The Locker Room

May 24, 2005

Taylor and the Harrah's

Posted by Chad Adams at 8:10 PM

I know it might be a stretch for you, but in the recesses of minds like Easley's if you trust machines more than people, then the video black jack makes sense.

The machines can be programmed just like the video poker machines. It is even more silly when you're standing there watching it.

But there is a move underway to make the tables "real" and not "like real" if they can ink a deal with Lottery Mike.

They don't have a video craps machine or roulette, that would be kind of funny to watch as well. Regardless the Cherokees are laughing all the way to the bank, that goes a long way towards being snickered at for running a video black-jack machine.

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college faculty unions

Posted by George Leef at 2:05 PM

In the May 27 Chronicle of Higher Education, there is an article about a controversy over the formation of a faculty union at Carroll College in Wisconsin. This is a trifecta for me: I'm interested in higher education, labor policy, and I happen to have graduated from Carroll (which is the oldest college in the Badger State, a bit of completely useless trivia). It's a subscriber site, but I'll toss in the link anyway.

Some of the profs think they'd like union representation. The school is arguing that the Supreme Court has ruled that religiously-affiliated schools aren't under the National Labor Relations Act for First Amendment reasons.

The root of the problem here is that hideous piece of legislation, the National Labor Relations Act. It creates a duty of mandatory "good faith" bargaining once a union is certified because it has majority support. The case again shows why it would be a lovely solution just to repeal the NLRA. Without it, any professors who wanted union representation would be free to join any union they wanted to, or start their own. Professors who didn't want any part of it would be similarly free to ignore the union or unions desired by other profs. With no legal mandate to bargain over anything, the school might choose to bargain with the union or unions over some issues, but not others. Or it might say that it won't engage in collective bargaining at all. No one could say what the result would be ahead of time, but it wouldn't be the result of coercion.

The NLRA is another of those festering New Deal relics that ought to be surgically removed.

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Cherokee Card Query

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 1:40 PM

I throw this out to Donna and the muster:

The other day I was puzzled by an ad for N.C. Harrah's which said something about "now with all the excitement of Las Vegas table games" and showed some video blackjack game. It was built into a table-top and there was a "dealer" who "dealt" the card onto the screen (and looked like a goofus doing it.)

What is the rationale for allowing that but not real card games? I mean who knows how the game is programmed but a 52-card deck, or four or six of them, is a known thing. Is that the vid version is thought to be less addictive?

I'm seriously confused, as usual.

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Charlotte Looks to Win Race for Highest Hotel Tax in State

Posted by Donna Martinez at 12:50 AM

If Charlotte city officials get their way, hotel taxes will climb to 8 percent, highest in North Carolina. And it's all tied in to the NASCAR Hall of Fame effort. Check out the details in this Charlotte Business Journal story of May 20. For more on the tax-and-spenders in Charlotte, read our own Jeff A. Taylor, who keeps track of it all for us.

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more malicious marshmallows

Posted by George Leef at 12:48 AM

In a previous post, I replied to the airy criticisms directed at my recent News & Observer op-ed about the search for a new UNC president in a letter to the editor by W. Robert Conner. The N&O has recently run another letter by Robert Kennel, the Executive Director of the Council of UNC Alumni Association Presidents in which the writer flings more marshmallows, but with a malice the previous letter lacked. Kennel's letter is here if you wish to read the whole thing.

Kennel says that my op-ed was "scary" because I contend that the next UNC president ought to focus on academic excellence and forget the diversity mania and should stick to academics rather than engaging in further mission creep such as trying to spur economic development.

"Diversity" -- meaning that the university should go all out to hire more "minority" faculty members and administrators, admit more "minority" students and add more "identity" courses that are supposed to appeal to students on the basis of their race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation -- is a national plague in higher education which does nothing whatsoever to improve learning. On the contrary, it is a sideshow that tends to get in the way of academic excellence.

Kennel, however, says that the next UNC president should "embrace diversity." Why? Because he rejoiced in a recent story about a NC State graduate "who overcame so much." Blacks with drive and ability were overcoming even more long before the diversity craze settled in. By all means, let's honor all who excel, but that's no reason to continue the costly diversity crusade.

As for economic development, under Chancellor Moeser, UNC-CH has set up an economic development office. I'm all for economic development, but it will take place when and where it makes sense business-wise with or without this development office. If entrepreneurs have any need of the expertise of any UNC faculty member, they can seek it out. Economic development is part of the spontaneous order of a free society; it does not need catalyzing by UNC.

But wait -- Kennel says that recently an NC State professor received an award for his veterinary work which may lead to medical breakthroughs. I'm delighted to hear that, but it has nothing at all to do with my point.

Lastly, Kennel states that he "would disparage the Pope Center's ideological mortar shells periodically lobbed into the face of UNC's reality." What I think that means is that he's upset over the fact that the Center often critizes some of the silly (and clearly ideologically-driven) things that go on at his alma mater. Disparage away, Mr. Kennel. If you'd like me to take you seriously, though, you'll need to explain just which of our many criticisms is mistaken, and why. I'm always ready for a real debate.

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Keeping Men's Safety Net Legal

Posted by Paul Chesser at 12:31 AM

Thanks to Donna Martinez for the heads-up on this recent data from a Gallup survey:

A majority of women, 54%, say abortion is morally wrong, while roughly a third (35%) say it is morally acceptable. Men are more evenly divided in their views of abortion, with 47% saying it is wrong and 45% saying it is acceptable. [May 2-5, 2005]

Donna says, "Isn't it interesting, then, that NARAL and NOW continue to try and represent themselves as speaking for the majority of women?"

Yes it is. More to the point, I wonder how NARAL and NOW feel about the fact that men are stronger supporters of their point of view on abortion than women are. NARAL should start a brother organization called the "National Keep Abortion Convenient League."

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Re: Nanny-state envirowackos taking your paint to save people millennia from now

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:33 AM

Thank goodness, Paul, that I got my rusting shed painted earlier this spring with oil-based Rustoleum before that ridiculous regulation hits here. I slathered my shed in "hammered silver." It is beautiful paint, I have to agree.

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Re: Sowell and Janice Brown

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:28 AM

George, great piece by Thomas Sowell, not only about Janice Brown but further in the piece, he talks about educational achievements -- and the lack thereof -- in the African-American community. The persistent academic achievement gap is immoral and the fastest way to eliminate it is to infuse the educational system with choice. Yet to my dismay, many of the very families whose needs are not met by the traditional system are the very ones who continue to support it. The money to educate a child should follow the child, and the parent should have the right to select a school that meets the child's specific needs and interests. If that's a public school, fine with me. If it's a private school, fine. Homeschool? Religious school? Magnet? Charter? They're all OK with me as long as the parent makes the selection. It is illogical for society to expect the current public education system to meet all the needs of all the children. We don't expect that of a retail store, so why do we cling to the notion that the public education system can do it?

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Do You Think Cities Will Ever Get It?

Posted by Paul Chesser at 10:11 AM

Once successful, the minorities leave.

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Knocking Down the "Price Gouging" Fallacy

Posted by Donna Martinez at 09:46 AM

Hurricane season starts next week and if -- most likely when -- a big one hits North Carolina, we'll be subjected to the familiar calls to stop the "price gouging" on water, ice, and other items whose demand sharply increases during a summer weather emergency. The April issue of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, carries a helpful piece by Donald Boudreaux that explains why those who attempt to stop what they see as an unfair practice actually create more problems for those dealing with the emergency.

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Sowell on the attack on Janice Brown

Posted by George Leef at 09:08 AM

With his usual clarity, Thomas Sowell puts his finger on the reasons why the Democrats in the Senate are frantic to keep Janice Brown from being confirmed. Read it here.

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Environmentalists Invading Your Home

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:04 AM

You must use low-flow toilets, you may not use gas-powered lawn equipment, you may not use oil-based paints, you...

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Playing the Incentive Card in Cherokee

Posted by Donna Martinez at 08:35 AM

Today's Raleigh News & Observer carries an interesting and clever quote from the chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The paper reports that in a letter to Gov. Easley requesting approval to expand gambling activities in Cherokee, Chief Michell Hicks played the incentive card, but in a way we're not used to seeing. The incentives game has become so insidious that companies send their employees to workshops to learn how to pressure states and localities for packages. But the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have chosen the opposite approach to their negotiations.

"Please remember," the chief wrote, "that unlike other businesses offering economic development opportunities to the State, we request no incentives. We only need your approval."

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"Do we really want the price of everything made in China to go up by 27.5%?"

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 08:26 AM

An excellent question for Sens. Graham, Dole, Schumer etc.

Don Luskin walks through the reason why the stock market has had a good couple weeks -- prospects for a trade war with China have receded, despite the currency manipulation agitation coming from misguided senators.

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I'm Sure You'll Guess Right

Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:07 AM

Your choices are the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, and Washington Times.

The question is, which newspaper's story about the agreement on filibusters -- or continuing disagreement, depending how you look at it -- carried this headline?

"7 Republicans abandon GOP on filibuster"

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Re: Hey, We're a Basketball State

Posted by Paul Chesser at 07:57 AM

Looks like there are other problems surrounding the revelation of that flawed football question.

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