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Archive for April 2010

Replace Earth Day with Human Achievement Day

I’m against Earth Day, because it elevates nature over humanity; I think it should be the other way around. Some writers who are skeptical of environmentalism have suggested alternative insights into Earth Day. John Tierney in the New York Times offers seven lessons from the 40 years of experience since the first Earth Day: It’s the climate, […]

Centenary of Mark Twain’s death

Thumbnail : Centenary of Mark Twain’s death

Yesterday, April 21st, marked 100 years since the death of Mark Twain, the pen name of Samuel Clemens. “I am not an American,” Twain once said. “I am the American.” Few would disagree. Faulkner called him “the father of American literature”. The photo above shows Twain working in his outdoor octagonal study in Elmira in upstate New […]

SEC-Goldman: enough with the conspiracy talk

The SEC’s filing of a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs is clearly convenient for the Obama administration and the Democrats, considering that this is a critical period for financial reform legislation. But some critics have gone further and suggested that the timing indicates a conspiracy between the SEC and the administration. The SEC is an independent agency, and therefore […]

Victory for free speech and human (not animal) rights

In a defense of the First Amendment free-speech rights, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that banned videos and other depictions of cruel acts against animals. There are a few areas, such as child pornography, where speech is considered to fall outside of the First Amendment. The law effectively sought to have animal […]

Anti-modernists want volcano air delays to continue

It was bad enough that an Icelandic volcano eruption sent ash into the sky to interrupt European flight travel. The situation was made worse by the risk-averse European aviation authorities who were reluctant to lift the ban, on the basis of “precautionary” or worst-case thinking, as Frank Furedi noted. And now, to add insult to injury, […]

Goldman Sachs: villain in a dumbed-down fable

Thumbnail : Goldman Sachs: villain in a dumbed-down fable

UPDATE: This post has been re-published as an article in spiked (here). The media is in a frenzy over Goldman Sachs. On Friday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Goldman Sachs of securities fraud in a civil lawsuit. The SEC claims that the Wall Street giant deceived clients by selling them a subprime mortgage investment […]

Chicago’s art and architecture

Thumbnail : Chicago’s art and architecture

  Chicago has wonderful architecture, public sculpture and art. The photo above shows “Cloud Gate” by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. Below is a picture of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry and home to the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Both “Cloud Gate” and the Pritzker are located in Millenium Park, which is […]

This week’s articles of note

“The comeback country,” Newsweek, by Daniel Gross “Nudge, nudge, wink, wink: behavioral economics – the governing theory of Obama’s nanny state,” Weekly Standard, by Andrew Ferguson “On closing the culture gap,” Seed, by Paul Ehrlich “Everything is contagious: has a plague of social illness struck mankind?” Slate, by Dave Johns “After the flood: the creator of […]

Tea Party “revelations”: will liberals stop obsessing now?

Thumbnail : Tea Party “revelations”: will liberals stop obsessing now?

Today is “Tax Day”, April 15th, the deadline for filing federal income taxes. Predictably, the Tea Party organized gatherings in Washington, D.C. and other cities to protest excessive taxation and spending. And so it was perfect timing for the New York Times to publish the findings of its poll about the composition of the Tea […]

Technical-fix education reforms have failed

I’m in Chicago, and I was pleased to open the Chicago Tribune and read a sensible op-ed by Steve Chapman on education reforms. Considering reform moves over the past two decades, Chapman finds that “Coming up with solutions for public education, it turns out, is easy. Coming up with solutions that actually work – well, that’s […]

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