In China, 25 million people use their cellphone as their ebook reader.
[Per Atlantic blog; somehow the link will not load.]
[Per Atlantic blog; somehow the link will not load.]
Supreme Court rejects Idaho case
on prohibiting the insanity defense.
[Y]oung Hamlet ....he that
is mad, and sent into England.
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits
there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there.
'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men
are as mad as he.
When I was twelve, I was transferred from the hands of women to those of men; and, about that time, my father made two unsuccessful attempts to put a German in charge of me.
"A German in charge of children" is neither tutor nor a dyadka*--it is quite a profession by itself. He does not teach or dress the children himself, but sees that they are dressed and taught; he watches over their health, takes them out for walks, nd talks whatever nonsense he pleases, provided that it is in German. If there is s tutor in the house, the German is his inferior; but he takes precedence of the dyadka, if there is one. The visiting teachers, if they come late from unforeseen causes, or leave too early owing to circumstances beyond their control, are polite to the German; and though quite uneducated, he begins to think himself s man of learning. The governesses make use of the German to do all sorts of errands for them, but never permit any attentions on his part, unless they suffer from positive deformity, and see no prospect of any other admirers. When boys are fourteen they go off to the German's room to smoke on the sly, and he allows it, because he needs powerful assistance if he is to keep his place. Indeed, the common practice is to dismiss him at this period, after thanking him in the presence of the boys and presenting him with a watch. If he is tired of taking the children out and receiving reprimands when they catch cold or stain their clothes, then the "German in charge of the children" becomes a German without qualification: he starts a small shop where he sells amber mouth-pieces, eau-de-cologne, and cigars to his former charges, and performs secret services for them of another kind.
Whenever I point out how well America did with strong unions and highly progressive taxation after World War II, I can count on conservatives trying to resolve their cognitive dissonance by saying “but it was easy then — all our competitors were in ruins!” ...
And:Sorry, guys, but that’s bad history and very bad economics.
[A]nyone who reflexively reaches for the idea that we were actually better off because Europe was in ruins as a way to explain the postwar economy should take a hard look in the mirror. Did you think this through? Or were you just grabbing for something, anything, to explain away a fact that your ideology says can’t have been true?Now by disposition I tend to be a Krugman fan, but I think he misunderstands the argument here, and also draws the wrong inference.
There was a pent-up demand for goods and services after the privations of the Great Depression and the mobilization of World War II. There was also a pent-up supply of new products that couldn’t be brought to market during the depression and war years. That pent-up supply was augmented by technological and organizational breakthroughs accelerated by the imperatives of total war. Big advances in transportation, communications, and air conditioning stimulated catch-up growth in the underdeveloped South and underpopulated West. And rapid upgrades in human capital (first explosive growth in high school graduates, then explosive growth in college graduates) doubtless helped to spur productivity gains.Link Reading Lindsey, DeLong concludes that Lindsey drops an own-goal on his vaunted libertarianism. DeLong is narrowly right but it's irrelevant to my point. For my money, Lindsey is quite right to argue that the old times were special in ways that might not be easy to replicate.
The "welfare state" that ruins our lives is the modern state that has virtually unlimited power to deliver goods and services outside the market framework, financed by the state's power of taxation. The book [under review] makes three major arguments. First, the state does not deliver services that are in the general public interest, but rather supplies perks to special interest groups and places the burden of financing these perks on others, especially the general taxpayer. Second, taxpayers are not willing to fund these rent-seeking activities, so the state finances its expenditures by borrowing. Third, the build-up of burdensome levels of debt will eventually bankrupt the welfare state.Link.
The first two arguments are correct, but are characteristics of the state in general, not in particular the "welfare state." States, going back to the the thirteenth century, have always delivered perks to favored groups and forced others to foot the bill. And taxpayers have always resisted payment, forcing states to borrow to finance their follies.
The third assertion is probably false. When debt reaches burdensome levels, states usually either inflate their currencies to devalue the debt, or they simply default. Both have negative effects of public welfare and economic growth.
The implicit assumption is that the state is simply a predator, and we can easily limit its activity to protecting private property and supplying essential services. This assumption has not basis in fact. States are tolerated and promoted by voters and citizens because it supplies services that are not properly supplied by the market. There is no advanced society without a very strong interventionist state, and I am certain there will never be one. Standard public economic theory explains why a large, interventionist state is an essential part of economic development. I outline this theory on my web site, under "You Must Read This!", in a short paper entitled "A Brief Introduction to the Theory of Welfare-Improving State." [Link--ed]
The state, like the market, is subject to corruption, and it is the citizens' task to keep both in line and serving the public interest. ...
Ever notice how much trouble LTCOLs of various types cause? Consider one LTCOL Custer – who famously was the youngest general in the Union army and the dumbest LTCOL on the books after he tangled with the natives in a field in the Black Hills. The Army would have been better off if they had left him a major general and parked him Washington to molder in the damp. He famously left his Gatling guns behind. To the sorrow of the 7th Cavalry.
I’m sure I missed a few but the next one of note that I recall was LTCOL Ollie North, who among other things was termed the highest ranking LTCOL in the country at the time. Infamously, he escaped from imprisonment due to the interference of congress. Famously, he was represented by a potted plant in hearings.
Now we have two examples to contemplate: one LTCOL Broadwell, who didn’t play well with others but can do a lot of pushups. She’s turned a lot of heads en route to being a soccer mom in the south somewhere. And finally LTCOL Allen West, recently one term congressman and soon to be talking head on Fox or worse. He seems to fail upward: having been ejected (with pension) from the army for violating the rules of war (’they are just guidelines’) but got elected to Congress by being nuttier than the other guy. Having failed as a congressman (who by definition have to get reelected or fail), he will now make six or seven figures mouthing off on Fox – where he will be limited to embarrassing himself rather than Congress.
As for Broadwell, well, she may be talking head – but not on TV. From her perspective, she’s likely better off in Carolina than in North Dakota. And her book will sell out -Wiki has a list. It includes Aaron Burr, John C. Fremont and Henry Blake from M*A*S*H. Also (remember him?) Bill Kilgore:
Unh-hnh.After years of promoting states’ rights — or “federalism” — and scoring some big victories, he surprised court-watchers by writing a decision holding that Congress could force states to give their employees family and medical leave. He may have gone “wobbly,” as Margaret Thatcher might have said, from watching the struggles of his daughter, a single mother.
Burgundy is as much basic country, elemental country, country of long-rooted traditions as is the Ile-de-France and its attendant territories to the west, and if it is the latter territory which has been described as the most French part of France rather than Burgundy it is only because its continuous history has been attached longer to the name of France than has that of Burgundy. Burgundy's contribution to what is France today goes back as far and is of comparable cultural importance to that of the Ile-de-France, and its capital, Dijon, is one of the great cities of France, a sort of eastern Rouen, whose buildings attest to its rich past; but three quarters of its history was unrolled under a name other than that of France, and in the days of its greatness it was a dukedom that was the peer of the kingdom of France, and for all any fourteenth-century prophet could have foretold, seemed quite as likely to make France part of Burgundy as the other way around.
At a time when the Ile-de-France had added to its possessions only the Orléanais, the Berry, Champagne, and Normandy, Burgundy had expanded eastward through the Franche-Comté, and possessed also, on the far side of the territories of France, Picardy, Artois, and Flanders, a great part of what today is Belgium, all of Holland (which is to say, the southern half of the modern Netherlands)except an island around Utrecht, and the Duchy of Luxembourg. The territories of Burgundy, more extensive than those of France, had the disadvantage of not being continuous; but they had the advantage of pinching France between them, which could be decisive in area with such well-developed means of communication as our own. Even then France and Burgundy battled as champions, equally matched. It was the Burgundians, you will remember, not the English, who captured Joan of Arc; the English only purchased her from her captors when Charles VII, the kind whom she had crowned,proved too parsimonious to pay her ransom.
All from the Oxford World Classics edition of the Selected Letters of Sydney Smith (1956). Auburon Waugh in his introduction calls Smith "the embodiment of our national genius."
(Of Scotch beggars) They beg in a very quiet, gentle way, and thus lose the most productive art of their profession, Importunity. (Nov. 4, 1798)
(Of a young lady being considered for matrimony) Can she read without Scotch accent? Is she good tempered? Pray let Horner see her if you think there is any probability she will do so; but let him see her under the influence of yr presence, or he will impregnate her. There is a fecundity in his very look; his smiles are sensual. (Oct 29, 1805)
If the oxen catch the butcher, they have a right to toss and gore him. (July 3, 1809)
It would be a bad comfort to an Indian widow, who was half-burnt, if the head Bramin were to call out to her 'Remember, it is your own act and deed; I never ordered you to burn yourself, and I must take the liberty of telling you that you are a fool for your pains.' (Jan. 17, 1813)
I wish you had told me something about yourself. Are you well? Rich? Happy? Do you digest? Have you any thoughts of marrying? My whole parish is to be sold for ₤50,000; pray buy it, quit your profession, and turn Yorkshire squire. We should be a model for squires and parsons. (Sept 3, 1820, to J.A. Murray, literary man, lawyer and lord; in fact they remained friends for the rest of their joint lives)
I love liberty, but hope it can be so managed that I shall have soft beds, good dinners, fine linen, etc., for the rest of my life. I am too old to fight or to suffer. (Jan. 3, 1830; he was 58)
I am convinced digestion is the great secret of life; and that character, talents, virtues, and qualities are powerfully affected by beef, mutton, pie-crust, and rich soups. I have often thought I could feed or starve men into many virtues and vices, and affect them more powerfully with my instruments of cookery than Timotheus could do formerly with his lyre. (Sept. 30, 1837)
Mrs. Sydney and I are both in fair health,--such health as is conceded to moribundity and caducity. (Sept. 12, 1842; he was 70)