05/17/24

Is Everyone In California High Or Stupid?

This is one of those blog posts that writes itself — free government-provided, taxpayer-funded alcohol for homeless alcoholics — but first I had to confirm what I had heard was correct. Let me launch into it.

Homelessness is not a pretty picture, especially in California and San Francisco. San Francisco claims it is now enjoying a 10-year low in homeless sleeping unprotected on the streets.

That statistic is subject to a lot of conjecture and ridicule, but meanwhile the stats for California writ large are an increase of 30,000 homeless. Even the governor admits to that.

Continue reading

05/15/24

Bring On The Presidential Debates

We are less than six months from Election Day (still several lifetimes from the actual election) and early voting begins in some states as early as September (Virginia as an example). I always think the election really begins the day after Labor Day.

The Biden campaign issued a letter proposing two debates with the first one as soon as next month. Here are the high points of the Biden proposal.

 1. Only two debaters — Presidents Biden and Trump and no Robert F Kennedy Jr or other third party candidates

 2. Two debates, no more, to be moderated by a media outfit such as CNN, but no Fox News, using only existing personnel, no drop ins

 3. In studio only, no audience or expressive crowds to lend earthy responses to the candidates — a debate with no audience, really?

 4. Microphones that shut off when the candidate’s allotted time expires

 5. No involvement with the Commission on Presidential Debates Continue reading

05/14/24

Joe Biden’s Chinese Tariffs — I Approve This Action

I usually disagree with all of Joe Biden’s economic policies which is the reason I am caught so off guard by one that I approve of: tariffs on a range of Chinese goods.

Chinese – US trade has grown substantially since the 2001 inclusion of China in the World Trade Organization, a strategic blunder in my view as it has primarily benefited China at the expense of the US.

In that admission, the Chinese agreed to market access to China for foreign manufacturers, protections for intellectual property, and transparency around trade laws and regulations. None of this materialized.

BTW, the US has only had “normalized” relations with the People’s Republic of China, the Red Chinese, the Communists, since 1979. Continue reading

05/7/24

Your Car Is Spying On You

Since the 1970s, cars have had a computer as part of their basic kit. It began as an attempt to diagnose engine issues and has grown since then.

In the last few years, new cars have collected massive amounts of data on you, your driving habits, and derivative data created by assessing the original data.

In the excitement of purchasing a new car, buyers never notice they are signing all kinds of data releases that authorize this conduct. Continue reading

05/6/24

CEO Shoptalk: The Escape Hatch, The Startup Pre-Nup

When a founder is giving birth to their new baby, he or she is filled to overflowing with the giddy excitement of creating life. Sure, they may create Corporate Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, a Shareholder Agreement, or even an Operating Agreement — really good companies have Employment Agreements which subsume job descriptions with each of the co-founders — but there is one necessary element they typically fail to contempate.

OK, I’ll bite, what is it, Big Red Car?

Ahhh, dear reader, it is the escape hatch by which I mean the issue of who is in control and how is it done if the founders should have a spat or decide they need to part company. I think of it as the startup pre-nup.

This should be attacked right up front when there is nothing but goodwill about because if you don’t and such an eventuality befalls you, there will be no goodwill nor reason upon which to resolve the dispute. I have seen some brutally ugly disputes. Continue reading

05/5/24

The (Allegedly) Corrupt Congressman Cuellar

I have often marvelled at how rich members of the US Congress — both the House and Senate — become in a job with a nice, but fixed salary. Where does that wealth come from? Perhaps, just a bit of enlightenment.

Comes now the story of US Congressman Henry Cuellar who represents the people of Texas in District 28 encompassing an odd map that includes Schertz, Selma, Cibolo, Universal City, New Braunfels, Marion, New Berlin, and Santa Clara.

Here’s what it look like. You will note that it does not include either Azerbiajan or Mexico City. Continue reading

05/2/24

Capitalism/Democracy v Socialism

Other day I’m having a pleasant chat with a fellow and he blurts out something about the left being socialists. It’s clear to me after listening he has no idea what a socialist is and what they do. [I do agree that the American left is socialist and getting more socialist.]

In America today, we have an economic system and a political system.

Our economic system is — theoretically — capitalism, while our political system is democracy within a representative republic. You will get an argument that our political system is also capitalism.

Socialism is both an economic and political system. Continue reading