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Bud Stevenson

Just speak in plain English

You’ll forgive me for the intensely boring introduction to my theme today, but that’s the point. I know, some of you will say that “intensely boring” describes everything I write, but this is even worse. So, what is it? It’s from a “scholarly” piece written by Sidonie Smith, the head of the Humanities Department at the […]

Venezuela demonstrates drawback of socialist economy

This story definitely has a bearing on our upcoming election and what it might portend for our economy. It’s an extreme case of an economy forced into a socialist straightjacket, as advocated by one of the candidates for president. It concerns Venezuela, the country with the greatest oil reserves in the world. This transformation from […]

Veterans charity’s reputation wounded

I have to admit that I enjoy stories like this. First I get angry, and then I get that “I told you so” reaction. If you haven’t heard, the Wounded Warrior Project is in the spotlight, not for their alleged virtuous deeds, but for their incredible spending on – who would you guess? – themselves. Actually, […]

Time to address Fairfield’s homeless situation

A Solano Voice column from Sunday’s edition of Daily Republic, written by Fairfield Public Works director George Hicks. He said that “Public Works has been highly involved in . . . abating homeless encampments and graffiti, retrieving abandoned shopping carts . . . .” My question for Mr. Hicks is why just go after “abandoned” shopping […]

No need to fear market ‘correction’

What’s the big deal about Friday’s market? It’s not like it was down 400 points. It only dropped 390 on the Dow, so what are people worried about? Just listen to some of the “experts” who are calling the sell-off a “correction.” Oh, sure, they’ll give reasons for last week’s crash – sorry, I shouldn’t […]

Not a good week for speeches

Just when I had my thoughts together for this week’s column, I heard what Sen. Ted Cruz had said about Donald Trump. It’s not that I’m a big fan of the Donald, but the Texas senator’s remark about him was extremely irritating. If you haven’t heard what the Teddy Bear said, he claimed that Trump […]

Waste of money: Silver, gold, Powerball

What’s the big deal about a 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones averages? Especially when the usual experts are insisting it’s only a “correction.” I mean, they know, don’t they? But, if they’re wrong, 17 more weeks like this one would put the market at zero. On the other hand, if you are worried about […]

H-bomb, homeless and Hillary

Here are some headlines from this week’s news: NoKo tests H-Bomb; Homeless still struggling in San Francisco; Hillary indictment coming soon. OK, I made them up, but they actually reflect real developments. Let’s take them one by one. First, after North Korea’s claim that it tested a hydrogen bomb, thought to be beyond the technology skills of the Hermit […]

Going out on a limb with prediction

If I had seen this ad a week or two earlier, it would have made a perfect Christmas gift for my wife Clare. I was looking through The Wall Street Journal and saw an “On Sale Now” announcement for the Inada Flex 3S massage chair. Come to think of it, I would have bought his […]

January 03, 2016 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Political sleaze factor fascinating

I rarely quote another columnist at length, but this one hit the Clinton nail on her head. You may have heard that one of Hillary Clinton’s staffers commented online that the likely Democratic nominee had seven things in common with your abuela. That’s the Spanish word for grandmother. That remark didn’t please American born Hispanic […]

January 01, 2016 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

For $15 million, I’m available for hire

A business story in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It was amusing, irritating, and, I’m afraid, all too typical of corporate decision-making. The headline read: “Sprint Paid Up for Advice it Quickly Shelved.” Now, the money is not a big deal; I’m sure many of you earn several million dollars for a few […]

December 27, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

‘Controversy’ over choice of words

I have to offer this “vocabulary” lesson very carefully. You may have heard that Donald Trump inspired this headline from The Associated Press: “Trump uses crude word to mock Clinton.” If you didn’t hear what he said, it came in the context of his calling Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break during Saturday’s debate “disgusting.” But it […]

December 25, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Best bet for 2016 anybody’s guess

As I looked through the financial news for comments about stocks, interest rates and the economy, I came across a story so strange and maddening – having nothing to do with any of those topics. You may well have seen it, but, if not, it concerns a professor at Florida Atlantic University, James Tracy, who […]

December 20, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

How best to decide presidential appeal

OK, folks, who said this about Donald Trump: “He’s a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt.”? If you guessed Vlad the Impaler – Mr. Putin of Russia – you’d be right. There’s no question that Trump projects more machismo than the other Republican candidates. I say “machismo” with apologies to Carly Fiorina, since […]

December 18, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Price of oil key influence on market

Last week’s stock market wasn’t about terrorism. Neither was the market about politics. As I’ve been reading the commentary, I have to conclude that the main influence on stocks was the price of oil. If you haven’t been following the news, here’s a helpful headline: “Stock Market sharply lower, following oil prices down.” The most […]

December 13, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

‘Lunatic left’ shows hatred of police

I didn’t plan to do this, but there was a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle that so perfectly defined a loony lefty that I feel compelled to talk about it. The subject was the suggestion that the SFPD arm its officers with stun guns in order to stop a threatening suspect without the use of […]

December 11, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Singing, fearfully, the joy of Wall Street enthusiasm

Let me start with a song, but don’t worry I won’t sing. My wife insists that I have the most horrific singing voice she’s ever heard. The song, which is apparently Wall Street’s new anthem is, “Don’t worry, be happy.” It’s a Bobby McFerrin song from 1988, and I can imagine traders humming it as […]

December 06, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Real issues present with women in combat units

I feel reassured after hearing the news from Washington, D.C. If you missed it, here’s the headline: “Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Thursday announced that the Pentagon will open all combat roles in the military to women.” My intention is not to belittle women, but to point out that this edict is typical of […]

December 04, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Yahoo exec gives birth to ‘politically incorrect’ questions

Can you guess which chief executive was appointed with the greatest fanfare in the last few years? If you guessed Marissa Mayer appointed to head Yahoo in 2012, you would have it right. At this point I have to indulge in “lookism,” one of the cardinal sins indulged in by conservatives. Except that, as far […]

November 29, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Irony of murder causes layers of sadness, anger

When I first saw the story at the end of September, it made me feel sad and angry. It happened – surprise! – in Oakland, where a 27-year-old artist was working on a 4,000-square-foot mural authorized by the building’s owner. The subject of the mural that Antonio Ramos was creating was, of all things, anti-violence. He never […]

November 27, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

I’m rich, maybe you can be, too

I hope you followed my advice in my April 6, 1990, column. I insisted that you should mortgage your house, take all your savings and borrow all you could to buy Nike stock at the adjusted price of $2.09 a share. If you missed that recommendation, I told you again to buy NKE April 8, […]

November 22, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

‘Tolerance for enemies’ is head-shaking policy

For years now, I’ve been looking for a solution to destroy the Islamic State group, but it turns out I’ve been on the wrong track all this time. A letter in the Chronicle (Wednesday) showed me the error of my ways. It’s from a foreign policy and military affairs expert in Marin County, which I’d […]

November 20, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Wall Street woes may mean great Christmas

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield had this comment about Mrs. Dangerfield’s shopping habits: “My wife loves a sale. She buys everything marked down. Last week she came home with an escalator.” OK, old joke, but what’s being marked down this past week was not funny to many investors. An example would be the “sale” going on […]

November 15, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Missouri University execs tucked tail, ran

The events at the University of Missouri were shameful, ugly, racist, intimidating and, from the standpoint of the group of mostly black students, completely successful. It all started, as you know, when Tim Wolfe, the president, failed to show enough anger at several alleged racial incidents on the Mizzou campus. Before going any further, I […]

November 13, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Political correctness run amok

This is a story of political correctness run wild. If you haven’t seen the details, it’s centered in the Chicago suburb of Riverside, and has demonstrated that there are no limits to the weight of President Barack Obama’s minions when it comes to enforcing their Stalinist view of minority appeasement. In this case, the “minority” […]

November 09, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

Pipeline to widow Walton’s wealth; Keystone cut

I have to start with some sad news. You may want to contribute if you feel as bad as I do. Here’s the story: “Ever since Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton died 10 years ago in a plane crash, it’s been widely assumed that he passed the bulk of his vast estate to his widow, Christy.” […]

November 08, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Valeant pricing practices sway Wall Street

This is a story about a pharmaceutical company with the ticker symbol VRX, which is the exchange symbol for Valeant Pharmaceuticals. After reading endless stories about this drug company over the past few weeks, I would urge investor caution. Valeant has a close relationship – incestuous, you might say – with pharmacy payment manager Philidor. Philidor, […]

November 01, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

University of Phoenix topic of much recent debate

I’m guessing you’ve heard all you want to about Wednesday night’s Republican debate, so I’d like to talk about a different subject. That would be the largest “for-profit” college in the United States, the so-called University of Phoenix. It’s in the news again, this time in The Wall Street Journal. What’s amazing – for me […]

October 30, 2015 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged ,

5 make billion-dollar gains in market day

Once again I had a sigh of disappointment when I saw that I didn’t make the list. If you haven’t seen the story, we are told that five – just five – tech bigshots made a total of $11 billion Friday. Let me repeat that, in case you didn’t believe it, either. That was between […]

October 25, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,
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