Friday, May 31, 2013

Rude Awakening

How would you like to be awakened by an airplane landing in your living room?

It happened in Herndon, Virginia. Fortunately, it was a small airplane and no one was killed.

Still and all, pretty unsettling.

Economists And Politics

Today's New York Times tells the story of the political travails of Russian economist Sergei Guriev. Guriev, a prominent Russian economist who frequently advised former President Medvedev, apparently incited suspicions of Russian authorities when he co-authored a report by experts critical of the prosecution of Russian oil tycoon Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky, who acquired great oil wealth after the breakup of the Soviet Union, has been imprisoned since 2005 and is being investigated for further charges. Khodorkovsky apparently made the mistake of directly challenging Putin. He has now joined a long line of Russians and Soviet citizens who ran afoul of authorities, back to the time of Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible) and even earlier in Russian history.

In Soviet years, the capture and prosecution of Khodorkovsky would certainly have counted as one of the most significant "show" trials.

Economist Guriev, very well connected in Russian political circles, especially the entourage of Medvedev, may have made an error in judgement by criticizing any aspect of the trial.

The phenomenon of economists getting entangled too closely with politics is not only a problem in Russia. My economics professor in graduate school, George N. Halm, made the error of giving the Nazi regime advice they didn't want to hear right after Hitler came to power. Professor Halm deemed it advisable to flee to the United States, where he became a noted professor of economics.

Guriev has found refuge at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, a university in Paris. As the French say, "plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose."

To paraphrase a thought from Tolstoy, "Authoritarian regimes are all alike; each free country is free in its own way."

War With The Newt

Yesterday Paul Krugman (and friends) debated with Newt Gingrich (and friends) in Toronto. In some respects it sounds like a case of "rounding up the usual suspects." Still, I wish I had seen it live.

Here is Krugman's own report of the event, augmented by comments from some who did watch and even some who attended.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do We Glorify War?

President George W. Bush often claimed that America "does not glorify war."

Television stations and cable networks across the land spent last weekend proving the opposite.

Memorial Day had its start as "Decoration Day." A day to decorate the graves of those who fell in the American Civil War. The only decorating that goes on these days is when elected officials ceremonially place wreaths on symbolic graves. Our population, for the most part, has no knowledge and understanding of the everyday sacrifices of military families. Even less are they connected with the anguish of the families of deceased soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Decoration Day was a day in which survivors could share their anguish, even as they decorated the graves. This was not a march of triumph.

Armistice Day (as I choose to continue calling November 11th) was a celebration. Not a celebration of victory, but of the end of a conflict that ended the world as Europeans and Americans had known it in 1914.

Each time, we promise never to forget. We have finally learned our lesson.

But our learning process never keeps pace with our forgetting tendencies.

Especially when the sacrifices have been made by someone else.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Germany Beginning To Accept Need For Economic Stimulus

News from Germany is that the German government has decided they have to do something to have an economic stimulus in the periphery of the Euro zone. Spiegel On Line has some details.

Nothing in the report suggests that the program will be big enough to do much good.

It still looks to me like the Euro has been a bad idea, poorly executed. There is not an adequate mechanism to move funds from prosperous to less prosperous areas. The distress in the periphery was not caused by government spending, but by banks. In many cases, German banks.

This is not going to work, but it may drag out for a long time as the European Central Bank tries a series of what will prove to be inadequate measures.

I could be wrong - but I don't think so.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

We attended the Memorial Day ceremony at Bayboro this morning.

It is always a rewarding experience to talk to older veterans. But I have noticed some developments in recent years worth pondering.

The first thing that stands out is the age of attendees. They tend to be older and older each year. As if the whole enterprise of recognizing and remembering veterans has less and less connection to our youth.

In a way, that's not surprising. There was a time when we were all in this together. Seventy years ago, war and rumors of war affected the entire population.

Now fewer and fewer people are involved in the sacrifices and inconveniences of war.

On the one hand, that's a good thing. Fewer casualties.

On the other hand, military service has long since ceased to be a shared experience - a common effort for the good of the nation. There would be benefits in recapturing the idea of common effort for the common good.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Global Water Shortage?

The past couple of weeks, one of the topics at Oriental Town Hall has been budgeting and planning the management of the Town's water system. Last Friday, at one point, Town commissioners gathered around the table redesigning the water treatment plant.

It might be better to turn that task over to experts.

In the meantime, we need to deal with the reality facing mankind: we are running out of potable water and water for irrigation. Here's the bad news.

A little over two centuries ago, economist Robert Malthus examined the problem of constant population growth and limited resources. He is best remembered from pointing out that population grows geometrically, while food production grows arithmetically. In the intervening two centuries, food production has increased at a more rapid rate than Malthus predicted, especially in the 20th Century.

Nevertheless, other factors of production essential to population growth may assume a limiting function.

It looks like water may soon play that role.

Elections In North Carolina: Twenty Years Of Progress

Today's News and Observer prints an informative article about the outgoing Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, Mr. Gary Bartlett.

In his two decades as Executive Director, Mr. Bartlett has moved the North Carolina system of elections from a chaotic system where each of the 100 counties did its own thing to a system with uniform equipment and procedures across the state. Bartlett's focus has always been on the voter. "Respect for the process starts with respect for the voters," he has written."Partisan influences must take a back seat to the very basic premise that individuals who are qualified and eligible to vote must be given the opportunity to cast a ballot and have their ballot counted."

During his tenure, North Carolina has moved to head of the pack of states operating fair and effective voting systems.

It has been my pleasure over the past three years to work with Mr. Bartlett. He has served the state of North Carolina and its voters well and faithfully.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Seventy Years Ago: May 24, 1942: Admiral Doenitz Removes Submarine Force And Concedes Battle Of The Atlantic

By 1943, expansion of Allied antisubmarine force, improvement of Air operations against submarines, including aircraft operating from small escort carriers, were making life difficult for German submarines. Admiral Doenitz, the German submarine commander, explained his withdrawal of the force by improvements in Allied ASW weapons and organization. Here is his report.

Doenitz' list is incomplete. How did the Allied ASW forces know where to look for German submarines? It's a big ocean out there.

The Allies knew where to look because of their great successes in communications intelligence. They intercepted and decrypted German orders to submarines, even orders encrypted by Germany's latest Enigma machines. When Germany began changing their communications keys several times a day, cryptanalysts kept up.

They tracked submarines using the extensive Allied High Frequency Direction Finding network ("Huff-Duff"), even when the submarines began compressing the messages and sending them in "burst" transmissions.

The war was fought and won not only on the high seas and in the air, but more significantly in the back rooms of headquarters, using the black arts of cryptanalysis.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Seventy Years Ago: May 23, 1943, Secret Weapons Test

May 23, 1943, the US Army tested a new secret weapon: incendiary bats.

Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry exposed the whole story in a column printed in 1990. I would simply copy and post the relevant portion about the bat project as blogger Brad DeLong did, but I read the Miami Herald's warning about copyright. What might be called the bloodthirsty copyright notice. So I followed their instructions and put a link to the entire column here.

I recommend you pay no attention to the part of the column about air dropped trout and go right to the interesting part about incendiary bats. Hey, there was a war on.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oriental Water Treatment Plant

Yesterday morning the Town Board and a number of citizens visited Oriental's water treatment plant. The Town Manager gave a briefing on new regulatory requirements including increased testing.

The tour began with an outside tour and explanation of the major components of the plant. Many questions were raised both by the commissioners and the citizens attending.

Following the outside briefing, attendees went inside the water treatment plant to view its condition and to receive information on maintenance and repair that needs to be accomplished.

First impressions: too much deferred maintenance.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornadoes In Oklahoma

The people of Oklahoma, my home state, are strong, patient and persistent. They live in tornado country. After every big tornado comes through, they pick up the pieces and start over again.

Tornadoes aren't like hurricanes. No weather service can predict the path of a tornado, how big it will be, how long it will be on the ground. No house of mere wood and brick can withstand a tornado as strong as the one that struck Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.

It has been always thus.

That's why, when I was a child in rural parts of the state, every farm, every large building, every school, had a storm shelter.

I once attended a two-room, four grade school, a large white-painted frame building with an out house in the back. We had a storm shelter.

Another school I attended, East of Oklahoma City, held eight grades in six classrooms, and had an underground storm shelter big enough for all the students, the teachers and the residents of about a dozen nearby houses.

It was good to know which of your neighbors had storm shelters.

When the weather was right for tornadoes (and we could tell) we would stand outside and watch the gathering clouds, especially those of a greenish hue with tendrils reaching down toward the ground. As the clouds approached, we would debate whether to go to the school and seek shelter.

I remember photographs in the Daily Oklahoman in 1947 when a massive tornado destroyed the town of Woodward, west of Oklahoma City. The town rebuilt.

I was living in Tulsa in 1999 when the last big twister hit Moore and damaged other towns all along the Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

That being said, while admiring the pluck of the people, I am appalled at the indifference of their elected leaders.

Why did the two elementary schools in Moore that Monday's tornado decimated not have storm shelters?

This is inexcusable.

Sixty-five years ago, Oklahomans knew how to protect their school children.

This is not the sort of thing a state's leaders should forget.

Monday, May 20, 2013

More On Robots And Humans

Norbert Wiener, a mathematician at MIT six decades ago, wrote down what we need to know about what he called "the new machine age." In other words, the world of robots.

He wrote an essay to be published in the New York Times, but the essay never saw the light of day. Now, six decades later, at least a portion of it has been found and is published here.

In a burst of clarity, Wiener foretold the likely effect of computerization by comparing the computer to a genie. "These new machines have a great capacity for upsetting the present basis of industry," Wiener explained,  "and of reducing the economic value of the routine factory employee to a point at which he is not worth hiring at any price. If we combine our machine-potentials of a factory with the valuation of human beings on which our present factory system is based, we are in for an industrial revolution of unmitigated cruelty."

He described what must be done to avoid this cruelty. "We must be willing," he emphasized, "to deal in facts rather than in fashionable ideologies if we wish to get through this period unharmed. Not even the brightest picture of an age in which man is the master, and in which we all have an excess of mechanical services will make up for the pains of transition, if we are not both humane and intelligent."

"Finally," he warned, "the machines will do what we ask them to do and not what we ought to ask them to do. In the discussion of the relation between man and powerful agencies controlled by man, the gnomic wisdom of the folk tales [that is, of genies and bottles}, has a value far beyond the books of our sociologists."

We should let that be a warning to all.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Robotics, Offshoring And Economics: Another Take

Interesting dialogue in today's New York Times. Worth reading all of the comments. Pay special attention to the cartoon that illustrates the article.

Seventy Years Ago: May 19, 1943 - Battle of The Atlantic Turning Point

By May 19, 1942, the Allies had begun to turn the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic. German submarines were achieving less and less in their effort to interrupt the flow of goods from America to England. Not only had Allied equipment and procedures improved to the point that escort ships were able to defend against submarines more effectively, aircraft were able to detect and attack submarines at greater distance from land.

Here is an account of one successful effort against submarine wolf packs.

A key element in increased Allied success was the effective use of communications intelligence, including code breaking and high frequency direction finding. By this time, all of the technical means of detecting and tracking submarines had improved to the point that German submarine operations had become very hazardous.

A significant organizational change occurred on May 20, with formation of the U.S. 10th Fleet, essentially a paper organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

Tenth Fleet's mission was to destroy enemy submarines, protect coastal merchant shipping, centralize control and routing of convoys, and to coordinate and supervise all USN anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training, anti-submarine intelligence, and coordination with Allied nations. The fleet was active from May 1943 to June 1945.

Tenth Fleet had no ships of its own, but used Commander-in-Chief Atlantic's ships operationally; CinCLANT issued orders to escort groups originating in the United States and organized and operated hunter-killer groups built around the growing fleet of small Escort Aircraft Carriers.  Tenth Fleet never put to sea, had no ships, and never had more than about 50 people in its organization. The fleet was disbanded after the surrender of Germany.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seventy Years Ago: May 17, 1943 In Europe

May 17, 1943, the B-17 Memphis Belle completed twenty-five missions over Europe. They were the first US bomber to complete that number of missions. It was unusual enough that the Army made a documentary featuring Memphis Belle.

Here is a very interesting summary on Brad DeLong's blog.

Town Manager Steps Down Early

Picked off of Town Dock this morning:

"Saturday May 18, 2013

"Oriental’s Town Manager Bob Maxbauer is stepping down June 30, six months earlier than previously scheduled. Mayor Bill Sage made the announcement yesterday afternoon after a closed door session at the Board’s budget meeting. Sage said Maxbauer planned to run for a seat on the Town Board this November.
At the budget meeting, there were strong indications Maxbauer was also seeking future employment with the Town once his $56,000-a-year stint at Manager ends. Maxbauer spoke at length about a “dire need” for repairs at the Town’s water plant and presented himself as the licensed employee who could renovate the plant with the Town’s Public Works staff, as well as operate it. As such, he asked the Board to allocate $160,000 for Public Works salaries next fiscal year — instead of the $120,000 the Board has pencilled in."

"Maxbauer claimed it would cost the Town less for him to rebuild the water plant using public works employees than for the Town to hire an outside contractor. (Maxbauer made a similar pitch to the Board a year ago about the Town Hall project, which he oversaw and which ended up costing more than was allocated.) At the budget meeting, there was no mention of putting the water plant renovation job out for bid."

"More on the story coming…"

Very interesting.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Oriental NC Town Board Meeting May 17 2013

Strange goings on today at the Oriental Town Board budget meeting, or at least according to a usually reliable source. I'm up in Apex for the weekend, so I can't verify. But keep your eyes and ears open. Will explain when I get confirmation.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Subleties Of Language

I suppose I have to make allowances for changes in meaning as time goes by. But I don't have to like it. Some usages are just lazy and imprecise language.

Some of my pet peeves:

1. Use of "less" in place of "fewer," as in "he had less choices;"

2. Use of "political" when what is really meant is "partisan;"

3. Use of "investment" to describe the purchase of stocks or bonds. This is one of those words that leads to bad policy. "Investment" is what companies do when they buy new equipment or otherwise improve their ability to make stuff or provide services. When people buy stocks or bonds on the market, their money doesn't increase the enterprise's capability one whit. What they are doing is "speculation."

4. Use of "it's" as the possessive. No! It's the contraction for "it is."

I have more such peeves.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Robotics And Economics, Take Two

A couple of years ago, I posted my thoughts about Robotics and Economics. My concern at that time was that economists, as they have historically done, were discounting the possibility that future technology might replace many human jobs with machines.

The conventional answer to that concern is that, since the Luddites, human workers have resisted being replaced by machines, but other jobs have always arisen to replace those taken by machines. But it seemed to me possible that this might not continue to be true.

Not long after my post, even Paul Krugman began to think such thoughts.

Now Kevin Drum takes the argument a step further and explains why the digital revolution won't be a replay of the industrial revolution. This is serious stuff.

I strongly believe that in the short to medium run we can put many people back to work using economic stimulus to generate aggregate demand. But this may not be enough to rebuild the hollowed out loss of jobs in the middle and even upper part of the income scale. We could try to rebuild unions, change the tax structure to correct the recent redistribution of income from workers to the wealthy. But if we hope to have jobs and income for most people and general prosperity for all, now is the time (if it is not already too late) to think through the problem.

In another article, Kevin Drum offers more detail about the coming robot revolution. The article raises Lenin's old question: "who - whom." In other words, who will be in charge - humans or robots? That question has interested science fiction writers since Czech writer Karel Capek raised it in his drama, "Rossum's Universal Robots." Similar questions were raised in his novel, "War With The Newts." It is time to take a serious look at the problem.

Economist Karl Smith, writing in Forbes Magazine, takes a look at inequality in the robotic future.

A thought that comes to mind is that while we think about robots, we might seriously examine population control. "Zero Growth" is too modest a goal.

Oriental Town Hall Records Problems

I have mentioned earlier that Oriental Town Hall has still not posted on their web site any minutes of Town Board meetings since last November. There are also problems with some of the minutes I have inspected relating to closed meetings.

And that's not all. The page on the Town's web site posting the Town's Charter and Amendments isn't complete. The site displays the 1991 Act Setting a Referendum on changes to the charter, but displays no information as to the result of the referendum. That leaves citizens in the dark as to the basis for our present Town government. Furthermore, there was an amendment to the Charter by Ordinance that changed the form of government to a Council-Manager system. That ordinance should also be displayed. It isn't.

This is not rocket science.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

They Said You Can't Fight City Hall: Yes, You Can

You might not necessarily win, even if you are right. But it is possible to fight City Hall.

It would be better to persuade City Hall to do the right thing in the first place. I didn't succeed at that. This is an example of the kind of thing I've been writing for the past year and a half.

I lost at the first level of Superior Court. The Judge dismissed my complaint. But I have the right to appeal and have filed my notice of appeal. I have also filed a new complaint about the Town's action closing South Avenue.

I don't know if this qualifies as "David v. Goliath," or a lesser struggle. I suspect it is the latter.

In any event, it isn't just my struggle. I have consulted with a couple of dozen very knowledgeable citizens at each step of the way.

It will be long and expensive to try to stop the Town's sale or barter of public rights of way and to protect public access to North Carolina's Public Trust Waters. Just yesterday I spent more than $220 ordering a verbatim transcript of the hearing on the Town's motions to dismiss.

Anyone wanting to contribute to the protection of streets leading to the water can contribute to: ONC Protect Streets, P.O. Box 236, Oriental, NC 28571.

We could easily be at it for another year or more.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To The Fed: Go For Employment!

Economist Gavyn Davis has some good advice for the Fed: don't look at unemployment; look at employment! Maximize that.

From economist Mark Thoma's blog:

"Gavyn Davies argues the Fed is targeting the wrong thing (unemployment instead of employment):
...the Fed has a headache. Its forward guidance on unemployment is in danger of giving misleading signals about the need for tightening, and it probably needs to be changed. ...
The difficulty is that unemployment is declining towards the announced threshold in part because large numbers of people have left the labour force altogether as the recession has dragged on, and this probably means that the official unemployment rate is no longer acting as a consistent measuring rod for the amount of slack in the labour market.
The upshot is that the Fed will probably want to keep short rates at zero until unemployment has dropped a long way below 6.5 per cent...
[I]t is a distortion which the Fed cannot afford to ignore. Its mandate requires that it should aim for “maximum employment”, not “minimum unemployment on the official statistics”, which is what it risks doing under its current forward guidance. ...
If the Fed is going to make a mistake -- ease too long or tighten too soon -- you can probably guess which mistake I think is worse."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nikolai Leskov: New Collection

One of nineteenth century Russia's most interesting and idiosyncratic writers, Nikolai Leskov, is newly available in an English language translation of seventeen or so of his stories. A review of the book is in today's Sunday Book Review Section of the New York Times.

I was pleased to learn that the collection includes a translation of Leskov's most famous story, "Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District."

The story, a somewhat lurid love story that turns out badly, is best known from its adaptation to opera form by the composer Dmitri Shostakovitch and first performed in Leningrad in 1934. It played to rave critical reviews until Stalin attended in early 1936, whereupon the opera became loudly condemned by the Communist Party and denounced in the party's newspaper Pravda.

Not only was the opera withdrawn, not to be performed again for some three decades, Shostakovitch's Fourth Symphony, then in final rehearsals, was also withdrawn. This controversy nearly destroyed Shostakovitch's career.

I have a copy of Leskov's collected works in Russian, and once attempted a translation of Lady Macbeth.

I put it in the "too hard" file.

I look forward to reading it in someone else's translation.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why Did The Soviet Union Fall Apart?

Over the past two decades, several inaccurate narratives have dominated public discourse about the former Soviet Union's demise.

The first narrative is that President Reagan ordered Mikhail Gorbachov to "tear down this wall" and the Berlin Wall came down. Kind of like Joshua's trumpet.

The second narrative is that the Soviet Union fell apart because of the failure of Central Planning, also known as the "Command Economy."

Both narratives appeal to widespread prejudices rather than objective evaluation of both the accomplishments and the failures of the Soviet system. Contributing to both successes and failures was the complexity of the "nationality question" during both the Soviet period and during the preexisting Russian Empire.

Following the Russian Civil War and the Polish invasion of Russia, Lenin introduced his "New Economic Policy" (NEP). NEP allowed a considerable amount of free enterprise, including farming. It apparently worked pretty well. But the leadership became rightfully concerned about increasing turmoil in Europe and began the collectivization campaign at least in part to support the Soviet Union's ability to mobilize its natural resources for war. Any examination of Soviet economic policy during that period has to address such questions as whether NEP could plausibly have prepared for war with Germany.

As for the larger issue of the Command Economy, economic historian Brad DeLong recently posted an essay of his from seventeen years ago, examining the corporation as a command economy. This is a good corrective to analyses that draw large distinctions between Western industry and Soviet Central Planning.

Many years ago, I attended a lecture by Alexander Kerensky, the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government of 1917, which was overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution of October. Kerensky contended that the Soviet Union's economy was not a Socialist one, but an example of what he called "State Capitalism." He autographed a copy of his book, which is still in my library. It may be worth rereading.

It is time to take another look at the issues presented by seventy-five years of Soviet history.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Is Scientific Ignorance Catching?

So Congressman Boehner declares the idea that CO2 is a carcinogen is "almost ludicrous."


Just who ever said it was a carcinogen?

To even utter such an idea as a straw man requires an inconceivable depth of ignorance.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Soak The Poor - Enrich The Rich

Who benefits - who pays?

North Carolina's Republican legislature thinks the poor aren't poor enough and the rich aren't rich enough.

If you aren't in the top 10%, Republicans don't know anyone like you and certainly don't care about anyone like you. And it isn't just taxes.

But their tax plan is bad enough.

Economist Jared Bernstein spent today in North Carolina trying to talk sense about taxes and expenditures.

Lowering taxes on the rich and raising taxes on the poor - which is what a shift from income taxes to sales taxes will do, is just a very bad idea. As bad an idea as the sequester.

But it helps the rich, to whom Republicans pander.

Here is a graph of the share of income spent on taxes by income group:

Remember the old song about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

Here's Bernstein's summary of the problem. Increasing sales taxes will take a proportionately bigger bite out of the lowest three quintiles than of the top 20%. Decreasing income tax will have almost no benefit for the bottom 20% but the top 1% will rake in the dough.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Speak Softly And Carry A Big Stick

We had a great weekend attending our grandson's graduation from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Forrest Cox went to Michigan to play Lacrosse as a long-stick defense man. Thus carrying a big stick. Injury interfered. He focused instead on studying public policy at the nation's oldest public policy educational institution, now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Forrest has an imposing physical presence. He also has a quiet demeanor and remarkable skill at getting people to work together. He does, indeed, speak softly. And persuasively.

The future is in good hands.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hitting The Road Again, With A Jaunty Step Of Hope

We're about to hit the road again - back home to Oriental.

Graduation ceremonies, in my experience, are seldom inspirational. But here in Ann Arbor, we were inspired.

New thoughts. Eloquent young people. Not committed to their own enrichment, but to making the world a better place.

All is not lost, after all.

More Later.

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's A Busy Day Here In Ann Arbor

Not quiet at all. We've been on the run from morning to night attending various graduation celebrations of our grandson. Turns out, he has accomplished a lot during his four years on campus. Has left his mark.

We're very proud of him.

The stories will come later. Have to get some sleep so we can get up and attend the next event not long after oh dark hundred.

Other States

Lovely drive through Southwest Virginia. Great visit with old friends. Just one thing. I was struck by the signs that say "speed limit enforced by aircraft." I had visions of a World War I SPAD with machine gun on the cowling bringing speeders to justice.

Maybe that isn't what the sign means.

Beautiful drive yesterday through West Virginia and Ohio. Arrived in Michigan around sunset. Our first time in Michigan. Still have five more states to visit to cover all fifty states of the Union.