EppsNet Archive: Philip Greenspun

Lost in Translation

Via Philip Greenspun: Tel Aviv cab driver: “I told my kids that the only place ‘Success’ comes before ‘Hard Work’ is in the dictionary.” (works better in Hebrew, presumably) Read more →

The Smartest Kids in the World

Via Philip Greenspun: Amanda Ripley identifies the following major problems with American schools: people who are poorly educated are hired as schoolteachers teachers have limited autonomy (partly as a result of their low level of knowledge and ability) schools have multiple missions, only one of which is education, which leads to a loss of focus teachers and administrators dwell on… Read more →

Tax Rate Hike and Increased Unemployment Payments on the Same Day

According to this White House press release, the federal government is ringing in the new year by simultaneously raising tax rates (i.e., penalizing people for working) and extending payments to two million people who do not work (i.e., rewarding people for playing Xbox). Has this ever happened before at any time in the history of the U.S. (or anywhere else… Read more →

Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne

The most fitting eulogy I’ve read for Senator Kennedy . . . A Senator from Massachusetts has left office in the only manner possible for an incumbent Democrat, i.e., in a coffin. The New York Times leads off their story on Ted Kennedy’s death with “his sometimes-stormy personal life.” When I think of Ted Kennedy, though, my first thought is… Read more →

Comfortable With Our Stupid Children

Researchers have found that generic American parents, faced with a child who can’t do math or science, will say “Don’t worry, Johnny, because you have so many other talents.” Asian parents, supposedly, will say “Since you aren’t apparently naturally gifted at math or science you’ll have to study extra hard in these areas,” and not stop nagging until the kid… Read more →

Cash for Clunkers

Cash for Clunkers has the following elements of spectacle: Americans destroying perfectly functional cars Americans whose skills are uncompetitive in the global marketplace driving around in fancy new cars Somewhere in China and India they must be having a good laugh. — Philip Greenspun Read more →

Carbon Emissions Reduction, Biden Style

There is a permanently restricted area of airspace to the NW of the [Wilmington, Delaware] airport, around [VP Joe] Biden’s weekend house. The airport gets shut down every time Biden commutes home at taxpayer expense. What kind of plane does Biden, a tireless advocate of reduced carbon emissions (source), use for the 15-minute flight from D.C.? “Boeing 757,” was the… Read more →

California Fiscal Crisis

The median wage of a California state employee is $66,000 (source). The median wage among all Californians (including those state workers) is just over $36,000. The state employee can retire with a full pension in his or her late 40s or early 50s, which essentially means that the taxpayers have to pay for double the number of state workers that… Read more →

Stimulus Bill is Creating Jobs

A friend works at a wind energy company. I asked him if he was getting his share of the money from our new planned economy. His response: “We are stimulated! There is some good stuff in there for renewable. We may need to open a DC office just to chase the $$.” As long as we think that we can… Read more →

The Forgotten Man, Ted Kennedy and Warren Buffett

As Ted Kennedy has spent virtually all of his personal wealth on personal consumption of mansions, private jets, women, booze, etc., any help that he has provided to Americans has come at the expense of the “forgotten man” paying taxes. Ted’s own contributions to charity have been minimal (source). Let’s compare to Warren Buffett. . . . Buffett has spent… Read more →

President Obama

In December 2009 we will suffer a massive nationwide psychological depression. People assume that all of their problems can be blamed on George W. Bush personally. When the hated King Bush II has been back to Texas for a year and the beloved Obama has been in office for a year, people will look around for a quick status check.… Read more →

What Has Steve Jobs Done With His Money?

Bill Gates and the Microsoft crowd have been very prominent in charitable circles, saving Africans from disease, etc. By contrast, a Google search for “Steve Jobs charity” or “Steve Jobs donation” turns up nothing except an article on how Apple bought him a $90 million Gulfstream bizjet. So… if Steve Jobs doesn’t give money to charity and doesn’t pay for… Read more →

Best Explanation of the Spanish Election Results

Even the mere threat of Islamic terrorism has for several decades been very effective at steering European nations’ foreign policy. Going back further consider the Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s. A small minority of people living in Europe had an ideology and the will to use violence to back up that ideology. Without a whole lot of effort… Read more →