The Locker Room

November 18, 2010

Airport security—alternatives to unwanted groping and forcible expose

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 3:26 PM

Apparently the Dutch have an alternative to both the body-groping pat-down and the naked imaging security measures that Americans are facing at U.S. airports. A scanner technology —that does not generate nude views of the scanner subject—is available and in place in Dutch airports. It can detect powders, gels, explosives, metals, and other dangerous materials, mapping them to a mannequin image when found. If necessary, security personnel can then follow up with any required investigation. The Dutch system uses no radiation or x-rays, employing very low-level radio waves instead. So apparently the Dutch are sane on at least one level, which is more than can be said for TSA at the moment.

Americans are not going to put up with the craziness of the new U.S. system. In any reasonable context it would be considered sexual harassment at least, and should most certainly be considered sexual assault in general. This cannot be allowed to continue, and it won't be, I feel sure.

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New CJTV exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:52 PM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Anthony Greco's report on controversial proposals to mandate increased energy efficiency in North Carolina homes.

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Did He Really Say That?

Posted by Melissa Mitchell at 1:25 PM

In this Real Clear Politics video, Sen. Jay Rockefeller provides a concrete example of how Democrats view, and disregard, the First Amendment and do not want any knowledgeable Americans understanding or interfering with their agenda. What does he think we want to watch? Probably, what he deems acceptable.

This is another concrete example of Democrats continuing to resist a transparent government that would keep Americans informed. Once Americans discovered C-Span, they realized what was going on in Congress and that elected officials, like Sen. Rockefeller, were doing their own idea of work, not what the American people wanted or needed.

Rockefeller's idea would keep Americans in the dark, which is just where elected officials, like Rockefeller, want Americans to be - uninformed and in the dark.

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Berger, Brown nominated for N.C. Senate leadership posts

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:20 PM

From the N.C. Senate Republican Leader's office:

Republicans Choose Leadership For New Majority

Berger To Be Nominated Next President Pro Tempore

Raleigh, N.C. – At a meeting of the Senate Republican Caucus held today, Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) was unanimously selected by fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as their nominee for the position of President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate. Senator Berger had served as Minority Leader since 2005. He was first elected to serve in the N.C. Senate in 2000. Republicans will take control of the N.C. Senate for the first time in over 100 years on January 26, 2011, when the next session of the General Assembly officially begins.

Sen. Berger said, “I am humbled by the support of my fellow Republicans and accept this nomination grateful for the opportunity to lead the Senate. We are under no illusions about the immensity of the problems we are facing as a state. Senate Republicans are united and understand that the voters expect us to provide leadership to address North Carolina’s significant fiscal problems and pursue policies to get our economy moving in the right direction by enabling the private sector to create jobs for our people.”

Additionally, Senate Republicans chose Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) was to be Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) as Senate Majority Whip, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell (R-Cabarrus) as Caucus Secretary, and Sen. Jean Preston (R-Carteret) as Caucus Liaison. Sen. James Forrestor (R-Gaston) was nominated to serve as Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore.

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Of gods and politics

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:50 AM

Mitch was right to draw my attention to the new Newsweek cover:

By the many arms of Shiva, that's a very interesting twist on Obama/god theme, of which Newsweek has been a most faithful standard-bearer. The choice is rather revealing. Shiva, after all, is but one of a multitude of gods. The message seems to be that if the many hands of Obama aren't enough to solve America's problems, then other gods — Obama's multitude of czars with their delegated sort of godlike powers — need to step it up.

Newsweek ultimately doesn't question the necessity of the presidency getting personally involved in the seemingly infinite number of areas "burdening" him.

Compare that image of a necessarily burdened deity with the one adopted almost as a mascot by the Tea Party — Atlas, also one among many deities, and this one overtly tasked with bearing the weight of the world. Note too that in the modern political context Atlas comes with a very key proviso:

(The picture is of a T-shirt being sold on

Note: Originally I had cited Vishnu as the god referenced by Newsweek (Vishnu, after all, is also depicted with many arms), but as the cover art is most reminiscent of the iconic image of the dancing Shiva, the latter is more correct.

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This is pretty dramatic--what price windpower

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:45 AM

Unfortunately the language barrier does not allow most of us to get the specifics but the message is loud and clear. Watch this.

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What are the new Washington GOP leaders reading?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:23 AM

Among the books Tevi Troy lists in a new article for National Review Online are Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man and Arthur Brooks' The Battle.

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It really did hurt

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:12 AM

You weren't imagining the economic pain in North Carolina during 2009. The state economy shrank 3.2 percent ($6 billion) last year. That was the eighth-largest contraction in the country, according to new statistics from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

If you're thinking the downturn would have been worse without legal fees paid by former Gov. Easley and his associates, that's an economic fallacy.

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Barone assesses international reaction to U.S. monetary policy

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:07 AM

The headline for Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner article tells us that the Fed's $600 billion bond buy "lays egg here and abroad." Barone says he's "astonished by the degree of disrespect" prompted by the latest economic policies from President Obama and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke:

Not surprisingly, Chinese and German leaders are squawking loudly, complaining that the United States is attempting to use their strength to compensate for our own weakness. Brazil's finance minister, Guido Mantega, minced no words when he called the Fed's action the beginning of "currency wars."

Obama's efforts to get agreement at the G-20 conference were not successful. Seldom if ever has an American leader been pummeled with such criticism at an international economic conference.

During the 2008 campaign, we were told that foreigners would once again respect America if voters elected Obama. That wasn't apparent in Korea.

In Washington, too, there have been complaints coming from a surprising source. Shortly after Bernanke announced the Fed's QE2 policy, Federal Reserve Board member Kevin Warsh wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal saying that there won't be much easing and that the Fed can't compensate for bad fiscal policy. "The Federal Reserve is not a workshop for broken fiscal, trade or regulatory policies," he wrote.

Warsh has been regarded, by me and others more expert, as a solid Bernanke ally on the Fed, one given to justifying the chairman's policies to the outside world, and he voted with Bernanke on QE2. But in the Journal, he wrote, "I consider the (Fed's) action as necessarily limited, circumscribed and subject to regular review." Translation: Ben, you haven't got my vote for long.

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Students may get iPads from Durham schools

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:06 AM

The News & Observer reports,

On Tuesday, Superintendent Eric Becoats announced the system wants to buy Apple iPads for teachers and students at two low-performing schools.

The plan is part of how Durham Public Schools propose to spend $4.5 million in federal Race to The Top money. It still needs state and federal approval.
If approved by the feds, the district will distribute iPads to students and teachers at W.G. Pearson Elementary and Lowe's Grove Middle School.

Is this really the best use of these funds?

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Allred convicted of drunk driving

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:22 AM

The Greensboro News & Record reports:

After two days of pretrial hearings and testimony, former state legislator Cary Allred was found guilty Wednesday of driving while impaired.

The charge originated from a June 29 incident, when Allred, 63, was stopped by Burlington police near City Park on South Church Street. He was driving home from Ruby Tuesday on Huffman Mill Road, and had interacted with Burlington police earlier that evening outside La Fiesta in an unrelated incident, at which time he told an officer he didn't want to talk to him because he'd "been drinking beer."

Allred has a colorful past.

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Denationalize money

Posted by George Leef at 08:08 AM

Yesterday, I suggested that GMU professor Don Boudreaux would be terrific in the "anti-Krugman" role.

Here's a letter to the editor of the Washington Post regarding F.A. Hayek's argument in favor of denationalizing money:

Editor, Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Editor:

George Will's superb column on the Fed's over-expansive "dual mandate" ends with an apt warning from the late Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek that any attempt to engineer economies - even via monetary policy - is evidence of a "fatal conceit" ("The trap of the Federal Reserve's dual mandate," Nov. 18). It's unsurprising, therefore, that Hayek was among the first economists to call for removing government from the business of supplying and regulating money.

In 1976, Hayek published a pioneering monograph entitled "Denationalisation of Money"* in which he argued that not only can markets supply sound money, but that markets are likely to do so far more reliably than will any government or central bank.

Hayek's work is the font of a fertile river of research on the history and
theory of 'free banking' (whose chief contributors are my GMU colleague Lawrence White and my former GMU colleague George Selgin**). This research leaves no doubt that, had money been supplied privately from the start of the republic, U.S. economic growth would have been both steadier and steeper.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:44 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report on GOP legislators' priorities in addressing North Carolina state government's $3 billion budget hole. 

John Hood's Daily Journal explains that the process of closing that budget hole without tax increases is challenging but not impossible.

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