Today’s Readings 1/8/2013

1. A Military Man Denounces Guns.It’s worth the read for the neanderthalic comments. The presence of the poorly worded 2nd Amendment to the Consitution doesn’t not preclude criticism, nor does the color of the subject’s passport (he’s a Brit) compromise his views on guns. Comments are always to be avoided, but this particular set is a ridiculous and unnecessarily hostile expression of jingoistic stupidity. (HuffPo)

2. Part of Obamacare came unceremoniously into effect on January 1st, namely the part where insurance companies have to actually tell you what you’re buying within four pages, using the language of an 8th grader. (HuffPo)

3. Chinese bloggers have to provide their names.. or else. (Bloomberg) Liberal newspapers are fed up and taking to the streets to demand an end to meddling censors (NYT)

4. The US Government is not only NOT a household, its also NOT a small business. It is frightening how ignorant Americans (particularly elected officials) are of the differences between business and government. “In the news release announcing his bill to derail the platinum coin effort, Republican Representative Greg Walden says something really stupid: “My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air.”” I’m glad the US government isn’t a small business. They tend to fail, and provide poor returns on labor and investment. (Bloomberg)

5. An interesting take on the austerity debate. Latvia was more austere than Greece and is now experiencing growth. Given the differences in other factors, such as tax evasion, corruption and past growth, I’m skeptical. (Bloomberg)

6. Japan is dumping some of its reserves to buy European bonds in order to devalue its currency. Let’s hope it works. (Bloomberg)

7. Should we tax people for being annoying? The arguments for taxing negative externalities, like traffic jams and public noise. (NYT)

8. Rape is horrible, but not because women shame their families. That women are still praised for killing themselves following rape in India is reprehensible. (NYT)

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine

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