Uber, Traditional Taxicabs and the Failure of Regulation

Read Larry Downes's comparison of UberX to a traditional metered cab, and you will readily understand why the following is happening: So traditional taxi and limo services are responding the only way they know how to—by using legal challenges and regulatory obstacles to block or even ban the services.  In some cities, including Portland and …

Today in Depressing News Regarding Ukraine

Here it is: Russia may not be done conquering. In a strange way, I almost hope that the Russians try to launch an offensive to reach Transnistria, as I cannot imagine a more blatant example of overreach that might serve to further isolate Russia in the international community, and as such overreach may prove to be exceedingly …

Strolling Down Memory Lane

Everyone remembers the time when Nate Silver predicted disaster for a particular party's election prospects, and operatives of said party turned on Silver and denounced him for predictions inconvenient to their side, thus proving that operatives of said party are epistemically closed and live in a bubble where facts and reality are not welcome. Right? …

Purges Are Destructive Things

Many a time, I have complained about Tea Party efforts to get rid of Republican representatives and senators who are subjectively deemed to be disloyal to the right-of-center cause, even when those efforts end up throwing congressional seats to Democrats. As I have often said, only winners can afford to purge their ranks. Losers cannot. …

Dear Anti-Vaccination Fanatics

Don't ever forget that you are responsible for stories like this one: Measles, a highly contagious and dangerous virus, was thought to have been eradicated from the U.S. with vaccines -- but in recent years outbreaks have been occurring at an alarming rate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports there was an average of 83 measles …

The Political Crackdown Continues in Venezuela

And no chávista--inside or outside of Venezuela--has denounced it. I can't imagine why: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has used the military, legislative and judicial power consolidated during 15 years of socialist rule in a sudden series of blows against opponents who have spent more than a month protesting in the streets, knocking down their barricades and …

When It Comes to Punishing Russia, Our Options Are Limited

I know that economic sanctions are everyone's favorite way to punish Russia, and I allow for the possibility that over time, sanctions may well take a significant bite out of the Russian economy. But at best, sanctions are an imperfect and crude tool with which to coerce any nation-state, and when it comes to coercing …