Monthly Archives: September 2008

More On Obama Yard Signs

They're so popular, people steal them. Or something.

The Wall St. Journal reports on a sign-monitoring scheme: An Obama yard sign is being watched by dozens of viewers on Web in an effort to stop it from being stolen.

(thanks to df)

Posted in Politics: US: 2008 Elections | 1 Comment

Experts Agree: The Bailout is Trouble

Not all experts, but many. Here's Dean Baker at TPM:

Why Bail? The Banks Have a Gun Pointed at Their Head and Are Threatening to Pull the Trigger

I've heard lots of phony stories. Much of the country's political and economic leadership has been running around raising the prospect of the Great Depression and a breakdown in the banking system (I actually had taken the latter seriously). These stories are absolutely not true.

There is no plausible scenario under which the no bailout scenario gives us a Great Depression. There is a more plausible scenario (but highly unlikely) that the bailout will give us a Great Depression. There is no way that the failure to do a bailout will lead to more than a very brief failure of the financial system. We will not lose our modern system of payments.

At this point I cannot identify a single good reason to do the bailout.

Posted in Econ & Money: Mortgage Mess | Leave a comment

Got Milk?

Caroline Bradley asks some worrying questions about melamine in our food supply in (not) understanding food risks.

Here's how it starts,

Reading the recent news about melamine contamination of foods produced in China, and remembering how friends with pets dealt with last year’s pet food melamine contamination problem, I wonder how worried to be. A story which began with problems in infant formula spread to other products made with milk as an ingredient. For example, White Rabbit candy, which, according to the Wikipedia entry has been marketed as a healthy product, is one of the products affected. In deciding how worried to be I would like some data on the risks. The FDA website has a reassuring press release. This morning, the Europa website’s press release page showed a release from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) with a link to a detailed statement assessing the risks (unfortunately, since I first saw the press release it has been pushed off the front page by other news). I’d far rather have details than platitudes, even where the details don’t in the end help me very much.

It doesn't help that this administration probably isn't capable of telling if there's a danger or not, much less leveling with us about it.

Posted in Science/Medicine | Leave a comment

Stuff You Should Read

Posted in Linkorama | Leave a comment

McCain Arcana

Cryptome has links to a .pdf of John Sidney McCain III’s commendations and also the DOD’s copy of a lightly ‘sanitized’ version of John McCain Graduate Thesis on POWs.

Posted in Politics: McCain | Leave a comment

Seth Godin Has Travel Thoughts

Seth's Blog: Random travel thoughts

After inspecting more than twenty million pairs of shoes, have the screeners found even one dangerous pair?

After seven years, why is random yelling still the way that TSA screeners communicate their superstitious rules to people in line? Will this still be true in twenty years?

Why don't we spend some of the time and money we're wasting on security theatre to do things like secure ports or make airport runways safer?

It used to be extremely dangerous to give people on planes a metal butter knife and a fork with their meal. Now, it's apparently no longer dangerous. What happened? If this was an overreaction not based on data, should reexamine other possible overreactions?

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment