Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Monday, February 27, 2012 :::

Recommended readings:
  • A report from Greece. I've generally thought that Greece would be better off without the Euro, but I'm sympathetic to the argument that having their currency run by a European central bank controlled by and for the Germans and the French may be better than having a Greek central bank run by Greek crooks.

    There's also this:
    A friend and I met up at a new bookstore and café in the centre of town, which has only been open for a month. The establishment is in the center of an area filled with bars, and the owner decided the neighborhood could use a place for people to convene and talk without having to drink alcohol and listen to loud music. After we sat down, we asked the waitress for a coffee. She thanked us for our order and immediately turned and walked out the front door. My friend explained that the owner of the bookstore/café couldn’t get a license to provide coffee. She had tried to just buy a coffee machine and give the coffee away for free, thinking that lingering patrons would boost book sales. However, giving away coffee was illegal as well. Instead, the owner had to strike a deal with a bar across the street, whereby they make the coffee and the waitress spends all day shuttling between the bar and the bookstore/café. My friend also explained to me that books could not be purchased at the bookstore, as it was after 18h and it is illegal to sell books in Greece beyond that hour. I was in a bookstore/café that could neither sell books nor make coffee.
    See also this story about trying to start an online business in Greece.
  • I recently complained about people (mostly on the left) who think our lives should be more tied to our employers. In that case, it was a policy to encourage our tendency to get our health insurance through our employers. Some in California are pushing for employers to control employees' retirement savings (with, naturally, a fair amount of control by the government as well).

    I have no desire to move to California. Even from New York.
  • I don't think the evidence is strong enough to really believe that Obama kept his plane in the air longer so he could watch more basketball, but I'm somewhat sympathetic to the broader theme of this story contrasting the Obamas' lifestyle with their rhetoric and the state of the economy. I've never placed much importance on the President's golf habit, but it seems like it would simply be a good idea as a matter of politics and taste to cut back on the Aspen ski vacations and, if there are going to be lavish White House parties, to keep a lower profile.
  • On the other hand, I'm not at all impressed that a journalist interviewing a spokesman for one of Obama's opponents preambled a question with a brief case for Obama's reelection. It seems to me that he was just giving Chris Christie something to respond to. Call me back if he interviews Obama (or an Obama spokesman) and leads off with, "do you like running for reelection with such an awesome record of achievement?"
That will do for tonight.

::: posted by Steven at 11:52 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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