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Dyson on AGW

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Analyzing the 97% number

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Sanctified Tantrums

Mahmoud Abbas

From The Islamic Tantrum by Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal:

Before Friday’s carnage in the City of Light, the world was treated to the hideous spectacle of Palestinians knifing Jews in Israel. The supposed motive of these stabbings was a rumor among Palestinians—fanned by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—that the Israeli government intended to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

This was a story the Israeli government adamantly denied and every serious person knew was false. Yet no senior Western leader dared call out Mr. Abbas to correct the record. Palestinian tantrums are sanctified tantrums. The violence they breed might be condemned, but the narrative on which they rest has the status of holy writ. It is no more to be questioned than the Quran is to be burned.

“To counteract the radicalization [in Europe],” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in a televised interview only hours after the Paris attacks, “we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East in which . . . the Palestinians see that there is no future; we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”

Here was the sanctified tantrum par excellence: People murder and maim because they have been put (by Israel) to a bleak choice. Rage is not to be condemned but understood, mitigated and mollified.

Now 129 people are dead in Paris because Europe decided to make a fetish of its tolerance for intolerance and allow the religious distempers of its Islamist communities to fester over many years. That’s what happens when you sanctify political tantrums, explain and appease them, refuse to name them, try to look away.

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Political Skepticism

From Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek, Sometimes There Are No Good Options:

Whenever I hear politicians and their deputies discuss the subject that I know best, economics, they typically get it wrong.  And they get it wrong not in minor ways; they get it wrong in fundamental ways.  They frequently speak and write as if trade-offs don’t exist – as if the titles of statutes determine the outcomes of statutes – as if prices are arbitrary numbers that can be manipulated by government with no undesirable or unintended consequences – as if the benefits of international trade are “our” exports while the costs of such trade are our imports – as if nations “compete” against each other economically – as if the destruction wrought by natural disasters has an economic upside – as if government officials are immune to the knowledge constraints and self-interested motivations that affect actors in private markets.

In short, when the subject of discussion or the object of action is the economy, politicians and their deputies typically sound and act as if they are imbeciles (or as if the audiences they aim to please are made up largely of imbeciles).  So why should I trust that these same politicians and their deputies, when they discuss and act on matters about which I know far less than economics, are not imbeciles?  Why should I suppose them to be any more informed, reasonable, and wise – and less politically motivated – than they are when they discuss economics?


In the economy there is at least a choice between private and public action that does not exist in foreign affairs.

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The Threshold becomes a Wall to Growth

Doctor Leo Spaceman

Health Care Law Forces Businesses to Consider Growth’s Costs by Stacy Crowley at The New York Times

When LaRonda Hunter opened a Fantastic Samshair salon 10 years ago in Saginaw, Tex., a suburb of Fort Worth, she envisioned it as the first of what would eventually be a small regional collection of salons. As her sales grew, so did her business, which now encompasses four locations — but her plans for a fifth salon are frozen, perhaps permanently.

“The margins are not big enough within our industry to support it,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t want to — I love my employees, and I want to do everything I can for them — but the numbers just don’t work.”

HKO- how hard was this to predict