Archive for February, 2006

Medieval Iceland Must Have Had Some Economists

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Over at Salon, also known as the land of the most annoying advertising model ever, is a fascinating interview with law professor William Ian Miller. His new book,”An Eye for an Eye”, describes talionic law, a legal system most famously described by Exodus 21:22-25: “When men have a fight and hurt a pregnant woman, so […]

Hybrid Cars, or, Why Environmentalists need Economists

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Some time ago, an acquaintance related a story to me that captures a lot of the thinking in environmental circles. Forgive me all the details, but it apparently happened something like the following. She was in an environmental engineering course, and the professor invited in a mid-level executive from Ford to speak with the class. […]

Press Freedom and Maturity

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

I read Andrew Sullivan regularly, in large part because he does a good job of doggedly following one or two stories at a time, in-between his other random comments. I always hesitate to recommend his weblog, though, because his style of posting results in a lot of content-poor posts and I sometimes find his positions […]

Quality-in-Reporting Check

Monday, February 6th, 2006

MSNBC, which apparently adheres to the “repeat what one side says, then repeat what the other side says” model of journalism, is running a story on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. In it is this gem: News accounts have suggested the program vacuums up vast amounts of communications and […]

Hope for Iraq

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Stories like this one in the Christian Science Monitor provide a little more hope for the situation in Iraq. To me, stories of this sort also add an important bit of perspective to the situation and underline the fact that Iraq is not Vietnam, despite what some have suggested. The most fundamental difference is the […]

One Reason to Listen to Me

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

If you, the reader, are not asking yourself, “why should I listen to this guy?”, I’m flattered. If, however, you’ve asked that question regarding me, I’m not offended. It’s a fair question. The answer? Because I tend to be right when the pundits are wrong. For example, earlier this week I wrote: Q: All right, […]

More on the Illegal Wiretaps

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Thursday’s New York Times will be carrying this piece, entitled “Senate Panel Rebuffed on Documents on U.S. Spying”. A highlight: In the interview, Mr. Specter said that he wanted a fuller explanation as to how the Justice Department asserts that the eavesdropping operation does not conflict with the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which set […]

Drunk Dialing: Wiretaps and Cellulosic Ethanol

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

If I were given the assignment of saying one negative and one positive thing about the President’s State of the Union address last night, this is what I would offer… Negative: Yesterday I wrote a FAQ explaining the illegal wiretapping point-by-point. And yesterday, Bush repeated the same disproven points again: It is said that prior […]

Economics, Energy, and the Environment.