Depressing Events

What does a Depression look like? It’s been a long time since we had one, so it’s hard to tell exactly. The main feature is that a tremendous amount of money that was once in the system evaporates, leaving a huge shortage of resources to carry on the normal functions of the economy. If that seems unlikely, consider some of the things which happened last week on Wall Street:

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Ein Kunstlerleben

My life is a series of circles waiting to be closed and strange coincidences that complete the loop. It’s as if it’s all a Symphony by van Beethoven, carefully orchestrated and pitching and rolling, but in the end it comes back to the same simple theme. Three eights and a half, “Freude, schoene, Goetterfunken”, they’re all the same. My life runs this way.

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IRV

This fall, Saint Paul is going to have a referendum authorizing Instant Run-off Voting (IRV) for municipal elections on the ballot. Under this proposal, choices in an election would be ranked, rather than simply selected, and in successive rounds candidates with fewer votes can be dropped off and the votes allocated to the voters’ second or third choices.

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500 Year Floodplain

The great bubble of water that mushroomed out of the banks of the Iowa River has moved on into the Mississippi, causing even more devastation as it moves south. Farms and towns have been flooded, roads have been closed, and barge traffic has ceased. Can’t something be done to prevent this, if not stop it?

In a word, “No”.

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