A $20 an hour minimum wage really would cost a lot of people their jobs:

The good news about Denmark is that their unemployment rate is only very slightly higher than the USA’s and was lower in the recent past. The Danish economy as a whole does a good job of keeping people employed, and it also does a much better job than the American economy of delivering high living standards for the poor. But mandating high wages for fast food workers has more or less the impact you would expect — low levels of fast food employment.

The standard response to raising the minimum wage is always why not a million dollars and hour as if that’s under consideration. $20 is too hight. Much to high. That doesn’t mean that $0 is the correct answer.

This Remarkable Scrap Of Paper Can Detect Ebola:

It could be a while before we see this pocket-sized device deployed to field stations, but it could radically change the way diseases are diagnosed outside of the lab. Developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard, the achievement could result in inexpensive, shippable, and accurate test kits that use saliva or a drop of blood to identify specific diseases or infections.


What the Neoreaction Doesn’t Understand about Democracy:

The key conclusion to draw from the Mulligan study is that political competition doesn’t go away when you switch away from democracy; rather, it moves to the metapolitical level. Competition within political systems is a substitute for competition over political systems. When the former is stifled, the latter becomes more important, which is why nondemocratic rulers must take greater pains to prevent an overthrow of government than democracies do. There is no limit on the level of metapolitical competition under a dictatorship other than the state of technology available to the state and to its would-be usurpers.

Interesting read for those following the anti-democracy crowd.

Pro Big Corporate IRS: Agency Guts Whistleblower Program, Leaves Billions on the Table:

It’s widely known among tax professionals that the US does little in the way of tax enforcement, and the little that it does do is directed against individuals and small businesses. What is not so widely known is how deep the institutional bias is in the IRS in favor of letting big corporate tax cheats get away with it. Conventional wisdom is similar to the rationalization of weak enforcement at the SEC: that the agency is afraid that if they go after big companies, they’ll have the penalties and fines challenged in court, and they’ll often lose by virtue of being outgunned by better lawyer…It turns out that the picture is vastly worse than that. In 2006, recognizing that the IRS was losing over $450 billion a year in revenue to tax evasion, Congress mandated that the agency establish a whistleblower office and pay whistleblowers 15% to 30% of amounts recovered from their filings. Unfortunately, as a whistleblower from the IRS’ Office of the General Counsel in New York has revealed, the IRS at its highest levels is opposed to implementing the policy.

Is GamerGate About Media Ethics or Harassing Women? Harassment, the Data Shows:

analysis by Newsweek found that Twitter users tweeting the hashtag #GamerGate direct negative tweets at critics of the gaming world more than they do at the journalists whose coverage they supposedly want scrutinized.

Data shows that GamerGate is basically attacking feminists. I expect the GG crowd to ignore the data, act as if the people who want the harassment to stop are basically anti-media ethics and continue on their toxic way.

Obama Is a Republican:

Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today.

I would dismiss this as yet another attempt to recast a former president as centrist in the eyes of history. Almost every former president could be called centrist if you cherry pick. But this is a well written article and worth reading.

Grit Trumps Talent and IQ: A Story Every Parent (and Educator) Should Read:

according to one Stanford colleague, and a leading voice in the effort to translate into the classroom ideas like hers that self-control and grit, more than talent and IQ, may hold the keys to a better life.

This leads me to wonder, how harmful is active and passive discouragement to growing minds? To what extent are bad schools and subtle prejudices the causes of failure?

Sam Harris On the Mechanics of Defamation:

Why would it be ethical to drop a bomb on the leaders of ISIS at this moment? Because of all the harm they’ve caused? No. Killing them will do nothing to alleviate that harm. It would be ethical to kill these men—once again, only if we couldn’t capture them—because of all the death and suffering they intend to cause in the future. Why do they intend this? Because of what they believe about infidels, apostates, women, paradise, prophecy, America, and so forth.

Aslan and Greenwald know that nowhere in my work do I suggest that we kill harmless people for thought crimes. And yet they (along with several of their colleagues) are doing their best to spread this lie about me. Nearly every other comment they’ve made about my work is similarly misleading.

Shame on Aslan and Greenwald for taking a cheap shot.

Evidence Connects Quakes to Oil, Natural Gas Boom:

He said energy companies can try to prevent human-induced earthquakes by avoiding faults when they inject oil and gas wastewater into the ground and by not pumping fluids too quickly into the ground. “You can reduce the risk of large earthquakes through careful monitoring and planning,” Jackson said. “You can’t make it zero, however.”

This isn’t conclusive just yet, but this can no longer be ignored.

Missouri Official Meant ‘No Ill Intent’ When She Called For Military Coup:

But I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority,” she wrote in the post. “What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe.”

Can we agree that discussing a Military Coup is off limits for anyone in uniform, elected or appointed officials and anyone that is part of a militia or political party?