Oooh. It is cold and rainy here in Greenville, South Carolina. We are here visiting our son, Tommy, his incredibly beautiful wife, The Kitten, and their daughter, the beguiling 4-year-old Coco. This has been an exhausting trip.
First, we flew to DC about a week ago. The flight was fine but my head ached from the cabin being first too warm, then too cold. Small, first world problems, to be sure.
In DC, my wife, my brilliant sister, Rachel, her brilliant hubby, Melvin, my spectacular wifey, my superstar pal from the RN days, Aram Bakshian, and our pal Bob Noah, all went to the Canadian Embassy to hear a speech by Stanley Fischer, VP of the Federal Reserve Board. He is a genius guy, so he gave a great speech. The Herbert Stein Memorial Lecture. No, I do not get in for free at all. Not even close. He was explaining why inflation is surprisingly low. I asked him if it could be explained by either Keynesianism or Monetarism. He answered skillfully but I still believe that the real answer has something to do with the torpor and anti-social tendencies of much of our workforce. If we have many tens of millions of people who simply refuse to work, this will have an effect on aggregate demand. Of course, it dawns on me as I write this that it will also have an effect on wages.
As more and more Americans refuse to work but still have money from welfare, the demand for those who will work will mount and their wages will rise more rapidly than if we had a larger and more willing workforce.
Maybe I have thought of something useful here but probably not.
I sat next to Rhoda Fischer, wife of Stanley. She has had some life, coming from Zambia to the pinnacle of power in DC. But she lives with stunning modesty. If I had to choose a perfect civil service couple, it would probably be the Fischers.
The next day Bob, Alex, and I drove to Oxford. It was amazingly hot. We had crab soup and liver pate and the sunset was magnificent. We took the local Anglican Dean, Rev. Cross, and his wife, Barbara, to dinner at the Robert Morris Inn. All very homey. Lots of talk about drugs. Bad, bad problem.
The day after that, wifey, Bob, and I drove out to Sandy Spring in far northern Montgomery County, to the Friends Meeting House Cemetery. We went there to honor the late parents of my dear friends, David and Betsy Scull. David and his wife, the lovely Nancy, were waiting for us. It was all very emotional. The departed had been like another, much less judgmental set of parents to me when I was a child. My own parents were great but the Sculls never yelled at me because my grades were not good enough. They always treated me like a prince. They were American aristocracy, descendants of Light Horse Harry Lee, descendants of the founders of Princeton, relations of Robert E. Lee (although their branch were Unionists). The truth that they treated me and my humble status so nobly was uplifting then and now.
After the viewing of the Scull graves, we ate at a truly wonderful old old old restaurant on Colesville Road called Mrs. Kay’s Tollhouse. It has been there close to 180 years. As a small child of maybe 11, I worked in their extensive gardens. Wow. that was a long time ago. That restaurant is a must. Fine food and charming décor and service. But it was almost 60 years ago when I toiled here.
Time goes by way too fast. There is way more in the rear-view mirror than in the headlights.
Life starts out as a blitzkrieg. Then you start to outrun your supply lines of vitality. Then around my age, it’s Stalingrad. The forces of fatigue and elderliness attack your flanks and soon you are done. Surrounded. No airlift helps. You are done.
But not quite yet.
Now, before I fade away, a few notes.
This Mr. Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York, has appointed himself Big Brother. He is persecuting the biggest oil company for Thoughtcrime. The Thoughtcrime here is questioning man-made global warming. Never mind that man-made global warming is not proved. Never mind that most of the lying and pollution is coming from China. Never mind that he is persecuting people because their opinion is different from his opinion. Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime is death.
Whose death? The stockholders of ExxonMobil. Ordinary people saving for their retirement. Ordinary workers in the oil fields. Thoughtcrime cannot even be questioned. Thus spake the Ministry of Love via Brother Schneiderman.
And speaking of Thoughtcrime, what is this insanity at the football fields of Mizzou? The players want the President to quit because SUPPOSEDLY someone drove by in a pickup and shouted at a black student? Because a black student found a piece of feces in a toilet shaped like a swastika? What does the President of Mizzou have to do with these fake problems? It sounds to me as if the admissions department has been giving preferential treatment to the mentally ill.
I also read that my law school alma mater, Yale, is supposedly a snake pit of Klan like racism. THERE IS NOT ONE credible SHRED OF EVIDENCE OF ANY DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR BY ANYONE AT YALE. NOTHING BUT SCHOOLGIRL GOSSIP. If there is anywhere on earth that has demonstrably rejected every form of racism it is Old Eli.
We hate all forms of real racism. But this s–t? This is craziness. Oh, did I mention that Mizzou has a 4-5 record this year?
Meanwhile, life is great here in Greenville. My granddaughter and daughter made me a birthday cake. I got to eat a perfect salad at the Poinsett Club. Big Brother is far away in New York. And I have plenty to eat and air conditioning and all is well.