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Blog

I am voting for Hillary Clinton because of Tim Kaine

Huff PostIt is no secret that neither of the two major party presidential candidates has set any records in voter esteem. Since polling on this issue began they place first and second for highest negatives of any candidate ever at this point in an election cycle. It’s 57% negative for Donald and 52% for Hillary, according to the most recent CNN poll. Continue reading

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Huffington Post: The End of Coal

Huff PostPresidential candidate Hillary Clinton is not an energy expert. She probably has some such person on her campaign staff, but she didn’t need them when she told the unfortunate truth to a West Virginia audience. She said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.“ This occurred at a roundtable forum in March in Kentucky, hosted by CNN. The statement was made in the context of proposing to replace these jobs with renewable energy jobs, and was not made as a policy prescription, more as a statement of fact.

Was she right? What is the future of coal in the US, and more broadly in the world?

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Huffington Post: Welcome Back to “the World,” Vietnam Vet

Huff PostThe Veterans Administration organized a nationwide function on the 29th of March this year. The purpose was to recognize and “welcome home” all Vietnam veterans. It was pretty low-key, but events were being held in 5388 locations around the country. I saw an announcement of it in the local paper. It was to be held in the Scottish Rite Event Center in Mission Valley of San Diego. If you want to be enlightened or possibly confused about just what a Scottish Rite is, have at it. It has something to do with being a Free Mason or possibly a Freemason, and not much of that has to do with masonry, plaster or brick-laying. But never mind all that, the place is a big bland hall used for meetings and perhaps weddings if the church of your choice is full or you’re not a church person. I don’t think you can practice the black arts there, maybe the grey ones.

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Huffington Post: Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Muslim? Part 2

Huff PostPart 1 of this article covered the unanticipated, stupid or maybe just amusing consequences of Donald Trump’s proposed ban on letting Muslims enter the US. Some of these problems can perhaps be corrected, at least over time. But now we move on the really difficult part of administering this “Muslim ban.”

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Huffington Post: Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Muslim? Part 1

Huff PostAmong the parade of unreasonable ideas that Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has put forth is that we should seal our borders and stop granting visas to anyone who is a Muslim. His press release  says that he supports “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

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Huffington Post: The Trip Bernie Sanders, the Socialist, Should Take, Part 2

Huff PostThe word “Cuba” is said to be derived from the Taino language word “cubao” one of whose meanings is “where fertile land is abundant” . And it looks like there’s plenty of fertile land. And yet, we had been told often that Cuba imports 80 percent of its food. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on the harbor in Bacuranao where Hemingway used to dock his boat. After a very good lunch of fish (imported from Venezuela it turned out) and black beans and rice and the local beer called Bucanero (“Pirate”), several of us wandered down for a closer look. Nice harbor, but no boats. Well, maybe one or two small row boats.

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Huffington Post: POTUS Seeking SCOTUS, Must Love Dogs and Legal Analysis

Huff PostThe Supreme Court is important. Washington insiders and journalists refer to it as SCOTUS, which stands for Supreme Court of the US. This importance is clear to anyone who reads the newspapers or the political blogs or listens to the news or watches the news or even just sits around in sweat pants, blandly existing, bothering no one, and doing the crossword puzzle. It is particularly important in the Political World, a semi-mythical place where battles are fought, prizes won and lost and reason hardly ever carries the day. It is clear that there is now a vacancy among the nine justices that make up the Supreme Court and that the inclinations of the eight remaining justices are such that the court is split in half, half being good guys and half being bad guys, and that the choice and confirmation of a ninth justice is a very big deal. And one that outlasts any particular Presidency since these people serve for life. I suspect they can be impeached for bad behavior but I am not even sure of that. Continue reading

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Huffington Post: Advice for Geezer Skiers

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I am part of an informal group of skiing enthusiasts. We meet once a year for four days, all at US venues in the west with challenging terrain for the serious skiers and nice hotels for the less dedicated. We all went to Yale and graduated in 1966, so if you do the math you will find that all of us have long since become eligible for social security, but none of us admit to taking the money. We also eat and drink and brag about our health and our children and our jobs. It used to be the reverse order, which is why I never go to reunions where there’s no physical activity and lots more bragging. But time changes things, and now at these annual gatherings there is, as one classmate beautifully put it, “less show of plumage.” Continue reading

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Too Hot for Huffington Post: Sean Penn—Dead Man Walking, for Real This Time

Huff Post(Author’s Note: This article was published January 28 on Huffington Post but was later inexplicably removed.)

Suppose that you are a ruthless drug lord, even a diminutive one, running a completely illegal billion dollar a year commercial operation that sources drugs in central America, processes them, and then arranges to smuggle them across the border to the apparently infinite US market. Since everything that you do in your business is outside the law, you have to live by a different set of business practices—you have to intimidate, harm or kill people who let you down, who try to compete with you, who violate agreements with you or fail to act as promised. No taking them to civil court and suing for specific performance. No use of the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Continue reading

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Huffington Post: 6 Things Your California Water Utility Should Do Right Now, The Heck with El Niño

Huff PostIt seems a bit strange, I will admit, to sit here writing about water shortages and droughts and rationing while my roof is leaking in two places, into a carefully positioned large blue bucket and a smaller yellow one. And the news is full of forecasts of the coming torrents of rain that El Niño will bring us — not that we’ve seen very much of it yet here in San Diego. Continue reading

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