Is this really a gun control picture?
Possibly I should put up a similar contest.
Evolution explains why women like shopping
Blackberry-picking aside, urban humanity does little gathering from the wild these days, so Dr New decided to look at what seemed to him to be the nearest equivalent—shopping at a farmers' market. There is a fair amount of evidence that men are better than women at solving certain sorts of spatial problems, such as remembering the locations of topographical landmarks. Many researchers suggest such skills may have been important in the past for man-the-hunter, who needed to be able to find his way round the landscape. If that is the case, then woman-the-gatherer might have been expected to develop complementary skills not shown by males. And that, as he writes in this week's Proceedings of the Royal Society, is what Dr New found. . . . .
Banning Tag at School
Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen of the Discovery Canyon Campus school said running games will be allowed, as long as students don't chase each other.
Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban, but most parents and children didn't object. . . . .
Arming Police on Campus?
Concealed Handgun Permits in Michigan
When Trade Protection and Environmentalism Collide
The decision was made even though only one of Europe's four energy-efficient light bulb producers, Germany's Osram, had called for more time to adjust.
The tariffs, introduced to stop cheap Chinese imports entering Europe, can add up to 66% to the price of bulbs. . . . .
An earlier discussion on the environmental problems with these energy efficient bulbs can be found here.
Glenn Beck's Radio Show (Updated)
Transcript of Senator Larry Craig's Police Interview
The biggest problem that I have is that sexual relations in a restroom should be punished. I don't think that simple foot tapping or even having one's shoe briefly touch another person's shoe should be a criminal offense.
UPDATE: After reading the transcript again, especially the beginning, I have become more convinced that Craig did something wrong. What convinces me of that is Craig's claim that the officer had tried to entrap him. At the very least that implies that Craig positively responded to some advance by the officer. Possibly Craig simply mispoke, but it would have been better if he had simply said that the police offiicer was inaccurate, which is what he says later on in the discussion.
West Virginia has 82,000 Permits
This is about 5.72 percent of the state's adult population.
Concealed Handgun Permits Fall Dramatically in New York City
Mayor Bloomberg has sought to cut the number ofconcealed weapons on city streets, and since he has been in office it has dropped dramatically. This year, 2,516 New Yorkers received a permit to carry a concealed pistol. The city issued 2,555 such permits in 2006, almost 50% fewer than the 4,789 that were given out in 2004. . . . .
I will be on Glenn Beck's CNN program Tonight
New Op-ed: More Guns, Not Less, Would Prevent Shooting Massacres
But Virginia Tech’s just released report on how to stop future tragedies was pretty disappointing, and this coming week’s Virginia Governor’s task force report isn’t likely to be any better. The university proposes more counseling for mentally troubled students, internet based billboards to alert students of emergencies, putting both the police and fire departments into the same building to allow better coordination, more surveillance cameras, and locks that make it easier for students to get out of buildings. . . . .
Reminder of talks at Minnesota State Fair
Governor Ed Rendell will stop gun sales in Pennsylvania for 5 days in September
Gun dealers have complained that they received insufficient notice from state police about the planned Sept. 2-6 interruption in sales, which falls during the first few days of dove and Canada geese hunting season. . . . .
Senator Larry Craig Arrested for disorderly conduct in June
A Hennepin County (Minn.) District Court spokesperson said Craig's case was put off and could be dismissed after one year of unsupervised probation. A 10-day prison sentence was stayed. . . . .
Arizona School Suspends 13-Year-Old for Doodle showing a Gun
The boy's parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.
"The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good," said the boy's mother, Paula Mosteller.
The drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries or target any human, the parents said. And the East Valley Tribune reported that the boy said he did not intend for the picture to be a threat.
Administrators of Payne Junior High in nearby Chandler suspended the boy on Monday for five days but later reduced it to three days. . . . .
If you follow the above link, you will see a copy of the picture that this 13-year-old drew. This doodle doesn't seem very threatening to me.
Fred Thompson's campagin reportedly in good shape
"We have done within a few months what other people have spent much longer periods of time doing," Thompson told reporters before delivering a keynote speech to the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference, which has drawn party activists from 12 states. . . . .
South African Gun Control hasn't reduce Crime Rates
South Africa gun control really started disarming many people after 2004.
Thanks to Rich Griffiths for sending me these links.
Handgun crimes rise in Britain since ban
I don't think that the population of Britain has gone up much in the last decade (if it has gone up at all), but it would still have been better if they reported this in terms of crimes per capita. In any case, there are lots of reasons why gun crime is low or high in different countries, but the main point is how it changes when the regulations change. At the very least here, a gun ban doesn't appear to have lowered the crime rate.
Thanks to Richard of Newport for sending me this link.
Is it a crime (or at least wrong) to sell lock-picks?: iPhone unlocked
It seems that the team of someones at iPhoneSimFree.com are the first to successfully pull off this feat. The group says it has unlocked the phone, and will be releasing its software for sale starting next week.
Unlocking the iPhone dramatically widens the phone's appeal. . . . .
Unlocking the iPhone is on net bad for consumers. Those who already have an iPhone or who are going to get one are possibly better off. The question though is whether this theft will alter AT&T's investments in future capabilities for its network and service. If it does, the consumers will not have quality of service that they would have had and that will work to reduce the iPhone's appeal. One presumes that since Apple wants to maximize iPhone's attractiveness relative to its costs, this cheating will move them away from the right mix of quality. The bigger problem is that this type of cheating reduces the incentives to invent and invest in devices such as iPhone to begin with.
UPDATE: This is about what I expected. This seems like pretty strong evidence that Apple for one doesn't think that it is better off by the unlocking of the iPhone.
UPDATE2: AT&T is now in the act.
Nachu's women have tried wearing their husbands' clothes in an attempt to trick the monkeys into thinking they are men - but this has failed, they say.
"When we come to chase the monkeys away, we are dressed in trousers and hats, so that we look like men," resident Lucy Njeri told the BBC News website
"But the monkeys can tell the difference and they don't run away from us and point at our breasts. They just ignore us and continue to steal the crops."
Minnesota State Fair Next Tuesday
Women Voting: Second of two part interview about Freedomnomics
Pigeon Dung helped Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
Inspectors began documenting the buildup of pigeon dung on the span near downtown Minneapolis two decades ago.
Experts say the corrosive guano deposited all over the span's framework helped the steel beams rust faster. . . . .
He forgot that he voted twice the same day in two different places
The evidence against him included him signing up to vote using a false address in West Allis, after he'd already voted in Wauwatosa.
But Zore, 44, told a jury Wednesday there was a good reason he shouldn't be convicted of felony counts of double voting and giving a poll worker false information:
"It is hard to believe, I don't discount that at all," Zore's lawyer, Raymond M. Clark, told the jury. "But it did happen." . . . .
First of two part interview about Freedomnomics
Update on if weather forecasting should be run by the government
Video of part of talk at the Cato Institute
An update on British crime rates
Bill Murray is also a funny guy in real life
I find it very funny that he was citing US law in arguing with the Stockholm police.
Michael Medved nails another myth: The Truth about Internet Hunting
Consider the courageous work of most of our state legislatures and, potentially, the Congress of the United States, to put an end to the shameful scourge of internet hunting.
Since 2005, 33 states have outlawed the cruel, unsportsmanlike practice, and when the governor signs an Illinois bill that’s already passed both houses that will make 34 states that have taken action to put an end to the slaughter. As the Humane Society of the United States declared in a mailing that went out in 2006 to 50,000 households: “Such horrific cruelty must stop and stop now!”
As recently as last week, sportswriter and novelist Frank Deford delivered a scathing commentary on NPR decrying the hordes of knuckle-dragging internet hunters and comparing their viciousness to the alleged dog-fighting abuses of football star Michael Vick. Even the United States House of Representatives has taken up the cause, with one of the senior Republicans in Congress, the usually level-headed Tom Davis of Virginia, introducing HR 2711, The Computer Assisted Remote Hunting Act. “You just wonder,” he declared, “who would do something like this?”
The answer is no one, actually.
Despite the nationwide hysteria (deliberately fanned by the Humane Society and other animal welfare groups) there’s no evidence anywhere, that anyone has blown away herds of unsuspecting wildlife through an internet connection. . . .
President Signs Executive Order on Hunting
Today, President George W. Bush released the order, entitled "Facilitation of Hunting and Wildlife Conservation." It directs all relevant federal agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities, wildlife management and habitat.
"The Executive Order is a great milestone for sportsmen and wildlife conservation," said Bud Pidgeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "It clearly demonstrates that the President understands the unbreakable bond between successful wildlife conservation and hunting - that sportsmen are the key to abundant wildlife and habitat." . . .
School suspends boy for drawing "doodles" of gun
The boy's parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.
"The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good," said the boy's mother, Paula Mosteller.
The drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries or target any human, the parents said. And the East Valley Tribune reported that the boy said he didn't intend for the picture to be a threat.
Administrators of Payne Junior High in nearby Chandler suspended the boy on Monday for five days but later reduced it to three days.
The boy's father, Ben Mosteller, said that when he went to the school to discuss his son's punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves in 1999. Mosteller said he was offended by the reference.
Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the crude sketch was "absolutely considered a threat," and that threatening words or pictures are punishable. . . .
Another Endorsement for Freedomnomics
Will shooting in Missouri Church get Churches to reconsider Concealed Handgun Ban?
Under the state's "conceal and carry" law enacted in 2003, Show Me State residents can bring firearms into places of worship (among other places), provided they get permission from their pastors. Whether the gunman or any of the assembled in the First Congregational Church in Neosho had received the blessing to pack heat in a house of God remains to be seen.
Among Missouri's Catholic churches, at least, such permission is unlikely. In the wake of the passage of the conceal and carry law, the Missouri Catholic Conference prescribed guidelines for churches in the state. Among its recommendations that each church should distribute a written policy to all employees and parishioners, as well as post a sign of at least 11 inches by 14 inches announcing that all weapons are prohibited within. . . .
Fred Thompson and Giuliani Tangle on Gun Issue
The lawsuit has been a lesson in out-of-control government from the get-go. Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers. . . .
Guliani, who has claimed in the past that gun control was an important reason for crime falling in New York City in the 1990s, responded:
The Giuliani campaign responded. “Those who live in New York in the real world — not on TV — know that Rudy Giuliani’s record of making the city safe for families speaks for itself,” said Katie Levinson, the Giuliani campaign’s communications director. “No amount of political theater will change that.” . . .
For those who want to see some of my past postings on Giuliania and guns see here, here, and here.
Norway: Schooling and Guns
Although no one wants to shoot a polar bear, and they're indeed protected by national law, the huge white animals can quickly outrun a human. And humans don't have a chance if confronted by an aggressive bear.
So everyone on Svalbard needs to be able defend him- or herself, and students undergo weapons training every year.
"We feel more secure and look forward to learn a lot more," said Helga Therese Tilley Tajet of Moelv. She's studying meteorology at the University of Oslo and will concentrate on the Arctic marine climate for the next six months at the university on Svalbard, UNIS. . . .
I wonder if there are any students who have been wounded with accidental gun shoots. For some reason despite all these students having guns I bet that there haven't been any problems.
Another Review of Freedomnomics
So what? And what does that have to do with gun rights?
Like the saying goes, it’s not about guns, it’s about freedom. And Freedomnomics, by economist and author John Lott, Jr., does much to illustrate the relationship between free markets and liberty.
Sure, he builds on the groundbreaking work that established his name as a world-renowned commentator in More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns. But some of his conclusions go against what is intuitively accepted as common knowledge.
For instance, many believe legalized abortion has reduced violent crime by removing the most unwanted and therefore potentially crime-prone from the population. Lott has the numbers to show an increase in “the murder rate, on average, by about 7 percent.”
Likewise, affirmative action programs for police forces have the effect of lowering their effectiveness by lowering standards. “Ironically,” Lott writes, the people this hurts the most are those who live in “places already plagued by terrible crime.”
This is controversial stuff to some, hardly politically correct. But Lott proceeds unfazed, taking on capital punishment and demonstrating “the death penalty helps deter violent crime and save lives,” and when “there were no executions … between 1968 and 1976 … murder rates
skyrocketed.” . . .
Some shows on gun crime
New Op-ed: Does Government Weather Forecasting Endanger Lives?
This is hardly something new. Private companies with a lot at stake would often rather pay for private forecasts than rely on the “free” forecasts from the government. Hugh Connett, the president of Bridgeline, a gas pipeline company in Louisiana, claims that the government’s hurricane forecasts are too imprecise. He says that private companies such as AccuWeather do it better, because they give more accurate predictions and provide hour-by-hour forecasts of a storm’s path. . . .
UPDATE: For those interested, links for the sources have been imbedded in the article. Simply click on the link above.
UPDATE 2: Please note that a correction was made in the piece. The portion of a sentence in the second paragraph stating that there were 5 hurricanes predicted to hit the US has been cut.
Debate on letting guns on college campuses
South African Health Minister Pushes new Cure for HIV AIDS
CSPAN 2 Showing Talk on Freedomnomics
Extensive interview with Bill Steigerwald at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Another Review of Freedomnomics
Senator John Edwards asks if Cuba has a government health care system?
"I'm going to be honest with you -- I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system," Edwards, D-N.C., said at an event in Oskaloosa, Iowa. "Is it a government-run system?"
But just three days earlier, the candidate was asked a question about the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" -- which focuses extensively on the Cuban healthcare system.
As Willie Nelson's classic "On the Road Again" blared, Edwards leaned out of a window of his campaign bus dubbed "Fighting for One America", to hear an off-camera voice howl, "I wanted to ask ya, is it required that everyone go see "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko"?
Edwards, in between autographs outside Dan's Pizzeria in Onawa, Iowa, replies, "I watched Sicko," later adding, "It's a great movie."
You can watch the moment captured by C-SPAN and spread to the world on YouTube by clicking here. . . . .
Regulating Prescription Drug Prices Will Cost Lives
"All Democratic presidential candidates agree on pharmaceutical price controls, which means people will die," John R. Lott, Jr., a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, told a gathering Tuesday at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
Leading Democratic contenders rarely if ever use the words "price controls," which are prominent in socialized European economies and Canada, Lott observed. . . . .
Census Bureau Asks that ICE stops rounding up Illegal Aliens
Raids during the population count would make an already distrustful group even less likely to cooperate with government workers who are supposed to include them, the Census Bureau's second-ranking official said in an Associated Press interview.
Deputy Director Preston Jay Waite said immigration enforcement officials did not conduct raids for several months before and after the 2000 census. But today's political climate is even more volatile on the issue of illegal immigration.
Enforcement agents "have a job to do," Waite said. "They may not be able to give us as much of a break" in 2010.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman declined to say whether immigration officials would halt raids. "If we were, we wouldn't talk about it," Pat Reilly said.
"For us to suspend that enforcement would probably take a lot more than one meeting," Reilly said. "We would have to discuss this at the highest levels of both agencies." . . . .
Most of the victims at Virginia Tech were over 21 years of age
Robert concludes by noting that "It is very significant to me that, if they had been allowed to carry on campus, there certainly could have been an individual who was responsible enough to insure their own and others safety."
Talk at the Cato Institute available here
More on Students Carrying Guns on Campus
One professor, Barbara Nash, who is interviewed claimed that the idea that more guns would mean a safer place is a "stupid" idea. It would have been nice if the professor could have pointed to some evidence that students with a concealed handgun permit posed a danger. On the other hand, another professor in the Business School, Randall Boyle, said he actually felt safer now that some students in the class legally have concealed handguns.
George Mason Students Come Out for Carrying Concealed Handguns
Some Los Angeles Police Discuss Letting Citizens Carrying Concealed Handguns
Media Bias Revealed in Seattle TImes
What happened? According to Boardman in the latest email installment of what he calls "Dave's Raves" it was this: "When word came in of Karl Rove's resignation, several people in the meeting started cheering. That sort of expression is simply not appropriate for a newsroom....As we head into a major political year, now's a good time to remember: Please keep your personal politics to yourself."
The incident was described in a blog by chief political reporter David Postman. He comments: "I wasn't there, but I've talked to several people who were. It was only a couple of people who cheered and they, thankfully, are not among the people who get a say in news play. But obviously news staff shouldn't be cheering or jeering the day's news, particularly as Boardman points out, 'when we have an outside guest in the room.' . . . . (Emphasis added)
I emphasized the word "particularly" because why should it be that they should hide their political views "when we have an outside guest in the room."
Apparently, the reaction at the Seattle Times is not unique. Joe Scarborough witnessed a similar event at MSNBC:
The revelation came on "Morning Joe" today at 6:02 A.M. EDT. Joe was discussing a recent episode at the Seattle Times in which reporters and editors cheered the news that Karl Rove had resigned. Scarborough applauded Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman for issuing a memorandum reproving his colleagues. For more, read NB items by Brent Baker and Ken Shepherd.. . . . (Emphasis added)
More problems with Wikipedia
Mexico Deports Illegal Aliens in its Own Counrtry
Up to 7,000 people - mostly from Guatemala and Honduras - got stuck in southern Mexico when a rail link to the US ceased operating. . . . .
The Slippery slope: Banning Twisting Balloons into the Shape of Guns
"At this rate I will have no act left. Things are going from crazy to ridiculous," Mr. Turner, from Sheffield, northern England, told the Yorkshire Post regional newspaper.
"This country is going crazy with its political correctness and health and safety issues and it's making us a laughingstock," he said.. . . .
The story also mentions allergies to latex. Here is my question: when will schools be banned from giving out condoms?
Reputations matter, even for China
Some evidence that it matters to consumers:
"It's really difficult to find anything," said Keely Dennis, mother of a one-year-old boy in Vancouver. "It's really hard to find toys that aren't made in China that are age-appropriate, and are just cool, that your kid will play with."
For the second time in two weeks, the toy giant began recalling millions of Chinese-made toys over concerns that small parts could pose choking hazards and that excessive amounts of lead may be present. This is the latest in a string of problems that are raising doubts over the safety and quality of Chinese products, including toothpaste and pet food. . . . .
Washington Post Article from 1922 Showing Early Signs of Climate Change
The 1922 article, obtained by Inside the Beltway, goes on to mention "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared."
"This was one of several such articles I have found at the Library of Congress for the 1920s and 1930s," says Mr. Lockwood. "I had read of the just-released NASA estimates, that four of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. were actually in the 1930s, with 1934 the hottest of all."
As I have blogged before about the new NASA data, I believe that it is 5 out of 10 years with the highest temperatures were before WWII.
For something a little different
Video from C-SPAN performance can be seen here
Gun ownership drops further in Massachusetts
According to the Boston Globe, the number of legal gun owners has declined by more than 25 percent in the past six years . . . .
Students at Virginia Colleges Push to carry concealed handguns
The liberal imbalance in Academia
My new book, Freedomnomics, tries to explain why academia is as heavily liberal as it is and, more importantly, how the tenure process works to keep it that way.
Thanks to Butch Browning for sending me the link to this study.
One of the problems with survey data
The problem with this is that it produces a systematic bias in the survey data. The high end of the survey results are biased downward. The problem is probably even worse than might be claimed here if those being studied in this case understood why their urine samples were being taken. The reason is that the people may have been relatively more accurate in their answers if they thought that they were being checked for accuracy. As the article points out, claims that sugar intake are unrelated to health problems or obesity could simply be due to this bias in the data.
Freedomnomics on C-SPAN this Weekend
My appearance on CSPAN 2's Booknotes seems to have engendered some reaction:
On the positive side you can find this: "I almost forgot to mention that John will discuss his terrific book, Freedomnomics, on C-SPAN at 11:00 am EDT. The interview repeats at midnight and the booktv site has the full schedule for subsequent replays.
Go see it, the book is wonderfully ingenious, clearly written, and the balance of evidence and analysis makes John one of the formidable economists in the public policy arena."
On the negative side you can find this: "John Lott is scary. He's on CSPAN2 right now, giving talk on his book. What's scary about the guy is that he has no concept of the idea that human beings might be less than rational in the way they go about making life decisions. He really thinks everybody is hyper-rational. And, he's the chief economist for the US Sentencing Committee." I did put in a reply to his post on his website. It will be interesting to see if he has any response. Update: Well, there wasn't a substantive response, just some name calling.
Talk at the Cato Institute this coming Tuesday
TUESDAY, August 14, 2007
Noon. Economist John R. Lott Jr. discusses his new book, Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't, in conversation with Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute and Michael New from the University of Alabama, at the Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-789-5229 or e-mail email@example.com to RSVP.
Example where discretionary concealed handgun permits may have been given out as political favors
Documents filed Friday in the federal civil rights suit say FBI investigators have requested gun permit documents from the department, which include a permit Blanas issued to Sacramento businessman Edwin G. Gerber. Gerber gave $3,500 to Blanas' election campaign, election records show, and bought a vacation home with Blanas in Reno in the fall of 2005, according to property records . . . .
The well connected are already favored by discretionary permit systems, but this just exaggerates the problem.
Data error in recorded world temperatures exaggerated global warming
McKintyre notified the pair of the bug; Ruedy replied and acknowledged the problem as an "oversight" that would be fixed in the next data refresh.
NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.
The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge. . . . .
Thanks very much to John Lazar for pointing this out to me..
New Op-ed: On Giving Terrorists the Best Advice
Levitt clearly assumes that terrorists have already figured out the best ideas, but that our side has not. If anything, the reverse is probably true. There are vastly more Americans than terrorists possessing detailed information on American infrastructure, traffic flows, policing practices, etc. So terrorists could easily learn something. To make matters worse, there are also many home-grown mental basket cases who could get ideas on how to obtain worldwide attention. . . . .
"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another," Lute added . . . .
If you are having troubles getting enough people in the military, there is a simple solution: increase pay. The notion that you can save money by reinstituting the draft is simply an illusion. True the government doesn't have to spend more, but it is a big tax on many of those who would have been able to earn a lot of money outside of the military. When you include the value of that foregone output, the cost of the draft is much higher than simply paying people more to join. It is pretty obvious that this guy hasn't had even basic economics.
The Abortion Debate Gets Heated
"To speculate that abortion is responsible for various and sundry social trends is irresponsible and misses critical points," she said.
"Abortion has always been an option that women at all socioeconomic levels have considered, and many abortions are performed for medical reasons. Trying to correlate abortion with social trends smacks of pseudo-science and shows little understanding of women's lives and decisions," Signer added. . . . .
John Donohue also refused to comment on the actual research, but was reduced to saying this: "I am a social scientist, however, so Lott's behavior has in my mind, put him outside the bounds of scientific discourse." That will certainly settle the debate, though I can understand why Donohue is reluctant to actually discuss the facts on this issue. Since John Whitley co-authored this paper with me, does Donohue's statement tar Whitley also?
Donohue also doesn't comment on recent issues regarding his co-author Levitt.
Steve Levitt's Correction Letter
Many comments have been posted on this letter based upon the news story written on it, but I am not sure that almost anyone has seen Levitt's actual letter. Among those commenting on the original news stories please see Ted Frank, Ben Zycher, John Palmer, Robert Wallach, Craig Newmark, Clayton Cramer, Larry White, Steve Sailer, Xlrq, Jonathan Adler, Michael Munger, Steve Sailer again, Glenn Reynolds, Say Uncle, Jode Shoo, Singular Values, and
The Corner. Unfortunately, at this point, I am not allowed to really comment on this. One part of Levitt's letter that has not gotten any attention is the one that I think was his most important, his statement that:
The Chronicle of Higher Education has had a couple of articles on all this:
See this from the Chronicle.
See also this:
One point that wasn't directly mentioned by anyone is that Levitt's response when asked to backup is claim that others hadn't replicated my research was that the research papers were not refereed. Not only is Levitt acknowledging that the papers backed up and replicated my research, but he is admitting that the papers that did so were refereed.
The date on this letter does not match when I received it.
Another Review of Freedomnomics
Forum on helping Terrorists
That's the question a New York Times blogger posed Wednesday on the newspaper's Web site.
Steven D. Levitt, in a controversial posting on the paper's Freakonomics blog, has invited fellow bloggers to submit their worst-case scenarios for a terrorist attack.
The blogosphere is buzzing about whether the posting will prompt officials to stay ever-alert, as Levitt intends, or whether it could lead to a catalog of ideas that could encourage new attacks
Instead of setting up a forum to educate terrorists an alternative approach was suggested to me: "put up a website on how to CATCH terrorists (and criminals) more easily. The how-tos should be sent secretly to FBI,CIA, police."
Another Review of Freedomnomics
Dr. Lott was at the Heritage Foundation last Wednesday to discuss his book and explain his thesis supporting a free economy despite its shortcomings. Lott drew upon multiple examples from his book to prove that the free market works most effectively with as little government intervention as possible, and is actually able to solve its own market failures over time, contrary to popular opinion. Also, Lott expounded upon the long-term domino effects that touch society when the government exercises sufficient power. . . . .
Book Signing in Houston on Wednesday
5000 Westheimer Suite 100
Houston, TX 77056
scheduled August 8, 2007 from Wednesday, August 8, 8:00 PM to Wednesday, August 8, 9:00 PM
Congress is in need of some parental supervision
In the ensuing confusion several members changed their votes and the GOP measure to deny illegal aliens benefits such as food stamps then trailed 212-216. Boiling-mad Republicans stormed off the floor. The next day, their fury increased when they learned electronic records of the vote had disappeared from the House's voting system. . . . .
Mr. Foley also made a very prescient warning. . . . . should [Democrats] win back control that November . . . "Democrats [should] clearly and intensely [promise] that if they take the majority back again, they will not go back and try to pay back, so to speak, what they felt were the excesses and even the outrages of this period, but will promise minority rights in reaching those majority decisions."
Clearly, his fellow Democrats in the House haven't been following his advice. . . . .
Barry Bonds' Home Run Record Tainted by Mechanical Device
For years, sportswriters remarked that his massive "protective" gear – unequaled in all of baseball -- permits Bonds to lean over the plate without fear of being hit by a pitch. Thus situated, Bonds can handle the outside pitch (where most pitchers live) unusually well. This is unfair advantage enough, but no longer controversial. However, it is only one of at least seven (largely unexplored) advantages conferred by the apparatus. . . . .
Predictions on surveillance cameras
The penalties faced by white collar criminals
In the Rockies, Mr. Fingerhut became as passionate about conservation as he once was about stocks. He joined the boards of a string of environmental organizations. So devoted was he to the wilderness that he got married in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.
But he couldn't get Wall Street out of his system. In the 1990s he picked up a copy of Peter Lynch's "Beating the Street," in which the former star manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund wrote of a "can't-lose proposition (almost)" called bank-conversion investing.
When mutual, depositor-owned banks convert to public companies, Mr. Lynch noted, they must let depositors buy stock at the initial-public-offering price. The new shares are often priced at a discount. So "the next time you pass a mutual savings bank or an S&L that's still cooperatively owned," Mr. Lynch suggested, "think about stopping in and establishing an account."
Mr. Fingerhut took the advice to heart, and then some. Starting in 1995, he opened accounts at more than 400 banks across the country, from Wellsburg, W.Va., to Covina, Calif. He eventually got in on public offerings at many of them, and flipped their shares for quick profits. Over a decade, he made $11 million from the strategy.
There was one problem: The way he did it, he was breaking the law.
In May, Mr. Fingerhut pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud banks and their depositors by secretly using other people as fronts to open accounts for him, thus increasing the number of IPO shares he could buy. He forfeited all the money he earned from the strategy. On Friday, a federal judge in Newark, N.J., sentenced the onetime star stock analyst to two years in prison.
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Thanks to Jack Langer for sending this article to me.
Fund raising with a blast
GOP boosters got the chance to fire machine guns in exchange for a $25 contribution. About 300 people came to the Pelham Fish & Game Club to shoot tommy guns and M16s at bowling pins three feet in the air.
They raised between $2,000 and $2,500, split between the Manchester GOP and the club.
"Isn't it exhilarating?" said Jerry Thibodeau, president of the Manchester Republican Committee, amid the rattle of machine gun fire. "It's like driving in the Indy 500. Vroooooooom." . . . .
Dems on Earmarking
Another of Pelosi's earmarks was $2.5 million to Bioquiddity, Inc., a San Francisco biotech company with nine employees, to continue developing drug-infusion pumps. Bioquiddity President Josh Kriesel, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the state legislature in 2002, has donated $6,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since last September. The company received a total of $3.9 million in earmarks in the last two years. Kriesel declined to comment directly on the earmarks.
Pelosi has said some earmarks are ``worthy.'' And she said there is a distinction between those for public projects, which she sometimes touts with press releases, and special interest earmarks. . . . .
Democratic Presidential Race Getting Tighter Where it Counts
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder Stops Murderer at Seattle Party
The 33-year-old victim was stabbed nearly two dozen times while attending a birthday party about 1 a.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in the 9100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.
The 39-year-old assailant burst into the hall, grabbed the victim and slashed her with a large knife, witnesses told police. The weapon was recovered at the scene.
A 32-year-old Kent man who was at the party pulled a hand gun and shot the suspect who later died at Harborview Medial Center. . . . .
Congressional Energy Bill Farce
The standard applies only to investor-owned utilities and exempts rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the state of Hawaii from the mandate. . . . .
If cutting back on carbon dioxide is so important, why do these rules only apply to "investor-owned utilities"? Surely municipal utilities should also count? What about Hawaii? Carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere every place. Why does the administration only threaten to veto based upon the lack of oil production in the bill?
Some recognition for a permit holder who helped stop a bank robbery
Christopher Lynn Chappell, 41, was accidentally killed at 8:15 a.m. by the bulldozer he was operating, said Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Randy Christian.
It is believed he became entangled in the track of the bulldozer and was run over while working alone. Deputies and the Concord Fire Department responded, but Chappell was pronounced dead on the scene.
On May 14, Chappell was a customer at the Wachovia Bank on Ninth Avenue in Bessemer, when a gunman opened fire, killing bank employees Eva Hudson and Sheila McWaine Prevo. Two other bank employees, Anita Gordon and LaToya Freeman, were wounded.
Chappell, who was approaching the bank and heard the gunfire, got his gun from his vehicle and confronted the gunman as he was leaving, forcing him back inside and giving law officers time to respond..
Thanks very much to James Roberts for sending this to me.
"Burglar is shot by store owner"
Merlony Colaco, 29, has seen his Molly Pitcher Mini-Mart at 13640 Molly Pitcher Highway burglarized more than half a dozen times since March.
Colaco has owned the store for a year and a half. The first year was relatively tranquil, but in March the establishment was robbed four times in 14 days. In one incident, Colaco held a woman at bay with a gun until police arrived.
On Thursday at 1:46 a.m., Colaco pulled the trigger when Thomas Philip Candeloro Jr. allegedly approached him after breaking in a side door.
“I shot him because he was coming at me,” said Colaco this morning. “I didn't shoot him because he was stealing the cigarettes.”
Colaco said he has never shot a gun in his life and believes his actions were in self-defense. . . .
San Francisco Makes it More Difficult for People to Defend Themselves
Well, at least San Francisco has almost eliminated the need for self defens. Here is an news article from the end of 2005: "San Francisco Murder Rate Highest In 10 Years"
A thought on bridges collapsing
I am not putting this up to minimize the tragedy, but to give some perspective. Especially since everyone is going to extrapolate from this into claiming that something needs to be done instantly across the entire country.
Insights from John Fund at Political Diary
Those are fighting words. In the infamous Plessy case, the Supreme Court in 1896 declared that states could practice racial segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine. The decision was finally overturned in 1954 in the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision that led to the desegregation of many of the nation's schools.
Mr. Leahy is comparing that history with a five-to-four decision that Mr. Roberts joined in last month which declared that it was impermissible for governments to use race in the assignment of children to public schools. Many legal scholars believed the Roberts court was acting in the finest tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., who declared in his 1963 "March on Washington" speech that he longed for the day when people would be "judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin." While Mr. Roberts didn't quote King, he clearly shared those sentiments when he wrote: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Rather than at least grant Mr. Roberts has an honest disagreement, Mr. Leahy has chosen to smear him. As for President Bush, the Vermont Democrat was openly contemptuous of his court choices. "I am not sure the president realizes what he has done with the court. He was told by Dick Cheney and others, 'This is what you are going to do.'" . . .
On the "ethics reform" legislation before the Senate
Problems with discretionary concealed handgun permits
New York Times concerned about Wall Street Journal's objectivity
More than anything, competition makes our work better — more ambitious, more in-depth, more honest. When Americans are served by many different, responsible, competing news outlets, they can make more informed judgments. That is why we, and so many others, are paying such anxious attention to Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of Dow Jones & Company and its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal. . . .
Well, on the plus side at least the New York Times will maintain its objectivity. That should be a real boon for the NY Times circulation, right? Personally, I think that the news pages of the WSJ have a left wing tilt. I could see the problem for objectivity if the news stories moved to the middle.
Coverage of Concealed Carry in Philadelphia Inquirer
This woman is understandably upset about what appears to be gang shootings in Philadelphia. But it would have been nice if the Philadelphia Inquirer could have had some discussion of whether this response by a law-abiding citizen to disarm herself made any sense.
The Pacific Legal Foundation tries to reign in some nutsy interpretations of the Endangered Species Act
But think where that logic ultimately leads. By defining different species based on behavior, how many different species of humans do you think that there would be?
The claimed distinction largely stems from hatchery and natural fish survival rates. Hatchery fish have a higher survival rate from egg to smolt, but a lower survival rate from smolt to adult. Yet, that is hardly surprising. Many of the weaker naturally spawned fish have already died off so that there are fewer of them to die off in the next stage. In the past, the government’s policies have lurched from one extreme to another. . . .
Heritage Talk Available Here
Another Review of Freedomnomics
John Palmer has more thoughts here and Stephen Karlson has his comments here.
Talk at the Heritage Foundation Today
First Gore, now Bloomberg
But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s commute is not your average straphanger’s ride.
On mornings that he takes the subway from home, Mr. Bloomberg is picked up at his Upper East Side town house by a pair of king-size Chevrolet Suburbans. The mayor is driven 22 blocks to the subway station at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, where he can board an express train to City Hall. His drivers zip past his neighborhood station, a local subway stop a five-minute walk away. . . . .
Personally, given Bloomberg's value of time, I don't begrudge him doing things to shorten his trip. But I didn't think that was the environmental thing to do.
Man stops two pit bulls attacking his dog by using his gun
"I'm sound asleep and my wife says there's a dog fight in the yard," said Fletcher Sutton, 58. "And within 90 seconds I find myself standing in the yard in my bathrobe with a knife in one hand, a gun in the other and a dog dead between my legs."
Sutton and his grandson, Robert Koehler, 16, reacted quickly when they found their 110-pound Labrador-Mastiff mix being attacked by two pit bulls, the larger of which had clamped down on the dog's neck.
"We tried to beat him off, we tried to kick him off, and it was like it was to the death," Sutton said.
Lt. Scott Meffen with the Gainesville Police Department said they arrived at the home, 2415 SE 11th Ave., around 7:30 a.m. Monday to find a large black pit bull shot twice in the head. Sutton's dog had wounds to his neck and two front legs from the fight.