Economic Reset
May20

Economic Reset

Libertarian econonmist Tyler Cowen comes to the right conclusion but mostly for the wrong reasons.  The economics of the world is changing – a reset – and things will never again be like they were.  He totally ignores what may be the most most important factor, automation and industrial robots. In manufacturing, for example, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Caterpillar and Navistar (formerly International Harvester) all pay...

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Mt St Helens 35 Years Later
May18

Mt St Helens 35 Years Later

This is the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mt St Helens. It is an event that those of us who were here will never forget.   I am thinking of my friend Connie Kaseweter Pullen who lost a dear brother that day – I lost a dear friend.  Connie and I got together when she googled  her brother Bob’s name and was directed  to my post on the 25th anniversary.  Some 30 years later Connie helped me through some tough times when...

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Marco Rubio Steps In It
May17

Marco Rubio Steps In It

On FOX “news” today Marco Rubio stepped in the same dung pile that Jeb Bush has been trying to get out of for a week.  Now I have never thought that Rubio was the sharpest knife in the kitchen but apparently his learning curve is very long indeed.  Josh Marshall is a bit more polite although now that I think about it maybe not: another is the fact that Marco Rubio just doesn’t seem like the most cognitively dexterous...

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Taxing Dreams
May15

Taxing Dreams

If I were to ask you what the most regressive tax in the United States is what would you say?  The sales tax?  It is indeed regressive but not the most.  The most regressive tax is the lottery which taxes dreams that won’t be fulfilled.   I don’t buy lottery tickets or go to the several Native American casinos within driving distance.  I have never been to Los Vegas.  When I retired I pulled all of my money out of Wall...

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Jeb Bush
May14

Jeb Bush

I had always thought that the Republican nomination was Jeb Bush’s to lose and the last few days it appears he may have succeeded in doing just that. His nemesis is the Iraq war.   Josh Marshall: More than a decade after President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), ended up in his own Iraq quagmire this week. The likely presidential contender for months somehow had managed to...

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Jeb Bush
May11

Jeb Bush

  Jeb Bush has always been marketed as the “smarter brother.”  Although I’ll admit that is a rather low bar I could never see it.  My first real impressions of Jeb Bush came when he was still the governor of Florida.  I’m thinking of course of the Terri Shiavo debacle.  The efforts to keep her mindless body alive was opposed by a vast majority of Americans including many in the Right To Life community....

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A Mother’s Day Picture
May10

A Mother’s Day Picture

My late mother lived for her garden and flowers.  She especially loved her collection of Iris.  This one is striking because of it’s lack of...

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A Different Kind Of Mother’s Day
May09

A Different Kind Of Mother’s Day

Every few years my birthday falls on Mother’s Day.  This used to be an occasion of great celebration.  This is one of those years when my birthday coincides with Mother’s Day but since my mother passed away two and a half years ago this one will be very different.  For one thing I will spend it alone.  The only relative I have in the area is a cousin and she will be spending the day with her children and grand children....

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Of Allies and Client States
May06

Of Allies and Client States

Americans don’t understand the difference between Allies and Client States.  The Western Europeans, the Canadians and Australia qualify as allies.  It is a give and take relationship where each country looks out for the security interests of the other although there may be some minor breakdowns from time to time.  Client States on the other hand only take.  With that in mind we have no allies in the Middle East and that includes...

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Free Range
May03

Free Range

I normally have hot cereal for breakfast although I do cook it a bit unconventionally in chicken stock rather than water.  It was Sunday morning so I treated myself to a cheese omelet this morning.  I buy eggs from free range chickens but I was looking at the carton which advertised both free range and vegetarian.  Now this is silly on several fronts.  First, chickens are omnivores so a straight vegetarian diet is probably not healthy...

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A weekend picture and some random thoughts
May02

A weekend picture and some random thoughts

I have been absent lately.  I like to blame it on health issues but it runs deeper than that.  I see a dysfunctional political environment that makes it impossible to deal with the major issues of our time.  So here are some random thoughts. 1. First some good news – after 6 years in Texas my brother is moving back to Oregon.  It will be nice to have a sibling close by again.  My sister has lived in Texas most of her life  as an...

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Peak Tablet
Apr30

Peak Tablet

Over at Moneybox at Slate Will Oremus says the prediction of the death of the PC was premature. Two or three years ago, all the pundits were predicting the tablet would soon kill the personal computer. I’ve always been skeptical of that narrative, although it has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy in the PC world, where trend-chasing hardware manufacturers have largely given up on making great laptops. Apple has not, and...

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April Fools
Apr01

April Fools

I have a serious post ready but decided to wait until April 2nd to post it so instead I will give you an April Fools Photoshop...

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BMW Commercial
Feb23

BMW Commercial

I haven’t been around much lately because of health challenges. But I had to bring this up; does anyone else find the new BMW commercials with the mother/ grandmother in the third seat offensive?  She reminds me of my late father when he was in the first stages of dementia. He remembered things that never happened but did not remember things that did.  Just something to think...

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Jack Vance Fantasy
Dec15

Jack Vance Fantasy

I have always been a fan of the late Jack Vance’s science fiction but for the most part I have not been a fan of pure fantasy.  During my 5 days in the hospital I read Vance’s entire Lyonesse trilogy on my Kindle. It truly qualifies as pure fantasy. Although the print edition is out of print it has been Kindled (did I just create a verb?).  It is about a mythical island off the west coast of Europe.  There are mythical...

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What is Pizza?
Nov22

What is Pizza?

I still like my pizza simple,  The original Italian pizza was marinara sauce on a pizza crust.  There might have been some basil leaves and mozzarella cheese but that was the exception in fine Italian restaurants in Europe.  So what do Italians think Pizza Hut has just started a major rebranding effort. Headlined the “Flavor of Now,” the campaign aims to give a much-needed boost to Pizza Hut’s U.S. business by wooing customers with...

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The Late Great Jack Vance
Nov18

The Late Great Jack Vance

In my mid teens, over 50 years ago, I discovered the wonderful world of science fiction.  One of my favorite authors was Jack Vance who was not only a great story teller but a wordsmith extraordinaire. As it turned out I missed much of Vance’s work most of which is now out of print but fortunately his work has been Kindled.   I recently reread the Caldwell trilogy and discovered the  Tschai series.  While I prefer hard science...

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A Monday Picture
Nov17

A Monday Picture

Duck weed on Chicken...

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Fox in Charge of the Hen House?
Nov15

Fox in Charge of the Hen House?

Republican,  Dr Monica Wehby’s campaign for the Senate revolved around opposition to the Affordable Care Act but the day after she lost the election she called the governor to ask about the open position of director of the Oregon Health Authority. A day after losing her bid for U.S. Senate, Monica Wehby picked up the phone and reached Gov. John Kitzhaber on his cell. Wehby, a Republican and fellow doctor, offered her expertise...

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Weekend Picture And Flashback!
Nov08

Weekend Picture And Flashback!

Although I was born in the Pacific Northwest and am now retired in the Pacific Northwest I have lived in Munich, Germany for 4 years and Yokohama, Japan for 2 years.  As you can tell from the picture below my long legs never got used to siting on the floor for...

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