EppsNet Archive: New York Times

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

The worst thing you can do to people, aside from physical injury, is give them the idea to blame their failures on vague impersonal forces or the actions of anybody but themselves. It doesn’t promote success or happiness. I don’t know any happy people who think like that. For example, I read this in a New York Times article about an impoverished area of West Virginia: John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County. That is just awful. I live in Southern California, not too far from the ocean . . . I’m familiar with undertows (although I’ve never heard of a “dark” undertow). First of all, sorry to be pedantic but undertows aren’t dangerous . . . they’re just after-effects of individual waves. What’s dangerous is a riptide . . . a concentrated flow of water that… Read more →

The War on Poverty is 50 Years Old

The New York Times has an update from McDowell County, West Virginia, on how the War on Poverty is going after 50 years . . . Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate. It is also reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate from overdoses is more than eight times the national average. Of the 115 babies born in 2011 at Welch Community Hospital, over 40 had been exposed to drugs. . . . Many in McDowell County acknowledge that depending on government benefits has become a way of life, passed from generation to generation. Nearly 47 percent of personal income in the county is from Social Security, disability insurance, food stamps and other federal programs. . . . The poverty rate, 50 percent in 1960, declined – partly as a result of… Read more →

NYT Misrepresents California’s Affirmative Action Results

In reporting on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold a Michigan ban on the use of racial preferences in admissions to public universities, the New York Times looks at results in other states that have banned racial preferences. Here’s what the Times says about my state, California, which voted to ban racial preferences in UC admissions in 1998: Hispanic and black enrollment at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles dropped sharply after voters approved a statewide ban on affirmative action. Those numbers have not recovered, even as the state’s Hispanic population has grown. That is a misleading analysis for a couple of reasons: One: Affirmative action was banned at all UC campuses, not just Berkeley and UCLA. Ignoring all the other campuses allows the Times to say that black and Hispanic enrollment “dropped sharply” when there was actually only a 2 percent decline in… Read more →

Everything I Need to Know About Being a Successful Executive in the 1950s I Learned in Kindergarten

In 1957, The New York Times [published] two lists of skills. One was drawn from a corporate personnel manual, the other from a kindergarten report card: List A: Dependability; Stability; Imagination; Originality; Self-expression; Health and vitality; Ability to plan and control; Cooperation. List B: Can be depended on; Contributes to the good work of others; Accepts and uses criticism; Thinks critically; Shows initiative; Plans work well; Physical resistance; Self-expression; Creative ability. A successful executive in 1950s America, in short, was expected to have essentially the same skills as a well-behaved four-year-old. (B is the kindergarten list, by the way.) — Matter Read more →

Disappearing Planes: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has left investigators, aviation experts and the authorities in several countries at a loss to explain what happened. . . . — NYTimes.com From an observer’s point of view, air travel is a magic trick: you disappear from one place and you reappear somewhere else . . . unless the trick doesn’t work and you never reappear anywhere ever again . . . Read more →

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday of an apparent drug overdose at his Manhattan apartment. Police responded to the 46-year-old’s apartment in the West Village shortly after 11 a.m., police sources told FoxNews.com. A friend found his body in the apartment and phoned police. Hoffman was alone in his bathroom when he was discovered with a heroin-filled needle in his arm, law enforcement sources said. — Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment from apparent drug overdose I am really shocked to hear that. People are shooting up heroin first thing in the morning?! To me, a shot of heroin — like a nice, warm bath — is best enjoyed in the evening, to unwind after the travails of the day. This is yet another blow to a theory that most Americans believe, which is that wealth is synonymous with happiness. Philip Seymour Hoffman, he’s in… Read more →

Kids Should Study Math and Science, Say Adults Who Never Studied Math or Science

The New York Times has been editorializing recently on the nation’s need to enlarge our pool of science and math students, with a particular focus on girls and minorities, and to encourage them to pursue careers that will keep the country competitive. Here’s a list of the members of the NYT editorial board, including academic major(s), which I obtained from their online bios. See if you notice anything unusual. Andrew Rosenthal, Editor (American History) Terry Tang, Deputy Editorial Page Editor (Economics, Law) Robert B. Semple Jr., Associate Editor (History) David Firestone, Projects Editor, National Politics, the White House and Congress (Journalism) Vikas Bajaj, Business, International Economics (Journalism) Philip M. Boffey, Science (History) Francis X. Clines, National Politics, Congress, Campaign Finance (none listed) Lawrence Downes, Immigration, Veterans Issues (English, Journalism) Carol Giacomo, Foreign Affairs (English Literature) Mira Kamdar, International Affairs (French Literature) Verlyn Klinkenborg, Agriculture, Environment, Culture (English Literature) Juliet Lapidos,… Read more →

Clifford Nass, 1958-2013

One of his most publicized research projects was a 2009 study on multitasking. He and his colleagues presumed that people who frequently juggle computer, phone or television screens, or just different applications, would display some special skill at ignoring irrelevant information, or efficiently switching between tasks, or that they would prove to have a particularly orderly memory. “We all bet high multitaskers were going to be stars at something,” he said in an interview with the PBS program “Frontline” after the paper he and his colleagues wrote, “Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers,” was published in 2009. “We were absolutely shocked,” he said. “We all lost our bets. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.” He added, “One would… Read more →

Drive Me to the Junkyard in my Cadillac

Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac — Bruce Springsteen, “Cadillac Ranch” Say goodbye to that $500 deductible insurance plan and the $20 co-payment for a doctor’s office visit. They are likely to become luxuries of the past. . . . Then blame — or credit — the so-called Cadillac tax, which penalizes companies that offer high-end health care plans to their employees. — High-End Health Plans Scale Back to Avoid ‘Cadillac Tax’ – NYTimes.com You’re probably thinking: “So what? I don’t have a high-end health care plan. I’m a working stiff. Let the Wall Street fat cats pay their Cadillac tax.” Actually, because the plan cost that triggers the Cadillac tax is not indexed for inflation, Bradley Herring, a health economist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, estimates that as many as 75 percent… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. — Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – NYTimes.com That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.” But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost! In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods. Of course, that was before television. Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government… Read more →

I Don’t Understand What Warren Buffett is Talking About

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Warren Buffett argues that higher taxes won’t keep the super-rich from trying to make money: Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.” Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist. — A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy – NYTimes.com Really, Warren? It’s an investment, right? It’s not a sure thing. It’s not a giveaway. I’m being asked to put money at risk. That’s the difference between… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Paul Krugman

America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again. — Paul Krugman I hardly know where to begin with this . . . First of all, what is the relevance of the 1950s as opposed to any other period of American history? America prior to 1913 had no permanent income tax and contrary to left-wing propaganda, it prospered. Why can’t we do that again? Of course we’re all in favor of fairness — right? — but why is it only important that “the rich” pay their “fair share”? I don’t remember ever hearing anyone, certainly not Krugman, use the phrase “pay their fair share” in reference to any group except “the rich.” If you’re concerned about fairness, isn’t it also… Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems. — A child out of wedlock is the new normal – The New York Times (via msnbc.com) HA HA HA! And it’s only going to get worse! These poor illiterate bastards will be stabbing each other for food in a few years! Unwed mothers are my meal ticket. Keep up the good work, my little darlings! See you all in Hell .… Read more →

You Can Make It If You Try

“It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much [economic] mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.” — Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs – NYTimes.com I’ll argue with it . . . the fact that people are not doing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do. Maybe people aren’t trying to do it. Maybe people don’t want to do it. From Daniel Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow: A large-scale study of the impact of higher education . . . revealed striking evidence of the lifelong effects of the goals that young people set for themselves. The relevant data were drawn from questionnaires collected in 1995-1997 from approximately 12,000 people who had started their higher education in elite schools in… Read more →

We Need Better Parents

Kids can’t do well in school unless their family has a lot of money, according to an op-ed in the New York Times, which goes on to argue that massive intervention by “policy makers” is needed to confront this issue head-on. The authors, Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske, are a husband-and-wife team of academic researchers. Education reform in a nutshell: First thing, let’s kill all the academic researchers. Helen and Ed cherry-picked the results of a Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study to show that students with lower economic and social status had far lower test scores than their more advantaged counterparts. But they didn’t actually link to the PISA results, because if they had, people would see that Helen and Ed just ignored the three main findings, which are: Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher… Read more →

JoePa Shielding the Assets

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July, less than four months before a sexual abuse scandal engulfed his Penn State football program and the university. — nytimes.com Read more →

E-Mails Reveal Early White House Worries Over Solyndra

A Solyndra investor, in an e-mail sent to the White House in late 2009, asked why the government had been willing to offer the solar start-up so much money. “One of our solar companies with revenues of less than $100 million (and not yet profitable) received a government loan of $580 million,” the investor, Brad Jones of Redpoint Ventures, wrote in December 2009 to Lawrence H. Summers, then the president’s chief economic adviser, referring to Solyndra. “While that is good for us, I can’t imagine it’s a good way for the government to use taxpayer money.” The investment, Mr. Jones said, demonstrated broad problems with the government loan program. “The allocation of spending to clean energy is haphazard; the government is just not well equipped to decide which companies should get the money and how much,” he wrote. — NYTimes.com If a company like Solyndra can generate energy at competitive… Read more →

Zero or Hero

The men, hailed as heroes across the country, will march in no parades. They serve in what is unofficially called Seal Team 6, a unit so secretive that the White House and the Defense Department do not directly acknowledge its existence. . . . Despite the mission’s success, former Seal members acknowledged the precariousness of the raid and the degree of luck involved. “If that thing had gone bad, the conversation you and I would be having would be completely different,” Mr. Shipley said. “There’s only two ways to go in these operations — zero or hero.” — New York Times Read more →

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