Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Foreseeable Future Did Not Last Long

March 18, 2013 (The Atlantic):
"The days of $100-a-barrel crude, [Saudi Arabia's longtime oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi] told the crowd, are here 'for the foreseeable future.'
December 3, 2014 (Wall Street Journal):
"OPEC’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, now believes oil prices could stabilize at around $60 a barrel...
Brent crude dropped 62 cents a barrel to $69.92 on Wednesday.
[Saudi Oil Minister] Mr. al-Naimi told the ministers that enduring lower prices would force high-cost oil producers outside of OPEC, like U.S. shale-oil companies, to cut back production themselves, tightening the market by the second half of 2015..."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Italian Non-Italian

From The Washington Post:
As the third non-Italian pope after the Polish John Paul II and the German Benedict, Francis seems to have ended the era of Italian dominance of the papacy.
The Wall Street Journal adds a few details about this "non-Italian":
The former Cardinal Bergoglio... was born in Buenos Aires to Italian immigrants.
Also from The Wall Street Journal:
In many ways, Cardinal Bergoglio is an ideal figure to transition from a centuries-old line of European popes. His father was an Italian immigrant, giving him roots in a country that is, along with Spain, considered a mother country of Argentina. That cultural affinity may have helped Cardinal Bergoglio with many of his Italian peers that dominate the Curia.
So, the third non-Italian pope who ends the era of Italian dominance of the papacy is Italian (born to Italian parents) and known to be Italian by the Italians.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is Informed Consent "Paternalistic"?

Emily Bazelon writes on "Oklahoma's gallingly paternalistic ultrasound law" at Slate:
Four states-Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma-have taken the galling step of requiring [pre-abortion ultrasounds] regardless of need. They recently passed laws that go beyond offering ultrasounds to mandating them. Oklahoma's new statute dictates that either the doctor performing the abortion or a "certified technician working in conjunction" with that doctor do the ultrasound, "provide a simultaneous explanation of what the ultrasound is depicting," and also "display the ultrasound images so that the pregnant woman may view them."
I'm not sure what law couldn't be described as gallingly paternalistic, but as long as I can't opt out of the gallingly paternalistic Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare, I'm not going to worry about it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On Conversion

In an article about Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States, Ed Koch writes:
Earlier in the week, I was asked by a reporter how I felt about the Pope's approving a prayer asking for the conversion of the Jewish people to Catholicism. The reporter said that many Jews were upset with the prayer. I said I was not and considered the Catholic desire that we join them in conversion as a compliment. "They love us and they want us even closer" were my words. I also said, "I hope they convert to Judaism. Then, instead of there being only 13 million Jews worldwide, there would be 1 billion 13 million Jews, and that would be very comforting."

Monday, February 11, 2008

One of the Best Sentences Ever

Sebastian Mallaby writes:
"A more subtle question is whether indulging the voters is good policy."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Incongruous Advertising

The ASPCA should not be allowed to advertise on Comedy Central.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Sanity Gap

From Gallup:

Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education.


One could be quick to assume that these differences are based on the underlying demographic and socioeconomic patterns related to party identification in America today...

But an analysis of the relationship between party identification and self-reported excellent mental health within various categories of age, gender, church attendance, income, education, and other variables shows that the basic pattern persists regardless of these characteristics. In other words, party identification appears to have an independent effect on mental health even when each of these is controlled for.

...income, education, gender, church attendance, and being a Republican are significantly related to self-reported mental health -- each such relationship occurring even when the impact of the other variables is taken into account.


The reason the relationship exists between being a Republican and more positive mental health is unknown, and one cannot say whether something about being a Republican causes a person to be more mentally healthy, or whether something about being mentally healthy causes a person to choose to become a Republican (or whether some third variable is responsible for causing both to be parallel).

...the key finding of the analyses presented here is that being a Republican appears to have an independent relationship on positive mental health above and beyond what can be explained by these types of demographic and lifestyle variables.

Perhaps Michael Savage was right.

Click here for graphs and more details.