Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Branding and the business model of research universities

Our daughter only applied to two colleges, Washington University in St. Louis and Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. Tuition wasn’t an issue, since her mom was an employee of Wash U, and the university pays full tuition at Wash U or half of Wash U’s tuition at any other college or university for all […]

On inheritance, college tuition and college loans

My parents died as paupers, so there wasn’t anything for me and my four siblings to “inherit” upon their deaths. No matter. I figure I got my inheritance on the front end, because my folks paid for my college education: tuition, room and board. Even correcting for inflation, tuition* at the University of Tennessee was […]

Carbon capture and geoengineering

In a previous post, I made the point that even if all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions ceased tomorrow, the half-lives of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, together with climate change-driven gas emissions from melting permafrost and methane clathrates doom us to decades more of warming. The only ways to avert this are (1) carbon […]

Ron DeSantis doesn’t understand capitalism

I see where failing GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is trying to salvage his campaign by pivoting to Marxism. He is calling for the state of Florida to investigate Belgium-based AB InBev on the basis of their recent Bud Light advertisements using a trans character. DeSantis seems to believe that AB InBev breached legal duties […]

RFK, Jr, race and COVID-19

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, the notional Democratic presidential candidate, made himself even more foolish than he already was recently by speculating that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was engineered to protect people of Chinese and Jewish descent. Setting aside the fact that there is zero evidence that the virus was engineered and most evidence points to an […]


I was catching up on the back issues of New Yorker accumulating on the coffee table, and read an article about the rise and decline of libertarianism in the GOP. The idea that anything resembling libertarianism was actually popular in the Republican Party is a joke. Ostensibly, libertarian wants to shrink big government. OK, lets […]

Another tool in the pandemic toolkit

The existential risks associated with global warming include coastal flooding, loss of fresh water, desertification, life-threatening temperatures and loss of ocean fisheries. Another risk is the spread of infectious diseases that are normally restricted to tropical latitudes. While the prospect of eliminating insect vectors such as Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes, tsetse flies and triatomine bugs […]