Monthly Archives: March 2007

Qualifications for president

Perhaps it’s me, but is the incidence of presidential candidates having young children higher than normal? Obama, Edwards, IIRC McCain as well, and I’m sure I’m leaving a few out. Personally I think we should raise (via constitutional amendment) the minimum age for president to at least 55. Why would anyone want to subject their children to life in the public eye?

Quick Thursday round up

  • An interesting profile of Robert Levy, who spearheaded the successful DC gun ban lawsuit. I met him several years ago when I was interning at Cato. A very smart and nice guy.
  • More future of the automobile, this time from CNN. The big three American automakers and their Japanese counterparts seem to be hopelessly stuck in the past and burdened with vast wastelands of legacy costs and outdated equipment. I still have hope for American cottage industry to fill some of the gap, but I expect most of the “new” ideas to come from China. My reasoning is: The single largest unrealized opportunity for efficient cars is not the propulsion, it’s in the weight of the car itself. With new advances in carbon fiber and plastics (to replace the body, windshield, axels, and so on) you can lighten the vehicle considerably while keeping safety and performance constant. Lighter vehicle=greater fuel efficiency (by whatever measure). I think the existing players have too much invested in the current scheme and will get whupped by Chinese auto manufacturers when China reaches the necessary level of industrial sophistication (my prediction, 2015).
  • Microsoft is giving away a new accounting program. I’ll have a field review in a few days.
  • A pretty cool homemade fuel cell system. Not commercially viable (yet), but a good start at the grass roots.
  • I just got John Boyd’s biography.

A good article

I came across this article on Iraq’s Mercenary King recently. It’s an interesting read. One thing that’s always said about Private Military Companies is that the contractors make several times what normal American troops make. Usually in another sentence it’s said that PMCs can be deployed at a much lower cost than deploying the regular military. No one ever draws any conclusions about this disparity.

The Germans are German

From a quick read of Der Spiegel

  • They actually have a guide to “Scoring a German
  • German Brothel Offers 50-Percent Discount to Senior Citizens

    The brothel “Pascha” in Cologne is now offering senior citizens a 50 percent discount on sex services — but only between the hours of 12 and 5 p.m., and only upon proof of age. The offer, which many would argue beats free coffee at McDonalds, is valid for clients aged 66 and over.

    Only “many”? Not all? Also from the same article

    A brothel in Dresden in economically hard-hit eastern Germany made headlines in 2005 when it introduced a 20-percent discount for the long-term unemployed.

    I can’t think of a worse incentive…

I miss Ronald Reagan

Somehow I stumbled upon this quote of his about hippies, to wit a hippie is someone who “dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheetah.”

Is there anyone on the political scene right now that has come up with a better one liner? Clinton did have a few good ones in the early nineties, but the only pithy statements lately are Rice’s “Franco-American relations work much better in reality than in theory” and Rumsfeld’s response when asked him if he thought the Taliban would fight to the death: “We won’t know that until they’re all dead!”.

Rumsfeld and Rice were appointees though. Have there been any good one-liners by anyone running for the 2008 election?

The funniest anti-Mac screed yet

via Megan McCardle, here is the best anti-Mac rant so far. Favorite line

Ultimately the campaign’s biggest flaw is that it perpetuates the notion that consumers somehow “define themselves” with the technology they choose. If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that “says something” about your personality, don’t bother. You don’t have a personality. A mental illness, maybe – but not a personality.

In keeping with the theme, one of Megan’s commenters said this

I knew a guy once who would always tell me that I should buy a BMW like he did, because doing so made “a statement about yourself”.

I came to the conclusion that people who bought products to make statements about themselves were mostly saying they were A-holes.

The best I’ve come up with is “The MacIntosh. It’s too good to be useful!”