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Fish License


I feel fantastic


If you try, you just might find that you get what you need.

As I understand it, conservatives think that it is silly to talk with Iran until Iran A) stops supporting Hammas B) gives up it’s nuclear ambition C) stops repressing its own people. Doing anything about point C) would violate the priciples of the treaty of Westphalia, so I assume this is mere saber rattling.

As for the rest: my understanding is that these are the points to be negotiated. Which means setting them as preconditions indicates that certain parts of our governing class really do not wish to meet at all– outside the field of honor. This, of course, makes them wildly out of touch with most Americans:


Seems like talking with people we don’t like in an attempt to settle our differences is a political winner. Who knew?


California’s Anti-Kelo Initiatives

California is holding a primary election tomorrow (Tuesday, June 3). Among the initiatives on the ballot are two amendments to the state constitution which would provide protection against Kelo-style takings (where Eminent Domain is used to force the sale of property to another private entity, nominally to foster economic development). If you’re registered to vote in California, I urge you to vote for Prop 98 and against Prop 99. If both propositions get a majority, only the one with the larger majority will go into effect, and Prop 98 offers much better protections than Prop 99.

The key differences are:

  • Prop 98 protects all private property against Kelo-style takings, including farms, small businesses, and rental property. Prop 99 protects only owner-occupied primary residences.

  • Prop 98 guarantees strong procedural protections for people whose property is taken for public use (a jury trial to settle contested claims as to the proper level of compensation, and prompt payment of compensation). Prop 99 does not.

  • Prop 98 would abolish rent control, which is a textbook example of a government program which just plain doesn’t work. Rent control was intended to guarantee affordable housing, and instead it causes the supply of rental housing to dry up, and it degrades the quality of what rental property remains. It says a lot when Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman agree that a program is a terrible economic idea.

Anti-Prop 98 groups have been spreading FUD that Prop 98 includes language which would require compensation for regulatory takings (i.e. require the state to compensate people who are unable to fully use their property due to environmental or land-use regulations). I’ve read the full text of the proposition and see nothing of the sort there. Neither did the judge who heard the case when Prop 98 opponents argued that the ballot summary was misleading. If Prop 98 restricts regulatory takings, then so does the Fifth Amendment.

More on the need for Prop 98’s protections in this LA Times editorial by Ilya Somin.

Conflict-of-interests disclosure: I will be moving back to California later this month, albeit too late to vote on these initiatives. I plan on renting.

[Cross-posted at the Office of Naval Contemplation]

[Cross-posted at Dean’s World]


It’s good to see I’m not the only one this happens to…

more cat pictures

Seriously, my cat (Janus) loves to attack the printer. I’ve actually taken to unplugging it so as to keep him from inadvertently printing stuff.