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Posting History for Shocko from Seattle

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This time, Paul Krugman is wrong
In today's New York Times Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argues that raising the minimum wage is good economic policy and will have little or no impact on business. In the purity of statistical ...
Shocko from Seattle 02/18/2013 136 7 - -
Repeal 17th Amendment? Tea Party says yes!
I have roughly five minutes to type this, but had to share. David Williams, one of the leaders of the Republican party in Kentucky, went to speak to the University of Kentucky Law School -- at his ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/11/2010 20 4 - 96
Watergate remembered: What have we done to my country?
Cross-posted at NoDepression.com . In the spring of 1973 my father -- then and now an eminent historian specializing ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/19/2010 14 13 - 68
Dear Mr. Boehner: small business doesn't really need a tax break
This is fast and off the top of my head, but I listened to Rep. Boehner on the morning radio chatting about how small business couldn't hire new staff if it didn't get a tax break, and my head about ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/08/2010 12 12 - 42
How I learned to make salsa and chop vegetables
Cross-posted at NoDepression.com , not that it matters. I feel like telling a story tonight. It has nothing to do with anything, but it does have the ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/28/2010 24 19 1 188
A belated funeral for my friend Sam K. Myth
I need to say goodbye to an old friend. As it turned out, he has been dead for almost two decades, but I only discovered this late last night. We last spoke in 1979, but, then, I’ve been out ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/16/2010 7 6 - 201
My building for the future: a glimpse at the economy
We are building a house, and before I even contemplate typing the next sentence I must add that we are not rich. Not at all. Nor am I the guy who can hew his own timbers with a chainsaw and a jig. ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/09/2010 26 13 - 207
On the importance of copy-editing, and other dying arts. Humor.
As those few who follow my posts here know, I live in a small town. We are served by a small newspaper, published twice a week and filled with advertising circulars. It is owned by a large ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/04/2010 17 11 - 21
Where has all the flour gone?
When I finish my coffee and our little girl wakes up so we can have breakfast together, I'll drive out to the farm and help my father-in-law harvest chickens. In the meantime, this morning's text ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/20/2010 98 34 - 42
We can't make it here: jobs, jobs, no jobs
Diarists elsewhere have addressed Paul Krugman's editorial of the day, arguing that we in the U.S. are in the midst of our third depression. To which my first cup of coffee response is: duh! I ...
Shocko from Seattle 06/28/2010 30 17 - 31
Small business and FEMA: A rant
I will spare you the details. Lots of people had it worse, including a friend who lost her entire house, and probably some other friends I simply haven't seen or heard from to know their troubles. ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/24/2010 8 4 - 163
Exxon, BP, and my personal boycott
If memory serves, and it is an imperfect agent in these matters, I have purchased gas from an Exxon service station twice since the Exxon Valdez began spewing oil all over Prince William Sound on ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/23/2010 17 8 - 120
It ain't easy being green: a digression
Cross-posted from nodepression.com This was, if memory serves, the national high school debate topic during the 1975-76 season: Resolved that the development ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/18/2010 10 10 - 184
In praise of taxes
Tomorrow, the 16th of April, is my birthday. I started my first small business many years back. I was 22, and came to dread that my birthday, as it meant that whatever savings I'd accumulated had ...
Shocko from Seattle 04/15/2010 10 1 - 14
KY Repub candidate secretly tapes opponent
I ran onto this in the Lexington Herald-Leader and felt the need to share. The short story is that there was a bitterly ...
Shocko from Seattle 02/05/2010 7 6 - 103
We are losing the only war that counts: a rant
From page 8 of Taylor Branch's peculiar new book, The Clinton Tapes : "Clinton said Dole spoke of the opposition's job not as making deals but rather making the president fail, so he could ...
Shocko from Seattle 01/22/2010 36 5 - 14
Hope I Die Before I Get Old
Cross-posted from No Depression . Apparently Aunt Karol died toward the end of New Year’s Eve, though I didn’t hear for at least ten days and ...
Shocko from Seattle 01/21/2010 11 8 - 14
A meditation on Avatar, Africa, and the cost of art
Cross-posted from No Depression . As many chose to do, we spent a few hours of our holiday ...
Shocko from Seattle 12/27/2009 22 7 - 82
A Christmas education
(Cross-posted from No Depression .) Our first-grader left home for school this morning with a fist-full of one dollar ...
Shocko from Seattle 12/16/2009 2 2 - 82
Leaves, and the compost of memory: an essay, of sorts
Cross-posted from NoDepression.com When I was a kid, my friend down the street had a weeping willow in his front yard. It played hob with the plumbing, in the ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/17/2009 2 2 - 57
Trying to understand the missionary's position
If you came to visit my home, you would find yourself surrounded by religious artwork. Some of it, along the hallway to the bathroom, is visionary yarn paintings made by Huichol Indians. But most of ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/06/2009 9 4 - 76
Mountaintop removal: a benefit album, and a reminder
Cross-posted from No Depression . It is necessary that we know where things come from, and what they cost. This is why occasionally I write about ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/01/2009 4 15 - 90
The other public option: Quit
Maybe this is snark, but I don't think so. Which is to say that I'm at least half-serious and I'm not nearly clever enough to write humorously. (At least not on purpose.) I've stood metaphorically ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/30/2009 55 14 - 36
Bonds and the separation of church and state?
I am become a troublemaker, again. Or perhaps I am too easily wound up. (Nah. Look at the company I keep.) Today I've come looking for advice and counsel. The county in which I live contemplates ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/27/2009 32 8 - 114
A quick stimulus report from the red zone
For reasons which remain obscure to me I was dragooned onto a committee tasked to hire a streetscaping firm that will spend a $300,000 stimulus grant. The winning firm is to develop a long-range ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/18/2009 29 22 1 35
What's the matter with Kentucky, or, the end of reason?
"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." — Thomas Paine On the homepage of today's ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/04/2009 33 19 - 49
Maybe this is why American business is failing...
...and, by way of apology, this is a quickly typed rant, but it has to be set free else I do damage to myself by screaming or beating myself senseless against a doorjam, or actually calling one of ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/08/2009 27 11 - 42
Well, so much for our organic garden...maybe
It will not do to write hastily in anger, and yet I shall. It will not do to write hastily without the bulk of the facts in evidence, and yet... My father-in-law and I have taken to growing a good ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/22/2009 29 24 - 22
Spray, baby, spray: an organic gardening thread
The killing takes a gentle touch, else the Japanese beetles take wing and land on some other plant out of sight. Mostly they tumble earthward like ballbearings in a pachinko machine, and so they are ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/12/2009 65 31 4 218
A note from the Iranian home front, in Appalachia
Mostly they call home Persia, the couple who live next door to us. He teaches at the state college in our town, on the edge of Appalachia, and she has her own small business. I know their stories ...
Shocko from Seattle 06/23/2009 10 32 1 183
Pacifism and dead chickens: Another contemplation of where food comes from.
I can hear the washing machine spin in the next room, and maybe the blood will come out of my jeans, maybe it won't. It wasn't a lot of blood, because I'm generally a careful fellow, and we only ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/09/2009 6 6 - 42
First harvest! A gardening diversion. Or a gardener's digression. Or something.
It's rained a lot this spring in Eastern Kentucky, and I type that knowing full well that in a few months we'll be begging for a spare drip so as not to have to haul water up to the tomatoes from ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/05/2009 54 22 2 465
Why don't dead tree jobs matter? And is this new model ethical?
Some days back our host here unleashed several responses to the withering newspaper industry. As often happens when proponents of new ...
Shocko from Seattle 04/21/2009 39 20 1 158
It's about work, not just jobs
Amid the stories in this morning's New York Times about the auto industry was one of the inevitable paragraphs discussing how the United Auto Workers had been obliged to settle for lower ...
Shocko from Seattle 03/31/2009 36 5 - 7
What if the work we do has no (financial) value anymore?
I am going to write, despite the nagging sense that continuing to do so is futile. Is an indulgence. Is a habit to be shed, like my fondness for good Belgian beer. (They do not go together.) I am ...
Shocko from Seattle 03/15/2009 72 33 - 19
Somebody tell me how this ends well. A report from backlines of our economy.
One of the several things I do each day to put money in my pocket involves pouring coffee at one of my in-laws' conjoined businesses (a coffeeshop and a bookstore) in the foothills of Appalachia. It'...
Shocko from Seattle 03/03/2009 103 77 3 25
Media Matters II: Magazine distribution chaos continues
Last week I quickly wrote a diary seeking to draw attention to the pending chaos about to afflict the magazine industry. ...
Shocko from Seattle 02/10/2009 7 21 2 18
A meditation on friendship, or something
By the cold reckoning of the computer, and after a weekend of indifferent puttering, I now have 116 friends. Because I have been somewhat selective in my choices, they are mostly people who I have ...
Shocko from Seattle 02/09/2009 8 14 1 254
Media matters: new chaos in magazine distribution
Though I've spent most of the last 30 years in some shady corner of the magazine business, never would I pretend to understand how the distribution end of things worked. But since I'm still on the e-...
Shocko from Seattle 02/05/2009 13 9 3 194
Blow up your TV? Another media meditation (with poll dance)
Though inescapably a part of the TV generation, I was not raised with a television in the house until junior high school. This was both a parenting choice -- television was viewed as being lowbrow --
Shocko from Seattle 01/25/2009 26 11 - 20
Our last, best hope, for we live on this planet
This is cross-posted (though amended, revised, and extended) from my home website, nodepression.com Finally, on the eve of the inauguration of president ...
Shocko from Seattle 01/22/2009 6 6 - -
The end of print, and why don't you care?
This is a puzzle which I am compelled to bang my head against in public, despite the manifest and demonstrated disinterest of even this community. Regardless, I have spent my entire adult life, and ...
Shocko from Seattle 01/20/2009 91 17 - 34
The future of journalism: some questions
The girl down the street is clearly a very bright young woman. Her father is a college professor, her mother is a regular where I pour coffee and chat, and she is now a freshman at a liberal liberal ...
Shocko from Seattle 01/15/2009 20 5 - 3
"News You Can Lose": reflections on the print industry
This is personal. I put out my first publication -- using a typewriter and carbon paper filched from my dad's office -- in ninth grade, which means The Streaker's Digest came out in the ...
Shocko from Seattle 12/31/2008 17 15 - 221
Low Fidelity: A year-end music compilation
By way of explanation, I have spent most of the last 21 years engaged in the business of criticizing obscure pockets of would-be popular music. Back when my amateur status as assured, I used to make ...
Shocko from Seattle 12/28/2008 17 5 2 3
A Republican banker's kindness
Most mornings, about this time, three bald-headed men sit around a small table down at the coffeeshop and talk trash to each other and whomever stops by for their morning fix. The mostly retired ...
Shocko from Seattle 12/10/2008 29 37 2 168
Some thoughts on the drug war
Most of what I know about the workings of capitalism I learned hanging around the edges of the suburban drug trade, and that learning has served me well through three small businesses. Our president-...
Shocko from Seattle 12/07/2008 47 56 4 170
Action request: mountaintop removal
This morning I received an e-mail from the Kentucky-born and bred novelist Silas House. Which I mention not to brag, except I will note that back when I had a magazine Silas was kind enough to write ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/18/2008 6 14 1 6
Teaching our way out of poverty; or, you are what you eat
With these words I begin to stray far afield from any realm to which I can pretend any depth of knowledge. And yet I am in the grip of a notion which will yield to sleep, nor the workday, because it ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/12/2008 70 21 1 23
Requiem for a tuba player
For a good patch of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, I spent a lot of my recreational time watching the Seattle Mariners. Which, yes, like my allegiance to the Democratic Party, marks me as some ...
Shocko from Seattle 11/11/2008 33 53 3 238
The American dream in retrograde: a defense of Joe the Plumber
This is not snark. I am not, ordinarily, very funny, and rarely on purpose. Nor, I hasten to add, am I some kind of troll; I haven't enough hair to pull that one off anymore. This, at the expense ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/30/2008 36 3 - 35
Unlucky in Kentucky: Polling numbers from an abandoned place
The Lexington Herald-Leader began this Friday to portion out results from a new Research 2000 poll (of 600 likely Kentucky voters, conducted October 19-21, margin of error 4 percent). You ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/26/2008 57 24 - 85
Wardrobe malfunctions, or, the cost of imaging
I am quite certain we are all well tired of diaries talking about how much money the Republican National Committee spent on Sarah Palin's clothes. And about how much Cindy McCain's attire costs. So ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/22/2008 11 4 - 3
Of victory fires, the race card, and stolen elections
Largely buried amid last night's post-debate chat on CNN were two comments about the McCain-Palin attempts to play the race card -- to remind people that, uh, their opponent is black -- to which I ...
Shocko from Seattle 10/08/2008 6 1 - 10
If the bailout is really about real estate, we're in trouble
If I've understood the logic behind this bailout correctly -- and almost certainly I haven't -- it is this: Banks and investors are holding bundled mortgages which have diminished in value as the ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/25/2008 20 8 - 7
Excuse me, sirs (and madams), but some questions
before you slit my purse. Because no matter what the good candidate, the bad candidate, and the President of the United States say, we little people, well, we don't get it. I mean, the premise of ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/24/2008 5 3 - -
Reversing the shock doctrine, or, what happens after
Yesterday noon I diaried here trying to sort out the wild west bailout proposed late Friday by the Secretary of the Treasury. I was ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/21/2008 20 13 - 1
Some 'splainin', please: the confusions of an unreconstructed primitive
Like pretty much everybody here, even those with whom I periodically disagree, I think of myself as a smart enough fellow, with the caveat that despite counsel from my then-girlfriend the bond trader,
Shocko from Seattle 09/20/2008 11 6 - 158
Cats & Dogs as Economic Indicators, or, People Just Ain't No Good
Alas, it is true that I was raised by people who are far more gifted with domestic cats than they are with more advanced mammals, or each other. And it is also true that I stayed in a broken ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/15/2008 37 64 4 187
The Cult of Anonymity, or, a tinfoil hat dystopia
It turns out I can get nothing else done until I write this, and never mind that in the furor and hysteria of the election 57 days hence this diary is bound to vanish quickly. I must write this ...
Shocko from Seattle 09/08/2008 27 7 - 12
A modest health care proposal
Every once in a while I end up eating lunch down at the coffeeshop a table away from my favorite banker. He's from around here and I'm not, but we're both problem solvers and sports fans, and my ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/25/2008 5 - 1 -
Some reflections on merit pay
When I was graduated from high school in 1977, the Shoreline School District -- which is located immediately north of the Seattle city line -- was the only district west of the Mississippi River to ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/17/2008 42 3 - -
In praise of journalism
Of late there has been much chat here about the inequities and inadequacies of MSM. I tend to think the critiques are written largely by unhappy consumers of media, and not by those of us who ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/14/2008 3 6 - 8
Here's to the state of Richard Nixon
Early the summer of 1973 my father and I had a small communications failure, the chainsaw slipped, and I spent my vacation walking funny with a knee I couldn't bend because there were stitches ...
Shocko from Seattle 08/09/2008 14 10 - 151
The confusions of a self-taught pacifist
Every Sunday morning my wife and daughter go to church, and I retreat to my office in the back of our house. Usually I write something, often a contemplative entry for my home blog (
Shocko from Seattle 08/03/2008 19 16 1 163
Midweek Music Geekdom: protest songs & such
The painful truth is that my wife enjoyed High Fidelity (the movie) far more than I did, but, then she's been to enough functions at which conversations centered around the original drummer ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/30/2008 54 11 - 6
On the knowing and making of things in a 21st century economy
In 1942, as part of the war effort, John Steinbeck wrote a book called Bombs Away: The Story Of A Bomber Team , reprinted in 1990 and picked up off the remainder table in a weak moment ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/25/2008 38 35 5 164
Broken News: Reps Dick, Chandler mysteriously grounded
We went, last night, to a small fund-raiser for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, an umbrella group of do-gooders who have become this region's most visible opponents of mountaintop removal. They do ...
Shocko from Seattle 07/13/2008 5 14 - 160
The cult of personality
For various reasons, most of the sturm und drang which surrounded Tim Russert's unexpected passing did not draw my active attention, but even an occasional browser of this site cannot be ...
Shocko from Seattle 06/29/2008 15 6 1 1
How bad is it out there?
Somewhere between Henry David Thoreau and Paul Ehrlich -- the '70s were a tender time -- I came to intimate knowledge of my inner survivalist. Perhaps it was a dim memory of duck and cover drills, ...
Shocko from Seattle 06/23/2008 51 17 1 20
The Joy of Cooking
While navigating the shoals of this great waterway of words, one of the backwaters where we small fish gather to school ourselves in new ideas, I ran onto a comment that has stayed with me for days. ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/28/2008 78 51 6 153
Blue Moon in Kentucky
Pastor Molly, who preaches where my wife and daughter are right now, and who volunteered for McGovern-Eagleton (with the buttons and sign upstairs in her home out of sight; her husband's Roy Rogers ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/25/2008 13 10 1 2
Blue Highways
Every year until Grandma died in the mid-1970s, and the cancer took so long it's difficult to remember the actual year it ended, we drove from Seattle to Merced, California. It took two and a half ...
Shocko from Seattle 05/21/2008 16 30 - 167
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