4 June 2000



Vice President Danforth


Today was a wonderfully lazy day. I was slow getting around -- indeed, after a late breakfast I came back and took a nap! And then I decided to walk across town to go back to Mountain Equipment Co-op and a couple of other outdoors stores. I wound up purchasing quite a bit of clothing at the stores, as I found a sale at one store and MEC had some gear comparable to REI stuff at the same price, which means the exchange rate gives me about a one-third off discount! Gear addict that I am, I thought it best to take advantage of some of this. The good thing about technical clothing is that it’s handy for so many things besides backpacking: travel, casualwear, bad weather, etc. The day was beautiful once again, and the walk was delightful. It did have a slight feeling of fall about it, though, and it makes me ready for fall and football season!

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Speaking of sports, I watched the Lakers-Trailblazers game last night. For much of the game, Phil Jackson’s Lakers looked horrible. At one point in the fourth quarter, they were behind by 16 points. And then, inexplicably, the Trailblazers just fell apart and the Lakers caught fire. I am a huge Phil Jackson fan, because he’s such an intelligent guy and teacher of the game. It was good to see him show Scottie Pippen that Michael won six rings with Phil, and Scottie was MJ’s glorified role player. Phil even shot the referees his famous look a few times during the game.

Unfortunately, the Coogs lost at home, ending their season. They were so close to going to Omaha for the College World Series. Still, it was a great season, and I know it will only make Rayner work that much harder to get where he wants. Congratulations, men, on a damn fine season. Finishing as one of the eight best teams in the nation -- out of over 200 that play baseball at the Division I level -- is not a bad accomplishment.

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I don’t know if it’s been circulating in the states -- I’ve not seen it on CNN here -- but there’s been a wonderful rumor about Microsoft here. Government officials in British Columbia claim to have had preliminary discussions with people in Microsoft about moving the company to Canada. The government apparently has promised tax breaks and other incentives to move, but of course the biggest incentive would be escaping irrational U.S. antitrust law and an even more irrational Clinton Justice Department. Even if the rumor proves unfounded and Microsoft does not wind up moving, I think this is a sign of things to come in the new milennium and I welcome it. In today’s technological economy, capital costs are largely people and intellectual costs, not physical plant. For that reason, it becomes very easy to pack up a company’s operations and move them if a government makes it impossible to do business. It would be too ironic if the one-time bastion of capitalism in the world -- the United States -- began to see its companies leave for more hospitable environs. This is Bill Clinton’s America.

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Another good bit of news I’ve been hearing is that former Senator John Danforth heads up George Bush’s VP list. That would be an outstanding choice. Senator Danforth provides all of the Bush needs in a VP: squeaky clean, older, distinguished, statesmanlike, intellectual, worldly, competent. I still recall Danforth’s behavior during the Clarence Thomas proceedings. When a lot of people would have abandoned Thomas -- who has become, incidentally, our best justice in a long long time -- Danforth stood by his friend with courage and eloquence. It was a rare act of statesmanship -- and an act that the Clinton Administration, with its constant campaigning and politics of expedience -- has largely rendered extinct. It would be nice to see that sort of leader return to the White House.



Copyright (c) 2000, Kevin L. Whited