Links for July 12, 2010: Is the Energy Star Program a Rubber Stamp?; Much Ado About the Economy, Economics; Much, Much More!

  1. The Government Accountability Office tested the government’s Energy Star program with phony products and found it essentially to be a rubber stamp–except that only 15 of 20 products were accepted and two were rejected.  I wish they’d explained the rejections in a little more detail.

  2. Every time a libertarian stays in the closet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.

  3. We need you out here!!! I highly recommend listening to podcasts and watching After a while, you’ll come to realize that you have ready responses to every statist argument that comes down the tube.  Also, take Christopher Hitchens’s sage advice to heart.

  4. “The Conscience of a Liberal”: Calling your opponent “bizarre” and “crazy” = Checkmate!!! See full response here

  5. Advocates of increased government spending fail to realize that government has no money of its own. Every dollar that the government spends must ultimately come from somewhere else. Every dollar that government spends is a dollar that is siphoned from American workers regardless of whether it is raised through debt or taxes. Taxes simply redistribute purchasing power, and do so in a particularly inefficient manner, reducing the incentives to produce or hire. Borrowing simply forces businesses and investors to anticipate higher taxes down the road. — The point I was trying to get across last week.

  6. Walter Block compares the Great Depression to our current recession.


    The Obama administration and the Teamster Union tag team to start a trade war, costing American jobs in the process. Why was this even a “pilot” program to begin with? Why can’t Mexicans drive trucks here?

  8. Paychecks in right to work states are a lot skimpier than in non-right to work states. Everywhere, union wages are higher than nonunion wages. The average paycheck of a worker in a right to work for less state is some $5,333 a year less than in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167). Weekly wages are $72 greater in states with bargaining rights than in right to work for less states ($621 versus $549).

    How do unemployment rates compare? See for a critical view.

  9. David Harvey’s original expose on the so-called crises of capitalism (with beautiful animation, I must say):

    A Response to David Harvey:

  10. Looks like a libertarian attempt to woo socialists. I hope they catch some. Libertarians generally need to do a better job explaining how more individual liberty will benefit society. Too many people are too afraid of “individualism” and so-called “cut-throat competition”.

  11. Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Normally, the word “exploit” is a red flag but the accusation holds some water in this case. Fishermen should probably be allowed to sit at home on their duffs and collect payment from BP, seeing that BP is the sole reason they are unemployed. The one analyst is correct that a major problem is that our government is too cozy with these oil companies. Never forget that the government owns the gulf waters, the government leases drilling rights, the government has capitulated to oil companies by offering reduced royalties to drill in deep-water, and government agencies were responsible for setting the standards of the business practice. You’d have to believe that if those water were privately owned by the people who depend on them for their livelihoods, oversight would have been much more stringent.

  12. Marijuana prohibition killed Trevon Cole.

  13. The author does not weigh the costs of prohibition with the cost of responsible marijuana use. First the author invokes the gateway theory, which was discredited by an earlier RAND study that the author feels no need to reference. Then, the author depends on the Drug Czar, who is obligated BY LAW to support prohibition and defend against legalization, to make the case that marijuana is harmful. The author never bothers to investigate the harms of marijuana prohibition. Just a few weeks ago, Las Vegas police shot an expectant father in the face during a marijuana raid. Is this what we want for our children?? Marijuana has never shot anyone in the face and killed them. See annotations for more.

  14. The Nanny state lengthens the leash ever-so-slightly. Pennsylvania adults may now purchase wine from grocery store kiosks, but only after the machines read their ID card and perform some sort of spectrophotoanalysis on their breath to ensure that it meets state-enforced standards for breath quality.

  15. Government requests for removal and information by country.

  16. The agreement will allow state bodies to study the source code and develop cryptography for the Microsoft products through the Science-Technical Centre ‘Atlas’, a government body controlled by the Ministry of Communications and Press, according to Vedomosti. — But many feel the Russian government will take advantage of potential vulnerabilities to launch attacks on other states. I’m not enough of a techie to understand the full implications.

  17. Why did it take so long to invent this??

  18. The article is very vague about how serious the Iranian government is about enforcing this.  The headline says that the government “promotes” the haircuts.  Next it says that the government is “laying down the law”.  Then it uses the term “guidelines”.  Then the promoted haircuts are said to have been unveiled at a “fashion event” known as the Hijab and Chastity Festival.  Finally, the situation is described as a “crackdown”.  Are the authors under the impression that these terms are all synonymous?  I’d like to see the official government proclamation….

  19. This is how I got my best job so far: that of a G.E.D. Instructor. I began as a volunteer tutor and worked my way up….

  20. Studies show that, whereas Catholics are most likely to wait for the deity to ressurrect the dead at the end of time, atheists are most likely to take matters into their own hands.

  21. Woman digs up dead husband and sister and lives at home with their bodies. Irreligiosity is cited as a contributing factor:

    Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a psychiatry professor at UCLA who researches how the elderly view death and dying, said people who aren’t particularly spiritual or religious often have a difficult time with death because they fear that death is truly the end.

    For them, ”death doesn’t exist,” she said. ”They deny death.”

    O RLY? I think those whose articles of faith include a belief in the general resurrection of the body and a belief in “everlasting life” are the ones who are “denying death”….

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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