Monday, June 28

An expected victory for gun rights

WASHINGTON - In its second major ruling on gun rights in three years, the Supreme Court Monday extended the federally protected right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states. The decision will be hailed by gun rights advocates and comes over the opposition of gun control groups, the city of Chicago and four justices.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the five justice majority saying "the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner."

The ruling builds upon the Court's 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller that invalidated the handgun ban in the nation's capital. More importantly, that decision held that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was a right the Founders specifically delegated to individuals. The justices affirmed that decision and extended its reach to the 50 states. Today's ruling also invalidates Chicago's handgun ban.


WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court appears poised to issue a ruling that will expand to the states the high court's historic 2008 ruling that individuals have a federally protected right to keep and bear arms, following an hour-long argument Tuesday. If so, the decision would mark another hallmark victory for gun rights advocates and likely strike down Chicago's handgun ban that is similar to the Washington D.C. law already invalidated by the justices.

Saturday, June 26

Friday, June 25

Ode to a Butterfly (repost)

Since the earlier copy was taken down...

Wednesday, June 23

Quote of the day

"Joy unbound at the final whistle, the entire USA bench pouring on to the pitch. Victory at last, over their opponents, over injustice and, most importantly, themselves." —USA 1 Algeria 0

The winning goal at 90+1:

Friday, June 18

Twilight for men

<Crispy> my friend is making my other friend's girlfriend rage on facebook by arguing with her about how Twilight is the dumbest shit ever
<Crispy> so I created Twilight for Men.
<Crispy> government scientist fused DNA with Hayden P. and Mila Kunis to create the hottest woman ever with big titties and a nice ass, and she's all over my dick but it turns out she's a pirate and I'm like "omg but I want to be a pirate" and she's all naked near me and shit and I'm like "you're the most perfect thing ever" and she's like "I know, now fuck me"
<Crispy> and then all the sudden it turns out the government actually made someone else who was fused from the DNA of Kristen Bell and Elisha Cuthbert and she shows up and is like "what the fuck but I want your dick more." and I'm like "D:"
<Crispy> and then the Kristen and Elisha fusion is like "OH AND IM A NINJA SHITYEAH" and I'm like "FUUUUUUUUUUUCK NINJAS VS PIRATE" and then this was my face when they were fighting a war near me " :O "
<Crispy> with none of them wearing shirts oh and they all have super nice tits and are not fat at all and are the most perfect looking women ever and then they all want my dick so bad it's hard for me to choose and also whether I want to be a Ninja or Pirate it's a very tough decision.

(QDB #300818)

The sum of all knowledge

(webcomic: Abstruse Goose)

Thursday, June 17

Taxation and migration

A.S. at The Economist explains that people move to Texas because the taxes are low:
IN THE ten years I’ve lived in New York I forgot how to drive. Lately I’ve been spending lots of time in Austin, Texas. Enough so that I’ve had to start driving again. When you go many years without driving, it becomes terrifying. So to refresh my skills I took lessons with a wonderfully patient and brave woman who has taught driving in Austin for nearly thirty years. I expected to be one of her few adult students, but no. My instructor claimed in the past few years the number of adult students increased exponentially, not quite rivalling the number of teenagers. Most are tech workers who come from all over the world, drawn by the vigorous labour market. Adult driving students struck me as a rather interesting economic indicator. It doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. Migration statistics reveal that people are moving in droves to Texas. Why? Jobs and no state income taxes. High earning New Yorkers and Californians can take home between 9% and 11% more of their income by moving to Texas. Every trip down I speak to at least one bitter New Yorker/Californian fed up with high taxes and cost of living.
Yglesias responds:
Well . . . maybe. Texas certainly is growing rapidly, and it does have a relatively healthy labor market. But even though a lot of people are moving to Texas, it seems to me that California’s population is also growing at an impressive clip:

I suspect A.S. is being somewhat misled by this fascinating interactive tool which charts domestic migration only and thus gives the impression that certain places are experiencing massive net population flight when in fact they’re just attracting a lot of immigrants.
So successful citizens are moving to low tax states while less well off immigrants head to high welfare states. Is anyone surprised?

I'm all for open immigration, but I'd much rather live with a red state's economy. As should anyone who's interested in a healthy labor market with low taxes and welfare. Among people who feel the same, the Economist's point stands.

Alas, the problems with Texas are certainly not economic—rather, they are called Texans.

Sunday, June 13

Illustrated guide to World Cup Soccer

I love the Onion.

The value of student evaluations

Via Mankiw, fascinating findings from Scott E. Carrell and James E. West:
Results show that there are statistically significant and sizable differences in student achievement across introductory course professors in both contemporaneous and follow‐on course achievement. However, our results indicate that professors who excel at promoting contemporaneous student achievement, on average, harm the subsequent performance of their students in more advanced classes. Academic rank, teaching experience, and terminal degree status of professors are negatively correlated with contemporaneous value‐added but positively correlated with follow on course value‐added. Hence, students of less experienced instructors who do not possess a doctorate perform significantly better in the contemporaneous course but perform worse in the follow‐on related curriculum.

Student evaluations are positively correlated with contemporaneous professor value‐added and negatively correlated with follow‐on student achievement. That is, students appear to reward higher grades in the introductory course but punish professors who increase deep learning (introductory course professor value‐added in follow‐on courses). Since many U.S. colleges and universities use student evaluations as a measurement of teaching quality for academic promotion and tenure decisions, this latter finding draws into question the value and accuracy of this practice.