Assorted Links (3/16/2011)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

The New Humanism

“We have a prevailing view in our society — not only in the policy world, but in many spheres — that we are divided creatures. Reason, which is trustworthy, is separate from the emotions, which are suspect. Society progresses to the extent that reason can suppress the passions.”

A Red Dixiecrat Dawn?

“The controversy over the blue social model keeps heating up.  With the controversy over Wisconsin’s restrictions on public employee unions metastasizing from the Madison protests to what increasingly looks like a national political battle, the blue state and red state models of social development and economic governance seem to be at daggers drawn.”

Japan and the Broken Window Fallacy

“In The Wall Street Journal, George Melloan writes that, as the French economist Frederic Bastiat once observed, reconstruction activity yields no net gain in a society’s wealth.”

Why North Dakota Is Booming

“In The Wall Street Journal, Joel Kotkin notes that North Dakota’s energy-based economy is one of the healthiest in the nation, with 3.8% unemployment.”

In Japan, the public bears most of the risk of earthquakes

“The devastation unfolding in Japan will likely generate the largest insured losses for any earthquake, but by far the biggest part of the tab will fall on the Japanese people.”

Book Review: Peddling Protectionism

“James Grant reviews Douglas A. Irwin’s Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression.”

Notable & Quotable

“Juan Williams on the latest scandal at NPR, his former employer.”

Review & Outlook: President Warren’s Empire

“The Wall Street Journal says the consumer finance czar answers to no one and sets her own budget.”

The Future of Nukes, and of Japan

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins wonders if the world will abandon nuclear energy, the only feasible alternative to fossil fuels.”

Make the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent

“…this year the House Republican majority should pass a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts. Even that is just a beginning. To touch off a boom—and secure a prosperous future for all Americans—what’s really needed are additional, sweeping rate cuts on both individual and corporate income.”

Fukushima a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now!

“Japan’s nuclear powerplants have performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than they were designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Fukushima story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nation – including Japan – to build more nuclear powerplants, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems.”

Derivatives, as Accused by Buffett

“Warren Buffett’s comments to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission have been whizzing around e-mail inboxes.”

The Ike Phase

“At a time when urgent action calls, President Obama is choosing prudence. Is this wisdom or passivity?”

Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

“In The Wall Street Journal, William Tucker says that the containment structures of Japan’s nuclear reactors appear to be working, and that the latest reactor designs aren’t vulnerable to the coolant problem at issue in Japan.”

Review & Outlook: Nuclear Overreactions

“The Wall Street Journal says one lesson of Japan’s earhtquake and nuclear reactor crisis is that modern life requires learning from disasters, not fleeing all risk.”

David Brooks: The social animal | Video on

“Tapping into the findings of his latest book, NYTimes columnist David Brooks unpacks new insights into human nature from the cognitive sciences — insights with massive implications for economics and politics as well as our own self-knowledge.”

On the N.C.A.A. Benching of Perry Jones

“The way the N.C.A.A. dispenses penalties for rules violations is wildly uneven — and this is where the case of a Baylor basketball player becomes baffling.”

Will It Be One-and-Done for Baylor’s Perry Jones?

“When the most-gifted players, like Baylor’s phenom, stay for only one season, it’s hard not to wonder how much college basketball matters.”

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