[E1] France’s 75% tax has bitten the dust.
[E2] Bosnia and Herzegovina has an insanely complicated system of government. Indicative, perhaps, of a nation that should not be a nation. Or, at least, a degree of (con)federalism that makes them almost independent of one another. Of course, for some, the only fair thing to do is let the Bosnians (or Bosnians and Croats) tell the Serbs what to do because majority.
[E3] Christopher Howse is proud to be a member of the UK’s Dull Men Club.
[E4] Portugal is having difficulty enforcing its immigration law, with visas essentially being sold to wealthy foreigners.
[F1] I know it’s wrong (racist, sexist, a mark of privilege, etc.) to tell people how they should or shouldn’t protest, but… seriously.
[F2] Mad Rocket Scientist doesn’t recommend this article, but does recommend the comments.
[F3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: The culpability of the media, in regards to why we have trouble with police in the US.
[F4] From Vikram Bath: Radley Balko’s predictions for 2015 are crazy.
[B1] Jacob Canfield argues that there is nothing wrong with criticizing Charlie Hebdo for running the pieces that precipitated the bombing (and for being “racist assholes.” I don’t know about wrong, but after what happened, I consider it beside the point. And of course you have the right to criticize them (we won’t bomb your house), but Canfield’s free speech doesn’t mean freedom from criticism, either.
[B2] Razib Khan explains that taboos against blasphemy aren’t crazy. They’re normal.
[B3] Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) tried to win converts by reversing a smoking ban. So remember, if you support smoking bans, you’re worse than terrorists.
[B4] Biblical literalism doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.
[C1] The importance of the college football kicker.
[C2] The Dish Network is giving cord-cutters live sports, as well as other channels.
[C3] An author wrote a book on (consumerist) signalling, and perhaps made his point too well.
[C4] From Mark Thompson: You don’t have to live in New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, or Boston to experience high culture. In fact, it may be easier if you don’t. One quibble with the author – he claims to have a little bit of guilt because he’s underpaying for institutions and artists getting by on a tight budget. I’m not at all certain how “tight” the budget is, at least for the artists/performers, compared to their big city counterparts. They have a significantly lower cost of living and, let’s face it, the overwhelming majority of big city artists get paid very little even before adjusting for the high cost of living in those cities. Even at the local prestige institutions, performers seem to do as well or better outside of the big cities – the base salary for the Cleveland Orchestra is only about 10% lower than the base salary for the NY Philharmonic, and the difference in overall cost of living means the effective salary for the former is clearly higher.
[Ho2] Here’s a downside to tiny houses that you don’t necessarily think about: They can be stolen.
[Ho3] The Boston Globe sounds the alarm on age segregation. Honestly, in some ways I wish that we had a bit more of it than less of it.
[Ho4] Paul Krugman (echoing the thoughts of many others) argues that the housing costs of our nation’s talent hotbeds are causing economic inefficiency on a macro scale. Dietz Vollrath argues that maybe we should actually hasten the exodus, since it doesn’t matter where the best and brightest live as long as they life together, and there’s more room in Houston and Atlanta.
[Hc1] Sweet! All hope is not lost! Scientists have discovered the first new anti-biotic in 30 years.
[Hc2] Good news, says Russell Saunders, your kids can get screen time!
[Hc3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Ivory Tower, meet Real World. Real world, I’d tell you to be gentle with them, but I know you won’t listen.
[Hc4] Tiffanie Wen looks at why people don’t donate their organs.
[Hc5] PPACA may have tried to devote itself to helping rural health, but it has apparently hastened the rural hospital apocalypse.
[T1] A Morton Salt building wall collapsed, and the Acura dealership next door got the damage.
[T2] Eric Holthaus argues that high-speed rail is a waste of time and money, and a misguided priority for people looking for ways to combat global warming.
[T3] Massachusetts’s Registry of Motor Vehicles is allegedly doing the bidding of insurance companies.
[T4] Rural roads can change the world. Of course, it’s important that they forfeit their pride and voice in national affairs (or vote the right way).
[T5] No surprise that suburbanites commute by car more frequently than city folk, but across demographics, Americans overwhelmingly drive to work.