That Dreaded Day of Strait Crossing

6/30/2021 The latent threat of hostilities with China over Taiwan has gained currency lately, as continued aggressiveness by the Xi Jinping regime meets up with more uniform (if more measured) rhetorical resistance by the U.S. under the Biden administration. The pinch of a worldwide scarcity of vital semiconductors, and Taiwan’s outsized role in supplying thoseContinue reading “That Dreaded Day of Strait Crossing”

Google It: Knowledge Is Powerful

It began with the news that Google is beta-testing a carousel display for writers at the world’s biggest search site. This is obvious catnip to content-creating freelancers in particular, as we have no default platform for highlighting our recent work, other than our own precious websites. However, my excitement dulled a bit as I discoveredContinue reading “Google It: Knowledge Is Powerful”

‘Brewing a Boycott’: Another Era

6/26/2021 This week saw publication of my review of a new book on the long boycott of Coors Brewing by various activist groups, initiated by organized labor. It’s written by a young leftist academic who acknowledges she grew aware of this history only after a graduate-school instructor flagged a struggle that baby boomers of hisContinue reading “‘Brewing a Boycott’: Another Era”

A Progressive Press Weighs Who Not to Name

In the throes of its own existential revenue crisis, the nation’s press is wrestling with the social justice of a local newspaper mainstay: crime coverage.  On top of heightened sensitivity over appearances in many parts of America—too many of those suspected or arrested after street offenses are of color—there is guilt that names of theContinue reading “A Progressive Press Weighs Who Not to Name”

Getting Water on a Parched Planet

June 16, 2021 Today’s temperature map alerts us to another heat wave amid another drought across much of the U.S. These conditions guarantee continued battles over water availability and rights to use it. That, in turn, promises restrictions on usage in dry jurisdictions. These can affect as big a user as hydroelectric power generation. For many,Continue reading “Getting Water on a Parched Planet”

There’s Still Gold in Us Silver Spenders

In The Economist this week is one of those periodic reminders that the Boomer age cohort is actually where the money is.  Such nods to silver spending, even if in this case concerned with greater online purchases of adult “nappies” and mobility milks, are a useful corrective to the routine ad-market focus on the youngContinue reading “There’s Still Gold in Us Silver Spenders”

Even the Manhattan Institute Says Curb Your Car

If an early April panel discussion (virtual) of the Manhattan Institute on “Planning the Post-Covid City” was surprisingly progressive, maybe it was because this talk of revolution in the streets was about reallocating little more than parking spaces. Yet that much upheaval is basic, these panelists agreed, to renewal of New York’s pre-pandemic glory. TheContinue reading “Even the Manhattan Institute Says Curb Your Car”

The Complexity of Ever More Simple-Cheese Output

I got to thinking about cheese and whether that infamous American surplus you heard a lot about two years ago had gotten bigger in the pandemic.  The long and short of it—if that’s the right way to refer to something that comes in rounds—is that yes, it’s bigger, but the reasons are not simple. ItContinue reading “The Complexity of Ever More Simple-Cheese Output”

A Path to Pandemic Relief in the ‘Burbs

A shift in residential demand to suburban and exurban locations is nearly a year old in the pandemic. It’s said to stem from households’ desire for more private space (as well as school and crime concerns), combined with greater flexibility to work from home. But public spaces are also an attribute of distance from theContinue reading “A Path to Pandemic Relief in the ‘Burbs”

New York Again Seeks a Handle Up

One aspect of New York City’s clean-up in the 1990s was the closing of many dingy Off-Track Betting parlors. Some tidier operations lived on for a few years but ultimately Gotham said good riddance to the public gambling-on-horses corporation. The OTB experiment in the city had begun with apparent popular support in 1970 as aContinue reading “New York Again Seeks a Handle Up”