Black, psychotic, and shot dead

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Felix David was shot and killed by a New York City police detective. Officially, the shooting was justified, but the Angry Old Man sees it as evidence of incompetence at every level of the police. Here is the story from The New York Times, in quotations rearranged in chronological order: Continue reading

TPP is not a no-brainer

Economist Gregory Mankiw writes in The New York Times that he likes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a.k.a. TPP. Among economists, he says, it’s a no-brainer. He says he and his economist friends wrote an open letter to Congressional leaders saying that “International trade is fundamentally good for the U.S. economy.”

Hey, Greg, if it’s such a no-brainer, why do we need an agreement, let alone a secret agreement? Because you’re wrong. Economics, like medicine, deals with very complicated systems. But while medical science is turning to “evidence-based” medicine, and overturning “theory-based” beliefs that were held as recently as twenty-three years ago, you’re relying on the theories of Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, twenty-three years before doctors using theory-based medicine bled George Washington to death. Continue reading

New regulation, so what?

The Interior Department has proposed a new regulation to prevent another explosion like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to a recent article in The New York Times. Ho hum, business as usual. Continue reading

Obesity? What’s that?

It seems more people are obese than ever before. But what is obesity? I know what it looks like: you have too much fat on you. But what causes it? Is it an inborn trait, a choice, a disease, or an injury? Continue reading