Archive for May, 2009

Drought (May 25, 2009)

Posted in Economics, Global Climate Change on May 25, 2009 by

From Tibet to California, drought seems to plague many agricultural areas in the world today.  Crops are failing and will fail.  Too little food is being raised and far too many dollars are in circulation.  We will need a wheelbarrow of money to buy a bushel basket of wheat.  A loaf of bread could cost $20 in a year.  Food is a critical part of our national defense.  An army marches on its stomach; civilians play and work on their stomachs.  Things are drying up.  Something is going on.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Boycott plastic water,

Boycott water in plastic bottles

Less Government Regulation Series: Building Codes and Competition (May 18, 2009)

Posted in Law, Less Government Regulation Series, Market Solutions on May 18, 2009 by

Some individuals oppose state-wide or national building codes because they prefer local codes that reflect local concerns and conditions.  For some, the belief is deeply ideological and passionate.  However, there is a cost to the community in lost competition that costs the consumer.  A builder who is obliged to expend the resources to learn a new local building code is hindered from competing with and against other builders who know the local code.  The local code is a barrier to entry into the market.  With less competition, there are higher prices to the consumer.  If there are more local building codes, ironically there is more abstruse government regulation and more piles of paper.  For some, free and open markets are a greater concern.  Government regulation or involvement is often necessary to promote free and open markets.  These antinomies tax the intellect and muddle the debate.  Rise above the din of ideology.

Bumper stickers of the week:

Measure ten times, cut once.

More is more.

On Advice (May 11, 2009)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on May 11, 2009 by

“It all comes down to self-respect and respect for human dignity.”

“You boys must understand and accept two rules.  Never ever under any circumstances or for any reason or provocation hurt a woman, physically or psychologically.  Always defend her if she is threatened even if the defense threatens your life.  Never depart from these rules.”

“Everything in life costs time, money and/or emotion.  Of all the things in this life you pursue, you will expend more time, more money and more emotion on women than you will on anything else.”

“If she is choosing between you and someone else, tell her what you think and how you feel about her.  She decides.  If you don’t make the cut, walk away without a word.”

“If you ever hurt which you will, remember that time is the great tincture.”

“If you say you are going to call, call.  If you do not intend to call, do not say you are going to call.  It’s simple”

“If you can keep your head, you will do fine.”

“Okay, this is not that simple.”

[With a nod to Montaigne’s Essais.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Dad defines the man; Mom defines the person.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

“If”  by Rudyard Kipling.  (Reprinted without permission which will be sought in due course.  One hopes there is understanding.)

Picking the Supreme Beings (May 4, 2009)

Posted in Supreme Court on May 4, 2009 by

Justice Souter is leaving the Supreme Court to pursue loftier pursuits (hiking, reading, apple core eating).  Every Justice on the current Supreme Court served on the federal courts of appeals.  Almost everyone today on the federal courts of appeals who is not on life support keeps an updated catalog of Supreme Court robes and bling-bling in the right hand drawer of his or her desk.  They all have mastered the requisite arrogance and condescension.  The current Supreme Court is myopic, disconnected, ideological and unaware of the challenges confronting ordinary citizens in their daily lives.  What the Court needs today is a real live practicing lawyer and an intellectual.  Those requirements may require two openings.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Equal Justice For Some Under Law