Svalbart
The crimeless, jobful, and not-quite-but-a-little Randian utopia of Svalbard (above).

Rail boosters point to this, which says that over half of train riders did not have a car to make the trip. Important to know. Also important to know – as we figure out where we should put our transit dollars – the same is true of three-quarters of bus riders.

It’s often assumed that one of the reasons that health care costs are as high as they are is because we incentivize more – rather than better – care in how we compensate doctors. An experiment with pharmaceuticals demonstrates that it’s more complicated than that.

Dubai is building a temperature-controlled city.

Australia is often torn between the costs and benefits between a good relationship with the US and a good one with China. China is, apparently, making their choice easier.

We’re going to start giving planets cooler names.

Population growth is stressing Seattle’s sushi.

The vigor and frailty of the California economy.

Whether he intends to or not, Mike Rowe seems on his way to becoming a Republican icon.

After spending so much effort and money trying to get people to drive low-mileage cars, it is rather humorous to change tax laws to make sure that they – who did what everyone was implored to do – pay more taxes and fees.

Once upon a time, there was a brave soul who stood up to popular opinion in order to do the right thing. His name was George W. Bush, and he was outvoted 29-to-1.

HSR booster James Fallows gives space for the arguments against high speed rail. Uncle Steve actually has one of the better counterarguments, which is that HSR isn’t supposed to help Central Valley as much as allow urbanites to more easily avoid it.

Dmiti Mehlhorn argues that progressives shouldn’t support public workers unions anymore. More from David Schuler.

Maybe we kind of want our surgeons to be… the way that stereotypical surgeons are.

China thinks they could take us in a war. David Axe argues that they’re overlooking something significant: our undersea fleet.


Category: Newsroom

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6 Responses to Linkluster Words in the Ten Commandments

  1. Peter says:

    The article on Svalbard is another example of NYT cluelessness. It proclaims that the island has very little crime despite a big immigrant population and then goes on to say that there are many Thais, Chinese and Ukranians. Well, heck. Those aren’t the sort of immigrants responsible for crime and poverty in Europe, as the article writer surely knows.

    • trumwill says:

      I would argue that the issue with Svalbard is less where the immigrants come from, and more to do with the fact that there are filters in place.

      When you’re selecting immigrants, based on resumes in this case, it’s relatively easy to get good immigrants from just about anywhere. Especially if there are work requirements.

      On the other hand, you might expect some problems simply on the basis that the place has almost no cultural identity of its own. I wouldn’t have bet either way on that, but it looks to me like the filters and job requirements trump whatever effect there is with that.

      • Peter says:

        Yes, that’s true. Consider how Pakistani immigrants in the United States seem reasonably prosperous and adjusted, notwithstanding the big cultural differences, while in Britain their experience has been far worse (though perhaps some of the blogosphere’s horror stories are a bit exaggerated). Those who come to the US are often from Pakistan’s educated elite or at least middle class, while in Britain they’re from the lower classes.

  2. as we figure out where we should put our transit dollars – the same is true of three-quarters of bus riders

    FWIW, bus riders in general tend to be more likely to be people who don’t have access to a car, as those with a car are more likely to bypass that weak link. There are plenty of people around here who have no problems with parking at a train station, but the entire idea of riding the bus to said train station is “un-American”.

  3. which is that HSR isn’t supposed to help Central Valley as much as allow urbanites to more easily avoid it.

    Which doesn’t make sense given that the planners have engineered the line to actually run in the Central Valley. They actually rejected the I-5 routing to ensure that places like Bakersfield and Fresno wouldn’t get second rate branch service. Hell, they wanted to add more stops, but some counties and municipalities are pretty much trying to chase the line away.

    Plus, given modern signaling and railway design, you can get away with a 125 mph local service on the same tracks as the 200 mph express service. The English currently do that now with their high speed line where the express services run to France and the local services make local stops on the line and run off onto classical railways.

    FWIW, the reason that the line is starting off in the middle of “nowhere” is primarily because the engineering there is complete, but other alignments are still being finalized with other sections of the line. Even if it remains the only segment in use, you’d still get a decent bypass with faster speeds than the current line that’s in use now. Ideally, CAHSR can move quickly to finalize design and engineering on the link between Palmdale and Bakersfield as that section currently as NO rail service. Do that, and we can run a minimum level of service that can connect the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southland. As I like to note, the French high speed rail network didn’t start off with one big trunk, but as a section at a time cutting down on travel time…

  4. Dmiti Mehlhorn argues that progressives shouldn’t support public workers unions anymore.

    It’s admittedly a personal issue for me since I’m admittedly the son a former civil servant that had generous union negotiated benefits. FWIW, it’s a big problem because as the article noted, the benefits are soaking up much of the financial capacity of municipal and state governments, but given the high cost of living and some of the jobs involved are very blue collar positions (trackworkers, DOT crews, sanitation workers)*, it would look bad if the government was paying low wages to its employees. OTOH, it admittedly gets away with that sometimes via contractors…

    *I suspect the solution may be simply be high wages + generous 401k matching, higher retirement ages for white collar workers, and Obamacare exchanges for those who retire early.

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