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Monthly Archives: December 2013

An artist with local roots

If you have a copy of this morning's Times, take a gander at the front page, where you'll see a picture of a picture of outgoing (finally) Mayor Bloomberg., the depicted picture painted by one Jon R. Friedman. The name struck a chord with my wife and me, and a little googling led us to […]

Krugman wrong again

I hate to disagree with Krugman, but disagree I must. In a recent post on his blog he made the outrageous claim that the right can't take (or make?) a joke, and that we on the left can. The proximate cause of his post was the reaction to a humorous attack on Bitcoin, which provoked […]

Back from the Shadows Again

Well, our holiday guests have come and gone, and it is time for me to return to blogging. Don't ask me why. I do pay a modest yearly fee to my web hosting service, so I guess one answer would be that I have to get my money's worth, but I could solve that problem […]

Stopped clocks and Obama haters

Yesterday a lot of us on the left were pleasantly surprised that a federal judge in Washington had ruled the NSA surveillance program not just merely unconstitional, but really quite sincerely unconstitutional. I know I was pleasantly surprised, though when I read the judge's name, something tugged at my not so mystic chords of memory. […]

Fighting inequality in the passive voice

I understand that Obama gave a speech about inequality recently. Some say it marks a departure from his middle of the road course, while others…well, they have their doubts. It certainly is frustrating that Obama is able to recognize and give voice to the problem, and yet also give the distinct impression of being a […]

Excellence in Education

I've mentioned the concept of “rent seeking” before. Here's a handy definition: The expenditure of resources in order to bring about an uncompensated transfer of goods or services from another person or persons to one's self as the result of a “favorable” decision on some public policy. The term seems to have been coined (or […]

Friday Night Music, being rich is the best defense edition

I've been sporadic about this lately, I know, but when I read this article, an old Bob Dylan song came to mind. First, the gist of the article: 16-year old Ethan Couch was driving drunk at THREE times the legal limit and had Valium in his system. He plowed into four people going 70 miles […]

Yet more on “free trade”

Here's an example of what we'll be seeing more of, if the U.S. gets what it wants in the TPP “free trade” talks. Tobacco companies are pushing back against a worldwide rise in antismoking laws, using a little-noticed legal strategy to delay or block regulation. The industry is warning countries that their tobacco laws violate […]

Someone should be “candid” with Bill Gates

When Bill Gates decided to take his billions and go home, he also decided to inflict his philosophy, such as it is, on the rest of us. One target was our teachers. Gates solution to our non-existent educational crisis was to inflict the same regimen on our teachers that he inflicted on workers at Microsoft, […]

A bit more on “free trade”

A bit of a follow up to a recent post on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact. Dean Baker, who I mentioned in my post, takes issue with Paul Krugman's comments that the trade pact is no big deal. Baker agrees that as a trade deal it's a nothing, but that is not the point: Anyhow, […]