"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How high's the water Papa

New Camera (Canon PowerShot SD550)
7+Megapixel, vs the older's 3+

How high's the water?
About 2ft less than about a week ago.

Sycamore Creek
Behind my "office" outside of Lansing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More on the Port Flap

Pols, both sides of the aisle, jump to conclusions
Mostly just plain dumb ones.

Outside U.S., Puzzlement Over Reaction to the Dubai Port Deal - New York Times:

"Some British publications and analysts were blunt in their criticism. 'The bluster about national security conceals one of the uglier faces of U.S. protectionism — the one with the slightly racist tinge,' The Financial Times said in an editorial Tuesday.

The Economist Intelligence Unit entitled a brief on the deal 'Big vision collides with small minds.'


Friday, February 24, 2006

Ineffective Explosive Devices ?

Weapons of the World:

"The Sunni Arab fighters in Iraq are, historically, a pretty inept and pathetic bunch. This can be seen in the amazingly low casualty rate of American troops."

Ports and Prejudice

Da Dems got it wrong this time.
Arab Phobia.

Turmoil over which flavor of Islam (the shrine bombing and mosque burning in Iraq) doens't help the Arab cause, but for the Democrats to say that WASPy Brits are OK, but Arabs aren't is a dangerous path to take.

Excerpt from Tom Friedman (NYTimes pay per view)

War of the Worlds - New York Times:

"But while I have zero sympathy for the political mess in which the president now finds himself, I will not join this feeding frenzy. On the pure merits of this case, the president is right. The port deal should go ahead. Congress should focus on the N.S.A. wiretapping. Not this.

As a country, we must not go down this road of global ethnic profiling — looking for Arabs under our beds the way we once looked for commies. If we do — if America, the world's beacon of pluralism and tolerance, goes down that road — we will take the rest of the world with us. We will sow the wind and we will reap the whirlwind.

If there were a real security issue here, I'd join the critics. But the security argument is bogus and, I would add, borderline racist. Many U.S. ports are run today by foreign companies, but the U.S. Coast Guard still controls all aspects of port security, entry and exits; the U.S. Customs Service is still in charge of inspecting the containers; and U.S. longshoremen still handle the cargos.

The port operator simply oversees the coming and going of ships, making sure they are properly loaded and offloaded in the most cost-effective manner. As my colleague David E. Sanger reported: 'Among the many problems at American ports, said Stephen E. Flynn, a retired Coast Guard commander who is an expert on port security at the Council on Foreign Relations, 'who owns the management contract ranks near the very bottom.' ' "

Thursday, February 23, 2006

No Wonder the Dems Lost to Bush

Was driving around on errands
Spun the radio dial and some call-in show
Caller referred to the '04 election
Bush vs Jim Carrey.
(image borrowed from IMDb.com)
No wonder Kerry lost
Couldn't differentiate himself

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Great Example of Hypestering

Posted because it was first to come up on google ...
There was some sort of story on CNN about this

Trump Skewers Stewart in Open Letter | Donald Trump, Martha Stewart : People.com:

If the Chumpster was so outraged over Martha, why hold his toung until just before the new season of his Apprentice show?

Because this just flat doesn't matter, it's hype, pure and simple.

Amazing thing to me is that some (likely far too many) believe him and his wild-ass claims.

On Da Lighter Side

Because sometimes we just need to look at the lighter side of life ...excerpts

NEWS of the WEIRD - Current News:

"Palm Beach County, Fla., created the controversial 'butterfly ballot' in the 2000 presidential election that reportedly confused more than a thousand Gore-Lieberman voters such that they wound up marking their ballots for a minor-party candidate. In February 2006, local education officials told the Palm Beach Post that too many of the county's high school students apparently knew answers on the statewide comprehensive test but were incorrectly marking the answer sheets. The multiple choice questions require only one circle to be darkened on the sheet, but other questions require darkening digits of an actual numerical answer, apparently bewildering students into darkening too many or too few circles. [Palm Beach Post, 2-6-06]"

then ...

"A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist, quoting a spokesman for the telecommunications company Lucent in January, reported that "nearly a million people" in the United States still lease their house phones for around $60 a year (about 20 years after they were no longer required to), rather than buy them for as little as $20 each. [Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), 1-11-06] [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1-28-06]"

Maybe they all live in PALM BEACH ! (editorial comment)

And for our CIA ... we do so miss Don Adams as Maxwell Smart :
one clandestine operative left a clear trail of her whereabouts because, even though she booked herself at foreign hotels under aliases, she insisted that frequent-flier miles earned at the hotels be credited to her personal, non-secret frequent-flier account. [Chicago Tribune, 12-25-05]"


Spike into the heart of the defense of Lay and Skilling ?

Executives Modified Enron Data, Jury Is Told - New York Times:

Soo0 ... Do Ken and Jeff wear prison garb before fall elections?
If so, does this help the Republicans?

Curious minds want to know...

Monday, February 20, 2006

After Neoconservatism - New York Times

Excellent Essay byt Fukuyama on "Life after Necon-ism"
Well worth the time to read

After Neoconservatism - New York Times:

"The problem with neoconservatism's agenda lies not in its ends, which are as American as apple pie, but rather in the overmilitarized means by which it has sought to accomplish them. What American foreign policy needs is not a return to a narrow and cynical realism, but rather the formulation of a 'realistic Wilsonianism' that better matches means to ends. "

Then and Now

Just back from a great flick

Good Night, and Good Luck.

Clooney's movie on Murrow vs McCarthy.
Great pace
Shows that B&W still very effective

Strathairn has Murrow nailed, the mannerisms, the intonation, delivery, gestures.

McCarthy as himself was very effective.

His lecture to the Broadcast Executives was most telling.
Such promise for TV, such a waste with what we get.
Not that there wasn't plenty of trash then, but seems that there is nothing but distractions today.

About a month ago I pulled out an old tape (bought it some years ago, just never got around to playing) :
Point of Order (1964):

"A chilling example how telling a lie often and loudly makes it appear true."

"...compiled from TV footage of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, in which the Army accused Senator McCarthy of improperly pressuring the Army for special privileges for Private David Schine, formerly of McCarthy's investigative staff. McCarthy accused the Army of holding Schine hostage to keep him from searching for Communists in the Army. These hearings resulted in McCarthy's eventual censure for conduct unbecoming a senator."

Made Good Night even better.

Point of order was a bit "messy" in the edits, some continuity flaws in it's assembly. Nevertheless, effective.
Culmination with Joseph Welch's "have you no shame"

Credited cast:
Roy M. Cohn .... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph McCarthy .... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph N. Welch .... Himself (archive footage)

Aside : Welch played the judge in a later good movie ... Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Now ... to ponder.
If broadcast has failed it's promise, can the Net/Blogisphere/Something step into the breach?
Difference being no "mass" audience.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Zakaria on Europe and why the Euro (my opinion) doesn't have a future

Zakaria: The Decline and Fall of Europe - Newsweek: :

Talk to top-level scientists and educators about the future of scientific research and they will rarely even mention Europe.

Then this from NYTimes ... stick to the dollar (in the Americas) for a currency
The Case for Fewer but Stronger Currencies - New York Times

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Occasional clearing

We've had some near white-outs

At least you can see some of the
far shore

Early afternoon
Lake effect snows

Staying in single digits today

Chilly Chili

Annual Glen Arbor Chili CookOff

Well, for once, I'll have to admit that it was ... chilly
About 7 above ... at Noon
Even had to wear gloves, which made the sampling a bit clumsy

That said, it was good to get out, town was as busy as it has been for months.

Lake first frozen over just a week ago, but I'd say we have winter back

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fly in the Ointment

Headed out to PCForum in just a few weeks time.
Always a great conference, lots to learn.

Release 1.0 / PC Forum / Theme:
"Erosion of Power: Users in charge"

"Nearly every company I meet is focused on offering users more control and greater choice. With all these Web 2.0 technologies and business models, it seems, users can do anything!

In fact, the "user in charge" theme resonates to the point of irrational exuberance. I love the idea, but the last five years have taught us - or most of us - some healthy skepticism. What's the downside? I want the Forum to celebrate user choice - and to show how to build a successful business by offering it."

Sorry that Doc Searls isn't going to be there.
This is right up his alley.

But I have a recurring image ... Users in Charge? Inmates in Charge?

Marat/Sade (1967):

aka :"'The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade'"

Haven't seen the movie since it was out in '67 (yeah yeah ... so it dates me) but the images stick.

For those not familiar with the movie, from IMDB:

IMDb user comments for Marat/Sade (1967):

"As the title implies, the film is entirely a play-within-a-play where most cast members depict both a character from the French Revolution as well as an insane asylum inmate playing that character. While the film (like the later comedy-drama about deSade, 'Quills') addresses censorship, it is primarily concerned with a debate between Marat as a sort of representative of revolutionary radical communism, and de Sade as a nihilistic existentialist frustrated with his own, and society's, violently cruel urges, as well as the futility of revolutionary action to improve mankind."

Where is the balance, the "sweet spot" between the flexiblity and control.

I have faith in markets to clear out the junk and blow away the chaff ... but sometimes it gets "messy"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bit of Winter

Well, we wanted some snow ...
and we're getting it
Early afternoon, view of the beach and ice.
Ice still a bit "warm" so the snow is not really building up on it yet.
It will.
View westerly, Fischer Point in the "shadows"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bada Bing - I agree on the concept

Interesting piece
Challanges conventional market wisdom.

"efficient market hypothesis (EMH), which holds that markets aggregate information efficiently and investors form their financial expectations rationally. The reality may be much messier."

Dr. Andrew Lo: Darwinian Investing:
The MIT finance professor's market theory borrows from neuroscience, evolution, and econometrics.


"Sci-fi was an important influence on Lo, whose family moved from Taiwan to Queens, N.Y., when he was 5. Raised by his mother, he became an academic star. He skipped eighth grade, sped through Bronx High School of Science and Yale University, and nabbed a PhD in economics from Harvard University at age 24. But it was Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy that steered him toward finance economics. Asimov sketched out a branch of mathematics called psychohistory, whose practitioners sample the proclivities of large numbers of people, then accurately predict the future based on what they learn. Sound familiar?"


My comments submitted to BusinessWeek:

"All very very interesting

Patterns to my thinking very well.
Markets are NOT rational, but emotional. Patterns change, players change (both the players themselves and what they pay attention to). Anybody remember M1? M2?
This is why trading was fun, as well as, mostly profitable while I was doing it. Now I’m just a long term investor.

I always viewed the markets as a large experiment in mass psychology. Trade on the basis of how you expected the market to react to news.

I have argued that “Rocket Science” does not work on the street.
Engineering models are “brittle” and prone to failure when exogenous variables are introduced. They work for a while, but eventually fail.

Asimov tie in is very interesting. It influenced my work in college (PoliSci, Econ), but very weak carryover. Flaw in the analogy is that psychohistory demanded subtle measurement of millions if not billions of individuals. That said, there are interesting areas of study in Data Mining."

More on the Thought Process

Getting use to the DVR (TiVO style device/software in the cable box)

So nice to be paying half attention to some show, miss something and do a short rewind and play it again.

Now, esp when "multitasking" , if I loose a train of thought, I mentaly reach for the rewind button, trying to recapture the thread of a series of ideas.

Ah well ... maybe someday

Things to Think About

Think Different
Or “I’m of two minds on that

Think Different was an ad campaign for Apple a few years back but fits.

Juxtaposition of readings

A week or two ago I re-read, for the first time in at least 30 years, A. E. van Vogt’s Worlds of Null-A. (summary here : The World of Null-A - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

“Null-A, or non-Aristotelian logic, refers to the capacity for, and practice of, using intuitive, inductive reasoning (fuzzy logic), rather than reflexive, or conditioned, deductive logic.”

The protagonist has “two brains” and learns how to train them to modify his environment and teleport himself (and defeat the evil aliens).

What drew me to the work of van Vogt was the ability, even ambition to challenge conventional thought about the mind, how it works as well as interesting experiments with time travel (future and past usually within the same story).

Also to the non-absolutist model of thinking, to the uncertainty of the perceived world (influenced by Heisenberg ?).
The world may not be as it appears.

van Vogt was apparently influenced by the work with General Semantics the ideas that words mean things, but are not the things, the map is not the terrain.

While I have read much “science fiction”, and think that it has made it easier to invest in technology and technology stocks, I went back to van Vogt as the most interesting.

Then there was this piece in the NYTimes on male vs. female brains:

(original piece is behind the NYTimes pay-per-view archive wall)

Blog by Judith Warner :

Jan 30, 2006
9:28 pm
A Marriage of Unequals
Categories: Men, Psychology

A couple of years ago, I was standing by my backyard fence in Washington having a gossip with my neighbor, a school counselor. I told her I was going to start working on a book on the mystery of why so many kids are now being diagnosed with so many “issues.”

“I think these kids are just too damn smart,” she said, with a gesture that took in the totality of our consultant-journalist-professor-economist-cancer-resear cher-filled neighborhood. “I think something goes cuckoo with their brain wiring.”

I filed her insight away. It felt true, but how could you dream of researching it, much less proving it? I relegated it to the realm of useful metaphor.

Then last week, while trawling on the Internet for amusing studies to buttress my claim of my husband’s alleged mental deficiencies, I came across an old article in The Guardian by Simon Baron-Cohen on male/female brain differences and their possible link to autism.

Now, Simon Baron-Cohen, you may remember, if you went to any of the male brain links I previously listed, is the director of the Autism Research Center at Cambridge University who has advanced in The Times the theory that autism may be an aspect of having what he calls an “extreme male brain.” His Guardian article provides a longer explanation of what he means by this.

Brains can be divided into three common “types,” Baron-Cohen writes: there is a “female brain,” or Type E brain, for people who are strongest in empathy. There is a “male brain,” or Type S brain, for people who are strongest at understanding and building systems — “systemizing” for short. And there is a “balanced brain,” or Type B — indicating people who are just as strong at empathizing as at systemizing.

Source she linked to:
Guardian Unlimited | Science | The Essential Difference front page

Strange timing ... or maybe it's just my perception of strange timing ...

Then again, maybe this applys :
Plot Summary for All of Me (1984)
(Lily Tomlin occupies the body of Steve Martin, along with Steve)

Less than a month away ... our "spring break"

Release 1.0 / PC Forum / Theme:

"Erosion of Power: Users in charge"

Interesting piece from BusinessWeek on Games amd Movies
Game first, movie later:

James Cameron's Game Theory

And the online sidebar, interview with James:
Online Extra: Syncing Hollywood and Gamers

In particular:
" I want to see developers create games in which players can add to the worlds as they go along, so you can see what hundreds of thousands of people in this game environment can create. It's like each is being handed a tool set.... Instead of creating a $50 million game, you're creating $2 million games and letting them grow themselves. "

Maybe a way for "Holly-Would" to avoid the disintermediation of the long tail ?

The Long Tail: The decline of hit albums, in context

Damn ... hope this helps

Trying updated Firefox

Firefox Central | Mozilla Corporation

Hope it helps
Have been running into too many crashes

Maybe part "my fault"
Non-Linear Thinker

Practice is to have a dozen or more pages open, each with up to half dozen, sometimes even more, tabs.

Jump back and forth, some as "placeholders" for later reading.
Thankfully, the history function is pretty, well, functional.

But frustrated in sometimes loosing "train of thought" and need for rebuilding sets of related tabs.

Just updated Firefox, hope the updates/upgrades work !

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sand and Snow

Lookin North
Same day/time as shot below

Sand and Snow layered

Winter ...

Yup ... Winter

Brisk day, Empire Beach and Storm Hill. Only in the 20's but the wind out of the north brings it down.
Late afternoon looking south.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What a difference a day makes

With a nod to the late, great Peggy Lee, what a difference a day makes.

First, Saturday, late morning.
Sunny day and some folks walking the beach.

Sleeping Bear Bary view to the west of South Manitou

Then late today
Breeze has shifted to the north, from the south
6+ inches or so overnight and during the day.

Temps in the mid 20's but the breeze puts a bite to it.
Nobody on the beach today.

Shot northwest towards the gap between the Manitous


Saturday, February 11, 2006

More on Hybrid Hype

Others getting on the Prius case.
Image, not Economics

Wired 14.02: The Teardown Artists:

"Tearing apart the Prius convinced GM that Toyota was using the car as a 'tip of the spear' to change its image from a maker of good, utilitarian cars to a high tech company, Phillips says. 'And that's how Toyota will market its vehicles in the future. The Lexus hybrid is performance without guilt. It's a premium product. Nine-tenths of the people who buy it will never do the math; it's one big high tech image statement.'"

And : because of the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, every high milage hybrid, frees up a Big Truck for sale.

Buy a Hybrid, and Save a Guzzler - New York Times:

"Instead of simply saving gas when you buy a hybrid, you're giving somebody else the right to use it."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Peaceful spot

About 1/4 mile off the road.
At the "neck" of a horseshoe in the Crystal River.

Plaque to Ford and Alice Fisher.
Both born 1916, Alice passes away last April.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Up in the Sky, it's a ... a... what is it

Shirley spotted it first

We put the binocs on it
Rising in the east, shimmering and changing color, red, blue, white, almost flickering

Later, finally found it on a sky chart
Skymaps.com - Publication Quality Sky Maps & Star Charts

Must have been atmospherics
Cold dry air, maybe some very high, thin clouds

Brand Non-Sense

Car Racing Cologne?
Come on

Background: I'm a long term race fan.
Long term.
Worked at Michigan International Speedway just to see the races, cruise the pits, get close to the action. Ran my own race team and worked as "advisor" to others at Daytona (bikes by then ... much more interesting than cars.)

But I had the sense to take a shower (long hot shower, lots of soap) after a day at the track or evening in the shop.

Still like the aromas of Castrol "R" (caster bean oil), hot rubber, etc.
But there is a time and place.
Regardless of what this new "fragrance" is like, the associations are just not there.

What next ?
For gardeners ... "manure"

Brand Sense Partners:

"In a transaction initiated by Brand Sense Partners, Cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden, Inc. has signed an exclusive license with International Speedway Corporation (ISC), owner of the Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500, to create and market a signature men’s cologne called “Daytona 500”."

E85 Eh ? think again

Times takes the other side and, for a change, looks into the costs of corn as fuel.
Ethanol not quite all it's cracked up to be as the answer.

My humble opinion, ethanol from "waste" maybe, but I have severe doubts of explicitly growing a crop as a fuel source.

Corn Power Put to the Test - New York Times:
"The endless fields of corn in the Midwest can be distilled into endless gallons of ethanol, a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that could end any worldwide oil shortage, reduce emissions that cause global warming, and free the United States from dependence on foreign energy.

There is only one catch: Turning corn into ethanol takes energy. For every gallon that an ethanol manufacturing plant produces, it uses the equivalent of almost two-fifths of a gallon of fuel (usually natural gas), and that does not count the fuel needed to make fertilizer for the corn, run the farm machinery or truck the ethanol to market. "


More likely that Holly-Won't
Good discussion and links on the pending demise of Hollywood / motion pictures, big visual media.
Headed down same path as "Big Music"

Why "Blockbusters" will go bust and small media will percolate up to take over.
Related : the end of advertising as we have know it

The Doc Searls Weblog : Wednesday, February 8, 2006


Nick enamored of "plug-n-play" cars (plug in hybrids)

Pay-Per-View OpEd piece so excerpts
100-M.P.G. Cars: It's a Start - New York Times:

Op-Ed Columnist

Published: February 5, 2006

Imagine if we could develop a passenger car that averaged more than 100 miles per gallon — or, if used only for short trips, 1,000 miles per gallon. What if it could cost the equivalent of only 75 cents a gallon to operate and needed to go to a filling station only every other month?"

Goes on to tout plug-ins:

"...plug-in hybrids are economically and technically feasible today. While the batteries still aren't perfect, supporters say that plug-in hybrids can be mass-produced today for only about $3,000 more than a conventional hybrid (which already costs $3,000 more than a regular auto). Skeptics say that the additional cost might be greater, up to $15,000 more than a regular gas car — but even that might find a market among car buyers seeking the Hot New Thing."

OK, but whre's the payback?
Dollars in your pocket or "feel good"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Looking for Moslem Humor

Albert Brooks has a new movie:
"Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World''

Haven't seen it nor even read a review, but methinks there isn't any :

Those Danish Cartoons - New York Times

"Cartoons making fun of the Prophet Muhammad that were published in a Danish newspaper last September are suddenly one of the hottest issues in international politics. Muslims in Europe and across the Middle East have been holding protests with growing levels of violence and now loss of life."

It's now Febuary.
Either these folks are really really slow to get (or not get) a joke, or translations are really really slow or ...
They just don't fit in a modern world.

Where is the Muslim John Stewart, Jay Leno or ... Lenny Bruce ?

I did see interview with one of the Danish Editors who decided on this "experiment"
Paraphrase "respect for religion is one thing, bowing to other's demands is another"

Long live Free Speach

More on GM

Following friend Mike's comments here:

Looney Dunes: Unions Woes

and my musings here

Looney Dunes: Unions Woes...cont

Piece from Fortune, that digs into the legacy concerns:

The Tragedy of General Motors
Selective Quotes :

"Wagoner is exultant that he and the UAW gruelingly managed last year to make a deal that, if blessed by a federal judge, will cut GM's unfunded liability by around $15 billion and pare cash outlays as well. But that will still leave Wagoner facing a colossal competitive disadvantage. The cost is not his fault. Rather, it is a legacy dumped on him by CEOs of decades ago who gained a certain amount of wage restraint from the union--and labor peace for their own terms of office--by granting retiree health benefits that had neither large, immediate cash costs nor, under the accounting rules then applying, much effect on the bottom line. Today, with health-care costs exploding and the accounting rules stiffened, this mess has come home to roost."

and ...

"The truth is that GM is essentially indentured to the UAW because of the union's power to strike. To that sign of bondage, add another: GM's hourly and salaried employees, present and past, essentially own this company, a fact we will prove by describing some bank accounts. At the end of 2004, the latest date for which figures are available, GM's pension funds (both inside the U.S. and out) had $100 billion in assets--which is wealth belonging to GM's employees, retirees, and dependents. To that you can add $19 billion that GM has put in a dedicated account for retiree health benefits. That makes $119 billion that GM has banked for its employees. In contrast, the shareholders of GM recently owned their grubby $13 billion in market value. That is a bizarre, Alice-in-Autoland result from 98 years in which capitalism supposedly reigned."

Subsiquent news : GM cuts dividend in half, top brass take similar pay cuts.

Monday, February 06, 2006


First spotted news about FON on isen.blog
Sequoia Capital, Google and Skype backing ... impressive
Then saw it on front page WSJournal last night
Doc picked it up here Fon time | Linux Journal

Andy Serwer just talked it up on CNN

Source material (From David) Martin Varsavsky | English

Layer this with talk about Google's buying up of "Dark Fiber" and it might be a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to the established BellCo's

Sunday, February 05, 2006

One Year

Not exactly by the calendar, but close enough

Started first blog during Superbowl '05

Spent day today cleaning files, updating software and other such housekeeping

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sums it up

Soup :: Flat-Out Fantastic: World's Fastest Indian; Feb 2006:

"'There's more living in five minutes flat-out on a bike than some men have in an entire life'."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Extreme Geneology

Interesting piece in Newsweek on :

DNA Testing: In Our Blood - Newsweek :

"It is connecting lost cousins and giving families surprising glimpses into their pasts. Now scientists are using it to answer the oldest question of all: where did we come from?"

Explosion in low cost testing and hints as to one's own origins as well as long term studies of human migration trends.

Some participants find suprising ancestors.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Step up to the plate and ... whiffle

Instead of radical change, addresssing the challanges of the world, we'll get "more of the same" ...

We'll just keep spending money on systems for a an enemy of the future or some "maybe" threat rather than dealing with the here and now.

Pentagon Scales Back Review of Military Strategy - New York Times

"From the outset, the administration itself raised high expectations for the review, and the theme of 'transformation' came to be something of a mantra in the Pentagon's corridors. Some said the fruits of the review might be as lasting a legacy of the Rumsfeld years as the outcomes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ryan Henry, a top Pentagon planning official, declared last fall that the effort, instead of the usual 'periodic tool of refinement,' would be the 'fulcrum of transition to a post-9/11 world.'

Instead, by keeping alive some programs whose projected costs have soared in recent years, like the F/A-22 fighter, the Army's Future Combat Systems, and the Navy's DD(X) destroyer, the review has raised questions about how more exotic weapons and capabilities that Mr. Rumsfeld believes are vital to fight terror groups and other unconventional foes can fit into future defense budgets.

Andrew Krepinevich, a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, who participated in the review, said there was a widespread expectation that the review 'would find the Defense Department confronting some tough decisions.'

'In a sense, a lot of these tough choices are kicked down the road,' he said."

Broadband outrage

From David's (isen.blog) friend Bruch Kushnick

“The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal.” — AKA Where’s the 45MB/s I Already Paid for!

Reminds me of, years ago, listening to Telco flacks and Public Utility regulators ganging up on Telecomunications Inc. broadband initative in the Metro Lansing (Mich) area.

"oh we have such limited right of way, we don't know if we can allow that fiber to be strung"

and :

"oh, looks like somebody might make some money on this (home based business) and we have to be able to tax it"

Time for a new model.
Open up the pipes and let my people go (and ideas flow)

Unions Woes ... cont

I've been pondering the disucssion here

Looney Dunes: Unions Woes

Besides a great big kudos to Mike for hitting the nail on the head, I have some (overly simplistic) thoughts:

Broader perspective

Without supporting documentation, only from memory and prior context

1) US came out of WW2 with
a) no economic competition
b) pent up domestic demand for durable goods, esp. cars.
c) likely also was the exposure of troops to world travel as well as mechanical training. Compared to WW1, WW2 (aka World War part duex) was a mechanized affair, and fought over Oil (Japan after SE Asian - Royal Dutch Shell) and Germans after the Caspian.
d) The postwar Eisenhower Administration embarked on building of the Interstate Highway System. Both for National Defense (move troops and material) and public works (fear of renewed depression) reasons.
Now we had places to drive …

2) with the above in mind, Detroit could build anything and sell it.
Likely this was true of many other operations, from homebuilders to appliance mfgs.

Therefore, security of production was paramount.

3) there was competition, but a social model.
a) Socialism/Communism was the competing model, as it had been through the depression.
b) How to keep the workers happy ... give them a stake, other than equity (the German Model).

4) related : Japan and Germany (most of Europe) were not economic competition, rather, they were to be rebuilt, ward off Socialism/Communism and were allowed to provide cheap goods to the American Worker.
Japan in particular was remodeled, the social structure built to be an
"unsinkable aircraft carrier" off the coast of Asia.
Germany had been partitioned, and would not be a factor in European politics for 50years.
Manipulated currency and trade imbalances were tolerated.

5) meanwhile, in the US, we moved through an era that "big business" knew best. Engine Charlie Wilson, the era of conglomerates, the Harold Geneen's (ITT) and the like.
Threats of strikes (Iron & Steel, Coal) were headed off with either Federal intervention or higher wage settlements.
Pay off the workers, keep producing.

It wasn't until much later that we ran through the pent up demand, got into the 60's with developing disillusion with the "Wiz-kids" (McNamera etc.) and faced the Club of Rome "we're all doomed"... which was followed by the first (for the boomer generation) “Oil Shock”

Moving into the 80’s, GM was managed by “bean counters” who saw the model not as production, but as sales and esp. finance.

It appeared to be more profitable to finance the rolling stock than to find ways to build it (manufacturing techniques and smart buying of components).

With high interest rates and a declining trend in rates, you can make good money lending long, borrowing short. Financing, either via loans or leases, while your cost of funds continued to decline is great … to a point.

Rates cannot decline forever, eventually they approach zero, then the game is up. Especially if you are a manufacturer, with large installed base and plant, labor and equipment overhead, in other words, if you are not a Bank.

Then we discovered deregulation, small is better, flexibility and innovation.

Top it off with the collapse of the "other model" (Soviet Union) and we know of what has happened with 2-3Billion workers/consumers entering the market.
Structures build in the 50's don't apply to the new world model.