Thursday, March 28, 2013

E.J. Bellocq's Vintage Photos From New Orleans' Storyville, 1912

E.J. Bellocq's Vintage Photos From New Orleans' Storyville, 1912

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Iraq War Ten Years After

The Iraq War Ten Years After

Further On A Hypothetical Israeli Attack On Iranian Nuclear Facilities

 Some months ago I wrote a blog entry. It was about a hypothetical Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. I put myself in the shoes of the Israeli military commanders planning the attack.

       I rejected the conventional wisdom that an air attack should be launched from Israel. I argued that the attack would lead to very heavy civilian and military casualties and would not destroy the facilities. I pointed out the little know fact that Iranians are the best concrete makers on planet earth and not to be under estimated. My attack plan was to use submarine-launched cruise missiles with small tactical nuclear weapons. In this hypothetical scenario, these weapons would be launched from Israeli submarines in the Persian Gulf.

      Perhaps I was laughed at or people began to question my sanity.

      An author named Terry Crawford Browne now enters into this hypothetical war game. He is an American man who moved to South Africa in the 1960's. He became a prominent banker. He also became a vocal opponent or Apartheid and then the corruption of the African National Congress. That he has remained alive and in South Africa is a miracle. He has made powerful enemies all over the world.

     In his latest book Eye On The Diamonds, Browne talks about Israeli military capabilities. He gives documented proof that the Israeli nuclear arsenal is now 300 warheads. He goes on to point out that Israel keeps three submarines on patrol in the Persian Gulf. According to Browne, these submarines carry cruise missiles armed with tactical nuclear weapons. There is no doubt where these missiles are targeted.

      It is comforting to know that my educated guess turned out to have a factual basis. It is my sincere hope that no war with Iran takes place and that these weapons are never employed.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

FT's 125th Anniversary

FT's 125th Anniversary

The Financial Times of London turns 125 years of age. I read massive numbers of publications. This one is the best in the world. It began when Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London and the British Empire was at the height of its glory. It has survived numerous depressions and financial collapses. It has endured through the Boer War when England sent some 250,000 troops to South Africa and set up the world's first concentration camps. It survived the slaughter of World War One with 16 million people killed and 20 million wounded. It survived the Spanish flu plague afterwards that claimed up to 20 million lives. It survived the horrors of World War II when Britain was bombed almost to the point of total destruction. By the time World War II ended over 67 million people were dead and England was bankrupt. It survived the harsh austerity after World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War when all of us faced nuclear armageddon and the loss of the planet. It has survived the scourges of terrorist attacks from groups like the Irish Republican Army and Muslim militants. It has survived wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is now confronting cyber terrorism and a world economy that cannot produce enough jobs for all of those willing to work. Through it all, this unusual orange newspaper that my wife finds bewildering has always been a beacon of light, leading edge information, and indepth reporting of many issues not relating to stock markets and companies that make all of our lives richer.. You're a grand old lady who does not get older; just better!!!!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Inside Scoop SF » Barolo closes in Pacifica

Inside Scoop SF » Barolo closes in Pacifica

In Praise Of Travel Clothing

My friends my wife Elena is frugal and careful with money. I was a big spender when I met her. Slowly she has weaned me from this bad habit. She was reviewing our account and found a number of expenditures for the purchase of travel clothing. She considers this an extravagance and questions the merit of such an investment. I consider travel clothing a wonderful investment for anyone who travels a number of times each year. Every time you go to the airport, you get charged $25.00 to check one piece of luggage. Checking a second piece of luggage could cost one $75.00. If your bags are overweight get ready for another charge. On a round trip this could add a couple of hundred dollars to the price of the ticket. Once you get past this cost, the next problem is cleaning your clothes during the trip. If you choose to use the laundry service in your hotel, get ready for "sticker shock." The bill could easily escalate to $100.00. If you walk down the street to the local laundry the bill could easily be $50.00+. This leaves you with the option of getting a lot of local coins and going to a washateria that locals use. This is not my idea of how to spend a vacation.
With travel clothes you wash them right in your hotel room. They dry quickly and look great! They are rugged and very light. If you pack carefully you could get all of your clothes into a carry on and not have to hassle with checking luggage. Ex-Officio and Tilley's make excellent travel clothes for both men and women. You will invest a few hundred dollars but recover your investment quickly with cost savings. This also allows one to follow the old saying: "Travel light and you'll come out bright!"

Jack's South America: Pope Francis: Simple image, complex past | General...

Jack's South America: Pope Francis: Simple image, complex past | General...: Pope Francis: Simple image, complex past | General Headlines | Comcast

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Romantic Evening Atop The Mariott Hotel In San Francisco

Yesterday afternoon Elena and I went to San Francisco to photograph the new lights on the Bay Bridge. It was an awesome experience. After doing photography we walked down Market Street to 4th Street. We turned left and went to the Marriott Hotel. We went up to the 39th floor. We saw some fabulous views. We only found a place to sit due to the kindness of some French tourists. We had Margaritas and a light dinner. Elena took even more of her fabulous photographs. It was a beautiful and romantic moment. I brought back memories of October, 2008 when we went to the Marriott in Shanghai and went to the top floor. We had drinks, an incredible meal, and some unforgettable views of another special city in the world. When you have a special and romantic occasion, go to the top of the Marriott!

10 Companies With The Best Reputations

10 Companies With The Best Reputations

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: 15 Year Old Kid Develops Foolproof Test for Pancreatic, Ovarian and Lung Cancer; Test Costs 3 Cents, Takes 5 Minutes

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: 15 Year Old Kid Develops Foolproof Test for Pancreatic, Ovarian and Lung Cancer; Test Costs 3 Cents, Takes 5 Minutes

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Two Coffee Cups From Disneyland Bring Back Incredible Memories

Luah was kind enough to bring us back two very nice coffee mugs from Disneyland. One has what looks like an original Walt Disney sketch of Mickey Mouse. The other cup has what looks like an original Walt Disney sketch of Minnie Mouse. It brought back some memories from long ago.

These images brought back some memories from 1976. Mrs. Julius C. Rosenthal was the grand daughter of one of the founders of Sears Roebuck and Company.. Alvin Roebuck. She was a fabulously rich lady who lived in New Orleans in a grand mansion.

In the early 1930's my late mother was hired to be her governess. This helped my mother to earn money for college during the Great Depression.

In 1976 a very dear friend applied for a job with Mrs. Rosenthal. I got the courage to call her and "drop the name of my mother." The lady was very touched and agreed to see me in person. One Friday night I drove from Houston to New Orleans. The next morning I went to Mrs. Rosenthal's mansion. She met me at the door and invited me in. What caught my attention as I walked in were three original Walt Disney sketches of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Mrs. Rosenthal assured me that they were originals and true collector's items. I was impressed to say the least.

She then took me into the sitting room and offered me coffee. She listened intently while I talked to her about the great virtues of my friend, William Bahr. She was impressed that I would drive 400 miles to give him a reference.

The conversation then turned to my mother. She remembered her with great fondness from 45 years before. She really loved the time that she spent with my mother. We spent a delightful few hours together and I left.

A couple of weeks later I got a pleasant call from my mother. She shared with me an incredible story. One day around lunch time a limousine had appeared at her front door. It was Mrs. Rosenthal. She greeted my mother and took her to grand restaurant. They spent hours talking about their lives together 45 years before.

Luah thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories!!

Jack's South America: Venezuela Interim President Nicolas Maduro Will Ru...

Jack's South America: Venezuela Interim President Nicolas Maduro Will Ru...: Venezuela Interim President Nicolas Maduro Will Rule Until New Elections, Foreign Minister Says

Monday, March 4, 2013

JC Penny Has Big Problems

I thought you might be interested in this story: JC Penney could wind up with empty shelves, Sent via the Android App. Download the app

Mark Sanford Asked Ex-Wife, Jenny, To Run His Congressional Campaign

Mark Sanford Asked Ex-Wife, Jenny, To Run His Congressional Campaign

A Ten-Mile Hike On The Iron Man Trail

Yesterday Elena and I put the dogs in the car and drove over to Danville. We hiked the Iron Mountain Trail and made 10 miles. Even our little 15.7 lb dog Alice made the whole 10 mile walk. Some fifteen years ago I was a very poor man and did not even own a car. I rode around on a bicycle that stills hangs in our garage downstairs. All of those years ago I lived in a rented room in Danville. I had to ride that bike along the Iron Mountain Trail between Danville and Walnut Creek BART station. I had to ride the BART all the way around to San Francisco and then get the Caltrains down to the job I had with George S. May Company in San Jose. It was a hard life and I've come a long way.

Friday, March 1, 2013

An American Woman 20 Years In Ptague

Expat lives: Chicago to the Czech Republic -

DragonIs Go!

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) tweeted at 11:57 AM on Fri, Mar 01, 2013: Pods 1 and 4 now online and thrusters engaged. Dragon transitioned from free drift to active control. Yes!! ( Get the official Twitter app at

Erin Burnett Rumors Swirl As Jeff Zucker Shakes Up CNN

Erin Burnett Rumors Swirl As Jeff Zucker Shakes Up CNN