Who Americans are

A 2022 review of an Admiral Hyman Rickover biography:

“Why is the US populated by so many unreasonable, opposite, entrepreneurial thinkers? We’re not a race as much as we are or we’re descended from a collection of people from around the world who somewhat uniquely decided to risk everything (including their lives) to cross oceans and borders in pursuit not of security, but freedom.

Americans aren’t (name your country) as much as they’re outliers from those countries who had the drive and courage to make the ultimate entrepreneurial leap: starting over in an all-new place. Rickover was one of them.

He made sure that seagoing accommodations were far better for submariners who operated his nuclear subs relative to the horrendous conditions that prevailed in the diesel submarines of the past. He said ‘Don’t tell me what’s going great. I only want to know what’s going wrong.’

His family escaping horrid poverty didn’t look too appealing upon arrival at Ellis Island, but that’s the point. The U.S. won the so-called War on Poverty in the late 18th century by virtue of principles of freedom that it was founded upon. Poverty isn’t cured by handouts as much as freedom is always the answer.”


I didn’t have positive expectations of an interview forty years ago with Admiral Rickover for a position on his staff. I was selected for being top of my Supply Corps class, but wasn’t the Type A personality he wanted for his purposes.

It was still instructive to talk with a person who thoroughly understood what he wanted and how to get there.


Another case of negative efficacy

“We currently have two distinct sources of inflation, with the first being the previous supply chain-driven inflation, and the second being inflation from the Ukrainian War and related sanctions. With the release of the March Consumer Price Index, for the first time we saw combined effects of both sources of inflation for a full month.

The March 2022 Consumer Price Index was released on April 12, 2022, and it is being reported as an 8.5% rate of inflation when compared to the March 2021 CPI number. This 8.5% inflation figure is based on 11 months without the Ukrainian War, and one 1 full month with the War.

The CPI on a seasonably-adjusted basis rose by 1.2% in March, a 15.4% annual rate of inflation. If we don’t seasonably adjust and compare February and March price levels, the monthly rate of inflation is 1.3%, a 16.8% annual rate of inflation.

Three month Treasury yields rose to an average of 0.41% in March. However, inflation rose from the previous rolling three month average of 7.84% to 15.4%. So we now have a negative real interest rate of almost exactly 15%.

The Taylor Rule formula says that the best way for the Fed to bring down a persistent 15.4% rate of inflation is to bring the Fed Funds rate up to 24.1%. Interest rates moving to 24% may sound like a bizarrely improbable scenario. The alternative to 24% interest rates is to let 15% inflation continue.

The problem is that inflation is an exponential series. We haven’t seen exponential compounding of high rates in many years.”

http://danielamerman.com/va/ccc/J2CPIfifteen.html “A 15.4% Annualized Rate Of Inflation”


Children stand next to a tower of 100,000 marks, equal in value to one US dollar. 1923, from Rare Historical Photos. I’ll point out that an American in 1923 could go to their bank and redeem one US dollar for one troy ounce of gold.

Didn’t agree with the author’s sources of inflation analysis. But not going to take my time and effort to lay out alternatives because https://xkcd.com/386/

Don’t fool me

“You don’t fool me with your tinted eyes and makeup
The firebird hides in shadow when you wake up
Your golden hair is black
Your jeans are tight but your hide is slack
Try it on the company but you don’t fool me

You don’t fool me with your easy lies and fables
You won’t see me in ten buck furs and sables
You sparkle like a snake
The wine is real but the glass is fake
Blame it on the apple tree but you don’t fool me

Well, I’d rather be a man than play my role like you do
I’d rather be a man than sin my soul like you do
Well, I’d rather be a man than slave the way that you do
I’d rather be a man cause a man don’t crawl like you do

I’d rather be a man cause I wouldn’t wanna be like you”

It’s pawpaw season!

“In this episode we speak with Neal Peterson, who has devoted over 40 years to breeding pawpaws (Asimina triloba). We talk about how he first fell in love with this delicious fruit, how he tracked down remnants of the early 20th century pawpaw collections just in time, and selected 7 superior pawpaw cultivars out of 1,500 seedlings.”

Go to https://anchor.fm/plantcunning/ and episode 46.

I first ate a pawpaw while on a Capital Area Hiking Club September 2015 hike on the Susquehanna River. Our hike leader loaded up his backpack and was willing to share when we finished. Didn’t take a photo, but here’s what I picked a year later from a farm:


Ugly looking, but beautiful inside.

In subsequent seasons, I found pawpaws in national and state parks. Can’t find pawpaw fruit sales online that I previously bought from, so may revisit these parks next month.

My son and I engaged in Guerrilla Planting. Maybe it’s time to check on those trees’ progress, too?