Thursday, December 3, 2009

News and Notes - 3 Dec 2009

Odds and ends to ponder while listening to Christmas music.

* Bernanke wants to axe Social Security? Now there's now way he'll get reconfirmed.

Brezenzinski claims US too corrupt to go around asking others, including Afghanistan, to clean up corruption. Ouch.

* 21 Darts [PDF]. All about the new reserves accounting rules in the oil industry. Very snarky. Call the new rules "the equivalent of the repeal of the hydrocarbon Glass-Steagall Act."

* Arming Goldman with Pistols against the public. A must read. So many things that'll drop your jaw. A sample: of Goldman and guns plays right into the way Wall- Streeters like to think of themselves. Even those who were bailed out believe they are tough, macho Clint Eastwoods of the financial frontier, protecting the fistful of dollars in one hand with the Glock in the other.

It's almost impossible for a "peasant" to get a gun permit or a CCW in New York, but if you're a rich Wall Street banker, go ahead! God forbid someone that might actually need one get a permit (like a cabbie), but some spoiled little Goldmanite who barely knows which end the bullets come out can have a permit to carry his Glock in Central Park to fend off the rabble. Also, a great moniker for Goldman: "Arrogant and Prescient."

* Boston Globe: Harvard ignored warnings about investments. Larry Summers lost billions of dollars at Harvard. Now, he's Obama's chief economic advisor. Lovely.

* Remember, Google, don't be evil.

* Food stamp use soars, stigma fades. Bush did one thing right: he worked very hard to eliminate the stigma of Food Stamps. It was renamed "nutritional aid," application was streamlined, and benefits were expanded. Good job, Mr. Bush.

* Terrorist bomb lab found in Ohio.

* From the editorial board of Scientific American: Climate Change Cover Up? You Better Believe It.

* Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, bitter over his ouster. There's a gem at the end: he wants to become a high school teacher now. He's used to dealing with gun-toting, steroid-addled, juvenile minds. He'll be perfect.


* Speaking of homework, here's Obama's speech on science education. My favorite quote: "We're going to show young people how cool science can be."

* Science witnesses the birth of a new species. A new species of Galapagos Finch emerges after decades of observation. Related: The Beak of the Finch. Great book.

* Drilling for Scotch. I wonder what that gusher would be like?

* WSJ: The Return of Tinkering. Honestly, this is one article that has made me very hopeful about the future. Well worth a read. Also: mechanical engineering graduates may soon top 20,000 per year.

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