Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lady Mayor vs Gov. Christie

If I had not just finished reading the book, The Goldfinch, whose message is that doing the wrong thing often turns out to be the right thing, and doing the right thing can turn out to be wrong, I probably would never have looked at the story told by Dawn Zimmer in the light I do. I listened to her story, and I believe her story, but it is not the whole story. It seems like everyone is so eager to tear down Christie, that no one is bothering to ask what the impact of her actions have been to the city of Hoboken. I am talking about the effects of her dragging her feet on the whole redevelopment story in Hoboken. There was the area of Hoboken that seemed to be in need of redevelopment there was an offer from a group with a sterling reputation to go to work on it, but it seemed the mayor felt it needed a study. There was no money for the study, so no spade was turned.When the money appeared to fund the study, there was more foot dragging, over the connection of the money with the people who wanted to do the work, and even the suspicion of something wrong since the only part of the development that got approval right now, was the part owned by the ’suspicious” group. 

You want to do some real investigative reporting, look for the story behind the story. Why the foot dragging on something that had to have had a most positive lift to the city of Hoboken. Why is no one questioning the dollar damage this woman has potentially done to the whole city, by her questioning everything, from one thing to another while nothing got done. It may not be as glamorous as finding some dirt to attack Chris Christie with, but it is a far more important story. 

Maybe you can help educate the electorate by showing the damage done by putting too much strength in the hands of the do gooders, who don’t fully comprehend the damage they can be doing while saving us from something that may not even be a danger. I think of those who have fought against inoculating children, of fluoridating water, by defeating planned parenthood, not allowing harvesting of dead trees so they were wasted and then became fire hazards. The list is endless. 

What made our business world flourish in our country as opposed to how things were done in so many places in this world was the ability of someone to be able to get a tax number and start a business. It was simple, at least it used to be, we were always “shovel ready.” Not any more, not with people like Mayor Dawn, for all her good intentions.She has admired Gov. Christie in the past because he was a man who got things done. Does she not see how her actions have had negative effects on her community?

I have voted for Democrats almost always, but not with blind allegiance. I grew up in a business family, and I understand the importance of those who create what we need. We all need regulating, we are humans and fallible, but just as we can kill by not saying “you must inoculate”. we can kill what we need, by over regulating. Look for the story behind the story.

Friday, October 25, 2013

I                                    TAKING THE GOP BACK

Come on Republicans, it is time to take your party back, back from the fringe groups who don’t believe in government at all, back from ones who want to turn the party into a dictatorship that says believe what I believe, vote only the way I say to vote, or you are out of here. Conservative, which is the view point Republicans are supposed to represent means respecting old values, making changes slowly and carefully. It does not mean stagnation. It should not mean that everyone in the party has to agree on everything the ones who declare themselves the most conservative agree on, or you are out. There is room, or should be, in every party for different opinions, for changing directions as circumstances change.

It used to be a party of the good business man, one who recognized that as business flourished, our nation flourished, as our workers advanced in education and pay, our ability to make better products and have a mass market for those products right here at home, also flourished. It was Henry Ford economics, the man who recognized that if his workers couldn’t afford to buy his cars, who would? It was Charlie Wilson economics that said, slightly misquoted, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.”

As good business men know, you don’t grow by only spending what you have in your pocket. If you have a good idea, you convince others to lend you money, you don’t grow a business by never incurring debts. You must pay your debts back, no ands, ifs or buts, you must pay your debts back, or you lose your ability to borrow, or borrow at favorable rates. In the case of governments, this is done by taxes. The more we prosper, the more tax money we can raise. If we are conservative, we try not to waste our money, we try to pursue spending that brings benefits to all of us. We do not want to make citizens who feel they need do nothing to pay back, whether they are at the upper end of the scale, just lining their pockets and asking for ever lower tax rates, or at the lower end, becoming third generation welfare recipients.

Both parties are made of a mixture of all economic levels, and many backgrounds, and various degrees of leanings from the far extremes to the middle, but, as has been proven over and over, the majority, from both parties lean to the middle. That is what has allowed us as a democratic nation to succeed, we can find bargaining points, horse swapping if you will, to agree on how to get things done. This cannot happen if the extremes of either party dominate the party. This cannot happen if the Republicans don’t get rid of the Hastert Rule, this cannot happen as long as everyone in the Republican Party is afraid to vote what he feels is best for the nation, for fear of what will happen to his chance of re-election. This cannot happen as long as people of the ilk of Rush Limbaugh are looked on as the voices of the Republican Party. This cannot happen when a most junior senator from Texas can bring the nation to its knees, costing all of us billions of dollars, just to promote himself. That is not how a democracy works, that’s how dictatorships work.

Republicans, get your party back, back into the fold of a working party, not the party of nay sayers, nay to everything proposed by the opposition even when it was something originally proposed by Republicans. This is not functioning, this is just obstructionism. Get out there and vote in your primaries, so money alone is not controlling your choice of candidates. Vote for people who believe in governance, and know how governing works. Vote for educated people, experienced people, not those that make your party or area a laughing stock. Vote for people who will make wise decisions for you and for your country, and not for what they are told is a party principle that must be adhered to. You 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Picking at Scabs

                                    PICKING AT SCABS

Isn’’t it possible for us to have news that doesn’t constantly try to open old wounds? It is what I call picking at scabs. They want to make political points for their side, what ever side that may be, so we constantly hear judgments that were made in the past called into question, not to help us make better judgments in the future, but to make political hay. You know when this is happening when our pols get on whatever grandstand they can find, or call a press conference, and try to make an issue, where there is no clear issue. They are calling half truths and un truths. the truth. in the middle of a scenario that hasn’t played out. They are screaming for details that could possibly be harmful for an action still in play. if should be discussed within the chambers of those who made the calls or have a responsibility in making the calls, quietly, maybe even secretly, to do no further harm. Otherwise we are just picking at scabs, trying to open wounds that were better off left to heal and better left for a longer term historical judgment, not HYSTERICAL  judgment that is only looking for political gain.

It happened in the past when Reagan went into Grenada. The liberal press beat up on him about this. Having been in Grenada both before and after, I couldn’t believe anyone wouldn’t have seen the action as good and appropriate, and was shocked to find some of my best friends who considered themselves so well informed had bought into this. They too should have been there a year before and immediately after to see how wrong they were.

Nobody has ever declared the Korean war a disaster, except for MacArthur’s actions that brought the Chinese into it, but we now all see the mistake of the Viet Nam war and we can throw in Iraq and Pakistan, but lets give it a few more years to really make judgments on the last ones.  Beating up on those who made the bad choices doesn’t help us from repeating our mistakes and that is what we are trying to accomplish.

So here we go with Bengazi all over again. Just an attempt to make political gain. We are in the middle of a mess all over the Mid-East, and trying to pick the perfect way is like trying to find your way in the middle of a sandstorm, with booby traps and enemies and friends scattered all about, hoping you will find the shelter of friends and not blow yourself up. Picking at scabs doesn’t help. Broadcasting  how we make choices  and the complications of choices, letting the enemy know how strong we are and aren’t, how long it may take to respond, if we can respond, does no one any good except our enemies. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Got another letter this week, one of those pass along to everyone sort of letters, with the message, (translated into an expression I heard a military man use), "All it takes for evil to succeed is for enough good people to do nothing." A corollary might be, all it takes for evil to happen is for enough people to preach, "It's the right thing to do".

We have just had another example of a large evil act, the shooting of the people gathered for civil discourse in a super market in Arizona. So when are the people who have been preaching 'reload" and "second amendment solutions" going to step up and take the blame when their call to action has these terrible consequences? When are we, the vast majority of "good" people, going to stop doing nothing, and point the finger of blame and shame at those who preach violence?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010



In school I learned our government was not a democracy. In a pure democracy every person votes on every issue. Instead we are a republic, or a representational democracy, which means every person can vote to elect leaders or legislators, and these supposedly wiser men are empowered to pass the laws, and make the decisions necessary for running a government. A pure democracy could work only in smaller groups. When clans gathered together into larger groups, forming towns and states, and technology allowed these groups to have food surpluses, which allowed different people to specialize in different things, some people were in charge of the hunting, some were farming, some became artisans, some soldiers, and some, usually braver, stronger, more experienced became the leaders. At first it was especially to the stronger, who often seized power, which then often became hereditary. We had our centuries of kings and despots, but eventually the demand to return to each person having a say in decisions affecting their lives, led to the idea of everybody voting on who the leaders would be, and then the leaders would vote on what their laws would be. The era of the grand republics was born. Of course I’m simplifying this, but it’s hard to condense centuries into paragraphs.

For the most part this system has worked admirably, as long as one person or group of persons, didn’t seize control, and refuse to relinquish it. If laws were passed that weren’t for the good of the group, the leaders could be voted out, and hopefully better ones put in their place. The world, and the problems each group faces, are constantly changing, which always calls for new tactics and solutions. As long as a society remains flexible, as long as it can continue to change to meet ever-changing challenges, as long as the electorate stays educated, and chooses even wiser people to lead them, they can have the best of governments. The United States was an example, not always perfect, in fact far from perfect, our Civil War an example of what can happen if we lose the path. Eventually we gatheried the strength of all the peoples who make up our diverse country to create one of the most powerful nations to ever exist. But suddenly we are standing on the brink of an era that could change all that.

With the advent of computers, and the revolution in communication technology, the Age of Instant Messaging, we are bombarded with multitudes of daily polls, on the spot analysis of what the pollsters are telling us the ‘Majority” wants. How we can ever believe their validity, when over and over again they are proven to be worthless, I’ll never know, but if our leaders start to make their decisions on the basis of these polls, instead of their own best judgments, we will have lost our republic and reverted to a democracy. I do not think this is in our best interest.

It is one thing to give everyone an equal vote to choose our leadership, hoping the majority can distinguish the dross from the gold. We know this isn’t always true, sometimes good looks and charm can outweigh wisdom and experience, sometimes it seems we even elect the village idiot to run our affairs, but for the most part, the people we elect usually rise to the occasion. And I hope they will continue to make the good judgments they were chosen to make, and not start letting the majority rule on every decision, based on whatever that day’s poll, flawed as it so often is, tells them the people want. Come on leaders, LEAD, that is what we chose you to do. Can you imagine running a household, with the children deciding, by popular vote, what food the family will buy and eat, what days they will go to school, and for how long each day, and what they will study? Can the factory line worker decide how much money a business should borrow to expand its business, or where to build its new factory? After you’ve chosen your doctor, do you try to tell him how to do the operation you may or may not need? Do you poll all your friends and then tell the doctor,” My friends say you must use method A and not B”? I’m taking it to the absurd, but when we have a poll for everything and our leaders become afraid to lead, or do so only on the basis of what the latest poll tells them “the people” want, it is equally absurd. I never hear figures on how many people they based their polls on, where the people came from, and if the numbers were statistically significant? When we are told 42 percent favor this and 44 percent favor that and 14 percent are undecided, it is meaningless. But that was one of the latest polls I heard on this morning’s news.

Enough with the polls and the pollsters! I don’t want them running our government. Even if they were infallible, and always correct, I do not want a return to every person voting on every issue. As people whose jobs lie in other directions, we do not have time to study in depth every issue; that is what we are paying our legislators to do. Even they break the almost overwhelming job into different committee assignments.

We must stay informed as best possible, we mustn’t be afraid to voice our opinions directly to our leaders, but they must still act, using all of their knowledge and not do just what pollsters, or the majority seems to tell them. I want wise people who devote their time to studying each issue in depth, in other words the person I chose to legislate and be a leader, making these decisions. If you agree with me, write your legislator, and tell him, do his job, put on his thinking camp and make decisions on the best information he can find on the issue and not what the man on the street knows about it.

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010


Anybody whose mantra is "smaller government" is living in the past, when our country was smaller in population, and simpler in demands. Do you really want to go back to everyone having his own well, (no municipal water supply, or sewage collection), his own fireplace, make his own candles, (no nationwide power grid) and growing his own food, because there are no essential cross country farm to market roads? Do you want to give up all our highways, and trains, and planes that fly, and all the government actions that made these things possible, that keep them working with maximum safety? Do you want to go back to the danger of eating uninspected food, before the USDA and FDA went to work to save us? For years our government kept our mail circulating through the worst of conditions. There is nothing in your daily life that doesn’t depend on a functioning government, and the bigger our nation grows, and the more complicated our lives become, the more bureaus, and departments, and regulations we are going to need to keep everything working properly. The more we move about this great big country, whether it is moving merchandise or ourselves, whether for business or pleasure, the more we need nationwide laws, that allow us this freedom of movement. How would we like it, if we had to present a passport as we crossed each state border? How would we like it, if each state regulated how much of its coal or oil or water was allowed to leave its borders, and which state or states could share its resources?

We are one nation, for heaven’s sake, and if we attempt to Balkanize the United States of America by drawing lines, and more lines the UNITED states can’t cross, we will become as trivial as all the separate states of Germany or Italy would be today, if they didn’t act as a unified whole. Not only did all these separate states get together to make a unified and more powerful whole, but all of Europe is working hard to keep the European Union alive, a Herculean effort, but probably the best war deterrent there could be.

Let’s not let our powerful, most desirable country in the world fall apart because we are afraid of government, because we want to turn clocks back to a harsher time, because we believe the lies and hatreds that are being spewed by those who like to blame what ever problems they are having on anybody but themselves, and the government is often a good target. For a country as large and complex as we, and the world, has become, we need more laws and regulations, not fewer. We need to keep changing the laws, as situations change, and we need to be creative in making new ones, but every time one of our legislators refuses to do his duty of legislating, we take steps backwards. Every person that attempts to de-legitimize our government, is leading you down the thorny path to chaos and anarchy. Every politician who is afraid to legislate needs another day job. We don’t pay them to sit and do nothing, and we certainly should never vote into office someone whose program is “smaller government.” That’s just a catch phrase that means to do nothing. It doesn’t work in the world we live in now, only in our dreams, imperfectly remembered, of an imperfect past.

MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010



Okay, die hard Republicans, you are probably not going to like this. I'm hoping some of you might agree with me, and I would like nothing better than those of you whom I consider "thinking" Republicans will decide it's time to take your party back! Time to kidk the fringe element back to the fringes, and begin to listen to the wiser heads that exist within the party.

My interpretation of what has happened to our country, struggling so to get anything done, is this. Once the reality of a Democratic sweep happened, some of the Republican party leaders put their heads together and came up with what they thought would be the quickest way to regain control, simply stymie every action the Democrats attempted to make, either by voting against all proposed bills, or threatening a filibuster, or putting out lies about proposed legislation, (the Death Panels, the compulsory Bail-Outs) or paying for ads promoting these lies. They have gone so far as to fund sound alike organizations, with look alike URL's that are against whatever their targeted organization is trying to help. If this sounds confusing, check out Rachel Maddow's show of April 23, for this amazing story. I'm sure you heard the outspoken remarks of wanting Obama to fail, even though he was dealing with situations whose failure could mean failure for the whole country. We were on the brink of a financial meltdown, but causing the administration to fail was more important.

This furious attempt to never vote for any proposed legislation, if a Democrat proposed it, continued on unabated throughout the health care debate. The Supreme Court debate was both laughable and tragic, and we are seeing the same thing in the attempt to rethink our financial legislation to try to prevent what just happened. In a true working democracy, we would have the two parties, each with their different approaches, recognize a problem, recognize the role of the national government to deal with it, put their heads together and actively propose their different approaches, duke it out until they get something they both can agree to, and then legislate, which is what they are being paid to do. But to sulk in the corner saying it isn't my party, and I don't want anything they want, even if I did want it before, even if my revered heroes of past administrations wanted it, Now i will try to see no one gets it. This is not a solution, this is not even a good plan, and I think a number of Republicans are beginning to see the light.

I think, I hope, we have turned a corner. I think we will get legislation of financial reform, maybe more or less than what a lot of people really want or we really need, but like with health care, we will be taking steps to do something. I think we will not see silly arguments over the next Supreme Court nominee, and I think we will see some rapid action finally, on the immigration issue. The problems seem insurmountable with this issue, but the Arizona legislation is going to force the hands of everyone to co-operate, and to really try to hammer out something that will do its best, to be best for our country, our economy, and the people involved.

I want a democracy that works, that works like a good marriage works. In a marriage we have two different people, often with different needs and different ideas, sometimes even different goals, but the union, is greater, and more important than the individual parts. We can fight for what we want, we can do our darndest to try to make the other person see things from our point of view, but at the end, we have to reach some sort of compromise and move forward, if we want the marriage to work. The same is true of our country. Anybody who mentions secession, is like a person mentioning divorce. We fought that bloody battle once, we don't want it repeated, and we must recognize these people for what they are, philanderers roaming away from the UNITED states of America.

I am hoping at least some of you will approach your favorite Republican legislator, and urge him to forget the effort to make the Democrats fail, and remember, his primary job is to make America succeed. He;s there to legislate, not sit on his behind and threaten filibuster, not to sow discontent and distrust. Quit wasting everyone’s time and get to work!

MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010


We've heard that a lot lately, but what does it mean? Back from what, or back to what? Back to the depression years I remember as a child, back to the terrors of world War 2, back to having my husband in Korea where I couldn't communicate except with snail mail, back to the crazy times and suspicions and ruined lives of the McCarthy era, back to the years when economically we grew stronger and stronger while our place on the throne of moral leadership for everyone aspiring to freedom grew weaker and weaker, until now, when instead of being the most admired country and people up through WW2, we are the most distrusted and even hated country in the world. I'd sure like to go back to those times when we were so proud of our country and what we stood for, I'd like to feel that pride again, and feel the admiration of most people everywhere, but we can't go back, you can never go back. Why? There is no such thing as time travel, and, we can't dictate what other people think of us, even if we do everything absolutely right. There are those who won't like what we are doing because we may be threatening their way of life, they may be jealous of our success, or they may not like to see people of another faith, or skin color succeed. Imagine that! Do we think we are the only country with prejudiced groups? We have yet to see that not being an all white, all Christian nation, might become a great advantage!

How about taking us back to a country with a balanced budget, back to a point where our expenditures are no more than what we raise every in taxes every year? Well, I'm all for that, but we can't just "take" our country back to that position. No, we have to make it happen, not by wishful thinking, not by ''reloading" for God's sake, whatever that means, and not just by cutting social programs, always the first target of the cost cutters. Why do we always look to programs like health care and social security, and schooling, things that are vital to the lives of all, as if they were the "icing" on the cake and not the foundation stones of society. We can cut inefficiencies in any program, we can make everything meaner and leaner, we can stop throwing good money after bad when something has proved to not work. But we can't cut the repayment on the massive amount of money we borrowed in the past administration, and the only way we can get back to square one, no matter how much we cut non essentials from our spending now, the absolute only way we can recover from the over spending and under taxing of the past, is to dig in our pockets, everyone's pockets, and start taxing more. No one dares say it, it is as if tax, a three letter word has become the most unsayable four letter word, but there, I've said it, WE MUST RAISE TAXES.
To think you could take the country into a trillion dollars in debt, then leave it staggering on the brink of a depression with no hope of a quick fix, or immediate regrowth of the economy, and not have to change our life style by cutting back on personal pleasures to make up the shortfall, is hiding our heads in the sand. The people out of work can't pick up the burden, they need our help, but the rest of us can live with a little less of this and that,(and if its less junk food we will save money two ways, not wasting money on non nutritional food and much smaller medical bills), and help buy our way out of the predicament we put ourselves in. We all share in the guilt of doing the wrong thing, those who chose a path that didn't work, and those who didn't protest loud enough, but relaxed into lethargy when the money was flowing in. So quit getting angry now, its too late for anger, stop with the cries of "Take our country back," knuckle down, prepare to sacrifice a little and say, let's "Make our country back!" We danced, oh how we danced, now we have to pay the piper.

So much of the money is just to pay the interest on what we borrowed, nothing we will ever see results from, other than our credit rating, which is very important after all. And much of it, I hope much of it, is to move us into the future. You don't see the immediate results of better roads and trains, ports, or a new electric grid, not while they are being built, except in creating those all important jobs, but no nation moves ahead without these things. We don't immediately see the results of the effort we put into educating our youth, but they are our inventors and innovators and people who keep the machinery working in the future. The future that is going to demand more and more skills at every level, unless we want to be the country who does the sweat shop work for those countries, who right now, are stepping beyond us. Come on everybody, lets MAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK,BACK TO THE FUTURE, the future that will be better for all of us, and, we hope, all the world.




Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton, well hello, Dolly Parton. If you are looking for someone with wit, and charm, sex appeal, and the ability to entertain, look no further than Dolly Parton. If you want someone with a lot of good common sense, someone who represents all we can imagine as a fine American woman, with that heart of gold, who worked and won all these plaudits for herself, she is the doll. She doesn’t pretend to be anyone else, or more than what she is. I am sure she would give a hearty laugh if anyone suggested she could be, or should be the President of these United States.

Then we have Sarah baby, someone with vigor, but no staying power. She has left a trail of half finished and unfinished jobs in her wake from forever. Look at her college records. Look at her governorship. Listen to her speak. She even has trouble finishing a sentence with any sense to it. Good thing she had a cooperative hand at writing her book, or that never would have happened. But would she laugh at the idea she could be or should be the President of the United States? You know the answer to that.

So why do we as a people fail to recognize what just “ain’t fittin’, no way no how”. Dolly Parton would make a stunning ambassadress to represent our country, with her warmth and charm, thrown in with plenty of business savvy. I’ve never had the feeling you need to be afraid to cross her; I don’t know why anyone would want to cross her. But Sarah Palin has a string of bodies in her wake, the bodies of people who didn’t agree with what she wanted done, or didn’t agree with her ideas, or, in her eyes, simply insulted her.

Wake up America, listen to me! We have got to stop thinking anyone with a “little star quality” is fit to lead us in any capacity. If they have entertainment value, then let them entertain you, but if that is all they have, go no further than that. And I am one who agrees that so much of our foolishness is media driven. If all the talking heads would stop hanging on to every bit of foolishness people like Beck, and Limbaugh, and Palin utter every day, they’d be like a meteor, a brief flash, and gone, baby, gone.


I don't very often write about where we have been or what we are doing, but for this I will make an exception. It is that time of year when so many of you boaters are "heading south", and so many of you end up in Miami or someplace close by. I am urging you to give consideration to the Miami book Fair, as a must stop, on you way to where ever. Unfortunately, this year the dates coincided with the Seven Seas Cruising Association's annual Gam in Melbourne, but I am hoping this won't happen again.

I have always loved the Gam, and the one we attended in Annapolis, in October was superb. I always credit the Gam with giving us the impetus to go to the Med, one of our life's happier decisions, but are we sorry we missed it this year? Not on your life. Will we go to the Book Fair again next year? You bet!

Our only disappointments were Barbara Kingsolver and Orhan Pamuk, who basically read from their books, and we decided, unless you are truly funny, like Wally Lamb, and Susie Essman, reading on in a droning voice is a quick inducement to sleep, at least for me. But everyone else, from Al Gore, (standing ovation), to Ralph Nader, Sam Tanenhaus, Don Senor, Chris Hedges, Norman Podhoretz, Gwen Ifill, and the dozens and dozens more, gave us something to think about, something to laugh about, something to cheer about, and something to worry about. The world is full of great writers and deep thinkers, and this was a feast of so many of this year's best. Dave's comments as we left each all day session on the week ends, was, he didn't miss hearing another Bob Smith talk on diesel engines one bit.

I would love to go into details about each and every session, but I think you can find it on U-Tube. Sooner or later it will appear on C-Span's Book program on the weekends. For my grandchildren and their mother's, try to see Susie Essman reading the first chapter of her book, What Would Susie Say?, about how teen agers know it all, eye roll, eye roll, and then how the roles are reversed. I don't know if it is as funny just being read, because she is a master comedienne, so if it comes in a talking book, get it. We feel that way about Wally Lamb's latest, and he does do the talking book himself. I also want to read Al Gore's latest. That along with Friedman's book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, may give you a different perspective about what is possible, nay necessary, for our country's energy needs, including some of the downsides of nuclear you may not have thought about. Actually I want all my family and especially the youngest to read this book. it is the world they are inheriting, and if they don't get the generation in power to do something now, they are going to be inheriting maybe more than can be fixed.

Google the Miami book Fair web site for details, you will be amazed at what was included. Vendors selling street food from around the world were on site, along with hundreds of booksellers, from new to old and every genre.

Best thing about all of this, was a five dollar admission fee, ten if you are not a senior, on the week end days, and other than the big names that spoke during the weeknights, for ten dollars a ticket, which also bought you a drink and appetizers, the rest was free. Even parking was free. There were people who drove down from many parts of the state. They hired buses, or came as a group, staying overnight at a local hotel like Holiday Inn, on the doorstep of Miami Dade College. So all of you who live anywhere in the vicinity, put in your next year's November Calendar, to get the information on the Miami Book Fair. For the big name speakers, you must apply for tickets, (on line) which are free, but the room only seats about a thousand people, and they do run out of space. If you come by boat, anchoring by the Miami Yacht Club is very handy, a walk for the vigorous, or a short taxi ride for us lame ducks. Maybe some sort of deal could be made with them to use their dinghy dock for this occasion, without paying a fortune. When something this great is on your path of travel, it is a pity to miss it.



If you haven't read Thomas Friedman" Hot Flat and Crowded, I have little to say to you. And if you haven't read Jeff Sharlett's The Family, you have little to say to me.

What do I mean by this? There is no point in arguing environment, or job creation, or what the future can hold, or how we boost the development of cheap alternative clean energy, if you haven't read Friedman.

And right now, if you haven't read The Family, you can't discuss with me what I find most interesting, nay fascinating, at the present time. If only Thom Friedman, or anyone who writes with his very readable, very understandable style could rewrite Sharlett's book. He needs a very good editor, so it is a bit of a struggle, ( a number of well placed commas would help), but still, so worth reading. Do so, and get back to me.