Nagin vs Armstrong

I finally managed to catch the 2nd part of the Lance interview with with Oprah tonight. Fascinating stuff. I got press training from IBM back in the early 1990’s, I can recognize many of the points in the interview where Lance is struggling or in trouble emotionally or intellectually. Oprah did a good job, although you could tell the segments were pretty heavily split, or edited. It wasn’t my point to dissect the interview here, that’s been done in a zillion places. What caught my eye today was the announcement that Federal prosecutors today announced a 21-count indictment against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. There is nothing much in … Continue reading Nagin vs Armstrong

Gun for sale?

Friday up the road in Georgetown Texas a man in dressed in camouflage clothes walked through a neighborhood and was openly carrying a rifle. He was duly arrested without incident according to this report in the Austin American Statesmans Blotter blog. There isn’t much detail, but in the rush to publish, along with lack of likely follow-up, since there was no incident, the Statesman and the other mass media outlets are missing a useful opportunity to inform people about the gun control debate. I think what would be really useful for gun arrests/incidents now would be the answer to the … Continue reading Gun for sale?

Texas, It’s not like anywhere else

Living in Austin it’s all to easy to think you are in Texas, but really like it’s often said “Austin is a liberal oasis in Texas“. More often, Austin isn’t in Texas, but you can see it from here! One of the first things I had to get used to is the Texas Legislator only being in town once every 2-years. That’s right, in what seems a total anomaly  the elected officials of the State of Texas are only in the capital to make/pass law every two years.  I’d guess this stems from the days when they had to ride horses to get to … Continue reading Texas, It’s not like anywhere else

The Law of Unintended Consequence

“”The fetus is the property of the entire society,” he proclaimed. “Anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws of national continuity.”” This month marks 40-years since the 1973 Roe vs Wade landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court, legalizing abortion. As some states are now trying us back to pre-1973, with little fanfare, Virginia and Michigan Republican governors recently signed new abortion bills into law. There are issues other than simply obvious one of abortion. It’s possible to draw a lot of parallels between the former President of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu, and the Tea Party, also with … Continue reading The Law of Unintended Consequence

Fear of change

Reading back my Britain vs America post, I can see now that really what drives this is the fear of change. In a big country, geographically, and by population, change is something you don’t want. It is too easy to get lost, to be left behind. It explains a lot of the things that have been said and done during the recent US Presidential Election. People are afraid, either if the President was re-elected, or if Romney got in, that things would change. Generally even in the less wealthy areas, among the poorer people, change is undesirable. It’s easy for the … Continue reading Fear of change

to Tax or Not to Tax…. debt is the question

Sat watching the BBC News tonight, my heart rate raced a few beats higher as I watch the Chief Accountants from Apple, Google and Starbucks in the UK defend their accounting process which has meant they’ve largely avoided paying UK Corporation tax, and particularly the hapless public policy wonk from, Andrew Cecil. I’m glad I’m not working at Google in the UK, who at least as far as their management seemed to be concerned, don’t “innovate” in the UK. oops. Interestingly I used to work with Nelson Mattos at IBM, I wonder what he thinks now? Starbucks came in … Continue reading to Tax or Not to Tax…. debt is the question

Britain vs America

On a pure headcount basis, for talent Britain appears to beat America hands down. Of course, it doesn’t there is so much “undiscovered” talent in America. As a Brit’ abroad, I regularly get asked why either people or a certain style or culture seems to catch on and then move over to the US. Most recently this came up on Greg Wilsons’ blog in relation to electronic dance music and here is the answer I gave. It does though, in my opinion, apply to almost everything. America is a very different place from the movies, and a massive country compared … Continue reading Britain vs America

Death Panels open in US Health Insurance

Americans were frightened out of a single payer, medical health care system similar to one in operation in many countries using a number of tactics, including by using the term “death panel”. Sarah Palin, who claimed “proposed legislation would create a “death panel” of bureaucrats who would decide whether Americans—such as her elderly parents or child with Down syndrome—were worthy of medical care.” Palins claim was totally debunked by fact check organizations, and it was named 2009 “Lie of the year” by Politifact. So a federal or national health care system, or single payer system passed into history and we ended … Continue reading Death Panels open in US Health Insurance

All thats wrong with US Healthcare

This article in Saturdays Wall Street journal was mostly about healthcare industry stocks, but what blew me away was the chart that was included. I’ve long felt the US Healthcare system aka “industry” was not only too expensive, you can’t have a balanced discussion about it, people immediately get very defensive. Once you’ve been treated a few times it becomes obvious that insurance is used as a blanket to cover a vast array of unnecessary services, loads of extra tests, samples, examples, scans and xrays. Often because upfront you’ve paid your co-pay, pre-pay etc. so what do you care? The … Continue reading All thats wrong with US Healthcare

Makin’ Hay or not

On the drive home yesterday I heard an interesting piece that tied my crop and drought posts into a neat closed loop, on the Marketplace show from American Public Media. You can read the summary here but the full radio interview is available here and is much more interesting. In summary the rancher, Ken Lenox is a fifth generation cattle rancher in Rolla, Missouri says: The rain from Isaac isn’t nearly enough started feeding the cattle hay in August Normally doesn’t start doing this until January They’ve driven a 400-mile round trip to buy hay from western Missouri Which endorses … Continue reading Makin’ Hay or not