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June 2005

May 2005

Market vs Govt.

While in the market for an infant car seat, I was surprised to know that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not do crash testing for infant car seats. According to the ConsumerSearch:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration   (NHTSA) has also begun rating car seats, but no crash testing is performed.   Instead, models are graded primarily on ease of installation and instruction-manual   clarity.

The job falls to Consumer Reports:

Consumer Reports earns our highest reviewer rating in this category because   it performs its own independent crash tests.

People who favor Govt. regulations and agencies should explain why Consumer Reports does a better job than the Govt. agency charged with job. Isn't it ironic that the Govt. agency charged with traffic safety chooses to focus on usability issues while a private organization focuses on safety?

Globalization and ageing

Link: EconLog, Siegel for the Long Run, Arnold Kling: Library of Economics and Liberty.

In 50 years the United States will be more aged than all of Florida is today, but we will be, existing in a younger world. So, what I see is exactly the same pattern. We will be selling assets into the world market. They will be buying, they will be absorbing, they will be saving, and they will be producing the goods that we will be importing to satisfy our retirement needs. And, I think that is the only way that we could have an ever-increasing retirement period with the shrinkage of workers and the extension of life expectancy.

I had written this on implications of ageing in developed world on globalization:

Declining and ageing population in the developed world contrasts sharply with increasing and younger population in the developing world. There is a great synergy here. Developing world needs capital to fund education and developed world needs to save for the imminent retirement of their "boomers".

The twin objectives can be easily achieved if developing world allows private financing of education in return for share of their future earnings. Milton Friedman in the Capitalism and Freedom has also suggested that students should "sell" shares in their future earnings in return for finance for their education.

India suffers heaviest casualties in war on terrorism

Winds of Change reports breakdown of terrorism incidents and casualty figures based on the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) report:

Iraq 30.8%
Afghanistan 2.8%
subtotal = 33.6%
India 45.9%
Israel/ Palestine 8.4%
TOTAL 87.9%

Full list by country:

Country Incidents Percent
Afghanistan 18 2.8%
Angola 1 0.2%
Argentina 1 0.2%
Bangladesh 1 0.2%
Bolivia 1 0.2%
Bosnia 1 0.2%
Chile 1 0.2%
Columbia 2 0.3%
Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 0.2%
Egypt 2 0.3%
France 3 0.5%
Germany 1 0.2%
Greece 2 0.3%
Haiti 2 0.3%
India 300 45.9%
Indonesia 1 0.2%
Iraq 201 30.8%
Israel 15 2.3%
Malaysia 1 0.2%
Mexico 1 0.2%
Nepal 10 1.5%
Pakistan 3 0.5%
Palestine 40 6.1%
Philippines 2 0.3%
Russia 5 0.8%
Saudi Arabia 12 1.8%
Serbia 2 0.3%
Somalia 1 0.2%
Spain 2 0.3%
Sri Lanka 1 0.2%
Sudan 5 0.8%
Thailand 3 0.5%
Turkey 4 0.6%
Ukraine 1 0.2%
United Kingdom 1 0.2%
Uzbekistan 2 0.3%
Venezuela 3 0.5%

Link: Winds of Change.NET: The Compleat NCTC.
No prizes for guessing where most of the attacks in India are occuring. Where else, but J&K?

Blogging 101

Here are the steps:

1. Get a blog.
2. Get a sitemeter (and a onestat)
3. Leave comments.
4. Use trackback
5. Take advantage of open posts - here, here, and here for example
6. Find your tribe (memeorandum, technorati, etc)
7. Email
8. Carnivals
9. Blogroll (and ping it too!)
10. Enter the Ecosystem

Link: Mudville Gazette.
I would add a few steps of my own:

  1. Make sure your blog has a RSS (or atom) feed turned on. Better still, use feedburner.  That way, your readers can subscribe to and/or syndicate your blog. They don't need to keep checking your blog to see if there is any update. You can also allow your readers to subscribe your RSS feed or blog through email using a free service called Bloglet.
  2. Register your blog (and its RSS feed) in various directories, such as BlogLines, Technorati, Yahoo!, Dmoz, etc.

Happy blogging!
Update: Here is the details on trackbacks. In a nutshell, it is a way to tell that you have put a up a post with a link to another post (on somebody else's blog). That target blog will automatically list all the links that refer to its posts.

A horror that was communism

Catallarchy has a very good series of post on horrors of communism. If only MSM had highlighted this as much as horrors of Nazi and other tyrants! Instead, publications like New York Times were busy whitewashing the crimes:

There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.

– New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1

Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.

–New York Times, August 23, 1933

Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin’s program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.

–New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

–New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18

There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.

–New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 131

While Stalin’s was forcibly collectivizing Ukrainian farms and sealing off its borders by using starvation as a political weapon, while 25,000 people were dying daily, while mothers in the countryside were throwing their babies onto train-cars headed to the cities in hopes of alleviating their hunger, and while the government was printing posters that read, “Eating your children is an act of barbarism,”2 Walter Duranty - principal NY Times correspondent in the USSR - was denying the existence of a famine to the Western world.

Read the whole thing! It is amazing that NY Times still continues to proudly display the Pultizer prize won by Walter Duranty!
Link: Catallarchy � May Day 2005: A Day Of Remembrance.

Is Global Warming really man-made?

Robert Matthews (in Telegraph) tells us that:

Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.

A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.

Link: Adam Smith Institute Blog - Too hot for objectivity.