Friday, August 31, 2012

Pondering...

I've been reading a few articles of Fred Reed's.  They are quite interesting.

In his article, "Screwed" he writes about the differences between black and white Americans.

"Societies work best when they have a uniform culture. The next best thing is a dominant culture to which small numbers of people of similar culture must accommodate themselves. We see this in America with the Chinese, who are studious, industrious, abide by the laws, and do not set themselves in opposition to the ambient European ethos. They are few enough, similar enough, and quiet enough that it works. 
 
But blacks are too many, too different, and too culturally raucous. Some syncretism occurs around the edges, yet even the middle classes of the two races mix seldom and somewhat awkwardly. 
 
I do not see how things can change. The sprawling black regions of the cities are so homogeneous, so big, and so isolated from the white world, television aside, as not to be susceptible to outside influence. Whites do not go in, and blacks do not come out. A steady-state model of the universe, so to speak."

I understand more now, why I will never be able to understand the mind of the average black American.  No matter what I do.

I wonder if this is the part where I become older and appreciate that I don't know everything.

His article, "Understanding Economics" is about economics, and conservative thought.

"I've got nothing against speaking in tongues, but some of it was too many for me. For example, he kept saying that businesses didn't want the government to interfere with them, which he called “distorting the market.” Well, I can understand it. I don't want the government interfering with me either, especially in the midst of a burglary. But I was puzzled. If businessmen didn't want the government interfering in the market, I asked, why did they send thousands of lobbyists to Washington to make the government interfere in the market? He changed the subject. I guess he was distracted."

and

"Actually they like competition as long as they are winning, and and when they aren't they want the government to buy their stuff. Why do you think America has such a rocking arms industry? Easy: Because the arms companies can’t make it in a truly competitive world. For example, Lockheed gave up the manufacture of civilian airliners to be a martial kept woman of the Pentagon. Arms manufacturers don’t have to compete with Samsung and Daewoo, which would probably make Pentagonal toys for a third the price. Don’t think so? Make the experiment."

I would say, in response, that it is wrong for businesses to lobby for, and get special rules and regulations from the government.  We should try to prevent that from happening by having the government do as little as possible, leaving little room for dealings of this sort.

I found it interesting that as I read his article, I found myself wondering if my political beliefs are wrong, or naive.  But then as I wrote the previous paragraph I remembered why I'm sure that I'm right.

A good writer can be convincing.  

From "Hardboiled is Back!"

"The fly in this happy ointment is marketing. I had friends who had worked years on a splendid tale of something or other, put it on Amazon, and sold seven copies. You still need New York, they said despondently. But then kids began to write awful misspelled ungrammatical Harry Potter facsimiles, price them at ninety-nine cents, and make bundles."

Don't be surprised if you find that I am writing a $2 deer hunting book.  I do vow, here and now, not to sell it if I don't think that it would be interesting and/ or informative.  (If I sell a bad book, it would be harder to sell a second, and third.  See how greed is good?)

From "Presidential Timber"

"Now I'm thinking Obama or Herman Cain. Slick Empty in the great White Yurt on Pennsylvania Avenue is still corrupt and invertebrate, but now only starts small wars, as in Uganda. Cain makes pizzas and seems to be a human being. It's a novel concept but these are trying times. Besides they say he did sexually inappropriate stuff to some gals who want to be on talk-shows and get book contracts. Good for him. I'm going to start a group called Men Mad at Sanctimonious Priss Spigots. Cain can be a Founding Fondler."

and

"After all, Ron Paul is tiresomely predictable. He would say hateful anti-American things. You know, we should get out of damn-fool wars, pick the military leech off the back of the republic, dismantle an empire that bankrupts the US, and end our perpetual state of martial priapism against Iran. Completely unelectable. A commie, I figure."

Now, I'm not saying I agree with him, and I'm not saying that I disagree, but his stuff seems to be worth a read.

The Chicken Came First

I recently remembered what I thought about during my first hour of college chemistry,

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

The answer is: "it depends."

The first question is: "Do you believe in evolution?"

If you do, then there were fish eggs, dinosaur eggs, etc long before any chickens.

If your question was "chicken or chicken egg?" Then I need to ask you a hypothetical question (will explain after the answers): "First clear your mind of chickens.  Second: If a alligator lays an egg, is that an alligator egg? Is it still an alligator egg if a turtle hatches from it?"

If your answer is that the egg laid by the alligator is an alligator egg, then the chicken came before the chicken egg.

If your answer is that the egg laid by the alligator, out of which a turtle hatched is a turtle egg, then the chicken egg came before the chicken.

(Explanation for this question: If you believe in evolution, then the way you think that a type of bird evolved into a chicken went like this: A not-chicken lays an egg, out of which comes another not-chicken, which lays an egg, out of which comes another not-chicken...which lays an egg, out of which comes a chicken.  The series is: note-quite-a-chicken, not-quite-a-chicken, then finally a chicken.)

Let's try the other answer to the first question, "Do you believe in evolution?"

If not then " And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

And therefore, the chicken came first.

The Best Part about being Mugged

If someone steals from you for their own gains, the best part is that they will not then try to convince you that you are better off now that you've lost some of your property through force.

When the government taxes you, or adds some new law or regulation, it will then try to convince you that it is for your own good.  It is an insult to be told that you are better off with less of your own stuff and less freedom, and yet that is what the government is constantly doing.

At least the thief or mugger is honest about his intentions and is aware of who is better off when something is stolen from you.

(These thoughts were most likely paraphrased from one, or another, of Walter Williams' columns.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More HP Debate Thoughts

Summary of relevant comments:


salamanca1

Every time I see that little dweeb's face, I want to punch it. Is that so wrong?

Me

“Is it your position then that violence is acceptable against those who have have been called a criminal, even if those people doing that are highly partisan and are pressing the charges for political reasons?”

badgerwoman

 Violence?  No idea what you're talking about.




Notice to you on the right: "punching" conservatives is not violence.

Comment Debate Thoughts

I've been reviewing some of the replies I got to the comments in yesterday's Huffington Post comments.  None have been all that amusing, just dumb so far.

But one thing that I've noticed is that if I make a statement like: "The sky is blue."  They'll disagree saying its black at night, and claim that I think that the sky is red; also republicans are mean.

If you want to talk to the left, then you had better be prepared to define every single word you use.  As they will misuse that same word, or claim it means something totally different, or you said something totally different.

Definition of "the": "(used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a  or an ): the book you gave me; Come into the house."

Definition of "sky":  "the region of the clouds or the upper air; the upper atmosphere of the earth: airplanes in the sky; cloudy skies."

etc.

"But you said that the sky is blue all of the time you stupid fascist!" says someone on the left.

Quote of the Day, 8/30/2012

"The advantage enjoyed by the market is the automatic
reward and penalty system imposed by profits and losses.
When customers are pleased, they continue patronizing those
merchants who have served them well. These businesses are thus
allowed to earn a profit. They can prosper and expand. Entrepreneurs
who fail to satisfy, on the other hand, are soon driven to
bankruptcy."

-Walter Block in his book "The Privatization of Roads and Highways"

Paul Ryan's Speech

Thanks to a post from Ann Althouse, we can read part of Paul Ryan's speech at the party convention.

"Behind every small business, there's a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salon, hardware stores — these didn't come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small business people say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked 7 days a week in their place, nobody showed up in their place to open the door at 5 in the morning, nobody did their thinking and worrying and sweating for them. After all that work and in a bad economy, it sure doesn't help to hear from their President that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that!"

It sounds good. Obama sure gave the republicans a line to hit him with.

Government's Lack of Mission

The best post that I've read all week: "Government's Lack of Mission," found at Free Northerner.

excerpt:

"Let’s illustrate with an issue like poverty.

What is the government’s underlying mission?

Is it to maximize economic freedom whatever poverty may result?

Is it to maximize economic productivity to reduce prices so the poor can better afford goods?

Is it to keep employment high so that the poor can pull themselves up from poverty through hard work?

Is it to keep wages high so workers have a good standard of living keeping them out of poverty?

Is it to provide every individual has a basic standard of living to reduce absolute poverty?

Is it to promote economic equality so there is no relative poverty?

Is it to promote consumption to reduce immediate poverty?

Is it to promote long-term growth to reduce poverty in the future?

All of these goals are contradictory. A goal of freedom is inconsistent with having any other goals. Consumption and long-term growth come at the expense of each other. Economic equality reduces economic productivity. Providing a basic standard of living reduces productivity and the incentive to work. Keeping employment high often means subsidizing unproductive activity. High wages reduces jobs? Etc.

When it comes to poverty issues, whose interests should the government look out for. The poverty industry? Industry and business? Taxpayers? The poor? Unions? The blue collar working-man? And how should they look out for it?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Huffington Post Comments

tracht47

It speaks volumes about today's republican party, when one of their groups would even consider inviting James O'Keefe to speak. No decent person would want to be associated with him.

Me

Exposing corruption and planned parenthood's apparent approval of child prostitution is indeed a terrible thing.

(disclaimer for my liberal friends: this comment contains sarcasm)

badgerwoman   August 28, 2012 at 3:45pm

Yes, this progressive does indeed smell the sarcasm. Ironic though (you DO understand irony, right?) how the "corruption" you cite doesn't exist. You see, hard as it may be for you to believe, James O'Keefe MAKES STUFF UP. 

Me

Could you point to a specific case where he has made something up?



Grousefeather

Thanks for pointing out the sardonic nature of your comment, because on first read it only seemed steeped in partisan banality.

Me

As opposed to the article, which is "non partisan."



larrybe

It was ACORN not Planned Parenthood. Also, the videos were found to be edited and fake and ACORN was cleared of any wring doing. Here is the source (hoping you can read):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/02/jerry-brown-on-acorn-no-c_n_522709.html

Me

Both ACORN and Planned Parenthood: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe

No, I can't read. But how did I type this if I can't read?

First line in your article: "A few ACORN members exhibited terrible judgment and highly inappropriate behavior in videotapes obtained in the investigation,"




salamanca1

Every time I see that little dweeb's face, I want to punch it. Is that so wrong?

Me

If I said, "Every time I see that little dweeb's face, I want to punch it." about someone like Sandra Fluke, would you not take offense to that?

What exactly is it about his exposure of bad things in the government that you do not like?

badgerwoman

He is a criminal. Ms. Fluke is not.

Me

Is it your position then that violence is acceptable against those who have have been called a criminal, even if those people doing that are highly partisan and are pressing the charges for political reasons?




StaircaseCO

Clearasil, kid.

Me

Those of you on the left sure are happy to use personal attacks rather than actually debate the issues.

pdawgpro

You are right: personal attacks do nothing to further discussion. But don't paint all of us with that brush, just as I would never accuse Republicans of doing the same.

Me

Have you seen the comments on this article? Its one after another of name calling and insults.

If you can point to a similar series of name calling coming from a website on the left, then I'd like to hear it.

btw, some of the most viewed post on my blog come from the friendly folks on the left calling me names, insulting me, and suggesting that I kill myself. All for making comments like this one and the one you replied to. Last time I talked to someone on the left about politics in person I was called all sorts of names too.

http://spootville.blogspot.com/search/label/Debates%20in%20the%20Comments

Lots of people say that both sides engage in lots of name calling, but I don't think that is even comparable between the sides.


wild1a

Those wealthy individuals and investment houses are not creating jobs in America. They keep their money overseas and invest in companies in other countries. Of the wealth that our would- be president Romney has stored overseas how much of it is invested in producing jobs in America. If he had an interest in American workers and their jobs he could invest a few million to start an or expand an industry in this country. The American public seems to have no idea what a hypocritical situation this is.
 
Me

If the wealthy do not invest in America, do you think it is because they don't want to make money on their investments? Or is it because we have so many rules, regulations, and taxes that it is difficult for them to make money here than elsewhere?

We can encourage people to invest, and create jobs, here, but taxing them more and drowning them in endless rules is the opposite of encouragement.




reininop

Even if I believed your argument, I would not want to follow it to its logical conclusion.

Do you want to be groveling at the feet of some "job creator" for a dollar a day job while he sits upon a mountain of cash built from your labor?

Saying we have to placate their every whim so they continuing hiring people is rubbish. Either they need people or they don't.

Me

My logical conclusion is a world where no one, not even the government, controls the lives, or businesses of others. People are free to make their own decisions without interference.

If you can create "a mountain of cash" without an employer, then why are you not doing it for yourself?

It is very difficult to found a successful company. Adding more rules and regulations, and raising taxes does not make it easier for a business owner to grow his business, and hire more people.

We don't need to placate anyone, just leave them alone. and me too. 




theerrantsoul

The dream of pure, free-market capitalism simply doesn't fit anymore, now that companies have the capability to efficiently produce and distribute any and all saleable goods and services without employing anywhere near our full population of workers. Thanks, internet; thanks, robotics; thanks, big-box stores. Our economy has to advance and adapt at the same pace as our technology; Republicans want to drag it back into the past.

Me

Freedom always fits. How much would you like being told what to do? what job you should have? what you are allowed to eat? etc.

The goal of businesses is not full employment, but rather to make money by providing goods and services that people want to buy. In places where this is not allowed to happen, the people live much more poorly than the places where this is true.

DanBest
So to you, freedom equals the goal of business but does not equal the right to a decent paying job? In other words the bottom line is more important than human rights and capital will just fly where it can live freely by exploiting desperate human units for labor and consumption. Great!

Me

Freedom is not being told what I, or a business, can or cannot do.

A "right" to a high paying job sounds good.  But someone needs to provide it.  If you have a "right" to someone else's time and effort then you are placing them in a form of slavery.



skylark

That last sentence is a half truth, if not an outright lie. Working class Americans live WORSE than their counterparts in countries with stronger worker protections. 





Best for last:



Jay Daterman

Teagop is all about driving wages and benefits down. Life on the tea plantation....workers toiling in the fields for some moldy bread, a lame mule, and a shack while the 1% sit on the verandah sipping mint juleps yelling at the toilers to work harder and blaming them for the economic mess 1% greed has created. They alternate yelling with whining for more tax cuts for themselves.

Me

Are you suggesting with this comment that the republicans want a world of slavery for the 99%?

Albert Jenkin

No. Slaves get fed.

Me

So the republicans, whose party was founded to oppose slavery and who voted in a higher percentage for the civil rights act of 1964, is worse than slaveholders because they want lower tax rates?

Top 20 Muskie Lures


My personal list of top 20 muskie lures.  Although if I were putting together at tackle box with only 20 lures it look more like 3 each of the first 7.

This is a list of lures that you can buy new today.  Some good lures are not made anymore and would have made this list were they still being made today.  Slammer's Loc-A-motive, for example.  There are also some lures that look good.  But I'm not going to spend much more than  $20 on one when I know that I'll still prefer one of these.

17.-20. I can't think of anything else.  Buy one extra of numbers 1-4, and we'll call it 20.

16. Rapala Magnum 18

Deep Diving Rapala


15. Shallow Raider

Shallowraider

14. Reef Runner Ripstick

Reef Runner Ripstick


13. Super Rap

Super Rap


12. Bobbie Bait

Another good jerkbait.

11. Double Cowgirl

Double Cowgirl


10. Rapala Super Shad Rap

Another good crankbait from Rapala.

Rapala Shad Rap

10. Stalker

The original isn't made anymore, but there are some reproductions being made.


Stalker


9.  Windel's Harasser

A bucktail that makes my list because my dad's first two four footers came on a Harasser on consecutive days, a 48" and 52".  And its, generally, a bit bigger than my #1 lure.

Harasser


8.  Cisco Kid

Deep diving crankbait that always works well.  Also an original muskie lure; not a copy of somebody else's design.

7. Woodchopper and Big Game Woodchopper

The only surface bait that I've used in about 3 years.  I once had a 45" muskie fly after it, past and under the boat, so I casted out the other side, it flew under again, and I caught it off the first side on the third cast.  They are really hard to find.

Woodchopper

6.  Slammer

Most Rapalas aren't terribly big, but you can get big Slammers and they work very well.

Slammer

I am buying two new muskie lures in 2012.  A Jointed Rapala and a deep diving Slammer.

5. Jointed Rapala

You can't go wrong with a Rapala.  I've probably caught more fish on one of these than anything else.
Jointed Rapala

4. Bull Dawg

If you're new to musky fishing you can't go wrong with one of these.  Reel it straight in, jerk it, jig it, fast, slow...you can do no wrong with one.
Bull Dawg

Buy several micro dawgs for the spring (a fish or two will destroy one), and big ones for the summer and fall.

3. Rapala Original Floating Minnow

Speaks for itself.

Rapala Original Floating Minnow

2. Suick

One of the original jerkbaits.  Other than live bait, these have probably caught more 50" muskies than any other lure.

Suick

You need to make several hundred casts before you discover if you have a good one.  But when you get one, you'll really like it.

I knew a guide that threw a 10" model every cast for a whole season.

Buy a weighted one.  Check to make sure that the tail is straight before you buy it.

1. Rizzo Wiz (or Whiz, Whizz, Wizz)

My vote for the best muskie lure.

Rizzo Wizzes


There are several varieties, colors, and sizes.  Put a small one on in the spring and a big one on during the summer and fall.  Expect to catch pike and bass too.  I don't think that my dad uses anything else until the end of summer.

The Driver (Atlas Shrugged Earlier Than Expected)

Thanks to Jeffery Tucker's book, "Bourbon for Breakfast," I came across an author from the first half of the 20th century who wrote about economics.

Garet Garrett wrote about economics during the Great Depression.  He wrote about what caused it as it happened, in "The Bubble That Broke the World."  If you want to know what is happening with Europe's financial situation and compare it to what happened in the U.S. after WWI.  If you want to understand Greece's current situation, then read this book and substitute Europe, during the twenties and thirties, for the Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Italy of today, and substitute the America, of the twenties and thirties, for the Germany of today.

But the purpose of this book is to alert you readers to "The Driver." This book, also by Garet Garrett tells the, fictional, tale of a man who revolutionizes the railroads of America.  And is then punished for it.

If you liked "Atlas Shrugged," then I suggest that you read "The Driver" too.  "Atlas Shrugged" was written a few years after "The Driver" and seems to have borrowed a great many ideas from it.  Both are good books, and Ayn Rand's rightly deserves recognition as a great and influential book.  But you may be missing something if you do not also read "The Driver."

"The Bubble That Broke The World," "The Driver," and several other of Garet Garrett's books are available for sale, or for free, at the Mises institute.

"The Wild Wheel" is on my reading list too.

"The Bubble That Broke The World" just seems to me to display what is happening in Europe so well, that I almost forgot to mention the fact that it is about how the Great Depression happened.

Read it.

New Cars

Despite the number of cars available today very few of them have gotten my attention.

These are the only mass produced cars made today that I'd like to own.

Lamborghini Aventador

 http://avtomaniya.com/pubsource/photo/4721/lamborghini-aventador-lp700-2013jpg_small.jpg

Can you say: "V12"? (Picture from here.)

Nissan 370z

http://img01.rl0.ru/44ac994b2a6cb937a27cab70dbc17b7b/340x255q90/mtr.rl0.ru/upload/2/36/ecd85d7214b6bafc347a579c5ec30.jpeg

I've a 350z.

Alfa Romeo 8C Spider (the coupe is no longer being made)

http://blog.nazdrave.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/alfa-8c.jpg


Best looking car ever?


Alfa Romeo 159



http://images-2.drive.com.au/2010/11/12/2040671/alfa-romeo-159_600-600x400.jpg

Picture from here.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black


2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

Picture and review here.

Ford F-250 or F-350


http://www.nelsonrv.com/2001_Ford_F-350_Tucson_AZ/2001_Ford_F-350_Diesel.jpg

Toyota Tacoma
http://www.laureltoyotapa.com/toyotashowroom/media/images/Tacoma.jpg

My first car was a Tacoma, anything less than the V6 is underpowered.

Toyota Tundra

http://www.kaliteliresimler.com/data/media/1913/Toyota_Tundra_2007_4.jpg

Picture from here.

Honda Odyssey

http://www.driving.ca/2551095.bin

Picture from here.

No, really.  Take all but the front two seats out, lower and stiffen the suspension, improve the intake and exhaust, etc.  It'd be cool.







Where will the best place to live be?

The Neckbeard Chronicles had a post yesterday about writing for that website, so I did.

Check it out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Musky Fishing Small Weedy Lakes

I spent some of the day musky fishing Lake Wingra, in Madison Wisconsin.  It is supposed to have the highest density of muskies of any lake in Wisconsin.  It is a very fertile lake.  It has lots of fish and plant life in it.  Being fertile means, bye the way, that there will be a large number of life forms, but few big ones; there is too much competition for the amount of food available.

As it is near the end of August, and therefore the summer, I thought that the muskies would be hanging out in the deeper water, where it is cooler.  That may be the case for the bigger fish in the lake, but I now think that the smaller, and medium, muskies are still in the shallow weeds looking for food.

If we're going to fish a weedy lake, the early spring will be your best bet.  In the spring there will be a whole lot fewer weeds.  Fishing a weedline is good, but when nearly the whole lake is full of weeds it is difficult to catch anything other than the weeds.  Fish there before they grow. 

Traditional spinners, as opposed to in-line spinners, are a good bet for fishing the weeds because they are weed resistant.  But you still want to avoid the dense weeds.  Otherwise, all musky lures will work, when they are cast along a weed edge.  Lake Wingra has few defined weed edges and is difficult to fish, for that reason.

You can cast into the thick weeds with "weedless" lures but even if you don't get tangled, any fish you hook will.

Look for the weed edges in the small weedy lakes, and cast along them.  The muskies will be lying in wait, for the baitfish to swim past.  While you are there, don't forget to cast at any points, humps, any man made structure you find.

My day on Lake Wingra was slow and dealing with the weeds was tiring.  But a 38" muskie hit a lure twice, and I caught a nice largemouth bass.  (If you catch a big fish take lots of pictures; this picture does not do the fish justice.  Read my thoughts on better picture taking here.)

Largemouth Bass


These weedy lakes are not the places to catch monstrous fish, so you may as well enjoy trying to catch many smaller ones.

(On a side note: sunburn hurts.)

Quote of the Day, 8/28/2012

"Like the St. Andrews students, Americans show a disposition to
accept our government’s customary functions as necessarily
the exclusive province of government; when city hall has
always done something, it is difficult to imagine anyone else
doing it."

-William C. Wooldridge quoted in "The Privatization of Roads and Highways"

Boubon for Breakfast

A while ago I came across a book.  This book is excellent.  This book , in a fun and an interesting way, points out the joys of life, the marvels of the free market, and the problems with government.

I submit to you that there is no more fun or more enjoyable book to read about serious topics.

Bourbon for Breakfast by Jeffery Tucker is just a superb book.  If you want to begin to understand the joys of a free market and the evils of government then there is no better place to begin reading.  ...except perhaps its sequel, It's A Jetson's World.

Each chapter of these two books is a marvel.  The author takes a simple subject, like shower heads, the drinking age, or the weeds in his yard, to explain why free markets are a marvel to behold and the opposite, government control, is not good.

I think that all of the time that I have spent on this blog would be worth it if I accomplished nothing other than convincing someone to read one of these two books.

If you are hesitant to buy, have no fear, read them for free at: http://mises.org/Literature/Author/205/Jeffrey-A-Tucker

Download an ebook or a PDF, and read Bourbon for Breakfast to understand why the author is in favor of giving them away.  The reasons are avilible in chapter 27, on page 118 of the PDF: http://library.mises.org/books/Jeffrey%20A%20Tucker/Bourbon%20for%20Breakfast.pdf

Read these books and be amazed at how good non fiction can be.

Classic Books

I recently read fellow blogger, Mojo, suggest that everyone spend some time reading classic books.  Classic books are classics for a reason, after all.  I've read a few.  Here are my thoughts on some of them:

Ulyesses by James Joyce

I read the first page and a half.  Which is the first chapter, or prologue.  I read it two or three times.  I have no idea what happened in that page and a half.

If someone tells me that they read it, I suspect that they are lying.  I could read it, its written in English with words that are arranged in sentences, but it is impenetrable.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I was encouraged to read it because of something that P.J. O'Rourke wrote.  Something to the effect of: "Stephan King said that if he had had a computer he could have written twice as much.  We don't need twice as much Stephan King, Jane Austen maybe, but not Stephan King."

Its got a slow start; for someone like me who is not inclined towards girly books.  But once you get into it its not bad.  Its a reasonable book and worth a read. (Though I advise forgetting any Game that you know while you read it.  I read it before I knew of Game and there are many places where the main characters do the opposite of what Game tells us we should.) Its very much a girls' book, but not bad. The main character's father is one of my favorite characters in a book.

I prefer "Emma," though possibly only because I prefer Emma to Elizabeth Bennett (main character in P&P).  Emma might be more "Game friendly" too.

Austen's four other books are all almost as good as those two, but not quite.


Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Its not quite what I expected, but not bad.  Its simply written and an interesting story.  Much time is spent on the arrangements and creation of life on the island.  Robinson got much of his supplies from goats.  He lived on goat meat, birds, and the plants grown from a miraculous arrangement of seeds that were not destroyed when his ship capsized.

Either things were much different back then or something was off in at the end.  When Robinson got half of the proceeds from the plantation in Brazil he helped found, even after he had spent only 3 years there and around 30 stuck on an island.

I'd stop just short of recommending it.


Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Gothe

I tried to read it.  Its a poem. In olde English.  Note the "e" in olde.  There's not a chance that I'll ever pick it up again.


Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I read the first 150 pages (9 chapters).  They weren't on the boat yet.  I stopped when the author was describing some sort of strange church scene that I did not understand until I saw part of the movie with Gregory Peck.  The author was trying to describe that the priest, or whatever, was speaking from a "crow's nest" inside the church.

It drags on and was probably the first book that I started to read but did not finish.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There are several Sherlock Holmes books; all are the same with different mysteries.

These are good and interesting stories.  The writing is very simple and easy to understand.  The mysteries are very good.  You and I won't figure them out until Watson does; unless you are familiar with the lifestyles of the various peoples of London circa 1910.

(Just so you know, Sherlock Holmes was not written by the title character.  And it was written from the perspective of his partner Dr. Watson.  Many people that I've talked to have gotten this confused.)

Well worth a read.  His book, The Lost World, is not.


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

My grandpa was a big fan of Ernest Hemingway, so I'm probably giving him more attention than I would had I not known that.

The Old Man and the Sea is very short.  Its meaning may have been too deep for me to understand.  Its worth a read, and you'll probably have it done in one sitting.

To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway also happens to be my favorite Humphrey Bogart movie, although I have not read the book.

I once tried to read For Whom the Bell Tolls, but I did not care for it.  I did not care for it enough to watch all of the movie either; despite the fact that it starred Gary Cooper.

Because my grandpa liked Hemingway I will read more of his books, but I would not recommend them at this point.


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Its...something.  It seems to me that Ben Franklin was a good guy; he was a founding father of the greatest country ever.  But It seems to me that I would not have cared to meet him in person.  He has his set ways, that I did not like the sound of at all, and he proclaims that only his habits and lifestyle should be done by others.

I read the whole thing, which ends much before we get to America's founding.

I would not recommend that you read it, unless you want to know why he liked his breakfast of soup and crackers, or whatever it was, and why he thought everyone should do the same.


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Moby Dick sure set a bad precedent of me not finishing books, I can't believe how many of these that I did not finish.

My dad thinks that this book, and its author, are really good.  Dad's also the only person that I know who reads more than me.

I like to think that I don't mind reading about the upper class around the turn of the century but I have not finished reading this book.  I may try again because of how much my dad likes it.  But if you want to read a similar book, then I recommend Pride and Prejudice instead.


The Gun and Its Development by W.W. Greener

Probably the thickest book that I have ever started (that's saying something).  If you want to read about the history of the gun then this book is very good.

I'm as interested in guns, and history, and dry non fiction as most anybody but you'd need to be a serious fan of gun history to read all of this.  I did discover the wheelock action which I had never heard of before.  (It came between matchlock and flintlock.)


African Rifles and Cartridges by John "Pondoro" Taylor

I read it and don't remember it.  When the total number of books that I had read was less than around 200 I could have told you the main character's names and the plots of all of them.  But I don't remember this one.

That is also something considering that my favorite, and my dad's favorite, book is the autobiography of another elephant hunter:  Bell of Africa by W.D.M. Bell.

I think that my number one lifetime goal is to go to Uganda (or similar) and shoot an elephant.

Despite all that I don't remember this book.  Other than the introduction which pointed out that John Taylor was a bit of an exaggerator.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I didn't read it but I saw the movie.  My mother quite likes it.  I think, and my dad agrees, that the ending is truly awful.  "They're depressed even when they're happy," said my dad.

Think up your own story about a family just like yours.  Then think about them getting into a terrible situation.  Then think of them resorting to eating each other, because its their only option left.  That's the feeling that I got after watching this movie.


Walden by Henry David Thoreau

I'm a fan of P.J. O'Rourke's writing.  In one of his books he mentions Walden.  He points out things like the fact that despite Thoreau's goal of living alone in the wild for a time, he still attended parties and had his mother do his laundry.  P.J.'s writing eliminated any desire of mine to read this book.


Well, I've disliked more of these classics than I have liked.  But I hope that I have given you some direction towards reading the classic books.

Read Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quote of the Day, 8/27/2012

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. - Ayn Rand

I was reminded of this quote in a comment on this post, by Tango Juliet.

Party Covention Scheduleing

I just saw this post at pro football talk, and what struck me was this line: "That adjustment happened because the Thursday night regular-season opener has been moved to Wednesday night, given the conflict with President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention."

I recently heard that the Republican convention was shifting its speakers around because the television stations weren't going to broadcast many of them live when the RNC thought that they would.

And yet the NFL is changing its schedule to meet Obama's, instead of the other way around with the tv networks and Romney's speech.

Obama is the President,  but I wonder about the difference in response to the parties sometimes.

Linkage is Good for Me

I've made the Society of Amateur Gentlemen's top 10 Society Favorites for the last week with my post on "3 Problems With Debating."

The Society of Amateur Gentlemen's weekly list of links is quite good.  I've added 3 or 4 more blogs to my blogroll after checking out some of those links yesterday.

Check it out; click the links; it'll be good for you.

Another Argument Against Obamacare

Over at the Troglopundit, Lance shows us an interesting point about the Canadian Healthcare system, which is sooo much better than our old healthcare system.

The grim news is often delivered at the London Regional Cancer Program to men whose shoulders sag and jaws drop when told Ontario’s Health Ministry has for 15 months refused to pay for a medication covered by every other Canadian province.
“There’s shock, fury and dismay,” said oncologist Kylea Potvin. “Everyone thinks we have this wonderful universal health care system, but this is absolutely not the case. We’ve increasingly become a two-tier health care system where if you have money, you have access.”

I shall have to use this in an upcoming comment debate, about how bad Obamacare will be.

Monopolies

I've recently been reading Arthur Brooks' "The Road to Freedom".  (I'll review it fully once I've finished reading it.)  After making the moral case for freedom, liberty, and limited government, he makes policy suggestions.  One of the policy suggestions that he makes is that the government should be involved in the prevention of monopolies.

I agree that monopolies are bad.  They charge too much.  They do not improve over time.  Their consumers have no alternatives. And their potential competitors are driven out of existence by the monopolies.

Here is the interesting point of this post:  There are not, and have not been, any monopolies without it being the government's favored businesses, or the government itself.

Read my paragraph about the bad aspects of monopolies.  Then consider how well the education system in this country meets those negative aspects.  We've been hearing for years how poorly our schools compare to those of other countries.  We have been spending more than most other countries. There have been no dramatic changes in many decades.  Customers have alternatives, but you need to get permission to homeschool.  And there are all sorts of government rules and regulations, from the government, imposed on private schools.  In any case even if you homeschool, you are still required to pay for the public schools.  Even if you have no kids.

I heard on the radio recently that the University of Wisconsin system's next proposed budget asks the state's taxpayers for 21 million more dollars.  (This does not, of course, include the something like $80 million on new buildings that will be constructed.)  Tuition has gone up nearly every year, the quality of education has not improved and yet they always want more from the taxpayers.

The only true monopolies that exist are parts of the government.  The government is the sole legal organization that can: deliver mail, impose taxes, print money, incarcerate people, use lethal force, etc.

The only other monopolies are created with the help and support of the government.

Let's look at the standard examples of "big, bad monopolies" and see how bad they were.

Standard Oil is often used as the example of a bad monopoly.  "It was supposedly a company which used the free market to become too big and used the power to hurt the consumer."

But how bad was it?

"Its output and market share grew as its superior efficiency dramatically lowered its refining costs (by 1897, they were less than one-tenth of their level in 1869), and it passed on the efficiency savings in sharply reduced prices for refined oil (which fell from over 30 cents per gallon in 1869, to 10 cents in 1874, to 8 cents in 1885, and to 5.9 cents in 1897). It never achieved a monopoly (in 1911, the year of the Supreme Court decision, Standard Oil had roughly 150 competitors, including Texaco and Gulf) that would enable it to monopolistically boost consumer prices." http://mises.org/daily/5274

Standard Oil controlled a large percentage of the oil in America, but prices went down and they had many competitors.

Those weren't the only benefits to this "monopoly":

"Through its superior quality goods and uniform standards, Standard Oil helped to increase the standard of living in millions of homes using kerosene. Furthermore, in efforts to create new markets, Standard Oil distributed heat stoves, lamps, and other utensils to consumers for little or no profit[32]." http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Standard_Oil

How about another classic monopoly example?

"Telephone service was said to be a "classic" example of market failure and that government regulation in the "public interest" was necessary. But there was nothing "natural" about the telephone monopoly enjoyed by AT&T for so many decades; it was purely a creation of government intervention.

Once AT&T's initial patents expired in 1893, dozens of competitors sprung up. By the end of 1894 over 80 new independent competitors had already grabbed 5 percent of total market share. By 1907, AT&T's competitors had captured 51 percent of the telephone market and prices were being driven sharply down by the competition. Moreover, there was no evidence of economies of scale, and entry barriers were almost nonexistent.

Politicians began denouncing competition as "duplicative," "destructive," and "wasteful," and various economists were paid to attend congressional hearings in which they somberly declared telephony a natural monopoly. "There is nothing to be gained by competition in the local telephone business," one congressional hearing concluded. The crusade to create a monopolistic telephone industry by government fiat finally succeeded when the federal government used World War I as an excuse to nationalize the industry in 1918. AT&T still operated its phone system, but it was controlled by a government commission headed by the Postmaster General. Like so many other instances of government regulation, AT&T quickly captured the regulators and used the regulatory apparatus to eliminate its competitors. "By 1925 not only had virtually every state established strict rate regulation guidelines, but local telephone competition was either discouraged or explicitly prohibited within many of those jurisdictions." http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Monopoly

We could look at more examples of monopolies...

"In his masterpiece, Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, Dominick Armentano carefully examined fifty-five of the most famous antitrust cases in U.S. history and concluded that in every single case, the accused firms were dropping prices, expanding production, innovating, and generally benefiting consumers. It was their less-efficient competitors who were "harmed," as they should have been.

For example, the American Tobacco Company was found guilty of "monopolization" in 1911, even though the price of cigarettes (per thousand) had declined from $2.77 in 1895 to $2.20 in 1907, despite a 40 percent increase in raw material costs." http://mises.org/daily/436

"The assertion that free markets lead to monopoly is wildly incorrect. If the market is allowed to work freely over time, an apparent monopolist soon discovers that it indeed has competition. A company operating in a market economy looks like a monopoly only under myopically static analysis. A broader definition of any industry will show that there is plenty of competition, just as a narrow enough definition will show that any brand name product has some monopoly characteristics, such as a popular brand of ice cream." http://mises.org/daily/621

In conclusion, monopolies exist only when it is the government is the monopolist or it is the government creating a "private" monopoly.  When someone opposes monopolies, it may be interesting to show them that the only monopoly power comes from the government.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Freedom Fest 2012-The Big Debate

Wall Street on Trial

Worth a look:

http://www.booktv.org/Watch/13686/FreedomFest+2012+The+Big+Debate+Wall+Street+on+Trial.aspx



The closing argument from the anti-Wall Street wants us to blame Wall Street for incentivizing  people to buy homes that they cannot afford and to ignore the government's incentivizing Wall Street to give those home loans (with low interest rates, bailouts and subsidies).

Wisconsin is Doing Well



from the Troglopundit

among the things not shown: "the fact that Wisconsin leads the nation in bars per capita"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A History of this Blog

I thought that I'd write a history of my starting this blog so that I would not forget it, should I wish to remember later.

In the fall of 2011 I thought that I'd like to have a website, to learn how to work one, to see what would happen with ad space, and to share my experience with deer hunting and muskie fishing.  After reading about Sitesell from someone on Roosh's forum I tried it out.  SBI (Sitesell) is very interesting and informative.  All the information on their website makes perfect sense.  I had a site about hunting deer.  I thought that I might be of use helping guys who are inexperienced deer hunters, and in any case, magazines are often limited in value because most of us do not hunt 400 acres in Iowa, etc.

After about 8 months I reached about the 16 millionth most visited website in the world thanks entirely to arranging the words on each page the way SBI recommended and then becoming the second search result for "hunting antlers."  This was not much in the way of generating enough visitors to sell adspace.  And I lost interest in the whole thing when I was supposed to re format each page to their new system.  That website just went defunct.

While working on that website I still had the goal of using my 13 years of deer hunting experience, and 22 bucks, to inform other hunters.  Why not also spend time on musky fishing? I thought. I have caught a few more than 320 muskies over 30".

I'd go weeks without doing anything to my SBI site.  Here I am constantly interested and have posted stuff every weekday, except "John Galt Day" on the 13th of every month.

I only went about 15 days without any pageviews, and then The Feral Irishman put this blog on his blogroll and the pageviews and interest in my blog increased dramatically ever after.  (I had been commenting on his, more interesting blog.)

Thanks Pissed!

I met Matt Forney a few weeks ago because his hitchhiking across the country seemed interesting and I wanted to ask him about blog stuff.  Before he added me to his blogroll I would open blogger to write a new post and I'd see that I had about 90 pageviews a day most days.  Then one day I discovered that I had 273 pageviews one day, because of his post about meeting me and my blog.

All this may be of little interest to anyone, but I have learned a few things about writing a blog.

1. to generate interest you need inbound links
2. many people look at blogs while at work, so schedule some of your posts for 8-9 am (learned from Matt)
3. There are many good, and interesting blogs, comment and link
4. Have something to say besides a series of links elsewhere


After a month and a half this is still holding my attention.

Let me know if you have a question about hunting whitetail deer or catching muskies.

Friday, August 24, 2012

3 Problems With Debating

I'm learning a lot while debating people in the comments.  These are three things that are making the debates difficult.

1. The Problem of Statistics-  If I am going to try and convince people to change their minds I cannot do it with statistics that have come from obviously conservative or libertarian sources.  If I did that, then they would, perhaps correctly, claim that my sources are biased and not to be trusted.  (One of them even, laughably, suggested that the Daily Kos is a reasonable source.)

Since using sources from places on the right is out in these debates, I have spent time looking for sources from the left or from allegedly unbiased sources.

Getting a specific statistic from a government website is a pain.  (And therefore, I think, another reason to question its ability to do anything.)  Even if I find the statistics from somewhere like the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are questions about its accuracy.

If you want to know the official unemployment number, you'll get a number but it can be adjusted and confused with the number you are actually looking for.  Our official unemployment number counts only the people, I think, who are actively looking for work and receiving unemployment checks.  It does not count people who are underemployed or those who have given up looking for work.  So a more accurate number may be something like the number of employed per capita.

Another problem with government statistics is that they are not really to be trusted.  Did you know that much federal spending is "off budget"?  How is someone supposed to research that?

A source like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is non partisan, but if it gets bad numbers in then it will put bad numbers out.  It was often talked about on the right how the CBO score for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) was balanced spending wise, only because the score was for the next ten years and included ten years of taxes and only four years of spending.  If we looked at those CBO number for ten years of both taxes and spending it would no longer be balanced.

So researching statistics is a pain, but I hope to have at least sourced my statistics well.

2. The Definition of Words- I, and republicans, have been called many names in my comment debating.  One thing about that I find troubling is how often the person calling the names and my opinion of the definition of those names disagree.

Many on the left call those on the right "fascists."

Definition from:

Dictionary.com: "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism."

The Free Dictionary: "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism."

Merriam Webster: "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"
I would argue that it is not the best term to describe either party. But let's compare:
-Neither party has a dictator, neither side suppresses through terror (fear and misinformation though).  
-The democrats are more in favor of the politically correct (censorship). +1 for democrats  
-The republicans are more nationalistic. +1 for republicans 
-I would argue that the democrats are more racist (minorities cannot compete without special rules and help, they nominated an inexperienced half-black for president rather than a more experienced white, etc) but in the interests of thinking the best of my opponents, I'll call it a draw.

-The democrats more favor centralized authority (Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, department of education, etc) +1 for democrats

-The republicans more favor national social restrictions. +1 for republicans
-The democrats favor putting race (and gender) over the individual (quotas for minorities, and why aren't there more women in sports, etc) +1 for democrats

I think that fascism suits the democrats better than the republicans by 3 to 2, and if we include the fact that fascist dictators have banned private gun ownership the margin moves to 4 to 2 in favor of democrats being more fascist.
And yet next Tuesday when I argue against minimum wages, or whatever, that's one of the names that I will be called.
With some other words we may have more of a debate with their definition.  What do you call an unborn person? You call it a "fetus" if you are pro-death. You call it a "baby" if you are anti-choice.

Even the word "liberal" once meant something totally different than what today's members of the left have made it to be.

There are other words that I, and the republicans, will be called and I often include the definitions of those words in my replies.

3. The Knowledge of the Other Person- I've pointed out before, that I often mistakenly think that I know what my opponents opinions are on many issues based on one opinion on one issue.

I really like the idea of intellectual consistency.  I think that my opinion on every issue makes sense when you compare them.  ("More freedom, less government; that's my answer.  What's your question?"-Tim Nerenz)

I've been accused of changing the point, perhaps I do.  Often my opponent's point seems to be that "republican's are mean and bad".  (Although if you tell them that that is what their point is they disagree.)

I shall have to try and only argue the points of the subjects that my opponents want to debate.

One commenter named "TheAnarchist" commented in support of some big government law.  I told him that that didn't make any sense.  And he(?) said that not all anarchists are the same.  That's true, but what kind of anarchist is in favor of any form of government?

So I'll be commenting some more on Tuesday, and replying and posting on Wednesday, with these 3 points in mind.



BTW, I looked at commenting at The Atlantic Monthly's website, but they were already so full of name calling I thought that I'd wait a bit before trying there.  (I want to show that "rational lefties" are not.)  And I tried to comment at Salon.com but I had issues with signing in.  Maybe I'll try the "fair and reasonable" Daily Kos, lol.

MBA Programs

I was recently re-reading parts of P.J. O'Rourke's book, "Holidays in Heck."  (All of his books are good books and worth reading; even those primarily on economics seem lighthearted and are a joy to read.)

In the chapter where he describes his visit to China in 2006 he came across a woman who owned a clothing factory.

Here is a quote from page 105:

"'Congratulations on your MBA,' Mai said to Mrs. Ng.

'You got an MBA?' I said. 'But you already own a clothing factory.'

'Most students are successful business people,' Mrs. Ng. said. 'They bring real problems to the seminars. The professors are expected to give practical help." And there you have the greatest contrast to the American educational system that can be described in three sentences."

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to NOT go to MBA classes, in this country MBA classes are just extensions of normal college business classes.  Admittedly with more older, and employed, people. but just extensions of undergraduate classes: lectures of minimal interest and value, and business plans with no basis in reality.

Tim's Business School Opening Remarks

I've an idea for a business school, these may be my opening remarks:

Welcome to the first day of Tim's Business school.

Are you all excited to begin?

Here at Tim's Business School we plan on giving all of you students actual business knowledge.  You will get actual experience in a real business, and you will work in every part of the business.

We will come up with a business idea, then the lot of us will found it.  We will make plans, we will get funding, we will fill out all of the legal details, we will open up shop, and I will also arrange for successful business speakers to come and give us lectures and advice.

The goal here is to give you work experience and help you find good jobs.  After some time here you will be able to show potential employers the results you've achieved working for a real business, rather than just a diploma that shows your experience listening to teachers.  We will help with resumes, and cover letters.  We will provide data to show your results.  And we will found a working business.

You will get the experience required by employers without many of the worries and pressure that comes with your first professional jobs.  We are here to help you along.  You will not need to fear any disciplinary actions or termination of employment.  You will be here with the focus of learning.

When employers look to hire, they want their new employees to be knowledgeable about their subjects.  But until you do that job you will not have that experience.  We will get you that experience.

Most small businesses fail; we may as well.  But even if our company fails you will be able to see what works and what doesn't.  That is valuable experience that you can bring to potential employers.

Our founding of a business from the ground up also means that you will know exactly what it is like to found your own business. Most small businesses fail.  If you help to found a business with the rest of us, you will be able to get many of your failures and bad ideas out of the way when the business is not your sole problem.

Here you will have the chance to work in each area.  You may prefer marketing, for example, but maybe your experience in finance will change your mind.  In any case your experience in each area will give you a better understanding of the whole of business.

Let's found a business!

Your homework for tomorrow is to come up with an idea for our new business.  Think of an idea, it will have flaws and we'll correct them, but think of an idea and be prepared to argue some of its merits to the rest of us.

Any questions?

Quote of the Day, 8/24/2012

"The explanation of apathy toward highway mismanagement
that seems most reasonable is that people simply do not see any
alternative to government ownership. Just as no one “opposes”
or “protests” a volcano, which is believed to be beyond the control
of man, there are very few who oppose governmental roadway
control. Along with death and taxes, state highway management
seems to have become an immutable, if unstated, fact."

-Walter Block from his book, "The Privatizations of Roads and Highways"

"You didn't build..." the roads..

When our President said, "You didn't build that." he meant, we're told by the left, we didn't build the roads and bridges.  Maybe so, but wouldn't private roads and bridges be better than the ones we have now?

I've just started reading "The Privatization of Roads and Highways," by Walter Block.

How about a quote from the preface?

"Lest you think your money would be going up in exhaust
fumes, remember that market firms, who must please customers
to stay in business, provide everything better and less expensively
than government, without that nasty moral hangover of
forcing people to pay for things they may not use or want. Your
gasoline price already includes forty to fifty cents per gallon in
taxes for road building and maintenance. This means I’m paying
twenty-five to thirty-three dollars per month for road use now.
With privatization of roads, that cost would go down, probably
considerably. It happens every time anything is moved from government
hands into private hands.

There are other benefits that would follow road privatization.
The private roads that exist now have fewer accidents than public
roads, probably in part because they’re better maintained: If
private road builders let potholes remain, get reputations for
high accident rates, or do repairs during rush hour, they have to
deal with complaints and with people choosing other roads."

I'm on page ix and its already interesting.

How about the next two paragraphs?

"Pollution and pollution controls on automobiles would also
be handled by road privatization. If auto pollution were to grow
too thick, people living near the offending roads would sue the
biggest, most obvious target: the road owners. Road owners
would therefore charge higher fees for cars without up-to-date
inspection stickers. Auto manufacturers would build pollutioncontrol
equipment into cars, and advertise how cleanly they run.

Automakers do this already, but under the gun of a government
that mandates pollution levels and what kind of pollution controls
manufacturers use. Without government interference, engineers
would be free to compete to provide different technologies
to reduce costs and improve horsepower while providing cleaner
burning engines. With the inspection stickers being coded to your
automobile’s age, manufacturer, and model, there might be a separate
pollution rider on your monthly statement. Drivers of new
Hondas might see a discount, while drivers of old belchers would
pay fees that might be higher than the road tolls themselves."

If the book keeps up with the preface it should be quite good.  Did I mention that I first heard of this book through "Bourbon for Breakfast" by Jeffery Tucker?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green Bay Packers Roster

The preseason of the NFL is nearing completion, and we will soon be upon the teams' roster reductions.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article writer makes the Packers' final roster predictions.

With about 3 exceptions I think that is is close to being right.

But I question his, and many others', desire to have the Packers with another backup QB.

"Through the first month of training camp, Harrell simply hasn't shown enough to warrant the No. 2 job. If Rodgers had to miss a month, do you think Green Bay could go .500 with Harrell under center? Odds are the Packers don't, which means their best move is trading for a veteran. It's still 50-50 the Packers will keep Harrell. They've invested nearly three years into his development. But such a decision could ruin the season if Rodgers goes down for a substantial period of time."

I agree that Graham Harrell didn't do well in last week's preseason game, but he did well against the Chargers, and many of his poor numbers were the result of drops.  One of his two preseason interceptions was because the tight end tripped on the play.  The game last week against the Browns was a whole team effort of bad.

The MJS writer thinks that someone like Colt McCoy would be a better #2 QB.  I think that Harrell and McCoy have a lot of similarities.  They were both very successful in college.  Neither has the prototypical size or arm strength.  But Harrell has had 3 years of learning the Packers' offense and plays, while McCoy would be starting from nothing.  I think that they both have some ability to play.  But one wouldn't be all that much of an upgrade over the other.  And Harrell has that Packers' experience already.

I wouldn't be surprised if a trade like this happened, but I would advise against it, with the information that I have.

One commenter on a football blog said, after the draft, " I preferred Courtney Upshaw [to Nick Perry, the Packers' 1st round pick], but in Ted [Packers' general manager] I trust."