Sunday, November 15, 2015

Goldilocks and Oil

Informative about the interaction between pricing and oil production, as well as showing how little the oil companies control production/price.

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Safety, More Danger

While some fear average citizens carrying weapons in public, “Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding,” according to a study this year by the Crime Prevention Research Center. It found that they commit only about one-sixth the rate of firearms violations as police.
As Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, argued during debate on SB707 on the Assembly Floor, concealed guns carried by law-abiding citizens can be a great equalizer, particularly for young women. “If I’m walking down the street at night, my Glock puts me on [an] even footing with anybody that would ever try to come and hurt me,” she said.
It is natural to want to “do something” to prevent tragedies like the Umpqua shooting, but depriving students, faculty and other school employees of their constitutional rights and the best means of defending themselves in such a horrific circumstance only increases the likelihood that even more lives will be needlessly lost.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dr. Sowell at his best:
"For 12 consecutive years -- from 2001 through 2012 -- each home run leader in the American League had a Hispanic surname. When two American boys whose ancestors came from India tied for first place in the U.S. National Spelling Bee in 2014, it was the 7th consecutive year in which the U.S. National Spelling Bee was won by an Asian Indian.
"We all know about the large over-representation of blacks among professional basketball players, and especially among the star players. The best-selling brands of beer in America were created by people of German ancestry, who also created China's famed Tsingtao beer. Of the 100 top-ranked Marathon runners in the world in 2012, 68 were Kenyans. The list could go on and on. Although blacks are over-represented among professional football players, even the most avid National Football League fan is unlikely to be able to recall seeing even one black player who kicked a punt or a point after touchdown.
"Should there be an article titled: "What's Holding Black Kickers Back in the NFL?" Could it be that blacks are more interested in playing positions where there is more action and -- not incidentally -- more money?
"Should there be an article titled: "What's Holding Back Whites in the National Basketball Association?" Or an article titled: "What's Holding Back Non-Asian Indian Kids from Winning the Spelling Bee?" Lawsuits claiming discrimination have been won on the basis of statistical disparities far smaller than these."

Ignoring Half of the Story on Guns

The author left a lot of the discussion off of the table - to wit, no discussion of the utility of guns, and how guns provide for the defense of their owners, most often with no shot being fired.  By focusing only on gun violence/death, and ignoring the other modalities of violence/death, it is easy to create the notion that taking away guns would take away violence.

"Evaluations after the reforms suggest that they saved lives. A study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University estimated that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people led to a statistically significant drop in firearm suicides — 74 percent, in fact, with no parallel increase in non-firearm suicides. While gun control opponents have tried to rebut those results, those responses have been riddled with methodological flaws, and even some of the study's critics have conceded that the laws likely cut down on suicides."

It would be great if fewer folks were killing themselves, but if that's all you look at, you are not getting any useful information.  How many people who are not suicidal save their own lives, or the life of their family member, or simply defend themselves from a violent crime, by having a gun in their hand?  The estimate by John Lott is approximately 500,000 incidents each year.

Clinton Policy Proposal as Uninspired as She Is Uninspiring

I wonder if even Clinton supporters are a little bored by these pointless and only partially symbolic policy statements.

"If it matters, none of this has anything to do with the Oregon shooting. The killer apparently used handguns to mercilessly shoot down his victims (although he also had a rifle, an AR-15). All of his 13 guns came from federally licensed dealers. He passed background checks. What Hillary has done is take a national tragedy and declare that it ought to catalyze us to pass a series of non sequiturs."

Clear Thought on Gun Ownership

A good write up, plain language and thought for those who know the utility of a personal firearm.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Stick to Theology

If I had unlimited time and money, I would memorize this article.

"Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid." With those 10 words, spoken to an audience at Georgetown University in 2013, philanthropist rock star Bono demonstrated a keener understanding of economic reality than the leader of global Catholicism.
The U2 frontman clearly has it right—and Pope Francis is wrong to suggest that poverty is growing, or that capitalism, free markets, and globalization are fueling the (non-existent) problem. In just two decades, extreme poverty has been reduced by more than 50 percent. "In 1990, almost half of the population in developing regions lived on less than $1.25 a day," reads a 2014 report from the United Nations. "This rate dropped to 22 per cent by 2010, reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty by 700 million."