Zelaya as a Nightmare version of Nixon

Obama’s support for Zelaya’s attempted coup in Honduras is deeply disturbing. While some commentators say this is part of a clever strategy, strategic cluelessness seems more likely, and sympathy for the hispanic left has some basis in fact.

Fortunately, here comes a great blog post, giving some context for the events in Honduras. Basically, it’s a search and replace where Honduran names are replaced with American equivalents:

The SUPREME COURT has ruled definitively against Mr .Nixon, telling him such a referendum is itself unconstitutional . Both Houses of congress including all democrats and All republicans- have unanimously condemned the referendum as unconstitutional. Vice president Gerald Ford has resigned, stating the president no longer has his support. Richard Nixon appoints HIMSELF vice president. He does not care that this is blatantly unconstitutional. after all as he says “if the president does it , that means it is not illegal” The congress cuts off ALL FUNDING to the executive branch. No matter. The executive branch has money to burn… where is all this money coming from? It seems from his new powerful friend ….

via Explanation of the Situation in Honduras: Thought Experiment/Explanation on the Situation in Honduras..

Hopefully, the Constitution, Supreme Court, and Congress of Honduras will prevail.


I have two papers that I wrote for classes that I am editing down to the length required by the national conference next year. It’s painful, as there was not much fluff – if I included something, I included it for a reason. Ah well, that hard part is done. Now I need to re-read to make sure everything still makes sense, edit again, and then send off before the deadline.

Interesting Take on Russia

Certainly, this piece is more balanced than the self-contradictory Cold War thinking we got during the Georgia War.

Much of the advice comes down to just trust Gazprom. Should we provide security for pro-European states in Europe? Not if we can trust Gazprom instead. Should we try prevent more energy cut-offs when democracies anger Putin? Not if we can trust Gazprom instead.

The take on Russia is a bit deceptive — it sounds so much more reasonable than the hysterics we got last August I want to agree with it, but ultimately cannot. The piece is to transparently the work of an employee for an energy services provider on behalf of another large energy company.

It’s hard to give up on a once promising analyst, but over the last few years the feeling of reading press releases has grown stronger and stronger.

Should we have more monopolies?

A writer at gnxp thinks so:

Still, some of the recent ones are deserved, such as cloning a sheep and sequencing the human genome. Overall, though, the pattern is pretty clear — we haven’t invented jackshit for the past 30 years. With the two main monopolistic Ivory Towers torn down — one private and one public — it’s no surprise to see innovation at a historic low. Indeed, the last entries in the building / manufacturing and household categories date back to 1969 and 1974, respectively.

On the plus side, Microsoft and Google are pretty monopolistic, and they’ve been delivering cool new stuff at low cost (often for free — and good free, not “home brew” free). But they’re nowhere near as large as Bell Labs or the DoD was back in the good ol’ days. I’m sure that once our elected leaders reflect on the reality of invention, they’ll do the right thing and pump more funds into ballooning the state, as well as encouraging Microsoft, Google, and Verizon to merge into the next incarnation of monopoly-era AT&T.

via Gene Expression: Monopoly allows innovation to flourish.

Having recently reviewed Dr. Narain Gehani’s Bell Labs: Life in the Crown Jewel, it certainly appears that Bell Labs research profoundly suffered after the divestature of the 1980s and “trivestature” of the 1990s. Likewise, it is hard to think of anything very new in terms of computer science — most of what we had is refined version of what we had 15 years ago.

However, monopolies (and companies too big to fight, generally) bring us horror stories like $11,000 cell phone bills, theft from the public domain, rule by MBAs, and other bad things.

So, are some monopolies good for innovation? And if they are, what sort of monopolies should be encouraged?

Geithner, Step Down

Here is a visualization of what Team Geithner thought what happen without a stimulus and with a stimulus, contrasted with what has actually happened.


No Officer of the United States has been so wrong, or has done so much damage, since Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld managed Phase IV operations of the Iraq War.

Rumsfeld offered to resign several times. Bush, valuing loyalty more than proven performance, refused the resignation several times.

If Geithner is half the man that Rumsfeld is, he has already submitted a resignation letter to President Obama.  The President should accept Geithner’s resignation.