Good Morning Ted and Jody:
With the sustained subfreezing cold I have been living the 1970 Kris Kristofferson song, “Help the Water Make it through the Night” (OK so his song wasn’t about water, but you get the point). This morning we fell to 7 degrees F (-14 C). Now that would not have been an issue on Coe Road, but here, as one friend put it, they didn’t read the fine print on the global warming memo, so they have our meters at ground level. So far, knock on wood, running a very small amount all night and a bit of vegetable based insulation on top of their meter has keep us with running water. Next year, I am thinking of getting some straw bales and putting them on top of the meters long before the first frost. I figure that ought to stave off even a snow fall (Mother Nature’s respect for advanced planning). Then too, I have 18 gallons of water, most of it in the small bath room tub, just in case. I add to that stash every day. I find Mother Nature tends to respect Just in Case. From what the weather forecasters tell us we should have at most two more nights of this kind of cold at the most. Indeed, it could break as early as tomorrow. I talked to a woman this morning in Portland to preregister for my procedure next month and she reported it only got down to 21 there. Roughly 50 miles away and three times warmer (of course they are interval numbers so I really can’t say that as 0 is not the absence of heat, although we may think so if we are not dressed for it).
I did some reading this morning about the state of the Union back in the 1890s. It seems the Republicans were not for “free silver” and took us on to the gold standard. In a sense the issued was partly to do with international trade as Great Britain was on the gold standard as were other trading partners. Then too keeping use from minting all skiver taken to the mint into dollars kept the dollar value steady rather than inflating the currency with all that silver being minted. In a very real sense it was public monetary policy designed to benefit those with wealth. In 1896, in his Cross of Gold speech, William Jennings Bryan did lay the ground work for the ‘trickle down economics’ that became popular in the Reagan era. Bryan said in effect, some think government should pass laws for the wealthy and let prosperity seep through to the rest below. It was clear from his speech that he did not approve of the approach and that there was an economic class war going on from the beginning of this nation’s legislation on economic and monetary matters. As I look at that history, what I see is a tendency for the wealthy to choose the candidates for public office and receive special treatment in areas such as excise, import, sales and income taxes. In a sense, this is true in most of history for the majority of countries—existent and extinct. Back in 1959 Anthony Downs published his Ph.D. thesis “An Economic Theory of Democracy.” One of his derived hypothesis from his model was that producers will be more informed about proposed changes in public policy than consumers and that producers will have economic incentives to sustain costs to influence those policies. If you exchange his “Producers” for “the wealthy” and exchange “consumers” for the non-wealthy, Downs hypothesis explains why. So, what area of government policy can most impact the income disparity in a county. The answer is not obvious. I think it will turn out to be how money is created and then how newly created money is put into circulation. As I watch the parade that precedes the transfer of power on January 20th, I can predict the changes that will occur in public policy in the near term (over the next four years). To whit more policy benefiting the wealthy and less benefiting the not so wealthy. Cuts in social programs as these programs cost tax dollars that could be given to the wealthy so they can trickle some down to the rest of us. So, far monetary policy is not on their radar. So, perhaps that is the best way to restart the move towards equality in the American political experiment.
I am attaching the next installment in the Amanda Saga.
Warmest regards, Ed
029 The White Case Dissected—Part 1 of 2
Fiction in 1288 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman and Edith Gunderson arrived back in the municipal parking lot a few seconds after they left to find Detectives Batan and Philipson entering the building in front of them.
Special Agent Fleishman hollered “Yo! Detectives! Wait up!”
The two detectives stopped, turned around and waited for the Special Agent and Ms. Gunderson to catch up.
When the two were in conversation range, Detective Batan asked “What’s up?”
“We’ve been talking.” Said Special Agent Fleishman. “And we think it is time to look into the cases Ms. Gunderson here got from the Judge starting with the White case.”
“Funny thing, we stopped over at Mrs. White’s house and interviewed her this morning. Great minds, I guess.” Replied Detective Philipson.
Ms. Gunderson looked at her watch. “You didn’t lie.” She said to Special Agent Fleishman. “I’ll get to my briefing of ADA Diggs on time. That should take about 30 minutes. Can I meet you guys in the squad room after that to go over my list?
The three men looked at each other, each nodding in turn.
Special Agent Fleishman then suggested, “Let’s see if we can get Mr. Eastman here for that.”
Detective Batan queried “Why?”
Special Agent Fleishman smiled. “I find that when there is press involved, the more you involve them the more they will hold off blowing your cover. If they feel excluded, they go off on their own and often cause some, shall we say, embarrassing publicity.”
Detective Batan countered. “Yes, but he is onoly a student in journalism.”
Special Agent Fleishman. “All The more reason. I also suspect he is talking to someone. Let’s try to keep him as involved as possible so he doen’t go off on his own and mess things up ar at least make them more difficult.”
Detective Batan nodded.
Edith Gunderson also nodded and added, “Besides he came to my rescue. I’ll be back in 30 or less.” With that she headed through the door and down the stairs.
Detective Philipson took his cell phone out of his coat pocket and dialed. He held it to his ear listening for a few moments and then said “Mr. Eastman, this is Detective Philipson. We are going to hold a conference at” taking his device from his ear and looking at it then returning it to his ear, “about 9 this morning in the Detective Squad Room. Please join us. If you don’t see us, ask the duty sergeant we will leave word with him.” He returned his cell phone to his pocket.
Detective Bataan said “Let’s go up, it is warmer in there.”
The three men were lost in their own thoughts as they climbed the stairs to the detective squad. The two detectives went to the in/out board and marked themselves as in. then all three gathered around Detective Batan’s desk.
Detecive Batan excused himself and went to the bank of lockers in an adjoin room. He came back in a few minutes with the case book to find his partner and Special Agent Fleishman holding coffee cups from the squad pot and speculating about a run to the coffee shop.
“Eddie, you go.” Said Detective Batan.
“Make mine hot coco with marshmallows. We don’t have those when I come from.” He hesitated and then added, “Get one for Ms. Gunderson too. We can let the budding journalist fend for himself.”
Without batting an eye, Detective Philipson said “I’d wager Jeremy Eastman will show up with a cup in hand.”
“You are one.” Said Special Agent. “Looser pays for the run.”
Detective Philipson ‘that means there is a chance I won’t be out of pocket this time and Maggie and I can finally afford to start our family.”
Detective Batan reached for his wallet. “OK, I get it.” Handing his partner, a bill, “Here’s a Jackson if that isn’t enough, you may have to delay starting that family.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “I’ve got something to do before we start. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
The special agent went into the stair well and started up the stairs. Detective Batan watched and listened. The Special Agent’s footsteps up the stairs stopped about half way up. Detective Batan shook his head and thought ‘Two days ago I would have made an appointment with the shrink. Now . . . ‘ He then sat down at his desk and began to write up the interview with Mrs. White. ‘Maybe a visit to the shrink for all of us would be a good idea.’ He chuckled. ‘Then the department shrink would need a shrink.’
Detective Batan’s examination
of the case book was interrupted by Edith Gunderson.
“Where is everyone?” Edith Gunderson Asked?
“And, when?” Added Detective Batan. “You know, this is getting weird.”
“Tell me about it, I have already been to August and hot cocoa this afternoon and it isn’t even 10 A.M yet.” Said Edith Gunderson.
“What’s it like?” Asked Detective Batan.
“Your partner, hasn’t said?” Asked Edith Gunderson.
“No, he has said nothing. I have wanted to ask, but got the impression it upset him from the way he shied away from getting too close to Special Agent Fleishman right after.” Replied Detective Batan.
“I didn’t know I traveled in time the first time. I was asking him what time travel was like and he turned the question on me. I looked around and I could see it was summer and I was wearing my heavy winter coat. I felt no sensation, no movement, no jolt, nothing. I was standing in the parking lot this morning talking to him and then he moved us in time so I was standing in the same spot in the summer talking to him. Heaven help me, I do not know if he took me to last summer, next summer or another summer. I was, however, getting warm in my coat and we were still in the parking lot downstairs. From then we went for coffee this afternoon.” Edith hesitated for a moment. The jump to the coffee shop was a bit disconcerting as I expected we would walk. I guess it was easier to jump than walk. Then too the place is empty in the middle of the afternoon. So, we did get a table and excellent service.” Edith smiled. “The jump back to the parking lot was smooth. He made sure we were both standing before the jump. I think it would have played hell with my balance if I jumped from a seated position to where there was no chair.”
Detective Batan said “I have two questions. You call it a jump. Why?
“I don’t know, I guess because I moved without taking action myself and because I read science fiction when I was a teenager.” Edith Gunderson responded.
“So, you made up the term and didn’t get it from the Special Agent.” Said Detective Batan.
“Is that important?” Asked Edith Gunderson.
“I don’t know what is important or what isn’t at this point. I suspect it has no baring on why the Judge tried to kill you. My second question is how you know you had or will have hot chocolate this afternoon?” Asked Detective Batan.
Edith Gunderson smiled. “Well he told me it was this afternoon. Then too, it seemed to be winter outside. I guess since it was at 2:33 you could go down to the coffee shop, look in the window and check, or better yet, join us.” Edith Gunderson hesitated. “You it is difficult to know which tense to use when stuff happed already but the time it happed hasn’t come yet. Do you know what I mean?”
Detective Batan nodded. “Indeed, I do.”