over his environmental policy. No, she isn't upset about the arsenic and global warming stuff. She's thinks GW's giving in to the environmental Left. (I like to call them watermelons--green on the outside, red on the inside.)
"Bush's Environmental Guacamole"
The philosophical giant, Immanuel Kant
The philosophical giant, Immanuel Kant wasn't the boring ivory tower thinker we thought he was. In a new biography of the man, Manfred Kuehn points out that Kant was a billiards man who rarely dined alone. Kant was definitely more than simply the man who Konigsberg set their clocks to.
April 28, 2001
The Sean right here is
The Sean right here is fully clothed (sorry, ladies), but this one is nude.
Bare Naked Sean
Jorn has a new logo
Jorn has a new logo for his blog, but I don't get it.
I welcome all of you
I welcome all of you who've discovered TAM by way of Disturbing Search Requests. I hope you visit often. Wow, what traffic you can get just by finding little nuggets from referrer logs.
Here's a little blurb from
Here's a little blurb from Paul Gigot:
As a former Minnesota resident (but life-long Wisconsinite), here's a bit of insight. Coleman would be governor right now if Jesse Ventura wouldn't have run. He's a fine example of Republican big-city mayors who actually solved problems. I put him in the ranks of Rudy Guiliani of NYC and Richard Riordan of Los Angeles.
Sen. Wellstone's biggest asset is that he appears to be a politician detached from typical political interests. He's an old-school, big spending liberal and not afraid to show it. Whether they support his ideology or not, Minnesotans like his integrity and independence. By breaking his term limit promise his integrity and honesty is questioned. Coleman has the political skills, he just needs the money.
April 27, 2001
Bob Kerrey performed a masterful
Bob Kerrey performed a masterful bit of spin over his possible Vietnam massacre. He knew a story was coming in the NY Times Magazine so he quickly scooped them by talking to to a Nebraska paper and the Wall Street Journal. Even the editor of the NY Times Magazine is giving him credit. ''Obviously, he was trying to get his version of what happened out before this other version got released. I think he did a pretty good job of that," said Adam Moss.
Be very wary of Kerrey's political instincts. This was good damage control. It will be even better if he decides to give up the Bronze Star he earned from the battle. He could possibly look like the victim after all this, and it wouldn't harm any possible Presidential run in 2004. Since he took this much effort at controling the story, one has to think he's planning on running.
"Facing Allegations He Led a Massacre, Kerrey Quickly Got Control of the Story"
Can you say SeaQuest or
Can you say SeaQuest or G.I. Joe's S.H.A.R.C.?
April 26, 2001
Doug Bandow on the recent
Doug Bandow on the recent free trade summit in Quebec:
"Globalization Serves the World's Poor"
Bush knows when to play
Bush knows when to play political hardball. This week, a Vermont teacher was honored as National Teacher of the Year. Sen. James Jeffords (R-VT) wasn't invited to the ceremony. This is also the same Sen. Jeffords who voted against Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut.
"Jeffords Not Invited to White House When Home-state Teacher Honored"
Because of fears that Sen.
Because of fears that Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) could leave the Senate due to his age, President Bush wants to send a big block of federal court nominees up to the Hill so they can fill vacancies as soon as possible. If Thurmond were to leave due to illness or (God forbid) death, the South Carolina Democratic governor would most likely fill the seat with a Democrat. That would hand control of the Senate to the Democrats.
"White House Prepares Judicial Nominating Blitz"
April 25, 2001
James Markels goes to the
James Markels goes to the heart of why many want the U.S. entangled by the Kyoto Protocols:
Under the rubric of "saving the earth" Kyoto is being used to weaken the U.S. economically and strategically.
"How to Improve the Kyoto Treaty"
Portrait of America polled Americans
Portrait of America polled Americans on their opinions of the last four Presidents. While George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter all scored high favorable numbers (all in the low 60s), poor Bill Clinton can't even get a majority to like him. It's a far, far cry from the high approval ratings that kept him from being thrown out of office.
"What's America's Opinion of the Past Four Presidents?"
April 24, 2001
For Henry Lamb everyday is
For Henry Lamb everyday is Earth Day.
"Who needs Earth Day?"
Linus Torvalds has written his
Linus Torvalds has written his autobiography. Andrew Leonard says it's "an eminently readable account of Linus Torvalds' short life that gives a clear picture of the man."
"A Boy and His Computer"
This paragraph is complete blather:
This paragraph is complete blather:
Members of the European Union (EU) were among those prancing around and denouncing President Bush for officially saying the Kyoto Protocols were dead. (The U.S. Senate gave it an unofficial obituary when it voted against it 95-0 a few years back.) If the EU cares so much about Kyoto, then why haven't they passed it yet? Maybe they know it would be a millstone around their economy. Maybe they also know that their already highly-regulated industries couldn't handle the stringent terms of the protocols which would have little effect on global carbon dioxide levels anyway.
"Climate Regs: U.S. Stands Alone"
I can picture Miss Aguilera
I can picture Miss Aguilera as the alien queen leading an invasion of earth in a really bad movie flamed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Who's bright idea was it to wear that in public?
China's aggression toward U.S. reconnaissance
China's aggression toward U.S. reconnaissance flights that led to this month's confrontation is unacceptable. China wants to be a prominent player in the world. Having hot shot fly boys ram into other planes over international waters is no way for a world leader to act. Then the Chinese detain those servicemen for 11 days and still refuse to return the plane. The Bush administration should have offered the Aegis defense system to Taiwan. Although the Chinese say doing so would have a "devastating impact," they must feel the consequences of acting as an uncivilized nation. Sometimes the best way of dealing with a bully is to pop him in the nose. Aegis would be quite a pop the Communists couldn't ignore.
"U.S. Offers Arms Deal, Minus Aegis, to Taiwan"
April 23, 2001
In any future confrontation with
In any future confrontation with China, U.S. forces will be fighting against technology originally from the U.S. but transfered to the Communist state via Israel.
"Chinese Arsenal Born in America"
Greg Easterbrook wants the press
Greg Easterbrook wants the press and liberal pundits to give President Bush a break on his environmental policies. Easterbrook sees them as extremely similar to Clinton/Gore. It shows that Bush isn't the rabid conservative some want you to think.
It also shows that conservatives and Republicans must do a better job at developing a pro-active approach to the environment. That way we don't have to always be on the defensive when these issues come up. A great place to start is free market environmentalism developed by the Political Economy Research Center.
April 21, 2001
Mucho congrads to Bill and
The American Booksellers Association which
The American Booksellers Association which represents a few thousand independent bookstores settled their lawsuit with Barnes & Noble and Borders. The independents claimed that the two chains illegally got discounts and subsidies from publishers. The chains argued that they had economies of scale that justified the discounts. The also argued that many independents negotiated favorable deals.
Before I go on, I must be forthcoming: I work at a Barnes & Noble in Milwaukee. In fact, I probably work for the biggest (both in variety and in volume) and best bookstore in the area.
Back to the lawsuit. Last month, the judge ruled against the independents and that forced this week's settlement.
What I found astounding is that some independents were relying on the suit to give them a competitive edge. Incorporating a lawsuit into a business model doesn't seem to be the smartest idea. Some independents even think the suit wasted resources that could have been spend on developing a cooperative online bookstore. One independent bookseller said, "I think that they [ABA] went in the wrong direction."
Another interesting note is that the ABA bankrolled the suit from a settlement with Penguin Putnam.
One more thing: three cheers for free trade! There will always be a place for independent booksellers. I have a dream one day of visiting Powells in Portland. Independents can fill those quirky niches that the chains won't touch. Hopefully, they will learn that vigorous experimentation and creativity, and not wasteful lawsuits, will best help them survive.
"Small Bookshops End Fight, Dropping Suit Against Chains"
April 19, 2001
Alex Abramovich writes a nice
Alex Abramovich writes a nice ode to Joey Ramone.
"Bop Till You Drop"
The Cincinnati Enquirer has brief
The Cincinnati Enquirer has brief summaries of the 15 blacks killed by police officers in the past few years in Cincinnati.
Based on this information, I have little sympathy for the rioters who shut down the city last week. At most, three of the deaths are suspect and two policemen are under indictment.
Stories of 15 Black Men Killed by Police Since 1995
April 18, 2001
Rich Lowry, National Review editor
Rich Lowry, National Review editor and non-mayoral candidate, on what President Bush should do with his tax-cut plan:
April 16, 2001
One of the best things
One of the best things about Easter is all the egg salad you can eat for days after. YUM!
Working for a free trade
Working for a free trade zone covering the Western Hemisphere is a great idea, but instead of waiting for all the nations to agree to a huge document (including thousands of exceptions and loopholes) the U.S. should just begin unilaterally lowering its own tariffs and trade barriers with these countries. Come on President Bush. Set up the U.S. as a shining example of free trade.
"Americas Ministers Set 2005 FTAA Deadline"
Godspeed, Joey. "Punk Pioneer Joey
"Punk Pioneer Joey Ramone Dead at 49"
April 15, 2001
For the really lonely, introverted
For the really lonely, introverted guy, there's Jail Babes. The funny part is reading the personal ads and realizing that these women are in jail. There's lovely Darbie who is "a pretty easy going girl but I am always ready to try new things or go new places." Darbie won't be released until 2015! No going to "new places" for her for a while. Nevertheless, she wants "a single white male who is financially stable, emotionally secure and ready for a serious relationship." You just have to wait 14 years to kiss her.
Then there's Jessica who's looking for any man between the ages of 18 and 99 (not very picky). Jessica is "outgoing" (while in jail) and "aggressive" (probably why she won't be released until 2002). She enjoys "relaxing" (can do plenty sitting in a cell) and "wild sex" (does she have her own girlfriend yet?).
There's Carol who thinks she's a better person for being in jail. Good for you, Carol.
Finally, there's Jennifer. She's "sweeter than candy and very sensitive." But how sweet and sensitive was she to be stuck in a California lock up until 2003?
The answer is obviously soda,
The answer is obviously soda, but I'm heavily biased due to my geographical upbringing.
April 14, 2001
I think Angus has some
I think Angus has some devious plan up his sleeve with Yoshware.
Bill: libertarian weblogger and Britney
Bill: libertarian weblogger and Britney Spears fan. Who'd have thunk?
April 12, 2001
The Washington Post's Ken Ringle
The Washington Post's Ken Ringle profiles Myron Magnet. Magnet wrote The Dream and the Nightmare, a book highly praised by President Bush.
The fair profile allows Magnet to make his case that affecting culture can have a dramatic effect on poverty.
"The Hard Heart of Poverty"
AOL is your friend. AOL
AOL is your friend. AOL loves you. AOL will protect you.
"You've Got Ambulance!"
Virginia Postrel on Washington, D.C.
Virginia Postrel on Washington, D.C. parochialism:
April 11, 2001
The workers' paradise of Maine
The workers' paradise of Maine will be forcing private businesses to pay women and men equally for unequal jobs. This is under the rubric "comparable worth." For example, a female registered nurse and a male janitor working in the same nursing home would have to be paid the same wage because they both "provide a service that is equally vital to the institution."
The obvious question is who decides what services are "equally vital"? According to comparable worth advocates business owners and managers can't make those decisions based on the supply and demand of labor in their local communities because it's obvious that women would get the short end of the stick. But there are just too many variables in comparing workers in different fields: job experience; quality of work; promptness; quality of skill; etc. Seeing some government busybody trying to weigh every aspect of a job to determine its comparable worth is laughable. It reminds me of medieval scholastics debating the number of angels who could dance on the head of a pin.
Then there is the question of whether women actually do get short changed in the workplace. Comparable worth advocates always throw out the claim that women only make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. (Tell that to my aunt who does consulting work for a six-figure salary and her accountant husband who doesn't make quite that much.) But just comparing women to men fails to take into account differences in work experience, education, and whether the woman is a mother or not. If you take these factors into consideration, the wage gap shrinks. Childless females between 27 and 33 years old make 98% as much as similarly aged males. This conclusion from the data suggests to Patricia Hausman that "it is not being a woman, but being a mother, that causes noteworthy differences in earnings."
So, instead of letting individuals work out the messy details of determining how much people should be paid in the workplace, the government must move in and make those decisions instead. While that may make comparable worth cheerleaders' hearts warm over their political victory, there will be unintended consequences. Those can't be avoided. What will they be? If anyone knew, then they wouldn't be call "unintended." One possibility could be increased unemployment (especially of lower skilled females). Another could be slower economic growth. Another could be businesses (and jobs) moving from Maine to states without comparable worth laws.
Regardless of the possible negative affects, what comparable worth does is prevent employers from experimenting and trying out various possible pay scales for their employees. That creatvitity is stifled.
"Maine Becomes First State Requiring Pay Equity"
April 09, 2001
UK researchers find that adult
UK researchers find that adult stem cells may be better at healing stroke victims than stem cells taken from embryos. "We expect that stem cells will prove far safer and more flexible for repair of brain damage than primary fetal cells," said Dr. Helen Hodges.
"Stem Cells More Effective Than Those From Aborted Babies"
April 08, 2001
China should get no apology
China should get no apology for playing bumper cars at 30,000 feet. For weeks, Chinese planes have been playing a dangerous game in the skys of the South China Sea. That Chinese pilot flew a more manuverable aircraft and should have stayed safely away from the the U.S. plane.
But if the Communist Chinese really want to play the apology game, then I expect one from them for their inhuman treatment of Christians and the Falun Gong. I also want an apology for the Tiennemen Square massacre and the savage abuse given to Tibet.
April 07, 2001
Ever since I earned my
Ever since I earned my first paycheck, withholding of income taxes really bothered me. I'm not opposed to taxes per se (I want to see them very, very, very low), but the idea that the government gets first crack at a person's paycheck is wrong. If the government is so bent on getting my money, then they can wait until they get my check in the mail.
Another problem with withholding is it makes the income tax less visible. Few people really know what percentage of their income is gone to taxes even with the oodles of accountants available. Ending withholding and making every citizen sit down and write a check to the government would definitely perk peoples' interest as to where and how their tax money was being used. People get upset when they discover their bank tacked on some new $2.00 fee. And they get really upset when they notice a $1.50 for using an ATM. It's possible sending off a few hundred dollars a month to Washington, D.C. would provoke some backlash.
It's time to end tax withholding and let the public really feel how much government costs.
Federal Tax Withholding Petition
While not a professional critic
While not a professional critic (at least not yet), I want to admit to not having read the following books:
The Constitution of Liberty by F.A. Hayek
Witness by Whittaker Chambers
Another 20th. Century classic just sitting on my shelf. What's preventing me from opening it up is its sheer size.
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles
Since I'm such a strong opponent to Communism/Socialism/collectivism reading this should be a no-brainer for knowing one's enemy. But I've also never read Marx's Capital because what little Marx I have read has been almost unreadable. For better familiarity I'll stick with Thomas Sowell's Marxism.
"The Literary Critic's Shelf of Shame"
April 06, 2001
Hildegarde's idea of including blogging
Hildegarde's idea of including blogging as part of a college course is intriguing. While not taking away from in-class discussion, it would allow more thoughtful debate while providing the instructor a vehicle to observe students' thinking processes. The inclusion of useful hyperlinks would also add value to the discussion.
April 05, 2001
Bill Gertz is completely right
Bill Gertz is completely right when he says that China "appears to be testing the new Bush administration." They saw a soft target with Bill Clinton and now wonder how President Bush will react to Chinese aggression. Bush must remain strong because Gertz is also right when he says, "China's government already views the United States with disdain and as the main enemy or hegemon to be defeated."
Will Bush pull off his first foreign policy test and get those soldiers home while looking strong to the Chinese communists?
"The China Test"
President Bush should find the
President Bush should find the new home of the Milwaukee Brewers to be as awe-inspiring as I do. He'll be throwing out the first pitch tomorrow.
Brewers injured shortstop Mark Loretta is excited that GW is coming. He wants to see the nuclear football that contains U.S. nuclear launch codes.
"Milwaukee's Night to Shine"
April 04, 2001
Democratic billionaire Robert Johnson opposes
Democratic billionaire Robert Johnson opposes the death tax and offers a suggestion to pro-death tax billionaires like Ted Turner and Warren Buffett:
"Black Billionaire Dubs Death Tax Racially Biased"
President Bush offered this clever
President Bush offered this clever joke during a dinner last week:
Credit must be given to Karen Hughes who wrote it.
"Read No Evil"
People like Kevin will be
People like Kevin will be livid if President Bush ends up with $500 million to spend in the 2004 election. Even worse, he'll probably be running unopposed in the primaries. I know it's really early for election predictions, but McCain-Feingold may assure a second Bush term.
I'm in a feisty mood.
I'm in a feisty mood. Here's a link to the Better Business Bureau. I'm not a member or the organization, nor am I a news organization or search engine. Based on this NY Times article, the BBB won't like this link, but what are they going to do sue me?
"When Linking Isn't Better Business"
April 02, 2001
Science is routing around ethical
Science is routing around ethical problems. Researchers find promise in using stem cells from adults to generate into damaged organs. This would remove the controversy of using embryonic stem cells.
"Adult Stem Cells Growing Strong"
This not a joke. Memepool
I must have been staring
I must have been staring way too much at the roof in Miller Park last Friday. I wrote that former Brewers shortstop Jose Valentin hit the first home run in the stadium. That was wrong. Sandy Alomar, Jr. pop one over the left field fence. No more $4.25 beers for me while watching games.
"Brewers 5, White Sox 4"
April 01, 2001
Friday night I took part
Friday night I took part in history. Now, some of you may think this isn't really that historic, but for being a guy, a baseball fan, and a life-long Milwaukee Brewers fan, being at the first game ever played at Miller Park was very special.
The brick and glass exterior opened up to wide aisles teeming with curious fans. My seat was on the second level and was probably as close to the action down on the field as field-level seats at old County Stadium. The scoreboard is spectacular with its smaller color screen providing sharp pictures of replays and the larger black-and-white scorboard tallying the stats. Concession stands and bathrooms are plentiful. Both were only a short distance from my seat. One problem with the bathroom I used was that there were lots of windows with a wall separating the facilities from the view. One fan has it right that these windows will be a problem when he said, "There will be a lot of people showing stuff."
The best part of the game wasn't watching Henry Blanco hit the first Brewers home run in Miller Park (Chicago's Jose Valentin had the first ever round tripper), nor was it watching the first ever sausage race in Miller Park. The best part was after the game. While the musical intro from 2001: A Space Odyssey played, the retractable roof opened. My jaw dropped, and I must have looked like at little kid at the circus. It was mesmerizing seeing how some huge steel panels could fold up into the sides of the stadium and open up the sky to the view of every stiff-necked fan watching.
I'm going back! I must see more baseball there. But with the solid reviews, Brewers tickets will be in high demand.
"Miller Park: Making the Grade"
I hate I-told-you-so's when I
I hate I-told-you-so's when I was right about something this bad. But Fidel Castro is using Elian Gonzalez as a victory trophy over the "evil, capitalist, empire" of the United States. Myself and others who were extremely vocal in our displeasure at returning a child to a totalitarian state knew Castro wouldn't be able to resist showing off little Elian.
"Cuban Exile Community Says Castro Is Using Elian As A Trophy"