Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Industrial Output and National Security

One argument for protectionist trade policies that I have found somewhat sympathetic in the past is the neccesity of maintaining sufficient domestic industrial capacity for national emergencies.

Thomas Bray, writing in the New York Sun today comments:
But the death of manufacturing in the United States is vastly overstated. While manufacturing jobs have indeed contracted 20% or so just since 1996, and by 50% subce 1970, manufacturing output itself has remained fairly steady when adjusted for prices, according to the Economist magazine.
Which puts an interesting spin on things. If domestic manufacturing capacity is constant, then labor force reductions in the US are due to productivity gains, not capacity moving overseas. Increased capacity overseas reflects increased consumption not decreased domestic capacity, which still might reflect a danger to national security in some sense, but in a different way.

It's easy when a company closes a plant in Dubuque and opens one overseas to think of it as "jobs moving overseas". It might be more accurate to say that the jobs have evaporated in productivity gains in South Bend and the company is just changing to a different business.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Did you know?

Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart are cousins.
Bob Lonsberry is back on WHAM! (This may have happened a long time ago, but I just became aware of it.)

Yet another reason to be nostalgic about Rochester.

(And they have Glenn Beck now, who I also like.)

This is bad radio.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Harry Potter pop-over advertisement currently on my AIM is really ticking me off.
JIMMY AKIN.ORG: March Of The Burn-Victim Towel Animals!:
In his autobiography Treasure in Clay Abp. Fulton Sheen recounts a funny travel story. In those days priests wore far fancier vestments than they do today. When Abp. Sheen got back to his room after a long day, he found that the hotel maid had thoughtfully laid out his pajamas on one side of his double bed. On the other side was laid out the frilly, white, lawn vestment (can't remember the name) that the maid took to be a lady's nightgown.
---Comments Mia Storm.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bruce Reed, Domestic Policy Advisor in the Clinton Administration, writes in Slate:
As David Greenberg wrote on Monday, Hofstra University held a conference last week on "William Jefferson Clinton: The 'New Democrat' from Hope." It was like a Star Trek convention for Has-Beens.

Another activist came to the retrospective to complain that we spend too much time talking about the past. Lady, if you had to spend a whole decade listening to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," you'd think about the past, too.
For those priviliged to not remember, that was the Clinton theme song.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Young, Assured and Playing Pharmacist to Friends - New York Times:
A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration says it is illegal to give prescription medication to another person, although it is questionable whether the offense would be prosecuted.
While it may be true that the feds won't prosecute you (unless you're dealing in narcotic prescriptions), the state authorities will quite happily toss you in the clink for practicing medicine without a license.

Update: link fixed

Friday, November 11, 2005

Navy And Notre Dame Agree To 10-Year Contract Extension :: The longest intersectional college football rivalry in the country will continue:
Notre Dame and Navy, who meet Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium for the record 79th consecutive year, have agreed to play each year from 2007 through 2016 (the 2006 game is already under contract).

The Irish and Mids will meet at Notre Dame Stadium in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The two teams will play in Baltimore in 2006 - and the teams will play in Dublin, Ireland, on Sept. 1, 2012 - with the 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016 home games for Navy at sites yet to be determined.
Hmm...a nice twenty-seven percent tax rate on my latest pay check....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Where is Jazz at Lincoln Center? Lincoln Center? Nope.

It's at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Got that?
Saw someone on the street today wearing a Gannon sweatshirt.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Slate Soldier Goes to War

Slate has a series on one of their regular contributers, an Army reservist and lawyer who is going to Iraq--as a soldier, not as a reporter. It looks very promising. But this part was interesting not for that reason, but for the subtext.
Telling my family and friends about the deployment was the first and hardest thing to do. My first call went to my best friend in New York. Like me, she had been expecting this for nearly the entire time we had known each other, and we had actually been through false mobilization alerts with the National Guard. However, this time was different, and she understood that as soon as I said I had orders (instead of a mere verbal warning). My subsequent calls went to my father, then my mother, then my grandparents, and then my aunt, then my best friends, eventually closing the circle of my immediate family. The next day, I told the partner I worked for at my firm and shared the news with the other junior attorneys over lunch. That afternoon, I shotgunned an e-mail to a few dozen of my friends, former colleagues, and people I hadn't spoken to in years but I thought might want to hear.
This is very interesting...the first call goes to his "best [female] friend in New York [the author lives in San Francisco]". But he tells us later, that after he calls his family he calls his "best friends". Now maybe he is just distinguishing between "bestest friend" and "best friends", but to my ear that sounds like something more, for instance the "you'd be my girlfriend if we didn't live on opposite sides of the country". Or the "I don't write about my personal life", frustrated by the fact that he is in fact here writing about his personal life.
"Hiding in Plain Sight" by Audrey Ference in The L Magazine (III.12)
Lately everyone's been all a-chatter about secret bars. ... Bars that are only known to people that are in the know are pretty much the definition of exculsive cool. The problem is that when one is sitting in the secret bar that only the elite know about, everyone there knows about the bar.
Which is of course the appeal of the private club, which actually does hide in plain sight. Everyone knows about it and yet still can't get there. Or even more so the quasi-secret society, the one everyone knows exists, but has secrets (even if those are not interesting in and of themselves) like the Masons or Skull and Bones.