Category Archives: Government

From The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Few people realize this, but cutting down the trees is one of the things that keeps us Malawians poor. Without the trees, the rains turn to floods and wash away the soil and all its minerals. The soil — along with loads of garbage — runs into the Shire River, clogging up the dams with silt and trash and shutting down the turbine. Then the power plant has to stop all operations and dredge the river, which in turn causes power cuts. And because this process is so expensive, the power company has to charge extra for electricity, making it even more difficult to afford. So with no crops to sell because of drought and floods, and with no electricity because of clogged rivers and high prices, many people feed their families by cutting down trees for firewood or selling it for charcoal. It’s like that.

Recycling Windowed Envelopes in Chandler, AZ


Dear The City of Chandler, Recycling Division,

I would like to know if it is possible to recycle window envelopes in Chandler or if I need to first remove the plastic.

Thank you,

Clifton –

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding whether window envelopes can be recycled in Chandler’s program. Chandler accepts all junk mail, including window envelopes, in the blue recycle container. It is not necessary to remove the film from the envelopes. For more information, please visit our website at the following link Solid Waste Services. If you have any questions that can’t be found on our website, please give Solid Waste Customer Service a call at 480-782-3510.

“Abortion and crime: who should you believe?”

First, let’s start by reviewing the basic facts that support the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis that legalized abortion in the 1970s explains a substantial part of the crime decline in the 1990s:

1) Five states legalized abortion three years before Roe v. Wade. Crime started falling three years earlier in these states, with property crime (done by younger people) falling before violent crime.


“Government is a barrier to innovation and development.”

According to NSF, the federal government funds 57 percent of basic research, compared to less than 18 percent for business, 15 percent for colleges and universities and 11 percent for nonprofits. And business only funds about 6 percent of university-based scientific research — one-tenth the share paid for by the federal government — so a retreat by government could have wide collateral damage to university research.


Waiting for “Superman”

“Sixty-eight percent of inmates in Pennsylvania are high school dropouts. The state spends $33,000/year on each prisoner, which makes the total cost of the average prison term (4 years) $132,000. The average private school costs $8,300/year. So, for the same amount, we could’ve sent a prison inmate to a private school from kindergarten through 12th grade and still had [$24,100] left for college.”

Perhaps valid as the evidence points to private school students matriculating at a much higher rate than public school students.*
Continue reading Waiting for “Superman”

Commission on Wartime Contracting

January 2011

  • Commission on Wartime Contracting

    The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan held a two panel hearing investigating the recurring problems associated with Afghan construction projects. Witnesses discussed delays, cost overruns and various oversight agencies issues. The projects are focused on providing facilities for the Afghan government and reconstruction and economic development since the anti-Taliban intervention in 2001.

  • Embattled U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Resigns as Calls for Oversight Grow

    Arnold Fields, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, stepped down Monday amid widespread congressional dissatisfaction with his office’s oversight of U.S. operational spending.

“Starving the Beast”

  • Debt and the Bush Years
    [Topics: Clinton, Bush, Housing Bubble 2000 Peak, Medicare Part D]
  • Op-Ed from Bruce Bartlett: Tax Cuts And ‘Starving The Beast’

    By 1981 STB was well-established Republican doctrine. In his first major address on the economy as president on Feb. 5, Ronald Reagan articulated the idea perfectly. As he told a nationwide audience that night, “Over the past decades we’ve talked of curtailing spending so that we can then lower the tax burden. … But there were always those who told us that taxes couldn’t be cut until spending was reduced. Well, you know, we can lecture our children about extravagance until we run out of voice and breath. Or we can cure their extravagance by simply reducing their allowance.”


1. If the World Trade Center (WTC) towers were designed to withstand multiple impacts by Boeing 707 aircraft, why did the impact of individual 767s cause so much damage?

As stated in Section 5.3.2 of NIST NCSTAR 1, a document from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) indicated that the impact of a [single, not multiple] Boeing 707 aircraft was analyzed during the design stage of the WTC towers. However, NIST investigators were unable to locate any documentation of the criteria and method used in the impact analysis and, therefore, were unable to verify the assertion that “… such collision would result in only local damage which could not cause collapse or substantial damage to the building.…”


Maxed Out

Seven Hills, NV

“I think you’ve just got to be in a master plan, where there are CC&Rs and they can’t build a mobile home right next door or a nail shop. You know, it’s just strictly a planned community. You’re gonna get your dollars out.”

“I could not have paid for the construction of that house if I hadn’t got the loan-to-value, which means they appraised the house when it was done and loaned me money as what it would sell for.

[Title card: This is the same accounting technique used by Enron.] Continue reading Maxed Out