Friday, January 30, 2015

Stupid Trademark Tricks

This is just a dumb interpretation of what trademark law is supposed to be (of course like all IP law, it just gets worse and worse in practice). It isn't supposed to give its owners monopoly use of the term, just prevent other businesses from confusing customers. No one thinks the bar around the corner is having the actual Super Bowl, they're just putting the game on the damn TVs. If I rented out a nearby high school field, started advertising "PHOENIX AREA SUPER BOWL," and pitted a couple of high school teams togther then the NFL would have reasonable (if still stupid) cause to complain.

In other words, McDonald's hardware store should be fine, my opening a non-franchise "McDonald's" hamburger joint would not be fine, and McDowell's and his Golden Arcs are probably going to have some problems.

Morning Thread

A few quick hits from Echidne. If the obit hadn't mentioned that Colleen McCullough was heavy I wouldn't have known, and frankly, I don't need to know.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Late Night

Rock on.

Evening Thread

Still sick. Just gonna watch a bunch of bad teevee.

When The Feds Come Knocking

Ruh roh.
Action News confirms that Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord, who announced Thursday he is stepping down from the job, is currently under federal investigation.

Sources tell Action News that the wide-spread probe is examining the alleged theft of campaign and other funds.


The Democrat recently ran unsuccessfully for governor.

Afternoon Thread

Think it's time for me to check out for a bit.

Obama Will Destroy Us

Pretty sure that if the after tax income for the top .1% is reduced by 2.5% then the economy will be destroyed.

High Minded Intellectual Discussion

Apparently the new TNR is going to take a look at the racial (racist) history of the old TNR. While it isn't the only thing that matters in that context, the "great" thing about the publication of the Bell Curve issue was that they could "provocatively" raise the question of whether black people were stupid, and then wonder why black people (and others) were just so emotional about the whole thing. Such sensitivities! Such unwillingness to engage in high level debate! Why won't you make the effort to seriously debunk this racist pseudo-science (even as people did, of course)? Why can't you engage with the very serious question of whether you are genetically inferior even though 20 years later I still don't understand the basic concepts of "race" and "population" as cultural versus scientific constructs?

The Great Grift

Some people are special.

The District held that some “members of the philanthropic community” and undefined “stakeholders” get to have a different level of access than the rest of the public. This reveals a lot about decisionmaking and voice in a state-takeover district.

It should make a difference that some of the entities that helped contribute to the Boston Consulting Group plan had board members who were real estate developers and individuals with financial and political stakes in charter school operators. These were groups that pushed hard for school closures, which rocked the District in 2012-13, forcing 7,000 children to crowd into schools that today are worse off than the ones they had attended. A number of the properties were then fast-tracked for sale.

We know that mass school closings didn’t improve the District’s finances. They didn’t stop the loss of nearly 4,000 jobs just a few months later. They didn’t buy us any good will from the state legislature. And most important, they didn’t improve the academic opportunities for students in schools targeted for closure or for those in the rest of the District.

Money Well Spent

Just a reminder that the LA-SF SUPERTRAIN is some crazy unaffordable hippie plan.
The threats that Afghan and American troops face in Afghanistan remain all too real. But it strains credulity to believe that insurgents would become more proficient fighters by poring over lengthy inspector general reports about an increasingly forgotten war. Classifying that information unreasonably prevents American taxpayers from drawing informed conclusions about the returns on a $107.5 billion reconstruction investment that, adjusted for inflation, has surpassed the price tag of the Marshall Plan.


So blogging might be extra sucky today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Late Night

Rock on.

Welcome To The Club

I always thought Tim Ryan was kind of full of shit about his anti-abortion stance, though I thought that, unlike some people, he was full of shit in a sort of good way. He tried doing the "can't we find common ground" schtick by getting pro-life movement members to get on board with things which would reduce (the need for) abortions, instead of just trying to criminalize it. Then he figured out they were actually just anti-sex weirdos who were also against contraception. Glad to see he's totally repudiated his former public position.

He's on the very short list of "members of Congress I've had a drink with." Seemed to be nice enough.


I have an odd fondness for brutalism and also agree with the idea that there's some value in preserving representative bits of architecture, even horrible bits, from all eras, but I'm really not seeing the masterpiece in this one...


I certainly can relate to the notion that blogging (mostly) all day every day is stressful. Yes it's a privileged and easy life for the most part, but it still has its own unique stresses that take their toll. As soon as I hit the publish button, my next thought is "ok, what do I post about next..." And running this blog isn't just about my brilliant thoughts or mad aggregation skills, it's also about trying to gently manage a (fortunately mostly well-behaved) community. This thing is running even when I sleep.

Tear Down This Garage

They were supposed to be saviors of downtown, drawing people by offering parking as plentiful as at any suburban shopping mall.

But decades after cities tore down buildings and replaced them with parking structures, communities across the country are demolishing the garages and putting up buildings again, confident that more people will be drawn to lively offices, hotels and housing.

We can compete with the suburbs by trying to be like them but worse (in the sense of not being able to compete with their specific advantages) was never a good plan.

Bloggers Begin

Glennzilla has a good piece.

I usually don't scream quite as loudly as I used to, because I don't have to. Back in the early days you had to make noise to be heard. Now that the internet is much more all linked up, one doesn't have to be quite as noisy. If you have a good point you can probably get an audience for it. I'm not making an internet-as-meritocracy argument, I'm simply saying that stuff can be linked and relinked and twittered and facebooked in a way which didn't happen back in the "old days."

The Great Grift

It's amazing that CNN never gave this man a job. Oh, wait...