Assorted Links (5/21/2011)

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

THE END OF DAYS

If I had taken the time to write my own essay about the 89-year-old religious-broadcaster Harold Camping’s calculation of a May 21 “Rapture”, it would have closely mirrored the essay provided by Mr. Wheeler (cf. http://ldwheeler.livejournal.com/222070.html). Hat tip to my colleague Jim Hilliard for pointing this out…

The 1967 Line of Fire

“Obama creates a needless furor over Israel’s borders.”

Democratic Governors (Heart) Taxes

“The trend is unmistakable. Taxes are rising in blue states and falling in the red states this year, contributing to a widening disparity in tax burdens across the country.”

Dore Gold: Israel’s 1967 Borders Aren’t Defensible

“Fair observers have never considered the old armistice line as a non-negotiable starting point for peace talks.”

Linking the Debt Limit Hike To Spending Cuts Is Good Economics

“For months now top economic officials in Washington have been arguing that the Congress should vote to increase the debt limit without any reductions in the growth of spending—in other words a “clean debt limit hike… But these arguments do not take account of important economic advantages of linking the debt limit to spending reductions. Such a link is good economics in theory and in practice. It is essential to a credible return to sound fiscal policy and an end to the ongoing debt explosion.”

Your Results May Vary

“Search engines, social-working sites and online retailers are constantly tailoring information to reflect our interests. It’s a welcome kind of streamlining for some, but Eli Pariser, in “The Filter Bubble,” worries about the implications for democracy of customized information. Paul Boutin reviews.”

A Bachelor’s Degree in Atheism

“California’s Pitzer College decides to investigate the phenomenon of unbelief.”

Krauthammer: Obama speech shows he ‘has sympathies everywhere except Israel’

“On Thursday, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the State Department in Washington, D.C. which was supposed to offer an indication of what American policy would be in the Middle East as the region was going through great transition. However, coming out of the speech many are questioning the president’s suggestion that Israel should withdrawal to pre-1967 boundaries.”

Heresy of life insurance

Hat tip to my brother, John Garven, for showcasing this article on his blog (http://johngarven.com/)…

Partisan Grading: Democratic Professors Are More Likely to Redistribute Grades Than Republicans

“From a very interesting forthcoming paper in the American Economic Journal titled “Partisan Grading” by economists Talia Bar (Cornell) and Asaf Zussman (Hebrew University)…”

Are Oil Futures Markets Being Manipulated?

“Obama’s newly formed Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is an exercise in futility.”

Stimulus Killed 1 Million Jobs

“An extensive new study conducted by Timothy Conley from the University of Western Ontario, Canada Economics Department and Bill Dupor of Ohio State University Economics Department, shows the trillion dollar … stimulus bill, which President Obama has credited over and over again for “saving and/or creating” thousands of jobs, actually killed 1 million private sector jobs.”

Stephen Colbert’s Free Speech Problem

“The comedian runs up against campaign-finance law in an attempt to lampoon the Supreme Court.”

Meredith Whitney: The Hidden State Financial Crisis

Meredith Whitney’s “…latest research into opaque state financial statements suggests taxpayers will be surprised by how much pensions are underfunded.”

Somali Pirates’ Rich Returns

Piracy is “… a manageable risk, just one line in a complex matrix of calculations that shipping companies must make every day,” and “… 18 vessels have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden this year, 45 vessels have been boarded, and another 45 ships have been fired on. That’s a significant number, but it’s still less than 1 percent of the total shipping traffic. That means piracy remains a decent insurance bet.”

Governments Are The Primary Creators Of Systemic Risk

“The greatest lesson of the still young 21st century is proving to be that governments are the primary source of systemic risk to the economy, our standard of living, and our liberty.”

Some Of Us Aren’t Grossed Out By Profits

“Some of us, believe it or not, aren’t completely grossed out by the notion of profit — even a lot of profit. Strong earnings are good news not only for those dastardly Oil Barons, but for the millions of people who depend on the industry for their employment, as well as the vast number of Americans who rely on investments in oil to bolster their pension funds, retirement funds, college funds, etc.”

Sit Down, Mitt, You’re Not Helping

“Mitt Romney’s reversals on abortion, gay marriage, gun control, campaign finance and immigration leave one with the impression that when Mitt Romney is with you, he’s with you. At least until he leaves the room.”

The Coming Postal Bailout

“The Wall Street Journal on Congress’s bid for taxpayers to save mail worker pensions.”

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