Sunday, November 25, 2007


Who among us thought that W would probably think more about the president of Pakistan than any other leader during his terms in office? I am sure Andy Hiller never fantasized his question would be so relevant. CNN certainly had no clue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who is Travis Patriquin?

We should all know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Discrimination is wrong ... except when it is for the greater good

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Older Early Retirement

This paper argues for raising the early retirement age for Social Security to 63.5 from 62 in order to extend the typical working life. A core argument in it is that only 10 percent of workers would be negatively affected by being unable to work during those extra 18 months. What the paper does not consider is how many will die before they will be able to collect. Death is, of course, a boon to social security since it saves 100 percent of payments in those cases.

After looking around the internet, it would appear that about 1.5 percent of 62 year olds will die by the time they are 63.5.


Why Not?

WSJ on Home Prices

The Wall Street Journal has an popular take on over-priced California homes. It seems there a couple ways a home's value can be derived -- replacement cost (the cost to build the house and buy the land) and economic value of the rents (the potential rental income minus operating costs divided by the expected return sought). By my calculations, housing is expensive by both measures today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Michael Yon ...

Hertzberg Blogs ...

But no comments here.

NYer Giuliani Time ...

Despite pages of analysis, this article fails to discuss the electoral college (EC) math that would seem to make Rudy Giuliani a formidable candidate. My instincts sense that Rudy's real difference from other Republicans is that he could upset the electoral college apple cart win a head-to-head race against Hillary in New York. (This April poll puts Clinton ahead by 14 points -- but I have heard of others that are different).

Rudy's EC strength: Puts New York (31 EVs), New Jersey (17 EVs) and Connecticut (7 EVs) back into play. If he picks up those states, that swings 55 electoral votes -- or about one-fifth of what Kerry picked up.

Rudy's EC weakness: If he does not carry those states, he runs a real risk of losing states such as Iowa and New Mexico and perhaps more.

A Rudy/Hillary finals could also serve to lance the venomous partisan boil that has been building for a while now -- after all, Americans of all stripes can agree on the fact that they resent and despise New Yorkers.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Markets Work -- Even in New Jersey.

An amazing story out of New Jersey picked up in the New York Times ... it seems that insurance rates are coming down now that regulators are standing aside and letting the market work. In the past, politicians had forced insurers to make up losses in high loss areas such as Newark through increased rates in the suburbs (redistribution at its finest).

Of course, the insurers responded by not picking up the phone when calls came from Newark, so the bad drivers could not buy insurance and the people in the suburbs were gauged, so they bought less. That, of course, meant a smaller insurance pool and the start of a downward spiral.

Things hit bottom three years ago and regulators finally threw in the towel, opening the market and letting insurers set rates by their own formulas.

Miracle of miracles, even the bad drivers in Newark are paying less than they were before in some cases.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kerry in need of "relativism refresher"

John Kerry's last mailer contained this gem.
"If the Bush administration could plan and execute the war on terror as well as it executes its shameless pre-election fear-mongering, we'd all be a lot safer."
If Bush's opponents were as organized and intelligent as the terrorists in planning and executing their fight, perhaps they would have won the last presidential election...

Juba the Sniper is Dutch?

There is (was?) sniper(s) on the loose in Baghdad going by the name of "Juba" who filmed himself sniping at (and presumably killing) American soldiers. It seems that in July 2005 he failed to finish off one of his targets -- Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer -- and was captured by U.S. soldiers (video).

Though it is now old news, this is the first I have heard of Juba. What is most interesting is that he appears to be of Dutch citizenship and was born in Morocco. Still, I guess he was a hero to some Iraqi's and that his DVDs are a hot item on the Iraqi streets.

The Dutch Juba was wounded and captured in a van outfitted with mattresses four soundproofing, according to various Web sites. Apparantly the attacks are still continuing.