Saturday, May 29, 2010

HOT5 Daily 5/29/2010

1. "The Public Education Spending Binge Must Stop" No to a teachers union bailout.

Representative Sample: For the past several decades, states have acted like a hungry child at an all-you-can-eat buffet. When the economy was good and state revenues were plush, school districts increased staff roles. And more recently, with eyes bigger than their stomachs, a seemingly endless buffet of federal funding has enabled states to continue bloating their staff roles even when state budgets needed trimming.

2. "The limits of libertarianism."An interesting article that attempts to define libertarianism in contrast to liberalism & conservatism.

Representative Sample: I start with a relative loose definition for libertarian and then fine-tune it, hopefully reaching a place that is neither fundamentalist nor meaningless. First, a libertarian starts out with a presumption for liberty. In every situation a libertarian first assumes that the use of state coercion has to be justified on a case-by-case basis. Liberty is the default setting.

3. "The Diplomat: India’s Greatest Threat?" A situation about which most in the west probably know very little.

Representative Sample: They were on the lookout for fighters from the Naxals, an armed group originating in West Bengal that had split off from the Communist Party of India in 1967. Forty-three years on, senior officials in New Delhi consider the Naxals India’s most serious internal threat.

4. "Protestants tempt fate, but atheists don't!" Interesting.

Representative Sample: Jonathan Abramowitz and colleagues, at the University of North Carolina, have done a nice little study into the differences between Protestants and nonbelievers in attitudes towards tempting fate. Technically, this is actually 'thought-action fusion' - a cognitive bias that occurs when people believe that thinking is equivalent to doing, and that thinking can make certain events more probable. It's related to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

5. "Reading list: After the hole is plugged, what’s next?" A good round-up.

Representative Sample: The issue, remember, is not stopping the leak. That is short term. The issue is what comes next.

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