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There are a number of discussions currently ongoing in other threads regarding the situation in the Ukraine and what, if any interest the US may have which would justify action.  My question for those who believe the US does not have an interest in a situation in which Russia has redrawn the borders of a […]

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I was remembering a couple of my favorite moments in movies yesterday.   Particularly vivid are brief scenes when the actor might be improvising, his behavior is so lifelike. One of these scenes came from Tom Hanks, of course, in You’ve Got Mail. Toward the end, his love interest has gotten a cold, and he has brought flowers. He goes into […]

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Is it possible that people under the age of 25 have little or no opinion of Bill Clinton? They don’t really remember they great economy of the 1990s. In some ways they are a blank slate.  They may be open viewing Bill Clinton as a sexual predator first and foremost. What do you think? Preview […]

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What, if any, art (painting, music, film, whatever) have you exposed your children to because it’s important, rather than because you enjoy it and hope they will enjoy it as well? What about art should kids learn in school? Should their education be limited to history? Or should it train them to perceive, either critically […]

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Recall the words of a true leader of men: Companions in Arms!! These remains which we have the honor of carrying on our shoulders are those of the valiant heroes who died at the Alamo. Yes, my friends, they preferred to die a thousand times rather than submit themselves to the tyrant’s yoke. What a […]

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Look down at your feet. Do your socks match? Then you’re most likely a supporter of SSM (same-sock-matching). Homosocksuality is the norm in our culture: people who practice heterosocksuality are looked down upon as goofy, slovenly, or at the least devoid of fashion sense. Yet as anyone who has ever used a washer and dryer […]

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[Edit: Before reading my bloviating, please read Kozak‘s wonderful overview on Ukrainian history.  It has deservedly been promoted to the Main Feed, and does a much better job than I ever could of laying out exactly why the divisions we’re currently seeing split open in Ukrainian society are the real story here, and not whether […]

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I’m Ukrainian-American.  Both my parents were DPs after the Second World War who emigrated to the US in 1950 with my sisters. I was born and raised in the Chicago ‘Ukrainian Village”, which we referred to as “the Ghetto”. My parents, and most of their generation of emigres, were very political. Ukrainian was spoken at […]

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This has been a week I wanted to go all Yojimbo on the world – especially on some of the people I am supposed to see as friends. But my spirits were raised by Gary Sinise, who made it into the news for all the right reasons: Actor Gary Sinise treated 50 wounded veterans to a three-day […]

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Severing the Roots?

 

The last three months of 2013 were not as strong as first thought. The Commerce Department now says real fourth-quarter US GDP was up 2.4%, not 3.2% as first estimated. For the year, then, RGDP was up 2.5% (fourth quarter over fourth quarter) vs. 2.0% in 2102. Some explanation from Paul Ashworth of Capitol Economics:

 … Federal government shutdown resulted in a 5.6% drop in public sector spending, which subtracted more than 1.0% ppts from overall GDP growth. Durable goods consumption is now estimated to have increased by a more modest 2.5% in the fourth quarter, down from the initial 5.9% estimate. …  Net exports are now assumed to have added 1.0% ppt to GDP growth, rather than the initial contribution of 1.3%. Inventories added 0.1%, down from the initial 0.4% estimate. The good news is that business investment increased by 7.3%, revised up from the initial estimate of a 3.8% gain. That gain helped to offset an 8.7% decline in residential investment, which was hit by the drop back in existing home sales that has reduced brokers’ commissions.

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Mark your calendars for next Saturday night (March 8). The Ricochet Frozen Wasteland Meet-Up is officially on! The festivities will be at Keegan’s Pub in Minneapolis, starting around 5pm. James Lileks, John Hinderaker and Brian Ward will all be there. An HWX podcast will be taped starting around 6 and feelers have been put out […]

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