Today’s Links: September 21, 2011


Jacob Sullum: “The Broken Planet Fallacy
“When Solyndra went belly up last month, less than a year after it started making solar arrays in Fremont, California, an Energy Department spokesman insisted that the $535 million the federal government had loaned the company was well spent. […] That rather short-sighted definition of success exemplifies the loopy logic of President Obama’s “green jobs” agenda, which justifies subsidies based on good intentions and employment opportunities rather than profitability or cost-effectiveness.”

Daniel Indiviglio: “Are Jobs Really Being Held Back by Deficit Uncertainty?
“The behavior of consumers and businesses would be virtually unchanged if, tomorrow, Congress provided a clear, complete explanation of how the U.S. would remain fiscally sound over the next 50 years. This isn’t an obstacle holding back a recovery. You might see a slight uptick in confidence if such a plan were released and agreed upon, but it’s just as likely that confidence could decline: the reality might be worse than the uncertainty. ”

Jonah Goldberg: “Tyranny of the Typical: Just Because the Government Has ‘Always Done’ Something, Doesn’t Mean it Should
“If everyone had always gotten their shoes from the government, writes Rothbard, the proponent of shoe privatization would be greeted as a kind of lunatic. ‘How could you?’ defenders of the status quo would squeal. ‘You are opposed to the public, and to poor people, wearing shoes! And who would supply shoes . . . if the government got out of the business? Tell us that! Be constructive! It’s easy to be negative and smart-alecky about government; but tell us who would supply shoes?'”


TECHNOLOGY – Rick Santorum Contacted Google, Says Company Spreads ‘Filth’
“A Google search for Santorum has generated some inappropriate results since gay columnist Dan Savage organized an online campaign to link graphic sexual terms to the socially conservative senator’s name. Now, the Republican presidential candidate says he’s convinced Google could do something to remedy the issue, if the company wanted to.”

UNITED NATIONS – Russia, China, Tajikistan Propose UN “Code of Conduct” for the ‘Net
“Quick show of hands: which four countries would you most trust to introduce a United Nations-backed “international code of conduct for information security” on the Internet? If your list included China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, then you’ll love the new code of conduct (PDF) introduced at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. ”

SECURITY – NFL Wants Patdowns From Ankles Up at All Stadiums
“Under the new ‘enhanced’ pat-down procedures, the NFL wants all 32 clubs to search fans from the ankles to the knees as well as the waist up. Previously, security guards only patted down fans from the waist up while looking for booze, weapons or other banned items. The stricter physical screening policy impacts the 16.6 million fans expected to attend live regular season NFL games this season. The more thorough searches will spell longer lines for ticket-holding fans seeking entry to games. It’s sure to raise the ire of some fans who consider it an invasion of privacy.”