Monday, January 30, 2012


Cadillac Escalade automobile, $77,000
Columbia Grammar School, New York City, 37,000
Manhattan Private School Advisory consultants, 21,500
Harvard tuition, 36,000

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eat More Vegetables

The US Dept of Agriculture has been trying to write new rules to combat obesity in school children by reducing starchy foods and increasing fruits and vegetables in subsidized school lunches. But this ran into a buzz saw of lobbying by potato growers, farm state senators, etc. The proposed rules were changed to accommodate the special interests--including allowing a bit of tomato paste on a pizza to count as a vegie!
Again political campaign contributions corrupt.

The Newt

Why would Gingrich, a thrice married Catholic, become the darling of the Evangelicals in South Caroline? David Reynolds writing in the New York Times suggests that they don't like Romney, not his theology, but because Mormans compete so effectively for converts.

Show Biz

Prince (aptly named) Fielder will play for the Detroit Tigers baseball team for $215 million over nine years. I don't suppose he would like to donate to a scholarship fund at some Michigan University??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bitter Irony

Bitter irony of the week: A super-rich couple gave $5 million for Newt Gingrich's South Carolina campaign and another 5 million for his upcoming Florida primary. The money in South Carolina was used to purchase negative ads that harped on Romney's wealth.

Tell me this world makes any sense!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally some good sense emerges in Europe

The European Central Bank is now doing what I have advocated. I suggested it buy bonds of nations suffering financial crises. To make this less obvious, it is loaning money to banks who in turn invest in bonds of these countries. Now if they would buy new bonds these countries might use for infrastructure and to inject new income and consumer spending into these economies, instead of the senseless wholesale austerity that Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Italy have adopted. This is often condemned as printing money, but surely some clever official could think of language to calm the superstitious.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Campaign Spending

Obama had a 245 million dollar fund to spend on his political campaign. The amount spent on campaigns is obscene, what a waste. Even worse, it is pollution of our environment filling the airwaves with noise.
These early presidential primaries are a farce. Why should trends be established by out-of-the way places? We should have a national one day primary in August where real votes are cast. The candidates would have to appeal to the whole nation and not tailor their platform to the whims of individual states one by one. We say we are one nation undivided, but it is a lie.

Special Interests

The Association of American Publishers is pushing a bill in Congress to forbid the National Institutes of Health to require its grantees to provide copies of research publications free to the National Library of Medicine. They want us to pay for research results that were created with public money. Journal publishers have made a racket out of charging high fees for a product that comes from peer review by scientists that make the reviews for free.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


A Gallop Poll reports that 64 % of American believe that big government is the greatest problem facing the country. I wonder if any of those are Social Security and Medicare recipients?

We are victims of massive and systematic mind manipulation by politicians and some media that believe that if you say something often enough people will believe it. Of course these slogans never identify what they want to reduce so people can believe it is the other guy's benefits that will be cut.

Land Mines

286 people were killed by land mines in 2010 plus 4,200 casualties. 157 countries have signed a 1997 treaty banning use, production, or transfer of land mines. The U.S. has not signed, putting us in company with Russia, China, and North Korea.
What is wrong with us?

Source: National Geographic, January, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Amazing and Awesome

Happy New Year everyone. 2011 had some amazing events, or did it? Michigan's Lake Superior State College's annual list of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness includes "amazing" and it might contain its companion, "Awesome."
Here's an example. Recently, I gave a clerk the exact change for a small purchase, and he remarked, "That's Awesome." No, perhaps a bit unusual, but far from awesome.

If there were a list for uselessness, I would nominate the Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho. At a cost of six million dollars a man has opened a museum full of old vacuum cleaners--one is horse drawn. In case you think I made this up visit of

Then there's the farce of the Iowa primary, but don't get me started on that.