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  • Archive for May, 2012

    A Defensive Victory Against Administrative Tyranny

    Posted by David Foster on 31st May 2012 (All posts by )

    In 2005, Mike and Chantell Sackett purchased a small lot in Iowa (.63 acres) for $23,000. When they began to lay gravel on the land, which is located in a residential neighborhood, they were hit by an EPA compliance order informing them that the property had been designated a wetland under the Clean Water Act. They were ordered to stop grading their property and were told that they would face fines of up to $75,000 per day if they did not return the parcel to its original state. When the Sacketts attempted to contest the order, the agency denied their request for a hearing.

    The case went to the Supreme Court, and in March, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court, said that the Sacketts are entitled to appeal the EPA order, rejecting the agency’s claims to the contrary. “The [law’s] presumption of judicial review is a repudiation of the principle that efficiency of regulation conquers all,” Scalia said in the decision. “And there is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into ‘voluntary compliance’ without the opportunity for judicial review — even judicial review of the question whether the regulated party is within the EPA’s jurisdiction.”

    Scalia also noted that the Sacketts’ property bore little resemblance to any popular conception of a wetland, protected or not.

    “The EPA used bullying and threats of terrifying fines, and has made our life hell for the past five years,” said Mr. Sackett. “As this nightmare went on, we rubbed our eyes and started to wonder if we were living in some totalitarian country. Now the Supreme Court has come to our rescue and reminded the EPA — and everyone – that this is still America.”

    Read this post…the personal cost of big-government thuggery…for more on the Sacketts’ ordeal.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Environment, Law, Political Philosophy, Politics, USA | 9 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 30th May 2012 (All posts by )

    your fly is up

     

    Posted in Humor, Photos | 4 Comments »

    Just Unbelievable

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 30th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Really? I mean, really???

    The White House said President Barack Obama misspoke on Tuesday when he referred to a “Polish death camp” while honoring a Polish war hero.
     
    The president’s remark had drawn immediate complaints from Poles who said Obama should have called it a “German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland,” to distinguish the perpetrators from the location. Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski called it a matter of “ignorance and incompetence.”
     
    Obama made the comment while awarding the Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II. Karski died in 2000.
     
    During an East Room ceremony honoring 13 Medal of Freedom recipients, Obama said that Karski “served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself. Jan took that information to President Franklin Roosevelt, giving one of the first accounts of the Holocaust and imploring to the world to take action.”
     
    Sikorski tweeted that the White House would apologize for “this outrageous error” and that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk would address the matter on Wednesday.
     
    “It’s a pity that such a dignified ceremony was overshadowed by ignorance and incompetence.”

    Either the President has what are easily the worst handlers in presidential history, or he just doesn’t care. Maybe both.

    *apologies on the formatting on the copy and paste quote – Jonathan told me how to fix it once but I forgot – perhaps a refresher is in order.

    Posted in Just Unbelievable | 23 Comments »

    Cable and Roku

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 29th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Disruptions often occur because businesses confuse their original mission with their current configuration. A great example is newspapers – while newspapers held the banner of “journalistic integrity”, they made their fortunes on the fact that for decades they held a de-facto monopoly on advertisers in their home markets. If you wanted to reach the whole town, you had to put it in the local paper, and this was the engine for their growth and profits. As there started to be many more ways to reach the city (from local TV ads to the internet, etc…) and the monopoly eroded, the “tide went out” on their journalism model because no one was really paying for that, it was just a free ride atop the advertising. This was brought home to me when someone I know left working for a local newspaper in a midwestern city and started working for a non-profit; she noticed instantly how much more polite they were even when rejecting her requests for business; they truly hated the monopoly newspaper and their bile was due to that relationship. And of course the evidence for newspapers’ abject decline is visible in the bankruptcy and stock prices of the remaining entities.

    Cellular phone companies, too, are falling into this trap. Companies like Verizon provide a wireless network, and specialized companies like Motorola provided the phones. Between the network providers and the hardware providers, they thought that they owned the experience and would be able to capture large profits in the future. Today, other than when the situation is dire (AT&T), consumers are caring less and less about the particular phone network they use and the hardware, too, is going behind the scenes, as they care about the particular applications on their mobile devices. Apple and its brilliant iPhone took the profits from the network providers, who now are scrambling to hold customers and long-term contracts. And the iPhone itself over time will come under immense pressure on their long term profits as new entrants with similar functionality and access to applications can come in and bring commodity tools to the market efficiently. Originally the phone companies (AT&T, Sprint) and the hardware manufacturers (Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry) thought that they could control the network, user interface, and the content. While Apple is thriving against the new competition (for now) this entire “ecosystem” has not played out in the way it seemed a decade ago, and many of those that expected to capture above-average profits are now either commodity players (hardware) or struggling to keep up with capacity while not being able to leverage this spend into a long term guaranteed return (the cellular network providers). The value is going to those that can “monetize” the mobile advertising experience, which probably will be a group of software(Google) and social networking companies (Facebook).

    Now we move onto cable. Cable existed as a foil to over-the-air television, an oligopoly like newspapers that bled its mission white until powerful intruders came and up-ended their business model. Cable started to buy content, and they built a parallel distribution network at huge cost to compete with what was available, for free, over the air. Cable today also is the primary mechanism for broadband internet service, which it links with its paid content (and a bit of phone), to charge large and growing fees.

    This article at Bloomberg is titled “The Cable Industry Isn’t Stupid, Right?

    The NPD Group put out a survey on Tuesday that suggested monthly pay-TV rates could reach $200 by 2020, up from the current average rate of $86. The analysts at NPD credit rising content-licensing fees and the average 6 percent rate increase that cable companies jam down users’ throats each year.

    This is where the dis-aggregation of cable into 1) network provider (one amongst many) and 2) content provider becomes important.

    I recently bought my parents a ROKU 2S box. The box is amazingly small, about the size of a mobile phone and a bit thicker. We plugged it in to an HDMI port on their TV and I connected it up to their wireless network (they have cable) and the software updated and the Roku box was working. In the picture below you can barely make out the small box to the right of the front channel speaker.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Business, Tech | 18 Comments »

    Random Letter From Treasure Trove

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 29th May 2012 (All posts by )

    As I mentioned in this post, I have inherited hundreds of letters that were written from my wife’s grandfather to her grandmother while they were courting. Most of the letters were written during the time while my wife’s grandfather was drafted into service during WW2. Many are from basic training and many are from his time served in India. I have not yet begun the formal process of scanning, dating and sorting the letters. This letter was floating around on top with no envelope – there is no date listed on it besides “1945″. All spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors have been left intact.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Arts & Letters, History, India, Personal Narrative | 6 Comments »

    Treasure Trove

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 29th May 2012 (All posts by )

    My wife took a recent visit to her grandmother and grandfather. They aren’t doing so well. We have had to have “the talk” with them about getting them out of their house and into some sort of assisted living facility. It isn’t pleasant, of course – it never is when dealing with situations such as this.

    While there, my wife was asked to go through some things and distribute them among the living family members. Most of these things hold only sentimental value. I ended up with a couple of guns, a sweet antique Marlin .22 and a beautiful bolt action Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun. I haven’t had time to research them as of yet.

    As we were cleaning up the van and getting some of the items ready for a garage sale to raise cash for them, my wife informed me she also got a box of letters. What’s that, I said? Well, here it is.

    I was told that these were letters from my wife’s grandfather to her grandmother. And they are. Hundreds and hundreds of them, neatly bundled and put away for nearly 70 years before my eyes gazed upon them. From an early look, the vast majority of them seem to be from when my wife’s grandfather was drafted to be in the big war – ww2, that is. They have that musty/old book smell.

    He was stationed in India and from what I can glean upon reading a letter or two is that he was a supply clerk of some sort. There are also a lot of letters that he wrote to her from basic training. Most of the addresses use grandma’s maiden name. They were still courting.

    Oh yea – I haven’t told my wife this yet – there are letters from other guys to grandma too. Well then.

    I plan on sharing some of these letters with our readers here. They are an invaluable source of information to a historian such as myself to get a feel what it was like back then – not only from a military history standpoint, but they will be a look into the social lives of folks back then as well.

    I shall change the names as these folks are still alive, but I will leave all of the language intact. I hope you enjoy these letters that I will publish as I find time to transcribe them. The first thing I need to do is figure out everything chronologically.

    I am absolutely giddy with anticipation.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, History, India, Personal Narrative | 10 Comments »

    DC Zoning and Government Growth

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Chicagoboyz community member Robert Schwartz emails:

    I read an article today that really set me to thinking. Here are the title and a brief clip:
     
    Is It Time for D.C. to Grow Up?: Growth Prompts a Rethinking of Law That Limits Washington Building Heights” by Eliot Brown in The Wall Street Journal on May 26, 2012 at page A3:
     

    This dwindling supply of space in central Washington comes amid growth in the office sector over the years and a population that is back on the rise after decades of decline. Washington’s population has grown 8% since 2000 to more than 600,000, adding an estimated 46,000 residents, as young people in particular have flocked to live there.

     
    The article discusses proposed changes to the DC zoning ordinances so that more office space and high-rise condos could be added to the area north of the Mall and between the White House and the Capitol.
     
    I devoted a few seconds of rumination to the architectural issue, before it hit me. What the article says is that all of the country’s wealth and power are being concentrated in the Imperial Capital. The real problem is not building heights, it is the concentration of political power. I think we need a meme or slogan to carry us through to November, and through the subsequent campaign to re-establish constitutional government in the United States. So here is my suggestion:
     
    Vote Republican — Send the Recession to Washington
     
    Your thoughts are welcome. So are bumper sticker designs.

    Posted in Big Government, Politics, Public Finance | 7 Comments »

    Memorial Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on 28th May 2012 (All posts by )

    One more picture before the day is over. These American soldiers, arriving in France, probably in 1917, in their chapeaux de Cowboy, look young, tough and generally badass. All of them are gone now — gone but not forgotten. Thank you, gentlemen. God bless America.

    (Click through to get the large version of the picture. You can see their faces and equipment much better.)

    Posted in Holidays, Military Affairs, USA | 3 Comments »

    Memorial Day, 2012

    Posted by David Foster on 28th May 2012 (All posts by )

    The war was in color (music video); link originally via the late and very great Neptunus Lex, who observed they all are. See Lex’s Memorial Day post for 2006, here.  Also at The Lexicans today, a visit to the A-6 Intruder memorial.

    >>>>Lex’s daughter “Kat” has the Neptunus Lex blog back up. Which allows me to post a link to his Memorial Day post for 2007: We remember them. Eloquent even by Lex’s own high standards

    Here are some other Memorial Day links from around the web…most of these are from 2011 and earlier.

    America the Singularity, from Dr Sanity

    The warriors among us, from Bookworm

    Lest we forget, from Reflecting Light

    How can you remember something you’ve never learned?

    A visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln

    A nice picture of the WWII memorial at night

    A memorial in Afghanistan. Story and incredible photographs by Michael Yon.

    Cassandra, eloquent and thoughtful as always.

    See also Walter Russell Mead and Chicago Boy Lexington Green.

    Posted in History, Holidays, USA, War and Peace | 1 Comment »

    Memorial Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on 27th May 2012 (All posts by )

    God bless our veterans, living and dead. God bless America.

    Posted in Holidays, Military Affairs, USA | 17 Comments »

    The Marines Have Landed…

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 27th May 2012 (All posts by )

    In Fredericksburg, Texas – the home of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Being an Annapolis man, he probably would have ripped them up one side and down the other for inability to assume the proper ‘shoulders-back,stand-up-straight, suck-yer-gut in! stances at the command of ‘Parade-Rest!’ Or maybe not … he always struck me as a commander who could make allowances. (His grandfather, CH Nimitz, is a reocurring character in my historical novels about the Germans in Texas.)
    But they are reenactors, and doing their best for the mission of the National Museum of the Pacific War, in Fredericksburg, Texas. (They were also all pretty young, and geeky … probably heartbreakingly like the Marines that they were reenacting. So, who says that historical reenactors are all middle-aged and physically-less-than-fit guys?) This Saturday, they were working Main Street, and anding out cards with the schedule for reenactment events at the Pacific Combat Zone part of the museum.

    Fredericksburg – a small town in the Hill Country – I love it extravagantly, and I think I know it as well as anybody.

    Posted in Americas, USA | 4 Comments »

    New! – Chicagoboyz Outdoor-Product Endorsements

    Posted by Jonathan on 27th May 2012 (All posts by )

    These products have been tested and approved by the crack Chicagoboyz research staff (not to be confused with the Chicagoboyz crack-using staff), so you know they’re good:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

    Posted by Jonathan on 27th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Potatoes

    Chicagoboyz are tuberrific.

     

    Posted in Photos | 7 Comments »

    Twilight for an Internet Gem

    Posted by L. C. Rees on 26th May 2012 (All posts by )

    The Evil Baron Evola

    The Evil Baron Julius Evola (with monocle)

    Over the past few years I’ve followed the weekly postings of John Reilly, a philosopher (and lawyer) from New Jersey. Mr. Reilly is a Man of the Right but his views are very individual. His interests are wide-ranging, from the End of the World and millennialism to politics to alternative history to English spelling reform to the curious relationship between Fascism and the occult driven by the evil Baron Evola. He posts “diligently but irregularly” to his old school web log but also wrote longer and thoughtful book reviews that were always worth reading.

    Two of his occasional fiction pieces are especially noteworthy: “The Gray Havens“, a story (narrated by Bilbo Baggins) that explores a Middle Earth where Sauron recovered the One Ring after Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and the creature Gollum fail to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom and “The Stopping Problem” about how the disappointing reality of artificial intelligence leads to a human mind bomb.

    Two of Mr. Reilly’s smaller fiction pieces give a flavor of his style and ecumenical tastes. Here’s an obituary for the war criminal Clive Staples Lewis that begins:

    From the Obituaries of The New York Times, November 26, 1963


    Argentine police officials today confirmed that the remains of Clive Staples Lewis were among those found in the ashes of a bungalow on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The building burned to the ground on November 22, just as Mr. Lewis, a long-time international fugitive, was about to be apprehended by agents of the CIA and MI5. Allegations of his involvement with this week’s tragic events in Dallas are continuing to stir worldwide controversy [See Page A1]. Mr. Lewis is believed to have committed suicide by self-immolation. The exact number of his companions and the cause of their deaths are still under investigation.
     
    With the death of Mr. Lewis, the hunt for the major war criminals of the Second World War can be said to be over.

    Here’s the beginning of another obituary for former president and admiral Robert Anson Heinlein written in Altscript:

    Frum the Obitiuerees ov the Nw York Tyms


    May 9, 1988


    Robert Anson Heinlein, former prezident ov the Uinyted Stayts and wunss the yungest Fleet Admirel in the history ov modern warfair, dyed yesterday, May 8, 1988, at his estayt “Bonny Doon” in Santa Cruz, California. He was 80 yeers oald. The caws ov detth was complicaytions asoasiated witth cronic emfizeema. “The Admirel,” as he continiued tw be noan eeven during his yeers in the Wyt Howss, is reported tw hav dyed peesfuly in his sleep during a morning nap.

    Mr. Reilly has not posted to his blog since April 15, 2012 (a post on the Titanic centennial). Since Mr. Reilly has now exceeded the bounds of both irregularity and diligence, his forum denizens decided to find out what happened. Since Mr. Reilly did not respond to email, they took the indirect route of contacting Mr. Reilly’s choir group at his local Roman Catholic parish through Facebook. The choir respondant replied and relayed the news that Mr. Reilly is suffering from the sudden onset of a neurological disorder and has been hospitalized for almost one month and a half. This morning, it seems that Mr. Reilly has contracted pneumonia and is now teetering on the edge of leaving mortality.

    I, like his congregation, online community, and other interested parties, pray to the Father for a miracle for Mr. Reilly. Irrespective of the ultimate outcome of Mr. Reilly’s twilight struggle, I believe it timely to direct interested readers to his online works since they form the primary legacy of this rare gem on the Internet.

    Posted in Deep Thoughts | 6 Comments »

    Between the warrior and the monk (i): my father

    Posted by Charles Cameron on 26th May 2012 (All posts by )

    [ cross-posted from Zenpundit -- a warrior, a monk, and where that leaves me -- first in a series of 3 posts ]
    .

    Like one of those toy acrobats who flips up, over and under when you squeeze or release the two sticks he’s strung on, I’m strung between these two fellows…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Biography, Britain, Military Affairs, War and Peace | 7 Comments »

    Movie Review: Little Man, What Now?

    Posted by David Foster on 25th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Last week I reviewed Hans Fallada’s 1932 novel about a young couple enduring hard times in late-Weimar Germany. The book was made into an American movie, released in 1934, which I watched last night. Here is the original NYT review of the the film.

    The movie generally follows the book, with one huge exception. At the end of the book, the unemployed Sonny (who has come into Berlin to pick up his dole payment) is taken by a policeman for an undesirable tramp and is shoved off the sidewalk. Utterly in despair, he returns home and is at first unable to confess his humiliation to Lammchen. But when he finally does, he is lifted up and given hope by her love and understanding. In the movie, Sonny is also shoved by the cop…but when he returns home, his friend Mr Heilbutt has arrived to tell the couple that he has moved to Holland, started a business there, and is offering Sonny a job. The couple’s problems are solved.

    Psychologically, the messages of these two alternative endings are about as different as you can get.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, Film, Germany, History | 2 Comments »

    Gulag Plants

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 24th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Dan and I have the habit of sending boxes of books back and forth after reading them, and I recently received a large contingent of books which was much appreciated. We both are trying to stay away from military history reading to the extent we can because we’ve read so much of it over the years. In this instance I take the book “Gulag” which is an excellent history of that horrible system of jails and concentration camps that were used to repress the Russia people (and their satellites), and utilize its otherwise completely depressing contents to support our direct lighting system for tomato plants.

    A positive use for this important but incredibly depressing book. On the other side I should balance it out with the Black Book of Communism.

    Cross posted at LITGM

    Posted in Humor, Russia | Comments Off

    Today’s Weather

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th May 2012 (All posts by )


     

    Posted in Video | 1 Comment »

    L-D-S

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 23rd May 2012 (All posts by )

    It looks like Mittens is our man, as far as the GOP presy-nom goes in this year of Our Lord 2012. Not my personal first choice, as I retained a sneaking affection for Rick Perry as one of the very first among our dear establishment Repubs who glommed onto the Tea Party from the get go … but, eh … this is not a perfect world, probably will never be a perfect world. Speaking as an amateur historian, it’s more interesting as an imperfect world anyway. As far as I’m concerned in this current election season, Anybody But Obama will do for me. I don’t care wildly for establishment career Republicans, especially the ones embedded in the Washington D.C. establishment like an impacted wisdom tooth … but in a realistic world, we work with what we can get.

    Of course, one of the sneaky push-backs generated as the campaign season wears on through summer and fall will be objections and veiled – or not so veiled – criticisms of Mitten’s Mormon faith. That is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, LDS for short, the common reference within those communities particularly thick with them. (In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which saw the Enterprise crew voyage backwards in time to our tumultuous century, Captain Kirk attempted to cover for strangeness in Mr. Spock’s conduct by saying, “Oh, he did too much LDS in the Sixties. That line raised an enormous horse-laugh in the theater in Layton, Utah, where I saw that movie in first run: Probably not so much as a giggle, everywhere else.)
    In the event of his nomination as GOP candidate, I remain confident that every scary trope about Mormons will be taken out and shaken vigorously, as representatives of the U.S. establishment press furrow their brows thoughtfully and mouth the successor-to-JournoList talking points, and members of the foreign press corps (such as the BBC) worry their pretty, empty heads about those crazy fundamentalist Americans going at it again. Christian fundamentalists on steroids, is what it will boil down to, I am sure. Polygamous marriage, every shopworn cliché about Religion American-style that you’ve ever seen in books, movies and television will be put out there. How our press nobility can accomplish this and still look away from the nuttier-‘n-squirrel-poop ravings of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright of Chicago without giving themselves existential whiplash, I can’t imagine. I am confident that a prospective Romney presidency will be painted as about one degree off from A Handmaid’s Tale, and there will be plenty of blue-state punters who will eat it up with a spoon. I would hope that the sensible ones would be able to stop hyperventilating long enough to listen to reason about all this.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, Chicagoania, Civil Society, Elections, History, North America, Obama, Predictions, Religion, USA | 27 Comments »

    Tinley Park followup

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 23rd May 2012 (All posts by )

    It sounds like there were no good guys in that melee in the Ashford House, called “an Irish restaurant” in the article. The diners were associated with Stormfront, a white nationalist bunch. Of course, innocent bystanders were hurt so I hope the book is thrown at the vandals.

    The people injured identified themselves as members of the Illinois European Heritage Association, which Cook County prosecutors said is affiliated with Stormfront, a group identifying itself as a White Nationalist umbrella group.

    The mayor said the attackers were affiliated with a group called the Anti-Racist Action network, which was started in 1988 in Minneapolis and has clashed with neo-Nazi, fascist and white-supremacy groups.

    Well, I’m glad I wasn’t trying to eat lunch there.

    Posted in Chicagoania, Civil Society, Crime and Punishment | 13 Comments »

    Why Not Scriptkillers?

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd May 2012 (All posts by )

    Using Firefox, many tabs open, my computer’s default state.

    Eventually I open a Web page that has a badly written script that bogs down the browser and sometimes the whole computer and can’t be stopped or even identified.

    I bookmark everything, close Firefox, kill the Firefox process in Windows Task Manager and reopen everything, login again, etc. Because this restart can take five or ten minutes and interrupts multiple things that I’m doing, I usually put up with erratic browser behavior until Firefox crashes or becomes unusable.

    Why doesn’t Firefox isolate each tabbed window in its own thread or group of threads? That way, closing the tab with the runaway script would solve the problem. And why doesn’t Firefox provide a resource monitor to show the % of system resources being used by each tab, so that you can easily ID and close a problem tab? These seem to be the obvious questions.

    I suspect that users are much more attuned to browser reliability than they used to be. We’re far removed from the days when PCs became unstable if you didn’t reboot them frequently and nobody used browsers for serious purposes. The programmers should make their browsers more robust as they’ve already done for operating systems.

    UPDATE: This looks interesting. (There’s also this, which I remember seeing in book stores a long time ago.)

    Posted in Book Notes, Internet, Tech | 13 Comments »

    Connie Smith, Once A Day (Live) (1965)

    Posted by Lexington Green on 22nd May 2012 (All posts by )

    Posted in Music, USA, Video | 2 Comments »

    Karlgaard on the Facebook IPO

    Posted by David Foster on 22nd May 2012 (All posts by )

    Rich Karlgaard of Forbes has some thoughts on the Facebook IPO. Best line:

    Zuckerberg’s view of shareholders is like President Obama’s view of blue collar workers. He needs them but secretly laughs at them.

    Not sure this is totally fair to Zuck (completely accurate as far as Obama goes), but pretty funny.

    Note especially Karlgaard’s comment about the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley on public market investors:

    The insider pig pile of PE firms and celebrity Silicon Valley angels took it all. This is a rather new, post-Sarbanes-Oxley fact and it should make Americans very, very angry. When Microsoft when public in 1986, its market value was $780 million. Microsoft’s market value would rise more than 700 times in the next 13 years. Bill Gates made millionaires of thousands of ordinary public investors. When Google went public in 2004 at a $23 billion valuation, it left less on the table for you and me. Still, if you had invested in Google then and held your stock, you would be sitting atop a 9x return. Zuckerberg and his Facebook friends took it all.

    Posted in Business, Economics & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Politics, Tech | 18 Comments »

    The Dentist Will See You Now

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st May 2012 (All posts by )

    An American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) with grinning open mouth in Everglades National Park, Florida. (© Jonathan Gewirtz, jonathan@gewirtz.net)

     

    Posted in Photos | 11 Comments »

    (Semi) Live Blogging the NATO Protests – Part 4

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 20th May 2012 (All posts by )

    Below is parade organizer Andy Thayer (the white guy on the right side). Conveniently for him a smiling photo of Chairman Mao is going right past him, he’d be proud. I’ve seen Mr. Thayer on the news (that’s how I recognized him) and at least he talks about non-violent protests a lot.

    A little bit of humor – “Don’t Bomb Me, Bro” is a take on the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” internet meme. Also check out the sign linking LBJ, Nixon, Bush & Obama. In general I didn’t see any of the traditional “Bush = Hitler” type signs nor did I see any particular anti-Republican signs. These protestors were mostly against everyone and they did not like Obama or the Dems, either.

    Look at this completely ridiculous sign of some sort of Iranian scientist with his child (probably an actor) saying stop the US and Israel from murdering Iranian scientists. The group pledges solidarity with Iran. There hardly is a less popular group than Iranian nuclear scientists but in the US it is his right to pledge allegiance to Iran, I guess.

    As I said above I was surprised about the vitrol that the protestors had for the Democrats. This guy couldn’t make his distaste for the Democrats any clearer.

    These 2 with the bandanas and the one with the Guy Fawkes mask backwards on his head are the ones that the authorities are keeping their eyes on as likely troublemakers. I would not bet against the police they are out in massive force and seem organized and with high morale.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Chicagoania | 22 Comments »