Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It was great to hear your voice yesterday. When you come we will not take you to the restaurant Nancy and I went to last Saturday, promise.
I had just finished working on a post for my democratizemoney blog when you called. I got to thinking that more than just the way we create money has clouded our view of economics. Also, the way we elect representatives clouds our view of economics. In monarchies, dictatorships, one-party rule states and even theocracies, public policy is dictated by the few—those with wealth. In all cases, even our supposedly republican democracy, money picks the candidates that favor policies that favor the rich. In all systems, those in power (the rich) persuade everyone that it is important to keep the economy moving, which they translate into making more money for those with money. All the rich expose opportunity, freedom and a free market economy; but, the policies they buy for legislatures favor the way they make money at the expense of the rest of us. They further extolled the virtues of lower taxes on producers of goods and services supposedly to stimulate employment. This is on top of making the rich’s access to new money easier than access to money for the rest of us. Amazingly that seems to have worked for centuries (in the sense that it got us this far). But for centuries, that system has worked because there were markets overseas (non-domestic) they could reach. The rich even discovered they could exploit the labor cost differences of overseas labor to make products for both the domestic market and other overseas markets. Your own reference to the article exposing Ivana Trump’s outsourcing her sewing to cheap labor is an indication that still goes on. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/workers-chinese-factory-ivanka-trump-s-clothing-paid-62-week-n751431
However, as the globalization marches on, overseas markets are beginning to show signs of being saturated. Cheap labor is getting more and more expensive. Eventually, the economic model will come crashing down. Those with wealth accumulations will survive, what about the rest of humanity? It will not be pretty.
It is time to take private money out of elections and start electing people who represent people rather than accumulations of money. It looks like I am going to have to revise modern economic thought to make this possible for it isn’t just a political problem.
I did get out and about today when the sun shined. I shot a panorama of flowing trees on a street with strip malls. I enlarged one segment of one shot to show the pink petals in the air (it was windy). Then I saw this vehicle and wondered what kind of person drove it being parked next to a hair salon and all?
I trust this finds you happy, healthy and getting ready to visit in June.
Warmest regards, Ed
007 Special Agent Fleishman in the Squad Room
Fiction in 1388 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Detective Philipson was early as usual. He liked to pick up a cup of coffee from Mick’s Place as Mick used eggshells mixed in with the coffee grounds when he brewed a pot. The Detective chuckled, ‘The only problem with a brewed pot was letting it sit over a burner all day. Mick likes to save money by making one pot and adding water as it gets stronger. That’s OK if I get there when it is just brewed, but would grow hair on the cup around nine in the morning.’ Looking at the squat coffee pot, “That shape looks familiar. By Jove, he got our message.’ Walking up behind Special Agent Fleishman, Detective Philipson said, “I see you got our note.”
Special Agent Fleishman turned, pointing to the cup in Detective Philipson’s hand said, “I know why you bring your own coffee,” pointing the cup he had just put down next to the squad pot, “that stuff is terrible.”
Detective Philipson shook his head, “It’s probably left over from yesterday. We’ll have a fresh pot brewing in a few minutes. Not that it will be much better, but at least it will be less thick and warmer.”
Special Agent Fleishman flickered and stood there with a fresh cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows from the café on the corner. He looked at Detective Philipson innocently held his cup up and said, “I think I’ll stick with this. I was surprised when I got the call from Judge Henderson that you wanted me to drop by. What’s up?”
“We have bodies appearing out of thin air,” replied Detective Philipson.
“So how does that involve me? asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“As far as we can tell, they don’t come from our present or recent past,” replied Detective Philipson. “So that leaves the future. They may not be as far in the future as you or they could be farther out the timeline, but the only experience we have with things appearing out of thin air involves time travel. So, you are the logical person to contact. Speaking of contact, how in the hell could be get ahold of you if Edith Gunderson weren’t a weekly dinner companion to Judge Henderson in his period dining?”
“Good for Edith,” Special Agent Fleishman replied. “You know, she introduced me to this,” holding his cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows up.” He paused for a moment, and then said, “We have not faced this before. Let me talk to Outreach Agent Simons about how to set up some kind of beacon or signal to which we can respond. Now, how many bodies? And is there any pattern?”
“Three bodies about once every 24 hours,” replied Detective Philipson.
Special Agent Fleishman pointed to the overnight incident reports on the current board, “Is that woman one of them?”
“Woman?” asked Detective Philipson heading toward the current board. Looking at the photo and running his finger down the report he turned to Special Agent Fleishman and said, “Make that four.”
Amanda White, holding a white paper bag, materialized
in the stairwell of police headquarters and went down the stairs to the Child Proactive Services Offices. Opening the door, she walked to the desk and announced, Mrs. Amanda White to see Ms. Gunderson.
Millie looked up and said, “What is that delightful smell?”
“Fresh raspberry filled croissants,” replied Mrs. White opening the bag and taking one out with a napkin and handing it to Millie.
Millie smiled broadly, “I don’t know you lady, but you can go right in.”
Mrs. White knocked on the door and then tentatively opened it “Mrs. White here, can I come in?”
Edith Gunderson was flipping through papers in a file on her desk looked up and said, “My goodness that smells heavenly.”
Mrs. White said, “I get that a lot. Would you care for a raspberry filled croissant from Antoine’s?”
“You went back this morning?” asked Edith Gunderson.
“I went to a more modern version of his restaurant when his family has raspberries flown in from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan back in the 1970s,” Mrs., White replied while pulling a croissant out with a napkin and handing it to Edith. “The raspberries come in an insulated bag that is itself packed with dry ice. He couldn’t do that when you and I met there last night. Did you try the Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Gumbo?
Edith having taken a bit of her croissant, smiled and finished chewing. “Yes, it was to die for., but then so is this,” she said holding up the croissant dripping raspberry jelly on her desk.” Looking down she said, “I’m going to have to lick that up you know.”
Amanda White had taken a croissant out and was nibbling on one as well, “If you don’t, I will.”
Both women smiled.
“It is a pity more restaurateurs don’t realize that ingredients and proper preparation, including the timing, can turn ordinary food into an extraordinary experience,” said Mrs. White. “I did want to thank you for not blowing my cover by calling me by name last night.”
“No problem. You did catch me off guard. The Judge thought you were Amada Clarkton’s twin, I told him ‘nonsense, that is Amanda White.’ Only later after you had left did the question of ‘what in the hell is she doing here occur to me?’ The Judge told me that period dining was quite the thing in is time line so we put it off to a coincidence. I never occurred to me you were undercover. Why were you undercover?”
Amanda White laughed, “It was a practice or trial run. As you know the ATI is bound and determined that the future should not influence the past. However, there is a recursive nature to time travel. It would appear that your presence at the opening of Antoine’s would eventually catch on and the place would become an overnight success, much faster than the success it became. So, this practice run was to try to establish a baseline for his opening night attendance we can check later. I have no idea what the council has in mind, but I suspect if too many time travelers show up they will take some action to slow down the tourism effect, the recursive part.”
“you are telling me that the Judge and I may have helped speed up the success of Antoine’s in 1840?” asked Edith.
“Only if Judge Henderson tells people in our time line and they want to go too,” replied Amanda White. “I guess it all depends upon word of mouth.”
Edith Gunderson looked a bit perplexed.
“What are you thinking Ms. Gunderson? Asked Amanda White.
“You should call me Edith. It would please me. I was thinking how strange you and I would be having this discussion after all that has happened in the past. Indeed, that you took the time and trouble to come this morning to let me know something about your presence last night. I was thinking that the Judge does enjoy the period dining. He watches and listens to the surrounding table chatter as we dine. After we get back he talks for hours about what he thinks he learned from and about the period. Sometimes I think he really does not get into the food at all. Perhaps he should be told about the consequences of sharing his enthusiasm.”
“What about you?” asked Amanda.
“Who am I going to tell? Millie knows. Someone has to squeeze me into the appropriate attire. But, Millie is the epitome of discretion and almost understands, but not quite. She thinks that if she says anything they will lock her up and look for the rest of her marbles. If I told anyone they would think I needed a rest home too. This is one of those things that I would not even share with my diary.”
“Well, I will be seeing you around,” said Mrs. White. My next assignment is here and now. I learned last night not to use an alias; you can call me Amanda White the next time I see you.”
Edith Gunderson got up from her desk, carefully wiped her raspberry stained hand and stuck I tout to shake hands. “Thanks for the heads up.”
The women shook hands and then hugged each other.