URLs du Jour


  • Virginia Postrel calls John McCain a demagogic lunatic for his comments on the current financial turmoil, specifically his calling for the firing of SEC Chairman Chris Cox. Professor Bainbridge calls it moronic. The WSJ thinks McCain is scapegoating Cox.

    Well, yeah. He seemed to be diligently at work this week, reminding me why I didn't like him in the primaries.

  • Harvard freshman Jacob Benson relates his experience in an American history class taught by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Ostensibly titled "Pursuits of Happiness: Ordinary Lives in Revolutionary America," it turned, more or less, into an Obama campaign event. She had asked the class to submit a list of things that came to mind about the American Revolution. After a tally was made, she pronounced herself disappointed at how few had written down "slavery".
    This comment began the second half of her lecture, which might well have been titled, “A Short Break From American History to Glorify, Not the Founding Fathers, But Barack Obama.” Professor Ulrich, after mentioning the (real and disturbing) relationship between the founding fathers and slavery, proceeded to play, on two massive projector screens, the first few minutes of Barack Obama’s famed speech on race in Philadelphia this past March.
    Professor Ulrich used to be up here at the University of New Hampshire; when she left for Harvard, it was widely seen as an understandable move for greener—specifically, more lucrative and prestigious—pastures. She's widely known for her book A Midwife's Tale, which won the Pulitzer in 1991, and according to Mrs. Salad, is a good read too. I would expect that she'd be a great history professor. If Harvard were to attempt to justify its stratospheric tuition, she'd be one of the people they'd point to. It's a shame that her class turned into the equivalent of an hour or so of MSNBC, which you can get instead for the price of a Basic Cable subscription.

  • I'm a sucker for state rankings, and also a sucker for economic freedom, so a study that ranks states on economic freedom—well, that's just nifty.

    New Hampshire is only number 8. (South Dakota is first.) That sounds way too low for the Live Free or Die state, but we stick out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the Northeast. (Maine: #35; Vermont #42; Massachusetts #33; Connecticut #39; Rhode Island #49; New York dead last at #50).

    Still, we could do better. But probably won't.