Why I Am Glad I Am Running A Private Company

Because in a public company, I might have to, out of fiduciary responsibility, accede to this:

China plans to require that all personal computers sold in the country as of July 1 be shipped with software that blocks access to certain Web sites, a move that could give government censors unprecedented control over how Chinese users access the Internet.

Running a private company, I can tell them to take a hike.  As I did last week, when I was offered a large piece of new business but refused it because it required that I drug test all my employees.


  1. Pedro:

    I admire your integrity, but it's still depressing to think about all the other things you do to your employees to comply with the law. Things that you might take a stand against if it merely meant less business.

  2. John:

    I just wanted to take 10 seconds to applaud your decision. I've turned down jobs for the same reason even though I have nothing to do with illegal drugs. It is a difficult thing to do, but I think you made the right choice.

    I fear that one day soon I might not have the choice, either through simple scarcity of options or through ever more pervasive regulation. I've been told that he federal government drives most of this through requiring testing "downstream" through its provider chain. I'd like to know if that's true.

    Thanks for making the call that you did. It makes the world a little better for everyone.

  3. rob sama:

    Way to be! Just wanted to publicly applaud your decision (including your decision to publicize it).

  4. morganovich:

    unless Chinese teenagers are vastly less competent than their peers around the world (and i see no evidence that such is the case) then this software is going to last about 30 seconds after the computer comes home...

    also: banning porn in a country with far more eligible bachelors than potential brides seems downright mean... :-P

  5. Obloodyhell:

    > Running a private company, I can tell them to take a hike.
    In China, that would *still* be a Very Bad Idea.

  6. Obloodyhell:

    > also: banning porn in a country with far more eligible bachelors than potential brides seems downright mean…
    Actually, it's a recipe for war. One of the best ways to turn a nation jingoistic and imperial is to give it a predominance of males. Let us hope that China's males turn to business, and not the historical option of war, as a way to catch the eye of women.

  7. Dr. T:

    I used to run a laboratory at a VA medical center. All contractors who came into the lab to install or repair equipment had to get background checks and be subjected to random drug tests. The same was true for any employees of the instrument vendors and the information system providers who might see data on any VA patients. All these contractor employees also had to undergo federally-approved information security and patient confidentiality training annually.

    What's bizarre about this employee drug testing is that it is totally ineffective. There's no decrease in accidents or absenteeism, and there's no increase in productivity among businesses that adopt drug screening. Employee morale goes down when everyone is subjected to random screening, and workplace dissatisfaction rises. Way to go management!

    Drug screening does work when hiring, because it eliminates the idiots who show up for a scheduled urine collection while still peeing-out illegal drugs. However, any decent interviewer can screen out the idiots without paying for urine drug tests.

    When I directed a private, for-profit lab, I refused to set-up testing for illegal drugs, though such testing is profitable. The libertarian in me easily beat out the capitalist in me.

  8. Craig:

    OBH, if they do opt for war, I think Russia will be the likely enemy, because it has all that empty land in the east that's there for the taking, and China needs it.

  9. Obloodyhell:

    > I think Russia will be the likely enemy

    An interesting proposition, but land isn't as central these days, and the goal of such isn't necessarily booty but street cred. "Taking the USA down a peg" would be worth a lot of street cred, which is one thing that The Left just doesn't get when it comes to the question of "why some other nation or people would attack us". They don't have to have a legitimate grievance. They don't need any reason other than the fact that we are the big guy and "counting coup" means a lot to any third-world collective, be it nation, terrorist group, or other socio-political organization.

    Being the guy who "beat the big guy" means you can demand a lot just on the size of your swagger stick, without having to win it.

    And the problem with the USA, showing so clearly in Iraq, is that it isn't likely to be that it hasn't got the talent or ability to win, but the will to sacrifice **as little as they might have to** in order to win. If China is willing to lose 1 million men (which, frankly, would be as nothing to them), and it costs us 10,000 -- who is going to fold first? We've unfortunately now signaled to the entire world that it's *us*. So when someone gets belligerent, the American people will fold if the other side shows enough will (I think this actually may NOT be the case, but that's the way anyone looking on is going to *bet*).

    I think what Sherman once said of The North is still true of America and Americans:
    "You people speak so lightly of war. You don't know what you
    are talking about. War is a terrible thing... you mistake, too,
    the people of the North. they are a peaceable people but an
    earnest people and will fight too... The North can make a
    steam-engine, locomotive, or railway car; Hardly a yard of
    cloth or a pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into
    war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical
    and determined people on Earth -- right at your doors. You
    are bound to fail."
    - W. T. Sherman, then superintendant of the La. Military Academy,
    to a colleague, December, 1860 -

    But we aren't acting like that -- So it's therefore just a matter of time before some national thug with the wherewithal to challenge us decides to do it. And China, *or* Russia, for that matter it appears, is getting to the point of having that wherewithal.

    So, unfortunately, thanks to the whining baby boomers, we're now looking at a significant war to show that we have not, in fact but 50 years later, become Mao's "paper tiger" (if, as I believe in fact we have not). This when a strong show of intention and national will would have made it clear to every two bit wannabe thug dictator in the world that we **weren't** a bunch of quiche-eating pansies.

    The Left utterly fails to grasp one of the prime dictums of War: That showing a willingness to fight, and a capability to fight, often makes a fight *unnecessary*. The objective of a strong military making occasional shows of force is not necessarily to conquer or subjugate. It's to make it very clear that just because we're rich, we're not fat and indolent.

    Instead The Left goes completely out of their way to give the latter impression: "If the USA takes 10,000 casualties, they'll fold like a cheap suit".

    "Liberty is not peace, but constant struggle. Each generation must fight the enemy that history deals it."
    - S.M. Stirling, 'Marching Through Georgia' -

    "If History is any teacher, it teaches you that when you get indifferent and lose the will to fight, some other sonofabitch who has the will to fight will take you over."
    - Ben Schemmer -

    "You can refuse to love a man or to lend him money, but if he wants to fight you've got to oblige him."
    - Finley Peter Dunne -