Land O Links

* An Iowa legislator wants to move his state away from “no-fault” divorce. The no-fault system is the dominant one in the United States, including in Michigan. The state’s divorce (and marriage) rates have been on a consistent decline since at least 1990, according to the Census Bureau. However, Iowa’s marriage rate is higher and its divorce rate is lower than Michigan’s. I checked the legislative site but did not find any bills for the current session to modify Michigan divorce law.

* A new report via Harvard’s Kennedy School goes counterintuitive on energy: “Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.”

Michigan and Detroit automakers have bet big on electric vehicles. In a world with more petro capacity, what are the prospects for that wager?

* The state of Michigan hasn’t had a court judgment against it for highway negligence since 2000. And settlements in lawsuits have declined massively since the turn of the century, a trend the Senate Fiscal Agency attributes tort reform.

* The meaning of privacy is changing, whether you like it or not: “Now pretend you don’t know a single person who wears Google Glass… and take a walk outside. Anywhere you go in public – any store, any sidewalk, any bus or subway – you’re liable to be recorded: audio and video. Fifty people on the bus might be Glassless, but if a single person wearing Glass gets on, you – and all 49 other passengers – could be recorded. Not just for a temporary throwaway video buffer, like a security camera, but recorded, stored permanently, and shared to the world.”

* At the Atlantic, James Fallows reflects on the lessons to remember on the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq: "As I think about this war and others the U.S. has contemplated or entered during my conscious life, I realize how strong is the recurrent pattern of threat inflation. Exactly once in the post-WW II era has the real threat been more ominous than officially portrayed. That was during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the world really came within moments of nuclear destruction.

“Otherwise: the 'missile gap.' The Gulf of Tonkin. The overall scale of the Soviet menace. Iraq. In each case, the public soberly received official warnings about the imminent threat. In cold retrospect, those warnings were wrong -- or contrived, or overblown, or misperceived. Official claims about the evils of these systems were many times justified. Claims about imminent threats were most of the times hyped."

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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