URLs du Jour

2008-08-21

  • If you looked at yesterday's post on the Amethyst Initiative, and your first thought was "Thbpptt! Everyone knows that the Federal mandate of a 21-year-old drinking age saved lives by cutting down drunk driving," then you might want to check this post from Brandon Arnold of Cato@Liberty, who cites a study purporting to debunk that. Abstract:
    The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) is widely believed to save lives by reducing traffic fatalities among underage drivers. Further, the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act, which pressured all states to adopt an MLDA of 21, is regarded as having contributed enormously to this life saving effect. This paper challenges both claims. State-level panel data for the past 30 years show that any nationwide impact of the MLDA is driven by states that increased their MLDA prior to any inducement from the federal government. Even in early adopting states, the impact of the MLDA did not persist much past the year of adoption. The MLDA appears to have only a minor impact on teen drinking.
    As Brandon points out, this does not stop the likes of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) from confidently claiming that "science" is on their side, accusing the Amethyst Initiative of using "deliberately misleading information", and urging people to pressure any university administrator who dared to sign onto Amethyst to withdraw support.
    “As the mother of a daughter who is close to entering college, it is deeply disappointing to me that many of our educational leaders would support an initiative without doing their homework on the underlying research and science,” said [MADD President] Dean-Mooney. “Parents should think twice before sending their teens to these colleges or any others that have waved the white flag on underage and binge drinking policies.”
    It's the nature of MADD to be mad, I guess. For a better argument against the Amethystites, check Steve Chapman at Reason.

  • Tom Smith writes from the Right Coast on John Edwards, mistresses, Russian billionaire oligarchs, and yachts. I'll spoil his bottom line: "Traditional values are once again vindicated."

    Other than that, though, you should read the whole thing.

  • The constant battle of the boys in blue against antisocial behavior is chronicled once again in the Rochester (NH) Police Log. As usual, we have samples:
    Thursday, Aug. 7

    10:58 a.m. — On Governors Road there is a loose cow. Police go to mooove it.

    1:00 p.m. — On Salmon Falls Road a man screams about a computer issue. Millions sympathize.

    4:51 p.m. — On Cross Road a baby skunk has died in a backyard and there are three skunks "out right now." NH Wildlife has called it abnormal, but they could be mourners.

    Friday, Aug. 8

    12:58 p.m. — Profile Bowmen's building has been burgled and a new archery bow stolen. Police aim to target the thief.

    3:59 p.m. — A dog has killed a skunk on Cross Road. Only two left.

    Saturday, Aug. 9

    2:07 a.m. — A generator has been stolen from Royal Crest MHP. It was chained to a deck. Now there are only drag marks.

    Sunday, Aug. 10

    6:18 p.m. — On Warren Street, eight people stand outside a woman's home and yell obscenities about her cat. Robert Welch, 24, of 1 Warren St. is charged with simple assault.

    Monday, Aug. 11

    3:59 p.m. — A woman leaves a purse with over $200 in it on a bench opposite Moe's. Guess what? It's gone.

    Tuesday, Aug. 12

    6:18 p.m. — Down there on Myrtle the fighting folks hurtle, to make sure that they are a part of the fray. There's shoving and shouting, and cuffing and clouting, and there's little doubting, they'll have a nice day.


Last Modified 2008-09-02 11:50 AM EST