Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp
Vol. 2013 No. 2

Enough folks who follow Windows on the World have inquired so that in early August 2013, it’s indeed long overdue.  As life in retirement continues at a rapid pace, particularly for one in his 92nd year, my ability to “keep up” has shrunk.  One gets some relief from having seen enough of Obama and the familiar rants of most Fox commentators to spare myself of 60% of formerly watched television.  I am told by educators that many young persons log up to four to five hours per day in front of the TV.  No wonder the benefits of education and lifetime learning are “Gone With the Wind.”

Slightly older age group levels remain committed while the current generation is sidelined.  Nonetheless those who understand there is “no free lunch” reach out and grow.  More children are handicapped by lack of two-parent families, lack of structure, discipline, love, plus missing sense of self, able to accept responsibility. 

Observations on the economy:

For political reasons the rate of inflation is likely skewed by ignoring two of its most illustrious components.  2% inflation rates are understated by omitting food prices and fuel costs.  With an inflation rate of 15 to 18% it is simply not sustainable.  One could argue that as long as the world accepts a dollar bill, the printing cost of which exceeds its purchase power at a compounding rate.  Why not print dollars because when trading partners are inflating their currency, following our example, with Japan and China which practice rolling over great amounts of our debt?  Deflation ensues overlapping inflation and the ball game is over.  Had Hitler introduced the U.S. to the two bombs, “Little Boy” (Hiroshima), and “Fat Man” today’s global configuration defies imagination. 

OK, so Orange County, California and now Detroit went bankrupt; with local deflation going beyond crisis.  More to come due to political practice.  On August 3rd we returned from Britain where restaurants declined to accept U.S. currency.

Since we haven’t as the U.S. found a way for Presidential, Senatorial and House candidates to be vetted, I wonder if it might make a small difference were the citizens to insist that party labels be changed to Leftists and Conservatives?  Perhaps that challenge would need to be undertaken by the Conservative Party (Liberals would insist on the Liberal party).  After all present conservatives are liberal on many social issues, but we’re running out of time on how to pay for Leftist ideas and with all the poison on the media. 

I and most Yalies, alums and students alike, rejoiced at winning the national collegiate hockey title.  Were you aware that our hockey team suggested the team adopt the thousand plus year old Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ statement “Character is Destiny”?   Many factors contributed to the victory; yet character, good or bad, is a rallying cry and motivation to team spirit.

My younger daughter Pamela’s career in psychology began in Washington state when Boeing aircraft’s military and commercial associations simultaneously melted.  Signs read, “Will the last out, please turn off the lights.”  Pamela went on from providing psychological counseling to workers dismissed who “lost it,” with wife and child abuse, and no sense of self.  From there Pamela worked for a contractor to the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan counseling vets serving on several Texas bases, and others from Washington state across the country.  This time, after turning down Okinawa where her stint would have been nine months, she was offered U.S. Air Force Special Services outside London from facilities rented from the British.  Wanting her dad to visit her, I met with friends in London, who had flown to the Texas Hill Country for my 80th surprise birthday party followed by Wyoming for the occasion of my 90th birthday and the opening of the Raymond Plank Creative Center in the Park at Ucross.  Deborah Koehler accompanied me from Denver on British Airways.  Great occasion for both Pamela and self.  Between Pam, and our close friends Madeleine and Tom Dimitroff, we survived it while Deb was pleased to have spent time with relatives.

My heart specialist supervises my pill regimen and has sent me a gizmo to record controlled blood pressure, pulse, emailing weekly findings to the Minneapolis Heart Institute.

Lastly, while book sales of “A Small Difference” have been good in view of time limitations, we’ve overcome my publisher running out of money.  This is a non-profit endeavor presently focused on advanced university students.  While Yale University leads in the number of schools using same, the School of Management, of Nursing, and of Forestry, use it.  So far Harvard and its Kennedy School lead in the book count with 620, Yale 537, not including downloads, and those ordered through  Stanford is third with 500 books, with University of California at Berkeley 50, while other universities could add some 3,000 plus.  A 6,000-book reorder from the printer was discounted at $15.00 per hard cover copy, with soft covers at $10.00 when ordered through the Ucross Foundation   All proceeds benefit two charitable organizations: Ucross Foundation and Fund for Teachers.  We can use all the help we’re able to muster.