Author Archives: Steven Hayward

The Law of Unintended Consequences Hits Liberals Again

Featured image We’ve noted here many times the economic illiteracy of the minimum wage, and even the media are picking up on the perverse effects the $15 minimum wage is having on low-margin businesses such as San Francisco comics shops or fast food restaurants installing touch screens to replace counter clerks (and how long before we have robotic burger flippers?), but this won’t deter liberals. When I explain to students the 1923 »

Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 2

Featured image We’ve been following the story of the apparently fraudulent article in Science about whether people will change their mind about gay marriage after a short conversation with a real live gay person (I guess watching Will & Grace and Modern Family reruns just doesn’t quite do the trick), as well as yesterday’s excellent op-ed in the NY Times about the pervasive problem of scientific journals and media credulity. Tomorrow’s New York Times »

New Explanation for The Warming Pause

Featured image We’ve reported before on various explanations for the current “pause” in global warming that we’re told is not happening, now going on for nearly 18 years. According to a study published last week in Nature Geoscience, the culprit may be the Indian Ocean: The Indian Ocean may be the dark horse in the quest to explain the puzzling pause in global warming, researchers report on 18 May in Nature Geoscience. The »

How Is “Liberation Theology” Still a Thing?

Featured image The New York Times reports on the front page today Pope Francis’s revival of “liberation theology”—a radical creed from the 1970s and 1980s that at the time I summarized as “Marxism with salsa.” Quoth the Times: [Pope Francis] is directly engaging with a theological movement that once sharply divided Catholics and was distrusted by his predecessors, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. . . Liberation theory includes a critique of »

John Nash, RIP

Featured image Sad news this morning of the car accident death, at age 86, of Nobel Prize winning economist and mathematician John Nash, made more publicly famous (if not entirely accurately) in A Beautiful Mind. A psychiatrist friend posted the following note on Facebook about the news: Let me try, surely in vain, to set the record straight as there are so many subtle but horrifying myths that the Left has created »

Behind Science Fraud

Featured image We reported here the other day about the latest fraudulent article in Science magazine, but don’t miss the op-ed about the broader problem of science fraud in today’s New York Times by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky (who is one of the founders of RetractionWatch). Here’s the most relevant excerpt: Science fetishizes the published paper as the ultimate marker of individual productivity. And it doubles down on that bias with »

Standard Deviation Indeed

Featured image This photo is reported to be from the graduation program for Columbia University’s MA degrees in statistics. Two observations: First, the mode is fairly obvious. Second, I’m willing to bet that none of these graduates toted a mattress across the stage when picking up his or her diploma. »

Chris Pratt’s Pre-Emptive Apology

Featured image I haven’t really followed the acting career of Chris Pratt very closely, though I did enjoy him as the lead in the surprisingly effective Guardians of the Galaxy last year. He’s in the upcoming Jurassic World, and he’s posted on Facebook a “pre-emptive” apology that suggests he might be a Common Sense Fellow Traveler. This is a work of considerable literary skill: I want to make a heartfelt apology for »

The Week in Pictures: Tactical Setback Edition

Featured image ISIS rolls over Ramadi and Palmyra, and Obama calls it a “tactical setback.” Hillary’s missing emails are a “tactical setback.” Riots in Baltimore and Ferguson? A “tactical sectback.” If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare subsidies next month in King v. Burwell? A “tactical setback,” I’m sure. Iran getting a nuclear weapon? Well it won’t happen on Obama’s watch, so it will be a “tactical setback” for someone else. And »

Today’s Energy Unicorn: The Scent of Musk

Featured image What is it about Elon Musk? People must think his name is “Steve Jobs” in some obscure Slavic language. Sure, I think the Tesla is cool, and think they might lead to something useful some day, but right now they’re a boutique toy for affluent people. (A friend who drives a Tesla in a Midwestern state has a custom bumper sticker: “How do you like my coal-powered car?”) And I »

Is Hillary’s Candidacy Just Another Business Deal?

Featured image Jennifer Rubin notes this morning that Hillary’s obviously terrible campaign skills are getting noticed in the mainstream media. It’s so bad that Hillary is actually going to launch her campaign a second time next month with a big public rally. It is said that a lot of second- and third-tier Republican candidates (Carson, Huckabee, Fiorina, etc) are only running to enable them to get nice post-campaign media contracts from Fox »

Paging Dr. Emily Litella: Another Science Fraud Exposed

Featured image Last December Science magazine published the results of a survey that found people who had a conversation of at little as 20 minutes with a gay person changed their mind about gay marriage. You may well wonder why Science, usually concerned with settled scientific matters like global warming climate change, would jump on a research survey more suited for a public opinion or social science journal, and further you’d wonder »

This Week’s Energy Unicorn

Featured image The belief that we can power the world with unicorn flop sweat, Obama’s incandescent speeches, refined banana peels, etc runs deep. I call it “energy romanticism,” and like all other kinds of romanticism it is hard to shake, even with things called facts, which are always inconvenient to the dreams of world-saving liberals. Typical is the story last year about how we could put solar panels on roads, a really »

Is Hillary’s Glass Jaw Starting to Crack Already?

Featured image If Hillary Clinton’s feeble performance in the 2008 campaign is any indication, she has a glass jaw as a candidate, which will manifest itself at some point—though perhaps too late for a credible candidate other than Joe Biden to have enough time to organize a serious campaign. People keep saying the Republicans might have a brokered convention, but maybe it will be the Democrats who revive the e-cigarette-filled-backroom.* As we »

Democrats: White Males Need Not Apply

Featured image According to a story reported in the New York Daily News and other outlets, Hillary Clinton already has a list of prospective running mates, but there’s only one name on it: A former top Clinton administration official predicted Sunday that Hillary Clinton will pick Julian Castro as her running mate if she wins the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. “What I am hearing in Washington, including from people in Hillary Clinton’s »

28 Days Later

Featured image 28 Days Later is one of the early zombie-apocalypse movies of the last decade (though as Danny Boyle thrillers go I prefer the flawed but still interesting Sunshine), but the title clearly fits the cater-to-the-zombie-vote strategy of Hillary Clinton, who went 28 days before taking a press question. You can see ABC’s two-minute report on it here (though why is George Snuffulupagus still anchoring any political coverage at all?).  She »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 5: Government as Faction

Featured image The whole point of a limited government republic with the separation of powers and other constitutional safeguards is to keep government as a neutral force between factions and interests.  (See: Madison, Federalist #10. Rinse and repeat.) But today’s administrative state—the increasingly independent fourth branch of government—has transformed government into its own special interest faction, lobbying itself on behalf of itself—increasingly in partisan ways. Case in point is a front page »