Jeff Wolfe's Weblog

Thursday, February 28, 2002

WE KNOW BEST - This article gives the latest in the California energy situation.

Here's a quick recap: California wouldn't let private companies sign long term contracts for energy. When energy prices spiked last year, it drove most of the energy companies to or near bankruptcy. With long term contracts, the companies could have smoothed out the price spikes, and weathered the storm. Instead, the government of California took over. Suddenly, they decided that long term contracts were a good thing, and with prices high, they signed a bunch of long term contracts. When prices declined again, California was stuck with their long term contracts at inflated prices. So they've decided that long term contracts are a bad thing again.

Governor Gray Davis's administration comes out of all this looking like a band of idiots. For a simple reason: they are.

DARE EFFECTIVENESS DEMONSTRATED - A man who won a motorcycle in a raffle to benefit the DARE program was arrested after allegedly selling drugs to an undercover cop. He rode the DARE motorcycle (complete with anti-drug messages) to the alleged drug deal.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

SPRING TRAINING - They've started playing baseball again. This is good news and bad news. The good news is that the off-season nonsense is now over. Hopefully, they'll keep the in-season nonsense to a minimum. The bad news is that the Reds got beat 13 to nothing.

Site reads Web surfers their rights. gives information about copyright, trademark, and so forth, so an individual will be able to make a somewhat informed decision when confronted with a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation. Another link I found on InstaPundit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

CAPITALISTS ARE MORE GENEROUS - Reason Online has an article from Ron Bailey that examines a study showing that people who are exposed to markets are more generous than people who aren't.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

I FEEL SAFER ALREADY, TAKE II - An airport security guard took a bribe for letting a passenger on board with marijuana. Also courtesy of InstaPundit.

WHAT'S OUR SECRET? - InstaPundit points us to an article that examines what makes America exceptional. What we like to think of as American values go back much further than 1776.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

BUY THE EXPOS - A group of college students decided to buy the Montreal Expos. They set up a web site to find additional investors. They currently have over $200,000 in pledges. When they get to $100 million, they're going to form a real investment group.

Hey, if it works for the Green Bay Packers, why not the Expos?

Thursday, February 21, 2002

MORE ON SPACE ELITISM - Rand Simberg has an article here about regular people going into space.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Here's a great article about why having two similar Open Source projects is not more wasteful than having just one, and may in fact be very beneficial. The concept applies to many things outside of Open Source Software, too. It's a perfect example of dynamism, in fact.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

FUN WITH PAGE NOT FOUND - InstaPundit points out this interesting error message for a page that can't be found on the server.

I FEEL SAFER ALREADY - Two days after the federal government took over airport security, an employee was caught sleeping on the job.

Friday, February 15, 2002

WHY I WEAR A SEAT BELT - Three people, including a major league baseball player, were involved in a car crash in Arizona. Two weren't wearing seat belts, and were killed. One was wearing a seat belt, and was treated at the scene and released. I realize that doesn't prove anything, but it's certainly compelling. And the actually automotive statistics do show a correlation.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Baseball Spring Training has started. I'm half hoping the Twins will win the World Series this year, so Bud Selig and his cronies will have to decide whether or not to contract the world champions out of existence next year. Ideally, they'll come to their senses and decide against contraction, but I'm not holding my breath.

FREE SPEECH IS FINE, BUT YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO PAY FOR IT - The so-called Campaign Finance Reform legislation passed the House early this morning. As Michael W. Lynch reports, it's all about protecting incumbants.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

WE'RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, AND WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU - Dick Armey has come out against AmeriCorps. He's quoted as saying, "We give best when we give what's in our own hearts. We give least well when we give at the direction and supervision of the government."

Dick Armey is absolutely right on this one. Which just goes to show that not all Republicans have gone over to the dark side on every issue, as some Libertarians would have us believe.

Of course, the fact that he's opposing a Republican President undermines the Republican Party's characterization of itself as a small government party, but it's not exactly as black and white as some make it out to be. Even Bush has some libertarian moments--look at his Deptartment of the Interior.

COSTA RICA - The Movimiento Libertario (Libertarian Movement) now has six seats in the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly.

The linked article above refers to "exceptionally low turnout," as do most other articles I've read about the elections. The article doesn't mention it, but turnout was nearly 70%. I find it remarkable that in Costa Rica, that qualifies as "exceptionally low."

In the United States, the highest turnout in the last 70 years was 62.8% in 1960. Since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971, turnout has never exceeded 56%. In 1996, it was below 50%. That only includes Presidential elections (numbers are from the World Almanac), but numbers for off-year elections in the U.S. are usually lower--often much lower. If the U.S. had a turnout of 70%, it would be "exceptionally high."

REGULATIONS - More Than Zero has an article On Regulation, describing why most regulations are bad, and what would make a "good" regulation. Virginia Postrel calls it "Good Stuff".

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

NO CONTRACTION THIS YEAR - Baseball postpones contraction until 2003. Spring training starts next week.

That Baseball was even considering contraction at this late date, with the immense disruption that would have caused, demonstrates either indifference or contempt for their customers, the fans. Businesses that don't look out for their customers' interests tend to lose those customers. Just ask K-Mart.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Here is another article about the problems with a national ID card system. This one is by Linda Gorman & Dave Kopel. Their conclusion: a national ID card would be expensive, intrusive, and it would make things easier for criminals.

A government trifecta.

Friday, February 01, 2002

SPACE TOURISTS - NASA has issued its rules on the qualifications for private individuals being allowed to fly to the space station.

They include things like passing medical tests and being able to speak English which make some sense. But there is also a litmus test on character that you have to wonder about. What struck me was that a candidate could be disqualified for "membership or sponsorship in organizations which adversely affect the public's confidence in the space station or its partners."

Talk out about shortcomings at NASA and they won't let you fly to the space station. I guess that leaves me out.

Update: The NASA report is available (in PDF format) here, so you can read it yourself.

I love the headline on this blog entry about the Michael Bellesiles book. And I Would Have Gotten Away With It, Too, If It Weren't for You Meddling Kids!