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Archive for August, 2009

 

Not Getting It

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Alan Patricof and Eric Dinallo have an op-ed in the New York Times today, essentially begging the Obama administration to back off from regulating venture capital funds. The entire article is written from the perspective that the Obama administration is doing this by mistake, that’s it’s an inadvertent consequence of regulating derivatives.

They really don’t get it.

It’s about regulating EVERY aspect of the marketplace that they can. It’s entire intentional. Including venture capital firms in their attempt to regulate derivatives isn’t some oversight, it’s the point! If the “need” to regulate derivatives has public support, then stick as many other regulations on the bandwagon as possible, widen the scope of the law as much as you can. Don’t let that crisis go to waste.

Silly naive VCs thought that because Obama used fancy logos and website tech that he was on their side. They’ll learn…

 
 

Eulogies

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Distributed Republic has thoughts that reflect my own:

It’s non-sensical enough to adore celebrities who, though popular, don’t affect our day-to-day lives. It’s entirely another to worship those who control the almighty arm of the modern state. What is it about the human condition that causes adulation of the powerful? Do we all have a form of Stockholm Syndrome somewhere in the recesses of our minds? Is there some evolutionarily evolved trait that makes some of us naturally subservient to alpha males?

And Henry Rollins asks “Where’s Mary Jo Kopechne’s Eulogy?” (h/t Will Collier).

The whole thing is a bit nauseating to tell the truth.

UPDATE: The Left eulogizes Kopechne, in about the most offensive manner conceivable.

UPDATE 2: I suppose the above eulogy shouldn’t be surprising, since Kennedy himself liked to joke about Chappaquiddick.

UPDATE 3: I suppose I ought to throw Greenspun’s eulogy in here as well. And be sure to check out the Daily Mail’s detailed look at Kennedy’s life.

 
 

A Meme Worth Passing Around

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Give $10 to Danny Tarkanian, the man running against Harry Ried next November, and follow it up with an email letting Sen. Reid know what you just did, saying you’re going to give the maximum allowable by law should Obamacare pass.

Meme started with Hugh Hewitt, found via instapundit.

UPDATE: I should point out that polls already show Reid likely losing his race, so this is not exactly an idle threat…

 
 

Let The Horserace Begin

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

So Ted Kennedy passed away last night. Brain cancer is an awful way to go, but seriously, Ted should have resigned when he found out he had the cancer (he probably should have retired even before that, you know, to pass the torch to a new generation and all that). Had he done that we’d have a new senator already. But he didn’t, and here we are. I knew he had to be close to death when he publicly leaked the letter he evidently wrote in June asking for the succession rules to be changed. They shouldn’t be, of course. Not if we live in a country of laws. But they probably will be.

To my mind, barring the appointment (or should I say anointment) of another Kennedy for the seat, that just means that one Democrat will be given an advantage over the others vying for the seat. But there will still be an election. I assume that Marty Meehan, who always wanted to be in the Senate, will run. Ed Markey was on NPR today, and he wouldn’t say he wasn’t interested in the seat, which of course means he is. I assume some other House reps will come out to run for it as well.

What’s perhaps more interesting is who is going to run on the Republican side. With so few candidates available, they’ve all lined up to run for Governor, and none are left to run for Senate. Perhaps Mihos could switch what he’s running for, avoiding a bruising primary battle that he’ll likely lose. Or better yet, Tim Cahill. With no likely Republican opponent, he could run for the seat as the de-facto “conservative” in the race. He could very well win in such a scenario. In fact, I think it’s a more likely win than his quest to be governor.

It will be interesting at any rate. What I’d really like to see is some bloggers throw their hats into the ring. All of these guys have been in there far too long in my opinion. It’d be nice to have some non-professionals run for office for a change.

UPDATE: Phil Greenspun has some piquant thoughts on Kennedy’s passing.

 
 

Please Fix Storrow Drive

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I sent the following letter to my state rep. You may want to send along something similar should you commute on Storrow on a regular basis:

As you may be aware, some changes were recently made to the lanes on Storrow Drive west at the Fenway/Kenmore exits. Where previously two lanes went unimpeded from one end of Storrow to the other, now these two lanes are forced to merge into one lane at the Kenmore/Fenway exits, becoming two lanes again after the Kenmore on-ramp heading west.

I believe that this change was made to attempt to ease merging from the on-ramp onto Storrow. However, the cost of doing that has been to turn Storrow Drive West into a veritable parking lot during rush hours. As someone who takes Storrow home to Belmont from work every day, I can attest that my commute has increased by about 30 minutes as a result of this change. Yesterday, the traffic was literally backed up all the way into the big dig by the Government Center exit. Today, I came to work late after a doctor’s appointment and can report that traffic was backed up to the Fiedler Bridge at 10:30 am. That cannot continue.

I have little choice but to use Storrow Drive to get home. My wife works at North Station, and I need to pick her up there on days when she works. I could take the Mass Pike to Storrow to avoid some of this mess on days when she does not work, but that is suboptimal at best, paying tolls and getting caught in the gnarled traffic at the Mass Pike off-ramp.

The problem that they appear to be attempting to resolve, namely that it is difficult to get onto Storrow from the Kenmore on-ramp, would be better taken care of by moving the on-ramp up a few yards beyond the curve in the road, so that people can better see traffic coming. Or alternatively, getting rid of the on-ramp altogether or maybe shutting it down except during Red Sox games. But the current “solution”, narrowing Storrow Drive into one lane (and it appears they actually took the curb in a foot or so to physically stop people from driving in two lanes) is a horrible solution that directly impacts people living in Belmont in an extremely adverse way. At a minimum, the road ought to be returned to its former state.

Thank you,

-Rob Sama

 
 

On Health Care Co-Ops

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I buy my home and auto insurance from a co-op that sends me a dividend check every year. I bank at a credit union. I even joined a co-op supermarket when I was in college. So I have no opposition to it in principle.

But I am a bit worried about a co-op or set of co-ops that are set up by the federal government. My primary worry is that they’ll wind up as GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or maybe quasi-GSEs. I worry that they create a health insurance co-op that is nominally private but guaranteed by the Federal Government and forced to take on social welfare mandates that drive it into the ground. That kind of scenario would be as bad if not worse than a government option.

Alternatively, they could just call it a co-op but run it in exactly the same way that they were planning on running the public option. That is what Cato fears is going on.

Frankly, I just don’t trust any of these clowns, in the White House or Congress, to do the right thing here. Looking at what they are doing with Ally Bank, another disaster in the making, does not inspire confidence.

I think that nothing should be passed until after the 2010 election. Let that election be a mandate on the issue. This past election wasn’t much of a mandate on anything, as people were concerned about the financial meltdown and McCain melted down in the middle of it. And I don’t think that any sort of health care reform, whether it be market based or government based, can or should be passed without a mandate from the people.

 
 

iTunes Help

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I need some help.

So I decided to download and watch season 6 of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit last night. In the middle of downloading the season, we lost power. When the power came back up, I had downloaded 4 of the 12 or so episodes in the season. But the “Downloading” section in iTunes showed nothing left to download. When I went back to the iTunes store, it looked like it would let me buy it again, but did not seem to contain a prompt to resume an interrupted download.

Can anybody help me with this?

UPDATE: Figured it out. Go to the store menu and select check for downloads. It will resume downloads there.

 
 

Seriously

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Boston is seriously wacked. This morning, in rush hour urban Boston traffic, I saw a blind guy jaywalking.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that?

 
 

Compare and Contrast

Monday, August 17th, 2009

January:

In other words, liberals are liberal, open, willing to consider change. Why are you guys on the right so surprised?

And in August, behold the magnanimity:

Christine Taylor, a 34-year-old New Jersey shopper, vowed never to step foot in another Whole Foods again.

“I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods,” Taylor told ABCNews.com. “I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients.”

To be honest, she has something of a point, at least regarding views that are way outside the mainstream (e.g. if one were a Nazi), but Mackey’s views are anything but.

Update: More from Radley Balko.

 
 

We’re #1

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Great article by Steve Chapman today:

It’s true that the United States spends more on health care than anyone else, and it’s true that we rank below a lot of other advanced countries in life expectancy. The juxtaposition of the two facts, however, doesn’t prove we are wasting our money or doing the wrong things.

It only proves that lots of things affect mortality besides medical treatment. Heath Ledger didn’t die at age 28 because the American health care system failed him.

One big reason our life expectancy lags is that Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks.

In their 2006 book, “The Business of Health,” economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.

Read Steve Chapman.

UPDATE: More from Coyote Blog.