Dazzling Knowledge

Friday, June 30, 2006

News you can use:

A real pioneer.

Boom goes the dynamite.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Uncommon Sense on minimum wage laws

The Senate is debating an increase in the federal minimum wage, and I want to weigh in. This can be a somewhat complex topic, and I do not wish to give a comprehensive account of the issue or my opinions on it right now. For some background, I’d recommend starting here and here. For now, I just want to address the silly contemporary idea that the minimum wage rate should somehow be linked to the wages of legislators.
I’ll say off the bat that I have no love of pay raises for our representatives in D. C., but there are good reasons that minimum wage laws should have nothing to do with the salaries of legislators. Here are just three.

1) When legislators vote on their pay, they are not voting to take away the rights of business owners. Minimum wage laws do restrict the freedoms of business owners to freely enter into contracts with prospective employees.

2) When legislators vote on their pay, they are not interfering with market forces. Without getting into creative ideas, there is no way to subject the salaries of legislators to the market. They are only accountable to the President, who can veto a pay raise, and to their constituents, who can hold them accountable if they feel that the pay raise is unjust. Raising the federal minimum wage can interfere with the market, possibly resulting in all manner of unintended consequences, including increased unemployment, and poorer working conditions for minimum wage earners.

3) Since the number of legislators is set, raising the salary of legislators cannot adversely affect the employment rate of legislators. To be fair, if an increase in the salary of legislators did have the potential to result in some of them losing their jobs, I’d be compelled to consider the idea.

So, if you want to argue for raising the federal minimum wage, please give me something more than this stupid rhetorical device. Plus, here’s a compromise solution: Raise the minimum wage on the condition that all legislators in D. C. have that become their new salary.

Hey, What about 1993?

From Brushback's MLB Power ratings:

Philadelphia Phillies

If the playoffs started today, the Phillies would not be in them. They won’t be in them when they actually do start either, unless they somehow start in 1983.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Here's an offering trying to explain those darn whacky Christians to the always confused and terrified secularists.

My favorite entries:

The Bible
The Bible was written by God as a merchandising tie-in to His blockbuster film "The Ten Commandments." Each book of the Bible is named after a person who features prominently in it, for example, the Book of Numbers, which is named after Herschel Numbers, who invented numerals. The Bible was so successful that God wrote a sequel, "Bible II: On to Rome," now generally called "The New Testament." Protestants believe the Bible is literal and exactly true in every detail except the description of the Eucharist, while Catholics are not allowed to read the Bible.

Catholics are the New York Yankees of Christianity. They are the biggest and wealthiest team, and their owner is intensely controversial (this makes St. Francis of Assisi the Derek Jeter of Catholicism: discuss). Catholics all wear matching uniforms, and are divided into "parishes," or "squadrons," to make choosing softball teams easier. Catholics are rigidly controlled by a hidebound hierarchy that starts with priests and ends with priests' housekeepers. Catholics are not allowed to read the Bible, eat meat, or refrain from worshipping statues.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Larry brown has officially been fired by the Knicks, and Isiah Thomas has been named, essentially by himself, as the new coach. I think this is wonderful. Isiah Thomas is the worst front office man in the history of sports. He has already put a whole league out of commission. I will enjoy watching him bumble with the dysfunctional group of players he assembled.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No wonder Michael Strahan was always going after all those sacks. As I recall, Brett Favre gave his up pretty easy. I can't imagine this information being useful to a guy, like me, who has season tickets at the Linc three rows behind the visiting team's bench.

Via Isegoria: Here's a list of the top 10 hybrid animals. It includes the liger, which I didn't even realize was anything more than a product of Napoleon Dynamite's imagination. Now I have to wonder whether they were actually bred for their skills in magic. For real science nerds, note the occurences of Haldane's Rule.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where do you find a dog with two legs? Right where you... Oh Dear God!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Our representatives in D. C. are too busy fulfilling their duty to moralize and grandstand to pay attention to things like the Constitution or the Ten Commandments.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm all for mutant rights, I just don't think they should be able to get married.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A True Story that Will Restore Your Faith in America

I was driving home from work and I turned onto my street and I saw a little girl riding a bike in the street. This is perfectly normal, as there are many families in my neighborhood and children frequently play in the street. I like that about my neighborhood. Anyway, there's an approximately ten-year-old little girl on a pink bike riding in the street, so I slow and wait for her to ride to the sidewalk. Except, she didn't ride to the sidewalk. Instead, she rode very slowly, right in the middle of the street.

I just drove very slowly behind the girl for around half a block. Fortunately, I was in a good mood, and in no hurry, so it didn't really bother me to drive really slowly down my street for a little while. Still, it seemed weird that this girl basically ignored my presence and was riding so slowly, even for a little girl on a pink bike.

At some point, I looked more colesly and noticed something. The girl's head was cocked.. and she was talking on a cell phone.

Just think about that.

I could only speculate that on the other line was her mother, driving an SUV, holding up traffic on the other end of town.

Oh wait. That story won't restore anybody's faith in America. My bad.