Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why people don't save?

The inflation rate for Feb 2013 in the U.S. was 2.0 percent according to Bureau of Labor Statistics reported by  That is the annual rate projected from the inflation for a given month.

I just got my first quarter savings account statement.  The interest rate was 0.1 percent.

In other words, by putting my money in a local bank savings account, I am throwing some of it away.  If my account balance was $100 on January 1, then I would gain ten cents in interest but lose two dollars in purchase value by December 31!

Gosh, I remember when I had a savings and loan account in the late seventies, the interest rate was five percent "by law".  If you want to make more sense of "by law", see  However, even that interest rate didn't cover the inflation rate, which varied from six to fifteen percent from 1977 through 1980.

That was a period of win some, lose some.  When inflation was "low", the net loss was "only" a dollar per year.  When inflation was high, the net loss was a whopping ten dollars a year.

Your homework is to find some period when savings accounts were a "win" for savings.  You might have to dig to get savings account interest rate beyond the last few years.

The only advantage that I see to a bank savings account is being able to walk in the door and withdraw a sum of money for some purchase.  It beats borrowing for that purchase.  And by paying by check or cash, you're depriving the credit card companies of their rake-offs.

Billionaire Duluth Native Buys Northland Reader

The following was my first April Fool submission to the Weekly Reader, then called the Northland Reader.  It is one that has been read several times on my web site; as of this posting it comes up second in a Google search of "duluth" and "billionaire".

Billionaire Duluth Native Buys Northland Reader
Melvyn D. Magree
Originally published in
Northland Reader
now called
March 30, 2000
May 22, 2007 and March 31, 2013

Silicon Valley billionaire and Duluth native Nessuno Jarnowski Ingenvik announced today that he is buying the Northland Reader for an undisclosed price.  Mr. Ingenvik said that he is doing it because he would like to return to his roots, he would like to pay back Duluth for his upbringing, and he thinks the Northland Reader deserves a better fate than lining his mother’s parakeet’s cage.

Mr. Ingenvik made his fortune selling taconite pellets on the worldwide web.  He discovered that taconite pellets in the ears were an excellent hangover remedy.  One night after a bout of drinking grappa, vodka, and akvavit, some friends stuck the pellets in his ears as a prank.  Mr. Ingenvik woke up the next morning without his usual headache.  In fact, his head was so clear that in less than an hour he was able to draft a complete business plan for selling the pellets over the web.

One of Mr. Ingenvik’s first actions will be to move the offices of the Northland Reader from its cramped quarters in Canal Park to the penthouse of the Technology Village.  Mr. Ingenvik said that the move to the Technology Village will provide the synergy needed to expand the Northland Reader into an electronic media leader.  Furthermore, all the young interns will provide flashier, more iconoclastic content at far less cost than the current writers.

Mr. Ingenvik plans to create a web version of the Northland Reader by late spring.  He said that a cutting edge publication like the Northland Reader should have been using cutting edge technology long ago.

Publisher Robert Boone remembers Signore Nessuno when they were teammates on the East hockey team.  He said that Nessuno was known as the Ice Italian because he was so cool under pressure.  When he was asked about his future plans, Boone said he would think about them from his chalet in Switzerland.

Editor Richard Thomas remembers Pan Jarnowski when they were team mates on the Denfeld basketball team.  He said that Jarnowski was known as the Pouncing Pole because he would often grab the ball out of an opponent’s hands.  When he was asked about his future plans, Thomas said he would think about them from his condo at Waikiki.

Columnist Duke Skorich remembers Herr Ingenvik when they were team mates on the Central wrestling team.  He said that Ingenvik was known as the Slippery Swede because he was able to get out of some very difficult holds.  However, Skorich said those fond memories will never get him to move to the Technology Village even if they offered free brats and beer for lunch.

Columnist Mel Magree groused, “I guess I’m done here.  Nobody in Silicon Valley wants programmers over forty years old.”

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quote of the day - gun control and control of Congress

"However, the issue is no more how gun-control legislation will curb gun violence. The real concerns are whether the American legislative system is too crippled to take an action and whether vested interests of powerful lobbies can indefinitely hold hostage the legitimate expectations of the American people."
- M. Imran Hayee, "Lawmakers must rise above politics and craft sensible gun-control laws",
Duluth News Tribune, 2013-03-29.

When I accessed the article for its web address, I noticed at the top an ad:

"Gun control? Vote Here Now!"

I decided to at least check the ad out.  It is provided by Newsmax.  The title is "Gun Control Laws from Obama? Vote Now in Urgent Poll." The questions are rather balanced, although the one on the Second Amendment uses wording not in the Second Amendment.  Newsmax says it shares its results with a list of major news outlets.

To have your responses counted, you must provide your email address and ZIP Code.  I really don't care for polls, requiring my email address made not taking the poll even easier.

I wonder if a similar ad was posted by Google AdSense on this entry.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Freedom of religion means freedom of others to believe differently

Many are complaining that this or that law is impinging on their freedom of religion.  However, some of these same people believe they have a right to impose their religious views on others through law.

Those who wish to impose their views on law seem to forget a tenet of Protestantism - the right to interpret the Bible for yourself, not just take on faith what the church tells you.  So, why is one Protestant church telling another Protestant church how to interpret the Bible?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nanny state or bully state

Have you noticed that many who complain about the U.S. becoming a nanny state seem to want the U.S. to be a bully state?

They complain about seat belt and helmet laws, want to do away with food safety regulations, and feel their rights have been trampled when they are stopped for a traffic violation.

On the other hand, some of these same people want every one to support any war the U.S. engages in, including having others do the actual fighting; they support the death penalty without any consideration of the fairness of the trial; and they want long prison terms for those who do things they don't like.

Quotes of the day - security, law, and liberty

“One is that certainty is the enemy of decency and humanity in people who are sure they are right, like Osama bin Laden and (then-Attorney General) John Ashcroft.”

“And secondly that for this country at least, given the kind of obstreperous, populous, diverse country we are, law is the absolute essential. And when governments short-cut the law, it’s extremely dangerous.”

Anthony Lewis, former New York Times columnist, Associated Press Obituary, Duluth News Tribune 2013-03-26

Similar thoughts include:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

"He that would live in peace and at ease, Must not speak all he know, nor judge all he sees."

Attributed to or written by Benjamin Franklin,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Locker room banter

Two guys were chatting in a locker room.  One said to the other, "Your fly is open."  The second responded, "I'm advertising."  I interjected with, "This is the wrong place to advertise."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quote of the Day: "Everyone knows"

"If you hear that 'everyone' supports a policy, whether it’s a war of choice or fiscal austerity, you should ask whether 'everyone' has been defined to exclude anyone expressing a different opinion."

- Paul Krugman, "Marches of folly", New York Times, 2013-03-17

Pulltab predictions, mining, public interest, and bought politicians

I've been busy with submissions today.

The Star Tribune had an article today on the grossly overestimated projections for revenue from electronic pull-tabs.  See "Gambling firms drove flawed Minnesota e-pulltab funding plan", Jean Hopsensperger, Star Tribune, 2013-03-24.

I wrote a letter to the editor with the Adam Smith quote warning about laws and regulations being submitted by business people.

The Reader Weekly had a feature article by Jim Lundstrom, Scene Newspaper, about the opposition to the rushed, loose legislation in favor of a not-well-known company to mine in the Penokee Mountains in northern Wisconsin.  The opposition states that the proposed mining will be an environmental disaster that will make the area unlivable.  In response, I submitted "The Invisible Adam Smith" that I published last October.  Because the Reader Weekly republishes articles from several sources, they might republish this.  Besides, Bob Boone, the publisher and editor, occasionally asks me about writing something.

Gov. Scott Walker's desk sign, "Open for Business" was a clear warning of what was to come.  This was a clear statement in favor of those "who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public…"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shale Oil - Bad then, good now?

When I read "U.S. Energy Independence Could Be Here Before We Know It", Tim Sprinkle, The Exchange, Yahoo! Finance, 2013-03-20, I thought of Jimmy Carter being slammed for his efforts to promote shale oil.  I did a search on "Jimmy Carter" and "shale oil" and found "The Great Shale Oil Swindle, What Happens When the Boom Goes Bust", Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, 2013-03-18.

His points are that companies are overstating the amount of oil and gas available, shale and oil production drops quickly, the "glut" of oil is depressing prices, and global oil demand may be dropping.  Adam Smith warned of capitalists deceiving the public; often they deceive themselves!

His sources include some credible newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times of London!!

Jimmy Carter was lambasted for looking at shale oil and now Republicans think we have energy dependence because of shale oil.

"Well, the truth is, no one in America did more for oil shale development and other alternative fuels development than Jimmy Carter and his Synfuels initiaitives. If you want some of the history, and why Carter's investment and tax incentive strategy failed, read here.  Basically, Reagan gutted energy research Carter started, including how to economically convert shale into oil. When the Iranian crisis ended and Saudis flooded the market with cheap oil, Exxon shut down its $5 billion Colony Oil Shale project in western Colorado, and the industry lost interest in oil shale. "
- Oil Shale and the ANWR: Stretching the truth, Charlie Quimby, "Across the Great Divide", 2008-07.

How often does politics boil down to "If we think of it, it is a good idea; if you think of it, it is a bad idea."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who elected "The Leader of the Free World"?

Americans claim to believe in freedom and democracy.

Many Americans claim that the President of the United States is the Leader of the Free World.

When was an election held for the Leader of the Free World?  I certainly didn't see any results in the newspapers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Who's in charge? Government, Corporations, or We the People

According to Steve Bhaerman, aka Swami Beyondananda, We the People have let government and corporations take control, just like a bad dog can control a family.  Like Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, believes there are not "bad dogs" but owners who are not good pack leaders, Bhaerman believes that we must become government whisperers, taking charge of government and corporations.  These entities are the tools of We the People, We the People are not the tools of government and corporations.

Cancer, diet, exercise, and hoaxes

A relative posted an article on Facebook supposedly from Johns Hopkins saying that diet is better than chemotherapy and surgery for countering cancer.  I do believe that diet and exercise are important parts of preventing cancer or recovering from it, but this sounded "too good to be true".

Sure enough, a search for "Johns Hopkins", cancer, diet, and radiation turned up "Cancer Update Email -- It's a Hoax" from The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of Johns Hopkins Medicine rebutting much of what it was in the email.

Emails such as this are a cancer themselves.  The Johns Hopkins article was last updated April 2009!! But the cancer of false information lives on.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unlimited with restrictions: corporate doublespeak

Ad on Facebook:

Want to be Unlimited
Switch to Sprint for unlimited data, text and more.  Restrictions apply.

Duh!  If there are restrictions then the service cannot be unlimited!

I have Virgin Mobile on my iPhone, which uses Sprint towers.  True, I don't worry about how many phone calls I make, how many people send me unsolicited texts, and how often I am online.  In fact, accessing the web with the iPhone through a tower beats using sporadic wi-fi hotspots.

On the other hand, Sprint has dead spots where one wouldn't expect them, like on I-35 at mile 175 between Duluth and the Twin Cities.  That is a restriction and a limitation.

Cartoon of the day: elections and ID

See "Clarifying Recent Changes to Our Electoral System", Matt Wuerker, Politico, May 2012, reposted by The Coffee Party on Facebook, 2013-03-16.  Wuerker points out the inconsistencies for photo ID on voting in an election and buying an election.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quote of the day: entitlements

"Indeed we do have an entitlement problem; some feel so entitled to power & wealth that they're willing to undermine our economy and our democracy."
- Annabel Park, founder of the Coffee Party

Click here for original.

Let's see!  Is the CEO of U.S. Bancorp entitled to $9,311,164 for 2012 compensation?  Or did he earn it?  Who decided this?  Did the shareholders or the self-selected board of U.S. Bancorp?  If Richard Davis earned it, did he do it with his own "hard work" or did thousands of employees contribute to the success of U.S. Bancorp and earned far less than one-hundredth of what he received.  If the latter, did they receive a bonus for their hard work?  Now these are the people who are entitled to better pay.

See "CEO pay watch: U.S. Bancorp's Richard Davis", Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, 2013-03-13

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Insecure corporations

Ring! Ring!


This is XYZ Corporation.  Would you like to take a survey about your recent experience with us?

No, thank you! Click!

Bing!  You have email!

Please take a moment to answer a few questions about your recent visit to our site.


Do you have enough fingers to count the surveys you've been asked to take in the last month?  Maybe even the last week?

Your car repair garage wants to know what you thought after you had an oil change.  If you are regular customer, isn't that enough?

After you report a problem to Netflix, the truly friendly folks want you to hang on for a brief survey.  After you told them how helpful and friendly they were!

You visit a doctor for a preliminary visit before some minor surgery.  The clinic calls you to ask if you would take a brief survey about your visit.  Can't the clinic wait until after the post-op visit?  Even then, I'll tell the doctor whether I was pleased or not.

The big, bureaucratic insurance company I've been using for several years mailed me a survey about its service.  I just answered everything in the middle and sent it back.

It seems like the large corporations measure everything and know the value of nothing.

Quote of the day: Sex education

"There is a pawnish settlement in the south in which they do not teach their children anything of sex.  It is kept a great mystery.  The belief of this sect is that this ignorance will keep their children from harm.  As a result, they value virginity highly and it is virtually unknown among them."
- The True Game, Sheri S. Tepper

Pawns are those used by the big players in the Game.

I wonder if Tepper had some real-life places in mind when writing this.  Most of us are certainly pawns of many in Washington and on corporate boards.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Use and misuse of words: theory and hypothesis

"'I am taking what you have told me, and what is in this book, and what I have seen and heard, and making an imagining from them.'

"'A hypothesis,' I said, 'That is what Windlow called it.  A hypothesis; an imagining which might be true.'" - "The True Game: Wizard's Eleven", Sheri S. Tepper

How often have you heard an idea is "only a theory", for example, evolution?  Often others retort that gravity is only a theory, but don't walk off a cliff.

All of us should learn to use each word in its proper context.  A hypothesis is an idea that has some basis in facts, but not enough facts are known yet.  A theory is an idea that has a preponderance of facts to substantiate it.  The "four corners of the earth" was a hypothesis based on limited geographical knowledge.  A round earth is a theory based on so much evidence that few of us question whether the earth is round or not.

How many of us are going to use "hypothesis" instead of "theory"?  My hypothesis is that few of us, including me, are going to use these words properly.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quotes of the day – governance

"That philosophy, simply put, holds that government is necessary and can be a powerful influence in making and creating a healthy social, economic and political climate." – "Opposing view: Reinert betrays values of the left", Will Munger DNT 2013-03-11

Will, a friend of mine, wrote this in response to "Other view: Minnesota at best when colored purple" about the "Purple Caucus", an attempt by Democratic State Senator Roger Reinert, Republican State State Senator Jeremy Miller, and others to work together to get something done for the benefit of the state.

I think Will is missing the point that the Purple Caucus was formed so that government works instead of having ideological purists demand the other see things their way.

The other quote is how polarization isn't addressing what most people want.

"Most of the country, it turns out, fits the mold of moderately conservative, a place from which careful, thoughtful change comes in a logical, rational, fact-based package that remains remarkably free of sound-bite-driven hyperbole." – Michael Charney, "Unconventional Wisdom: Barbara Olschner's 'The Reluctant Republican'".

Charney, a Coffee Party conservative, wrote the above in his article on Barbara Olschner's unsuccessful attempt to get the Republican nomination for Florida's 2nd District.  She came in fifth trying to be reasonable.  She wrote "The Reluctant Republican: My Fight for the Moderate Majority" about her experience.

My question to the Purple Caucus, Charney, Olschner, and others, when will this "moderate majority" show up at election time?

Monday, March 11, 2013

If corporations are people, tax them like people

When I lived in Europe, as a U.S. citizen I had to file and pay U.S. income taxes.  I received credit for any foreign taxes I paid.  If I paid more foreign taxes than I would have paid for the same salary in the U.S., Univac reimbursed me for the difference.  Of course, that reimbursement was also taxable in the U.S.

I think this still holds.

However, a U.S. company doesn't pay any taxes on its foreign earnings unless it brings the money back to the U.S.

If a corporation is a person, then it should pay taxes like a person.  If a corporation is not a person, then it should not be able to indulge in "political speech".

But if this leads to justification for not paying taxes, then consider that the corporation uses a lot of infra-structure paid for by taxes.  Should not a corporation pay for the roads that it depends on for moving goods and people?  Should not a corporation pay for the court system that it uses to sue others: corporations and people?  Should not a corporation pay for the military that protects its interests around the world?

Is this effort to avoid corporate taxes another instance of the deception and oppression of the public that Adam Smith warned about?  See "The Invisible Adam Smith".

Friday, March 08, 2013

Quote of the day: History and Religion

"I tell you, lad, that men will believe if one says, 'The Gods say…'  They will believe if one says, 'I had a vision…'  They will believe if one says, 'It was told me on a tablet of hidden gold…'  But if one says, 'History teaches,' then they will not believe."

"The True Game: King's Blood Four", Sheri S. Tepper

And men do not believe what their historical heroes say if it does not fit their own notions.  The Revolutionary General, George Washington, warned of "overbearing military" but men want the biggest military in the world.  Adam Smith wrote of the importance of labor but men want to only believe about his "invisible hand".  Abraham Lincoln spoke of "government of the people, by the people, for the people" but men only want to believe in "government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations".

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Admission of the day - I goofed

Somehow I didn't put in the first line of yesterday's quote of the day, that is, the quote of the day.  I updated the entry with

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." – Stanislas Jerzy Lec

I admit responsibility and have corrected the original entry.  My apologies to the five people who read it before I made the correction.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Quote of the day – responsibility

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." - Stanislas Jerzy Lec

This was a quote used by Dr. Anita Nowak of McGill University in her keynote address at the program "Cultivating Compassion, Empathy, Leadership, and Social Change" at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, today.  Her speech was entitled "Empathic Action Rocks: Join the Movement That Can Change Your Life and Change the World.”

It was the only note I took because I couldn't keep up with her presentation and take notes, too.  I wanted to double check it before posting, but in doing so, I found the same thought a couple of centuries earlier.

"Aucun flocon de neige ne se sent responsable de l'avalanche." - Voltaire
"No snowflake feels responsible for the avalanche."

I think Nowak's point was that we should feel empathy for those who have problems whether we contributed to those problems or not.  And empathy is beyond sympathy; it is doing something to help solve another's problem.

Putting the quote another way, no one person taking water from a well will feel responsible for the well running dry.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A cap on exec pay!

Shareholders to have say in exec pay.  See "Swiss Voters Move to Restrict Pay of Executives", Raphael Minder, New York Times, 2013-03-04.

Hm!  Arguments have been that the responsibility of corporate management is to give value to shareholders and all else is unnecessary, including shareholders having a competitive list of directors to choose from.

Then why do so many executives take value out of the company without shareholders' approval.

Will the Swiss vote be an exception to shareholder apathy or the start of an economic revolution?

Spousal banter

My wife and I often follow certain traditional marital roles.  She does most of the cooking and cleaning, and I do most of the "heavy" lifting like lawn mowing and snow shoveling.

But not always.  Sometimes I cook and sometimes she shovels snow and often we help one another.

This evening while she was preparing dinner I ground coffee for after dinner.  When we were done eating, she said, "You may take the dishes to the kitchen, and you may bring the coffee to the living room."  I replied, "What?  I'm the lord of the manor and you're supposed to do what I say."  She went to the living room.  Oops!  The coffee is ready and I'd better go get it.

We've been friends, lovers, companions, combatants, and many other relationships for over fifty years.  Many times one decides to do something outside the house without much thought of the other's plans.  Many times we co-operate on planning an activity of a moment or for years.  Our vows did not include "obey".

What has sustained us in the give and take of daily life is knowing that the other is there "in sickness and health."

Your chance to comment on the Irregular Blog

I have chosen not to permit comments on this blog, but I learned that Google does have a survey form.  If you would like to fill out the survey, click here.

Thanks for your participation.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

An expected by-product of rigid thinking

When I wrote "Quote of the day - Separation of church and state" I thought about how many groups with rigid thinking believe those who believe differently also have rigid thinking.  All the foo-foos, who have very strict ideas about being a real foo-foo, believe that all the oof-oofs have rigid thinking, even though the oof-oofs have a wide range of beliefs.

Some of the Lake Superior Freethinkers are what I call evangelical atheists and are ready to knock any church dogma with sweeping generalizations.  Many church dogmatists are ready to knock Freethinkers and atheists with sweeping generalizations.  The truth is that many church members and many Freethinkers have a more generous view of those with different views.

Quote of the day - Separation of church and state

The following quote was included by George Erickson in the Lake Superior Freethinkers Newsletter for March 2013.  I found a more complete extract by a Google search.

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and private schools entirely supported by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate."
- President Ulysses S. Grant, Des Moines, Iowa, 1876
From "Ulysses S. Grant: the Separation of Church and School", Encyclopedia Britannica Profiles: The American Presidency

The rest of the speech in the article is worth reading.  In some parts he sounds like modern Republicans, but in other parts he is far removed from what modern Republicans practice.

Wrong person, wrong street, but right broadcast

After I posted "Remember where you were when you heard…" I started thinking about the Wikipedia entry on Lillian Hellman.  The broadcast about the famous person's death mentioned her sister, but the Wikipedia entry on Lillian Hellman didn't mention a sister.  Then I realized I was thinking about Lillian Gish.  Then I started to rethink my location when I heard the broadcast.  The Crystal Post Office was not on 42nd Street but Bass Lake Road east of Broadway.

But my short-term memory is failing me more and more.  This morning I could think of the first names of a couple we sat with at a church dinner last night but I couldn't remember their last name.  And we've known them for years.  I won't go into the details, but a mundane set of unrelated observations set up the link in my head to their last names.

Coleen Rowley, Iraq War, and good quotes

I sent a note to Coleen Rowley about her op-ed column "Ten Years After Iraq" in today's Star Tribune.  I included a couple of the relevant quotes from Washington's "Farewell Address.  I also went to one of her web pages that included several relevant quotes.  Note that some of them are from well-known Republicans or conservatives like Theodore Roosevelt and Margaret Chase Smith.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Quote of the day: Republicans and Domestic Violence

Somehow I missed including this quote from Timothy Egan's "Science and Sensibility" in "Duh idea of the day - fair trial".

"Their position, in the apt phrase of the writer Melissa McEwan, is to 'protect the sanctity of traditional domestic violence.'”

An efficient private-public co-operation

I've written before about how well NetFlix and the Postal Service work together.  A couple of weeks ago I had a real surprise on how efficient that co-operation can be.

We returned a Netflix DVD on a Saturday morning.  On the following Monday, President's Day, a federal holiday, we received an email from NetFlix that we would receive the next DVD "on or about" Wednesday.  We received it on Tuesday!

I post these because I am tired of anti-government types who take a few incidents and blow them up to regular occurrences.  Any large organization makes many mistakes; consider my complaints about Apple and its many unsolved problems.  That doesn't mean that an organization that makes mistakes doesn't do a lot of other things well.  I've done a lot of useful things with my Apple products.  I just won't be in a rush to get the latest major upgrade of any of its software.  I'll wait until I have to buy a new device with the software installed.

BTW, DVDs by mail beat streaming.  Many call postal mail "snail mail".  Try streaming a movie any evening with a moderate speed connection.  A snail keeps moving.  A streaming movie can stop without warning.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Duh idea of the day – fair trial

"Oh, but bringing these brutes to justice in the jurisdictions where they commit their crimes would be unconstitutional, says Representative Eric Cantor, the House Majority leader. A jury of Indians, well — they’re incapable of giving a white man a fair trial. Such was the view expressed by Senator Charles Grassley, the mumble-voiced Iowa senator known for his 19th-century insight."
"Science and Sensibility", Timothy Egan, NYT, 2013-03-01.

Although Abraham Lincoln let stand some death sentences for the Sioux Uprising, he also commuted many more because he didn't think the evidence merited the conviction.  Could it be that these pardoned red men did not get a fair trial by white juries?  Can we be sure that those hung got fair trials?

In other words, according to Cantor and Grassley, it's OK for white men to rape red women, but not OK for red men or black men to get a fair trial for being accused of raping white women.

Remember where you were when you heard…

Tonight we watched "Julia" with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, a tight, engrossing movie about Lillian Hellman and her friend Julia.  I won't get into the veracity of the story, but I would like to mention my own personal incident concerning Lillian Hellman.  At the conclusion of the movie, I remembered where I was when I heard that she had died!

In the summer of 1984 I was driving on 42nd St. in Crystal, Minnesota when I heard a tribute to her on Minnesota Public Radio.  I was a block west of the Post Office.

I also remember where I was when I heard Jack Kennedy was shot, Walt Disney died, Marshall Dodge the Maine storyteller died, about 9/11, and 54 million shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange the day before.

BTW, what is your name again?