Mac and Jack: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands

I’m just back at the mud hut after a too-short trip to the big island of Hawaii, where I visited a former student from the University of Arizona honors program. James was visiting Zimbabwe when the economy there headed south in a hurry, as I described here and here. We discussed his interest in ramping …

The agenda revisited

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. (Arthur Schopenhauer, one of my philosophical heroes) ______________________ Based on recent comments in this space, and also in my email in-box, I am compelled to provide an updated overview of my proposed agenda …

The power of television in Asphaltistan

I’m just back from a quick vacation in the vicinity of Morro Bay, California. Most importantly and enjoyably, I communed with sea otters, pelicans, herons, and egrets while kayaking on the calm waters of the bay. But I also spent a little time reading and writing, and I watched more television than I’ve seen in …

Teetering

The industrial economy, that is. On the brink, yet again. The real economy — not the born-again exuberance in the world’s stock markets — is stalling as the effects of easy money wear off. Indeed, investor fund flows haven’t been this bad since Lehmann Brothers collapsed in the autumn of 2008. The IMF says risks …

Dispatches from Central Absurdistan

1. In yet another reason to keep those shows on the air, reality TV breeds new body ideals. 2. It’ll take a lot of rats to clothe plus-size models in the latest fashion accessory. 3. Encouraging us to keep the weight on, the American Heart Association endorses Nintendo’s Wii. Please put aside your shovel and …

We didn’t start the fire

Actually, to counter singer/songwriter Billy Joel, we did start this FIRE. Not you and me, of course, but our culture. The U.S. industrial economy is all about Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. The FIRE is about to run its course, extinguished by the absence of fuel in each of those interconnected sectors. The financial sector …

Three Chinese Curses

May you live in interesting times. Mission accomplished. I’m there, as we all are. As we always have been, during two million years of the human experience. May you attract the attention of the government. I’m there, as I have been for years. To remove all doubt, about five years ago I placed a call …