Right on Transportation

As mentioned before, I read Matt Yglesias for two reasons, one noble, one base. This entry on land development is a sterling example of the former. In it, Yglesias calls out what he rightly terms a “tribal bias” on the left in favor of activists and against businessmen. That’s the one he explicitly acknowledges, anyway.…

Thoughts on iPlaya

Well this was nothing if not inevitable. Pepsi has had to apologize for the “Before You Score” iPhone app, which, if you’re one of the few who still hasn’t heard, classifies girls into 24 groups, gives you tips on how to get them and even does things like provide links to nearby vegan restaurants if…

Quote of the Day: Germany

TOWM quote of the day come from Matt Yglesias, just returning from a trip through Northern Europe: I felt much more cultural distance between Germans and Americans than I’d seen in any other European country. The population of Germany seems really determined to live up to all stereotypes. I vouch for its veracity.

Why They Rationalize

You wake up one morning and read the news to find that Barack Obama is this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient a mere 8 months into his presidency. Do you (a) rationalize or (b) ridicule? Not that these are the only possible responses: you could (c) shrug and read the next story or (d) celebrate…

We’ve Only Just Begun

TOWM’s quote of the day comes from this must-read article by James Capretta: President Obama said Monday that the debate on health care has gone on long enough, and now is the time to pass something. But does Congress, let alone the public, really understand what these bills would mean for the health sector and…

The Best Author I’ve Never Read

This year’s Nobel Prize winner for Literature is Herta Müller, the best author I’ve never read. I first came across her while shelving books at the library as an undergrad. I worked in a room where books came in from publishers for review by professors. The way I understand it, each department was allowed a…

Symbolism: You’re Doing it Wrong

I read Matt Yglesias’ blog for two completely incompatible reasons. The noble reason is because he seems like a genuinely open-minded person, at least on the policy level. He manages to be a voice of the left without buying all of their knee-jerk myths. Would that more commentators on both sides of the aisle thought…

So What About the Rest of Hollywood?

Lest we paint with too broad a brush, it turns out there is no shortage of celebrities who think Polanski should be extradited and put on trial. Courtesy of chrismm of Dreamwidth: the link goes to a list of them. It’s important to get this out there since all the commentary on the subject is…

Other People 101

What is it about politics that brings out the child in us? I think there should be a principle – along the lines of Godwin’s Law – that holds that over the range of opinons a person holds on any subject, his opinions on politics are invariably his most infantile (open for discussion: is sports…

What Graffiti has to Teach us about Healthcare

Here’s an example of rent-seeking if I’ve ever seen one: LA will now mandate anti-graffiti coats on all buildings, commercial and residential. Here’s the way it works: you have to paint your house with some kind of magic paint, or else sign an agreement with the city agreeing to remove graffiti if it appears on…