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Suspicious Activity Reporting, You Decide

John Farmer Jr., a dean at the Rutgers School of Law and former senior counsel for the 9/11 commission, has a New York Times op-ed promoting the Justice Department’s new Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative, which basically encourages Americans to report each other to the government if they see anything suspicious. Farmer offers the […]

Criminal Minds – Review

One of the side effects of my reading so many libertarian and criminal law blogs is that it makes it hard for me to enjoy watching cop dramas on TV. Your typical television tough cop who “breaks all the rules” comes across to me as a bully who I’d like to see fired, if not […]

What If McCain and Palin Had Won?

I usually try to avoid outright partisan battles here on Windypundit, but with all the complaining people are doing about the state of the country today, I was struck by a recent tweet by Roger Ebert: Say, how d’ya think we’d be doing about now with McCain and Palin? Yes, let’s try to imagine what […]

I Must Have Missed That Class

In graduate school I had the most trouble staying awake in finance lectures. I always thought finance had to be just about the most boring topic ever. French MEP Rachida Dati, when discussing finance in France, recently said: I see some [foreign investment funds] looking for returns of 20 or 25% at a time when […]

Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Argue Physics with Stephen Hawking

The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Roger Scruton, an English philosopher, titled “Memo to Hawking: There’s Still Room for God“. (Sorry, it’s behind a paywall.) He attempts to refute Hawking’s premise that no God is needed to create a universe from nothing. Immanuel Kant, who believed that Newton’s laws of gravity are not merely true but […]

Powers of Ten

I first saw the Powers of Ten short on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. (If you don’t know who Carl Sagan was, please don’t tell me. It will just make me feel terribly old and sad.) Way back in the ancient mists of time the Museum of Science and Industry setup a kiosk looping the video and […]

Bite me, Bambi!

Or, How Eating Habanero Peppers Proves I’m Smarter Than Other Mammals. It’s chili pepper harvesting time again! While most Chicagoans seem enamored with growing tomato plants, I think habanero peppers should be the crop of choice. OK, to be honest, I’m actually too lazy to grow my own, but I have a couple of friends […]

The Republican Pledge To America – A Very Quick Impression

The Republicans’ have now revealed their new Pledge to America, an idea based loosely on their old Contract With America. I haven’t read any of it yet, but it’s 48 pages long. Somehow that strikes me as a bad sign for the future of small government… Update: Yeah, I looked it over and there’s nothing […]

Making Lawyers Pay

There’s one bad policy pattern that politicians tend to repeat over and over, and according to Nathan Koppel at the Wall Street Journal, this time they’re inflicting it on lawyers: The Mississippi Supreme Court is considering a proposed rule to require lawyers in the state to provide at least 20 hours of pro bono work. […]

Scientists Model Early Glass Slipper Technology

Breaking news: New computer simulations have shown how a glass slipper, as described in Grimm’s Cinderella, could have been created using a unique combination of quartz-rich silicates found only in northern Germany. When heated to just the right temperature, as was available in primitive furnaces of 14th century middle Europe, the model demonstrated that glass could have […]

Public Defense Is Free

Thirty years ago, Philip B. Crosby wrote Quality Is Free, in which he explained how a business that improved its products could earn higher profits. The basic insight was that the earlier you catch a product defect, the cheaper it is to fix: Catching a defect during your outgoing quality assurance testing is a lot […]

Buzz My Bell

Here’s something you don’t see everyday in the news: Stable hand charged with assaulting horse A worker at Arlington Park racetrack has been arrested and charged with having sexual conduct with a horse. The horse’s name was “Buzz My Bell”. Given that, and the fact that she was prancing around naked in public, I think […]

Some Geeks are Creepy

Google had a bit of an embarrassing security problem recently. An engineer did a very creepy thing and spied on teenager’s Google accounts while interacting with the teens online. Apparently no laws were broken but Google, obviously, fired the engineer. Google’s statement about the incident underwhelmed Greg Laden: Sorry Google, we are not impressed. We’d […]

Cops Protest for Right to Beat Up People in Wheelchairs

Just a quick note to point out something that really annoyed me this morning. Chicago cops are protesting at police headquarters. Before the marchers stepped off, several hundred officers were gathering in front of police headquarters, carrying signs including “More police/No Weis!!”, “Simply resign” and “Free Cozzi,” referring to Officer William Cozzi, who was convicted of […]

Are Restaurants That Hire Illegal Immigrants Ethical?

I just noticed that ethicist Jack Marshall has addressed the ethics of hiring illegal immigrants: Are Restaurants That Hire Illegal Immigrants Ethical? No. Sigh. I agree with a lot of what Jack Marshall has to say about ethics. For example, he’s dead-on to call out the Obama administration for this censorious nonsense. But when it […]