Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To Save or Not to Save the Auto Industry

Here's my take, albeit the perspective of one with little training in finance and business other than dismal attempts at economics in college:

If the American auto industry had produced a superior product which could compete successfully against their European and Asian counterparts, they wouldn't be in this bind. With that, is the ability to have foreseen how the consumer would adjust to events outside of their control: rising gas prices, increasing concerns with carbon emissions, the fear of rising sea levels and their implicit connection with global warming and the melting of landbased glaciers - all of which preceded the current economic recession. This adjustment means increased interest in fuel efficient and hybrid cars. The best driving and most fuel efficient cars on the market are not American cars. The US Auto industry needs to adjust their market strategy and product development to align with what the American consumer is willing to buy and not insist that the US Government provide it with a bailout funded by public monies. That is, of course, unless they want to compensate me for the lost public services that my taxes would not pay for if they were redirected to bailout a private industry. Hey, I'll take a free car. Or, better yet, free service for my well-designed Japanese car. I'm not a proponent of a completely free market but if you don't want your industry to go under, produce a superior product and develop a long-term business strategy that will take into account a wide breadth of contingencies.

Monday, October 15, 2007

boycott Caliente Cab Company

If you read this, please don't patronize NYC's West Village Caliente Cab Company. Read the NYTimes article describing how the restaurant "discriminat[ed] against Ms. [Khadijah] Farmer because her appearance did not comply with society’s norms concerning gender identity."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Patriot Act

I came across this NY Times article on a decision by an Oregon Federal Judge ruling that parts of the Patriot Act are unconsitutional. The most horrific part of the Patriot Act is that, under the guise of seeking out foreign intelligence, law enforcement officials have the right to circumvent the Fourth Amendment requirement of probable cause for federal search and surveillance if the Executive Branch deems it appropriate. I have very little faith that the Executive Branch, as it stands today, has the objective ability to make that distinction without a political undertone. The judicial system, although hardly a-political, should serve more than adequately in determining whether probable cause exists to warrant the necessity of searches and surveillance operations, regardless of the circumstances of the case.

A quick review of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A quick Review of the US Constitution (suggestion for other links appreciated):

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

another reason to look forward to fall

Ever since finishing school in 2004, Fall has become my favorite season. No classes to worry about, no moving into dorm rooms (although I got to live in a house in grad school), and little change in my day to day life. And DC summers are hot. Really, really hot. In mid-August, when I can't walk the block from my office to the metro without breaking a sweat, I crave the fall with the pleasant days and the cool nights, sleeping with the windows open and a comfortable walk to the metro. So my plan for this coming fall is to start jogging at lunch time. My office is only a few blocks from Rock Creek Park and my current plan is to explore the Capital Crescent Trail, well at least that part of it that is within a few miles of my office.

On an aside, S and I saw The Bourne Ultimatum this past weekend (perfect hot weather activity) and it is as good as the first two....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

an artist in the family

To follow my sister's example, thought I'd give a quick shout out to my cousin, Katie. She is a New England/New York based photographer. Her stuff is both dramatic and provocative - still lifes that capture the essence of reality.

check her out:

Kathryn Parker Almanas

Thursday, August 2, 2007

New Music

... well at least it is new to me.
two groups I have recently been introduced to. check them out.
Bright Eyes
Peter Bjorn & John

Friday, July 13, 2007

Melissa Ferrick

I saw this clip posted to myspace. I'm a big fan so thought I would share...
Melissa Ferrick
Once on the page, click on the link for the segment on MF. They chat for a bit and then she sings "Closer".