It seems today that all of the important debates in our country end up being polarized to the extent that productive or intelligent conversations are almost impossible to achieve. I think Barry Ritholtz from The Big Picture captured this notion quite well:
We here in the USA have forgotten how to have an intelligent argument. I don’t mean a marital spat, I refer to the process of deciding issues through informed argument, discussion, etc. Somehow, zealous advocacy has been replaced with over zealous absurdity.
We seemingly have forgotten the purpose of debate — to engage in a principled argument in order to reach a discernible Truth. It is not, as seems to be occurring more often, to temporarily win, at any and all costs, in short term polling. These policy back-and-forths have become futile, time wasting rhetorical displays, not worthwhile even for their entertainment value.
FactCheck.org lays out a great summary of some key facts relating to the gun control debate. Here is a brief overview:
The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world — by far. And it has the highest rate of homicides among advanced countries. And yet, gun crime has been declining in the U.S. Firearm murders are down, as is overall gun violence – even as gun ownership increases.
Hat Tip: The Big Picture
[T]he number of filings made to the SEC in 2012 actually fell to 640,017, a nearly 3% decline from the 659,210 filings made in 2011. That’s a reversal from the past two years, which saw the total number of filings climb modestly since 2009.
Another interesting fact about SEC filings in 2012:
[T]he single largest day for filings was Valentine’s Day, which saw over 10,500 filings made just that day alone. The reason, of course, Feb. 14 is so busy is that it not only falls smack-dab in the midst of 10-K season, it’s also a key deadline for large institutional investors to file their 13Gs and 13Fs.
“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”
— Malcolm Forbes
I am not surprised by Alabama’s rout of Notre Dame in this year’s BCS title game. The SEC is by far the superior conference in College Football and last night’s game proved that point beyond doubt. Watching Alabama’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame was akin to watching a varsity vs. junior varsity matchup. While Notre Dame had a great season, the Fighting Irish were simply not ready to play with the big boys from the SEC as Alabama was clearly the bigger, stronger, and faster team.
After capturing their third BCS title in four years, Nick Saban and Alabama have solidified their status as a legitimate dynasty in College Football. Saban runs a tight ship down in Tuscaloosa and there is no reason to think that the Crimson Tide won’t be a contender again next year. Turning to Notre Dame, all is not lost for the Fighting Irish despite getting blown out. Notre Dame exceeded most people’s expectations this year and returned their program back to prominence. Moreover, the future looks bright for Brian Kelly considering he was able to attract another top recruiting class to South Bend.
While the outlook may be positive for Notre Dame, it is hard to say the same for Notre Dame’s star linebacker Monte Te’o. It will be interesting to see how Monte Te’o’s draft stock will be affected by his poor performance against Alabama. He did not look like the celebrated linebacker we are used to watching as he often looked over-matched by Alabama’s offensive line and running backs. Te’o has all of the intangibles that you would want in an inside linebacker, but his performance exposed some serious concerns about his ability to excel at the next level.
After last night’s blowout, I can’t wait for College Football’s playoff system. Until then, I’ll put my money on an SEC team to win the BCS title again next year.
Piers Morgan invited Alex Jones onto his show yesterday to discuss the conservative pundit’s campaign to “Deport Piers Morgan” in the wake of the CNN host’s advocacy of gun control following the Sandy Hook massacre. To say the least, the interview was interesting to watch as Jones unleashed an explosive pro-gun tirade.
During the interview, Jones expressed, among other things, his views regarding the “megabanks,” the U.S. government’s role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the recent high-profile gang rape in India. However, the most noteworthy excerpt from the interview included the following declaration by Jones:
I’m here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! Doesn’t matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street, begging for ’em to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?! That’s why you’re going to fail, and the establishment knows, no matter how much propaganda, the republic will rise again!
Check out the below videos from Politico to see Jones in action. Let’s just say civility is a lost cause in public discourse.
Further depressing news for grad students. In particular, The Wall Street Journal notes that as tuition soars and enrollment booms, paychecks are getting smaller for those graduating with M.B.A.s or other professional degrees.