Assorted Links (7/10/2013)

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

Pallotta on Charity and the Culture of the Non-Profit Sector

“Dan Pallotta, Chief Humanity Officer of Advertising for Humanity and author of Uncharitable talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Pallotta argues that charities are deeply handicapped by their culture and how we view them. The use of overhead as a measure of effectiveness makes it difficult for charities to attract the best talent, advertise, and invest for the future. Pallotta advocates a new culture for non-profits that takes the best aspects of the for-profit sector to enhance the mission and effectiveness of charities.”

The Story Of An Incredible Escape From North Korea

A total stranger helped Hyeonseo Lee pay her mother and brother’s way out of jail as they fled from North Korea. Now, four years later, Lee has been reunited with that stranger, getting the chance to thank him in person.


“People who have been trying to control your life since Reason (Magazine) was founded in 1968.”  Truly an impressive list!

The Myth of Unreligious America

“Most of those who say they have ‘no religion’ on surveys also pray. Half believe in angels.”

Horseless Carriages to Driverless Cars

“In The Wall Street Journal, Information Age columnist Gordon Crovitz writes that self-driving cars will arrive sooner than we think.”

Put Him Down as ‘Uncommitted’: @jamestaranto on new studies of cohabitation and adultery

“A new study suggests cohabitation is a bad bargain for women, James Taranto writes.”

Math, Science Popular Until Students Realize They’re Hard

“Math and science majors are popular until students realize what they’re getting themselves into, according to new research.”

Six Inconvenient Truths About Obamacare

“The White House’s decision last week to delay part of its health-care overhaul illustrates six truths about the law that its supporters can’t easily acknowledge.”  Tip of the hat to Bloomberg View columnist, American Enterprise Institute Fellow, and National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru for this article…

Obama Suspends the Law

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael McConnell writes that like King James II, the president decides not to enforce laws he doesn’t like. That’s an abuse of power.” 

Obamacare honor system: Admin will take enrollees’ word on income, insurance status

This is totally surreal… “The Obama administration quietly announced Friday that it is rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that the new insurance exchanges verify applicants’ income and insurance status, according to news reports.”

Kling on the Three Languages of Politics

According to Arnold Kling, the author of “The Three Languages of Politics”, Progressives, Conservatives and Libertarians employ three different axes/lenses/heuristics, for seeing the world; here are some interesting quotes from this podcast:

“Progressives organize the good and the bad in terms of oppression and the oppressed, and they think in terms of groups. So, certain groups of people are oppressed, and certain groups of people are oppressors. And so the good is to align yourself against oppression, and the historical figures that have improved the world have fought against oppression and overcome oppression.”

Conservatives use the axis of “…civilization and barbarism… The good is civilized values that have accumulated over time and have stood the test of time; and the bad is barbarians who try to strike out against those values and destroy civilization.”

Libertarians use the axis of “… freedom versus coercion, so that good is individuals making their own choices, contracting freely with each other; and the bad is coercion… particularly on the part of governments.”

The Writing of a Great Address

WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan provides a compelling narrative about the writing of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

Why I’m Not Cheering Along With My Fellow Egyptians

Very sobering assessment of Egypt’s past, present, and future..

Meet Park Sang Hak, North Korea’s ‘Enemy Zero’

“In The Wall Street Journal, David Feith interviews Park Sang Hak, a North Korean dissident who enrages Pyongyang by sending balloons aloft with leaflets about freedom. South Korea isn’t too happy with him either.”

Rich Lowry – An Obamacare Surrender

“Delaying the employer mandate signals massive system failure, not mere incompetence.”

Why The Rise Of Wendy Davis Could Actually Spell Trouble For Texas Democrats

“For every progressive, she’s probably amped up at least three pro-lifers.”

America’s Birthday: The True Meaning of July 4 (Part 1)

“The Declaration of Independence is the birth announcement of the American Republic. Do we understand its full meaning? Does our modern Republic live up to its promise?”  Also see Part 2 @ and Part 3 @

How Bureaucrats Captured Government

“Like reforming the spoils system of the 19th century, dealing with today’s incompetent, lazy, and corrupt public employees is a good deal easier said than done. As always with human affairs, self-interest rules.”

How busybodies keep burning the poor

“At the heart of the left’s vision of the world is the implicit assumption that high-minded third parties like themselves can make better decisions for other people than those people can make…”

Companies Jumpy over Upcoming Obamacare Provisions

From the trade publication CFO Magazine, more on the unintended consequences of the so-called Affordable Care Act affecting employment and compensation policies of the private sector of the US economy…

Health-Law Employer Mandate Delayed by U.S. Until 2015

This is NOT a coincidence, and the decision to delay implementation by 1 year has nothing to do with “needing the time to get this right” (in Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett’s own words). As this article points out, “The decision pushes the issue past the 2014 midterm congressional elections, as Republicans have sought to make the health law a symbol of government overreach.” Out of sight, out of mind…

John Fund – Hollywood, the Nazis, and the Chi-Coms

“Movie moguls once collaborated with Nazis. Are they now kowtowing to Chinese Communists?”

Polygamy now!

“NOW that the federal government recognizes the marriages of same-sex couples from enlightened states, what’s next? Polygamy? Well, polygamists are hopeful…”

Illiberal Education and the ‘Heart of the Matter’

“A new report on the humanities and social sciences misses a big reason they’re in trouble.”

The Man Who Dissected ‘The Liberal Mind’

This Wall Street Journal retrospective on the life and academic career of the late Kenneth Minogue, professor of political philosophy at London School of Economics, is definitely worth a read. Quoting from this article, “In (his book) “The Liberal Mind” he (Minogue) chastised establishment elites who viewed humanity’s every challenge as an opportunity for government intervention. He wanted to find solutions and help those who needed it, but he doubted that suffering could be eliminated by government bureaucracy.”

Obama Rating Drops Sharply in CNN Poll

“A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday showed that President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped to 45% — down eight points — in the last month, marking his lowest rating in the poll since November 2011.”

The Media and Wendy Davis

“The press’s one-sided abortion coverage, yet again.”

Scoring drugs

“A new study suggests alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack…”

Drinking habits

“THE world drank the equivalent of 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2005, according to a report from the World Health…”

Germany Summons U.S. Ambassador Over NSA Allegations

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government demands clarity from the U.S. over allegations that the National Security Agency spied on European Union institutions.”

A Missed Opportunity on Racial Preferences

Interesting commentary from the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal by Theodore R. Johnson, who has served as a military professor at the Naval War College and as a 2011-12 White House Fellow.

Medicare by the Scary Numbers

“White House spin pretends otherwise, but the unfunded liabilities may exceed $100 trillion.”

Did Poor Math Skills Cause Subprime Meltdown?

“Economists have offered intricate explanations for what caused the rash of subprime defaults. A new study suggests that it might have been as simple as not being able to perform basic math calculations.”

Social Security Kept Paying Benefits to 1,546 Deceased

“The Social Security Administration’s inspector general on Monday said the agency improperly paid $31 million in benefits to 1,546 Americans believed to be deceased.”

Constitutional Threats Trump Terror

“If it is true that the NSA is routinely collecting information that originates within the borders of the U.S. and is associated with or can be easily associated with American citizens who are unconnected to any crime, then the Fourth Amendment is under attack.”

Stephens: The Age of American Impotence

“As the Edward Snowden saga illustrates, the Obama administration is running out of foreign influence.”

On GPAs and Brain-teasers: New Insights From Google On Recruiting and Hiring

“We found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time.”

Of Burgers, Bikinis and ObamaCare

“In The Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley interviews Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants. The man who revived Carl’s Jr. explains why he’s not expanding in California and how the Affordable Care Act is hurting employment.”

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