Imagine Living in a Socialist USA

A book review from Front Page Magazine. (Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm). The opening paragraph suggests what it’s all about:

This dreadful book has one redeeming quality: it admits candidly what the Left in America really wants when it says that its goal is a socialist country. Meant to be a recruiting tool as well as a morale booster for the Left, this book leads to a very different conclusion than its editors and authors intend.

Read the whole thing.

Book Review—Pawleys Island

I read this book because I just spent two months in Pawleys Island, South Carolina working on my own novel. While mine is far different than Dorothea Benton Frank’s novel, hers was nonetheless entertaining since it referenced places I’ve become familiar with, and she included some amusing, though stereotypical characters—Miss Olivia, the sherry-drinking matriarch of the plantation; Huey, her gay son (with-a-heart-of-gold) and art gallery owner; the snippy black servant, Byron; and his high-energy sister/housekeeper Daphne. The main characters are non-practicing lawyer Abigail living in her beach house on Pawleys Island, recovering from family tragedy, and artist Rebecca, who lost her home and children due to Nat, her despicable car-salesman husband’s actions, and an uncaring court. Abigail, of course, takes on the case of her new-found friend Rebecca, and while the plot is hardly believable, and quite predictable, one can’t help but root for Nat to get his comeuppance. He does, and a happy-sappy ending is assured as her nasty children return to their mother’s care, quickly cleaning up their act.

The book is an easy read, funny, and filled with just enough local and historical references of the area. I wouldn’t call it great, but I understand some of her other novels centered in low-country are better, so I will read more of her.

Revisiting the Branch Davidians and Waco

Ann Althouse offers this quote: “In the government’s eyes, the Branch Davidians were a threat,” from a Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker.

Threat to whom?

When the Scientist Is Also a Philosopher

From The New York Times, by economist, Greg Mankiw. The introductory paragraph:

Do you want to know a dirty little secret of economists who give policy advice? When we do so, we are often speaking not just as economic scientists, but also as political philosophers. Our recommendations are based not only on our understanding of how the world works, but also on our judgments about what makes a good society.

“Our criminal justice system has become a crime”

From USA Today, a recent column by law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds (Instapundit, with comments).

Prosecutors too often abuse unrestrained powers.

They are running riot.

Combating Bad Science

From The Economist:

“WHY most published research findings are false” is not, as the title of an academic paper, likely to win friends in the ivory tower. But it has certainly influenced people (including journalists at The Economist). The paper it introduced was published in 2005 by John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist who was then at the University of Ioannina, in Greece, and is now at Stanford. It exposed the ways, most notably the overinterpreting of statistical significance in studies with small sample sizes, that scientific findings can end up being irreproducible—or, as a layman might put it, wrong.

Dr Ioannidis has been waging war on sloppy science ever since, helping to develop a discipline called meta-research (ie, research about research). Later this month that battle will be institutionalised, with the launch of the Meta-Research Innovation Centre at Stanford.

Read the whole thing.