In yesterday's post in which I applied the Third Pillar of Economic Wisdom to some decisions made near the end of the Superbowl game, I didn't challenge the conventional wisdom that say that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made a bad decision about the play call on the second down.
In his recent trip to India, President Obama repeated a long-standing pattern of his — denigrating the United States to foreign audiences. He said that he had been discriminated against because of his skin color in America, a country in which there is, even now, "terrible poverty."
Obama reiterated in his State of the Union address that he is committed to closing Guantanamo: “Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half. Now it is time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It is not who we are. It’s time to close Gitmo.”
Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper has become a popular if controversial sensation. Critics accuse it of glamorizing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, while many have rushed to Kyle’s and the movie’s defense. But one aspect of the debate has gone largely unexamined: How historically accurate is the film?
It’s pretty embarrassing when the on-line comments about an article are more logical and knowledgeable than the article. Such is the case with a Wall Street Journalop-ed last week that argued Muslim violence does not reflect traditional Islamic doctrine, but is merely a case of arrested historical development. The whole argument is a tissue of logical fallacies and historical ignorance.
It was refreshing to see meteorologists apologize for their dire — and wrong — predictions of an unprecedented snow storm that they had said would devastate the northeast. It was a big storm, but the northeast has seen lots of big snow storms before and will probably see lots of big snow storms again. That's called winter.
The Hoover Institution Press today released Ronald Reagan: Decisions of Greatness, the latest work of Martin and Annelise Anderson. This book offers new perspectives on one of President Ronald Reagan’s greatest accomplishments: persuading the Soviets to reduce their nuclear arsenals and end the Cold War.
The past suggests that for the short term ISIS does not represent a significant threat to the strategic security of the First World’s homelands. A few returnees may slip though the intelligence net, but it is unlikely that they will cause anything other than local mayhem. Such acts may cause similar overreactions among the security fanatics, as was the case after 9/11, and undoubtedly will excite the media enormously; but the damage they might inflict will remain limited.
Remember the 1960s? The 1970s? Back then, inflation surged from one peak to another but failed to deliver the low unemployment rates promised by the Phillips curve. In fit of frustration, economist Arthur Okun invented what he called the misery index—the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates. As the following chart shows, those were miserable years indeed.