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Today's Links: December 29, 2011

OPINION CHARLES H. KUCK: "'Path to Legality' Falls Way Short" "Gingrich speaks of our needs for a '21st Century Visa Program,' of eliminating 'inefficiencies' in order to attract the best and the brightest to come to and remain in America. Even in our current broken system, however, we are attracting the best people. The problem is that we are quickly losing them when they realize that our legal immigration system has waits of up to 15 years for workers to get permanent residence through employment. Wait times exceed 25 years for family immigration. The answer is simple: Increase the numbers of legal immigrants that come to the U.S. in legal categories to meet not only demand, but also our needs." JERRY BOWYER: "Christmas, Kurtosis, Fat Tails, Black Swans and Risk Management" "Christ was born into the Pagan world of Rome, a world of cyclical despair. As historian of science Stanley Jaki spent his life documenting, the pagan world view was one of endless cycles, of oscillations, of rise and fall, golden ages of glory, bronze ages of decline, iron and stone ages of despair, with no genuine permanent progress. For this reason, among others, Jaki says neither the ancient Greeks nor Romans produced modern science, which depends greatly on the idea of progress. I would argue that this is the reason why they also failed to create modern economics, which is also based on the idea of progress." SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS EDITORIAL: "Inflated Job Numbers Another Reason to Halt High-Speed Rail" "The promise of 1 million jobs springing from California's high-speed rail project has turned out to be a mirage. The real number, when stripped of rail supporters' obfuscating statistic-speak, shrinks to about 60,000 jobs a year at most for the 22 years it would take to build the railroad. That's one more reason to stop the project now. Gov. Jerry Brown needs to wake up and tell the Legislature not to approve the sale of bonds for the first segment in the Central Valley now set to begin construction in 2012." NEWS NANNY STATE - Beaver Borough Bans Non-Residents From Sledding "Sledding is permitted in Roosevelt Park although children under 12 must wear helmets, but the ordinance limits sledding to only Beaver Borough residents." TRADE - Argentina Bans iPhone, Blackberry Imports to Support Local Production "In an attempt to rectify issues with Argentina’s economy, the South American country placed a temporary ban on imports of foreign-made electronics. Two of the most well-known of those electronics are the iPhone and BlackBerry devices. Apple and RIM collectively account for 60 percent of Argentina’s smartphone market, so the ban is going to have a substantial impact on its mobile industry." AGRICULTURE - GM Crops Banned in Peru "In a bid to protect its local food producers, [Peru] has approved a law establishing a moratorium on income and production of genetically modified organisms."