Monday, October 18, 2004

Train ride to Chicago NTEN

Just took Amtrak from the Twin Cities to Chicago for the first time in 20 years.
One word--Relaxing: 3 miles to the train station; Train boarding started 10 minutes after I arrived; About 300 steps from being dropped off at the station to my seat on the train; Big, comfortable seats with foot rests; Walked to the dining car for lunch; Sat in the lounge/scenic view car to watch the multi-colored leaves; Got a lot of work done.
Walked out of the train and up the stairs at Chicago Union Station on time and walked to my hotel.

It's interesting to compare this to flying to Chicago Midway: 20 minute drive through highway construction to the airport; Check in with baggage (because there are things they don’t allow you to take on the plain); Go through security; Get to gate (usually at the end of one of the concourses); Small seats, if the person in front of you reclines the seat—you’re screwed; 1 hour gate to gate instead of 8 hours (a good thing); Wait for baggage; Get to the loop from the airport.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

The greatest insult song

I was walking our dog, listening to Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. It contains one of the best insult songs of all times--Idiot Wind.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

Great theme song for the Presidential debates.

Full lyrics at


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

It's Perfectly Legal

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits sponsored a lunch presentation by David Cay Johnston about his new book Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else.

Some interesting points from his DEPRESSING presentation:
  • The 28,000 wealthiest Americans have the same income as the bottom 1/3 of Americans.
  • We are not seeing normal capitalism--we are seeing rigged capitalism.
  • With the current federal tax policies CEOs would not be fulfilling the fiduciary responsibilities if they didn't move jobs, capital and intellectual property out of the U.S.
  • We have a socialist tax system that redistributes income from the middle class to the filthy rich.
  • The basic, conservative basis of a progressive tax system was developed in ancient Athens. Basically, those who get the greatest economic benefit from society has the greatest obligation to make sure it endures.

With the current tax system, nonprofit organizations are going to be in deep shit.

  • Lower tax rates will reduce giving
  • Lower state tax income will reduce state funds for nonprofits.
  • As the middle class struggles with the reduced income this greatest source of nonprofit contributions will shrink.


Friday, October 08, 2004

It really is fall

Heard loud honking from Canadian Geese this morning. Six flew about 10 feet over the house--getting ready to fly south for the winter.