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End of Week Link Dump

Top ten moments of the 15 year history of the Internet, my vote: Dan Rather

Pinky and The Brain. Let’s keep those mice in a cage.

Jim Cramer Bio. He went from a $15,000 a year job to a net worth of 50-100 million dollars.

Siskel and Ebert weren’t exactly “friends”

The Life of Roger Ebert

James Lileks is funny

America’s richest fictional characters. How on Earth is Mr. Burns only worth a billion dollars?

Novel about nuke power from nuke engineer. I haven’t started to read it yet, but I’ll probably do a full review on it when I do.

I don’t know why I do it, but I get into an online flamewar here. It’s about mandatory student services fees, so it’s not that interesting.

Get RSS feeds in Gmail.

Cool artifacts.

Space artifact.

Hollywood is hurting.

This person needs a little “Christmas Spirit” (Caution, very profane).

America in color before there was color, sorta.


Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene

I borrow this concept from economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell, if you don’t know him, you should.

In Freakonomics, economist Steven Levitt destroys the notion that elections are won with money. Levitt doesn’t claim to know what does win elections, but he’s certain that only 1% of any vote can be “bought.” As someone who has studied and been in numerous campaigns, I can tell you what does work, having a candidate doorknock. People are more likely to vote for someone they’ve met. It also helps if you’re more handsome/attractive than your opponent.

The more I talk to people, the more I am convinced that persuasion doesn’t persuade, only facts do.

People who think affirmative Action will stop racism are flat wrong. It could be argued that the propinquity effect will create less racism in the workforce, however you will create a racist of every person who loses, or perceives [s]he loses, their chance at a job or an education due to affirmative action. Bitterness in people doesn’t go away quickly or easily.

The people who are saying “there is no war on Christmas” are the same people who claim that there is no media bias.

The reason carbonated beverages contain (for the most part) high fructose corn syrup is because sugar in this nation is subsidized by price regulations. It is cheaper to use corn syrup than sugar because of this policy. This raises the cost of your favorite colas. It also makes those colas even more unhealthy, because it takes more corn syrup (and more calories) to get the same level of sweetness than if they used regular sugar. Thanks big government for making pop/soda/cola more expensive and less healthy.

You get less energy out of ethanol than you put into it. You’d be better off putting up solar panels and running electric cars from those fields used to make corn based ethanol.

There is a way to create almost limitless energy on the cheap in a safe way. It’s called Nuclear Power. It works. Building new nuclear power plants would actually be safer than continuing to use the old ones. There has been a lot of progress made in nuclear energy safety in the 40 years since we last made a plant. Plants made today in other countries have better overall safety than the ones we use today.

The same thing goes for oil refineries.

Large militaries are a deterrent to foreign aggressors. Unwillingness to use them is not a deterrent. Reagan understood this well, he built up the military and made everyone know he was willing to use it. This allowed us to end the cold war and liberate millions of people from the evil history (as it was described to me by a Marxist professor) of the Soviet Union.

If we do not complete the work in Iraq, we will have not only failed to deter terrorists, we will hand them a victory that would further encourage them to continue aggressions against us.

The Clinton economy of the 1990’s was built upon the dotcom bubble and questionable accounting (Enron) practices. It was not an authentic “boom” but one built upon wishful thinking. The Bush economy has been built by wary Bear investors and solid fiscal and monetary policy. I’m happy I’m coming of age in the latter.

Our country, in its infancy, received foreign help in overturning our oppressors. Why should it be so wrong that the United States should help foreign nations in ousting their oppressors?