"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-C. S. Lewis
Obamacare's Big Thinkers Forgot to Bring in the Doers - Bloomberg: "The yawning gap between what the IT people knew and what everyone else seems to have realized is staggering. Now, I’ve worked on some projects in which the business units seemed to have some sort of selective deafness that only materialized when we tried to tell them that they couldn’t have their magic fairy computer system that did everything they could imagine, only better, in the three months they wanted it to take, or for the paltry sum that they were willing to spend. And I learned the hard way not to assume that the business units, or even the chief information officer, had heard and understood what you said. That is how I became gifted in the art of writing CYA memos when I was directed to do the unwise or the impossible. "
As a libertarian, I am required (but not by law, zing!) to point out that this is a prime example of spontaneous order. The government is unwilling or unable to stop these guys. The locals have been mistreated and murdered to the point that they've had enough and have decided to take matters into their own hands. The cartels have created a problem for themselves. If the locals no longer fear death since they think they're going to die anyway, what then? The cartels are going to have a hard time of it. The locals are not constrained by the law now. They are now playing by local rules. Cartel rules. The government agents may kill them but mostly they won't. They'll try to arrest them which is nothing. The locals know they're playing for keeps and are acting accordingly.
Today's the day. Nine years gone and the rest of our lives to go.
This blog honors Sean Thomas Lugano
I knew Sean casually. We went to college together and were on the rugby team together. He was much better than I was. He was very fast and much stronger than he looked. Sean was one of those guys who was reserved but very funny. He wasn't one of those guys who garnered attention by being outrageous or demonstrative. He was just there, always with a smile and quick with a laugh or a joke. He took a lot of flack in college because of his modeling career. He used to model to make money for college and the idea of a rugby player being a model seemed absurd. The only commercial I ever saw him in was for The Gap and ironically, he was playing rugby in the commercial. That seemed to redeem him somewhat in the eyes of his teammates and we didn't rib him much after that.
I didn't know Sean well enough to keep in touch with him after college. Occasionally, I'd see him in th…
Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener: "Scientists have long suspected that a flourishing of green foliage around the globe, observed since the early 1980s in satellite data, springs at least in part from the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Now, a study of arid regions around the globe finds that a carbon dioxide “fertilization effect” has, indeed, caused a gradual greening from 1982 to 2010."
I have often argued that since CO2 is plant food it cannot be pollution. It merely causes an increase in plant life wherever the CO2 happens to be. IIRC there was a huge spike in ocean algae in the past due to high CO2 levels. The Earth wants to survive. It adapts to do so. It is not static as some would have you believe. It changes. Even when man comes in and screws everything up (c.f. Salton Sea) the ecology adjusts and rolls on. Even Chernobyl is teeming with life. It may be different than it was but life goes on.
What is …
Administration defends collecting phone records: "The order requires Verizon, one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies, on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries."
Adana El Nusra operation: 2 pounds sarin gas found: "Adana Security Directorate, which began after the massacre of Reyhanlı connected with the organization Al-Qaeda and the accused is detained in an operation against Al Nusra Front and addresses of two kilograms were seized in the sarin gas."
OK so Al-Qaeda linked groups are now taking WMDs out of Syria. They keep crossing that red line and nothing changes.
Pritzker Understated Income, Files Amended Disclosure - Bloomberg: Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker inadvertently understated a portion of her income by at least $80 million in a disclosure form required for her nomination to be U.S. Commerce secretary and has amended the document. Forms released online last night by the Office of Government Ethics show that Pritzker earned additional income for consulting work on hundreds of trusts, including family trusts, beyond what she disclosed last week. The omission, discovered by Pritzker’s financial advisers, was due to a clerical error, said Susan Anderson, the nominee’s spokeswoman.
If confirmed to run the Commerce Department, Pritzker Realty Group LLC Chairman Penny Pritzker would be among the wealthiest cabinet secretaries in U.S. history.
“It is a substantial amount and we moved to correct the mistake as soon as it was discovered,” Anderson said in an e-mailed statement. Documents released last week show Pritzker received $32.2 mill…