Archive for November, 2004

Kerry And Timberland

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 reports that sales of the coat Joh Kerry wore on the campaign trail are up:

Kerry’s campaign fashion trademark, his wheat-colored Timberland barn coat, has caused a spike in sales of the jackets. “It does seem to be getting a big lift,” says Woolrich marketing director Tim Joseph. Barn coat sales typically drop off when winter arrives, but not this year. “We are somewhat inclined to attribute it to the fact that there was a fashion push on this with Kerry,” says Joseph. Kerry snagged his coat last winter at a Timberland factory store in New Hampshire, home of the firm.

Educating Foreigners

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Fareed Zakaria writes Condi Rice must make sure foreigners are able to get visas for education:

As Condoleezza Rice enters the State Department, she will face a number of pressing foreign policy problems that she cannot solve. This will not be for lack of effort or intelligence on her part. It’s just that many foreign policy crises involve the interests and activities of countries across the globe, and changing them takes time. And even then, whether it’s Iran, North Korea or Darfur, there is no quick fix that Washington can impose. But there is a growing danger for the United States that needs urgent attention, that can be solved and that is almost entirely within Rice’s power to handle. It’s the foreign visa crisis. Left unattended, it is going to have deep and lasting effects on American security and competitiveness.

The facts are plain. U.S. visa procedures have become far too cumbersome, and bureaucrats are turning down far more applications than ever before. One crucial result is the dramatic decline of foreign students in the United States — the first shift downward in 30 years. Three new reports document the magnitude of this fall. Undergraduate enrollment from China dropped 20 percent this year; from India, 9 percent; from Japan, 14 percent. The declines are even worse in graduate schools: applications from China have dropped 45 percent; from India, 28 percent

Some Americans might say, “Good riddance, it’s their loss.” Actually the greater loss is ours. American universities benefit from having the best students from across the globe. But the single most deadly effect of this trend is the erosion of American capacity in science and technology. The U.S. economy has powered ahead in large part because of the amazing productivity of America’s science and technology. Yet that research is now done largely by foreign students. The National Science Board (NSB) documented this reality last year, finding that 38 percent of doctorate holders in America’s science and engineering workforce are foreign-born. Foreigners make up more than half of the students enrolled in science and engineering programs. The dirty little secret about America’s scientific edge is that it’s largely produced by foreigners and immigrants.

Americans don’t do science anymore. The NSB put out another report this year that showed the United States now ranks 17th (among developed nations) in the proportion of college students majoring in science and engineering. In 1975 the United States ranked third. The recent decline in foreign applications is having a direct effect on science programs. Three years ago there were 385 computer science majors at MIT. Today there are 240. The trend is similar at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of California at Berkeley.

Falling foreign enrollments will produce a broader but no less profound loss for the United States. America has spread its interests, ideas and values across the world by many means, but perhaps the single most effective one has been by educating the world’s elites. For example, Western ideas about the benefits of free markets and free trade have become the global standard. This may have much to do with Western foreign and trade policies. But surely this shift has been strengthened and facilitated by the fact that so many of the people in the ministries of finance, trade and industry in the developing world were educated at Western universities. The U.S. government can claim little credit for Chile’s remarkable and successful free-market revolution. But the University of Chicago — which trained most of the economists who spearheaded those reforms in Santiago — can. Foreign students return home from the United States bringing with them an appreciation for U.S. values, ideas and, indeed, for America itself.

The hegemony of ideas is often a greater and more lasting source of power than brute force. When historians write about our times, they will certainly note that America dominated the international agenda for decades through this distinctive form of power.

America needs immigrants to be educated in the U.S. now more than ever.

Hip-Hop Dancing Is Stupid

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Beer and writes that hip-hop dancing is stupid. Quote:

This shit is about all them loser ass bitchmade after school special ed high school MTV bullshit hip-hop dance team bitches. FUCK THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS. I can’t stand those elbow jab I rock wristbands to save the last dance type fuckheads. It pisses me off so much that these motherfuckers call themselves hip-hop dancers. Just because they do your shitty dance moves in “hip-hop” videos does not fucking mean you are hip-hop or that you’re on the level of a b-boy. Straight up the only shit that deserves to be called “hip-hop dance” is motherfucking breaking. That’s it. You want to know why? Because hip-hop isn’t some soft ass aerobics class bullshit made for soccermoms and Made rejects.

“Hip-hop dance” is suppose to be based around crews not fucking dance companies. You know what dance companies are for? For helping white girls not be as fat and look “urban” on MTV. Fuck that shit. You’re totally fucked if you’re trying to be down by getting into hip-hop dance because everyone knows the fanciest of hip-hoppers are b-boys so if you can’t get down with that and need to bring it on some uber-soft dance steez then get the fuck out of this shit. You have no fucking business associating yourself with hip-hop at fucking all. Leave that shit for fucking losers on Dance 360. Wade Robson is not hip-hop, he’s an aerobics class fantasy. Take those Honey type maneuvers and shove them up your motherfucking asshole bitches.

What bothers me the most about this shit isn’t even really the dancing at all. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not a fan of dancing at all unless you can hurt yourself or someone else doing it, specifically by hitting or kicking them in the face. But what fucking agitates me about this shit is that they try to tag Hip-Hop along with this shit to give it more “flava.” Get your own fucking “flava” you jackasses. Backup dancers are a fucking joke. Stop trying to get over by associating your soft shit with hip-hop. Hip-hop is about killing people not Jessica Alba trying to dance her way to the fucking top.

Bobb Barr: Patriot Act Needs Changes

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Former Republican Congressman Bobb Barr recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal about changes needed to be made in the Patriot Act. Barr suggests the provisions in the law that needs to be changed the most are the “sneak and peek provision” and what has come to be known as the “library records” provision. Quote:

Reasonable critics of the expansive provisions of the Patriot Act, on both sides of the aisle and in both Houses, have introduced legislation that would implement these modest changes. Far from gutting the Act, these would secure the important powers of the law, but place modest limits on their use. For most of us who voted for the Act, what sealed the deal was the inclusion of provisions that would require us to take a sober second look at the most contentious provisions in the Act by the end of 2005, before reauthorizing them. That time is coming, and the Justice Department does not want to lose the emergency powers it won in the aftermath of 9/11. But Congress should resist its overtures, move forward on the sunsets, and enact additional Patriot fixes if it believes them needed.

FreedomWorks list 10 Outrageous Taxes

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

FreedomWorkslinks to the 10 most outrageous taxes. Most importantly

1. The Illegal Drug Tax. This is the moment we have all been waiting for…number one on our countdown.. Do you live in Alabama, North Carolina, or Nevada and possess illicit drugs? If so, shame on you for not purchasing a stamp that registers tax payments on the drugs. In order to pay the aforementioned drug tax, simply go to your Department of Revenue and pay a small fee for a stamp that is to be placed on the container of your drugs (stamp cost is determined by the amount of drugs you have). The stamp serves as evidence that you paid your tax so when you get arrested for possession, you won’t be fined an increased amount based on not paying your drug tax. Oh and there is no need to worry that a Narc will be working behind the counter at your local Revenue Office, as it is illegal for revenue employees to divulge any information about you to the authorities. Never mind the junkies and beatniks that have drugs to be registered; what were the legislators who created this outlandish law on when they enacted it?

Link via Mises Institute Blog

Pro-Life Musicians

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Byron Crawford argues that Ben Folds is a huge pro-lifer. I don’t even know who Ben Folds is.

Taking Advantage Of ODB’s Death

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Hashim Warren breaks down who will profit over ODB’s death.

Radical Cowboys: No Blood For Oil!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Damon Morris argues that we should consider drilling in ANWR. Morris speaks on the issue as someone who has actually been to ANWR.

Flat Tax

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Dr. Madsen Pirie elaborates on the flat tax and its revenue implications. The flat tax has been successfull in Hong Kong, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Russia.

Red State, Blue State, Purple State

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Kevin Drum analyzes the red state, blue state meme.

Link via Matthew Yglesias