As for the dessert, there was a sea of a sweet, creamy white substance on the plate under the mousse. Might it have been a crème anglaise lightened with whipped cream (the way Hollandaise is sometimes lightened in French cuisine)? With or without that mystery substance, it was certainly a delightful dessert! Your chef told me that my table was the only “taker” for it; too bad the rest of the diners in the room missed out on this pleasure.


The photo printed in the June 19 “Blurt” article on Joe Rathburn, “You Rock…No, You Don’t…Yes, You Do,” should have been credited to Steve Covault.

Straight Record

I’d like to correct a couple of main points the “Blurt” article made (“You Rock…No, You Don’t…Yes, You Do,” June 19).

First of all, I repeatedly told Ken Leighton that no one ever complained about me and the whole thing started with just a general sweep of the neighborhood by SDPD vice operations. He may have heard me say that we originally suspected someone must have complained, but Sgt. Labore of vice ops confirmed they’d never gotten any complaints the whole time I’d played at the Tin Fish. That was not an issue.

Secondly, I never said that the owners of the Tin Fish had spoken to the mayor. What I really said was that the owners told me one of my fans had said he knew the mayor and would speak to him about the issue. I don’t think he ever did.

Just thought I’d set the record straight.

Joe Rathburn
via email

Ken Leighton responds: Mr. Rathburn did say that code enforcement was “doing a general sweep of the Gaslamp, checking for code violations”; however, that line was edited from the article before publication. The line in which Mr. Rathburn says, “Nobody ever complained, and now this year somebody complained” should have ended with a question mark. I regret that error. Mr. Rathburn’s quote that “The owners of the Tin Fish talked to the mayor” was read back to Mr. Rathburn after he was interviewed.

A Pink America

Re “Greed, Gambling Society,” by Don Bauder (“City Lights,” June 19).

Don Bauder must be the most valuable San Diego columnist in business, based on his superb and bold explanations to a bewildered public under siege of what is going on financially. However, his side remarks shortchange the Chicago School of Economics, a venerable institution whose positions kept America in the pink — and markets in the black — when followed.

First, truncating the Chicago School with a slash Austrian School is a disservice. The Austrian School is chiefly noted for a purist devotion to laissez-faire economics — “Free markets don’t kill us, they make us stronger.”

The defining trait of the Chicago School is Milton Friedman’s admonition that a slow, steady growth in the money supply, coupled with government spending restraint, leads to long-term economic prosperity and low inflation. The Chicago School does prefer free markets — so do all economic schools. (Marxism is a political philosophy which masqueraded as an economic theory. That’s why Marxist economic models collapse.)

The Keynesian view is opposite. It argues that inflation (read: the government printing money and handing it out through public-works projects or to pay bills it’s incurred) is a necessary evil and actually salutary to society.

In today’s economic situation, one wishes that Wall Street financiers would heed the advice of the Chicago School, not scurry for short-term cover in a desperate rear-guard-action embrace of using inflation to get us out of the rough.

Keynes famously observed that “In the long run we’re all dead.” How sad to see this sentiment reflected in Wall Street’s toxic addiction to short-term gain and gluttonous appetite for bigger and bigger paydays, at the expense of investing in R&D (which Bauder did quote an expert as lamenting). It’s invited our current peril. Were Wall Street to have preferred slow and steady growth, disciplined management, and abeyance to long-term sturdiness, we wouldn’t have our current problems. So that Wall Street’s failure to hew to the Chicago School, and misplaced trust in Keynesian sophistry, has brought us to this end, not the other way around, as Bauder implies.

Confusing the issue by attaching the current call for financial oversight to Keynesian economic principles is nonsense. Simple common sense should tell investors that when they are putting their money into some sort of financial certificate whose basis is hopelessly obscured, they are being conned. Financial derivatives and the like are a con job. Econ 101 — displacement of responsibility from the direct transactors leads to relatively worse outcomes. This observation is buttressed when observing that Mr. Bauder treats the financial communities’ hypocrisy about government intervention as some sort of revelation he learned of in two new books.

In fact, Econ 101.1: it is axiomatic that businessmen expect financial discipline and a government hard hand for everyone except themselves. Philosophically, they are purists. As a matter of fiduciary obligation and survival instinct, they dunk their figurative heads in the trough of government preferences. Rationalizations to obscure the fact abound for them to point up, but the fact of this axiom has never been more in evidence, or in much of any doubt.

Let’s bring this around to our current dilemma. The prices of oil and gas are chiefly rising because of the loss of value of the dollar. Last year a dollar would buy you so much gas. This year the dollar is worth less and will buy you less gas. That’s inflation. Sure, it’s compounded by speculation, but isn’t it speculation that the dollar will continue falling, and isn’t the dollar’s future value based on confidence in the dollar, i.e., confidence in the government to not print a new load of greenbacks to cover its arrears. Rising demand from China and India are only ancillary contributors.

Let’s just get the hell out of Iraq, which is what has bled the Treasury dry in the last six years. And that’s not so much economics or high finance — it’s simple accounting. But I love Diva’s account of her mac down. Delicious.

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