Thursday, April 30, 2009

"It is free enterprise in a way"

From The Foundry

Previewing the Obama administration’s upcoming “sweeping” environmental regulatory agenda, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told NPR’s Michelle Norris yesterday: “The President has said, and I couldn’t agree more, that what this country needs is a one single national road map that tells automakers who are trying to become solvent again what kind of car it is they need to be designing and building for the American people.” Norris then asked: “Is that the role of Government though? That doesn’t sound like free enterprise.” Jackson responded: “Well it is free enterprise in a way.”

Here's some examples where governments have tried this

The 1980 Austin Allegro from the UK
Faults: Square steering wheel (really!), wheels would fall off, tended to bend when jacked up, and the rear window would fall out

Soviet ZIL with proud new owner

East German Trabant, manufactured not from steel but from recycled paper (really!) with a 602 CC 2-stroke engine

Be interesting to see what society they end up building in the USA considering a senior member of the administration like this lady appears to have never read any history at all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Denis Leary

I've been a fan of Denis Leary for a long time. I still occasionally smile at Rescue Me

I think his short-lived series The Job was among the funniest things I've ever seen on TV

So I was slightly taken aback to see this in my local Whole Foods while stocking up on beer for the weekend

Way to go Denis!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UK Police Triumph

"Hand over your mother or we'll smash the door down!"


Monday, April 20, 2009

Latest PC Claptrap

Took the kids to the library this weekend and this caught my eye in the childrens' section.

Just the sort of PC nonsense libraries love to fill young minds with.

Let's not forget that since the CIA stopped backing Siad Barre as a bulwark against the Soviet backed Mengistu regime in neighboring Ethiopia back in 1991, Somalia has had no functioning government.

In 1993 18 US servicemen were killed by the locals which spawned the superb movie "Black Hawk Down".

And now Somalians focus mainly on piracy off the horn of Africa, although recently they made the mistake of taking on a US ship, the result being that snipers belonging to the Navy SEALS managed to end the careers of three of them from 75 feet away on the rolling deck of a ship, an awesome feat of marksmanship.

Of course, there are other careers open to the Somali people in the event they suffer from sea-sickness. Provided they can scrounge up enough for a plane ticket they can bring their rich culture to the UK where they can live comfortably on benefits while passing their days committing crime and smoking skunk with no danger of being shot by a sniper. Of course, they'd do well to watch out for any of Idi Amin's relatives

Death of Newspapers

They say newspapers are dying.

I agree, and here is Exhibit 1:

The Sun Times front page today.

- Oprah
- Burgers
- Cute baby contest
- Pictures of columnists _as_ cute babies

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

H1B L1 Brouhaha

Again and again in the media you hear CEOs complain that they can’t hire the overseas talent they need because of visa restrictions. Here’s a typical example.

What an utter crock.

They’d have us believe that in a country of 300 million, home to schools like Yale, Princeton, Harvard, MIT, and the rest, they just can’t find any smart people so they need to go overseas for them.

If you believe that then you also likely believe the Illinois legislature is filled with law abiding people who see public service as a calling.

The truth is far simpler. First off it’s primarily a money thing. They don’t bring computer programmers over from India and pay them minimum wage. But a continuous flow of overseas talent does serve to keep wage demand low.

The second reason is cultural. Managers in the big banks and consulting firms, and I speak from over 20 years experience of both, don’t get into those positions by being brilliant at engineering or having any ability to deliver anything whatsoever.

To become a manager on one of those places requires two key skills: first, the ability to think fast on your feet and say things that sound great right off the top of your head, and second, the ability to identify those with power and make them your friend, so you can hang on to their coat tails on the way up. Brown-nose and bull-shit. Forget all the nonsense they print in business books. Cancel the MBA. That’s really all there is to it.

Now put yourself in the shoes of one of these guys. You’ve got a choice of hiring:

- A US born and raised software developer who is smart, opinionated, articulate and knows how to deliver, wants to get ahead and expects a work environment which will enable him to do so.

- Somebody raised in the third world, where deference to authority is the biggest part of the culture, grateful to be here, mindful that if he loses this job, has a one-way ticket back to a land of bad plumbing?

No choice at all really, is there?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sophisticated Hi Tech Anti Piracy Device Now Available for World Shipping


1. Get a few of these about 200ft in size

2. Hang off the side of your ship

3. Sail up and down off the coast of Somalia in complete safety


Monday, April 6, 2009

NPR "This I Believe" comes to an end

Driving home today I heard on NPR that their series This I Believe is coming to an end.

Ordinary members of the public tell what they believe in.

A truly inspiring series which captured the viewpoints of a fully representative cross-section of American society

From gay to lesbian
From pacifist to conscientious objector
From Berkley professor to Brandeis professor
From left winger to slightly further left winger
From anti war activist to anti-nuclear protester
From disabled to handicapped
From federal worker to government employee
From civil rights activist to victim of police brutality
From big government advocate to large government advocate
From people who want to ban guns to people who think the second amendment is a bad idea

No viewpoint was omitted - we heard from them all.

This blog salutes you!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tibet Opens!

Great news huh?

Here are the first of them queuing up at airport security...