Choice Matters: Education Division

3 February 2009 18:10

There are some policy ideas that one supports while recognising that they may come with costs, in some cases considerable costs (eg, drug legalisation, open borders, etc etc.) But I… Continue reading


The Day the Music Died

3 February 2009 17:04

Fifty years, then, since Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the "Big Bopper" died. Yet it could have been even worse: Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on that plane too:… Continue reading


Department of Pronunciation

3 February 2009 15:36

A friend’s wife was conducting a teacher training session in Anacostia, Washington DC the other day:  "In one of the classes that she worked in there were two children with… Continue reading


In Praise of Minority Government.

3 February 2009 14:47

Oh dear. I’m afraid I must take issue with Fraser. He claims that last week’s budget entertainment at the Scottish Parliament demonstrates the weakness of minority government. Maybe so, but… Continue reading

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Organ Markets

3 February 2009 1:10

Interesting piece from ABC News about people trying to find kidney donors via Craigslist. This leapt out however: But some families who talked to ABC News say once they find… Continue reading


License to Print Money

2 February 2009 23:54

The nice people at the Tote would like to give you some money. How else to explain their generous decision to permit you to back Shivnarine Chanderpaul to be the… Continue reading


Michael Steele & Dog Whistles

2 February 2009 19:10

Ta-Nehisi Coates is encouraged by Michael Steele’s election as chairman of the RNC: I have no idea whether Steele will be any good, but I think his selection marks the… Continue reading


Michael Phelps: Another Victim of Drug War Hysteria

2 February 2009 17:07

So Michael Phelps smokes marijuana from time to time. Big deal. What a shame though that he’s released this statement: "I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad… Continue reading


Workers of the World: Vote in Our Poll

2 February 2009 16:06

Just like at the mother-blog, many commenters here seem disinclined to endorse my euro-happy celebration of the freedome of movement for labour, capital and goods. ‘Tis the nature of the… Continue reading


Jonathon Porritt: Stupid and Wicked.

1 February 2009 15:19

Tim Worstall rightly says this is stupid. I’d go further and also call it wicked. Couples who have more than two children are being “irresponsible” by creating an unbearable burden… Continue reading


The Roger and Rafa Show

1 February 2009 13:50

There isn’t anything in any sport better right now than the rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. This morning they produced another five set epic that was a fitting… Continue reading


The Bearded Wonder Was Right

31 January 2009 1:18

Sad news that Bill Frindall has been run out, courtesy of a dodgy call from the non-strikers’ end. From the BBC’s tribute: "These are serious men, who will take up… Continue reading


British jobs are not just for British workers. That’s a good thing.

30 January 2009 19:08

It’s just like old times isn’t it? A Labour government, economic catastrophe and now, wildcat strikes across the country. It serves the Prime Minister right too. His demagogic promise of… Continue reading


Lessons from Tyler

30 January 2009 16:59

At an Economist roundtable, Tyler Cowen makes a bold suggestion: First, to the extent that the real problem is fear, this militates in favour of placebo policies. By that I… Continue reading


GOP Heads in the Sand

30 January 2009 15:28

Oh dear. Jonah Goldberg has been in Britain and he doesn’t like what he sees. Fair enough, there’s plenty to deplore about the present government. But what Goldberg is most… Continue reading


The Segolene Show Runs and Runs

30 January 2009 14:17

The old line de mortuis nil nisi bonum has been joined, these days, by a convention that vanquished politicians respect the verdict of the electorate and mumble something nice about… Continue reading


"The concept of good and bad schools is false"

30 January 2009 3:53

Meanwhile, away from the budget ballyhoo comes a reminder of one of the problems afflicting Scotland: the teaching unions. Today sees the publication of an eminently sensible report from the… Continue reading


Holyrood Drama? Not so fast, my friends!

30 January 2009 3:09

Well, that didn’t last long. The entertainment (see yesterday’s post) at Holyrood seems to be coming to an end. As predicted by Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting, there seems every… Continue reading


Talk Radio Governance?

30 January 2009 0:44

Arizona’s John Kyl had this to say about the Republican attitude to the stimulus package: "They can cram down a stimulus package without Republican support," said Kyl, "but if that… Continue reading


Obama’s Trade Credentials

29 January 2009 17:46

The stimulus bill working its way through the Congressional sausage-grinder contains "Buy American" provisions that are, unsurprisingly, resisted by American companies that like selling things overseas. Not unreasonably they fear… Continue reading


Holyrood Drama! For Real!

29 January 2009 16:54

So, what to make of yesterday’s drama at the Scottish Parliament? First things first: it’s good to have some actual drama. Secondly, the failure to pass a budget marks the… Continue reading


White House Style

29 January 2009 14:40

At long last, the long national nightmare is over. From a fun NYT piece on Obama’s looser White House regime: If there is one thing Mr. Obama has not gotten… Continue reading


Do the Republicans have a plan?

29 January 2009 14:00

Good question! One of the odder aspects of American politics – at least for foreigners used to the rough and tumble of the House of Commons – is the elevation… Continue reading


Our Age of Abundance

29 January 2009 4:40

Despite the tenor of the times, it is still the case that almost all of us have never had it so good. As Brad DeLong writes at The Week: The… Continue reading


Chutzpah of the Day

28 January 2009 19:17

Gerry Adams, writing in the Guardian: The recent assault on Gaza is a brutal reminder of the destructive power of war and of the human cost of failure. It is… Continue reading