Pretty much the most interesting blog on the Internet.— Prof. Steven Landsburg

Once you get past the title, and the subtitle, and the equations, and the foreign quotes, and the computer code, and the various hapax legomena, a solid 50% English content!—The Proprietor

Friday, November 27, 2015

Article 2 Courts: Illustrations from the Securities Exchange Commission

A recent post described the common, but little known, Article II courts and how they offend the most basic principles of due process of law and judical independence which most familiar with the rule of law would have imagined enshrined in the Constitution. Now the Wall Street Journal has published an article Fairness of SEC Judges Is in Spotlight (Nov. 22, 2015)Subscription possibly required. Link to non-gated version much appreciated. offering some striking quotes and statistics illustrating this point.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Administrative Note

The author apologizes for the two-week silence on these pages; other matters took priority. One shall endeavor to avoid such long droughtsIf anybody can be said to have thirsted for further pearls of wisdom from this dubious source. by greater diligence and pre-scheduling of any of the few dozen semi-finished (and in some cases long-promised) posts during any unavoidable absence. In the meantime, the RSS feeds and e-mail subscriptions available in the right-hand sidebar can spare any reader the need to regularly visit these pages only to be disappointed at the lack of new content.

Risk Corridors and Credibility


The ObamaCare risk corridors provide subsidies to insurance companies that make losses on the marketplaces while collecting revenues from those that make above-normal profits. Until recently, everybody—from the CBO on down—knew that the risk corridors would generate multi-billion dollar surpluses for the federal government. Now everybody knows, and has always known, that they would generate multi-billion dollar losses for the federal government.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

George Washington’s Brain

George Washington's Axe

This is George Washington’s axe, the curator said with pride, gesturing toward a worn and rugged thing, locked inside of a glass case, held in the very hands of the first President of our great nation.

Of course, he said, we are much more careful about it now than we have in the past. The room we used to store it in wasn’t climate controlled, and the wood rotted, so we had to replace the handle. And one of our interns dropped it one day, and the blade cracked, so we had to replace that, too.

But, a young boy asked, if the handle has been replaced, and the blade has been replaced, it isn’t really George Washington’s axe anymore, is it?

This old joke, which entertained even the ancients, also shows an alternate route to the singularity, one on which Google this week made a small, but crucial, first step.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

PETA Fires Meat-Lovin’, Huntin’ Spokeman


BREAKING NEWS. ORIGINAL TO BLOG. MUST CREDIT. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have fired their long-term spokesman Krzysztof Charamsa based on his public endorsement of carnivorism. Mr. Charamsa stressed that his support for this noble cause was not merely rhetorical, but that he is actively involved in steak-eating, hunting, and animal experimentation. PETA’s brazen act of carnophobic intolerance and employment discrimination has drawn outrage across the world.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Massive Resistance in Maine

Welcome to Maine

Yesterday the State of Maine passed an initiative that purports to reform the campaign finance system for state elections and enhance public financing for elections, to rapturous applause from the expected quarters. The only problem is that nobody—including its supporters—sincerely believes this initiative to be Constitutional.