November 30, 2008

The Inevitable Decline of Deregulated Markets Into Crony Capitalism

It must be said that one of the most pernicious trends in government has been the resolute path toward libertarian ideology with the desire for a laissez faire utopia trumping all pragmatism and good sense. We've tried this deregulation experiment a few times now with mostly disastrous results: 1. California energy deregulation and 2. US banking deregulation. One would think that libertarian ideologues would at some point need to present actual evidence that their deregulation fantasies can come to fruition. As yet, none exists. Can we now agree that the natural result of market deregulation is almost necessarily graft, corruption and crony capitalism? As with peace activists and pacifists, libertarianism is too naive and dependent on the goodness of other humans.

Take a survey of the world's industrialized economies, both now and since the beginning of industrialization. One would be hard pressed to find just one that fit the model of a libertarian's ideal state. That's because such a state doesn't occur in nature. Just as the middle class does not naturally occur without the assistance of a strong central government (and progressive taxes, natch), so too is a well-oiled, corruption-free, strong capitalist economy accompanied by a government that intervenes on behalf of its constituents, balancing the needs of all parties such that one cannot completely dominate all the others. This is not the same as mandating income equality, which is a pointless exercise, but rather a system of checks and balances to ensure that hard work does not go unrewarded.

Let us now enjoy our new foray into Socialist Democracy.

September 19, 2008

August 14, 2008

GeekPAC to fight for information rights

This is a nice introductory article about GeekPAC and its goals. Basically, a PAC is forming to address much needed intellectual property reform in the US - think copyright reform, patent reform, DMCA reform, etc.

read more | digg story

June 10, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008 Schedule

This is the schedule for the 2008 version of the European Cup.

June 03, 2008

johnmark.org: 10 Survival Tips for the Modern Wageslave

When it comes to developing career and business sense, I must confess to being not simply a late bloomer and a laggard, but a complete imbecile for most of my adult life. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to take career development more seriously. And what was the catalyst for that? Why, the birth of a child, of course.

Since then, I’ve learned a few things that I’ll share here. In case you’re wondering, I don’t or haven’t done all of these, but I regret not doing some of them and will incorporate the rest now and in the future. However, I will mention that I’ve used many of these tips to triple my earnings in 4 years. Also, I’ve wanted to write this article for some time now, and it is the accumulation of knowledge gathered from my experience at several companies, not just one or two.

Read the full post at johnmark.org

April 10, 2008

Yet another reason not to drive

As if there weren't enough already, including skyrocketing gas prices and pollution, now we can add "might get shot" to the list.

See this latest incident in San Francisco. It's getting *scary* out there.

April 09, 2008

Return of the Quakes - Home Opener vs. Chicago


It's been almost 3 years since I last saw the earthquakes play live - and now we'll get that chance again. Unfortunately, it just had to coincide with Lug Radio Live, which I must attend for BytesFree.org.

This Saturday the Quakes take on the Fire in the same big-ass stadium in the east bay where the Raiders and A's play. What is it, again? Oh yeah, the coliseum.

So while I'll have to miss it, *you* can still go, and you should. Unfortunately, I've already given away my tickets to some other lucky individual, so you'll have to get yours elsewhere ;)

April 07, 2008

Lug Radio Live; New BytesFree.org Position Paper

I’m happy to announce that BytesFree.org will be represented at its first event, Lug Radio Live, which will be held at the Metreon in San Francisco on April 12th and 13th. Several of us have been working on the challenge of gettings things going organizationally, and appearing at an honest-to-goodness event looks to be a tangibly rewarding experience.

We will have a table at the expo. Also, Ilan and I will be speaking on Sunday at 3pm.

If you’d like to come by and say hello, or if you’re interested in helping out, please do let us know.

In getting ready for Lug Radio Live, we've had to refresh the site material to reflect some of the changes we've made organizationally, including a new mission statement:

Note: BytesFree.org is a group of concerned citizens currently in the process of incorporating as a non-profit in the state of California.

April 04, 2008

The Rolling Stones Now on eMusic.com

If you're like me and thing that the Rolling Stones reached their peak between 1966 and 1971, there is some very good news for you: The Stones have now arrived on eMusic!

Listen now - doesn't include Sticky Fingers, but it's really really good stuff.

April 03, 2008

Did you feel a tremor???

Don't be alarmed, that shaking you feel isn't the San Andreas going berzerk. Nope, not Hayward fault either, nor any of the other numerous fault lines in the area.

No, what you just felt is the IMMINENT START TO THE REVIVED SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!

Set your calendars - the 'Quakes take on the LA Galaxy tonight on ESPN2 at 7:30 PDT.


Trader Joe's Doppelbock for 2.99!



I was disappointed by the winter seasonal doppelbock offered up by Trader Joe's under the "Josephs Brau" label (contract brewed by Gordon Biersch). Knowing it was brewed by Gordon Biersch, I expected the same quality but came away disappointed. But that was when it was sold for $5.99 per 6-pack. Last week, I guess they were trying to move excess inventory, and it was going for $2.99! Apparently, I wasn't the only one unimpressed. So at $5.99, I'll pass, but at $2.99? Oh yeah, baby! I see more decent but not that great doppelbock in my future.

84% Geek

Apparently, I'm only 84% geek - My Star Trek knowledge has apparently diminished :(

84% Geek

March 22, 2008

Ooooohhhh USAAAAAAA - USA in Olympic Qualifying Finals

After drubbing Canada 3:0, the USMNT u-23 team goes on to face Honduras (again) in the final. Both teams have already qualified for the Beijing Olympics, so this game is almost, but not quite, meaningless. However, it will have an impact on seeding, so winning is still important.

You can see the match live on Fox Soccer Channel (613 on DirecTV) at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT on Sunday.

Live Twittering a Birth?

My wife is almost ready to give birth to our son. I'm debating whether to live twitter developments from the delivery room. Is this just TMI? Not a good thing to do? I still have a couple of weeks yet to decide...

March 20, 2008

The streaker, part deux




For those of you who missed it, the above video clip saves for all eternity the "streak" that took place in last weekends Olympic qualifying match between the USA and Honduras.

Someone managed to track down her MySpace page and interviewed her. And of course, the obligatory snapshot:




(above photo Borrowed from SF at The Offside Rules)

USA vs. Canada Tonight on Fox Soccer Channel

For those of you who have had your fill of March Madness for the day, you will want to check out the Olympic qualifying semifinals tonight between the United States and Canada.

If the US wins, they're guaranteed a place in Beijing. If you're interested, the match is on Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN Deportes at 9pm EDT / 6pm PDT.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

March 18, 2008

I love ankle bracelets


(photo courtesy of Soccer by Ives)

It's official - soccer matches are where streakers come to party. Ok, so she's not a *real* streaker, but close enough for our Puritan value :)

March 17, 2008

Republicans Voting for Clinton?

So I wonder if this is finally going to get some mainstream press: story on Republicans "spiking" the Democratic primaries in the hopes of pushing Clinton over the top.

March 16, 2008

Adios, Mexico! El Tri Crashes Out of Olympic Qualifying

Poor Mexico - they sustain yet another soccer disappointment after crashing out of the olympic qualifiers in a wild game against Haiti (they actually won this match 5-1, but didn't make it out of their group due to goal differential).

Mexican arrogance about soccer is almost entirely undeserved - and inexplicable. The fact is, they've always been on the wrong side of Brazil and Argentina and really have not fared better than your run of the mill South American contenders. Yet, from hearing them describe their love affair with futbol, you would think they deserved to be in the upper soccer echelon. They don't.

In many ways, and this will bring a tear to many a Mexican eye, their soccer history really isn't so much further along than the USA. Until very recently, many of their players were just as tactically naive as Americans - everyone knows the craftiest footballers come from the big 2 in South America. Everyone else is just fighting over the scraps. Other than better foot skills, which does count for something, Mexico really doesn't have any better coaching, better soccer IQ, or for the last 10 or so years, a better team.