The overnight storm didn’t develop. Until I started writing this for you this morning, at which point the rumbles started up out there. You had to figure there was going to be a good storm at some point after 96 degree heat (that’s 36 C for you more metric sorts) yesterday. I just figured it was going to come overnight, rather than after the sun had come up. Then again, there seems to be flashes and noise out there, but no rain yet, so we’ll see. Maybe this isn’t the big storm where the weather breaks. The forecast is saying the only real chance of rain is this morning, so I guess it is. Hmm.
The pictures today begin the Sunday in SF when I hung out with my friends Scott and Michelle (and their daughters) and went on a cruise in San Francisco Bay, thanks to another friend, Lisa, who got me a couple comps for the cruise. It was a good time, but the wind was pretty chilly once we got out on the water, and I was thankful that Scott had brought along an extra fleece jacket for me. Morning cruises have less wind, but more fog. Afternoon, more wind, but clear skies. Tough call. In either case, the nice thing about the Red & White cruises is that you just show up. They don’t take reservations, and you can pretty much go whenever you want, without having to plan way in advance.
|The Golden Gate Bridge|
The wind was strong enough that we didn’t make it out the Golden Gate, though. The swells were just too much, and we turned around in the wind-shadow of one of the pilings of the bridge. That was a little disappointing, but it made sense, and once we’d turned around and started heading back downwind, the ride got a lot smoother. The turnaround happened just after I took this picture of the bridge, so I’ll leave the account of the rest of the cruise for later, when I post the rest of the pictures. I think there’s only one or two days of this sort of thing remaining, so if I’m boring you with the pictures, it’s almost done.
- In an excellent road trip, the Saints hold on to beat Flyers, sweeping all three games in Schaumburg, and coming home in first place. [press-patch]
- Remember the big credit-card information leak I pointed to earlier this week? Schneier checks in with CardSystems Exposes 40 Million Identities. My friend Shawn also pointed out that the article last week got some things wrong. He works for a place the processes cards, and the audits that the article said
don’t really happenare a
few weeks’ worth of hell for us every year! They look at everything and if you’re running Windows anywhere in your organization, you have to be prepared for an extra number of hours devoted just to that.So it’s not all credit card processors that are shoddy, but at least one Really Big One is giving everyone else a bad name. [schneier]
- In a further sign it’s damned near time to throw the bastards out, High court OKs personal property seizures. Basically if a city, county, or some other government gets bought by a big business that wants to
redevelopyour land, they can seize your property and then give it to the developer. Yes, it’s more power at the local level, which I generally approve of, but this undermines the property rights that the country is based upon. Justice O’Connor’s dissent:
Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random, the beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.
- Looking around the blogs, Kevin says we’re now Sprinting Towards Despotism and Freedom’s Just Another Word for “Nothin’ Left to Lose”, in which he suspects it’s not time to shoot the bastards … it’s too late. Mitch asks Where Were You When They Sent Dred Scott Back To His Owner?, while Hindrocket says Your Property Will Be Better Off In My Hands, and points out
[T]he irony is that the case defers to the political process in Connecticut, where the governor has just been convicted of malfeasance from undue influence by … real estate developers!Warren says it’s an Enormous Defeat for Property Rights and links even more folks who are feeling cranky, and also offers a possible follow-on case. And finally, Will Collier has more on the Bad News, and points out the problem with leaving this sort of power in local politicians’ hands. [kim mitch coyote blog and vodkapundit]
- The reason I worry about local politicians is that, apparently, $10k used to be enough to buy the Eighth Ward here in Minneapolis and $2700 was apparently enough to buy the third ward. Now admittedly, those are the prices for politicians who weren’t smart enough to avoid getting caught, so your price would probably be higher for smarter politicians, but figuring that you need seven votes on the Minneapolis City Council to do pretty much whatever you want, you should be able to buy yourself the right to get any property you want in town, whether the owner wants to sell or not, for well under a million dollars.
- Speaking of local politicians, Lileks has a example of eminent domain to benefit a corporation in his photo essay on the Houses Sacrificed for the Best Buy HQ down in Richfield.
- Why is this such a big deal? When property rights are insecure, economies collapse. I’ve linked to one example, but there are dozens more around the world. Hell, that’s the problem with most of sub-Saharan Africa.
Enforcement and respect for property rights are a pre-requisite for a vibrant economy.In spite of all the foreign aid pumped into the area, things haven’t improved.
It’s about trade, not aid,and the way to encourage trade is to have stable markets where rights are respected. I just can’t figure out why the US is heading in the same direction as these third-world kleptocracies.