• Green Scarf Dispatch Company

Weekend 214.0 (Almost)

The Art of The Secret World of Arrietty(1) The scan is from The Art of the The Secret World of Arrietty. I can’t scan the entire book BUT will add the abandoned gazebo (not tea house) in the garden that was featured in the final shot of the film.

(1a) A Dollhouse Fit for a Queen

(1b) Spoils!

(2) A Bicycle Built For Speed (WSJ)

(2a) ‘Stupid’ and Oil Prices (WSJ)

(3) A Pattern Emerges (WSJ)

“They’re innovating original prints that stand out more than any logo could. And because you must know fashion to recognize a print’s meaning, they have become a secret handshake to an undeniably stylish club.”

(4) On being an Anglophile…

Friend: So why do you seem to always want to be a redcoat? That doesn’t seem very American.

Limestone: Just something about the smell of EMPIRE!

Friend: Eew, OLD empire. Musty!

(4a) Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now–As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It

(4b) A Short History of England: The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation

Weekend 210.0

Bike ChainFirst ride of 2012! It was mostly an excuse to test the installation of a Brooks Flyer Saddle. I rode to the post office and stopped for coffee.

I had a copy of the Wall Street Journal in the basket which I retrieved from the end of the driveway before my ride. I thought about taking a picture of it in the basket and titling this post, “Green & Pro Business” but my legs felt like rubber and the camera was upstairs (awful, right???). I did commit to stamping correspondence with a bike to indicate it was delivered to the post office using ‘my old rubber legs’ and now a trip to the Great American Stamp Store (local retail) is in the offing.

The bike itself though is a good pro business metaphor (a contemporary version of the pencil) and it all begins with a humble and brilliant artisan like Mike Flanigan of A.N.T. and an idea.

But there is also another dynamic at work in this metaphor and that is the venerable history of Brooks England which has endured since 1866 despite being subjected to the creative destruction of capitalism.

It’s a tough lesson but prior success (market share, profitability, etc.) doesn’t guarantee survivability in perpetuity. I love Lehmann Gross Bahn but a myriad of factors resulted in their decline. And the government could have intervened with a bail out or offered subsidies BUT none of that would have offset changing market conditions. Additionally, precious resources would have been restricted from finding their most efficient and productive use despite some period of displacement.

Unfortunately what persists in this country now is a perversion of free markets (crony capitalism) where government is choosing winners and losers for political gain (self-preservation). The theater is cute – Warren’s secretary at the SOTU – but all sorts of companies are benefiting from these government-driven perversions (see related) and it’s a ‘stick in the spokes’ to honest and hard-working entrepreneurs (job creators).

This post seems SO juvenile but I’ve spoken at length with college educated people who were never taught common sense economics.

Buffett’s Burlington Northern Among Pipeline Winners
Solyndra Not Sole Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding
A.N.T. Open House: Lovely Bicycle Sightings

Weekend 198.0

(1) Rachel Field

“Field also wrote the English lyrics for the version of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria used in the Disney film Fantasia (film).”

(1a) Walt Disney’s Ave Maria

(2) Generation Limbo

“And there are plenty of this Lost Generation who, rather than turning to literature or the arts or even booze, dull the pain by worshipping the cult of celebrity, wondering why their own specialness doesn’t translate into hefty paychecks.”

(2a) Did I Say That? — Doing what needs to be done

(3) Euro-Collapse

(4) Quotable I

This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.

– Macbeth

(5) The Online Gallery Of Artist Kevin Conklin

(6) Quotable II

There was a duality in medieval philosophy between the “active life” and the “contemplative life,” where one way of engaging with the world was to change it actively and another was to stand back and consider it from a distance. Is that image a good analogy for the roles of the architect and of the writer (or writing architect)?

I probably would not divide the making of architecture into two; designing buildings and writing about buildings. Certainly you can write in a way or build in a way that cancels the other out. You can write in way and not build, and implore other people to follow that way, and you can do the opposite: you can build and say, “By my buildings you understand my philosophical position.”

Michael Graves in ‘Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books’ by Jo Steffens

(7) In the Land of Macbeth

(8) Quotable III

Let me now sing of my friend, my friend’s song concerning his vineyard. My friend has a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard: What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? Now, I will let you know what I mean to do to my vineyard: take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it. The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for judgement, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!

– Is 5:1-7

Weekend 197.0

(1) What Comes After ‘Europe’?

But there is always a danger in substituting grandiosity for achievement, mistaking pronouncements for facts, or, more generally, believing in your own nonsense.

(2) Greece And The Crisis Of The Governing Elite

Weekend 196.0

(1) Bookish Good Looks (WSJ)

My favorite look is a collected-over-time weave of hardbacks, sculpture, mementos, art and bookends—the bits and pieces of a curious and full life. And the best libraries are magical places in which to lose the hours.

(2) Fearsome Days (WSJ)

(3) Follow the Money: The best economists are formidable intellects, but do they really know what they are talking about? (WSJ)

This article is a great companion to 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front specifically in regards to the theory of secular stagnation.

More from Aerotropolis…

…or red courtesy phone for Mr. Friedman.

“The aerotropolis and authoritarians go hand in hand. The first is a city built from scratch to chase economies of speed; the second are the only ones to sign off on a mammoth construction project before it’s too late. It’s no accident Kasarda has found early adopters in the Middle East and China, followed close behind by Asian nations with a legacy of military rule—Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand among them.”

“This is why Dubai is so dazzling to Kasarda; China too. It took as long to air the grievances surrounding Heathrow’s Terminal 5 as it did to build Beijing’s epic new one from from raw ground. There was no debate in this instance, nor was there any over a third runway or the second, separate hub planned for the capital—where, no one knows, because the government will simply do what it did at the site of the current one, which was to flatten fifteen villages and resettle ten thousand residents without compensation. Kasarda was awed by the ministry’s rationale: “Democracy sacrifices efficiency.”

Compare and Contrast
The T Word versus BILL COLLINS: This recession isn’t temporary

Why Is the President So Adamant on Raising Taxes?

Connecticut Taxes

Dan Malloy(1) Has Connecticut taken a hard turn to the left?

(2) Connecticut About To Adopt Amazon Internet Sales Tax

(2a) Tax Hikes On Cars, Planes, Jewelry and Drags In Connecticut Budget

(3) Negotiator for CT State Employees Brags: ‘They Want to Know How We Did It’

(3a) The ‘Anti-Christie’: What Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s tax hike plan tells us about liberal governance.

(4) Democratic Governors (Heart) Taxes

(5) Amazon.com

From: Amazon.com Associates Program

Subject: Notice of Contract Termination Due to New Connecticut Law


For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Connecticut residents. Unfortunately, the budget signed by Governor Malloy contains a sales tax provision that compels us to terminate this program for Connecticut-based participants effective immediately. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by Connecticut-based affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside Connecticut, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Connecticut residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated today, June 10, 2011. Those Connecticut residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before today, June 10, 2011, will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.


The Amazon Associates Team

Weekend 179.0

(1) China’s train wreck

(2) The Disappearing Dollar

(3) Is “Conservative Environmentalist” an Oxymoron?

Weekend 177.0

Barclays Cycle Hire(1) Best feet forward: Fairfield forum for cyclists, walkers (Fairifeld Citizen)

(2) The Sleepless Elite: Why Some People Can Run on Little Sleep and Get So Much Done (Wall Street Journal)

(3) How Smartphones Can Improve Public Transit

(4) George Osborne must act before Britain is sucked into the euro whirlpool

(5) Knowing What Isn’t So (Wall Street Journal)

“Common sense is also inclined to conclude that individual successes (and failures) are determined by inherent qualities rather than by unpredictable circumstance…Ecclesiastes told us that time and chance happeneth to all, but we easily forget.”

(6) The Furniture Frontline (Wall Street Journal)

Upcycling – The process of turning used materials into better quality goods.

(6a) Poetry Happens

Related Quotes

The wind goeth towards the south and turneth about unto the north – it whirleth about continually and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
— Ecclesiastes 1:6

It isn’t what people don’t know that hurts them; it’s what they know for sure that ain’t so.
— Anonymous

The Republic’s Bernanke

(1) The Inflation Solution?

A wise short seller once told us the secret of his profession: People always underestimate how bad things can get. That is, they see the cliff coming and put faith in decision-makers to avoid the cliff. The problem with the metaphor is there is no cliff, just a succession of decision points in a worsening situation. Have no fear that our decision-makers will impose both fiscal austerity and inflation on us when it becomes absolutely unavoidable. The momentous question is whether they will do anything productive in the meantime.

(2) Inflation inflicting pain, as wages fail to keep pace with price hikes

But the current price spike is in some ways more pernicious than the last great U.S. inflation — the steep increases of the 1970s — and harder for policymakers to address. Today, raising interest rates might make a weak economy even weaker, stifling what meager growth there has been in wages. Moreover, higher interest would make the nation’s massive budget deficits even more expensive to finance, taking an additional toll on the economy.

(3) Commodities Challenge Bernanke Inflation View: Chart of the Day

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