"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The former deputy chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, police department writes about going through TSA screening.

I stepped between two glass walls and was subjected to what my police training would allow me to conclude was a procedural vacuum.

I had been told repeatedly I would be subjected to a “pat-down.” I correctly suspected otherwise. During the course of my police career, I have conducted many pat-downs on the street. The Supreme Court has described pat downs as a cursory check of the outer clothing of a person by a police officer, upon articulable suspicion that the officer’s safety is at risk of being compromised. My department’s procedure indicated that this pat-down was to be conducted with an open hand, gently patting the outer clothing of an individual, for purposes of officer safety only, with the goal of detecting weapons. In other words, it is not a search.

What happened to me in Albany was not the promised “pat-down.” It was a full search conducted in full public view. It was also one of the most flawed searches I have ever witnessed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

U.S. Blocks Packages from Japan

Ron told me about this several days ago, but I still haven't seen anything in the U.S. media.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

South Africa Is the Rape Rape Capital of the World

More than one in three men in the country have committed a rape.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Is China's Competitive Edge Eroding?

Megan McArdle says the country's low-wage export-oriented model is unsustainable.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Inflation It Is, Part 3

Economist Bill Shughart, an former grad school professor of mine, on QE2.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bias at the Times Free Press?

Bill Anderson doesn't think much of their latest coverage of the Tonya Craft case.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

QE2 is spurring new investment outside the United States.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brazil's Big Fear

Why the Fed's devaluing of the dollar could hurt developing countries almost as much as it will the United States.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Federal War on Ham and Bacon

You knew they'd finally get around to ruining breakfast.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inflation It Is, Part 2

Prices are soaring at Walmart.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Man Forced to Eat His Own Beard

I've always wanted to use that headline.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

America's Next President?

The New Republic profiles Gary Johnson.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Little Late for Halloween

But David Henderson points us to a frightening story by one of Barack Obama's childhood friends.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Guy Knows How to Party

And he gets his photo on TV, too.

Bad Medicine

Robert higgs looks at Ben Barnanke's attempt to justify QE2.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Does Your Child Have a Birthday Coming Up?

Book Scott Hall for the party.

Obama's Handling of the Bank and Housing Crisis

Arnold Kling says it has united economists on the left and right.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Big Bang Theory

Virginia Postrel looks at the popular sitcom about nerds.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Inflation and Deflation

My old grad school colleague Pete Boettke points to an observation from F.A. Hayek on why central bankers tend to be biased towards inflation, a topic Ron and I were discussing recently.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Clean Coal

Lessons from Japan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meet the New Boss

Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg explain why the results of Tuesday's elections won't change a thing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The New isolationism

William J. Astore says the old isolationism was driven by a desire to avoid uncessary wars. The new isolationism is driven by a desire to think about the unnecessary wars we are fighting.

Inflation It Is

The Fed's latest move could reduce the value of the dollar by 20 percent. If that sounds bad, economist Arnold Kling explains why it could be even worse than you might think.

Georgia in the Middle

Economist Scott Bealier points out that, while Georgia politicians talk a lot about fiscal conservatism, the state actually has slightly higher taxes and spending than the average state.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Re-Thinking Early Retirement in Europe

The New York Times observes:

Figures compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that in 2009 only one Frenchman in five, ages 60 to 64, was in the work force, either holding down a job or looking for one. In the United States, by contrast, 61 percent of men in that age group were working, triple the French rate.

In Japan, on the other hand, three-quarters of such men were in the labor force.

Generous social benefit systems have long made it possible for residents of most Western European countries to stop working relatively early, but France stands out even among its peers. In Germany, just over half the 60- to 64-year-old men are in the labor force. Even in Italy, another country with a strong sense that people should work to live, rather than live to work, 30 percent of men in that age group are still in the labor force.

The accompanying charts show the work force participation levels by age group for six countries. The two Asian countries listed, Japan and South Korea, stand out in longevity of employment. Nearly a quarter of South Korean men over 75 are still in the labor force, as are 14 percent of Japanese men. In the United States, a 10th of such men are working or seeking work, compared with half of 1 percent in France.

Put another way, a Korean man over 75 is more likely to be working than a Frenchman in his early 60s.

How Immigrants Create More Jobs

Economist Tyler Cowen explains how immigration can actually increase the the total number of jobs.

Mount Everest

Is now wired for Internet and cell phone reception.