Listen up, folks.
June 25, 2016
June 24, 2016

This morning there is a tsunami of realization about the similarities between the Brexit vote and the Trump candidacy. Frustrated citizens make for unpredictable votes. Scary.

Here's what strikes me about Cheeto Jesus jaunting off to Scotland when he should be tending to his campaign. The stupider he is, the smarter he turns out to be. He's totally dominating the political chatter this morning. He's all over the cable news, making impolitic announcements from a Scottish golf course. And, to the amazement of many, he picked the winner despite having no clue what he was talking about. Trump gets wall-to-wall coverage, Hillary is nowhere to be seen.

As I type this, the market is down less than 400. Not too bad. Hell, it was up 250 yesterday. The market has long been as crazy as Rosie O'Donnell on a Xanax overload.

Because I am a traditional establishment thinker, I was opposed to Brexit. But as I've thought about it more over the last few days, I completely understand the sentiment. All of the arguments against Brexit are economic. It is a contest of money against every other impulse of human nature. Brits are tired of the French telling them what to do. They're tired of having to bail out the Greeks. They don't know why the hell they formed a union with Bulgaria, Croatia and Latvia. They don't want open borders for refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Libya.

Brits want their shop, their village, their family, their Queen, and their lovely channel. They want cucumber sandwiches and tea. They've been battered economically during their visit to the EU, but they would accept a bit more battering as the cost of departure. Brits want freedom, independence and self-determination and are willing to pay the price to get it. They want their England back.

June 23, 2016

This is not exactly an original thought, but I am floored by the weekend plans of Cheeto Jesus.

He has just replaced sub-mediocre Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski with solidly mediocre retread Paul Manafort. His campaign is underfunded, understaffed, disorganized, and reliant almost entirely on televised campaign rallies that suffer diminishing attendance. He needs to spend a lot of time being coached on the basics of the presidency and the world. He needs to build and repair relationships. He needs to learn to sound like someone other than Hugo Chavez. He needs to print more red hats. CJ has a lot on his plate.

And so, he decides to go to Scotland for a couple of days for a ribbon-cutting at one of his golf clubs.

He'll arrive a day after the Brexit vote. Has he scheduled any meetings with British politicians or anyone else remotely related to international affairs? Nope. He's at the golf course.

Luckily for us, he already knows more about international relations than anybody.

June 23, 2016

June 22, 2016
June 20, 2016

Listen up. The real median household income in the United States for the year 2000 was $57,724. The same figure for 2014 (most recent available) was $53,657.

There are indications that we may reach the income levels of 2000 during 2016.

During the same period, average income rose somewhat. Do not be fooled by that. Incomes at the very top are growing quickly, bringing up the average. The median, and almost all percentiles, continue to suffer.

June 20, 2016

I renewed a prescription online yesterday. The Internets said that it would be ready at 10:00 a.m.

I had to go to the store this morning, so I checked the pharmacy even though it was only a bit after 9:00. The pharmacy lady said that the drugs were supposed to come in this afternoon on the 3:30 truck. I understand that my drug is a rare and exotic compound taken by only about five hundred people in Boerne. It would be impossible to keep two bottles on the shelf.

It took ten minutes to get that answer, because the woman in line ahead of me was not equipped to function in the actual world. She got there, finally.

During that ten minutes I watched four pharmacists. Two were on the phone. Two were hunched over their computers. Nobody ever actually, you know, put a pill in a bottle.

Looks like pharmacies have too much record-keeping and communication. That sort of thing drives up our healthcare costs. I think everyone in every sector of the healthcare industry probably has to do too much record-keeping and communicating. Lots of CYA, lots of red tape, lots of insurance process.

At the pharmacy level we could look to greater use of robotics. We could streamline the clumsy process of getting the same drugs to the same patients month after month. We could simplify.

I have entered the dreaded Medicare "donut hole," so I am cranky, because some of my meds are expensive, like $160 per month for Eliquis. There are, of course, drugs that cost much more. The donut hole is where fixed-income social security retirees start cutting their pills in half, or taking them every other day. Or going without. So I look at all the fancy pharmacy equipment and the wasted pharmacy time and the pharmacist busywork and I wonder how much that contributes to people not being able to afford their medications.

June 18, 2016

Maybe you've seen this. I hadn't.

June 17, 2016

I was in Kerrville today, delivering some books to a bookstore there. The store sells mostly rare books, so I enjoy going. Today, as usual, I brought home a couple for myself.

While there, I spotted a copy of my book The River Has Never Divided Us on the shelf. I always autograph my books for the bookseller, as it adds a couple of bucks to the value. So I checked the book to see if it had been autographed. The book was in pristine condition; never opened. Inside was a warm dedication to Boerne's City Manager, Ron Bowman. He sold my gift. Ouch.

Ron hates me. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've said some nasty things about him over the years, but I've always been entirely sincere about it. For the last few years I've tried to turn down the volume about Ronnie and the city generally, thus the gift to him, but I still voice an opinion now and then. I'm pretty sure that Ronnie doesn't like my opinions.

Anyway, when I spotted the dedication, I called mi esposa for permission to buy the book and give it to him again. Nix.

June 16, 2016

The U.S. has way, way more guns per capita than any other nation. We have—you may want to sit down for this—88 guns for every one hundred people. Second place is Yemen at 65. Third is Switzerland at 56. Here are the countries that have more than 30 per hundred, in descending order. Good luck making sense of it.

United States
Yemen
Switzerland
Finland
Serbia
Cyprus
Saudi Arabia
Iraq
Uruguay
Sweden
Norway
France
Canada
Austria
Germany
Iceland
Oman

June 16, 2016

Meanwhile on the right-wing end of the crazy spectrum, I have heard twice in the last two days that the Nazi leadership was heavy on homosexuals. Once on FOX News, once disparagingly on Radio Hillary. It's probably been out there for a while, but I only stepped in it yesterday.

The Nazis were all gay, thus... oh, hell, I don't know.

I'll have a second helping of nutso, please.