Sep 30, 2008
Sep 29, 2008
Sep 28, 2008
Sep 19, 2008
Sep 16, 2008
Sep 15, 2008
"Once again, many people, unable to repay their debts, are being pursued aggressively by creditors,'' creating a sense of helplessness and betrayal, he says. We may be witnessing what he calls ``the first act of a long and complex tragedy.''
Click the title of this post for the full article. There are links as well to Schiller's book and other relevant topics on this as well at Bloomberg.
On a more positive note, here is why you should not get too worked up.
That's what I've got tonight. Thanks for reading and all that.
Sep 12, 2008
Time for a civics refresher. I got into a little disagreement with the guy in the seat next to me on the flight back from PDX tonight on the topic of whether the U.S. was a Democracy or a Republic.
The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.
A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.
I say we are a Republic - the guy in seat 3C says we are a Democracy.
Portland was fabulous - the weather was unbelievably nice and the visit was great. Nice to get back to PDX and renew old ties and make new ones. The photo is looking east from my hotel room across the Willamette River at the mountain.
I am having second thoughts about the Minneapolis Bike Tour, but I might still ride it. With the weather turning towards fall, I find I really want to spend my time outside birding, but we'll see how things look early Sunday morning.
Nice to be home.
Sep 11, 2008
Also, I apologize for the lousy quality of the photo (that is becoming a theme of this site it seems) but I caught this sticker on another bike parked on Broadway:
Its been a great trip so far; I end up getting a ton of stuff done when I sneak off to another office because most people can't find me and I get fewer interuptions. The weather is fantastic as well, so it's been great so far.
That's it. Back to work.
Sep 10, 2008
I get to spend the next two days in Portland, OR for an office visit. I think it's been nearly a year since I made it to Portland, and I am really looking forward to seeing the city again and visiting with our staff in that office. If time permits, hopefully I will be able to hit one or two of the more interesting bike shops in town (I have friend in PDX to help act as tour guide, but I am open to suggestions on places to go). Hopefully I'll get a photo to post as well.
Sep 7, 2008
Several years ago now, I took flute lessons from a guy in Minneapolis that was a working jazz and big band musician. He played sax, doubled on flute and clarinet, and pounded out a wicked conga as well. I learned quite a lot from him in the time I took lessons, but one of the funnest parts of the experience was the exposure to "jive". This guy actually used jive in every day conversation. I think he picked it up from older jazzers and may not have even realized he was doing it.
Of course, every generation has it's jargon and slang, often used to keep the older folks at arms length, but the Beat Generation came up with some really great slang, particularly when compared to the stuff I am hearing these days. For instance, if you were at a frolic pad (like, say, a jazz club or wine bar) and the guy playing the stand-up bass had on some wild costume, you could simply observe to your friends:
"Check out the wild drape on that cat thumping the dog house"
Here's you chance to get hep to the jive seen. Study this link carefully. Print it out, put it in the bathroom, read it while you eat your corn flakes. Whatever you need to do. Then, once you are confident, slowly starting working these terms into you everyday vocabulary. Start small; call you co-worker "baby" and agree that the meeting was a "drag". They probably won't notice this, but then work in more words and try to string them together into sentences. Pretty soon you'll be hep to the jive and hopefully, your co-workers, friends and family will be, too. Or at least maybe they won't be "Clydes" anymore.
That's it - I'm cutting out, Daddy-O. Don't be square and have a great rest of the weekend!
Sep 5, 2008
So, I got back from ANC a week ago with about 12 hours to unpack, sleep, and re-pack for a trip to the ancestral homeland on the shores of Lake Michigan. What brought this prodigal son back to the verdant lands of youth? Free baseball tickets, what else!!
My brother Johann won GREAT tickets to a Milwaukee Brewers game on Labor Day at a silent auction, and he was good enough to invite Molly and I to see the game [insert smiley icon here]. I have never been to the new ball park in MKE, and I like the Brewers on general principle, so I was glad to go. They played the Mets (meh), they lost, and it was really hot and sunny, but it was a great time. We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the field, saw an old friend from High School, and Miller Park is absolutely beautiful. After seeing that, I am now actually more in favor of replacing the Metro Dome, which seems dim and old compared to Miller Park (my proposal for the Metro Dome is to take the roof off, fill it with dirt and turn it into a gigantic flower pot, by the way). Plus, this trip took me away from MPLS for a few days so I missed at least some of the RNC convention.
We were truly was blessed in so many ways.
Do not fear - I did not miss all of the excitement, however. I did get some of the convention vibe when came back from Anchorage and again this week when I got back from Milwaukee. The airport was literally crawling with Republicans and clean, helpful Minnesotan's waiting to welcome them to town. The Helpful Greeters were literally lined up at the baggage claim area waiting to hand the delegates white snak boxes and help them find a cab or a hooker or whatever. I tried to get one to give me a snak box and help me with my luggage, but they totally had my number and gave me the bum's rush (I must not look like a delegate).
Despite my cold shoulder introduction to the convention, I was not entirely left out. While the convention was in St. Paul, the Conventioneers were all in downtown MPLS this week!! It turns out Republican delegates tend to wander into the streets in groups with little to no regard for traffic or personal safety (much like geese), and then get pissy when you almost run them over. Here's an actual shot of a delegate from the Great State of Maine that I took from the Mighty Tundra at 7th and Marquette on Wednesday to prove my point:
The St. Paul Classic rolls out on Sunday, Sept. 7. This is nice enough route and I rode it last year, but will not be participating this year. Instead, I am saving myself for the Minneapolis Bike Tour which will be next week Sunday. I was going to ride this one last year but ended up in Anchorage instead.
I am entirely avoiding the subject of the Republican convention, Sarah Palin and the protests/arrests because that hits too close to home and work, so I am not touching that one.
That's it for now. Got to get to work.