Archive for March, 2009

Build solar! Build wind! … but not in my desert

Monday, March 30th, 2009

A new era is dawning, we’re assured. The dark clouds of industrial pollution (OK, carbon dioxide is colorless, odorless, and non-toxic, but let’s not get bogged down in details) are about to be banished, ushering in a glorious new day of hygienic energy cleanliness and perfectly balanced global neither-warming-nor-cooling. Not a single new nuclear or […]

Which books to collect, and what are they worth?

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

About a year ago, a writer for one of the town’s less-than-everyday papers infamously reported with regret that the Reading Room bookstore at Mandalay Place inside the Mandalay Bay was closing, leaving Las Vegas without any independent booksellers. Las Vegas was not and still is not without independent booksellers, needless to say, and I’m not […]

The deadly dangers of di-hydrogen oxide

Friday, March 27th, 2009

It qualifies as an old schoolboy joke, by now, right up there with “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” Inform someone that the substance di-hydrogen oxide is so corrosive that a new steel nail exposed to the stuff will rust within hours; so deadly that a person attempting to breathe a pure di-hydrogen […]

And now, a billion for the food police?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

President Obama last week accused the Bush administration of creating a “hazard to public health” by failing to curb food contamination problems. Mr. Bush’s successor announced he will form a “Food Safety Working Group” to “upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century.” Money came up. The president will ask Congress for $1 billion […]

‘Simply submit’

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

“I just finished reading the article on Excessive Force on page 2B,” wrote in Ron the Former Police Officer, on March the 5th. “Another person was apparently injured in a police confrontation, followed by the usual lawsuit. As a former police detective, I have a solution on how to avoid 99 percent of all injuries, […]

Prohibitionists won’t stop till every pain patient lives in agony

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

A Southern Nevada lawyer told the Nevada Supreme Court last week that pharmacists, at the least, had a duty to call physicians to voice their concerns before dispensing a narcotic painkiller to a woman who killed a man in a 2004 vehicle crash in Las Vegas. Lawyer Phil Aurbach told justices that Nevada pharmacists continued […]

Now just keep your eye on the three little walnut shells …

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

In a speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, President Barack Obama embraced merit pay for teachers, spelling out a vision of education that, The Associated Press reports, “will almost certainly alienate union backers. “A strategy that ties teacher pay to student performance has for years been anathema to teachers’ unions, a powerful […]

The porkers fight back

Friday, March 13th, 2009

“We are going to ban all earmarks, the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review.” — Barack Obama, Jan. 6, 2009. Perhaps Mr. Obama is the leader of some political party other than that of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Hawthorne, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Barbary Coast. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and other opponents of […]

‘Have you forgotten how much you love to deal with the lawn sprinklers?’

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

As luck would have it, I was up well before the doorbell rang at 7:45 Thursday morning. It was garbage day, when we all celebrate the lobbying talents of Silver State trash-hauling employee Jennifer Simich, who somehow managed to convince then-Las Vegas Councilman (and former cop) Michael McDonald to land her outfit a zillion-year monopoly […]

And they call it ‘change’

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Fortuitously, I recently stumbled on a copy of Henry Hazlitt’s “The Failure of the ‘New Economics’”, 1959, reprinted 1973. The ‘New Economics’ referred to by the esteemed Mr. Hazlitt — who replaced H.L. Mencken as editor of The American Mercury in 1933 and joined the New York Times in 1934, writing financial and economic editorials […]