Former Argentine President Kirchner discussing President Bush's "War is Good" policy

Oliver Stone mentioned this conversation on a recent episode of Bill Maher.  The main speaker is former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner Yes, the Bush era is over.  Still, this is pretty amazing:

I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan.  And he got angry.

He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats.

He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war.  And that the United States has grown stronger with war.

... He said that.  Those were his exact words.

To paraphrase Gordon Gecko "War is Good."


The American

Saw it this afternoon.

Not exactly, I suppose, a 'feel good' movie.  Even a bit dark.  But actually quite well done.  Bits of foreshadowing, some very nice cinematography with those italian villages.

I love the scene in the bar with that Sergio Leone film "Once Upon A Time In The West" playing in the background.  The bartender just nods at the TV with pride: "Italiano."  


James Forestall

James Forestall.  The first US Secretary of Defense.  Died from a fall from the 16th story window of a psych hospital.  Some (many) say it was suicide.  He was being treated for depression after being fired as Secretary of Defense by Truman.


Michael Moore Loves Capitalism

Michael Moore has a new movie coming out Friday called "Capitalism: A Love Story."  NPR's Neal Conan interviews Moore on "Talk of the Nation."

Moore has a definite point of view and usually makes some points that catch my attention.  I'll pull two quotes from this interview.

First, Moore suggests things in the US started getting difficult "around the time of Ronald Reagan."  Here's one piece of supporting evidence.  A 2005 UCLA study titled "Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland over the 20th Century" includes this figure illustrating that around the time of Ronald Reagan the share of income of the top 0.1% income earners in the US more than tripled. The very rich suddenly got very richer:

France, US, Switzerland


Hamburger Junction

Drawn by Kirby Vining for TM Vining for his 72 birthday in 1986, Hamburger Junction was in Carney, MD

This watercolor  by Kirby Vining was one of six childhood memories presented to Theron M. Vining on the occasion of Theron's 72 birthday in 1986.

The scene is a now defunct burger joint, Hamburger Junction, then in Carney, MD.  Four years younger than Kirby, my own memories of Hamburger Junction in the very early 1960's are less vivid than my brother's.  But I do recall the wonder of a burger delivered to your table by electric train.

This may partly explain my affection for a good burger to this day.



Family Planning 5x more effective at reducing CO2

WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 11 Sep 09 Washington, DC


While the United States is focusing on reduction of greenhouse emissions by
technological means, the Optimum Population Trust in the UK issued a press
release this week comparing the cost of reducing CO2 emissions by
technological means to the cost of an equivalent CO2 reduction by investing
in family planning. It concluded that family planning is five times more