Are America’s Tech Giants Permanently Dominant ‘Forever Companies?’

 
Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc.

It’s the “end of history” argument, but applied to business and economics. One undercurrent in the resurgence of antitrust enthusiasm is the idea that America’s most valuable technology companies — Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, AlphabetGoogle, and Facebook (listed here in order of market value) — are “The Forever Companies,” as CNN tech journalist Dylan Byers has labeled them.

Of course, being big and powerful one day doesn’t guarantee that status tomorrow. During their heyday, General Motors (1928), IBM (1970), and DuPont (1955) towered over Corporate America in a way Big Tech doesn’t come close to approaching. And, sure, those companies are still around and are still important. But no one’s writing “Forever Company” articles about them. They’re just not relevant in the same way.

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Revisiting the Weiner Laptop Surprise

 

So, inquiring minds have asked, if Comey and the FBI were so vested in the candidacy of HRC, how do you square that with the Weiner laptop surprise?

Remember, on October 28, 2016, Comey announced the reopening of the Midterm Exam (“MTE” was the FBI’s clever name for the Clinton email/unauthorized server scandal.) Weiner was once again accused of sexting with underage females. Police authorities in NYC had seized Anthony Weiner’s laptop and his wife, Huma Abedin, HRC’s trusted associate, had used that computer many times to print out HRC’s emails. HRC, it seems, liked only paper correspondence. So this laptop was a possible source for the “missing” emails that had otherwise been permanently removed from the Clinton unauthorized server. Comey was officially appraised of the existence this laptop on October 27 and quickly sought a warrant to search it. The MTE investigation band (the usual FBI suspects McCabe, Strzok, Page, et al.) was reluctantly put back together.

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The Power of Words

 

No one knew much about Herschel. He was a shabby older man with long untidy grey hair and beard, who always carried a stout pole and walked with a pronounced limp. He lived in one of the cheap hotels somewhere downtown, and he would come to the House of Love and Prayer whenever Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was around. Most people found him rather annoying, but he was accepted as yet another of our eccentrics.

Sometime in the 1970s, American television showed a film made by an Israeli kibbutznik about the longing for peace after the Yom Kippur War. The opening shot was of a Jewish festival in Golden Gate Park, and there, as that scene closed, was Herschel, in an old Army jacket with a shoulder patch of Israeli and American flags, dancing in a kind of awkward stomp.

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With Spring Heating Up, a Tip for Parents and Cars

 

This evening I came back from grocery shopping and had to run our freezer bag into the house before going on another errand. Today in New Jersey had a high of 90 degrees, and so I left the car doors open for the three minutes it took to run into the house, put the ice cream in the freezer, and get back in the car to go to the pharmacy. Even just a few minutes with the doors closed would have been stifling, and I thought to myself “I wonder when I’ll see the first car seat death story this year.” Sadly, I had my answer when I opened Facebook tonight.

The New York Post reports the story out of Nashville, “Authorities say a recently adopted 1-year-old girl whose father left her in a truck has died. News outlets cite a release from Metro Nashville police saying the adoptive father “reportedly forgot” about the child after dropping off her sibling at day care on Wednesday. The girl’s adoptive mother found the child around 5:40 p.m. in a car seat inside the pickup truck parked outside their home.”

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Reading Assignment for My Local Candidate

 

I am leaning very strongly in support of a particular local candidate for State Representative. His statement includes one of our favorite quotes from Ronald Reagan (…I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help), but I am not inclined to cast my vote out of nostalgia or sentimentalism. A candidate has to earn my vote — not by pandering or studying Pimsleur’s “Conservatism as a Second Language” before throwing out buzzwords in a speech, or by blowing as many whistles as he can conjure up during a debate. He has to earn my vote by engaging in that hard work that Ronald Reagan is somewhat less known for: by studying at the feet of the masters.

Washington state is a classic example of two states within one border. Geographically, it is a mostly rural state; politically, it is run almost exclusively by Seattle and Olympia, together the throttle and the booster at the helm of this vast limousine whose brake was long ago dismantled and ceremoniously buried at the peak of Mount Rainier. Its steering wheel is none other than the tide of popular left-wing sentiment. A few years ago, I described a typical election-year ballot. Your choices are cowbell, more cowbell, and Gene Frenkle in the replicator with the off-switch snapped in two. Seattle leads the charge as advance test subject, with no failure too grand for statewide implementation at the earliest opportunity.

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We’re Out of Therapists, Send in the Gunfighter

 

Some Illinois lawmakers want to give extra money to schools that replace armed security officers with unarmed social workers and behavior therapists, an approach to safety that’s far different than a national push to add police or arm teachers after a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, a Hillside Democrat, said he proposed the plan after hearing from advocates who argue that investing in mental health resources is the best way of treating the epidemic of violence.

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Carter Page: Perhaps an Idiot but No Dummy

 

Carter Page, the former Merrill Lynch banker, is no doubt very ambitious. He tried to leverage his degree, his business savvy and his Russian Rolodex to untold riches. And while his ambition and naiveté may have led him to be a recruitment target for Russian intelligence in 2013, he’s no dummy. He helped the FBI in their prosecution of Russian intelligence operatives and knew well that he was at least one of the “idiots” that Russian spies had targeted as a source of American intelligence. It defies all logic to assume that subsequent to his FBI cooperation, Page would allow himself to be targeted a second time as an intelligence source by Russian spies, or that Russia would attempt to recruit him. Page may be an idiot, even something of a Russian apologist and Putin fellow traveler, but he’s not stupid

Very early on, Obama and his inner circle were well aware of Page’s Russia background and cooperation with the FBI and the Justice Department. He was implicated in the Steele Dossier and claims these implications are entirely false. We know that this Dossier is uncorroborated and that it was paid by and prepared for the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Yet this Dossier was used to obtain warrants to surveil Page. Page has not been charged with any crime.

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A Rescue Plan for America’s Heartland That’s About Work, Not Cutting Checks

 
Via: The New York Times.

What does America look like to an economist? In the new working paper “Jobs for the Heartland: Place-Based Policies in 21st Century America,” Benjamin Austin, Edward Glaeser, and Lawrence Summers neatly outline the problem of “left behind” places in the US economy (bold by me):

We divide the U.S. into three regions: the prosperous coasts, the western heartland and the eastern heartland, divided based on year of statehood. The coasts have high incomes, but the western heartland also benefits from natural resources and high levels of historical education. America’s social problems, including non-employment, disability, opioid-related deaths and rising mortality, are concentrated in America’s eastern heartland, states from Mississippi to Michigan, generally east of the Mississippi and not on the Atlantic coast. The income and employment gaps between the three regions are not converging, but instead seem to be hardening into semi-permanent examples of economic hysteresis.

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Quote of the Day: Love Among the Ruins

 

Love Among the Ruins,” written in 1855 by Robert Browning:

Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles,
Miles and miles
On the solitary pastures where our sheep
Half-asleep
Tinkle homeward thro’ the twilight, stray or stop
As they crop—
Was the site once of a city great and gay,
(So they say)
Of our country’s very capital, its prince
Ages since
Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far
Peace or war.

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Illinois House Passes Firearms Restraining Order

 

We passed a “Firearms Restraining Order” bill in the Illinois House Wednesday. I spent a lot of time on this bill, and have written about it on my blog. I believe it strikes a balance between preserving civil liberties and Second Amendment rights with the responsibility we have to protect public safety. Here are my initial floor comments on the bill:

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President Trump Cancels Summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

 

In a letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un on Thursday morning, President Trump cancelled the planned June 12 summit in Singapore between the United States and North Korea. In withdrawing from the talks, Trump cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement,” stating he felt it would be “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned.” The president did express his willingness to meet with Kim at a future date.

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ACF#34: The Searchers

 

Today, I am joined by Prof. John Marini for the first in a series of podcasts on Great Westerns. We start with The Searchers, John Ford’s thematic treatment of the sacred law of the family. American freedom out West and the nature-civilization conflict are treated in parallel in a story that blends comedy and tragedy with an eye to Homer. This is John Wayne’s greatest role and it is an education about human things wrapped into one. Listen and share, friends!

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After Santa Fe Shooting, Houston’s Police Chief Plays Politics

 

My most recent column over at PJ Media concerns Art Acevedo, chief of the Houston Police Department, who has risen to national attention in the wake of the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. The night of the shooting, Acevedo took to Facebook and posted an impassioned plea for “action” from lawmakers to address gun violence. What this action should be he did not specify, neither in the post nor in the many media appearances he has made since, except to call for a law requiring secure storage of firearms when children are present.

Such a law has been on the books in Texas since 1995 (scroll down to section 46.13), so it’s still unclear what recommendations Chief Acevedo would make. What is clear is that he is enjoying his moment in the sun, having been covered in glowing terms by CBS, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among many others.

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Quote of the Day: Legislation

 

“The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to parliament [or congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever.” – Auberon Waugh

Every time something tragic happens there are calls for legislators to “do something.” What to do, whether it is wise or foolish, is less important than passing some new law. Years ago, when I was writing for Listen Magazine (now gone) I wrote an article about a couple of teens who created a fantasy politics game — it was similar to a fantasy football league. You picked a “team” of legislators, and got points as they created legislation.

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Trump Is Not a Second-Class President

 

There is a lot of breathless pearl-clutching going on because Trump just ordered an investigation into the allegedly bogus surveillance of his campaign allegedly for national security reasons (but possibly for political reasons).

They say that Trump is interfering with an investigation by targeting those who started the investigation. But all prosecutions are subject to scrutiny. We do not allow prosecutors in this country to act with impunity – they are constrained by the law and must operate under appropriate oversight.

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About That “Spark of Divinity”

 

I agree with Nancy Pelosi. There’s a “spark of divinity” in every person on earth, even the worst.

One reason I stopped listening to Mark Levin is that I couldn’t stand his habit of calling bad guys “cockroaches.” It reminded me too much of Rwanda. The frenzy of murder that overcame that country in 1994 was preceded by a radio campaign denouncing the Tutsis as cockroaches.

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Exactly How Many Presidential Candidates Did President Obama Spy On?

 

Because of its implications, this is an uncomfortable question; let me first briefly outline the framework against which the question is asked.

The following are facts that do not appear to be in dispute by anyone who isn’t a card-carrying member of Team Obama:

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The Commencement Speech You Never Hear

 

My youngest son’s college graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors. The invitation specified that it would be moved inside to the gym only in the event of “severe” weather. As it turned out, the day was unseasonably cold (low 50s) with occasional drizzle – probably about as nasty as the weather gets in May without qualifying for severe status.

Yet my husband and I huddled together in the stands of Franklin Field and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Ceremonies are important. We need markers for the milestones of our lives. They seal the moment that is both an ending and a beginning.

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Korzybski, Words, and Abstraction

 

Korzybski. I’m not sure where or when I first heard the name. I do know the who, though. H. Beam Piper was the finest writer that most people have never heard of. He was primarily a science fiction writer from the mid-1940s to 1964, when he died. He introduced me to many other writers and ideas. James Branch Cabell? The time theories of J. W. Dunne? Charles Oman’s The Art of War? Carl von Clausewitz? All of these and more were referenced in his works. And Korzybski.

“That sounds like Korzybski,” Pierre said, as they turned onto Route 19 in the village and headed east. “You’ve read Science and Sanity?”

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Calling out “White People”

 

I was on a bus in Seattle the other day sitting next to someone I met that day and will likely never meet again. We had gotten into a conversation about each other’s religious backgrounds. He went first.

“Yeah, back home I went to a Lutheran church [I’m not sure of the denomination, but it was something liturgical]. It sucked. I don’t like traditional stuff, and that’s all it was. Everyone was super old and like 90 percent white.”

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I Am Unhappy with Trump on China

 

I am unhappy that Trump is following the same sort of airy mess that Bush and Obama did with China. They steal our IP and we do nothing.

China is the threat to our Republic at the current time. They want to be the Asian power. The United States needs to remain the Asian power. I know many libertarians disagree on this. Tough. Someone has to be the world’s superpower, and if we retreat to a regional power in North America, China will expand and threaten freedom.

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