URLs du Jour

2007-09-21

  • Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute despises the FDA even more than I, and that's quite a feat:
    The FDA wants your money—it needs your money if it is to continue poorly regulating the safety of drugs and killing citizens by stalling the process of creating new drugs. That is why the house passed a bill that allows the FDA to increase the "fees" they extort from drug and medical device manufacturers. It also gives the agency authority to scrutinize drugs even after they've been introduced on the market, and to mandate label changed.
    Two more paragraphs after that, so go check 'em out.

  • Genius Harvard economics prof Greg Mankiw knows a lot of stuff, but—also important—knows what he doesn't know:
    We economists have rigorous and fundamental theory to explain why we have environmental regulation (externalities) and to explain why we have antitrust laws (market power), but there is no consensus about what market failure calls for the existence of a central bank.
    Prof Mankiw also provides a link to a WSJ story where Comedy Central's Jon Stewart essentially stumps Alan Greenspan on this. What a wonderful country, what a wonderful time we live in. Speak truth to power, Jon!

  • The world waits with bated breath for the latest installment in the Inspector Dan Rather series. (I'm working on a small Perl script to watch Iowahawk's RSS feed, and fire off a message to the official Pun Salad pager when it shows up.)

    Until then, here's Jonah.

    Frankly, we need this. And by "we," I mean a grand coalition of people who delight in watching one of the 20th century's most pompous gasbags fall from the top of the laughingstock tree and hit every branch on the way down
    "Indeed."

  • I've always tried to avoid "emoticons" in my online prose; my logic is, if the plain old English words on the screen don't adequately communicate (say) my amusement, then I should work harder on the words, not give up and append a smiley to them.

    Anyway, you may have read about the 25th anniversary of the ASCII smiley a few days ago. Benjamin Zimmer at Language Log commemorates the occasion by excavating the prehistory of the emoticon, which goes all the way back to 1887 and Mr. Ambrose Bierce.

    And I'm not kidding. :-)


Last Modified 2007-09-22 8:02 AM EST