July 17, 2006

One Small Victory for Property Rights

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:52 pm

OK, the amount isn’t small, but this is one of many fights needing to be fought. The Las Vegas Review Journal opines:

EDITORIAL: Airport restrictions constitute a ‘taking’
High court upholds award to property owner

The U.S. Supreme Court’s loathsome ruling in Kelo v. New London did, at least, awaken Americans to government assaults on property rights.

Perhaps Nevada’s own high court has now seen the light.

Last week, the justices voted 5-2 to uphold a lower court ruling that requires McCarran International Airport to pay a $6.5 million judgment to Las Vegas businessman Steve Sisolak for placing a height restriction on his property years after he acquired the land, and for diminishing the value of that land by expanding airport operations.

Mr. Sisolak, who serves on the university system Board of Regents, successfully argued that the 35-foot height restriction on land zoned for a hotel, casino or apartments constituted an unconstitutional “taking per se” of his property, and that noise and pollution from jetliners flying a few hundred feet above the land amounted to a “compensable taking.”

What’s important here is that Mr. Sisolak didn’t seek the closure of McCarran or limitations on its operations as a remedy for his losses. The county was justified in placing such restrictions on land owned by Mr. Sisolak and others near McCarran because the development of a large, modern airport is crucial in sustaining Southern Nevada’s tourist economy.

But Mr. Sisolak rightly contended that because the county’s actions diminished the value of his investment, he should be compensated appropriately.

Unless zoning laws say otherwise, you own a certain amount of space above your land (no, I don’t know how high it goes). If you lose the potential for using that space, your property has lost value — maybe a little, maybe, as in Mr. Sisolak’s case, a lot. Assuming that the amount is beyond trifling, you should be must be compensated for that loss in value, even in a valid use of eminent domain, which the airport-Sisolak situation was. Compensation for loss of value would seem to be easy concept to understand, but post-Kelo, one never knows.

Scratch One Objection to the Current Internet Management Structure

Filed under: Economy,Marvels,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:45 am

Last fall, before the The World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia, one of the objections raised by UN and EU lovers who believed that the time had come for the essentially US-managed Internet to cede control to either of those two bodies was that we would run out of IP addresses, and late-developing countries would be left out in the Internet wilderness.

Though this was always a specious complaint, thanks to the existence of routers and hubs, it has now become totally irrelevant (HT Drudge):

340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 new web addresses created by internet chiefs …..

Of the internet addresses available, more than three quarters are already in use, and the remainder are expected to be assigned by 2009. So, what will happen as more people in developing countries come online? The answer is IPv6, a new internet protocol that has more spaces than the old one: 340,282,366,920,938,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000 spaces in fact.

If every human on earth acquired a new IP address every day, it would take 133,182,922,473,948,000,000,000,000 years until the New IPv6 number assignment system would reach capacity.

I’d say that’s one less thing we need to worry about.

The UN and EU will have to come up with some other reason why “we” would deliberately harm the Information Age’s backbone — and why we should believe thta the tyrannical and PC-frenzied folks who control their respective organizations wouldn’t.

Quotes of the Week: Einstein and Thucydides

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:11 am

QOW_EinsteinThuc

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (071706)

Free Links:

  • Was That Ken Lay I Saw at the K-Mart in Kalamazoo? — “Ken Lay has taken his place alongside Elvis Presley in the pantheon of people whose deaths have not been fully believed. ….. Some disbelievers are serious.”
  • No matters how it turns out, be it a three-way alliance with Nissan and Renault or a strategic alliance with Toyota, the idea that GM has to be rescued by foreign firms has to be galling to its management.
  • The person who filed this antitrust lawsuit acts as if newspapers are the only existing local media outlets. This is a 20th century lawsuit in a 21st century world.
  • As long as the year-over-year number stays above 3.5% or so, I’m not too worried“Excluding gasoline sales, June retail sales fell 0.2 percent. ….. Still, the $363.8 billion estimated to have been rung up in June marked a 5.9 percent increase from the same month in 2005.
  • This looks financially suicidal:
  • Unions target Peugeot salesrooms
    Union activists have been protesting at Peugeot salesrooms across the UK as part of a campaign to stop the firm closing its factory near Coventry.

    The French firm announced in April it was to close the plant in Ryton with the loss of 2,300 jobs. Since then workers have protested at dealerships.

    Amicus and the Transport and General Workers’ Union were behind the rallies.

    An Amicus spokesman said they were targeting at least two dealerships in every region the union represents.

    ….. Owners Peugeot-Citroen has said it had looked at proposals by the unions to keep the factory open but said they were not viable.

    The firm said it had consulted fully with unions and was now committed to helping workers find alternative work – giving £5m to help them do so.

    That 5 million pounds is the same as $272,000 dollars at Friday’s exchange rate of 1.83639 pounds to the dollar — About $118,000 per employee. Though I’m sure there are heavy legal requirements when closing a plant in the UK, I believe that Peugot doesn’t have to ante up all that it has promised. I’d be inclined to withdraw whatever portion of the offer I could, especially if sales decline as a result of the union’s action.

  • More of this, please:

    Responding to customer complaints, Dell Inc. (DELL) said Thursday it plans to gradually reduce its use of mail-in rebates and its often confusing array of other promotional offers.

    Ro Parra, senior vice president of Dell’s Home and Small Business Group, acknowledged the various programs had become increasingly complex and cumbersome for customers trying to get the best deals on computers and other electronics.

    Consumer rebates are a cynical ploy to make earning discounts so cumbersome that a certain percentage of buyers won’t follow through on the offers. Surveys show that a ridiculous percentage of the rebates (20% – 50% depending on the product involved) aren’t redeemed. I would strongly suggest avoiding them unless you promise yourself to do all that it takes to redeem the rebate within 24 – 48 hours, and actually schedule the home time to do so when you’re still in the store. Otherwise, you’ll let it slip or forget about it entirely. Better yet, demand that the rebate be given to you at the cash register, and walk out if it’s not. A few million consumers doing this would end the rebate game pretty quickly.

Love of Son Keeps Woman Alive

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

She’s lasted a year, when she supposedly had only days left:

Love of my son keeps me alive
7:00pm Monday 10th July 2006

A MOTHER who three times was given 48 hours to live, today told how her love for her young son has kept her alive one year after she was first told she had just hours left alive.

And Marion Motupalli, who has been dubbed an “inspiration” by staff at East Lancashire hospice and chosen as the face of their new website, was even well enough to open Saturday’s Hospice summer fair.

Seven doctors told the 45-year-old she would not live longer than last Christmas but after ongoing chemotherapy and a determination to be there for her four-year-old son, Harry, she has continued to fuel her fight for life.

She said: “I feel blessed to still be here. I am a year past my sell-by-date. But if it wasn’t for Harry I don’t think I could’ve done it. I went very bad again earlier this year. They said I had six weeks. But I am now in remission again. I don’t know how long for. Hopefully a few months. I just take each day as it comes.”

Marion has herself been in the Blackburn hospice twice and her family, who held bedside vigils, have prepared themselves four times for her death.

The brave mother-of-four, of The Dene, Beardwood, Blackburn, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after months of unexplained weight gain resulted in the discovery of a tumour the size of a rugby ball.

When it was discovered in January, the tumour was in its third stage of development with stage four having the least likely percentage of survival.To remove it she also had to have her womb, ovaries, part of her small intestine and her bowel taken away. But the tumour has wrapped itself around major arteries so can never be extracted in full without causing fatal bleeding.

It was spotted by her husband, Murthy, a GP at Blackburn Road Medical Practice, Accrington, who Marion said has saved her life.

On Saturday Marion stood in front of crowds at the Park Lee Road centre to cut a ribbon to open the hospice annual summer fair.

The fair, a major fundraiser for the hospice, had activities including a bouncy castle, face painting, pony rides, badge making, beat the goalie, craft stalls, massages, Virgin Vie Cosmetics, crystal therapy and a handmade card stall.

Marion added: “I am so very lucky to have a wonderful family around me. They help me so much and take care of Harry. He is too young to understand but my older children and my husband are amazing. I’m not ready to go.”