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Blog Posts

The first letter in

the July 9 Times begins, sadly, …..”.Bret Stephens...starts off promisingly…...He cites…... Kenneth Arrow about how insurance discourages people from shopping around”

Why “Sadly” ?

Because this  demonstrates that  Stephens - the relatively  new  Times opeder  recruit, presumably intended   to bolster its insufficiently conservative bull pen-  got away with a shoddy journalistic trick.   

The second worst failure in

Bret Stephens' Saturday Times Oped was his * falsely reporting the supposed  content of this  reference 

"Kenneth  Arrow crisply described  the biggest insanity (Stephens ' word, not Arrow's) back in December 1963 "Insurance " he wrote "removes the incentive on the part of individuals, patients, and physicians to shop around for better prices for hospitalization and surgical care."  

Arrow himself would  not have categorized  this as the" biggest insanity" in health care since he went on to state that 

"When I use a word "

 Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

As we were coming

back from the library ,across the icy Ft. Dix parade ground , I asked J why he wasn´t going to officer candidate school. I was.And he seemed to me  far more qualified. I´d had a good enough education at a college no one had ever heard of then or since..He´d been a star at Oberlin.  And by any standards he was a commanding  personality. I mostly sat on the floor by my bunk reading. At that point  ¨The God that failed¨ which J had in fact loaned me.

He answered. ¨I don´t know whether I can handle combat and if I fail I don´t want to be responsible for anyone other than me.¨

What do the numbers tell us?

During the period  Orion and artappraiser discuss in their interesting   adjacent blogs something else happened.

US Unemployment %

Feb 2008    4.9

Feb 2009    8.3

Oct 2009   10.0 

Feb 2012    8.3

Feb  2015  5.5

Some unemployment level is pretty much painless. ¨Frictional¨ . People who´ve just left one job and are quite happy to take a break.

Statisticians know the number,I don´t.    But let´s say it´s at @3%.  So the swing in ¨involuntary¨ unemployment was from

1.9% in Feb 08 to

¨He´s a good guy¨

The President to the Director

¨I hope you  can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go..He

Is a good  guy¨

Take but degree ( the law*) away, untune that string  ,

and hark  what discord follows! Each thing meets

In mere oppugnancy . The bounded waters

Should lift  their bosoms higher than the shores,

And make a sop of all this solid globe.

Hating 62 million people

is not just wrong , but also could  be how  we ´ll  blow it . The way we  lose the next election.

The initial clause is  the most important one . The reason to do the right thing is , it´s the right thing.  But... it is nice to win. And immensely important to  those who will be desperately damaged while this nonsense continues.

Get ready for President Pence

Well I 'll start it.

5 30 pm today was the start of Trump´s ceasing to be President.

Theoretically if a powerful enough group of Republican Grandees got to him this could still be cut  off at the pass.

But that would have had to happen before 5 30 and it didn´t. No rational politician /human being would have issued this afternoon´s statement that the head of the FBI had to be fired because his handling of the Hillary email matter was unfair to her. That had to have been Trump´s own invention. 

Obamacare´s repeal/replacement

is now expected to pass  the house this week.

The devil is in the details of course, and those won´t be known until the senate acts , but I think the glass is half full.

We´ve now become a nation that believes  in  Government Health Care. Repeal without replace turned out to be a non-starter.  .  

A consequence is that from now on the health care debate won´t be about whether but   how .

At least some degree of Government responsibility will be a given. And most importantly some lives will be saved/improved as a result.


In the spring of 1953, we suddenly shifted from being occupiers to allies. In Bonn the US Representative was no longer High Commissioner, just an Ambassador.

And we were no longer required to wear our uniforms off duty but rather encouraged not to.

The personal consequence was that my contact with Eric rather than being mildly disapproved by the battery commander became a non-issue. That contact mostly consisted of Saturday nights drinking white wine at the main local bar, the University Club, or rather the German of that. University was something like Universitatis, and I haven't a clue what the word for Club was.


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