Monday, April 26, 2010

Introducing: Searching for Alethia

I should've been linking to this a while ago, but better late than never. Local friend Tim's blog features discursive essays on Christian topics. The most recent outlines the superiority of love to fairness; this might seem obvious, but it's an important reminder in a culture obsessed with rights.

Searching for Alethia will remain in the BLOGS section of the navbar. Alethia means truth, or uncoveredness.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NFL Draft Week Mania

The WSJ teamed up with Harvard Business School econ profs to create a much, much more efficient way of allocating talent and money than the (disastrous) current system. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Iceland or Mordor?

Friend Holly pointed out a site that shows how hard it can be to tell Iceland and Mordor apart. She notes, The good news is we destroyed the Ring. The bad news: we disrupted a hemisphere's worth of air travel and 2 doz. national economies.

And does British Airlines thank us? No, it wants the Precious!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Opinion and Abortion

Marc Thiessen looks at the reasons U.S. opinion has moved from 56% pro-choice to 42% pro-choice in the last 14 years. He then notes that a bill in Nebraska banning abortions after 20 weeks is likely to end up in the Supreme Court. The debate will be whether scientific evidence that unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks and beyond should amend the decision in Roe v. Wade that states can only limit abortions after "viability" (24 weeks).

Thiessen's discussion includes a link to Michael Clancy's 1999 photo of an in-utero surgery to repair spinal bifida. I'd never seen this; it's worth seeing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas in April. Hat tip to Arricka for passing along a video of one of the classiest pranks you'll ever see.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No New New Deals!

Burt and Anita Folsom sketch a bit of history in a WSJ article today. It's a truism among neoclassical economists that FDR's New Deal extended, rather than alleviating, the Great Depression. The Folsom's cast further light on how the Depression did end - World War II is commonly credited, but even FDR understood that war jobs were temporary and of little benefit to the country. He (and Truman) had one idea - to increase the New Deal alphabet-soup socialism even more after the war. A Democratic Congress had different ideas: cut taxes. With top tax rates at 94% for income tax and 90% for corporate taxes, it's not a stretch to say the U.S. was borderline socialist; nor is it a stretch to conclude that expansionary business had been strangled by the astronomical taxes and the complicated cost of avoiding them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Katyn Redux

It was a moment of thaw, sunshine on a dark chapter of history. Russian Prime Minister and Tough Guy Vladimir Putin was accepting Soviet culpability for the Katyn Massacre of 1940. (After dividing Poland with the Nazis, Stalin's secret police executed 21,768 Polish military officers and intellectuals.) Putin wrote an article last year in a Polish newspaper, and Russian state television screened Katyn, a film about the massacre, for the first time on Friday. Its Polish director Andrzej Wajda, whose father was killed at Katyn, said: “I never anticipated this day.” What's more, Putin met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to memorialize Katyn on Wednesday.

Russia prepared a somber welcome this morning for Poland's President, Lech Kaczynski, and a delegation, at the site of the Katyn massacre, near Smolensk. As the Polish state plane came down to land in a heavy fog, it hit treetops and broke up. Ninety-six people were on board; all of them are now dead.

The cathartic moment is broken. Irony smote the remembrance cruelly. The handshakes and embraces and good feelings are all inapposite, awkward. Putin is cursing fate. Again, on a much smaller scale, Katyn holds the corpses of a generation of Polish leaders.

Friday, April 9, 2010


The story wrote itself before the season began: "Ortiz starts slow again". Columnists are needling him at his locker. Red Sox blogs are frothing at the mouth and asking for Mike Lowell. All this comes with 3 games in the books, during the last of which Ortiz plated the Sox' only run with a line drive single. Not a great start, obviously, but it's THREE GAMES. What's more, it's not as if Ortiz is coming off a cold stretch. As Jayson Stark notes
Before we write this man off too fast, remember this: After June 5 last season, Ortiz led the American League in homers (27), tied for the league lead in RBIs (78) and was third in the league in slugging (.557). That's over a period of four months.
This also gainsays the naysaying of those who want to believe that Ortiz's struggles last year were due to a lack of steroids. Let's be clear: he may have used steroids back in 2002, 2003, before serious testing. But with heavy testing over the past several seasons, he's done just fine, including OPS over .980 in the first four years with rigorous steroid testing.

What do I expect from Ortiz? A slow start - that's been typical over his career. And then a powerful, but not dominating contribution. He'll get more days off, especially against tough lefties, to keep Mike Lowell in shape, but there's no reason to believe he can't be a .280 - 30 - 100 guy this year once again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blind Umpire

How bad was umpire Angel Hernandez last night? OTM breaks it down.

The Sox and Yanks face off for the rubber game of their intense September-in-April opening series. Go Red Stockings!