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links for 2011-05-14

  • Quote:"In an area of China not known to ever contain people, let alone industry, there are three mysterious triangular openings on top of a mountain containing hundreds of ancient rusty iron pipes of unknown origin. Some of the pipes go deep into the mountain. Some of them go into a nearby salt water lake. There are more pipes in the lake, and more still running east-west along the lake shore. Some of the larger pipes are 40 cm in diameter, are of uniform size and are placed in what seems like purposeful patterns.

    // The Baigong Pipes I had never heard of, the others are well documented.

  • Quote:"This paper uses variation across states to estimate the number of jobs created/saved as a result
    of the spending component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The key
    sources of identication are ARRA highway funding and the intensity of state sales tax usage. We
    estimate the Act created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled
    one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds
    were largely used to oset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases (Fig. A) rather than
    boost private sector employment (e.g. Fig. B).

    // Interesting study on the effect of the stimulus. They make strong arguments against the simple Keynesian multiplier calculations. Warning, pdf

  • Quote:"I could go on, but frankly the chart says it all. Your tuition is not going up because of "evil" republicans who want to kick puppies and shave kittens and cut funding. It's going up because the public sector employees at the University of Minnesota are fleecing you and you have been too damn ignorant for too damn long to spend the hour I did researching the damn data to find out the simple truth. And that simple truth is that the University of Minnesota has become (primarily) nothing more than an elaborate scam of career academians and public sector workers to milk taxpayers and tuition-paying students of as much money as possible all while guilt tripping you into paying perpetually more by claiming it's "for educating the children."

    // Word.

  • Quote:"Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

    In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

    "We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

    // While I appreciate the push by the court to not allow the escalation of violence, I'm more concerned that this will encourage more officers to act stupidly in the field and be more willing to force an entry illegally.

  • Quote:"Fudai is the village that survived — thanks to a huge wall once deemed a mayor's expensive folly and now vindicated as the community's salvation.

    The 3,000 residents living between mountains behind a cove owe their lives to a late leader who saw the devastation of an earlier tsunami and made it the priority of his four-decade tenure to defend his people from the next one.

    His 51-foot floodgate between mountainsides took a dozen years to build and meant spending more than $30 million in today's dollars.

    // This goes to show that infrastructure investment really does pay for itself.