Saturday, May 31, 2008


Nightline, as you probably know, is mostly originally produced the same day, Monday Through Thursday. On Friday, they usually use pre-canned material. One of their regular features is a review of the top ten or twenty things on different folks Ipod playlists.

I find them interesting in at least two ways. Some people are obviously faking what's on their playlist to make themselves seem more broad or more eclectic or more somethings....damed if I know. It's fun to try and detect that. Second, the folks who really have enthusiasm for their music can sometimes turn the viewer on to something good.

So let's steal a good idea from Nightline: What's on your playlist?

Friday, May 30, 2008


Been reading a lot about how the children of America are or are not smarter than former generations.

The research suggests that American IQ's (free form ability to think), mean and median, are up from 50 years ago. I suppose that's right but it might be the wrong question.

If you asked the question: Where does the mean, or median, IQ of American fall in rank order with those of other counrties' children in comparison to rank order from 50 years ago. In other words, even conceding folks are getting smarter, are we improving as fast as our global competitors?

You'd have look at this statistically. One walk through the WalMart would cause any of us to surrender immediately.

I don't know any answers here but I think I could ask the right questions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I think it's great we've just had a holiday where we celebrate my brothers and sisters who have given their last full measures. Oh, how I miss and love some of them.

Maybe we should use the traditional Memorial Day for something we can do more about: The brothers and sisters living in culverts, cardboard boxes and heating grates. They need an outreach, not a speech and not a reduction in VA services.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Yesterday's Quincy paper, editorial page, warns us about all the half-truths lurking on the evil internet. Wonder what prompted such a topic? Think they might have talking about The Jim Bob?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


One of my oldest friends is a professional poker player. He trots this one out when he hits a table with five or more complete fish.

"What's the difference between a weekend poker player and a Pepperoni Pizza?"

"The Pizza can feed a family of four!"

Monday, May 26, 2008


Since last Memorial Day, we have said good bye to Les Knox.

Les was a socially conservative Republican but fiscal realist. He was a decent Chair because he treated virtually everyone with respect. He expected prompt and truthful input from the elected county officials and was never invasive of their authority to run their respective offices a they saw fit. None of us wanted to disappoint him.

Some of his committee chairs then were a bit frisky. I'm sure his private conversations with them were interesting. Still, I never heard him say a bad word about anyone, from either political party.

Les was fundamentally uncomplicated. He was disciplined. His word was unquestionably good. He took everyone else at face value unless they proved unworthy of his trust. Our County's the better for having had his service. His family name invokes respect throughout our area.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The St. Louis Cardinals are not scheduled to play on May 26. May 26 is the official American Memorial Day holiday. Through War and Depression, there was always baseball on Memorial (Used to be, there were always doubleheaders.) Day. Maybe the fans in the Missouri, Downstate Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa area just heard the game on the radio (somebody has to travel somewhere to play--somebody has to be the visiting team) but there was always a game. Memorial Day is a day where people remember the fathers and grandfathers, uncles and brothers with whom they shared life experiences. In many cases, those experiences had baseball in them.

MLB makes these schedules, not the Cardinals. The Commissioner's office approves them and hires the computer jocks who work them out. I don't blame the Cardinals a bit. The commissioners have decided that the folks in the midwest and mid-south don't deserve to observe their holiday with MLB in it.

As I have shared on may occasions, your friendly Basin is no Cardinal fan. But this blog supports the many baseball fans of the greater UMRB and they don't deserve to have pinhead like Bud decide they are not worthy of the National Pastime on a National Holiday.

Bud, May you room with Pete Rose in Hell!


Finally got around to forcing myself to whack Rocky Cola. You coulda been a contendah.

UDN has made a believer out of me. His approach is similar to mine--write about whatever captures his interest or concern that day. I hope he sticks it out. They all start out great but it's difficult to keep producing on a regular basis. Good Luck, Ursie. You've been linked here for about a week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


It was 1975 in a little diner near Aurora where I first met Hamilton Jordan. He was not a talkative guy. He was rumpled and he had a terrible cold. I remember three things he emphasized to a small group of interested volunteers: First, the GOTV effort would have no pyramidal structure--we were all partners; Second, don't run up numbers of volunteers--go for a lean force of exceedingly competent people; Third, if you have to work very hard to persuade a potential volunteer to come with us, move on--we want committed people who won't back off when the fat is in the fire. This man was advocating the political equivalent of guerilla warfare in a nationwide campaign--and he was dead serious!

I saw him a few more times before the general election. There was peace about him that you just never saw in political operatives. At that time I didn't know he was a dengue fever survivor but I imagine that explains it. He talked precinct organization with an easy enthusiasm. He enjoyed the process. Most operatives treat it as a necessary evil, a means to an end. His approach was refreshing.

Then I saw him again during the transition. He was not worried about who occupied what post. he was worried about creating a structure that protected President-Elect Carter from his own worst instinct--excessive attention to detail. I'm sure most of his organization charts were destroyed before he ever hit the White House. Some of them were "creative" to say the least. Again, the man had a quiet enthusiasm for process. It was neat to discuss the process with him.

We visited three more times during the Carter administration. In late '79, he was torn between staying in the Administration to prevent further chaos and jumping to the campaign. I think his choice would have been to go to the campaign full-time, early and then never come back to government, even had President Carter been reelected.

The man was organized and he loved examining the structure and form of organizations. I saw him being in charge of some large multi-faceted corporation, GE, Blue Cross, IBM, something like that. I was sure that would be his next stop. Then life happened.

He fought all that cancer. Then he took his organizational skills into battling the impact of cancer. He fit his talents to the hand that life had dealt him. We could have all learned a lot more from Hamilton Jordan. He was way more than just an element of the "Georgia Mafia". He was a gifted, tranquil, talented individual who made other folks better for having been around him.

I have always said the best thing about politics is not the offices you win, the polices you make or even the people you help. The very best thing about being active in politics is the friends you make. Everyone who knew Hamilton Jordan through politics is better for it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Recently, I was at an undisclosed restaurant location. Eating my lunch and reading my newspaper, I was pretty inscrutable.

In the next booth were fat fiftyish, Brooks Brothers know-it-all talking in a loud voice to a finely featured twenty-something young man out of central casting for the YR posterchild contest. Sensing either an idiot, a chicken hawk or both, I tuned in, just in time to hear ....'93 biggest tax increase in history......they get back in...Hell to Pay". It was particularly interesting because there was some kind of melted cheese running down the guy's jaw while he was giving this history lesson. Central Casting didn't really respond (I think he was looking for a mirror). Needing no encouragement, the all-knowing continued with a bunch of doctrinal horseflop before devolving into a discussion about his timeshare (I'm guessing Central Casting didn't want to see the inside of that can only wonder whether the YR actually liked women or was a Loggy and just saw Brooks Bros. as a little bit more date than he was up for.) It was an interesting interlude.

Now I've got nothing against chickenhawks who limit themselves to fowl of an age beyond 18. I even acknowledge we have to have some Republicans. Otherwise who'd buy the too-big houses that are being built in this down economy? Who'd support Isringhausen (the dealer, not the pitcher. Pay attention!). I don't even mind tax protesters (Although I never did get the Indian thing for the tea party--Why share dead turkey with them and then get the Brits pissed off at them? Seriously mixed signals--but I digress.)

No, what I dislike is people who don't do research before they make claims. Biggest tax increase in the history of the republic? Not a close call. Brought to you by none other than Ronnie Reagan and Bob Dole--1982.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


(Basin Note: I don't think about this much anymore but, for reasons I don't understand, it's on my mind today.)

Morton Grove, Illinois--Many years ago and far away. It was a cool and windy Spring Day. I remember it being a very happy one, until I got shot. I can tell you two things about the experience: First, I don't recommend it; and, Second, as it turned out, it wasn't the last time.

I was already a shooter and it didn't make me afraid of guns. I was shooting again before I was completely healed. But it made me afraid and distrustful of grownups with guns. The guy who did it was using terrible safety practices. I was just a little guy but I was surely not impressed with the way my Dad handled it (they continued to shoot together for years--I passed whenever that guy was going to be around).

One good thing came of it. Way before it was required by State Law, I went to every gun safety course in a 30 mile radius of my house for years. I went to gun safety camp one year (amazing how may pretty girls went to gun safety camp--a fringe benefit!). As I went through the active hunting years and then into the military, I like to think those who went into the field with me were safer for my unpleasant experience.

To paraphrase the old saw "Guns don't shoot kids, adult morons do!"

Monday, May 19, 2008


Let's just play it out. It is January 21, 2009.

Whom does the Governor appoint to fill the interim term of the junior Senator's vacancy?

Who runs for it, both sides.

Who wins?

Thank you for playing. No purchase required, void where prohibited by law.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


OK, we all know the price of oil is going up. We hear all the reasons: Supply, Demand, Delivery interruptions, Oligopoly. I get all that.

But a lot of people, Politicians, Economists and Folks in the industry say it's also because of "Speculation". In the abstract, "Speculation" is a value-free term. It just means trading against future events. Folks have speculated on commodities since at least cradle-of-civilization-Egypt. In it's purest form, speculation should not increase or decrease price. It should REVEAL price, even EXPEDITE accurate pricing. After all, trading is just a method of setting Fair Market Value.

When I say that to folks, they say "But what about silver in the early 80's and Bunker Hunt?" That was the opposite of speculation. That was market-rigging or, if you will, price-fixing. Some Koreans did the same thing with Soy Oil a few years ago. That wasn't speculation, it was filthy market-rigging.

OPEC is a constant. Relatively minor supply interruptions are a constant.

Somebody please explain to us how "Speculation" in its open, free, lawful trading sense adds to the price of oil. I'm really curious to understand the argument.

For that matter, if you know of some illegal trading practice that bumps the price of Crude up, I'd be interested in knowing three things: First, who's doing it; Second, how does it work; and, Third, To what regulators have you already reported your evidence of it.

This one's about crude trading. Let's leave the relationship between the price of crude and the price of gas for another day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


In today's excerpt--at fourteen, soon-to-be Broadway, cinema and television superstar Julie Andrews's singing talent is bringing her larger opportunities, in this case on a nationally broadcast radio program.

However, she has also endured much hardship--poverty and an alcoholic stepfather who abuses both her mother, Barbara, and her younger brothers. Further, she has just been stunned with the discovery that the man she adores and believes to be her real father is in fact not. All of which has left her especially vulnerable to criticism and starved for praise.

Here she performs in front of her mother and her highly regarded vocal coach, the demanding Madame Stiles-Allen, whose kind word at a mortifying moment is still remembered 58 years later:"During my lessons with her, Madame gave me a valuable piece of advice, which has stayed with me over the years. 'Julie,' she said. 'Remember: the amateur works until he can get it right. The professional works until he cannot go wrong.' ..."[Once], Madame attended a radio broadcast that I was doing. I sang the aria from La Traviata with the recitative 'Ah, fors'e lui,' which leads to the very difficult 'Sempre Libera.' There is an a cappella cadenza before the main aria begins. My pitch was usually flawless, but because Madame was in the audience, I tried too hard to sing correctly for her, and I began listening to my own sound. The result was that when I finished the cadenza, I landed a half-tone high.

As the orchestra picked up the melody, I realized that I was sharp. My mother, who was also in the audience, berated me for making the mistake. I'm sure she wanted to shine for Madame as much as I did. I was mortified that I had goofed, especially as this had been a live radio broadcast. I was as much my own critic as anyone else.

"Madame rose to my defense." 'Be gentle with her, Barbara, she sang beautifully. She was trying so hard; you have to be a little kinder. She's only a young girl.' ... "I had never sung sharp before, but I learned to watch my pitch even more closely from then on. I was forever grateful to Madame for her kind words.

Julie Andrews, Home, Hyperion, Copyright 2008 by Julie Andrews, pp. 117-119.

Basin Comment: I don't know sharp singing from sharp cheddar but I recognize the teaching technique. Correct softly and privately. Praise Publicly and Loudly. In youth coaching, I had particular success with low-skilled kids. Somebody else asked me how I had improved a certain kid and I casually answered "I just wait until he does something right and praise hell out of it". I didn't realize it then but I just stated my coaching philosophy in a sentence.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I've got a lot of male friends and they mean a great deal to me but about the only screwing that goes on between us is when they cheat at golf or maybe pass gas during my usually silky smooth backswing.

On the other hand, I've always admired women at completely different level. In fact, when I was single, I don't remember ever sending a drink at a club over to a guy or hanging around an airline lounge to meet pilots.

Still, I have a lot of clients and friends who are gay and in a committed relationship. Works for me. I don't care.

So that's my experience predicate. Here's my issue: What do the various proposed iterations of the "Defense of Marriage Act" actually do for marriage? Is the presumption that all the dedicated husbands in conventional marriages are going to instantly turn gay and run off with Ralph or Steve? Is it that we have to let Ralph into Steve's insurance plan? (That's an argument against the so-called Civil Union, too.). Is it that we think fewer men will enter into hetero relationships if they know they can cruise for a male bride (as opposed to a mail order bride, which is a different issue)?

I don't get it. If we're "Defending" marriage, please, Daddy, tell me what we're defending it FROM.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


So, the Chicago Cubs have come to terms with the aging Jim Edmonds. In the process they have harmed this team and several editions to come. It's not Brock for Broglio, but it's not good.

The Basin is fully prepared to believe Jimmy has something left in the tank. Moreover, except for Houston, the NL Central is a small park division, except for Houston CF, thereby hiding Jimmy's declining defensive speed. He'll still hit some homers and he'll still make some rally-killing defensive plays. It was almost unfair to him to play in a totally unsuitable park, about the size of Yellowstone. No problem with his potential.

Still, he takes up a roster spot at what cost? There is no room on the big club for Jimmy and Felix Pie. What do you lose when you send Pie to the Minors? First, you lose the best defensive Outfield in late inning, lead-protecting situations: Johnson, Pie, Fukudome. It doesn't get any better than that, defensively. Second, you lose the confidence that Pie was building, learning to become a slap hitter at the big league level. There was some progress being made. That will be hard to sustain. Third, you lose a world-class pinch-runner, a laser-like weapon for targetted situations. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, you are tampering with the chemistry of a team in a successful roll with obviously good cameraderie. Pie was a combination little brother and mascot to Soriano and Ramirez. Even not buying into all the Edmonds-was-a-toxic-teammate Angel/Cardinal gossip, he will not be the enthusiastic, zany kid who has been a part of this team's success. He also has a Spanish gap. That's a lot of change in environment for two or three (if you count Zambrano) of your biggest stars. Finally, you remove a lot of motivation and organizational commitment from Pie. He has burned up every minor league he's gone to. He's got nothing left to prove in lower leagues. The big team has essentially told him "You've served your time on the farm. There's no purpose in your going back down there. We'll work you into the big club gradually while you learn to hit the ball on the ground. Now he's going to feel betrayed. He was doing his part and they went out and got some old, Anglo guy to take his roster spot. Felix will be back but there's no guarantee his boyish enthusiasm will return with him.

Let's just say Jimmy has a good run this year--300 Plate appearances, .250 average, .300 OPB, 12 Homers and 55 RBI with decent defense--Was it enough to justify jiggering the roster and screwing around with the shining star of your organization. My take is, "No".

I give the Cubbies credit for agression and creativity but I'm thinking this was a serious case of "Overthink".

Since nobody wanted to talk about the race discussion yesterday, maybe this more digestible topic will be to your liking.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It just can't be ignored any longer. Hillary wins by 41% in a fundamentally white state. Obama is winning about 92% of black people primary-wide.

Still, until Rev. Wright made us do it, we didn't talk about race and its effect on how the primary votes will travel to the general. For that matter, we didn't talk about how it impacts the way we build other coalitions in our lives.

Maybe its time for local leaders in politics to quit worrying about race being a "third rail" topic and to actually start a dialog. Maybe the discussion could go beyond "black issues" and go to "democrat issues" or even "American Issues". Maybe we can all agree we have a greater interest in the price of gas and the cost of education than we do in racial profiling stats and where the poverty standard is set by the Federal Government.

We've done ourselves and Senator Obama a disservice by not talking about the obvious. We've done the same disservice by thinking, if we just nominate him, the race question will be behind us as a party or as a society. The really odd thing about that last assumption is it comes from the supposed "best and brightest" among us, the folks with advanced degrees and some level of wealth (Half of McGovern's two-legged stool).

How this plays out would probably be different in every county. But such an intiative would play out to the benefit of the democrat party and, likely, all Americans. It is past time for some grown up leadership on this issue. Our approach recently has been naive. It's not too late for this to be a seminal moment in American History.

My purpose here is to criticize none of us and all of us. Doesn't really matter whose fault this is. There's still time to fix it.

(BTW, enlightened folks in this community are already on this. I urge our party to adopt its own version of discussion circles)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Saw 'Bron on TV last night and it reminded me of last year. 'Bron's been a Yankee fan all his life. He now plays in Cleveland. He lives in Cleveland. He loves Cleveland and it loves him back. Still, when the Cleveland Indians played the NY Yankee's, 'Bron wore his Yankee gear, knowing the fans who love him would Boo him. They did. He Stuck.

George with all his distinguished education and documented heroism, not only flipped his allegiance from people who stood by him when he had NO CHANCE, but flipped publicly when there was no need.

LeBron may have some other issues but loyalty is something about which he could hold school for the Senator.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Don't know what got into DOB this a.m. on the radio but he ended up ranting on Sergio for a solid ten minutes--it was good radio. I didn't agree much with the anti-Sergio part but I did think the parts about the Players (which should be "Players' ") being a pretentious, gas-bag wannabe tournament were especially well taken.

And, yeah, you really didn't wanna see Goydos hit it into the water, especially short.

Way to go OB! You were hot, even with the Big Boy trying to talk you off the ledge.

Friday, May 09, 2008


There are actually fantasy geeks who do a draft for Umpires, one point for ejecting a manager, half for player, two for multiple players ejected in same inning.

If this sounds interesting to you, please build a deck or take a college course.

Umpires? Puhleeze!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


While all the incestuous Washington nimrods were discussing the importance of the Tuesday outcome (which was preordained anyhow), they all whizzed the notable addition to Obama's stump speech. It was deep it was remarkable and utterly over McCain's haid.

Barack said we need to be concerned with "Paying for both sides of the war on terror." The breathless cognoscenti completely missed it. It is exactly right on so many levels, it may be tantamount to Lincoln's early and often "preservation of the union" message. Just let your mind play with how may ways we are paying for both sides of the war on terror. Start with Prince Bandar's nickname if you want to first pick off the low-hanging intellectual fruit.

If BO takes that and runs with it, explains it and proposes real solutions, americans will see that their economic and security woes are not divisible and that the problem runs a little beyond duct tape.

Well done, Senator.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I feel like the little kid in the cowboy movie: "Shane, come back!"

It's gonna take me a few days before my trembling, tear-stained fingers will be able to de-link Rocky Cola. I visited your shop yesterday, man. You were probably feet from me, pushing the Kevorkian plunger. I could have talked you off the ledge. It was THIS close.

You will be missed.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Gary, Hammond Bloomington and Indianapolis

Nobody has beaten Obama in a State bordering Illinois, until last night.

Nobody has beaten Obama in a state where he predicted
victory, in his staff conference calls, until last night.

Finally, a nasty breakthrough. On national TV an Obama guy (a guy we know and like here in the Basin) stated that, if Clinton were the nominee she would have to make up in white working class votes the "nine out of ten" african-american votes she wouldn't get. This is the first openly racist appeal I have seen from either side. It was an unfortunate statement by a good guy. I choose to believe he mispoke but I doubt I'm the only person who was concerned about it. Wouldn't surprise me to read about about it in USAT this a.m.


Isn't this the way whole Adam Smiff thang was supposed to work: The price goes way up on something, for whatever reason. When the increases are painful enough, the consumer finds ways to use less of the expensive thang, i.e. reducing demand. When the demand does down, the item is harder to sell. Best way to keep selling it is to reduce the price.

Understanding that there are individual hardships involved, this means, as a society, the sooner we get to $6.50 gallons, the sooner the real conservation will start and the sooner the price of fuel, whatever it may be, will go down. You see, when you cut through all the self-interest BS, the Windfallers, OPEC oligopolists and the Speculators are our friends. Just as Gonzo said in a different context, torture is good for us!

Now get out there and burn those daid dinosaurs for the team!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Today we're talkin' baseball.

Here's the question: You are the owner of a new MLB team, say, in Memphis. Your revenues promise to be good. Your minor leagues have been running a few years and you have good prospects, especially pitchers. You get ONE unrestricted draft from any team in the bigs. It must be a POSITION PLAYER. The balance of your team will be made up of Free Agent signings, Rule 5 draftees and selections from the minor league teams of ten other organizations of players who are on that team's 40 man roster but not in the big leagues. In other words, your ONE Unrestricted selection from any team not only has to be really good but young enough to hold up until the talent around him progresses.

You're on the Clock...Who is your selection? Why?

Sunday, May 04, 2008


A "Tell" in poker is a trait or mannerism that tells you whether a person is strong or bluffing (or sometimes just not confident). It was impossible to develop a "tell" for Senator Obama until just this most recent few weeks because he was never asked any difficult or uncomfortable questions.

So now, having retired to my small town home, put away my guns, interrupted my Old Testament Study and medicated for my fear and disdain for people different from me, I took some time out and watched the good Senator talk. He has a big, fat poker "tell".

Whenever he says "Look!" or "Well, Look!" everything that comes after is going to be dissembling, evasive, overgeneral, inaccurate or otherwise non-responsive to the pending question. If you don't work for CNN, or any outlet of NBC, you're probably fair-minded enough to try it. You'll soon see "Well, Look!" really means "No way I'm answering this puppy honestly!"

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Anderson-Erickson closed their local dairy operation because it costs too much to drive the raw dairy to Des Moines, process it into packaged product and send it back out to us hicks in foodland.

(As an aside, the trucks are probably burning FOOD--ethanol--to transport the milk to Des Moines and back out to the peasant consumer.)

Probably the same same thing could be said for bread from the mega-bakeries, Maybe honey, maybe eggs and some produce.

Here's an idea. Let's avoid the high cost of centralized shipping and transportation by having local folks direct market to the grocery and convenience stores. Teaspoons of petroleum distillate instead of barrels, minutes of delivery time instead of days, predictable delivery times instead of "When the Truck gets in", and accountability of the supplier because the store manager goes to church with the Baker/Dairy Operator.

Let's see, we could call the local Dairy something like "Deters" or the local baker something like "Bueter". They could hire local people and make a profit and build a brand name.

The 50's just called. They want to loan us their food chain/supply line model.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Your Friendly Basin doesn't give a pitcher of warm spit for the revolutionary Federal Gas Tax Holiday--BUT, I do think the criticisms of the McCain/Clinton Plan are funny, usually made by the same pundit(s)

Criticism one--It's not enough gross money to really matter

Criticism two--It'll encourage more gas use which will reduce supply and increase prices

Query: If it's not enough money to really matter, then how will it possibly impact usage? It either matters or it doesn't.

NOTE: this is not a "stand up for Hillary" Post (I really can't generate much enthusiasm for either side of the issue). It's a "How can people stay on television when they say such stupid stuff?" post.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


This is just a wild guess but I perceive with a keen sense of such things that there are several in the local Quincy blogosphere who do not admire the work of GREDF. It has taken me years of training to pick up on such subtleties.

It seems constructive to take the discussion someplace beyond "You Suck!"

For my part, I don't even know what the heck GREDF does in any detail. It's not part of my day job and the only businesses I ever had a hand in bringing here went belly-up. So, your friendly basin has no expertise here. As a trained question-asker, however, maybe your host can assist in facilitating an actual, grown-up discussion.

1. What's the very best thing GREDF has done in the last, say, ten years;

2. What's the very worst thing GREDF has done in the last, say, ten years;

3. What, specifically, is GREDF not doing now that it should be doing;

4. What, specifically, is GREDF doing now that it should not be doing;

Bonus Question 1. Do you really believe that GREDF is simply not making an effort to entice employers with head of household jobs into the area? If so, upon what information do you base that belief?

Bonus Question 2. Do you really believe that Quincy was ever even a realistic candidate for the Pella Window facility?

Bonus Question 3. Do you object to a truly regional approach to economic development? (Special note to Tookie--This is different from believing the current emphasis on regionalism is a fig leaf--I know this gets you excited but try to stay with the format)

Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, penmanship, deportment, hygiene and a partridge in a pear tree. Winner gets an A for the semester without having to take the final exam. Offer Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Filmed on a closed course by trained professionals. Do not try this at home. Special Allergy Warning: Some answers may contain peanuts.


In here, when I say "MSM" I mean anything that is principally delivered by opening a physical object, such as a mag or a newspaper, turning a dial or punching a button. When I say "MSM" it is content-neutral. Rush uses MSM to differentiate on content. I am merely talking about delivery systems. Under Basin usage rules, MSM includes Rush and it includes Air America.

When I say "blogosphere" I mean to include the independent blogs, not the captives of either MSM outlets or those of the emerging JimBob (see below)

OK, now here is the obverse quandry. The new alternative news source has a dorky name. It's not gonna work out at all, at least in here. It has dawned on me it should be named after its Father Figure Editor-in-Chief. Henceforth, our new paperless entery into the news market shall be "The JimBob" Better be buyin' the domain, boys. It's gonna catch on. Think about it. 150 years from now, six editors from now, when it is the world's news source on people's wrist transmitters, nobody will remember "something-something dot org." for God's sake! Think "Poor Richard's Almanac" people. This is a shot at immortality. The JimBob lives!