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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Next big technological shift

     In the 1990s who would have seen the impact that the digital revolution would have had on our lives.  How we communicate, learn, get our music, even the way our cars work have been dramatically changed.  We may be seeing another seismic change in what we eat that will cause a change in agriculture that may be profound.
     The move in diets from dairy and meat will have significant impacts on what farmers grow.  Traveling around the Mid West recently it was clear that a vast amount of land is used in the production of our dairy and meat production.

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     So what will bring about this dramatic change--the rapid increase in non-dairy and non-meat products.

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     The growth in non-dairy milk alternatives from nut based products is rapidly growing if you go into any grocery store.  If you haven't tried these alternative products you are missing out on healthier products that can have a very similar texture and taste to milk.  My favorites are almond and soy milk.  The texture of soy milk is probably the closest to regular milk and certainly better than skim milk.  Almond milk is better if you want to stay with a lower calorie drink.  I even mix those two drinks.
     Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground Frozen Gluten Free - 13.7oz

         At the same time, the rapid growth of non-meat products that closely resemble meat is escalating daily  The two major companies in this growth are Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger companies.   While the product that they have initially developed is a burger product they will be eventually rolling out other meat products such as steak, chicken and fish.  The initial efforts have focused on developing a product that feels and tastes like real meat but the future will be targeted to having those qualities in a far healthier product.  Once these are developed and are price competitive to real meat the meat industry will be severely impacted. 
      Getting back to all those Mid-Western farmers who now grow crops that go into dairy and meat what happens to them?  Will they go the way of workers in the blue collar jobs that don't have equivalent jobs to move to?  Or will the transition mean that they will transition to crops that are used in the production of the new products?  The Mid West may be in for a change in the near future similar to what the coal mining areas of our Country have been experiencing the past 50 years.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It's becoming clearer everyday

     Trump Republicans are showing every day that when it comes to choosing to further your political priorities or defending our democratic values you have no trouble choosing your political priorities.  We now face a time when the courts will have to decide if the separation of powers defined in the Constitution still applies in the "Age of Trump."  Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that almost 40% of Americans and almost 90% of Republicans never did really want to live in a democracy but would prefer authoritarian rule.  We are getting to see every day what it would have been like to have had George Wallace elected President.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Richard Rothstein author of "The Color of Law" at the Miller Library May 30th


         Richard Rothstein has written a book on how the laws of our Country discriminated against persons of color in federal housing programs.  Here is the link to register to hear this author.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Rise Southern biscuits and donuts set to open in Columbia on McGaw Road

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  If you wondered what would come into the space that Yogi Castle had on McGaw Road we now know what is coming into that space.  Rise Southern Biscuits and Donuts will be opening this Saturday, April 27th.  For those who can't wait till Saturday, there will be a "soft opening" on Friday from 11 am to 2 pm.  Not sure of the details on the soft opening.

     Here you can learn more about the concept behind Rise.


Monday, April 22, 2019

April 28 Set you DVR's for Rouse interview on Columbia

MPT to air Columbia’s Promise April 28

 With Columbia one of the most meticulously planned cities in the world and having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, Maryland Public Television (MPT) has produced Columbia’s Promise, a one-hour documentary about the city and its founder, Jim Rouse. It will air on MPT on April 28, at 7 p.m., and will be rebroadcast on MPT2 on April 29, at 10 p.m.
Rouse’s careful planning cultivated social diversity, economic prosperity and some of the best schools in the nation. Using rare archival footage, viewers will be able to hear Rouse tell the story, interspersed with interviews with the likes of Robert Tennenbaum, who was one of Rouse’s top executives at The Rouse Company; Joshua Olsen, author of “Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse”; and long-time area journalist Len Lazarick, publisher of and contributor to The Business Monthly.
“Rouse was famously modest and resisted most formal photo sessions, as well as televised interviews,” said MPT Senior Executive Producer Ken Day. “However, one prescient television producer/cameraman, Scott Kramer, begged Rouse for years to sit down and talk about Columbia. He finally succeeded, and in December of 1987, Rouse consented to a 90-minute interview about how Columbia came about. That interview drives much of this documentary.”
MPT is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has several events and observances planned throughout 2019 and into next year. A two-hour documentary, Made Possible By Viewers Like You: 50 Years of Maryland Public Television, will premiere on June 3, at 8 p.m.; in October, an official exhibit will open at Hornbake Library, at the University of Maryland, College Park, and will run for a year.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

When a guilty person suffers from amnesia

      Having skimmed through the Mueller Report the part that I found most interesting was the part that showed Trump's written responses to the questions given to him by the Mueller attorneys.   Maybe I should say "the written responses by Trump's attorneys."  The only way Trump wouldn't perjure himself was to have his lawyers write his responses.   Like having someone else take your test.   What is not surprising is that over 30 times the answer was related to him not remembering.  Some times that was the entire answer.  This is surprising when you remember how Trump boasted about his memory.  Or when he mocked a person for her memory.

     You can take your Easter or Passover weekend to read the entire report.

     If Trump isn't working in some embarrassing, possibly illegal, way with the Russians why are there no notes or other American officials invited into his meetings with Putin?  Sounds like there is something "fishy" going on.

    Two more thoughts.  Is it not collusion if you collide in public?  Is it not obstruction is you are too stupid on how to get others to do your obstruction?

P.S. 3
       Aren't we proud of our leader's use of words in his tweets?

Friday, April 19, 2019

A new way to look at our Conservative/Liberal split

  I recently had a chance to talk with one of those rare (at least in our area)Trump supporters.  Like many Progressive voters, I am confused about how anybody can look at Trump as an example of who they think represents their values.  Something he said reminded me of something I have observed about Conservatives before.  It shouldn't surprise us that Conservatives respond to phrases like "Make America Great Again" or "Take my Country back."  You can guess a person's political persuasion by how they respond to change.  Briefly here is how I see it.
Conservatives feel threatened by change and resist it
Moderates accept change but don't promote it
Liberals embrace change and promote it
      Because of the way people respond to change Conservatives are always fighting a losing battle to keep things the way they are.  This may explain why they are often frustrated and angry.  No one likes to lose all the time in the long run.  They can occasionally win some battles (Trump2016, Brexit) but eventually, the changing times will not work out in their favor.  Science wins over ignorance, tolerance wins prejudice, peace wins over conflict.  It just takes time for this to happen (Buttigieg 2020)

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     Have to wonder about this guy's obsession.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Columbia Freecycle: 15 years old and still operating

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    In 2004 I learned of a program called Freecycle that provided neighborhoods with a way to reuse items that you would only throw away.  I thought the idea was a good way to stop taking items to the landfill and provide others with items I no longer used.  Setting up the Columbia Freecycle 15 years ago I wasn't sure how the idea would catch on but was pleasantly surprised that by word of mouth the site had over 100 users the first month and over 1000 items were freecycled.  At its height the site grew to over 6000 members and now stands at just under 5000.  It is hard to estimate the number of items freecycled but I wouldn't be surprised that it is over a million items.  Not bad for a simple beginning.


Friday, April 12, 2019

The Halal Guys opens in Columbia

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If you have been to New York City then you have seen the street corner vendors called the Halal Guys.  Their Mideastern food is everywhere.

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Recently the Halal Guys have branched out around Maryland and now in Columbia in Town Center at the

Here is the story of their opening from the Columbia Patch.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Winter Growth at 40

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    Thirty some years ago Howard County senior citizens in need of adult day care were being transported every day to Sandy Spring to the only day care program in our area.   It was being run in a church by one very committed advocate for caring for seniors---Marge Burba.  A few of us working with senior citizens in Howard County keep lobbying Marge to open an adult day care program in Howard County.  She made it clear that we would have to come up with the resources in our community that would make it feasible to open a program here.  After a commitment of local funds, both public and private, Marge agreed to look at opening a program.    Marge was firm in insisting that our program have a respite housing component that was lacking in her Sandy Spring site.  The first problem was to find a location.  After a failed plan for building the site in Jessup because of community opposition, the effort shifted to Columbia.  Finally, an arrangement was made with the County to donate the unused land next to the Bain Center.  State grants and local fundraising provided the money for the construction of the building.  Everything seemed set when construction delays put the operational State money at risk of being lost unless Marge was able to quickly open her program.  Marge called me one day with an urgent appeal to help locate a site to temporarily open a program.  After some prodding, an agreement was reached to temporarily operate the program in the Bain Center by shifting some of the programs at the Center.  The permanent Center opened a year later.  After a few years, the Ruth Keeton House was opened with additional permanent supportive housing.
     In celebration of the 40 years of Winter Growth there will be a celebration both in Montgomery County and Howard County.   The Howard County celebration will be on April 25th at Kahler Hall. Tickets can be purchased at this link.

     Here is a link to a story about Winter Growth and the celebration.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Word substitution as an early sign dementia

  I  once knew a gentleman whose wife had Alzheimer's.  He said that one of the first signs that something was wrong with her was her substituting inappropriate words into sentences as she talked.  Here is one of the 10 signs of early Alzheimer's:

Language problems

Repeatedly having difficulty finding the right word to say, and increasingly, not remembering it later either.
Substituting the wrong word can also occur — either knowingly or without the person's realizing.
"They're not so much making it up, it's just that when they're trying to retrieve the word, the wrong word comes out," Dr Farrow says.
    I was reminded of that listening to Trump yesterday using the word "oranges" for the word "origins."  It is worth noting that Trump's Father died of Alzheimer's.  We had to live through the last few years of the Reagan Presidency with him suffering from the signs of Alzheimer's and now we seem to possibly be going through that again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Screening of "Columbia's Promise"

Columbia's Promise
Wednesday, April 24
Be among the first to view “Columbia’s Promise,” a documentary created by Maryland Public Television in collaboration with Columbia Archives and community leaders.

The free screening is Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30pm at the Smith Theatre, located in the Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. Seating is limited. RSVP

The film features excerpts from “Rise of the New Towns,” a 1966 documentary that focused on emerging new towns, including Columbia. These excerpts reflect the debates on the future of Columbia with Jim Rouse’s planning team. Executive producer Ken Day of Maryland Public Television revisits 50 years of history, valuable reflections and Columbia’s promise.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Another first for Howard County: Deer farm to open in Western Howard County

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     We have all heard of some unusual animals being kept as house pets.  The most common one is the house pet pig.   As if we didn't have enough deer in our area we will soon have the first breeding farm of a rare breed of deer called Reeves Muntjac.  According to a recent news article local farmer Lirpa Sloof, a native of Belarus, these rare animals have become the latest new fad for a household pet throughout Eastern Europe.  Hollywood celebrity Alyssa Milano started this craze in the United States after visiting Elton John in England and discovering how charming these animals can be as a house pet.  According to Mr. Sloof one advantage for having one of these animals as a pet is they are tame enough for small children to ride.  No need to give your child a horse with one of these as a pet.  Mr. Sloof plans on selling these pets for around $750 but you can "adopt" one at his farm in Lisbon for around $30 a month and visit it at his farm for your small children to ride.  Being the first breeding farm in the United States he expects to eventually sell over 1000 of these pets a year.
     Now you have something new to make your neighbors jealous.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

What are we to believe

Trump is rich but we can't see his tax returns
Trump is smart but we can't see his grades
Trump didn't collude with the Russians but we can't see the notes from his meetings with Putin

You can fool some of the people some of the time but times up for most of us

What a super brain!

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Buttigieg is the new candidate the Dems are falling in love with

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      The Democrats have brought even more diversity in our political reality with Pete Buttigieg.  As a  young married gay man, our Country is now changing for the better.  While many Americans still have not accepted a black man or a woman as president, Buttigieg shows that we may still become a 21st Century Country.  If you haven't heard him yet (where have you been???) here is a link of him on Morning Joe.

  • South Bend voters first elected “Mayor Pete” to office when he was 29 years old. That made him the youngest mayor of a citywith more than 100,000 residents. Buttigieg also served as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer from 2009 to 2017. During 2014, he took a leave of absence while mayor to serve a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
  • Prior to holding elected office, the Harvard graduate did a summer internship with Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., worked the campaign trail for Democrat John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run, door-knocked for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and became the research director for Democrat Jill Long Thompson’s gubernatorial campaign in Indiana. Buttigieg also ran for state treasurer in 2010 and lost.  
  • After Buttigieg graduated from the University of Oxford with a coveted Rhodes scholarship, he worked for three years at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company focusing on energy and economic development.  
  • Buttigieg raised almost $370,000 from January 2016 to December 2018, for his Pete for South Bend campaign committee, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign finance disclosures filed with the St. Joseph County (Indiana) Election Board. Buttigieg has $119,000 cash on hand reported on his latest filing, which covers a time period ending Dec. 31. Unfortunately for him, federal law doesn’t allow him to move any of these municipal campaign funds to a federal-level presidential account. Buttigieg’s top donors from 2018 include Gurley Leep Automotive Group President Mike Leep ($10,000), engineering firm Lochmueller Group CEO Michael Hinton ($7,500) and Mark Neal, COO of the real estate firm Bradley Company ($4,560). Buttigieg’s top corporate donors that year included Michigan’s Four Winds Casino ($2,000) and Niles, Michigan-based Selge Construction Company ($2,050).
  • Buttigieg launched an initiative during his first term called 1,000 Homes in 1,000 Days, which called for tearing down or rebuilding deserted homes in South Bend. Donors in the construction and engineering fields must have noticed: Many of the biggest checks to his mayoral committee came from individuals listing those occupations, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of filings from 2016 through 2018.
  • In 2017, Buttigieg ran for the Democratic National Committee chairmanshipand dropped out, saying he knew he didn’t have the votes. (Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez secured the spot.) Buttigieg’s campaign, however, impressed many Democrats: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is a possible presidential candidate, called Buttigieg “the future of the party” and former Obama staffers David Axelrod and Dan Pfeiffer said they would be following Buttigieg’s career.
  • To fund his DNC bid, Buttigieg created a political committee called “Pete for DNC” and raised more than $548,000 during the first six months of 2017, according to disclosures with the Internal Revenue Service. Topcontributors include philanthropists and sisters Deborah Simon and Cynthia Simon Skjodt ($33,000 each); Carolyn Schwab Pomerantz, senior vice president of Charles Schwab ($10,000); D.C. lawyer Karen Dixon ($33,000), Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox ($33,000) and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes ($5,000). Buttigieg transferred $40,000 from his Pete for South Bend political committee to Pete for DNC.
  • Buttigieg in 2017 launched a “hybrid” super PAC called Hitting Home, which he used to spread $37,000 among dozens of Democrats running for U.S. Congress in conservative districts. Overall, Buttigieg’s PAC raised about $400,000 in a year and a half, though more than a third of that amount came from his Pete for DNC committee. Buttigieg scooped up donations from prominent donors such as the Simon sisters and real estate developer and LGBT rights advocate Henry van Ameringen.
  • Checking off another box for presidential contenders, Buttigieg is publishing a book, “Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future,” which comes out in February. Voters will have to wait to see his federal personal financial disclosure to learn what he’ll get in royalties: Candidates are required to turn in a form to the Federal Election Commission detailing their net worth within 30 days after officially becoming a candidate, or by May 15 of that year, whichever is later. One catch: the FEC is currently closed because of the federal government shutdown.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

No collusion???


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     While the Mueller Report is being fought over, the reality that Trump has openly requested the assistance of the Russian government to hack Clinton's emails is an open collision.  The fact he fired Comey was to attempt to end the investigation into Russian collusion as he stated to the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister in the Oval Office the day after the firing shows obstruction of justice.  Trump gives us the "smoking gun" openly.

      If there wasn't collusion with Russia why did so many campaign officials lie about their contacts?  And why has Trump made sure there are no notes made available to the public or other national security officials when he meets with Putin?  I would say that isn't smoke but the actual fire of collusion.

P.S. 1

Is it OK?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Red Robin to offer the Impossible Burger 2.0 starting April 1st

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   If you haven't tried an Impossible Burger yet here is your chance.  Red Robin will start to offer the new Impossible Burger 2.0 on April 1st.  It is an amazing vegan burger!  I just hope they don't charge $13 which is what I have paid at other places.

     Oh so true!
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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Candidate with the "Oprah" factor plus political experience

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    As the Democrat Presidential candidates sort themselves out in the next year the person to watch is Stacy Abrams.  Joe Biden has already met with her to discuss "who knows what" but I wouldn't be surprised he was trying to get to know her better to determine whether she would be his ideal running mate.  What Stacy brings to any Democrat ticket is what I call the "Oprah" factor.  She transcends race and gender making her attractive to most demographic groups.  To any of the non- minority male candidate, she brings in enthusiasm from women and African American voters that any Democrat would need to win in the general election.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Republicans go to their old bogeyman again

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    The Democrats will push for expanded Medicare in their 2020 platform.  The only question is how far they will go in the expansion.  Just like most social advances in our Country, it will probably be an incremental approach.  Something like offering Medicare to people at age 50 or 55.   This will benefit both the Medicare and private insurance industry.  It will get younger people into the Medicare program and older people out of the private health insurance market.  That is a win/win situation for both.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

But we can't afford it!

    When Republicans mock the Democrats proposals to provide expanded access to health care their argument is that "we can't afford it."   Why can't we afford it?  The simple answer is Republican tax cuts and a military budget that is larger than the military budgets of the next 10 countries.  The priority of being the World's cop is where our budget priority is over providing health care for our citizens as other western countries have been able to provide for their citizens.   Every military plane and ship replaces a possible new component of our health care system.  This Newsweek report has been posted around Facebook this past week that shows the cost of our military adventures since 9/11.  Osama Bin Ladin attacked the United States to draw us into a military conflict in the Middle East to bankrupt us economically.  It looks like he accomplished his goal both militarily and economically.

     Trump's latest budget proposal doubles down on the disparity by increasing the military budget and cutting back on Medicare.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

National Geographic's movie "Free Solo"

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      This past Sunday on the National Geographic Channel the documentary called "Free Solo" was shown.  It documents the climbing of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park by Alex Honnold, a climber without using ropes.  It won the Best Documentary movie at this year's Academy Awards.  It is a movie that will amaze you in the accomplishment of this climber.  If you are afraid of heights this movie will give you chills.  The way he can hold onto the face of El Capitan with just a couple of fingers and a small toe hold is AMAZING.  The whole movie is available for rent on Amazon Prime Here is a short preview on You Tube.   Here is his TED Talk.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Trump supporters mindset explained

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    For those of us who find Trump to be the most corrupt person to ever hold our highest office, we have difficulty understanding how so many people can support a person who has shown himself to be a baffoon.  When he said he could shoot a person on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters he wasn't exaggerating, he was being literal.  Here is an article that explains how when people get new information they don't revise their views but double down on their long-held beliefs. 

    Seeing the American flag get the "Stormy Daniels treatment" was one of the strangest things any of us have ever seen from a non-demented person.