Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Is EXACTLY What I'm Trying To Warn Everyone About!

FuturePundit: Climate Engineering With White Clouds: which talks about how relatively easy it would be to perform "emergency" climate alteration.

I've warned folks about this before, but I'll say it again: the hysteria needs to end, before someone is convinced that The End Is Nigh and takes drastic action that will cause The End.

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Cutting The Grass Being Smoked On Comedy Central

Famously, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is challenging Americans to jobs that Americans won't do. How frightfully clever! And yet I'm not entirely happy with the response here, in Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Challenges Americans to Do Jobs Illegals Won’t. Free market capitalism does provide a long-term solution to the lettuce-versus-jobs debate, but it is somewhat incomplete. I would offer a few observations of my own:

  1. Construction jobs in the Southwest that pay upwards of $20/hour are dominated by Hispanic workers, a good many of whom are undocumented. This is not because Americans won't do those jobs. It's because construction unions priced Americans out of those jobs long ago. Union scale today would be closer to $25 an hour by my estimates.

  2. But it's irrelevant now. You can't get a job in construction now without being highly fluent in Spanish, which most Americans are not --and the ones who are can't be bothered with taking a blue-collar job. As I've always said, the people who are least nervous about immigration are the ones whose jobs are not at risk.

  3. I'm tired of "undocumented immigrant" --it implies a level of legality that simply is not there. But I also don't want the stink of being labeled a hater for using "illegal alien." I will now use "unauthorized worker" and have no qualms about it.

  4. I mow my own damn lawn.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hot 'Nuff For Ya?

Okay, now this is the part I dislike about living where I live, region-wise: unless you have immediate access to a swimming pool, there is no realistic outdoor activity that you can do with small children between 10AM and 6PM around this time of year. It is simply Too Hot. We went to SETTFest 2010 yesterday and Wee One could not play on the playground because the equipment was too hot to safely touch. Even in the shade it was stifling. So we had to leave earlier than I wanted. I think next year we'll go early in the morning so that she can have playtime while we're out there.

I have a ton of mowing to do today. That will probably happen sometime after 6PM. I'm not risking heat stroke over tall grass. Why is there never a wandering yard crew when you need one?!

Meanwhile, grading exams is always a good A/C'd activity. First exam of summer term is behind us now. The gutshot students will probably tuck tail and run. I warn them and warn them about how summer courses are an unholy trap if you are trying to work 40-hour weeks and/or dealing with small children, but a combination of self-delusion and financial-aid greed always seems to keep them around until they realize that they have no hope of passing --oh and by the way, it's too late to get more than 25% of your money back from dropping. They're adults, though, and those who do not learn must feel...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Counterintuitive But Somehow Not Surprising

Keynesianism Questioned by Harvard Researchers : "Contrary to the Keynesian theory that government spending can spark economic growth in times of recession, a new study demonstrates that pork, at least, may damage corporations within the states that receive these federal dollars."

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Better To Remain Silent And Appear Foolish...

...than to open it and remove all doubt.

Remember: most perps are stupid and/or egotistical, and cannot help opening their yaps under questioning, even after being told their rights. But police have been hampered by Supreme Court doctrine that self-incrimination was a sacred cow. Not quite so much now.

Berghuis v. Thomkins was handed down yesterday by the Supreme Court, in a serious revision of the Miranda Rights that we all know by heart. I was always of the opinion that Miranda went too far (thank you, Warren Court!) and this is a good move back towards center. Short version: you can still remain silent, you still never have to answer any questions unless you want to, but the cops can still ask you the questions unless you clearly tell them, "No, I want counsel present before answering any questions."

For more, see Power Line - Miranda pruned.

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