Berkeley Backs Off On Banning Marines

At their Tuesday council meeting, leaders will discuss scrapping a letter that might be perceived as targeting the center or the Marines.

The letter said that the recruiting center was not welcome on Shattuck Avenue and that the Marines were uninvited and unwelcome intruders.

[From Berkeley Backs Off On Banning Marines – News Story – KNTV | San Francisco]

<begin sarcasm>Gee I wonder why anyone would perceive that letter as targeting the Marines? Some people just have no sense of symbolism and nuance, I guess. <end sarcasm>

The amount of spin in this report is simply astounding. Does the media in this town have to carry the water of every liberal group? It’s embarrassing. Seriously embarrassing.

I wrote a letter to Mayor Bates expressing my opinion on this matter and supporting Senator DeMint’s efforts. What Berkeley did was to enhance and amplify the free speech rights of the socialist and anti-American group Code Pink for the express purpose of repressing the equally valid rights of the Marines to do their lawful work. It was shameful to a level that should shock and dismay even the most strident Berkeley watchers.

I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life and have grown desensitized to the insanity that is called Berkeley. I respect and honor the rights of people to dissent and voice their displeasure at policies, but there is a point at which ordinary people have to say enough. When government officials use vile groups like Code Pink as tools for policy, that line is irrevocably crossed.

But in the end what is really worthy of our collective dissent is the willingness of Berkeley officials to pass pointless measure after pointless measure on national and international issues while ignoring the very real problems that the people of Berkeley suffer from, like homelessness and crime to economic blight on Shattuck Ave.

On a positive note, there is a “teach in” on the current economic woes many are feeling… that should do a lot of good.

Gaphing Social West

200802071320.jpg Last year I last-minute dropped in on the Graphing Social Patterns conference here in San Jose. It was the first generation event and Dave did an outstanding job pulling it together.

I rarely come away impressed by conferences insofar as the content, usually value the meeting up with folks far higher. While GSP has much of that, I also found the content to be top shelf all the way. It’s not that I’m so much smarter than everyone else or so jaded as to suggest all conferences are the same, it’s just that at most of the conferences I’ve been to in recent years there is a reluctance among the speakers and panelists to be self-critical or revealing.

When conference content falls in either “stating the obvious” or “shamelessly self-promoting”, well I pretty much end up in the lobby or hallways having my own conference agenda. GSP was not like this at all and it is with much pleasure that I highlight the next event is March 3-4 down in San Diego and like last year, NewsGator is participating on the agenda again.

If you are interested in a cutting edge discussion about viral adoption of applications, monetization via social ads, user behaviors, content control, and the API of the social graph, you must register for this event.

UPDATE: Here’s a discount code you can use for 30% off the list registration fee: gspw08spbl

Tournament Theory for CEO Pay

Interesting way to put it.

That’s because many economists believe that CEO pay is structured as it is not to spur the CEO to ever greater heights of achievement, but rather pour encourager les autres. Michael Eisner might work just as hard for $1 million a year . . . but the gigantic payoff to becoming CEO spurs those beneath him to ever-greater heights of achievement. Basically, Michael Eisner has won the employment lottery. And because the prize is so big, all of his subordinates are dutifully beavering away, vying for a chance at the gravy train.

[From Megan McArdle (February 07, 2008) – The Logic of Life: CEO Pay]

Democrat vs. Democratic

UPDATE: I have been thinking about this some more. It isn’t a question of fairness, these are the rules that the party operates by, therefore nobody should be shocked that this is happening. DNC chair Dean created this situation in the first place by disenfranchising Michigan and Florida primary voters altogether. I will say that if I were a Democrat and the party candidate were to be decided by a Tammany Hall back room deal, I would be hopping mad irrespective of what candidate I supported.

I saw this on Drudge this morning and cringed. All partisanship aside, it should offend all voters regardless of party affiliation when party big-shots start picking candidates instead of primary and caucus voters.

The one thing that has made this entire election cycle exciting, and somewhat bearable in light of the protracted length, is that the “central committee” from either party isn’t picking our candidates, we are. The best thing that could happen to both parties is to go into their respective conventions and actually have it mean something beyond being a coronation of “the fix” candidate, and what is equally good for both parties is very good for American politics.

On a related note, I found it equally distasteful that McCain and Huckabee colluded on West Virginia to deprive Romney of a win. These games only undermine the political process and steal confidence away from people who believe their votes should matter.

“I think we will have a nominee sometime in the middle of March or April. But if we don’t, then we’re going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of an arrangement,” said Dean, who failed in his bid for the party’s nomination in 2004.

[From Democratic dead-heat ‘not good news’ says Dean]

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