Medved Show Today
Note all times EDT:
Friday 6/29/2007 at 11am ET for 10 to 12 minutes
Friday June 29, 1:00-1:30pm ET
1820 Eastlake Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
Contact: Tina (producer) 206.726.7000
Host: Chuck Bates
Friday 6/29/2007 at 2:00pm ET for 30 minutes (maybe 1 hour - please see below)
Contact: Chuck Bates: (800) 325-0919 Ext. 212
Notes: Our flagship program is News & Views heard daily in approx: 70 markets nationwide from 1-3pm EST on AM & FM stations.
Another note on Freedomnomics
At least three reviews on Amazon.com for Freedomnomics are by Economics Professors -- All are very positive (Thank you!)
More than just three cheers for the free market., June 28, 2007
By Douglas W. Allen - See all my reviews
I'm a professor of economics, and I'm very familiar with the work of John Lott. I bought this book because I enjoy reading arm-chair econ books ... just can't get enough econ! Normally I'm disappointed because the examples and applications are usually stolen and reworked material that's been around for years. Not so with Lott's book.
The great thing about the book is not just the refreshing topics, but Lott's gifted approach to understanding them. Take, for example, the growth of government. Many bright minds have worked to explain why did governments grow so fast after WWI? Dozens of theories have been spun, none very successful. Not only does Lott have an ingenious answer (women's suffrage), but he also has an ingenious test and exploits the fact that some states voluntarily granted the right, while other states had it forced on them. It is Lott's ability to come up with clever and convincing tests and evidence that separates him from others.
I don't like the title of the book, and I don't like the sub-line "a rebuttal to Freakonomics." The book is much more than this, and I'm sure the publisher had more to do with the cover than the author. If the cover turns you off, I'd open the book and read a few pages.
The book is well written and accessible to anyone interested in social behavior. A very good read and highly recommended.
Toward Understanding How Markets Work, June 16, 2007
By Edgar K. Browning (Texas) - See all my reviews
As a professor of economics, I am aware of how difficult it is to communicate the "simple" principles of economics. The approaoch that seems to work best involves the use of lots of examples, especially ones that engage and challenge students. John Lott's new book is filled with such examples. While it can be recommended to anyone with an interest in how the economy works, it should be especially valuable to teachers and students of economics. (I am going to assign the section "Women's Suffrage and the Growth of Government" in my public finance class in the fall.)
Excellent defense of free markets, May 17, 2007
By James D. Miller (South Deerfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
Excellent book showing the power of free markets and the harm that manifests when governments interfere in markets. Many economists claim that free markets work great in theory but there are many types of market failures that require government intervention. Lott points out how markets themselves can overcome these so called market failures and how government attempts to correct these failures often makes the situation much worse.
Lott takes on very politically incorrect topics that the mainstream media would never touch such as how affirmative action influences police effectiveness and how giving women the right to vote has influenced the size of the government.
The book is very readable and is clearly intended for a general audience. I would strongly recommend it to people who enjoy the writings of columnists such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.
I have also gotten nice emails from Ralph Winter at UBC and a young professor at Univ of Wisconsin as well as many others.
Who says that criminals don't care about getting the death penalty
More Reviews of Freedomnomics
This is more of a note than a review:
I put up a brief reply at the end of the comments (at least now it is #33).
Scalia on Rules When Dealing with Terrorism
As viewers know, Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, is a federal agent known for roughing up suspected terrorists who are holding out on important information.
"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles!" Mr. Scalia interjected. "He saved hundreds of thousands of lives!"
Indeed, Mr. Scalia was just warming up. "Are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him?" he asked rhetorically. "Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so!"
Other panelists promptly challenged the American jurist, arguing that some prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay on terrorism charges could be innocent.
"I don't care about holding people. I really don't," Judge Scalia replied. After the panel broke up, he continued to wax enthusiastically about his favorite show.
Rosie O'Donnell Posts Pictures of 4-year-Old Daughter Dressed as Guerrilla Fighter Complete with Bullets and Guns
Rosie posted a video and photo of her little soldier on her Web site Rosie.com on Tuesday, which drew immediate reaction -- some not so kind -- about the media transformation of her daughter from little princess to bullet-toting guerrilla fighter.
"That is a horrible picture of VIvi!!" one viewer wrote to her blog. Other comments included:
"RO, I AGREE WITH U ON MOSTLY EVERYTHING. BUT SOMEHOW I FOUND THE PICTURE OF VIVI DISTURBING. I DON’T EVEN LET MY CHILDREN PLAY WITH ANYTHING SIMILAR TO THAT. IT’S JUST A COMMENT. BUT OH WELL!!!!!!"
"wow Ro that photo of Vivi with the bullets made me cry-it’s scary to think that there are precious little ones really walking around like that in our world “for real”. Come on people! Help our babies"
"what’s with the new pic? it’s rather disturbing!" . . . .
I assume that the obvious answer is that this is just a PR ploy.
A new attempt at deterrence
The latest TV campaign to encourage drivers to respect speed limits features attractive young women wiggling their little fingers at passing speedsters — a taunting gesture in Australia's youth culture that means a guy has a small penis.
The new, below-the-belt ad campaign was spearheaded by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority, which claims speeding doesn't make you a big man. . . . .
British Government Caught Distorting British Crime Survey Numbers: Violent Crimes 3 million higher than reported
By David Barrett, PA Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 26 June 2007
An extra two million violent crimes a year are committed in Britain than previously thought because of a bizarre distortion in the Government's flagship crime figures, it was claimed yesterday.
A former Home Office research expert said that across all types of crime, three million offences a year are excluded from the British Crime Survey (BCS).
The poll caps the number of times a victim can be targeted by an offender at five incidents a year.
If anyone interviewed for the survey says they have been targeted more than five times a year, the sixth incident and beyond are not included in the BCS.
The authors of a report by think-tank Civitas said the five-crimes limit is " truly bizarre" and "misleading".
Professor Graham Farrell of Loughborough University and the former acting head of the Home Office's Police Research Group, Professor Ken Pease, calculated that if the cap is ignored, the overall number of BCS crimes is more than 14 million rather than the current 11 million a year estimate. . . . .
Please see the Liberty Zone here for a very nice related discussion.
New Op-ed Tech Central Station: On the new Energy Bill Going Through Congress
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) claims that oil companies are colluding to drive up the price, "they wink at each other and do the same thing." Likewise, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) blames the companies for taking advantage of Hurricane Katrina to raise prices: "You have a hurricane, and all of a sudden you see prices going up like that. That has... everything to do with people trying to make money off the backs of this tragedy."
With such reactions, it is not too surprising that a new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows that 38 percent of Americans view the U.S. oil industry's "gouging, greed, profits" as the main reason for higher gas prices. The second reason is "the Bush Administration" at 21 percent. . . . .
Dennis Prager on the importance of reputations
These words are written in the aftermath of the destruction of three young men's names by a lying woman whose name is still hidden by The New York Times and other major newspapers whose commitment to truth is not as strong as their commitment to political correctness. . . . .
The point that I would make is that for the vast majority of those convicted of crime the reputational penalty is the most important penalty that they face.
SayUncle points to another Newspaper publishing the names of concealed handgun permit holders
New Rasmussen Poll Puts Fred Thompson in Lead for Republican Nomination
Thompson leads Giuliani by 13 percentage points among conservative primary voters while Giuliani leads among moderates.
Among Republicans, 74% now have a favorable opinion of Giuliani. That’s down from 82% in late May. Twenty-three percent (23%) of Republican voters have an unfavorable opinion of the former Mayor. Thompson’s numbers among the GOP faithful have been moving in the opposite direction. Sixty-six percent (66%) of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of the actor while just 18% have an unfavorable view. . . . .
"Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court"?
I would more likely say 2.667 for 3.
1) The sign case seems like a difficult one. Students obviously don't have free speach rights at school, but the event was a school "sanctioned" one. Yet, this kid was not really in school at the time. One could even argue that he was skipping school at the time. Of course, this might explain why I am conflicted. The Circuit court decision raised an interesting point that "All sorts of missions are undermined by legitimate and protected speech -- a school's anti-gun mission would be undermined by a student passing around copies of John R. Lott's book,'More Guns, Less Crime . . . ."
2) The campaign finance case was only a marginal win given that Roberts and Alito were not willing to go anywhere near as far as Thomas and Scalia. They differentiated between different types of political advertising.
The bizarre myth of the bad economy
Kevin Hassett and I have a discussion on this general issue here.
Eastern Tennessee Experiencing sharp increase in Concealed Permit Holders
Instructor Sgt. Mike Lett says many students are coming through because of the brutal murder of a Knox County couple and the Virginia Tech campus shooting. He trains officers the same way he trains citizens -- to pull the trigger only as the last resort. But he says people have to decide if they can do that, before they pick up a gun. "Each individual person has to decide if they want to carry a firearm for their own protection, " said Sgt. Lett. "It's not a decision I need to make or anyone else."
In December of 2005, 63 people in Knox county applied for permits, versus 205 in April. That's a 225% difference. The number in Blount County went up by 50%. Campbell, Claiborne and Grainger counties saw single digits turn to double.
Some more reviews of Freedomnomics
Lott shows with many simple examples how that's just not so.
Giltner Review notes that
APPEARING on AIR AMERICA
UPDATE: It has been lively and fun. Tom is holding me over for a second segment.
One listener writes:
Appearing on Kudlow & Company on CNBC during the 5 to 6 PM EDT Hour
Herpes, not global warming, is killing off coral
Prediction on Bloomberg
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder Stops Robbers
Confronted outside Metro Place Apartments, the gun owner pushed aside a female acquaintance and drew his 9 mm pistol, according to Orlando police. The couple then fled.
Another tenant heard the commotion and called 911 about 3:20 a.m. to report seeing two masked men armed with shotguns flee the area, reports show. . . . .
Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Seniors feel safer when they carry gun"
He said the .380-caliber handgun on his handlebars will ensure he's doing it at 70.
Geis is among a growing number of seniors licensed to carry a concealed firearm. Because of the way the state collects such information, it's hard to determine exactly what portion of concealed-carry permit holders are 60 or older. However, some local permit data and anecdotal information indicate they have steadily packed heat since the state's concealed-carry law passed in 2004.
"You are out in a park, riding a bicycle trail and all of a sudden you're confronted by a drug addict who would kill you for $5," Geis said. "Are you going to sit there and say, 'Boy, I hope the police show up?'
"Having a concealed weapon today is more to my advantage than it perhaps would've been when I was 30 years old.". . . .
Reviewing Critical Readers' Responses to My Op-ed at OpinionJournal.com on Abortion
Let me just respond to a few of the critiques:
Roger Bleier - Houston
This article makes no argument whatsoever for an interrelationship between the various statistical trends cited. In so many words, it simply implies that there is one. I guess nowadays one can write a whole book similarly premised.
Response: The arguments in the piece are based on one paper that I published in Economic Inquiry (See here for an early version of the paper). The evidence that I find on out-of-wedlock births as a result of abortion is based upon state level statistical study. My book Freedomnomics also provides some additional discussion on this point.
2) The Economics of Subsidies
George Marcom - League City, Texas
Mr. Lott has neglected to address the key factor in the increase of illegitimate births and single-parent families: subsidization. Our vast safety net of social programs enables this problem. If you want more of anything--be it cotton, rice, sugar cane, or ethanol--subsidize it and you will get more.
Sadly, the very social welfare programs we have adopted to ease the misery of the single mother have enabled this explosion if "illegitimacy," and have seriously eroded the nuclear family.
Response: This was the main reason that I wrote: "While not all of this rise can be attributed to liberalized abortion rules, it was nevertheless a key contributing factor." I agree that there are other important factors, such as the one you mention, and I definitely do not think that the evidence supports the claim that abortion is the only factor.
New Op-ed FoxNews.com: Death as Deterrence
My Study Makes the Drudge Report
See "STUDY: ILLEGITIMACY UP DRASTICALLY SINCE ROE V WADE..." in the first column.
"'You're fired,' man hears after saving a woman's life"
Tonnetta Lee survived Tuesday's pre-dawn shooting at her Jacksonville apartment, and her sister and a neighbor praised Bruley's actions. But his employers, the same people who own the Arlington complex where Bruley lives, reacted differently. They fired him.
Bruley, a leasing agent at the Oaks at Mill Creek, said he lost his job after being told that brandishing the weapon was a workplace violation, as was failing to notify supervisors after the incident occurred. He'd worked at the Monument Road complex since December and for the owner, Village Green Cos., since 2005. . . .
Some other members of the media are starting to pick up on this story.
These new voting rules are what is insane
Rhode Island is among a growing number of states grappling with the question of who is too mentally impaired to vote. The issue is drawing attention for two major reasons: increasing efforts by the mentally ill and their advocates to secure voting rights, and mounting concern by psychiatrists and others who work with the elderly about the rights and risks of voting by people with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
This summer, recommendations for national standards will be released by a group of psychiatrists, lawyers and others led by the American Bar Association, suggesting that people be prevented from voting only if they cannot indicate, with or without help, “a specific desire to participate in the voting process.” . . . .
Is this real? "prevented from voting only if they cannot indicate, with or without help, 'a specific desire to participate in the voting process.'" So someone who is insane enough not to be held responsible for murder is sane enough to vote?
How much help can be given? So as long as someone who is obsessed with say mutulating women is able to express with "help" that he wants to vote, that is OK?
Audio from interview Dennis Miller Radio Show
Op-ed in tomorrow's OpinionJournal.com
Bizarre Zero Tolerance on Guns
A fifth-grade promotion ceremony in Rancho Palos Verdes turned into a free-speech battleground Thursday, when students were asked to remove weapons from toys that had been placed on mortarboard caps because of the school's zero-tolerance policy for weapons on campus.
Each year, students decorate wide caps with princesses, football goal posts, zebras, guitars and other items to express their personalities and career goals. Cornerstone at Pedregal School is the only Palos Verdes Peninsula public school to practice the tradition.
On Thursday, before the ceremony, one boy was told he couldn't participate unless he agreed to clip off the tips of the plastic guns carried by the minuscule GIs on his cap. Ten others complied with the order before the event.
Parents reacted angrily, calling Principal Denise Leonard's decision censorship, but the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District defended her.
Cole McNamara and Austin Nakata, 11-year-old buddies who share an interest in all things military, said they put the toys on their hats to support American troops in Iraq.
"I was kind of mad because they just went over and clipped them off and didn't say anything about it," Austin said.
His father, Glen Nakata, said he was disappointed that parents were not approached or consulted on elimination of the "firearms."
"I felt they were keeping the boys from expressing their patriotism, their strong beliefs toward the military," he said. . . . .
Only about 7 percent of private sector workers are now unionized
The economics point here is pretty simple. You raise the price of something (labor through unionization) and people demand less of it. Sometimes the adjustment takes a long time, but it still occurs.
I recommend that people read the entire piece because John Fund does a great job of discussing the Employee Free Choice Act, where 30 percent of workers (some possibly because of union intimidation) can sign a statement that determines whether the entire company is unionized.
Drinking Coffee Could Prevent Blindness
Italian researchers looked at the coffee drinking and smoking habits of 166 people with blepharospasm.
Sufferers have uncontrollable twitching of the eyelid which, in extreme cases, stops them being able to see.
One or two cups of coffee a day seemed to reduce the risk of the condition, the team reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. . . . .
Sonya Jones makes the New York Times and MSNBC!
Her group was preparing to file an appeal, Jones said.
"If this decision stands, it opens up a floodgate of listing decisions," she said. "One more time, the ESA is used to regulate the use of private property."
Yet more reviews of Freedomnomics
2) Andrew Caplan at Econlib writes:
Also The John Locke Foundation's website notes:
Michigan: Permit holders extremely law abiding
As a State Representative I was elected to pass laws which protect the citizens of Michigan. That is why I introduced House Bill 4759 into the Michigan House of Representatives on May 15, 2007. This legislation would eliminate the above nine safe zones for all concealed weapon license holders. . . .
Note that this seems to include revocations for all reasons. My guess is that revocation for gun related violations is less than even one percent of this rate.
Interview on CBN
University Cancels Final Exams Because of Bomb Threats
School officials decided to take action after groundskeepers found two plastic bottles that possibly contained flammable liquid near a burning palm tree outside the Life Sciences building around 5:25 a.m., said campus Police Chief Mike Lane. . . .
Putting partially aside the fact that this bomb was pretty trivial, do you really want to give people an incentive to get final exams canceled by threatening to set off a bomb.
Another Review of Freedomnomics
I don't argue that the liberalization of abortion increases the number of wanted kids. What I argue is that it increased the number of single parent families, with all the well known problems in raising children there compared to a two parent family. It is an empirical question whether the reduction in the number of "unwanted" children as a result of more abortions is offset by liberalizing abortion rules increasing the number of single parent families. The book lays out why there is an increase in out-of-wedlock births and single parent families.
Some of the bigger radio interviews this week
Monday, June 18
11:15 AM-11:45 AM Radio Dennis Miller Show (Nationally Syndicated) -- Miller is a very unique host. He is incredibly laidback, and I love the way that he cracks jokes during the interviews.
6:20 PM-6:50 PM Radio Lars Larson (Nationally Syndicated)
Tuesday, June 19
11:15 AM-11:35 AM Radio Laura Ingraham (Nationally Syndicated)
4:00 PM-4:30 PM Ave Maria Radio, nationwide
Wednesday, June 20
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Radio USA Radio Network Kerby Anderson
Thursday, June 21
1:06 PM-1:17 PM Radio Tom Hartman (Nationally Syndicated)
Apparently Hospital Food in Britain is Much Worse than in Canada
Online discussions that I am having regarding Freedomnomics chapter 1
Rationing in British Health Care
Scaring Kids about Global Warming
This is a very distrubing, though not a very surprising story, about how public school senselessly terrify children about the world being destroyed. Can't kids be kids without being put in the middle of a political battle?
Such a warming of the ocean is fuel for more severe hurricanes such as Katrina. Katrina was only a Category 1 storm when it crossed Florida. It became a monster storm by feeding off the extremely warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.
Boy, this is new. This is obviously the first time that there has been relatively warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.
"On record," gives people the impression that this is the highest temperature ever. What they mean is over the last 140 years, and there are real issues about how temperatures have been measured over that time period. World temperatures have in fact been significantly higher than today's over many periods of time in the past.
Red State reviews pharmaceutical price control discussion in Freedomnomics
Schwarzenegger gets into trouble for this?
Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria, recently told a group of Hispanic journalists that immigrants should stay away from Spanish-language television, books and newspapers.
"You've got to turn off the Spanish television set," Schwarzenegger said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, Calif. "You're just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster."
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., called the governor's advice a "typical sound bite solution to an important issue," said Jim Dau, a spokesman for Sanchez.
Sanchez said immigrants face the challenge of taking an ESL course because of long lines and up to a three-year wait to get into a class.
A Hispanic advocacy group said Schwarzenegger's comments show his "ignorance on immigration issues." . . . .
Is Sanchez saying that these immigrants can only learn English if the government provides it? Possibly if they followed Schwarzenegger's advice, they wouldn't have to rely so much on the government program.
UPDATE: Here is a video of Arnold and Neil Cavuto discussing it here.
John Fund on Pork Barrel Spending
Even some Democrats were stunned earlier this month when House Appropriations Chairman David Obey unilaterally decreed that pork projects would henceforth be "airdropped" into conference reports once appropriations bills pass the House and Senate. By circumventing rules designed to allow earmarks to be challenged on the House floor as bills come up, House Democrats were setting "a new standard for secrecy and subterfuge," complained Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, the chief earmark scourge of Capitol Hill. . . . .
Brendan Miniter adds this interesting insight:
That letter came back to haunt Ms. Pelosi as her new Democratic House gutted these reforms and was getting ready this week to pass eleven spending bills to fund the government in the forthcoming fiscal year -- and, oh, also slip an estimated 32,000 earmarks into law. Under a new rule enacted last month, Appropriations Chairman David Obey would have been able to certify a particular bill "earmark free" even if it's full of pork-barrel special projects. Another rule barred members from objecting to a particular earmark on the House floor if it's part of a larger bill that itself contains a list of its earmarks. This applied even if the list is inaccurate and even if the earmark in question is not on the list. (The same rule recently enabled Rep. John Murtha, chairman of a defense appropriations subcommittee, to quash a Republican attempt to stop spending on an unneeded "drug intelligence" center in his district.) . . . .
Oil Company Greed Responsible for higher Gas Prices
As you may know, gas prices have been rising over the last year and the average price of regular gas for your car is about $3.50 a gallon in some areas. Who or what do you think is the main reason for the higher gasoline prices these days: Is it the Bush administration, or the oil exporting countries, or the U.S. oil industry, or supply and demand, or environmental regulations, or is there another reason for the higher gasoline prices?
U.S. oil industry (gouging, greed, profits) 38%
Bush administration 21%
Supply and Demand (market forces) 12%
Oil exporting countries 10%
Environmental regulations 5%
No one / No one thing in particular 1%
Don’t know 4%
Source: Bloomberg / Los Angeles Times
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,183 American adults, conducted from Jun. 7 to Jun. 10, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
Bizarre Government Regulation: Dems going after one particular company
The legislation would require publicly-traded partnerships to be treated as corporations for federal tax purposes. Under current law, income distributions for many private-equity funds are taxed at the capital-gains rates of 15% -- well below the top corporate tax rate of 35%. . . .
What is the point of imposing a 20 percentage point higher tax rate on a company just because it is publicly traded? Here you have only one company that this legislation could possibly be aimed at.
Vaclav Klaus Sets the record straight on global warming
The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence. . . .
Talk at New York Young Republican Club on Thursday
UPDATE: This talk was fun and there was a lively question and answer period after the talk. It was also nice to meet some of the people there: such as Daniel Peterson (the club's president) and Simone Mele (with the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and who lead off with the first question).
John Fund on Democrats Discouraging Investigations in Vote Fraud
For months, since the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys sparked a mini scandal, Democrats have insisted that the president has improperly politicized the Justice Department. Specifically, the accusation is that, under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, DOJ has pursued a political agenda by enforcing laws to curb voter fraud.
Last week, Judiciary Committee Democrats held a hearing aimed in part at discrediting a 2005 Justice lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to cull ineligible voters from its rolls. But while the Missouri case was thrown out by a district judge, similar Justice lawsuits in Indiana and New Jersey led to voter rolls being cleaned up. . . . .
Ben Wittes on Ditching the Second Amendment
It's not hard to see where the anger comes from. The two-to-one decision by the famously conservative Judge Laurence Silberman is, indeed, radical. Consider the following:
• The "central object" of the Second Amendment "is to arm 'We the People' so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. ... [T]he amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification. ... That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right ... on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in defense of themselves and their homes."
• "For too long, most members of the legal academy have treated the Second Amendment as the equivalent of an embarrassing relative, whose mention brings a quick change of subject to other, more respectable, family members. That will no longer do. It is time for the Second Amendment to enter full scale into the consciousness of the legal academy."
• While at the Founding, the Second Amendment may have embodied a "collective" right, after the Civil War amendments, the constitutional landscape changed dramatically, and "gun-toting was individualistic, accentuating not group rights of the citizenry but self-regarding 'privileges' of discrete 'citizens' to individual self-protection."
Radical stuff, indeed. But there's a big problem with blasting Silberman for entertaining the notion that the people's right to "keep and bear arms" may actually include an individual right to, well, keep or bear a gun in the District of Columbia: None of these words actually come from his opinion. All, in fact, were written by esteemed liberal law professors. . . . . .
Another Review of Freedomnomics
This is a very nice and thorough review of the book. I need to apologize to Larry for not citing his related research when I discussed the paper by Tollison and coauthors.
Repeal the Second Amendment?
Wittes, who said he has "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of a gun culture," said that rather than try to limit gun ownership through regulation that potentially violates the Second Amendment, opponents of gun ownership should set their sights on repealing the amendment altogether.
"Rather than debating the meaning of the Second Amendment, I think the appropriate debate is whether we want a Second Amendment," Wittes said. He conceded, however, that the political likelihood of getting the amendment repealed is "pretty limited."
Wittes said the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms meant more when it was crafted more than 200 years ago than it does today. Modern society is "much more ambivalent than they [the founders] were about whether gun ownership really is fundamental to liberty," he said. . . . . .
UPDATE: Ben Wittes was nice enough to write me and point out that this was indeed not Randy's argument. Ben writes me that "His comments about the dangers of the intellectual arguments against the Second Amendment came not in response to my arguments about repeal but in response to the idea of judicial interpretation that renders the amendment a nullity. His point was that the same intellectual and doctrinal strategies used by gun control supporters in arguing against the individual rights view of the amendment could easily be deployed against any other provision of individual right in the Constitution. While I assume he disagreed with my call for a repeal, I don't believe he addressed the merits of it at all."
New Haven Citizens Launch Armed Patrols
They made the announcement Monday afternoon at Yeshiva of New Haven (aka The Gan School) on Elm Street. They plan to begin patrolling Monday evening in two-person teams wearing "Edgewood Park Defense Patrol" T-shirts and carrying concealed, licensed firearms.
The patrols are scheduled to run from 6 to 10 p.m. daily in the area bounded by Norton Street, Edgewood Avenue, and West Park and Whalley Avenues.
That's the neighborhood where Greer's organization has rehabilitated 40 old-style New Haven houses and planted 450 trees over the past 18 years. It surrounds the old Roger Sherman School, which Greer's organization converted into an Orthodox Jewish school. The organization has also worked with neighbors to combat prostitution in the area, instituting a successful "John of the Week" effort which featured pinched patrons' names on flyers.
"We are unwilling to give up," Greer said at Monday's announcement in a classroom on the school's second floor. . . . ..
Gas price conspiracy? Revisited
Most Americans Oppose Stricter Gun Control Laws
Does the United States need stricter gun control laws?
Will stricter gun control laws increase or reduce violent crime?
No impact 40%
Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on May 29 and May 30, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
More Reviews of Freedomnomics
King Banian's review of my book concludes that "students of economics inside and outside classrooms will learn some great stories to explain that markets actually work rather well." It was nice of King to have me on his radio show this past Saturday.
Colorado Sheriff Discusses Problem with Gun Free Zone
Listen to Michael Medved's interview with me
Aging in Japan
Kenneth Sokoloff Passed away last month
This is very sad news. Ken was always an interesting person. I took him for American Economic History while I was a student at UCLA. I also had many chances to interact with him. It wasn't what I would call warm and friendly conversations (even when we would have him over to our apartment for dinner a couple of times) and he was often quite critical of my work, especially my dissertation on indoctrination which upset him greatly, but I valued his comments and I enjoyed arguing things with him. Indeed, I can only think of one paper of mine that he gave an unreserved positive comment on -- my work with Larry Kenny on the impact of women's suffrage on the growth of government. He was a smart guy, who sufferred great health problems during much of his life. I always felt very sorry for him, but I admired his determination.
Something for those not yet wary of following the latest medical research
Things started going south for this romance 13 years ago when a Finnish study of 29,000 male smokers showed a higher rate of lung cancer in men who took beta-carotene and vitamin E and, more shockingly, found that those who took beta-carotene had an 8 percent higher risk of death from all causes. Two years later, an American study reported similar findings for beta-carotene. I've never been a smoker, but a red flag is a red flag. Out went the beta-carotene. . . . .
Freedomnomics: Radio interviews that are set up for this coming Monday
7:15 AM-7:30 AM Radio WMT Cedar Rapids, IA
8:35 AM-9:00 AM Radio KRCS Midland, TX
10:00 AM-10:30 AM Radio WLW Cincinatti, OH (Also Syndicated)
11:15 AM-11:40 AM Radio KRMS-AM Osage Beach, MO
12:07 PM-12:30 PM Radio WDAY Fargo, ND
2:35 PM-3:05 PM Radio WMUZ Detroit, MI
4:09 PM-4:28 PM Radio WIBA Madison, WI
5:10 PM-5:30 PM Radio: Jerry Doyle ( Nationally Syndicated)
6:15 PM-6:40 PM Radio WTKF Morehead City, NC
Fred Thompson in Second Place Among Republicans
Actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is second with 17 per cent, followed by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with 15 per cent, and Arizona senator John McCain with 14 per cent. . . . .
Matthew Mosk in the Washington Post says that Thompson poses the most danger to McCain. Possibly, but my guess is that Thompson's entry is pulling down the poll numbers for everyone. If Thompson is now really in second by only six percent, all the publicity surrounding his official entrance will put him into first place.
Guest workers v. Illegals on worker wages
Here is the puzzle. Democrats say that they are against a guest worker program because it will lower the wages of American workers. OK, fine, that is indeed the effect of letting in more workers. The puzzle is that the Democrats don't have any problem passing other laws that encourage more illegal immigration which would also reduce the wages of those same workers. To put it differently, making it harder for illegals to stay would also increase wages. It is interesting that the arguments regarding wages are only raised for guest workers and not the rest of the issues in the debate.
Funny letter in the LA Times
July 16, 2004 Friday
SECTION: CALIFORNIA; Metro; Editorial Pages Desk; Part B; Pg. 10
LENGTH: 199 words
HEADLINE: Ban on Assault Guns Misses the Target
If you must resort to such hyperbole as dubbing common, semiautomatic firearms "weapons of mass destruction," then the least you could do is run that editorial on a different day from the one that claims Saddam Hussein didn't haveany.
Rancho Santa Margarita
How to get your jail sentence reduced by almost 90 percent: Cry
Whitmore didn't fully deny this accusation. When one reporter asked him, “What’s your comment to people who say she played you like a puppet on a string — she came in here, didn’t like it, it was hard and she got out?” he replied, “Once again, I just think that’s a different way of saying it, only the language is a little more — liquid. I would simply say that I understand that."
The sheriff's spokesman would not elaborate on Hilton's medical issues, nor would he say if they were physical or psychological. He added that the decision to send Hilton home was based on dozens of consultations and discussions over a period of three or four days.
I could write a defense of this for Ms. Hilton given that a day in jail for her must represent much more of a penalty in terms of forgone income than a day for most others, but I will not press the point in this case.
More Reviews of Freedomnomics
The alternative to the free market, Lott notes, would be for the federal government to impose price controls on gasoline. Washington has done this in the past, specifically during the oil crises in the 1970s.
Instead of making things better for consumers, though, these price controls led to gas shortages in 1973 and again in 1978. “Americans waited in lines for hours to fill up their tanks due to chronic shortages” in the 1970s, Lott writes, shortages that “instantly disappeared as soon as the price controls were removed.” When it comes to setting gas prices, Lott writes, “the free market is working, and it’s ultimately working far more efficiently than any government-mandated controls would.” . . . .
2) Riding to the rescue is John Lott, another economist from academia, including the University of Chicago current home of Steven Levitt. Lott takes the position in his book “FREEDOMnomics, that not only is FREAKonomics a pile of rubbish, it is a veiled attack on the free market and business in general. Lott points out that the assertion that the Klan is like a group of Real Estate agents who use “fear” to take advantage of others is beyond the rhetorical boundaries of taste if not accuracy. In fact Lott dissects the example used by Levitt and Dubner and demonstrates that while it might have been an actual example, their analysis of the motivation and result is a simplistic view of the data and a more detailed analysis would show their conclusions to be incorrect. . . . .
3) A critical review post on a web site called Shalom Bayit claims that among other things that free markets don't increase income: see here.
4) Michael Medved was nice enough to put the book first on his web page here
More bad advice on gun safety
Thanks to Sonya Jones for sending me this link.
National Radio Shows on Freedomnomics
11:30 AM-12:00 PM Radio G. Gordon Liddy Show
2:10 PM-2:40 PM Jerry Doyle Show (rescheduled for next week)
11:00 PM-11:30 PM Radio Alan Colmes Show
8:10 AM-8:30 AM Radio Mancow's Morning Madhouse
5:00 PM-6:00 PM Michael Meved Show
10:33 AM-10:50 AM Radio Accent Radio Network
11:15 AM-11:25 AM Radio Laura Ingraham (rescheduled for next week)
Note: All times are EDT.
Discussions of Freedomnomics
Sample audio of Freedomnomics
The tiny rate that people are wrongfully convicted
At least this will keep the police busy
More on Parker Case
David makes many good legal points in the interview, though I do disagree with him on the costs of losing the case at the Supreme Court. I do think that it would have a devastating effect on those who support the right to protection to have the Supreme Court say that the 2nd Amendment does not protect an individual right. Right now the vast majority of people believe that there is an individual right to gun ownership and I think that would change with such a ruling. My guess is that there is a somewhat better than a 50 percent chance that won't happen, but if it did, it would be a big cost.
Robbery Victim Protects Himself With Permitted Concealed Handgun
Posted by Donna J. Miller June 01, 2007
A man legally carrying a concealed handgun shot at an armed robber in Akron.
Four teenagers approached 24-year-old Raphael L. Owens at about 11:30 Wednesday night near the corner of Elmore Avenue and South Portage Path. One pointed a chrome-plated gun at Owens and demanded his cell phone. Owens gave up the phone.
The robber then asked, "what else do you have?"
Owens tried to run, but the robber grabbed his arm. Owens broke free, pulled out his own gun and fired one shot, missing the teens, who took off running.
They ran south on Elmore while Owens ran toward a pay phone. When he got to Grand Avenue at West Exchange Street, he saw the suspects up the street, at Grand and South Portage Path. Again, one teen leveled a gun at him. Again, Owens fired a shot and missed.
The suspects fled as Owens called police from the pay phone at West Exchange and Dodge Avenue. ...
Bush Administration Looking to Nominate Women or Minorities to Supreme Court
Leading Senate Democrats are already warning against solidly conservative nominees, and that could make confirmation difficult in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Still, some of Bush's political advisers believe he would be better off tapping a strong conservative who would rally the base -- especially a nominee with a compelling life story who would be difficult for moderate Senate Democrats to oppose.
In that camp are federal appeals court Judges Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. Both were filibustered by Senate Democrats after Bush nominated them as appellate judges and were eventually confirmed after Senate leaders struck a compromise on judicial nominations.
Either could have been a likely replacement for O'Connor in 2005, but leading Senate Republicans told the White House not to nominate them because they were seen as too controversial at the time. Now that both are on the federal bench, the White House has put them back on a working short list.
Of the two, Owen is the best known in the White House and is generally considered less controversial than the more outspoken Brown.
Owen, like Brown, also has gotten high marks from her colleagues on the federal appeals court. But Owen's friendship with Karl Rove could hurt her, especially in a White House vulnerable to charges of cronyism.
The White House also is looking at Chicago-based federal appeals court Judge Diane Sykes, who is considered conservative but less controversial, sources close to the process said. But Sykes is not as well known inside the administration, which is a strike against her, White House sources said.
Bush does not want to repeat the mistake of his father, who nominated the unknown David Souter, believing he was conservative only to see Souter quickly become one of the Court's most reliable liberal votes. . . . .
Why hasn't someone thought of this before?: Using al-Qaeda's tactics against them
China takes another move towards Capitalism, moves more towards honoring contracts
In China, people will find it harder to take things without paying for them.
Another Review of Freedomnomics
Jeff Soyer has only glanced at the book, but he says that This looks VERY interesting.
Finally, another person notes: "I liked Freakonomics, I like this book even more."
Fred Thompson: A small government conservative
He has been a consistent supporter of entitlement reform, voting to means-test Medicare and supporting personal accounts for Social Security.
His record on free trade is solid. In the past he has been supportive of comprehensive immigration reform, but has been critical of the current bill, shifting toward a “control the borders first” position. Still, he has not been Tancredo-like in his anti-immigration statements.
On federalism, there may be no better candidate.