Friday, August 13, 2010

Quotes of the day

... something that nobody can demonstrate is taken as a norm, and any deviation from that norm is somebody's fault!--Thomas Sowell

In a move of stunning hypocrisy, the United Federation of Teachers axed one of its longtime employees -- for trying to unionize the powerful labor organization's own workers, it was charged yesterday.--Tom Topousis

In 1993, just after Democrats won the White House, Reid filed a bill that would have done exactly what some Republicans now demand — end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.--Ed Morrisey

The first rule of the (old) Upper Class Club always was that you don't talk about the Upper Class Club.--Peter York

... just because a tax is levied on the rich, that doesn't mean the rich are the ones most hurt by it; luxury taxes on yachts put working-class boatmakers out of a job, not corporate CEOs. ... So the right question to me is not "where do we maximize [tax] revenue", but "where do we maximize utility [between workers and employers]?" Obviously, that's not an easy question to answer. But when you add in deadweight loss, and the long-run drag on economic growth it implies, I think it's pretty clear that the right answer is well short of the rate where we collect the most taxes.--Megan McArdle

... according to Matthew Yeager, a data storage expert who works for the UK data services and solutions company Computacenter, emails—especially those with attachments—still use energy and create greenhouse gas emissions, even if you don't print them. Last month, Yeager told the BBC that sending an email attachment of 4.7 megabytes—the equivalent of about 4 photos taken on a point-and-shoot digital camera—creates as much greenhouse gas as boiling your tea kettle 17.5 times. I called Yeager to find out the whole story.--Kiera Butler

Over the past few years, Sun has been one of the more outspoken companies against abusing the patent system, with former CEO Jonathan Schwartz explaining that real companies innovate, not litigate. However, Sun and its patents are now owned by Oracle, and apparently Larry Ellison feels otherwise. Oracle is now suing Google for patent infringement, using a bunch of patents that Sun owns around Java, claiming that Google's Android implementation of Java is done without a license.--Mike Masnick

... the best paid athlete of all time—was a Lusitanian Spaniard named Gaius Appuleius Diocles, who had short stints with the Whites and Greens, before settling in for a long career with the Reds. Twenty-four years of winnings brought Diocles—likely an illiterate man whose signature move was the strong final dash—the staggering sum of 35,863,120 sesterces in prize money. The figure is recorded in a monumental inscription erected in Rome by his fellow charioteers and admirers in 146, which hails him fulsomely on his retirement at the age of “42 years, 7 months, and 23 days” as “champion of all charioteers.” His total take home amounted to five times the earnings of the highest paid provincial governors over a similar period—enough to provide grain for the entire city of Rome for one year, or to pay all the ordinary soldiers of the Roman Army at the height of its imperial reach for a fifth of a year. By today’s standards that last figure, assuming the apt comparison is what it takes to pay the wages of the American armed forces for the same period, would cash out to about $15 billion.--Peter Struck

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