Joho the Blog: “Municipal nets, municipal electric power, and learning from history”

Standard

Fourth, and most important, the history of the electric power industry teaches that the presence or threat of competition from the public sector is one of the best and surest ways to secure quality service and reasonable prices from private enterprises involved in the delivery of critical public services.

via Joho the Blog » Municipal nets, municipal electric power, and learning from history

Read the whole article from 1994. Applies to every utility we know.

No News Cycle

Standard

The World Cup is going on. It’s the middle of baseball season. Wimbledon just finished and there will be a large amount of tournaments leading to the US Open. All those things generate genuine sports news. The NBA has no news to report and yet every SportsCenter is full of people making claims about what they can see and can’t see happening based upon their own guesses. No news happened. It’s a no news cycle. Not too depressing until you realize that you get the same thing on all of the cable news channels.

“Elegant racism”

Standard

America has never discriminated on the basis of race (which does not exist) but on the basis of racism (which most certainly does.)
[...]
A phrase like “mass incarceration” obviates the fact that “mass incarceration” is mostly localized in black neighborhoods. In Chicago during the ’90s, there was no overlap between the incarceration rates of black and white neighborhoods. The most incarcerated white neighborhoods in Chicago are still better off than the least incarcerated black neighborhoods. The most incarcerated black neighborhood in Chicago is 40 times worse than the most incarcerated white neighborhood.

Perhaps black people are for reasons of culture or genetics 40 times more criminal than white people. Or perhaps there is something more elegant at work

via This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic.

Note: In wake of this whole Donald Sterling, one thing the players who are members of the NBA Players Union should learn is that they do have some power and they specific ways they can exercise it.

There are no grand bargains

Standard

Thomas Friedman in NYTimes.com:

I don’t like Keystone. Extracting oil from tar sands leads to even higher carbon emissions than drilling and devastates the landscape. But, if approval is the price for a truly transformational clean energy policy, I’m in. You’re not going to move the vested interests without a trade, but it has to be a smart trade.

Yes he’s talking about grand bargains. Going to kick the football with Lucy? Good luck with that Charlie Brown.