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A Secret Project

You may have noticed the unusually light blogging this month. I have a very good excuse, but I can't tell you about it. I've been working on a secret project for the past several weeks and it's consuming a great deal of my time. (It's a personal project, not work-related.)

I'm not ready to say much about it yet, except that it will keep me busy through the end of the year. Blogging will continue to be light for the duration. A couple recent news stories have caught my eye, though, and I want to mention them briefly.

First, here's an example of regulations stifling business (plus a good bad pun in the headline):

In a letter to customers Monday explaining his closure, company founder Gordon "Grubby" Clark said he has increasingly been in trouble with state and local government because of his nonstandard production machinery - most of which he designed himself - and his use of toxic and polluting chemicals such as toulene di isocynate, or TDI.

He said he spent $500,000 in fire code fixes, another $400,000 defending himself against an employee's lawsuit and faced buying a multimillion "scrubber" to comply with emissions law. He also battled with the Environmental Protection Agency over pollution issues at his Laguna Niguel-based company.

"They simply grind away until you either quit or they find methods of bringing serious charges or fines that force you to close," he wrote.

Second, here's an article about irresponsibility that argues, convincingly, that people who fail to save for their retirement have demonstrated a repeated and longstanding pattern of irresponsibility. They are morally among the least deserving groups to receive assistance.

Third, what is wrong with the world's diplomats? The President of Iran has been engaging in increasingly hostile rhetoric against Israel, obviously designed to offend. It should be obvious to diplomats (who I expect to be professionally good at this) that the purpose of this rhetoric is to test the world's spine, to discover how much he can get away with. It's no coincidence that this is happening at the same time Iran is building tension over its nuclear program. This is a clear case where strong verbal condemnation and other forms of finger-wagging are totally inadequate. It's time to use the stick, not the carrot. Trying to be patient and nonconfrontational in situations like this is the kind of thing that gets Poland invaded.

Tiny Island