Public posts will appear on the Community blog, and may be promoted to the front page.

The Road Less Travelled...

Backpaq in Iraq?

I happened to come across a blog by Leon, a 24-year-old American, that details his incredible journey backpacking into post-Saddam Iraq, meeting townspeople on the street, eating local food, and engaging in amazing conversations with citizens he met along the way. The depth and details he provides in his account are nothing you'll ever read in a mainstream newspaper, magazine, or a cable news show. Read more »

Employee compensation: cash vs. stock

Don Lloyd asks the following question about the employee

There is nothing inherently fraudulent about stock or option grants to employees.

All we have, ideally, is a mutually beneficial, voluntary economic exchange between shareholders and employees, with management acting as an agent for the shareholders. Both employees and shareholders end up better off. Read more »

Competition for Detroit public schools?

The teachers unions are getting worried. Read more »

Album review: BRMC's <i>Take Them On, On Your Own</i>

Often viewed in the same light as The White Stripes and the Strokes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released its second CD on Virgin Records earlier this month to high expectations. Its first self-titled CD received high praise and buzz, particularly around the single "Love Burns".

Read more »

Hockey Dad roughs up 10-year-old daughter

In the 'Sad But True' department:

Most have either seen these people first-hand, or read about them in the newspapers. They are the obnoxious and overzealous parents attending their kids’ sporting events, more obsessed with their child's statistics than their enjoyment. Read more »

Library construction bid: Non-union firms not allowed

Bay County, a county in central Michigan, is accepting construction bids to build a new main library and several branch libraries around the county. The catch? Read more »

Chong sells bongs, will do time.

Somewhere, violent criminals are still at large. Somewhere, a shady character is plotting terrorist activities. Somewhere, a drunken teen is getting behind the wheel of a car. Somewhere, a man is beating his wife.

But law enforcement resources are being used to charge Tommy Chong, fine him, and send him to a prison filled with dangerous whackos for nine months for selling bongs over the Internet.

FCC OKs Stern's Arnold interview

Media hacks in such newspapers as the Washington Post and Seattle Post Intelligencer, as well as moralistic groups such as Morality In Media at the other wing of the political spectrum, didn't mask their disappointment upon hearing Howard Stern has been given a pass by the FCC and declared a "news reporter" (ironic, given Stern’s confrontation with the federal ag Read more »

Kids shoot into highway; Tommy Vercetti blamed

gta.jpgMuch like clockwork, every so often we hear of a rock/rap group or movie being blamed for the violent shenanigans of unsupervised teenage delinquents. Currently, a lawsuit is being filed against the creators of Grand Theft Auto, a video game featuring carjackings, shootings, 80s music, and other garden-variety violence that 99.999% of customers use as some harmless escapist zeal after a long day at school or work. Read more »

Peter versteht das Problem

"We have 80 million Germans and the cost of providing them all with healthcare is too high. We have to change the mentality so that they realise the state can't pay for everything." - Peter Bruckmaier, a German medical center director.

Album Reviews

It's been a rather slow summer on the music-buying end for me, but I did come across a few CDs that piqued my interest. Read more »

School officials live it up on taxpayers' dime

Here's an example of how public school funding is being utilized. Public school officials from Oakland County, in southeast Michigan, played golf, ate at fancy restaurants, stayed at 5-star resorts, bought expensive gifts, and partook in other questionable purchases while attending 'workshops' and 'conferences' at the taxpayers’ expense. In addition, one person went on a sight-seeing trip to Europe and labeled it an educational tour. Read more »

Weekly Newsblotter

Random thoughts on random newsbits so far this week...

* Don’t Mess With Texas. The state is the only state in the country that has its own self-sufficient and isolated power grid. Their power is also highly efficient and less expensive than the national average. Read more »

Wordly view of blackouts

The largest blackout in history came and went in a few of America’s major cities with no significant increase in looting or crime. If fact, the number of arrests made in New York were somewhat lower than the department records on a normal evening. No doubt the international media and intellectuals are disappointed by the (lack of) news. Read more »

Gasoline price controls and the blackout

Thursday's blackout created a similar scene across the Detroit area Friday, as small gas stations in small outlying towns not affected by the blackout were inundated with fuel-seekers. Considering I was one of the unfortunate with only 1/4 tank left when the lights went out, I decided to take the half-hour drive and join the 1.5 hour line to wait for fuel Friday. I only needed enough to last a day ... basically, to stop by the grocery store in the area, pick up a few things, and head back home. Read more »

Technology and business opportunity meet in Zanzibar

The benefits of free-market economics makes its presence felt in the most far-reaching corners of the globe, raising the standard of living and providing local economic growth. Read more »

Weekly 'quick hits'

Random thoughts from random newsbits seen in the news...

* A school district in Michigan is planning to charge a $35 activity fee to all students to help pay for extracurricular clubs and activities. The state education board is questioning the move, claiming that those who choose not to participate in the activities are unfairly being forced to pay. The irony here is rather amusing. Read more »

Jonah on Berkeley

Jonah Goldberg presents his counterpoint on the Berkeley (surprise, surprise) study on people who call themselves "conservatives". After all, the Berkeley elite actually believes Hitler, der F?hrer of the National Socialist (a.k.a. Nazi) party, and Mussolini were conservatives.

Europeans in heat

This has been quite a summer in Europe, with scorching triple-digit temperatures in Spain and Portugal, and 90s widespread as far north as central England. European media has taken the initiative of blaming environmental change as the culprit, announcing that "global warming is now a fact of life".

If the current weather continues, France's Liberation warns, "it means that it's not a heatwave, but climate change".

Beware of the PC threat

I'm a little late to the party, as the following column by Danny Brooks is from June. Brooks, a North Carolina libertarian, makes a scathing attack on political correctness gone wild, and claims it to be a threat to core American values. Read more »