(in WSJ )
The federal health-care overhaul is prompting some colleges and universities to cut the hours of adjunct professors, renewing a debate about the pay and benefits of these freelance instructors who handle a significant share of teaching at U.S. higher-education institutions.
The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more starting in 2014, or face a penalty. The mandate is a particular challenge for colleges and universities, which increasingly rely on adjuncts to help keep costs down as states have scaled back funding for higher …
( via Coyote)
Essentially the War on Drugs is an issue of who has regulation upon an individual’s body, the individual or an authoritative body, such as the government. If one were to follow a Locke-ian natural rights ethic, which had a substantial influence upon the founding documents of the United States, one would assume that the individual ought to have control of his body. However, the premise of the War on Drugs does not respect the individual’s autonomy to manage his own life. Instead this policy, coined under the Nixon administration, but the general principle has been pervasive in American politics since around 1914, takes a paternalistic approach and deems that which is appropriate for a consenting adult to consume to alter his physiological processes. The salient point of this matter is that this policy is the zenith of condescension because it espouses that the individual cannot be trusted with custody of his own body.
A rather serious effect that the drug war has other than the degradation of personal autonomy is that violence that it causes, such as the rise in gang activity, which is bad in the States but is even worse in Mexico with about 50,000 dead in the last six years. Some would like to deny that these two things have any relation to one another. With a modicum of knowledge of history, it becomes apparent that prohibition does lead to violence. America has try similar policies with alcohol. These policies failed miserably and only created a black market that was run by violent organize crime. As of today, the mobsters are gone and there is not much production moonshine.
With crime generally comes incarceration. In the case of the drug war this is particularly true. The United States has the world’s highest incarcerated population. A significant amount of these are non-violent drug offenses, so not the gangs that were discussed earlier, but an individual partaking in an action of his own volition while not negatively affecting another individual. A pernicious outcome of putting these non-violent offenders into prison is that they lose precious time that they could be gaining job experience and enjoying the benefits of social mobility is wasted in a cell for a crime with no victim. This squandered time in prison most assuredly puts him at a significant disadvantage in the market place for employment, in terms of lack of job experience, but also in regards to unjustly being stigmatized as a felon.
Even with all of these negatives that the War on Drugs brings to society, most politicians still fervently defend it. To add insult to injury, this inane policy has cost more than $20 billion in the last decade; this only refers to law enforcement cost and does not include the cost of incarcerating non-violent drug offenders. Even with all of this money spent drug usage is still prevalent in the United States. Just in terms of outcome for money spent this policy is absurd.
There have been a few countries that have decriminalized drugs and they have not fallen into a state of moral ruin, such as Portugal. The War on Drugs needs to end.
Why do solar and wind corporations require so much government backing?
Because they cost dramatically more than fossil fuels. Instead of fantasies about infinite energy from the sun, we need to look at the price taking all capital and ongoing costs into account.
Natural gas $49 to $79 per MWh
Wind $75 to $159 per MWh
Solar $151 to $455 per MWh
Wind and solar will get slightly cheaper but the costs have already been cut a lot and there isn’t much slack left. Land and equipment costs money, however cheap the ‘fuel’ may be.
As far as I can tell, the referenced numbers STILL do not include cost of energy storage. Energy storage is indispensable and expensive, since the wind doesn’t blow all the time, and the sun doesn’t shine all the time, ANYWHERE on Earth.
When clean air and fuel economy standards were created in the seventies there was a lot of scope for improvement. Vehicles engines were extremely inefficient by modern standards and many cities had serious pollution problems. Unfortunately since no government program can be scrapped whether it fails or succeeds or even stays stagnant; the rules have to get tightened every so often. Otherwise the bureaucrats wouldn’t even be able to pretend to be achieving anything. New rules are going to make V8 engines impractical to manufacture except for luxury cars.
This time, V-8s will become the exclusive playthings of the very affluent only — people who can afford to spend $70k-plus for a low-volume (and so, CAFE irrelevant) car. Jaguar, for example, will probably continue to offer a V-8 in the ultra-performance (and ultra-expensive) XF-R version of the XF luxury-sport sedan. Mercedes will still offer V-8s in the E and S Class… for those few who can handle the freight.
What there won’t be anymore are cars like the currently available Chrysler 300 C Hemi and the bet-you-it-gets-cancelled-soon Chevy SS; that is, cars — and trucks — for regular people and intended to be sold in volume.
Of course, Obama — and the next Dear Leader — will still get to drive around in cars powered by big V-8s that get far less than 35.5 MPG . . . with the gas bill paid by taxpayers.
It is not the ideal of journalism to uncritically accept anything government employees say, as the truth. Unfortunately, since journalists often have to be friendly to those employees to find out juicy news items, they often forget all noble ideals.
I have been involved as an observer, a blogger, or an adviser in cases where people have been charged with rape or child molestation, including the Tonya Craft trial (she was acquitted) and the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case (in which the charges were dropped after North Carolina Attorney General found “no evidence” that a rape or any other crime had occurred). There also are others and if I have found one common thread in all of them, it has been the role of the mainstream news media. With only very, very few exceptions, the pack mentality of mainstream journalism has come to the fore and journalist after journalist has written or broadcast stories that assume that charges automatically mean guilt.
6000 people in New Hampshire have to be tested for Hepatitis C thanks to the War on (some) drugs.
The technician should not escape punishment if found guilty, but this kind of thing would not happen if the government didn’t treat personal addiction problems like criminal offenses.