Donald's Blog

  This old house was only a few blocks from the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. All the neighborhood cats lived in the basement during the winter. The house has long since been torn down, but in 1972 there were AR2ax speakers in the front room, and a lot of good music was heard there.

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In the 21st century I am just as opinionated as ever, and I now have an outlet. I shall pontificate here about anything that catches my fancy; I hope I will not make too great a fool of myself. You may comment yea or nay about anything on the site; I may quote you here, or I may not. Send brickbats etc. to: dcmusicbox@earthlink.net.

 

June 24, 2013

Chanticleer Gardens

Chanticleer Gardens

Recently we spent several hours at Chanticleer Gardens, near Wayne, Pennsylvania, the second time I've been there. You can imagine how many gardens I've seen in the last 30 years with Ethne, world's foremost authority; Chanticleer is now my second favorite garden, after La Foce in Tuscany. Here's a picture of Ethne taking a picture.

 

June 24, 2013

The IRS scandal is awesome, like a hot dog

At the weekend, for the third week in a row, Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal spent her 30-or-so column inches on the IRS "scandal". On the opposite page a reader summed up the whole thing in one short letter.
      Daniel Henninger had earlier offered "a partial list of political groups" who were allegedly subjected to targeting by the IRS. "Their purpose was to do politics. For that, their government hit them hard." Howard T. Anderson of Chevy Chase responded as follows:

No wonder people from around the world continue to flock to this country for refuge from government tyranny. In some places, when a government "hits you hard" you wind up dead, wounded or imprisoned. Here, apparently, it qualifies as government oppression when federal employees question whether groups whose "purpose was to do politics" qualify for tax exemptions under a law requiring that they be "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."

 

June 24, 2013

More Chanticleer

More Chanticleer

I don't know what this is; I just thought it was beautiful, and there are acres of beautiful stuff at Chanticleer.

 

June 24, 2013

Seven score and ten years ago

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle was in July; two people spoke at the ceremony dedicating the new national cemetery in November. Edward Everett had been president of Harvard University, a member of the House of Representatives, a United States Senator, governor of Massachusetts, U.S. Secretary of State, minister to Great Britain; and he was famous for his oratory. He spoke for two hours. Next came Abraham Lincoln, who spoke so briefly that by the time the crowd started to listen he was finished.
      The next day Everett wrote to Lincoln: "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."
      That's what I call class.

 

June 24, 2013

In debt we trust

An article about central banks asks if financial markets have become a giant crack house. A strap line says that "From 1980 to 2010, overall U.S. debt grew as fast as GDP. From 1950 to 1980, it was a small fraction of growth." I have been fond of saying that if the economy was roaring along as we would wish, nobody would be worrying about the debt; but maybe things are just a little out of hand.
      Doesn't the economy seem to run on retail and fast food? It depends on people buying stuff, and where does the money come from? Where are the decent jobs? Do any of these fat cats and investors and traders have any ideas? Do they invent anything, invest in anything, build anything?
      I do not believe that with today's technology the USA could not manufacture its own TV sets. It is not the people looking for work who lack initiative; it is the people who ought to be employing them. And we are not even training enough engineers: some of the best ones we train are foreigners, and when they are trained we kick them out. We are probably forgetting how to manufacture anything.
      Get ready to sell apples or pencils on a streetcorner.