Today’s Links: October 24, 2012


MICHAEL C. OSBORNE: “Michael Shellenberger to climate activists: It’s not the end of the world
“At the core of the Breakthrough philosophy is the belief that human ingenuity will trump all of the doomsaying, allowing us to survive and adapt to a warmer world. […] [I]t would be easy to characterize Shellenberger, Nordhaus, & Co. as climate skeptics or deniers — they are certainly quick to criticize those who predict imminent disaster. But to do so would be to oversimplify their arguments. Instead, they are trying to put climate change into a broader context — one that includes other challenges such as hunger, poverty, and access to clean energy, as well as a more realistic (in their opinion) sense of our abilities to innovate our way through sticky circumstances.”

DAVID B. RIVKIN Jr. and ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY: “Plenty of Debates, Not Much About States
“The idea that the Constitution grants only limited and enumerated powers and leaves the remainder to the states is foreign to those who believe that the national government should or even could address voters’ every concern. But contrary to the view widely shared by the political class, Washington—in particular, Congress—does not have the power to pass any law it wants in the name of the ‘general welfare.'”

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: “San Bernardino halts pension fund payments
“The city of San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy protection three months ago, and shortly afterward was reported to be under investigation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, allegedly for hiding deficits by diverting money intended for sewers, roads and construction to pay ongoing bills instead. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports the Inland Empire city of about 210,000 residents ;has stopped making its regular payments to the California Public Employees Retirement System’ and owes $5.3 million toward its employees’ pensions.”


QUOTE OF THE WEEK – NY Top Court Upholds Lap Dance Tax
“In his dissenting opinion, Judge Robert Smith argued the court was being too prudish in what it considered art — even though he finds lap dances ‘distasteful.’ […] ‘Perhaps for similar reasons, I do not read Hustler magazine,’ Smith wrote. ‘I would rather read the New Yorker. I would be appalled however, if the state were to exact from Hustler a tax that the New Yorker did not have to pay on the ground that what appears in Hustler is insufficiently ‘cultural or artistic.’”

NANNY STATE – Dentist told to bin magazines due to ‘infection risk’
“Monica Symes, a dentist in Lyme Regis, Dorset, says an NHS infection control worker warned her that keeping back issues of Country Life could make her fail health and safety inspections.”

CYBERSECURITY – Credit Card Hackers Strike at Barnes & Noble
“Thieves stole credit and debit card PINs from thousands Barnes & Noble customers, not by breaking into the company’s website, but by hacking the keypads sitting right on their store counters.”