Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Implications of the Katrina disaster

The national guard is so drawn down by the Afghantistan and Iraq wars the DOD will send in regular troops from the already undermanned Northern Command.

Likely the levees will be unrepairable because of lack of maintainance and planning for a catastrophe of this magnitude. Several years ago I visited the Army Corps of Engineers lab and exhibit in Vicksburg on the management of Misssissippi River. While quite sophisticated, the focus of the Corps efforts was on maintaining and improving the shipping channels rather than anticipating a mass flooding disaster like Katrina's.

Most homeowners and businesses will take a total loss because conventional homeowners insurance does not cover flood losses. Such coverage is sold by a federally sponsored high risk insurance pool which charges very high premiums. It's quite similar to California's state sponsored earthquake insurance program. Not only is the latter very expensive but the coverage is very barebones--a 15% deductible, pays actual cash value rather than replacement costs, and allots only a few thousand dollars for temporary relocation expenses. (My earthquake annual premium is twice my homeowner's.)

Louisiana and Mississippi will suffer a double financial whammy because substantial portions of their state budgets are supported by gambling tax revenues. With the casinos in New Orleans and much of the lower Mississippi River river towns destroyed by the flooding, they'll sustain catastrophe tax losses. Won't be easy to convince their voters to pony up for higher personal taxes.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Planet Earth calling Nebraska. Anybody home?


A 22 year old man with the girl's parents permission legally married his 14 year old sweetheart with whom he had a child. Although apparently a conscienious husband and father, he faces a statutory rape charge for which he could receive a 30 year prison sentence.

Nebraska's rationale for the prosecution is the hope it will discourage early adolescent girls from having sex with older men.

In today's anything goes, hypersexualized society most young adolescent girls are sexually active. Had the father been a 15 year old boy the child might have been aborted, or given up for adoption. Some choice for the child--either death, or forever losing one's biological parents. Either way for the parents a lifetime of guilt and regrets.

What we have here is a bad case of metastatic bad prosecutorial discretion triggered by nth degree wishful thinking.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Anti-war protestors have a good point to make

Today's anti-war protestors are a different breed than those of the 1960s.

These mothers are incensed their children died for nothing because we no longer fight to win. American military doctrine nowadays is not to utterly destroy the enemy to bring the political changes we went to war to attain. Rather, it's winning the news cycle.

Instead of George Pattons to lead us to decisive victory, we have pr generals ready to hang out to dry anyone who shows the slightest initiative in the field, or heaven forbid, hurts the enemy's feelings. Re the latter consider the brouhaha of the photo of a well fed Saddam in skivvies.

The Pentagon could learn a thing or two by watching the new HBO series "Rome". In the opening scenes Caesar beats the Franks. The Frankish king is stripped naked in public and to save his life kneels before Caesar to kiss the Roman standard.

Nowadays he'd get POW status with all the benies, and in time likely to regain power!!!!
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Only way to pop the housing bubble is to kybosh non-conforming mortgages

The housing bubble is wrecking the country by sucking up savings and investment capital. Young couples like the one in this New York Times story are likely to end up in bankruptcy.

What's needed is for the administration to issue an emergency order to temporarily ban non-conforming mortgages, and insist home buyers pledge in writing to live on the property for a year as a condition for receiving a loan.

Are there any grownups living inside the Beltway?
To donate to my "testing the waters" effort to assess whether I can be viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination send contributions to

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Press coverage of my appearance at the Heinz meeting

(Spoke with Heinz yesterday. Got 5.7% of vote. Suspect most of that likely came from shareholders owning less than 200 shares. Might have picked up 25% or more of that class. Another sign my message resonated is an elderly woman, also a shareholder, approached me on the flight home to say she liked what I had to sasy. I think America's ready for really new leadership. If I can raise the kind of money required to run credible presidential race, I'd make the White House in 2008. Count on a KLEIN ADMINISTRATION to stop today's "wag the dog" foreign policy our policy elites from both parties use to avoid dealing the critical domestic issues, e.g. family stability, housing prices, illegal immigration, etc. )

(Pittsburg Post-Gazette)

Heinz head sees profits exceeding sales growth
Wednesday, August 24, 2005By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

H.J. Heinz Co. shareholders yesterday voted against hiring an investment bank to explore the sale of the ketchup company, but they were more amenable to making it easier to get stockholder approval for certain types of mergers and other corporate changes.
Neither of the two proposals placed on the Heinz annual meeting agenda by individual shareholders had management support. But Chairman Bill Johnson tried to be gracious as he shared the floor with Dr. Mark Klein, a California shareholder who put forth the proposal to seek a buyer, is considering a "dark horse" run for the GOP presidential nomination and announced, "This company is going nowhere and should be sold."

That was not quite the same message that Johnson wanted to deliver before the audience at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, Downtown. He presented a more hopeful prognosis, saying a reorganization of the company's European businesses could boost performance there and investments in growing markets such as Russia, China, India and Indonesia will pay off, too.
Following a fiscal year in which sales grew 5.9 percent to $8.9 billion, Johnson set goals of average annual sales growth of 3 to 4 percent over the next three years and yearly earnings per share growth of 6 to 8 percent. He said appropriate divestitures and acquisitions will drive growth, as well research being done at a new innovation center opening in Marshall.

The traditional entertainment at a Heinz meeting is generally film clips of commercials showing off the global company's myriad brands. This year, management used that moment to showcase recent acquisitions that are expected to extend the company's reach, including Russian ketchup maker Petrosoyuz and the British-born condiments HP sauce and Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce.

Although Johnson served as the face of Heinz at the meeting, the company's home movie took time to feature clips of top global managers who will be part of the new "office of the chairman" that is being created in Pittsburgh. The goal is to make the company more nimble by concentrating decision-makers in one location.

Johnson concluded the film by calling Heinz "a good investment," an observation with which shareholders might not completely agree. Several said they would like to see the dividend and share price rise -- Heinz closed yesterday at $36.31, off 38 cents, and its shares are down more than 5 percent on the year.

Still, stockholders holding only 5.4 percent of the shares agreed with Klein, the Oakland, Calif., investor who proposed that Heinz seek an investment banker to sell itself. Then again, the lack of appeal to Klein's proposal could have been his reasoning.

He believes Heinz is in the wrong business because feminist values are fueling obesity by creating families where both parents work and everyone eats badly. Klein said he figures shareholders have a better shot at a big payoff if food companies such as Heinz and Kellogg are sold.

On the other hand, stockholders representing about 65 percent of Heinz shares voted in favor of a proposal asking Heinz directors to consider letting them vote next year on whether to repeal the company's almost 20-year-old supermajority provisions.

Those rules state that at least 80 percent of shareholders must approve issues involving director liability and certain types of merger bids, a clause some say prohibits deal-making that could benefit shareholders at the sake of protecting management. The same issue has been raised at several other public companies in recent years.

Both votes have ramifications for next year's annual meeting. The Heinz board now has to consider how to respond to the supermajority elimination proposal. Meanwhile, because he received at votes from at stockholders holding at least 3 percent of Heinz shares, Klein has the right to try again.

"You made enough to come back next year, barely," said Johnson, quickly adding, "And we look forward to your return."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Military preparedness policy should not be like bodice ripper novel plots

Yesterday, a high level commission studying allegations of sexual harrassment at our service academies recommended the solution was vastly expanding the number of women attending.

Only problem is the primary mission of the service academies is to produce line officers for the combat arms like the infantry, artillery, armor, special operations, fighter pilots and forward deployed warships and submarines. These are specialties few women seek or qualify for. We're already very shorthanded because recruiting and retention of experienced officers and NCOs are persistently declining.

An effective solution is to clearly distinguish between genuine sexual harrassment from complaints which arise when women cadets aggressively flirt, particularly when intoxicated, or are the product of "hell hath no fury than a woman sconed" reaction when a romance ends badly.

To donate to my "testing the waters" effort to assess whether I can be viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination send contributions to

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Middle class Americans are nothing but roadkill

Because plain vanilla detached homes and condos in major metropolitan areas often nowadays sell for $500,000 and up, the government should do all it can to discourage speculation, and diminish demand.

One way to discourage speculation is for the government to issue an emergency regulation to the banks to issue home mortages only to people pledging to live in the property for at least a year.

Illegal immigrants have to live somewhere. So simply strictly enforcing the immigration law would make a very big difference in rent levels and housing cost particulary at the lower end of the property market.
To donate to my "testing the waters" effort to assess whether I can be viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination send contributions to

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To comply with federal election law please provide the following information:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Report from Pittsburgh

My proposal to sell the company lost but I got enough votes to resubmit next year.

As I anticipated, the meeting was very sparsely attended given it's the last week of August. The company's annual face to face with the shareholders, mostly retirees, lasted just 60 minutes of which about 30 consisted of watching Heinz promos of ordinary folks wolfing down lots and lots of obesity inducing calories.

Demo outside the venue went very well. Good turnout. Very moved by the welcome and offers of support I received. Heard some very sad stories. If "financial lightening" struck to enable me make a serious run for the White House, I'm convinced there are enough constituencies from the various varieties of America's walking wounded now just roadkill for braindead, and sometimes intentionally malevolent, government policy to win the presidency.

Today is a day I shan't ever forget. Off now for the benefit luncheon and strategy meeting with my supporters.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Always tough leaving my little spot of paradise

Takes a lot to get me to leave my home and colorful garden overlooking San Francisco Bay to travel, particularly to the east coast in the height of summer.

Feel like Snake Pliston played by Kurt Russell in the sequel to the sci fi flic "Escape from New York" who gets sent back to a post apocalyptic Manhattan to save the president who was seized by the bad guys when his plane crashed in Manhattan.

My mission is to save fellow Heinz shareholders' investment in the company by offering some plain vanilla, common sense economic advice to the board of directors and management.

Brave as he was Snake wasn't an economic bright bulb. Must be kicking himself for not using the reward money for saving the prez to buy up big swatches prime post apocalytic Manhattan property on the cheap before the Big Apple's inevitable economic recovery.

By holding the annual meeting in the last two weeks of August when most folks are on vacation, what's the bad news Heinz is hiding from the shareholders? Provides a good excuse to reread the annual report and the proxy statement on the long, dreary flight to Pittsburgh.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Be There Or Be Square

When I appear Tuesday morning 8/23/05 to present the Heinz shareholder proposals, there'll be a fathers' rights demonstration from 8:30-9:00 a.m. in front of the meeting venue, Westin Convention Center Hotel, 1000 Pitt Avenue, Pittsburgh.

At noon I will speak at a fundraiser luncheon for the at the former Fifth Avenue High School, 1800 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh (Uptown), PA 15219 Tickets are $10. At 7 PM I will attend the regular weekly MensCustody meeting at 626 Lillian Street, Pittsburgh (Allentown), Pa 15210.

Contact person for these events is Tony Taylor 412-829-2278/

Link to text of the shareholder proposals below. I am also presenting Mr. Steiner's proposal on shareholder voting rights.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Like me Kinky Friedman believes American voters are utterly fed up with today's mediocre professional political class

(Kinky Friedman profile in the 8/22/05 New Yorker.)

Here are a few lessons from modern American music. First, he not busy being born is busy dying. Second, you can't hang a man for killing a woman who is trying to steal your horse. And, third, you come to see what you want to see; you come to see, but you never come to know.

These are good lessons. Bob Dylan provided the first, Willie Nelson the second. The third belongs to Kinky Friedman, who, in the nineteen-seventies, travelled around the country with his country-and-Western band—Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys—annoying audiences with a series of goading, satirical songs with titles like “They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Asshole from El Paso.” In the eighties, after the band broke up, Kinky reinvented himself as a mystery novelist.

In the past twenty years, he has written seventeen mysteries starring a detective named Kinky Friedman—a Jewish cowboy from Texas who has quit a singing career for a life of sleuthing and one-liners in New York City. Today, Dylan and Nelson, whose onstage thrones in the great concert hall of musical divinity were installed decades ago, seem to intend to ride their tour buses forever. Kinky, who never learned to sit still much, has grown tired of his second career—this year, at the age of sixty, he announced that his most recent mystery will be his last—and has sought out a third. He intends to be the governor of Texas.

At nine o'clock on a bright May morning, near the start of his first real campaign swing, the candidate was sitting in the shabby ground-floor restaurant of the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Houston, wondering what to have for breakfast. “The decisions that kill me are the little ones,” Kinky told me later. “Wardrobe kills me. I have two outfits. I have my Waylon Jennings vest, which is this booger here that Waylon gave me, and I have my preaching coat, and every morning it takes me half the goddam day to figure which one I'm going to wear.” On this occasion, he had gone with the vest—the preaching coat is usually reserved for more formal occasions—a slightly weather-beaten black leather number, worn over a black shirt and jeans, topped off with his customary black Stetson and the first of eight or ten cigars (Montecristo No. 2s) that he smokes each day. “The Governor has decided on pancakes!” he barked, finally. “Jewford, are there pancakes at this buffet? Do you see any kind of pancakes anywhere?”
“Pancakes for the Governor! The Governor will have pancakes!” Little Jewford shouted, and promptly did nothing about it. Little Jewford—who was born Jeff Shelby—was one of the original Jewboys, a conservatory-trained pianist who played keyboards, accordion, clavieta, toy trumpet, and kazoo. In this new road show he acts as Kinky's driver, all-around bodyman, and voice of reason—or, often, a sort of profound unreason. They have known each other for almost fifty years, since they were children, and they play off each other in a continuous Marx Brothers-style high vaudeville—Kinky does Groucho, Jewford does both Chico and Harpo. Kinky, who has never been married, often introduces Jewford to crowds as “very possibly the next First Lady of the state of Texas”; when asked about it, Jewford tends to shrug and say things like “I need a gig.”

Kinky went off to look for breakfast in another part of the restaurant. Much as he has a set of different voices—a soft, ruminative tone for conversation, a booming, exaggeratedly countrified delivery when he's playing the role of bullhorn preacher—Kinky has a few different walks. Now he put on the full cowboy strut, shoulders back and hands at hips: the cowboy hunting breakfast. He soon found the buffet and pancakes, but no syrup. “The Governor needs syrup!” Kinky said. “Is there any syrup for the Governor?”

Eventually, a waiter turned up with the syrup. He couldn't stop grinning, and he insisted on addressing Kinky deferentially as Governor, which made the candidate a little nervous. He liked making the joke himself, but the waiter really seemed to mean it. Kinky's problem, he has said, is that he considers himself a serious soul who has never been taken seriously. But you might say that his problem is more that he's always taken seriously for the wrong things, at the wrong times. He's taken literally when he sings an entirely silly anti-women's-liberation song that's meant as satire (“Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed”); he's not taken seriously when he sings a sober, elegiac country song about the Holocaust (“Ride 'Em Jewboy”). At breakfast, he was just having fun with the idea of being governor-self-mockery as self-importance-and the waiter took it straight; later that day, he would be annoyed by reporters who insinuated that he was just faking a campaign for the hell of it. But in the restaurant he relaxed after a moment and smiled at the waiter, shook his hand, thanked him for the syrup, and told him he was a good Texan. Then he started in on the pancakes, pronouncing, “The Governor is happy.” After another bite, he added, “Well, maybe happy is going a little far. But the Governor has syrup. So that's something.”

Kinky Friedman's candidacy is bound to be something; what that something is is still up for debate. He is surely the only candidate for governor to have written extensively about his past cocaine use, or to have flown in Led Zeppelin's private plane, or to have performed at the Grand Ole Opry. He is also currently the only candidate in the 2006 Texas gubernatorial campaign to operate outside the party system, without party money. Kinky, as everyone calls him, is running as an independent candidate. He'll need nearly fifty thousand signatures to get in the race, all of which must be collected in the two months following the party primaries, next March. (Given that thirty thousand volunteers have already signed up to help on the campaign, this looks probable.) For the time being, he intends to capitalize on voter dissatisfaction, and on whatever's left of the tradition of Texas populism. In his latest book, a collection of essays called “Texas Hold 'Em,” he writes, “My platform is to remember that when they went out searching for Sam Houston to try to persuade him to be the governor—and he was the greatest governor this state has ever had—rumor has it that they found him drunk, sleeping under a bridge with the Indians.”

Kinky has no stump speech; he just talks. “Seventy-one per cent of eligible voters in Texas did not vote in the last gubernatorial election,” he told a crowd of six or seven hundred at a public fund-raising event later that night in a Houston design store. “And what that means to me is that Texans aren't happy with the choices they're being given.” The crowd ate it up, buying Kinky posters and T-shirts (“KINKY 2006: WHY THE HELL NOT?”) like fans at a rock concert desperate for proof that they had seen their idol. There were a few hundred more of them than anyone had expected—Republicans and Democrats, blond society ladies with industrialstrength hair styles and balding hippies with ponytails, heavily tattooed bikers with necks like fire hydrants, lawyers in three-thousand-dollar suits, and hipster twenty-somethings with T-shirts that said things like “Jesusland: pop. 59,459,765” (a slightly inaccurate reference to the number of votes cast for George W. Bush in 2004). The size and the seriousness of the crowd, as well as its deeply strange composition, seemed to take Kinky aback a little, and he shot Jewford a bemused grin.

Back at the Doubletree, Jewford, Kinky, and Beano Boynton, a large, fast-talking Texas Hill Country native, who is in charge of fund-raising, put together a kind of late-night strategy session in Kinky's room. Not a lot of strategy actually came up. No political observer in the state was giving Kinky Friedman any chance at all, and he was still saying things like “If I win, the first thing I'll do is demand a recount,” and promising that, if elected the first Jewish governor of Texas, he would reduce the speed limit to 54.95. He had previously explained that he wanted the job because he needed the closet space, and he had already promised the job of warden of women's prisons to at least eight different guys. But, one after another, voters told him they thanked God that he had decided to do this, that they were sick of the way politics was being practiced.

“These people are deathly serious,” Beano said, sprawled on a chair that was slightly too small for him. He mentioned one of the organizers of the night's event. “He's the regional director,” he said, “the one who wants us to do the grand opening in Austin.”
“Are we helping them or are they helping us?” Kinky asked.
“We're getting their e-mail list,” Beano said.
“You know, we're going to wind up with five hundred thousand volunteers and no money,” Kinky said.
“Well, if that happens,” Jewford said, “we can just forget the political stuff and form a new soccer league.”

But Kinky's basic campaign platforms were going over well, and he felt that he was staking out a centrist spot that party candidates couldn't. Earlier in the day, he had lectured the Society of Professional Journalists on America's divided culture (“I grieve that NASCAR people never go to the lesbians' tea-houses, and the lesbians never go to NASCAR”) and outlined his policies on education. “I say, No Teacher Left Behind. The teachers are getting screwed,” Kinky said. “Every appointee to the education system in a Friedman administration will have an education degree and classroom time.” In addition to the No Teacher Left Behind program, he has proposed financing public education through the legalization of video poker terminals in bars: Slots for Tots. The journalists seemed a little disturbed by his support for nondenominational prayer in schools: what sort of prayer would it be? Kinky didn't know, but offered an explanation for his position: “Well, I confess that I get bored with the Lord on occasion, and, when I do, my spiritual adviser, Billy Joe Shaver, who has an affinity for the divinity, has convinced me that prayer is an excellent idea.”

Kinky says he is not worried about a heavily Christian state accepting a Jewish candidate. (He's a little worried by a joke he used to make about Baptists, that they don't keep them underwater long enough, but not too worried.) The issue came up the following day while he was talking to a film crew from Country Music Television, who were hoping to make a reality series about the campaign. “Anyone gives me any of that shit,” he said, putting on his bullhorn-preacher voice, “I'll just say, 'I'm washed in the same blood you are, brother.' ”“Can we get that on camera?” a producer asked. Kinky ignored him. “And if that doesn't work,” he said, “I'll hit 'em with John 3:15.”

Everyone laughed, but it turned out that nobody had any idea what the passage said. Kinky grew louder. “Does anyone know? You bunch of godless heathens? It's-it's-well, shit.” He lost the preacher voice for a moment. “No, no, wait a minute, I got it.” He cleared his throat. “ 'That whosoever believeth in Jesus should not perish but have eternal life.' ”

Away from the cameras, he said to me, “Eternal life! Christ. Did I tell you what Bob Dylan said to me about dying? He said, 'When you die they let you off the hook.' ”

Leaving Houston, Kinky stopped briefly in Austin, and then drove off to Echo Hill Ranch for a rest. Echo Hill is a four-hundred-acre property in the Texas Hill Country, about an hour and a half west of Austin. Kinky's parents bought Echo Hill in 1952, and founded a children's summer camp there that became an important summer community for Jewish Texans. The elder Friedmans, the children of Polish and Russian immigrants, who spent their lives as educators, ran it until they died; Kinky's sister, who works for the State Department, helped run the place for years, and now his brother, a psychologist, has taken over.

The Friedmans moved to Texas from Chicago in 1945, a year after Kinky's birth. (Of Chicago, Kinky, who was born Richard Friedman, has written, “I lived there one year, couldn't find work, and moved to Texas, where I haven't worked since.”) Echo Hill is the site of many of Kinky's happiest memories, and when he's not on the road he spends most of his time there, in a small, slightly dilapidated one-story lodge, decorated with old Jewboy posters and countless photographs of his family and friends. He putters around, refills the hummingbird feeders that his mother put out decades ago, takes phone calls. He makes occasional trips into town, but not often. He lives alone, except for four profoundly unruly dogs whom he calls the Friedmans and on whom he dotes as if they were grandchildren. Over a meal of steak and beans—in fact every meal we ate at the ranch was steak and beans—the dogs are likely to end up with most of the steak while Kinky gets the beans.

Kinky spent his summers at Echo Hill—as boys, he and Jewford first performed together there—as a camper and then as a counsellor, through high school in Austin and college at the University of Texas. It was at U.T. that Richard Friedman became Kinky Friedman, a name given him by Nick (Chinga) Chavin, later a country singer himself, in reference to Kinky's hair—“a little Jewish Afro,” as Chavin put it. (Kinky has referred to his hair as “a Lyle Lovett starter kit.”) Kinky graduated in 1966, joined the Peace Corps, and was posted to Borneo. “I taught the children to play Frisbee, and some Hank Williams songs,” he told me, sitting in a small field at the ranch. He has often noted that he was sent to teach agriculture to people who had been farming successfully for thousands of years. So he spent most of his time playing with the children, getting drunk with the adults, and writing some of the songs that he later became known for. “We learned a lot more than they did,” he said. “It changed us.” He paused, considered the half-smoked, extinguished cigar in his hand, and lit it up again. “And the truth is if those people had come to Texas at that time somebody probably would have stomped the shit out of them.”

He left Borneo in 1968 and ended up in Nashville, trying to make it as a songwriter. Eventually, he called Jewford, who was in California, studying music and theatre, and started getting a band together. The Jewboys were in place by 1973, when they released their first LP, “Sold American.” That summer, they performed at the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, and the title track of “Sold American” reached the country charts. Soon, the Jewboys were performing with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, with Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Joel. Everyone from Jerry Garcia and Ken Kesey to Abbie Hoffman and Keith Richards showed up to see them, and Kinky toured with Dylan on his “Rolling Thunder Revue.”

No one quite knew what to make of them. Dylan Ferrero, a Peace Corps friend who became the Jewboys' road manager, told me, “Major Bowles, our drummer, used to say, 'What's wrong, man—we don't have any groupies! All we got is Jewish sociology professors taking notes!' ” The concept of political correctness was just taking shape, and the Jewboys' entire plan of attack was to puncture it. There were serious songs—“Rapid City, South Dakota,” for instance, which Kinky has described as “the first pro-choice country song”—but the satirical work got most of the attention. “Sure, we wanted to shock the world, to a certain degree,” Jewford said. “And what we were doing, well, Hank Williams and Bob Wills, absolutely, but also Lenny Bruce.” The Jewboys got thrown off the stage in Dallas, chased off the stage in Buffalo, and threatened, by both Jewish groups and anti-Semites, in New York.

“The truth is, I don't remember all that much of it,” Kinky told me. He once wrote, “I'd had a number of bad experiences with drugs, one of them lasting for several decades.” Jewford told me, “There was a doctor in Nashville everyone called Dr. Snap. You'd just go to Dr. Snap, and you'd say, 'Oh, I'm tired, really tired, Dr. Snap.' Of course, there'd also be nine hundred musicians in a line right behind you.” At one point, Jewford said, he was doing so much speed that the ends of his handlebar mustache just fell off. And then there was cocaine. “All of a sudden, it was there. It just appeared. And it appeared in mounds. And then shovelfuls.”
The Jewboys didn't so much break up as drift apart. The way Ferrero remembers it, he was standing in line at an airport after a gig in 1976 and spotted Jewford standing in another line, waiting for a different flight. Jewford said nothing, got on the plane, and never came back. He and Kinky didn't reunite until twenty years later, when they began playing tours in Europe and Australia. Kinky ended up performing with new backup bands in a weekly slot at the Lone Star Café, in New York. It was a successful show, with a celebrity following that included John Belushi and Mickey Mantle, but cocaine was exacting a toll, spiritually and financially. “Kinky was taking in something like six thousand dollars a week, and he still couldn't afford a place to live,” Mike McGovern, a former columnist for the News, told me.

Kinky's first forays into mystery writing, he likes to say, came out of a dead horse: his record label had dropped him, and the Lone Star show was flagging. “I was at a real low point,” he told me at Echo Hill. “Desperation drove those early books.” He wrote the first, “Greenwich Killing Time,” in 1984, on a typewriter that had belonged to McGovern's mother; McGovern himself features as the police's main suspect in a Greenwich Village murder. But Kinky was tired of New York. He had recently lost his “spiritual big brother,” the actor Tom Baker, to heroin, and a girlfriend, Kacey Cohen—“the love of my life, as they say”—in a car crash. In 1985, he went home to Texas; that year, his mother died of a heart attack. After that, he stayed home, leaving drugs and, for the most part, the wild life behind him. It's not lost on him that, in effect, he simply moved back in with his parents and never left. “I'm still a child, very immature,” he told me. “Never really grew up, never really did a conventional job.” Children pick up on this and see a kind of ally in Kinky, immediately fixing on him as the most interesting person in the room. “Treat adults like children and children like adults” was one of his father's guiding credos, and it is perhaps in an only slightly twisted homage to this that one of Kinky's favorite lines, when he spots a child in the audience, is “The Kinkster never likes to say 'fuck' in front of a c-h-i-l-d.”
Kinky moved into a little green trailer at Echo Hill and set about writing novels, which began to appear at the rate of nearly one a year. Populated by people from Kinky's life, the books are based in reality but jump off from there into loopy mystery plots. The plots are always subordinate to the voice, that of a somewhat addled cowboy-philosopher-king: “It's OK to think you're a cowboy, unless, of course, you happen to run into someone who thinks he's an Indian.” These riffs are offset by the doings of a host of additional troublemakers, who run around New York bickering and ignoring Kinky's wit and eating Chinese food, while Kinky ends up having conversations with his cat. Eventually, a crime is solved.

“My primary aim is to amuse Americans on their aircraft,” Kinky once said, but, as with the music, his ambitions have always been, subtly, a little higher. Bill Clinton, a fan of the novels—he has asked Kinky for a cameo role in one—has said, “Some of them are actually quite good as mystery novels, but they're all good in terms of the development of his take on life.” In this sense, the books are, like the music, a vehicle for the essential, unchanging product: Kinky himself. Lyle Lovett, who cites Kinky's music as an influence on his own career, has said, “His career with the Texas Jewboys was just a way to introduce Kinky to the rest of us.”

There are those who maintain that there's a Richard Friedman behind the curtain, pulling the strings of a Kinky character, both in the books and in life. But the majority of his friends feel that Kinky is Kinky onstage and off. As his friend Penn Jillette, of the duo Penn & Teller, put it, “If you keep scratching Kinky, peeling off layers, you've got more of an onion thing going on than a mask.” As we drove back to Austin from Echo Hill, I asked whether the character is an idealized version of himself. “Well, he's not an alter ego,” he said. “I mean, he's not a guy who does great things. All he does is, he stumbles around, he can't get laid, and he fucks up.” Then he added, “You have your life and your work, and you should get the two as confused and as mixed up as possible. Make it all one fabric. Vincent van Gogh did that. Hank Williams did it, Allen Ginsberg, Bukowski, those kinds of people did it.” He thought about it for a moment, lit his cigar, and added, “Anne Frank, of necessity, did it.”

Kinky, in his life and work, has always felt most comfortable as an outsider: a Jew in Texas, a Texan in New York, a reactionary in progressive circles, and a progressive in conservative circles. “Too smart for country, too country for the intelligentsia,” as the journalist Larry Sloman—better known as Ratso, who in the mysteries plays Watson to Kinky's Sherlock—once put it. In front of a liberal crowd, Kinky throws in as many racist and sexist epithets as he can think of. If it's a country crowd, he uses bigger words and makes fun of rednecks. Naturally, this is part of his political appeal: politicians are always careful to say nothing offensive, whereas Kinky is careful to always say something offensive; he provokes not to stop conversation but to start it. It's a delicate balance, however. As Evan Smith, the editor of Texas Monthly, for which Kinky wrote a column for four years, put it, “If he's too much like the Kinky we all know and love, he risks not being taken seriously—but if he's too serious he risks just being another guy. People will say, 'If I wanted an unfunny guy, I'd vote for one of the actual candidates.' ”

Kinky will have to convince voters that he's at least a little serious, and this means convincing them that he is sincere. Willie Nelson, aboard his tour bus just before a show in New Jersey, told me, “They come to hear just how far out is this guy, and I think that's true of any entertainer who is being honest and truthful.” Kinky has said that he would appoint Nelson as his energy czar, in order to explore expanding the use of biodiesel, an alternative fuel that Nelson uses in his buses and cars. “They want to know how honest you're gonna be,” Nelson said, “and I haven't seen him back off on anything.”

Returning to Austin, Kinky introduced a new media consultant to the press—Bill Hillsman, an adman who worked on Jesse Ventura's campaign for governor of Minnesota, in 1998. The Ventura campaign, with its tiny budget, outlandish candidate, and unexpected triumph, is an important model for the Kinky campaign—Dean Barkley, the campaign director, also worked for Ventura—and Hillsman lost no time in schooling the staff on how to attract what he calls “unlikely voters.” At a strategy summit outside Austin, some of the campaign staff began to complain that the candidate's policy positions weren't being publicized enough. Hillsman, a pale Chicagoan rapidly turning pink in the strong Texas sun, told them, “We're in the business of fomenting discontent. Even if we've got the greatest answers in the world, now's the wrong time to be putting them out there, because no one's really listening.” Most of the staff—a combination of Kinky's old friends and energetic twenty-somethings—seemed to agree, although Cleve Hattersley, a musician who managed Kinky's solo career in the eighties and is now the campaign's communications director, said later, “I agree with Dean and Bill that less is best, but we do need more about who the fuck he is.”

The campaign was now several weeks old, and the lines about needing more closet space were beginning to disappear. Kinky found himself approached more and more by Texans desperate for an alternative to the sort of candidates they were used to, and he was starting to feel that he had a responsibility to these people. More and more, he was saying, “You know, there's something happening here,” and “I'm starting to think we could actually win this goddam thing.”
The CNN political analyst and former Clinton adviser Paul Begala, who is from Houston, said, “It's still, obviously, a Hail Mary, but the conditions are there.” He pointed to the likelihood of a weak Democratic candidate and of a vicious and divisive G.O.P. primary. “Kinky desperately needs a scandal,” he said, but, he added, that's hardly out of the realm of possibility, with grand-jury investigations of a number of prominent Texas Republicans. “I think the stakes are lower in Texas, and Texans understand that,” he said, referring to the fact that the governor's power in Texas is, compared with other states, limited. “We're unlikely to go to war with Oklahoma.”
The next leg of the campaign was a tour through the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Between fund-raisers, Kinky was dragged from his hotel across the street to the Bullring, a cavernous, mostly empty beer joint. Its owner, Ace Cook, a squat man with a yellowing walrus mustache, wanted to inform Kinky of his political philosophy.

“I'm for you,” Cook said, sitting down to write the campaign a check. “I'm sick of these assholes who don't represent me, or represent people.” By now, this sentiment had become a common refrain. “They represent A.T. & T. and Enron. How you gonna come and beg for my vote and then have nothing to do with me? Did Enron elect you or did I? I'm paying your salary, hoss. How'd it be if someone went up to the capitol and did what they said they would?”
“It'd be a first,” the candidate said.
“I believe it, hoss,” Cook said. “That's why you're gonna win.”

Later that afternoon, a fund-raiser open to the public at the Flying Saucer, another Fort Worth bar, turned out to be precisely the sort of thing that professional political operatives plan—a venue filled with at least three times the number of people it's supposed to accommodate. It was very hot and very humid, and Kinky's voice was suffering. His writing hand was starting to cramp as he signed T-shirt after T-shirt, poster after poster, and the playful gleam in his eye was beginning to glaze over. Two firemen asked what he thought about cities dipping into firefighters' pension funds. “That's bullshit,” Kinky said, and more or less left it at that. But Kinky's answer, and his style, was enough for the firemen, who called themselves Johnny Bravo and Blue. “He's my man,” said Bravo, who voted for Rick Perry, the incumbent governor, in the last election. “I'm going to vote for him,” said Blue, who had voted Democrat. “I'm willing to vote for him just to send a message. But if he could actually win, so much the better.”

Afterward, Kinky was escorted to a gigantic white S.U.V. and driven to the next event, at a bar in Dallas. “Suicide,” he muttered. “Suicide. Jesus, this could be a prison. What about all those security guys, talking into their sleeves? How's that going to work? 'Roger, roger, ten-four: Dirtbag 1 is moving. Repeat, Dirtbag 1 is moving.' ”
“Don't flatter yourself,” Jewford said. “More like Dirtbag 5. Plenty of dirtbags more important than you.”
But Kinky was not to be cheered up. He was worried that he wouldn't be able to deal with people at the bar in Dallas. It was a bigger place, and some of the crowd were there just to drink. But here, too, the line went out the door for hours. These voters had had more alcohol than the afternoon crowd; a woman asked Kinky to sign her breast. (“Rick Perry would never do this,” she said, inspecting the autograph afterward. “Who'd want him to?” her friend said.) One slightly drunk voter asked Jewford why he wanted to be governor. “I don't,” Jewford said. Several more asked him the same thing. “I don't want to be fucking governor,” he said. “What's your stance on the environment?” a man asked, unfazed. “I don't have a fucking stance,” Jewford said. Kinky, signing a poster with his face on it, heard the exchange and cracked up. But afterward he collapsed into the car.

The next morning, Jewford drove Kinky to Houston. Kinky was still irritated about a few people at the fund-raiser who had asked him if this was all just a ploy to sell books, and he was tired of being followed around by the crew from Country Music Television. “Do I really want to be one of these old-time, colorful political fucks?” he said. “Do I really want to be this all the time? The Governor is sick of being miked. The Governor is sick of these fucks watching him all the time.” He opened the window to light up a dead Montecristo, changed his mind, and rolled the window back up. “On the other hand, I do like the idea of being able to say, 'The Governor needs a cigar! The Governor needs a drink!' ”

He played with the cigar for a few minutes. “W.W.W.R.D.—What Would Will Rogers Do? That's really it. Does that work? What did that lady call me? A modern-day common-sense philosopher? I think that's it. I think that's what we need.”
“Yes, Ma'am,” Jewford said.
“It's a corrupt and diseased system. It's the stifling of Texas's spirit, and it's the career politicians who are the real joke. Oh, hell. This could be something—but who fucking knows? We have no idea how this is going to turn out.”
“You don't know what the monkey eat until the monkey shit,” Jewford said, quoting a line from one of Kinky's favorite sages, Leon (Slim) Dodson, a Second World War veteran who worked for years at Echo Hill washing dishes.
“That's right,” Kinky said, very pleased. Thinking of Slim made him happy for a moment. But, despite the success of the evening, he was annoyed, and not looking forward to a private fund-raiser with a wealthier crowd.
“I'm sick of being a performing monkey,” he said after a while. “I'm sick of these rich motherfuckers. But I'm also sick of people asking me if this is a joke. God damn it, I am serious. And they're going to see that I am, eventually.” He paused, then added, “People are always misunderstanding each other. You can never think you have the last word on any human heart.”

You come to see what you want to see, but you never come to know. Although Kinky wrote that line more than three decades ago, he's never got entirely used to the idea that he was going to be seen a lot but never quite known the way he wanted. Intellectually, he accepts it. “Well, I like to be as misunderstood as the next guy,” he once said, “so I like guys like van Gogh, and Oscar Wilde, and Jesus Christ, and Lenny Bruce—yeah, I relate to them.” But he was still stewing about it when we made a rest stop in West, a small town near Waco, where he was approached by a middle-aged man from Dallas named Dennis Rainwater. It took just a few minutes for Kinky to know Dennis Rainwater a little and to like him very much; in just a few minutes, Dennis Rainwater came to feel that he knew and liked Kinky. They talked about Rainwater's family history, and his home town, Harlingen, down in the Rio Grande Valley, not far from the Gulf of Mexico and the border. They talked briefly about how vicious and empty politics had become, and whether Kinky could change it. Rainwater thought so.
“So you're half Irish, half Cherokee? Now, that, my friend, is a powerful combination,” Kinky said, and made a joke about the potential for whiskey consumption.
Rainwater didn't seem to mind. “I'll see you on that ballot,” he said.

On parting, Kinky gave him his standard benediction: “May the god of your choice bless you.”

Friday, August 19, 2005

Testing the waters as a political unknown.

Fri, 19 Aug 2005 11:23:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: "MARK KLEIN, M.D." View Contact Details
Subject: Hi!

Since I'm on your cc list, I assume you're familiar with my positions on fathers rights and my interest in exploring the feasibility of seeking the 2008 GOP nomination. &

I believe a winning national plurality could be put together with a coalition of NCPs, men generally, social conservatives, and sensible people across the political spectrum fed up with seeing their income and savings increase in nominal terms but decrease in BUYING POWER.

Your petition asking for lower gas prices speaks to the profound failure of the leadership of both parties to look out for the welfare of ordinary Americans. Compared to when I was teenager in the mid to late 1950s, gas adjusted for inflation through 2005 was more expensive in the buying power terms than today. (see my blog posting from 8/13 below)
Saturday, August 13, 2005

Gasoline prices are at historic lows in BUYING POWER terms.

When I was teenager in the 1950s, I paid 30 cents/gallon for gas. Today's average $2.41/gallon is nominally eight times higher. Gasoline prices have severely lagged behind the cost of housing over the same period by at least a factor of 3, if not a lot higher, in the most desirable urban areas.Relentless low grade chronic inflation is like getting novacaine while getting all your teeth pulled.

The gas price problem upsetting you is the direct result of massive illegal immigration. Too many low wage workers drive down salary levels for the majority of Americans. Illegal immigrants have to live somewhere so they've consumed what remained of the affordable rental and for purchase stock. Lastly, they also drive cars, cook food and heat their homes so again more people competing for a scarce commodities like gasoline, natural gas and heating oil.

If the McCain/Kennedy "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" to be introduced in the fall passes, it will "legalize" illegal immigration and likely be the catalyst for the destruction what remains of the middle middle class American family. Most ordinary Americans simply won't be able to afford to marry and raise children.

For me to run I need a national grassroots organization and financial support. Can you help?


Thursday, August 18, 2005

A quick sure way to pop the property speculation bubble

The Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which regulates the national banks shoud issue EMERGENCY regulations ordering mortgage writers to issue them ONLY to buyers agreeing in writing to reside on the property for 12 months, and to temporarily ban interest only mortgages and any other mortgage not a standard fixed or adjustable rate loan.

Such rules would pop the bubble by chasing the speculators out of the market.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

American middle class family life is headed for the ocean floor

My recent postings on the housing price crisis is just the tip of economic iceberg which threatens to send American middle class family life to the ocean bottom.

For starters cheap illegal immigrant labor destroys economic opportunity for many average Americans. Just Adam Smith supply and demand stuff. Cheap, undocumented labor drives down the wage structure for everyone except high level professionals. Because of that the Wal Marts and the Starbucks get away with paying wages too low for American workers to afford to buy homes and start families. That's in sharp contrast to my parents' generation's experience.

My late father was a butcher who left school in the Great Depression at 12 or 13 to work. On the modest earning from his meat market he eventually owned a pleasant suburban home, raised children, and my mother didn't work. No way today would that happen.

After more than a 40 year interval, I recently visited the house my dad bought. That $16,000 home is now worth more than $500,000. When I lived there, my neighbors were policeman, postmen, tradesmen, and school teachers.

Such folks today are priced out of the housing market because the leadership elites of BOTH MAJOR PARTIES just don't care. They talk the family stability talk but don't walk the walk. That's what happens when we turned the government over to a professional politician class. Maybe America's ready for a "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" like me. That's why I'm "testing the waters" for the feasibility of trying for the 2008 Republican nomination.

Money is the mother's milk of American politics. I can't bankroll a campaign as Perot did, nor is there a Kerry or Kennedy fortune behind me. For REAL change the saying "MONEY TALKS AND ** WALKS" applies.
send donations to

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I need "Winter Soldiers"

In America money is the mother's milk of politics.

I'm pretty well set financially but by no means a rich person with unlimited means, or have a Kerry or Kennedy family fortune behind me. Under federal election law I'm doing a "testing the waters" effort.

So I need to know how much financial support is out there to determine the feasibility of running for president in 2008. The campaign has to be financially self sustaining if for no other reason at age 64 I won't squander the precious years of the last quarter of my life unless people are really behind me. I liken my efforts to those of our Founding Fathers who left comfortable lives, often later in life, to serve America in her hour of need.

Donations should be send to

6808 Estates Drive
Oakland, Ca 94611

The FEC requires the following information accompany the check.

Name & address
Name of employer

Since this blog has readers around the globe, be informed I can only legally accept donations from American citizens. All donations received from abroad must in addition to the above information contain a signed handwritten statement saying "I am a citizen of the United States."

Contributions are not tax deductible.

Why American housing prices are soaring

Just basic Adam Smith law of supply and demand stuff. Housing prices are rising because of demand. Why create even more demand by encouraging illegal immigrants to buy homes? The needs of Americans should come first.

Recent press reports indicate the federal government is making it easier for illegal immigrants to buy homes in the United States. In fact, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which supervises the savings and loan industry actively promotes it. Yesterday, I learned at first hand the Treasury Department's Comptroller of the Currency's office which regulates the national banks simply looks the other way by asking no questions.

Because of such news stories I asked at the Oakland, CA mortgage office of one of America's biggest money center banks in which I own shares whether they screened for illegal immigrants. They don't because of "anti-discrimination" laws. It's not discrimination and is also good business to ask an applicant if their presence in the United States is legal. Besides aiding and abetting a crime, if the person eventually is deported, the property could end up in foreclosure creating a loss to the bank.

I asked a senior Treasury official about this. Replied the department only responds to problems brought to its attention by government bank examiners. There are no plans to ask the national banks to enquire about an applicant's legal residency status.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The administration misunderstands the nuclear proliferation issue

Any country possessing convention artillery, or Scud like missiles, is a potential nuclear power.

Current non-proliferation efforts focus on the manufacture of conventional fission and fusion devices.

Much easier to load artillery shells or missile warheads with conventional explosives laced with gamma emitting radiation particles. In fact, it's a better weapon because it can destroy the enemy's political will to resist with just widespread radioactive contamination and minimal direct civilian casualties and property damage.

The Iranians could destroy Europe's economy and political stability by striking its major cities with dirty bomb conventional missile warheads. Only a matter of time before Iranian missiles have the capability to strike the United States.

That's why we need to substitute new foreign policy thinking for saber rattling. Our current policy towards Iran is little more than a boddice ripper novel plot dependent on a deus ex machina story solution. Grownups know God helps those who help themselves.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Saber rattling with Iran over nuclear weapons is a very dangerous game

(my e-mail to the White House today)

There is ANOTHER way to deal with the problem. Our problems with the Islamic world arise from trying to shove western style feminism down their throats. They see the social and economic wreckage feminism's created for us by our 50% plus divorce rate. They want no part of it and are willing to fight us even to the extent of using suicide bombers to save their way of life.

We should deal with the Islamic world the way Israel handles its Arab citizens. Under the ultimate supervision of government and supreme court, Israeli Arabs have their own courts to handle family status and inheritance issues. I follow the Israeli press very closely. The government is very careful not to criticize Arab family practices, or interfere with their courts in non-criminal matters. Even in the West Bank the government stays far, far away from interfering with Arab domestic legal matters.

The Iranians aren't the blowhard paper tigers Saddam's crew were. My guess is they already have deployable nuclear weapons. To preserve their way of life if pushed to wall I believe they'd launch a nuclear ballistic missile first strike on Europe. The Iranians are scientifically advanced enough and possess the industrial infrastructure to soon enhance the range of their missiles to strike the United States.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Gasoline prices are at historic lows in BUYING POWER terms

When I was teenager in the 1950s, I paid 30 cents/gallon for gas. Today's average $2.41 is nominally eight times higher. Gasoline prices have severely lagged behind the cost of housing over the same period by at least a factor of 3, if not a lot higher in the most desirable urban areas.

Relentless lowgrade chronic inflation is like getting novacaine while getting all your teeth pulled.

Friday, August 12, 2005

What $850,000 buys in a pleasant Oakland neighborhood

Not far from where I live a small three bedroom home with no usable backyard and a micro front yard sold for $850,000. The rear of house sticks out on a very steep slope.

I estimate the conventional mortgage carrying costs with taxes and insurance (including earthquake) at almost $60,000 annually.

Only a generation ago my area was very middle middle class. I bought my home from the estate of the widow of a beauty shop operator who paid about $20,000 for it in the early 1960s. 5 years ago paid more than 25 times that. Was a bargain because the house was a fixer upper!

Why are housing prices so out of control. The two main culprits are feminist careerism and illegal immigration.

30 plus years of the majority of women occured without an increase in REAL wages. All that extra money sloshing through the economy drove up the prices of the things people really NEED, e.g. housing, education and medical care. Just basic Adam Smith supply and demand stuff.

Illegal immigrants have to live somewhere. So they've taken up what's left of the afforable housing stock particularly in urban areas. Now the federal government is actually helping illegals get mortgages to buy homes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Disingenuous but not false and misleading!!!!

(Below is my letter to Proctor & Gamble approving their proposed reply to my shareholder holder proposal which you'll find below. Also see August 6 posting. )

"Disingenuous but not false and misleading as per my understanding of SEC 14a-8. Hence I shall not object to it appearing on the proxy."

If you want to know why I think I've got a chance to win the presidency, check out this story and the woman's blog Betting Americans are fed up with media celebration of the darkest side of the human experience as the cultural ideal for women.

This is also why we're in a clash of civilizations with the Islamic world. The Arab-Israeli conflict is a red herring. Islam's upset because we're trying to shove feminism down their throats. They look at the catastrophe 30-40 years political and economic feminism has created and resist even if means war.

The safety of adolescent girls and young women were foremost on my mind when I went to the wall with PG over Intrinsa. Takes my breath away how socially irresponsible PG's leadership is. PG should fire the head of its pharmaceutical division, and EVERY employee who testified at the FDA hearing. Sat in utter shock at the hearing as they attempted to bamboozle the advisory panel with half truths and evasions.

The shareholders recommend Proctor & Gamble hire an investment bank to explore the sale of the company.

In my opinion the GOLD STANDARD test of investment return is PURCHASING POWER with respect to the most sought after consumer goods and services, e.g. housing and education. In recent years Gillette share values failed that test because of largely unappreciated, negative economic trends combined with effects of the maturity of PG‘s product line.

Since 1999, the nominal share price increased about 19% as of December 7, 2004 when this proposal was completed.

Purchasing power-wise PG shares declined significantly over the same period with respect to homeownership. The national median home price rose 37%, and in very desirable cities like San Diego over 100%.

In my opinion the principle driving force for such severely escalating prices is feminist careerism which vastly expanded the fulltime workforce without an increase in REAL WAGES. The BUYING POWER of earnings halved since the 1970s because most families today need two incomes to almost equal the buying power one had 30 years ago. Put another way most women working fulltime essentially work for nothing.

Busy, overworked parents have little time to nurture and protect their marriages. Hence more competition for scarce housing from today’s 50% divorce rate, and from young adults now so skeptical of the durability of a loving commitment they marry late, or not at all.

Just Economics 101 supply and demand theory: Too much consumer demand chasing scarce commodities like private undergraduate education and homeownership.

In my opinion further worsening PG’s dismal share performance since 1999 is the maturity of its current business operations. Desperate to achieve breakout earnings reignite the share price PG developed Instrinsa, a testosterone often mischaracterized as the female “Viagra”. As a physician, I warned PG about toxicity issues several months before the FDA’s refused to license Instrinsa. Testosterone is a very toxic drug with few legitimate uses.

I also questioned PG’s breathtaking lack of understanding of the psychodynamics of female sexuality. Pretty safe to make implicit beauty promises for shampoos and bath soaps. “…(but) moonlight courtship promises to enhance women’s libidinal lives will likely result in giving new meaning to the shareholders’ detriment of the Bard’s ‘Hell hath no fury…’.” (5/15/04 letter to board member Robert Story) From my 12/2/04 FDA testimony in opposition to licensing Instrinsa. “…As an investor, and trustee for family accounts, I will sell our Procter & Gamble should Instrinsa be approved. The potential litigation risks for the company are so great in my opinion holding Procter and Gamble violates the prudent investor rule.
…I believe Instrinsa is the most hazardous non-narcotic drug ever presented for FDA approval. I urge it be rejected for any use…”

Given economic trends undermining the shares’ BUYING POWER and product line maturity PG should be sold to realize maximum shareholder value.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The administration never heard of the laws of supply and demand

(My e-mail to the Treasury Department about illegal immigrants getting mortgages to buy homes. Barbara Grunkemeyer is in charge of mortgage policy. Urge my readers to e-mail her about this abuse.)

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 08:49:50 -0700 (PDT)From: "MARK KLEIN, M.D."


Home ownership for OUR children becomes even more unaffordable when we allow illegals to buy homes. Ever hear of the laws of SUPPLY & DEMAND????????

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

My fathers' rights platform

(Sent yesterday to selected leaders in the fathers' right movement.)

August 8, 2005

Dear Friends,

Hello. My name is Dr. Mark Klein. During my lifetime, I have built a successful practice, was married for many years, fathered four wonderful children and now have two beautiful grandchildren. As a father and grandfather, I have long been concerned about the future of America.

Over the years I have watched as social policies have slowly destroyed the American family. According to the United States Census Bureau, the average marriage lasts just eight years. It should not surprise any of us then, that only 39% of the Americans today will get married.

Frankly, I am worried about the future of our nation. If we continue on our present course, what will society be like when our grandchildren become adults? How much more erosion can society endure? I believe it is time for a change!

It is for this reason that I formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination.

As president, my goal will be to unite the country so that everyone has equal footing. One of my presidential platforms is to revise the industry of divorce in this country. I believe the divorce industry has helped shake the very foundation of our great nation. I believe that children are suffering the greatest losses due to this pandemic that crosses all social and economic thresholds because they are often separated from one of their parents (typicallythe father) in divorce situations.

The American Psychological Association states that the best environment for a child is an intact marriage; the second best is maximum contact with both parents.In my opinion, men generally, and particularly divorced fathers, are the most discriminated against group in today’s America.

Today’s movies often reflect our stridently anti-male culture. Male leads are usually depicted as emotionally broken men. Directly, or implicitly, they are often depicted as abusive to their significant others, and neglectful toward theirchildren. Against the backdrop of such unfair depictions of men, it is easy to understand how the legal structures developed over the past 30 years have been shaped to deprive men of their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. Currently men become fair game for discriminatory treatment.

As President I will return our courts to the “equal justice for all”standard. Over 28 million people (mostly men) have had lost custody of their children and have been abused in the“family” court system. In family court, men are presumed to be the bad guys. Men, regardless of their financial resources, are most likely to suffer the loss of their children, their financial resources and their homes in divorce situations.

Worse yet, fathers lose their due process rights when accused of abuse with no proof to substantiate the claim. Some states today require the man be automatically jailed for evenan unproven accusation of domestic violence. Prior to incarceration they are denied their constitutional rights to confront their accusers, present evidence, have an attorney or obtain a jury trial. Even violent criminals receive these basic constitutional benefits. Men are now living George Orwell’s famous quote “somepeople are more equal than others”.

For American men (and some women) today, divorce is the quick road to financial ruin. With federal government subsidizing state child support collections based upon the percentage of the recovery, child support demands have risen to ruinous levels. Bankruptcies are at record levels. Child support awards are set at ruinous levels. Add to that the loss of their children, and it is no wonder the suicide andmental illness rate amongst divorced fathers is so high.

With fewer people getting married and having children, the American pension system is collapsing as well. This situation cannot continue. Something has got to give.Why am I testing the waters for the presidential race in 2008? Why leave the quiet, very pleasant life Ienjoy in California to seek public office? The shortanswer is because I believe today’s collapse of the family and the seemingly no longer obtainable middle-class family lifestyle particularly rattles Americans -- and I want to help.

My heart goes out to the people who are trying to cope in today’s society. I liken my efforts to that of our Founding Fathers who left their comfortable farms, businesses, and intellectual pursuits later in life to serve America in her hour of need. I believe there are many people across the nation like me, people who are concerned about what tomorrow will bring if we continue on our present course.

I seek to bring together men, women, young, old, divorced fathers and mothers, married individuals, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, social conservatives, exhausted working mothers, seniors – everyone who is fearful of what the consequences of today’s collapsing families will bring to our once stable nation.

I also believe voters across the political spectrum will embrace me as an ordinary, honest, quite frank, middle class person whose passions in life are my pleasant home, my very colorful garden, and hanging out with my children and grandchildren. I believe I am someone with whom everyday Americans can relate.

I have a broad policy reform agenda also involving economic and military issues, but with this letter I chose to address how the Klein Administration would deal with divorce and its tragic aftermath. My primary goal would be to dismantle the DIVORCE INDUSTRY.

My legislative and regulatory agenda would be:

1. Child support orders would have to take into account the maintenance of non-custodial parent’s standard of living.

2. Federally subsidized family court proceeding shall be conducted so that each party has equal rights.

3. Dismantle the current Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the policy and enforcement engine for the destruction ofthe American family.

4. By legislation, mandate that states enforce rebuttal presumptive equal physical custody in order to continue to receive funding for family programs.This would be retroactive so that past cases could be reopened.

5. Repeal the Bradley Amendment so child support debt can be reduced to livable levels.

6. Amend the bankruptcy laws so child support and alimony debt could be discharged.

7. Mandate that no one can be jailed simply onunfounded accusations of abuse without due process ofa trial.

8. My attorney general would criminally prosecute as a civil rights felony violation anyone who knowingly files false domestic violence complaints that result in an improper incarceration. In other words current perjury laws will be enforced.

9. Zero tolerance for willful violations of a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. Child support orders will be suspended with non-complianceof custody orders.

How I learned about the fathers rights movement: I came to the fathers’ right movement by way of my broader concerns about how federal family policy perversely destroys marriage, breaks the hearts of children, and undermines middle-class family life in general. I was completely unaware of the regulatory and legal abuse of divorced fathers. Naïve at first, I thought the administration was unaware of the system,which destroys fathers.

After bringing the situation to the attention of a very senior GOP party official, I spoke with Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Wade Horn who runs ACF, and later met for almost two hours with his then chief deputy. They made it very clear there would be no policy changes in the current Administration.

As I mulled over what I learned from these contacts, I realized why the fathers rights movement has basically gotten nowhere seeking reform at the state level. With regards to family law and child support, the federal government essentially controls the states. Hence the only solution for fathers rights issues is to take political power by electing a true reformer to theWhite House.

I am testing the waters for a presidential run. However, I do not have the Heinz or Kennedy family fortune behind me. Money is the mother’s milk of politics. Without financial support from those who believe in my platform, I cannot run. If you believe that it is essential to have someone at the federal level that can truly reform the divorce industry; I ask you to financially support my efforts by submitting a donation to my “testing the waters” campaign today. Your gift, no matter how small, will help me to help you and many of the 28 millionin dividuals who have been subjected to the abusive family court system in America.

Thank you for considering my request.

God bless you.

Dr. Mark Klein

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mimi's question (Pissed 8/3/05)

"Why is it so hard when you did all the right things, worked hard, got the degrees, the work experience, smiled nicely in the right places?"

It's the dearth of serious grownups in our political and cultural leadership elites.

How to destroy our military readiness

How will we recruit and retain effective national guard units when senior miltary commanders are more concerned about public relations than handling a difficult situation with tact and delicacy? Also whatever happened to our military looking after it's own?,1,6819446.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Were I in command I'd have issued private reprimands and ordered the unit to cease the behavior in question.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Being an American shareholder can be like walking through an unmarked minefield

Merck looks like it's headed for financial ruin from the lawsuits related to failing to disclose its blcokbuster antiarthritis pain killer VIOXX caused serious heart problems. At the trial now underway newsreports indicate the company's scientists' testimony paint a picture of deception and evasiveness with respect to compliance with FDA rules.

I am not surprised because I witnessed much the same thing when I formally objected at the FDA to Procter & Gamble's attempt to license Intrinsa, the supposed female "Viagra". The FDA backed my position and refused to license the drug. I was in deep shock at the hearing by the evasive testimony of PG's scientists' testimony. Posted below is my testimony before the FDA. Lengthy but interesting. Postscript--I no longer own any pharmaceutical stocks. To hold them is to play financial Russian Roulette.

RE: Objections to Instrinsa FDA New Drug Application--(NDA) 21-769
Objector: Mark I. Klein, M.D. Board Certified Psychiatrist
Date: December 2, 2004. Meeting time 8:00 a.m. Public comments 11 a.m..
Place: Hilton Hotel, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Potential conflict of interest: I am Procter & Gambler shareholder.


In my medical and psychiatric opinion Instrinsa is the most hazardous non-narcotic drug ever presented for FDA approval. I urge it be rejected for any use, and if approved by a foreign country, banned from sale in the United States under threat of severe civil and criminal sanctions.

1. Instrinsa is an inherently UNSAFE drug which should not be approved for any use.

Instrinsa is a major threat to the health and safety of girls, non-menopausal women, pregnant women, fetuses and nursing newborns. Almost a certainty in today’s highly sexually charged cultural zeitgeist to be widely abused by non-menopausal females, adolescent girls and pregnant women exposing them to the risks of testosterone induced usually irreversible virilization. Since Instrinsa enhances libido for all women, the abuse risk is all the more heightened. The excerpt to the right from a recent New York Magazine article speaks cogently to the likelihood of Instrinsa abuse. (endnote 1)

The popular press already toots Instrinsa as the female Viagra usually without warning of the dangers to non-menopausal women, fetuses and nursing newborns. Google lists 70,020 Instrinsa listing most of which refer to the drug as the female Viagra without adding the dangers it poses to non-menopausal women, fetuses and nursing newborns.

Instrinsa is today’s potential Thalidomide. Pregnant and nursing mothers improperly taking Instrinsa risk virilization injuries to the fetus and nursing infants.

Every prescription testosterone product sold in the United States is contraindicated in pregnancy, for nursing mothers, and in most cases contraindicated for use in females.
Proctor and Gamble has made no showing Instrinsa would qualify for exemption from regular testosterone labeling. In fact, in Instrinsa studies underlying the current application indicate that some subjects manifested signs of testosterone toxicity even in very low doses.
Female testosterone toxicity causes virilizing effects such as irreversible hair loss, acne, enlarged clitoris, hirsutism, deepened voice, and impaired glucose utilization. (see endnote 3) Breast size may decrease; vaginal mucosa may atrophy; menstruation may change or stop, and increased libido. In prepubertal and pubertal users, bony epiphyses may close prematurely, possibly decreasing final height. Hypertension, increased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol may increase cardiovascular risk.

Psychologic effects include wide and erratic mood swings, irrational behavior, increased aggressiveness ("steroid rage"), irritability, depression, and dependency.
Fetuses with testosterone toxicity can experience congenital developmental abnormalities. Male fetuses and nursing newborns may develop gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, and eventually severely reduced or absent sperm. For testosterone affected female fetuses ambiguous genitalia.

The risk of Instrinsa abuse undermines America’s efforts to discourage the illegal use of anabolic steroids by athletes. In this country, anabolic steroid abuse is 6 to 11% among high-school-aged males, including an unexpected number of nonathletes, and about 2.5% among high-school-aged females presumably to enhance libido. There is a thriving black-market for such drugs. Instrinsa would be a very profitable welcome addition to the pharmacopoeia of drug peddlers’ preying on our children.

Easy access to Instrinsa would enable athletes, particularly males, to easily obtain androgens. Nothing would stop such boys and men from using multiple patches simultaneously to get the end point response they seek along with testosterone’s debilitating side effects, e.g. impaired glucose utilization, disruption of pituitary adrenal axis regulation, gynecomastia, decreased HDL, testicular atrophy, azoospermia, and personality changes like increased aggression. Used by prepubertal and pubertal boys bony epiphyses may close prematurely, possibly decreasing final height.

There is no conceivable marketing scheme to avoid widespread inappropriate use. Nowadays abusers could easily obtain Instrinsa once approved via internet pharmacy sites, overseas outlets, unscrupulous physicians out for a quick buck writing “off label” prescriptions, and from a black market which would undoubtedly quickly appear. (see endnote 5)
Marketing Instrinsa would eventually likely result is a wave of litigation by injured women and children which at the very least seriously damage the company’s reputation and balance sheet, wreck shareholder value and conceivably throw PG into bankruptcy.

Licensing Instrinsa could eventually discredit the FDA’s drug approval system in the same way Thalidomide did about 40 years ago by creating the public perception the agency is the big pharmaceutical companies’ rubber stamp.

2. The results of Instrinsa’s efficacy studies presented to the FDA are insufficient to prove efficacy.

Proctor and Gamble incorrectly believes just a statistically significant improvement in the sexual satisfaction of post menopausal women is a satisfactory end point to show efficacy. (see endnote 4) That assumption demonstrates a breathtaking lack of understanding of the sexuality of post menopausal women, particularly those married or in long term, committed loving relationships. Procter and Gamble’s Instrinsa application replies upon very short duration studies involving women in self described good relationships.

In recent years the number of divorces in long married couples has dramatically increased with the majority initiated by women. The key factors involved are sharply increasing longevity for both sexes and contemporary divorce law financial incentives for women to leave, e.g., community property, alimony, strictly enforced statutory child support orders predicated on spousal earnings and today’s very anti-male cultural zeitgeist emphasizing the overarching value for women to seek personal fulfillment. (see endnote 6)

Prolonged longevity increases the likelihood long married older couples will lose sexual interest in each other. Among the reasons they remain together include maintaining their relationships as affectionate, loving friends, prefer divorce but can’t afford to maintain separate households, or stay together for the sake of the children. Unilateral rekindling of sexual desire in such precarious marriages might trigger the collapse of the relationship.
Divorce statistics show marital stability for postmenopausal women, Instrinsa’s target group, is very precarious. Hence in determining Instrinsa’s efficacy the FDA must give equal weight to the social VALUE implications of allowing its use. (see endnote 6)

As a psychiatrist, I believe the future of American marriage is very dismal indeed. Marriages primarily predicated in the rush of romantic feelings have little chance for survival in today’s climate of no fault divorce and financial golden parachute child support and property division divorce settlements. (see endnote 7) Absent making every effort to stabilize American marriage more and more marriages will fail leaving emotionally shattered children in their wake.
November’s election results on gay marriage initiatives demonstrated voters overwhelmingly consider marriage a fundamental American moral and social value. Hence all the more reason the FDA must consider as a paramount variable Instrinsa’s likely destructive effects on marital stability in the assessment of the drug’s efficacy.

In conclusion I believe Instrinsa is the most hazardous non-narcotic drug ever presented for FDA approval. I urge it be rejected for any use, and if approved by a foreign country, banned from sale in the United States under threat of severe civil and criminal sanctions.
Respectfully submitted,

E-mail to Proctor & Gamble CEO Lafley & board member Robert Story
Mon, 1 Nov 2004 14:03:14 -0800 (PST)
"MARK KLEIN, M.D." View Contact Details
Better to ditch Instrinsa & take a writedown than face endless litigation
Top of Form 1
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Bottom of Form 1
This morning sold my 3300 Merck shares plus those in trust and custodial accounts I manage. Don't think Merck's ultimate Vioxx liability is that great but mass tort litigation becomes a terrible distraction for management. Can easily see Merck's directors, officers, scientists, and administrators spending the remainder of their careers in depositions, answering interrogatories, and spending endless hours in conferences discussing the case. Do you really want plaintiffs' counsel rifling through PG files, e-mails, etc?
Got some insight into the toll all that has on companies and directors when I formally appeared as shareholder objector to a Bank of America proposed class action settlement. Really a total bullshit case. The class sued the directors personally as well as the bank. In hallway conversations before court started with defense counsel I learned the suit, already then about 5 years old, was a terrible emotional drain on the directors and a big distraction for management. I objected to the $5 million in attorneys' fees B of A wanted to pay in my opinion to buy off plaintiffs' counsel. In the settlement the plaintiffs received ZERO dollars. The trial court level hearings last several months! The trial judge approved the fees but other objectors appealed. The appellate court won't hear oral arguments until next year at the earliest. In the meanwhile the lawyers' meters are running. Plaintiffs’ counsel are demanding more dough, and undoubtedly defense counsel is secure knowing junior's Harvard tuition this semester and many more to come are covered!
I think Proctor & Gamble is a terrific company. Believe me I wouldn't have invested if I didn't think that. You just made a MISTAKE with Instrinsa. Given our balance sheet a write down would be no big deal. Better a few red faces than spoiling the company's future. Time for PG to move on.
I certainly have other things to do including among other things not spending a grand to come to the hearing for the privilege of addressing the FDA for 2-5 minutes. But I'll come if necessary. In a situation like this you'll find me a very persistent, determined adversary.
Mark Klein, M.D.
1-I postulate such manic, often loveless, pubescent and adolescent sexual behavior reflects the failure to develop neuropsychological structures necessary for deep, lasting emotional attachments by children daycare raised from infancy, or were very young when their parents divorced. Such developmental neuropsychological failures may help explain today’s 50% plus divorce rate, low marriage rates, and about 50% of marrieds of both sexes admitting to adultery.
Regardless of the presence, or absence, of postulated neurophysiological deficits, children’s loveless sexual acting out reflects a disturbed emotional mixture of identification and simultaneous competition with divorced parents reprising adolescence when reentering the dating scene.
2.-(New York Magazine 5/10.04) Intelligencer Briefing
The Paris Hilton Effect
Daphne Merkin on the new video that’s been making the private-school rounds—and the culture of teenage exhibitionism. By Daphne Merkin
To be a teenager, as many of us can still painfully recall decades after the fact, is to live in a nearly constant state of lonely mortification—and an almost equally constant state of intense socialization, otherwise known as gossip. Although the endless trading in personal details helps to spread the mortification around, the self-doubt that comes with adolescence is peculiarly resilient: Am I pretty enough? Normal enough? Popular enough? Thin enough? And, most important, in this Age of Britney: Am I hot enough? That one dopey word—hot—is my 14-year-old daughter’s highest term of regard for a peer, male or female. It’s not clear to me that she knows exactly what she means by this, but it has something to do with a pungent essence—an eau de sex—that she imagines wafts off those kids she considers to be the lucky ones.
In the latest instance of a teenager attempting to convey her hotness factor, a Horace Mann eighth-grader used a digital camera to tape herself masturbating and simulating oral sex, then e-mailed the gawkily explicit video—which resembles an audition for a pedophiliac porn film—to a male classmate she had a crush on. The boy in question chivalrously rushed the three-minute clip onto the Web, and its contents quickly made the private-school circuit.
3- America can ‘t afford another new source for diabetes. A sign the current obesity driven diabetes epidemic is out of control is amongst the leading advertisers on Fox News are diabetic testing suppliers. Today’s obesity epidemic is the result of too few adults and children regularly eating home cooked, balanced, portion controlled meals. Restaurant, takeout and fast foods are usually atrociously overloaded with fats and carbohydrates with little protein. The rate of increase in adult and childhood obesity over the past 30 years closely tracks in the steady rise in the number of mothers entering the fulltime workforce.
4-Before the DEA mandated “triplicate” prescription blanks for most narcotics, many physicians did a thriving business knowingly supplying addicts with drugs. In the Vietnam War era many physicians made huge sums by writing fraudulent letters to draft boards to convert young men likely 1A eligible for the draft into 4Fs. Unscrupulous, greedy, conscienceless physician behavior will always be with us.
5-The widespread abuse of Viagra-type drugs by younger men, unlikely to have ED, speaks to the complexities of human sexuality. Like what will happen with Instrinsa, there are thriving black and gray markets illegally selling authentic and counterfeit Viagra type drugs.
The reason so many young men take Viagra type drugs is widespread “Portnoy‘s” syndrome. In “Portnoy’s Complaint’ Roth’s world class lothario Alexander Portnoy couldn’t get an erection with the tough Israeli girl soldier. Today’s sexually aggressive women create in guys what we called castration anxiety in my med school days.
The psychodynamics of Viagra-type drug commercials are very informative re today’s sexual zeitgeist. Contrast Viagra and Cialis commercials. Re the Viagra commercial, I associate to the celebrating men dancing in the street with the thought finally having successful intercourse get their wives, no longer sexually alluring to them for any number of reasons, off their cases about sex for awhile. Cialis takes the tack of the woman being affectionate, attentive, and available. Nice sentiments but given today’s housing prices and cost of living two working parents are probably too dead tired after work to have sex.
6-Today’s 50% plus divorce rate and about the same percentage of married men and women admitting to adultery suggests romantic love as the predicate for marriage often doesn‘t outlive today‘s increased longevity for men and women. In fact, romantic love is a very late comer to the reasons people marry. In that connection I wrote in a recent private letter to the publisher of AARP Magazine, “…I suggest a change in editorial emphasis to downplay senior romance which is really a ridiculous notion in today‘s world of a 50%+ divorce rate, and about half of married women admitting being unfaithful…AARP should run articles showing how men can create fulfilling lives alone.”
7- Most cultures down through the ages recognized how inherently difficult marriage is by making divorce very difficult to obtain. Perhaps the best evidence of this are marriage jokes which usually comprise the largest section in joke anthologies. Some samples: (Rita Rudner)-Asked mother how she and dad stayed married 50 years. She said, “Just close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening.” (Groucho Marx)-Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in a institution; (Jean Kerr)-Marrying a man is like buying something you’ve been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it always doesn’t go with everything else in the house. (Milton Berle)-Told my wife black underwear turns me on, so she didn’t wash my shorts for a month; (Zsa Zsa Gabor)-A man in love is incomplete until he marries. Then he’s finished. (Joan Collins upon shedding husband #5 or 6) What I need is a wife! (Sir James Goldsmith)-The trouble with marrying your mistress is you create a job vacancy.
(Anonymous) Marriage is the high sea for which no compass has yet been in

Friday, August 05, 2005


Wasn't a public peep from GOP presidential hopefuls like John McCain about getting behind appointing a conservative to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

Here's why the social conservative voter ends up with nothing but policy hot air in exchange for putting a mainstream Republican in the White House. The social conservative movement simply isn't big enough to elect the president. At this point no Republican can win without it. So once the candidates declare they start out seducing social conservatives with policy promises they can't possbily keep because they need to run back to center at the end of the campaign for centrist swing voters. Once elected, we get the same old same old stale, bankrupt social policies which promote divorce, discourage marriage, and make middle class family life unaffordable.

The White House is ours with a coalition of Red State male voters, divorced fathers, families torn apart by divorce, sensible seniors, young adults yearning for a stable marriage and family, and the social conservatives.