Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gibson raided - Again

Looks like the Feds have nothing better to do so they have taken to raiding guitar companies. This time over an apparent Lacy Act violation.

You see, according to the Feds, it is illegal to import plant or animal products if doing so violates the law in the country they came from. Indian law says that exported wood must be "finished" and no thicker than 6mm.

Gibson is accused of importing wood that is 10mm thick.


Story HERE.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Don't Know

This is the argument that Penn Jillette makes as to why he is an Atheist and Libertarian. Others have posted part of this, but the key item here is the difference between Democracy and a Republic:

I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone. The fact that the majority thinks they have a way to get something good does not give them the right to use force on the minority that don't want to pay for it. If you have to use a gun, I don't believe you really know jack. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid.

Read the whole thing HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Unincorporated Man

The counterpart for education would be to "buy" a share in an individual's earning prospects: to advance him the funds needed to finance his training on condition that he agree to pay the lender a specified fraction of his future earnings. In this way, a lender would get back more than his initial investment from relatively successful individuals, which would compensate for the failure to recoup his original investment from the unsuccessful. There seems no legal obstacle to private contracts of this kind, even though they are economically equivalent to the purchase of a share in an individual's earning capacity and thus to partial slavery. - Milton Friedman, The Role of Government in Education

So begins The Unincorporated Man, by Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin. You know when a book begins with a Friedman quote it is going to be interesting, and not exactly light reading. On that promise the Kollin brothers deliver.

The Kollin brothers that Friedman's idea and run with it, exploring the consequences of such a system. Just as micro-loans to the third world are perhaps the best way to help third world farmers and entrepreneurs, would not buying stock in such folks be even more beneficial.

This is the grand idea, would not owning stock in others thus harness the mighty engine of enlightened self interest? War would suddenly become unprofitable for example. You certainly don't want to go around shooting people you own stock in after all.

The down side is naturally that your investors expect a good return on their investment. Now as you save you can buy your stock back and get more control over your life, but as you become more successful your stock will naturally rise in price...

Enter into this world one Justin Cord, wealthy industrialist who had himself cryogenicly frozen when dying of cancer. He's from 300 years in the past, and older than the concept of personal incorporation. He IS the Unincorporated Man.

4 out of 5 stars. 5 for concept and 3 for execution. Lots of reviews say it reads like Heinlein, but it really doesn't. (Varley reads like Heinlein.) This novel reads more like someone tossed Asimov and Rand books into a blender but poured out the resulting mix while still a bit lumpy. It starts out well and ends well, but slows down quite a bit 2/3 of the way through.

And yes, I know this review is late, and everyone else read it last year. I picked up my copy at last year's CopperCon, (signed by Dani & Eytan) but these days it seems I only read while on business trips, and I haven't had to travel for the new job until last week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Charter Arms - not vaporware - maybe

So remember way back when (December 2008) Charter announced they were building a revolver that took rimmless cartridges:

Well it looks like they have finally (maybe) built one or two.
Early guns are in the .40 S&W, which I have no use for. Still waiting on the .45. And , as always, moon clips are a feature not a bug, so a moon clip enabled version would be preferable.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Minor home repairs

Drained the water tank at the old house and installed a catch pan under it. Not easy. Took 3 hours to install that stupid $9 part.