A dorky “best of” link to end 2007

The conservative Media Research Council has announced the Best Notable Quotables of 2007. The winner is truly funny, and most are very instructive. However, another entry from the MRC, which arrived in my inbox a week later, caught my attention. It appears sexism against Hillary Clinton has to become a big issue. Whether it’s idiots falling for deliberate trolling, or defenders who need foils for... read more

Juggling matric pass stats

There’s an interesting observation by Naledi Pandor, our education minister, in this story about the declining pass rate for matrics. The article notes that pass rates across the country have declined, year-on-year, but on a growing base. “The national pass rate this year is 65.2 percent compared to 66.5 percent last year, but 368 217 passed Grade 12 this year, a huge increase from the 272 488... read more

Bhutto’s eulogy, in her own words

I’ve been a bit at a loss for something worthwhile to say about Benazir Bhutto’s assassination yesterday. I’ve long been worried about the future of Pakistan and its position in global politics, which is perplexing and complex. The only comment I had upon hearing the news was a short expletive that means nothing and says everything. So perhaps her own words are the most fitting... read more

Could markets make law more efficient?

Interesting article last week in The Times of London, noting the emergence of investments in lawsuits as an asset class. [Investors] are starting to dabble in lawsuit investment, bankrolling some or all of the heavy upfront costs in return for a share of the damages in the event of a win. The London-managed hedge fund MKM Longboat last month revealed plans to invest $100million (£50.5million) to finance... read more

10 reasons to reject global warming still stand

A couple of weeks ago, prompted by a listing of my most popular posts, Nick van der Leek assailed the then most popular (scroll down to the blue text), 10 reasons to reject global warming, which was itself a response to a comment of his on a Maverick magazine column I re-published here. He did this not very well, I might add, and I’ve been idly mulling a mild fisking. This Day of Goodwill Boxing Day... read more

The corporation, licenced to kill?

A frequent theme in political rants, both on the libertarian/anarchist right and the socialist/anarchist left, is the notion of the limited liability company. Usually, the concept of limited liability is defined however it best suits the argument, and usually to negative effect. For example, the film The Corporation (2003) was recently screened on SABC 1 in South Africa. As with most bulk-buy trash, it was... read more

Lame duck? What lame duck?

2007 turned out to be a pretty good year for George W. Bush. Late last year, voters turfed Republicans out of Congress over either lack of spending restraint or dissatisfaction with progress in Iraq or both, depending who you ask. (Robert Novak: war; Alan Greenspan: spending; Rush Limbaugh: both, and liberals suck; Reason magazine: both, and government sucks.) This electoral loss, which meant Bush could no... read more

Deep Impact, step aside

It seems like yesterday, but it’s already over 13 years ago that a comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9, having been broken up into a couple of dozen fragments on its previous pass, spectacularly slammed into Jupiter. It was the first time ever such an impact had been observed, and it was visible not only from Earth, but also from the spacecraft Voyager 2, which had a close-up view. Last year, NASA launched a... read more

« Previous Entries