L. Gordon Crovitz: The End of the Permissionless Web – WSJ.com

Mr. Schneiderman has targeted Airbnb, an online service that lets users easily rent homes or apartments for short-term stays, giving travelers a new option. The hotel industry, concerned about being disrupted, is lobbying hard to kill the upstart. Mr. Schneiderman went to court demanding the names of people who rent out their homes to see if they violate any laws. Airbnb objects to this fishing expedition. With a valuation in the billions, the Silicon Valley company can afford lawyers to protect its customers, but costly regulatory overreach will inevitably suppress new startups from trying to compete.

Like Airbnb, mobile-phone app Uber creates a marketplace directly linking buyers and sellers—in its case, passengers and drivers—outside the ornate regulations of analog-era municipal taxi commissions. Brussels, Seattle and Miami have banned or strictly limited Uber cars. New York’s Mr. Schneiderman objects to the company’s practice of pricing more when demand is heavy. The alternative is severely restricted supply, as anyone knows who has tried to hail a cab in the rain.

The drone industry in the U.S. has been grounded because the Federal Aviation Administration has banned commercial use of drones pending new regulations. Meanwhile, countries such as Canada and Australia encourage drones. “As American regulators struggle to come up with a rulebook for the fast-moving industry,” Toronto’s Globe and Mail bragged recently, “Canada has emerged as perhaps the center of commercial drone technology—from Ontario farmlands to Alberta’s oil sands.”

Other examples include the Food and Drug Administration’s scrutiny of 23andMe’s marketing, which forced the company to stop offering health data from its at-home $99 genetics-analysis kit, and prohibitions against selling self-driving cars, which have left the U.S. in the dust behind less regulated Europe.

via L. Gordon Crovitz: The End of the Permissionless Web – WSJ.com.

Obama’s highway tolls take cash, time and privacy: Column

One of the nice things about driving in America today is that if you tire of the Big Brother aspects of air travel, you can just get in your car and go. Sensor-equipped tolls will make it easy for a government that already spies on us too much to spy on us some more. Whatever promises are made now, experience shows that’s exactly what the government will do.

If the gas tax really isn’t raising enough money to fix the roads, then our politicians should man up and increase it or better yet stop spending so much of it on sidewalks, bike lanes and mass transit. The worst possible outcome is tolls that instead of just taking our money like a gas tax, will take our money, waste our time and destroy our privacy.

via Obama’s highway tolls take cash, time and privacy: Column.

Instapundit » Blog Archive » STATE-LED CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  If you can’t get 2/3 of both houses of Congress to …

Hmmm…. let’s consider the themes here:  The liberals/progressives want to amend the Constitution to limit one of our most fundamental freedoms.  The conservatives/tea partiers want to amend the Constitution to limit government power.   But somehow the average American–even prominent Republicans themselves– thinks of the GOP as the “Party of No”?

via Instapundit » Blog Archive » STATE-LED CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  If you can’t get 2/3 of both houses of Congress to ….

Harry Reid’s Long, Steady Accretion of Power & Wealth | RealClearPolitics

Senator Reid: are you honest in your dealings with your fellow men?

David Damore — a University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor whose research focuses on Silver State politics — has closely followed Reid for years. He said that the balance between helping family and constituents is a common tension for powerful politicians. “I’m going to put this politely: Their personal interests, they seem to see, represent the common good. They don’t differentiate those two.”

Another longtime Reid-watcher believes that the latest string of incidents, stretching over the last decade, is just a result of more coverage of Reid — and not a product of him changing his style.

“As he’s become more known and a much higher dollar target for his critics, anything he does to assist his family now pegs on the radar,” said John L. Smith, a columnist who has written about Nevada politics for nearly as long as Reid has been in Washington.  “I don’t think he’s changed his personal method of operation throughout his whole career.”

Smith added, “I can’t see him ever denying his family a break or an opportunity if he could provide it. I guess that’s just part of being a dad and a guy with a certain level of influence.”

Nowhere is Reid’s influence more profound than in his home state, where he has built a dizzying network of mutually beneficial political, personal, and business alliances. These associations benefit Reid, his family, his close friends, and, very often, the state that he loves. The sphere of influence took decades to create.

via Harry Reid’s Long, Steady Accretion of Power & Wealth | RealClearPolitics.

York Arms – NY deliveries (Screw you, NY)

Based on the recent legislation in New York, we are prohibited from selling rifles and receivers to residents of New York. We have chosen to extend that prohibition to all governmental agencies associated with or located within New York. As a result we have halted sales of rifles, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, machine guns, and silencers to New York governmental agencies.

For “civilian” customers residing in New York:

At your choice, we will:

complete your order and ship to a dealer of your choice outside of NY

refund your payment in full

hold your items here for up to 6 months, at no charge – if you are in the process of leaving NY and taking residence in another state.

For LE/Govt customers in New York:

Your orders have been cancelled.

via York Arms – NY deliveries.

Kerry dishes $250 million to Morsi in the middle of the sequester

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for President Mohammed Morsi’s pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250 million in American aid to support the country’s “future as a democracy.”

Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional U.S. assistance would depend on it.

“The path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains,” Kerry said in a statement after wrapping up two days of meetings in Egypt, a deeply divided country in the wake of the revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

via News from The Associated Press.

Magpul’s Open Letter to CO Lawmakers – Pass Gun Control, We Leave & Take Our Jobs With Us

Magpul, the maker of one of the most popular AR-15 magazines, the PMAG, along with other AR-15 accessories has posted an open letter to their customers and Colorado lawmakers.

The company basically says if CO passes a proposed law that would ban magazines over 10 rounds in capacity, they would be forced to move their operation to another state in order to stay in operation.

In doing so the company would be taking their tax dollars and hundreds if not thousands of jobs with them (once you take sub-contractors into account).

via Magpul’s Open Letter to CO Lawmakers – Pass Gun Control, We Leave & Take Our Jobs With Us.

Police seeking Dorner opened fire in a second case of mistaken identity – latimes.com

Funny thing. I’ve been licensed to carry a concealed handgun for about seven years now, and I’ve never accidentally shot the wrong person EVER. But hey, what do I know? These guys are professionals.

David Perdue was on his way to sneak in some surfing before work Thursday morning when police flagged him down. They asked who he was and where he was headed, then sent him on his way.

Seconds later, Perdue’s attorney said, a Torrance police cruiser slammed into his pickup and officers opened fire; none of the bullets struck Perdue.

His pickup, police later explained, matched the description of the one belonging to Christopher Jordan Dorner — the ex-cop who has evaded authorities after allegedly killing three and wounding two more. But the pickups were different makes and colors. And Perdue looks nothing like Dorner: He’s several inches shorter and about a hundred pounds lighter. And Perdue is white; Dorner is black.

“I don’t want to use the word buffoonery but it really is unbridled police lawlessness,” said Robert Sheahen, Perdue’s attorney. “These people need training and they need restraint.”

via Police seeking Dorner opened fire in a second case of mistaken identity – latimes.com.

Wisconsin budget surplus projected to grow to $484 million : Wsj

In 2011, Walker took office facing a roughly $3 billion budget shortfall and attacked the problem with deep cuts to education, local governments and other programs. He also forced public workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits, and effectively ended workers’ collective bargaining rights, leading to an unsuccessful attempt to recall him last year.

The surplus this time makes it easier for Walker and Republicans to follow through on their promises to cut income taxes while also increasing spending on K-12 schools.

via Wisconsin budget surplus projected to grow to $484 million : Wsj.

From Reddit – stories about suicide

This one stood out to me as I was skimming through them this morning. When I talk about connections, roots, community, this is what I mean.

Perhaps, like many people who commit suicide (or try to) I had no idea I was going to attempt it until maybe half an hour before the attempt.

I was in a nightclub, drunk and had been rejected by every girl I approached. I was desperate to get out of my situation, alone, single, unemployed and living on benefits in a crappy bedsit in the worst part of town. I was extremely depressed, though I didn’t know it at the time.

I left the nightclub, hailed a taxi and asked the driver to take me to a famous local landmark – a very very high bridge. I intended to jump off but didn’t allow for the wiley cab driver who guessed my intentions. The bridge, back then, was a popular spot for suicides and its name was almost synonymous with jumpers which probably tipped him off (they’ve since put up barricades and so forth, making it almost impossible).

The cab driver drove me to the bridge then stopped the cab, turned off the engine, turned around in his seat and asked me if I was going to kill myself. I said yes I was and burst into tears.

He gave me a motivational talk right there and then. Life was worth living. I should stick it out. It was easy to think life was a long and unchanging road but in fact it is full of surprises and only age can give you the experience to realize this. If you’re willing to persevere you will find that life throws all kinds of amazing opportunities your way. Then he said he’d put a word in with his boss and try to get me a job driving taxis. He told me not to worry about girls rejecting me. I was drunk and probably came across as depressed, which is never attractive. I was a good looking guy and would meet somebody great some day soon, but not if I jumped off the bridge.

Then he drove me home and didn’t charge me a fare. I gave him my number and he called me every day for about a month after that. I didn’t get a job as a taxi driver because his boss wasn’t quite as nice a guy as he was, but I did sort myself out and get out of that shitty situation, met the girl of my dreams, found my niche in the employment side of things and now live in a beautiful house in an amazing part of the world.

via oneoffaccountok comments on People who attempted suicide, what did you do on your “last day”.