Strep throat struck the family in painful succession this week, starting with the adults and now migrating to the kids.  This sad fact somewhat limited my productivity, and my ability to read and devour the news. Here is what I was able to collect.  Happy Friday!

  • Here is an update to a story we linked to a couple of weeks ago.  A dairy cow would be taxed $175 and a head of beef would be half that amount.  The reason?  To battle greenhouse gases. Like most government regulation schemes, there would be thresholds so we would not impact the little guy.  This story seems to suggest 25 head of dairy and 50 head of beef.  Seriously?

Let me describe a similar program in place to save the environment. In Minnesota, a campground development of 50 units or more must prepare an environmental review. Guess what? Wednesday we got a campground development containing 49 units.  Guess how often that happens? All the time.

Read this coming Monday's blog entry to get Ben's take on ways to create incenvites.

Also, here is Colbert's take (wait until the second item).  


 Can't recommend the book enough.  Click here to get your copy.

  • We are not supportors or opponents of Wal-Mart, per-se, but we are big fans of Civil war Battlefields.  I have not been to the Wilderness site, but this article makes it sound like it has already been somewhat spoiled by development.  Too bad.  It is not often you can reclaim a historic site once it has been spoiled by non-descript development.  Ghettysburg being the noted exception.


  • Here is another.  We could just make this blog a Friedman fan club.  This article resonated with me. Anyone who has traveled outside of the country has seen examples of where the United States is falling behind.  Without question, we have enjoyed unparalled prosperity and had a strong claim on the title "World's Greatest Country".  Like all "World's Greatest" titles, however, there is always an element of "what have you done for me lately".  Let's not kid ourselves....we've let a lot of prosperity pass us by without making much of it.  This goes for small and big towns alike.  Friedman is right - time for a reboot of the system.


  • For many small towns and rural areas, the McMansion trend was a major driver of the economy. Not only were people employed building the large home, but those people needed homes, they needed groceries, lawyers, educators, big screen TV's, etc...  With this trend dramatically slowing down or coming to an end, this major source of outside investment is lost. 


  • Link here.  No comment.  At some point I will talk about this tragic city as there is a ton to learn there, but not today.  Just read and know that this is real and this story is documenting what would actually be considered a productive gathering.