Why We Don’t Need a Debt Ceiling

The debt ceiling is just a strange concept.

If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, we’ll face an absurd scenario in which Congress will have ordered the President to execute two laws that are flatly at odds with each other. If he obeys the debt ceiling, he cannot spend the money that Congress has told him to spend, which is why most government functions will be shut down. Yet if he spends the money as Congress has authorized him to he’ll end up violating the debt ceiling.

via James Surowiecki: Why We Don’t Need a Debt Ceiling : The New Yorker.

Parents Who Blog

I now have two parents who blog – and based on their posts of late, a lot more frequently than I do. My father just started a blog journaling a favorite topic (obsession?) of his: model railroading.

My Dad showing me about building things, to my high school starting of so called “perfect track work” on an early train layout with my friend Joe Braun, to my college summer employment at a precision machine shop…

via Frog Angle.

And my mother has been blogging about all kinds of personal topics for a while – this entry is on spinning wool.

I like spinning in the grease so I tried it with this but it was a disaster—I thought the grease would help hold the short staples as I spun but no… it didn’t. I must admit I haven’t spun much for a number of years and have begun again. I find it meditative—cheaper than therapy.

via gardens.

Schneier on Security: Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security

Regarding the TSA nonsense, Bruce Schneier wrote in January:

Its magical thinking: If we defend against what the terrorists did last time, well somehow defend against what they do next time. Of course this doesnt work. We take away guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We take away box cutters and corkscrews, and the terrorists hide explosives in their shoes. We screen shoes, they use liquids. We limit liquids, they sew PETN into their underwear. We implement full-body scanners, and theyre going to do something else. This is a stupid game; we should stop playing it.

via Schneier on Security: Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security. And even more importantly:

Finally, we need to be indomitable. The real security failure on Christmas Day was in our reaction. We’re reacting out of fear, wasting money on the story rather than securing ourselves against the threat. Abdulmutallab succeeded in causing terror even though his attack failed.