The horticulturist in the Google doodle

I'm staying away from most headlines out of news exhaustion, so today I'm posting about Gertrude Jekyll (no relation to Robert Lewis Stevenson's fictional doctor). Gertrude, born 174 years ago, was THE garden designer of her age, Born in 1843, Jekyll was a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist and writer who created more than 400 … Continue reading The horticulturist in the Google doodle

Television review: The final season of Longmire

By John Ruberry The Netflix neo-western Longmire has ridden into the sunset after six years. The final season started streaming on the network nine days ago and the results should please its fans. I enjoyed it. My Da Tech Guy review of the first five seasons of is here. Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), a widower, is … Continue reading Television review: The final season of Longmire


Thankfulness is not the same as gratitude. Thankfulness involves appreciativeness, gratitude is the act of being thankful. You must appreciate something in order to be thankful, which brings in the act of gratitude. Our first President, George Washington, at the request of Congress, established the first Thanksgiving Day for the purpose of "acknowledging with grateful … Continue reading Thankfulness

Ladies and gentlemen

In the late 1960s the counterculture set out to destroy societal mores. Free love, legal abortions at any point in the pregnancy, drug use, destruction of the establishment, damn the consequences. The 60s generation rebelled against their parents's standards where men were expected to be gentlemen and women ladies. I was not one of the … Continue reading Ladies and gentlemen

Social Security death benefit is cheap but actually wasteful

It's forgivable that Ben Franklin didn't include governmental bureaucracies with death and taxes as being the only certainties of life. After all, he died 143 years before that other Franklin – Roosevelt – laid the groundwork for the America's administrative state. This revelation came to me in early October, five days after my wife passed … Continue reading Social Security death benefit is cheap but actually wasteful

My return to Detroit

By John Ruberry Last week I had some time off from work and I did what few people do. Before sunrise I left home and drove to Detroit for a pleasure visit. It was my second trip to the Motor City. My first Da Tech Guy account, from 2015, is here. What follows is a … Continue reading My return to Detroit

Curbelo’s not “Hispanic” enough, says CHCaucus

The 30 members of the all-Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus denied Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s membership, since to the Caucus you're not "Hispanic" enough unless you are a liberal: CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) said the group’s decision wasn’t just based on the Dream Act but also Curbelo’s support for Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare … Continue reading Curbelo’s not “Hispanic” enough, says CHCaucus

Menendez, the unmentioned scandal

A sitting U. S. Senator is on trial for corruption and is involved in a sex scandal, but you wouldn't know it. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ) is on trial for 12 counts of bribery and corruption; his co-defendant, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, is on for 11 counts. The jury is deadlocked but will resume deliberations … Continue reading Menendez, the unmentioned scandal

Deterring State Sponsored Terrorism

The State Sponsor of Terror List needs more teeth. In its current form, the list only leverages three elements of national power (diplomatic, informational, and economic). It is time to discuss changing this reality by adding the fourth and final element of national power. On November 2nd  the State Department failed to meet a congressional … Continue reading Deterring State Sponsored Terrorism

Lather, rinse, repeat

I normally focus on Latin American news, but two stories have prominently popped up in my news feed during the last couple of days: the Roy Moore sex accusations, and the Trump-didn't-take questions-in-China tale. The Roy Moore story (or as Scott Johnson calls it, The Moore miasma) is astonishing, not the least because of the … Continue reading Lather, rinse, repeat

The cartels and their false gods

Drug cartels have a full panoply of false gods. The best-known in the wide-ranging and impressive array is Our Lady of the Assassins, made famous by a popular novel that was later made into a movie. She's also known as Santa Muerte, a grim reaper figure which even turned up in Breaking Bad, The most … Continue reading The cartels and their false gods

Trump one year later: The Deplorables knew all along

By John Ruberry "'Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'" Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Simarillion. This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump's historic election to the presidency. Historic? Yes. Trump is first … Continue reading Trump one year later: The Deplorables knew all along

Happy Pick-Your-Insurance Day!

Subject line: "Tomorrow is a big deal but President Trump doesn't want you to know about it." Well, that's one way to stand out in my email inbox. The sender is my state's senior U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and the message is from her Senate account, not a campaign address. "...November 1st, through December 15th, … Continue reading Happy Pick-Your-Insurance Day!

Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

By John Ruberry Last Monday I had a errand to run for work--which brought me to Milwaukee's suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line--on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor. A lot has changed since 2012. As I … Continue reading Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

Math is white privilege?

There's a math education professor at the University of Illinois who thinks "math perpetuates white privilege," “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” Gutierrez argued. Gutierrez … Continue reading Math is white privilege?