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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. Peter Schwartz offers a short movie review of Apollo 11 at his blog. Here is the opening paragraph:
You wouldn't think that a movie about the Apollo 11 mission that consists simply of footage shot at the time of the event could present a compelling, inspiring story. Yet this film does just that.
Already curious about this movie before seeing this review, I now intend to see it. Unfortunately, it is not clear to me that I will be able to do so in a theater. I think it's gone from mainstream theaters here, but possibly scheduled to show in an independent one. I am not sure.

2. The blog of the Center for Industrial Progress presents an analysis of the true cost of solar energy:
spacestation.jpg
Solar power is at least predictable for this application... (Image via Wikimedia, public domain.)
How do we quickly convey that the alleged price of unreliable energy has nothing to do with the price of reliable energy?

One question I find helpful to cut through the noise is: "What is the cost of self-sufficient solar?"

Just like a nuclear plant or a coal plant can produce reliable power, and we can assess that cost, I want to know the cost per unit of energy of producing abundant, reliable power just using solar and storage.

The answer, actually, is that we don't know since no industrial location uses self-sufficient solar -- which is not a good sign in terms of the affordability of solar. [emphasis in original]
This is a very timely point, given that I am constantly seeing solar energy proclaimed -- solely on the basis of cost per unit of energy used -- as insanely cheap, and thus on the fast track to dominance.

3. The blog for the Texas Institute for Property Rights notes a problem with the rationale for one group's opposition to a bullet train between Dallas and Houston:
f the bullet train doesn't meet the standards set by this coalition, [it holds that] government officials should prevent the line from being built.

While the coalition purports to support property rights, their stance is a direct assault on property rights. They want to dictate how a private business operates, and they want to use the coercive power of government to impose their views.
The post goes on further to note two important further considerations: (1) The use of eminent domain (which is proposed for this project) should be opposed; and (2) principled respect for the property rights of others demands that we respect the right of others to make business decisions we don't agree with.

4. Over at Value for Value, Harry Binswanger asks, "What is national sovereignty?"
According to the Cato scholar, immigrants have a lower proportion of criminals than do native Americans.

Philosophically, though, it doesn't matter. Suppose the crime rate for immigrants were triple that of native Americans. Since justice is not collective, that fact would not justify any interference with the flow of immigrants across our borders. You think it does? Would you then advocate that the police go to a poor neighborhood, where the crime rate is triple the average, and eject or imprison everyone? Would you even advocate "extreme vetting" of the entire population of that crime-ridden neighborhood? I hope not. [emphasis in original]
I further agree that ending the "War on Drugs" would help solve many of the problems many people associate with immigration. And I would add that ending the welfare state would also help.

-- CAV

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