Monthly Archive for November, 2010

I guess I’ll pile on…

Via Gerard at American Digest:

Gerard first posted this back in the summer of ’08 and I thought it was great back then, but I didn’t have a blog.  I’m a little late to that party.  Whoever put this together did an awesome job.

I was wondering when this would happen…

The end of the limitless internet connection is coming.  At the very least I can see it from here.

We used to have DirecTV.  Spent about $85.00 per month with them.  We also had a phone line and dsl service from AT&T, which also cost us about $85.00 per month.

We bought a Roku a couple of years ago.  We’ve been on the three disc plan with Netflix for years, the streaming service was added at no additional cost.

When we dropped DirecTV, we also changed our service with AT&T.  We signed up for a voice and internet package from their U-verse that provided faster internet access than our dsl line.  We have a limited service phone line (VOIP, I believe), but with cell phones, who cares.  This new service cost us $65.00 per month.

So we are currently spending a $100.00 per month less on phone, tv and internet and getting better (watch what we want when we want) service. 

I do miss a couple of games, but I don’t much care about that.

But I have been wondering at the craziness of the business model and wondering how long it would last.  I have read somewhere that Netflix is the biggest load on the internet now.  Somebody has to pay for that, and while I expect Netflix will get squeezed some (that’s why they are moving away from DVD’s), I expect that I’ll be the one to pay most of the freight, either to U-verse or Netflix.

I know too many of these people…

From Instapundit (everybody reads Instapundit, don’t they):

The linked Newsweek article article goes on and on about the class divide in food.  There is so much to comment on in the article that I don’t know where to begin (I might start with the fact that every time I go to the Newsweek web site my browser locks up).

The wealthy, one would assume, generally eat better than the poor.  What is more troubling to me about the article is the author only sees some of the reasons for the poor food choices available to the poor.  It would be one hell of a research project for some Phd student, but I know you could track several government policies over time with the increase in the percentage of the population that have diabetes.

Much like the financial crisis of 2008, the current situation in the food markets did not happen overnight.  I might guess that some of the distortion in the way the farming industry is organized began in the Depression and FDR’s administration.  Possibly, it began earlier.  We now have: price supports; land set asides; export subsidies; productivity improvements from equipment; better fertilizers; better techniques; water subsidies (agriculture in Arizona?); food stamps; immigration laws that must favor one type of crop over another; property tax policies; zoning restrictions; and on and on the list will go.

I don’t understand why people can not see from something as important to their lives as food that the heavy hand of government regulation produces, over time, a “market” that is at odds with what some, or most even, would find optimal.  After nearly 80 years since the New Deal that we have a food industry that is large enough to have concentrated political power (sugar?) should be a surprise to no one.  Why should we expect something different in structure from Wall Street in the agricultural marketplace.

I also am left wondering why people, such as Lisa Miller, the author of the Newsweek article (certainly many of the foodies she mentions) often seem to think their life choices are better than the choices of others, as opposed to just being different.  Do drinkers of fair trade coffee live longer than those of us who buy whatever is least expensive at the grocery store?  Do the purchasers of fair trade coffee understand what a scam the fair trade system is and what it costs farmers to participate?

There is no way to know what the food marketplace would look like today if the government had stayed out of the distortion business.  I am confident enough to make this assertion: If there were no government subsidies of entrenched agricultural interests, the market would respond faster and better to changes in food fashions such as those interviewed in the article.

Comment of the Week…

This post by Arnold Kling at EconLog prompted this comment.

Awesome!  Laughed good and long.

Moo Goo Gai Pan

The Bob Newhart show were Emily goes out of town and Bob and the boys get drunk and order Moo Goo Gai Pan is from the show’s fourth season.  Episide 11.  It is named “Over The River and Through the Woods.”

Bob does a damn good job of protecting his intellectual property.  I can’t find the episode online anywhere.

It contains one of the funniest scenes in the history of television.

The WKRP in Cincinnati Turkey Drop

From Hulu, here is the entire episode:

For those of you who remember the episode, here is one of many youtube cuts that boils  the whole thing down to its essential core:

Now I’m going to go find the Chinese food episode from Bob Newhart.

Thanksgiving…

It is my favorite holiday.  I’ll make certain to take pictures and post them here for your review.  We always have a nice family gathering.  We’ll be at my brother-in-law’s place.  He and my sister-in-law have a fabulous back yard.  While the weather is supposed to be cool with showers, we’ll still be outside by the fire.

I will cook the turkey.  Probably just roast it in the oven.  Nothing fancy.  I do always brine the turkey overnight.  I’ve been soaking my turkeys in a brine for about 15 years.  No matter what way I’m preparing them, into the brine they go first.

We’ll have all of the side dishes.  Plenty of pies (you can have the pumpkin and pecan, give me the fruit).  Red wine to sip on all day long.  Whiskey after dinner.  It is a wonderful day.

We typically sit down to dinner after the Cowboy’s game, this is Dallas after all.  We’ll be at the table until late.  Some will go home to bed after cleaning up, others will stay and drink and visit until the wee hours.

I hope your day will be special too.  Happy Thanksgiving!

It will be a good idea for women to wear a burqa to the airport…

I’ll admit I found this via Instapundit, but this is unbelievable.  Well, let me take that back.  It is believable.  All too believable.

Does the government really think we are that stupid?

Don’t answer that.

I don’t fly much…

And my desire to fly is substantially curtailed by the new TSA inspection regime.  Both the new scanner and the enhanced pat downs seem counterproductive to real security.

It is good to see that the peasants are revolting.  From Maggie’s Farm (the comments at the first post are worth perusing).  Also see this note from James Fallows, the third one down, about the safety of the scanners.  Bruce Schneier has dozens of links.  The Advice Goddess properly dresses down a TSA employee.  Gerard has video of TSA mishandling a little boy (2nd item).  And of course, the TSA says nothings going to change.

I don’t think anybody is against real security.  What happens at airport screening is not security.  The people in line know this and their patience is wearing thin.

There is a market solution.  Too bad no one will stand aside and let it develop.

In the interest of service to my students.

I want to spread the good news that Kids Prefer Cheese has posted on their blog.  I mean who could resist to the urge to help these girls maintain the party?

For all of you who want to keep these girls and others happy, here are your instructions:

For all the nanny state types out there, if the kids can get a hold of the malt liquor, what does it matter that Four Loko puts sugar and caffeine in the can with it?