Thursday, March 16, 2006

heading to Corpus Christi...

for the weekend, but will be back.

Re: The Dennis The Peasant Blogging System...

Ok, I've learned a couple of things from Michael's post directing us to Dennis the Peasant's comments on blogging:

First, my favorite topic (Economics) is apparently the kiss o' death unless one's name is Williams, Sowell or Stossel.

Second, we need to find a couple of demographics/subjects to "hate." This will be difficult for me. Had been considering expanding upon that Conservatives are Happy, Liberals are Angry theme that was widely discussed a few weeks ago. I think it largely true, with exceptions like David Horowitz. I don't do well expressing things in the harsh heat of hate.

I suppose I need to rethink this. Obviously, we'll never have the time to devote to that serious anlysis Dennis describes in part one. I forget what our original subhead was but it was essentially an admission that there'd never be an original thought posted here.

(Btw, Dennis, I post right now from an office overlooking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, in Austin, Texas...not and 8'x6' cubicle, but I get your point. My blogging and blog reading certainly slows down after 6:00 and on weekends.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Capitalism and Euro-softness

British historian and author Paul Johnson's on Europe’s softness and difficulties of its economy (cheering me up after this morning’s Capitalism post, not that I'm happy about Europe but happy about our system):

The omens for continental Europe, however, are sinister. The entire plan for perpetual improvement upon which the EU depends is based on continuous economic expansion. There is no provision for stagnation. As we see in Japan, once stagnation sets in, it can last many years. Americans should count their blessings, above all the supreme blessing of having an economy that is run by businessmen not bureaucrats, or that —— under wise governance —— runs itself.

Glitches in the Capitalist System

I do hate it when the invisible hand doesn’t work quickly or possibly at all. By now we’ve all heard that Google has (1) fought the US Justice Dept. in connection with information about pornography and access by kiddos and (2) acceded to the Chinese government’s demand that certain types of information be screened from Chinese customers.

From Linda Chavez today (courtesy JWR) on the Google story at home and in China:

And when it comes to profits, there is no bigger potential market than China —— which explains why Google is willing to play censor in the Middle Kingdom. Google wants users, period. And if gaining access to an enormous potential market means engaging in a little censorship, the company is more than willing to do it. What makes Google's behavior so hard to swallow is its sanctimony when the subject of censorship in the United States comes up.

If the company had been honest in fighting the Justice Department subpoena, it would have admitted that it doesn't want to turn over data because it has no interest in keeping kids away from hard-core sites. Google will happily provide porn to American kids and deny civil liberties to Chinese adults, all in the name of profit.

I love the innovative Google, but the company’s activities have bugged me a bit of late. For whatever reason, the China aspect of this bugs me more than the porn aspect. It probably shouldn’t; I suppose I rely on parents to protect their kids, perhaps too much.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I’d love to see in five years that Google somehow put one over on the PRC and secretly gave Chinese customers some kind of secret decoder ring allowing access to Tiananmen Square information but fear that is too much to hope for. How can the market help in this situation? I’m not sure. Will US customers rise up against the industry leader? This one won’t. Will investors divest? This one won’t; at least not yet.

Is this a situation similar to that faced by the energy and manufacturing industries for the last forty years regarding air and water pollution? What first appeared a bad choice for such industries’ bottom lines, i.e., increased costs associated with less pollution, turned out to be costs that their customers (and therefore investors) really were, if grudgingly, prepared to bear.

Not that Google’s choice here really is about increasing costs, it is about decreasing the size of its customer base. I have no idea how to counter that to its investors’ satisfaction. I just hope it doesn’t take the market forty years to correct.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Re: March Madness

Yes, you should have Conn winning.

And I don't understand how you haven't won before, because in the time that I have been "helping" you with your picks, I have won several pools.

That begs the I giving you the same picks I make on my pool(s)?????

March Madness

I know nothing about college basketball except that UT is sometimes pretty good and something called "Gonzaga" is often very good. I've always enlisted LJ to help me fill out the brackets so I can participate in the office pool. I don't recall ever winning any money, but have had several " gutsy picks in round two" comments. Anyhow, I've got Conn and Duke in the final with Conn (is that right LJ?) winning.


In City Journal!: "All this massively begs the question: Why . . ." Good article, though. Explains the fraud that is campaign finance reform and the dangers of the calls to renew the Fairness Doctrine.

So much to blog about, so little time

Gotta do a "quick-hit" type post, because I don't have time to go into lots of detail on all the subject I want to mention. Have many, many errands to run today, have a call-back interview as well (keeping fingers crossed). Well, here goes...

1) One of the things you learn quite quickly when you attend the University of Arkansas is that you NEVER say anything positive about any Texas school, especially ut austin. So that is one reason why I didn't mention the lady longhorns winning the indoor T&F national championship.
Another reason is that I have no interest at all for any women's sports. And to put the Razorbacks national championship in perspective, out of the last 22 indoor T&F national championships, the UA as won 19 of them. Simply awesome.

2) Read British Envoy on US in Iraq: Thirteen Words Say It All this today on Klos and loved it. My favorite part:

"The most striking thing about this list is ... how generic the areas of failures are for the Bush administration. This is modus operandi for this bunch. Switch out the proper names of the people and entities involved, and you've got yourself Katrina. Tweak it a bit for the bureaucratic stage and you've got Medicare D. And these are the people who want us to trust them to reform Social Security. Ha! Not on your life. Or rather, not on mine."

3) Regarding the word test, I understand why my fellow SSJ'ers would be surprised that I got any of the Bible ones, but I've seen tests like this before and they always have Bible-type questions. The ones that threw me were the South African ones. I think I know the one you are having trouble with - here is a clue, you have to know something about cricket.

4) Heard this morning that Issac Hayes is leaving "South Park". I would think that I'm not in the demographic that Trey and Matt are targeting, but I love SP. "Chef" will be missed. And if you have the chance, try to find video of SP doing their rendition of "The Aristocrats" - it's on the net if you look. If you are into the SP thing, it is well worth the effort.

5) And finally, C and I have been on a diet since the beginning of January. My goal was to lose 30 lbs. of this morning, I've lost 31!!!! Now the real hard part starts - keeping it off.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Remote! (and Man on Fire)

The crisis has been averted. New remote only $ just have to figure out the new button configuration.

Denzel Washington's Man on Fire [original book by AJ Quinell; also authored The Perfect Kill] on tonight. I've only seen it about a million times, including the old Scott Glenn version. While I'm not crazy about the MTV/NYPD Blue cinematography, I LOVE the chemistry between Mr. Washington and Dakota Fanning.

Number ONE on Google...

for "pro DP World." OK, that's enough. I just started looking at our referrals (because I didn't realize until two days ago it could be done) so it's neat that we have some in the top few from search engines. I expect that most blogs have the same experience.

Aside: I'm using my recently acquired Blogger spell-checker and it wants to fix "blog." And "blogger."

Number one and two on Google...

for "second hand smoking documentaries." I suppose we'll always get a lot of "secondhand smoking [something]."

SSJ is number three...

for searches for "smoking pet peeve speeches."

Re: Word Test

Got 33 (OK, I cheated). Any hints for 31?

The Dennis The Peasant Blogging System...

is a must read. Parts One, Two, and Three.

Re: Track & Field

While Arkansas certainly deserves to be congratulated and I know that LJ is proud in spite of the ho-hummedness of it all, he did fail to mention that the Lady Longhorns took first as well. (And, the men did finish a respectable 4th.)

All results can be viewed here.

Congratulations Razorbacks.