Friday, July 30, 2010


It's not the geese. I have no problem with them. It's people who need a little advice, specifically, people who brake for geese.

I was stuck once more in horrible traffic. It was a long, long, line. All of us backed up behind some misguided soul who stopped for a flock of geese. I know she meant well. I can't take it any more, though. I have to put this out there. I have to get the word out.


Really, don't do it. Unlike squirrels, opossum, skunks, and other critters, geese seem to have some sense around cars. How often do you see a dead goose in the middle of the road? You don't see that much, right?


Here's what you do: when geese swarm the road, you slow down, but keep driving. The geese will get out of the way. Then, both humans and geese can proceed. Got it?

Geese understand moving cars. Hmmm, here comes this big thing that might run over me. I think I'll get out of here. And they do. A stopped car, however, just confuses them. A stopped car poses no threat, so they ignore it. They don't know you're trying to go somewhere. They don't know you're late. And even if they did, what good would that do?

So, if you're one of those misguided souls, now you know: DON'T STOP FOR GEESE! Just slow down. You hear all that honking and yelling behind you? We're not mad at the geese. We're mad at you.

Just so you know.

Very Truly Yours,



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

45 Minutes

If you don't have a free 45 minutes, maybe you should come back when you do. I'll let you be the judge of that. Give this post 45 minutes and it just might change the way you look at the world. Really.

My father is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. Ask him a question on almost any subject and you're almost guaranteed a thoughtful, well-informed answer. Or perhaps a push in the right direction. One day, a long time ago, I asked him how it was possible for Wall Street to send the whole country into a depression. He told me to read The Paper Economy, by David Bazelon. I did. It was worth it. It answered my question.

I'd recommend the book to anyone. It's still well worth reading. I've wanted to post on this subject for some time, but it's difficult. Where to begin? What to include? How to approach it without writing a book of my own? I finally found an answer. I won't write about it at all. I'll link to someone who has done a better, more concise, more entertaining job than I ever could.

Here's the central question: what is money? The answer may surprise you. Watch Paul Grignon's Money As Debt and find out. You can find it in five parts on youtube:

Or you can watch the entire video here.

This presentation is not Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Socialist. It's the truth. This is how things are. This is how things work. If your blood isn't boiling by the end, you weren't paying attention.

Or you're a banker.

This is why it makes little difference who is in the White House or who "controls" the Congress. Both parties are bought and paid for by those who like things just the way they are, thank you. Elections happen to give you the illusion you have a choice.

You don't.

Go ahead. Vote the bums out. See if anything really changes. The only solution begins with mandatory publicly financed elections. Until you or I can run for office, this is what we are going to get. Watch the video. It could be 45 of the best-spent minutes of your life. You won't see this on FOX or MSNBC. I wonder why?

The truth is a dangerous thing.

Very Truly Yours,



Thursday, July 15, 2010


Spam with cans.jpeg
The only SPAM I like.

To All Of You Who Write To Me:

You have probably heard by now that I am in Spain and desperately need money.

I ain't.

No, I'm still right here in Providence. And, though some extra cash would be nice, I didn't ask you to wire me any. Not to Spain, or Nigeria, or anywhere else. But you probably knew that.

Nope. My email has been hacked good and I'm currently locked out and trying to get it back. So don't send money. Or waste time sending your lovely letters for now, as they'll only go to a spammer who won't appreciate them. May he rot in hell forever.

I'll let you all know if I get my account back. And maybe keep an eye on your junk mail in case I have to start over with a new email. Ugh.

I knew I had a problem when I tried to log in and was asked my "secret question"... what is your mother's birthplace? Whatever question I chose way back when I opened the account, I know it wasn't that. I have no idea where my mother was born. I never gave that any thought. Maybe I'll ask her.

So that's the deal for now. Sorry, and thanks.

Spammers: may they rot in hell forever.

Respectfully Yours,


Friday, July 2, 2010

Mother Country

Complete Phoenix Concerts

If you don't own this, you should.

I was tempted to stop there, but I won't. This will be the soundtrack for my weekend. The Phoenix Concerts is arguably the best album by one of America's most underrated songwriters, the late John Stewart. You may remember him from the second version of the Kingston Trio, or for his 1979 radio hit, Gold. Trivia buffs may recall him as the composer of Daydream Believer. There's nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to hear John at his best, get this. In fact, unless you have a thing for CD packaging, why not go here and download it now? If there's a better soundtrack for the Fourth of July weekend, I can't think of it. This is music that celebrates America: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The real, unvarnished America: "just a lot of people who were doin' the best they could."

There's a ghost in all his songs: the ghost of the America that once was. The songs invite us to reflect on where we've been and where we are going. Who will we become?

In Valley Forge long ago
A nation born in snow
To make it ours we carved their names in stone
And if that is all we own
Old memories in stone
Don't you think it's time that we made some of our own?

Roll away, roll away, roll away the stone
People of America, roll away the stone

Oh we build 'em high and we build 'em wide
'til there's no place left to hide
From the motels and the coffee shops and the flashing neon signs
Are we cursed, are we blind?
Have we all lost our minds?
The cities made of stone, is that all we'll leave behind?

There are ghosts in his songs, but they sing of more than nostalgia. They are the ghosts of the New Frontier that still hope for things to come. There's no bunting here, yet the ghosts still sing "Mother Country, I do love you." If there's a better soundtrack for the Fourth of July, I can't think of it. Just buy the album and crank it up. You'll understand.

I've been blessed this year with bright, blue skies for the Fourth. I'll spend it with number-one son eating rare cheeseburgers and hot dogs burned black, washed down with plenty of cold (root) beer. We'll eat sweet corn and watermelon, play in the sprinkler and stay up for the fireworks. And listen to John Stewart. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be. I've been blessed this year.

Hope you are too.

Respectfully Yours,