A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Monday, January 06, 2003
U.S. stock markets and major equity indexes are staring impotently at a fourth year of consecutive losses, unknown since the Great Depression of the 1930's.
Partly this plunge derives from the dot com frenzy and overhyped stocks, fueled by criminally corrupt analysts, accountants, the CEO's of large failed corporate giants, program traders, the M&A people, the Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the hedge funders, the short sellers, the LBO queens and your average hustler-broker.
But also Uncertainty, which all markets loathe. This kind of chancy doubt defines the continuing and inevitable debacle for the average investor.
September 11 figures mightily, too.
But so, too, the looming outlay of literally billions to prosecute wars or pay blackmail on at least three fronts: Home, Iraq and North Korea. And other opportunistic nations will line up at the extortion window any day now.
Consider there is legitimate agitation for better health care, pensions, social security, education and infrastructure competing for these billions.
The country could soon be as fiscally bankrupt as it is morally.
But the reason the stock exchanges and prime indexes may never recover is still basically ... uncertainty.
Let us put this as gently and simply as possible: terrorism is and will continue to remain permanently rampant in this country and abroad.
The terrorists, like the poor, will henceforth always be with us.
They personify Uncertainty.
Ergo: avoid the markets.
And neither the survivalist gold in your home safes or back yard bunkers, the bearer bonds and cash in the better mattresses, or the stashed diamonds and baubles will guarantee your liquidity and safety.
The very best investment today thus isn't in the economy, but in the demonstrated and very real love of family and friends.
Do we dare try that?
Thursday, January 02, 2003
Friday, January 03, 2003
"Let's kill all the lawyers." -- Shakespeare
Ah, a sweet sentiment for a New Year.
And another fit repository for our wrath and rage.
These degenerate swine fleece the stupid and the savvy alike of the lower and the middle classes, swindling here, pandering there, filching everywhere.
(Parenthetically, we hear too often from the overly conservative punditry that "class warfare" is wrongly Unamerican, orchestrated by the diabolical Democrats to rend the country.
Natural it is that classes clash and that mouthpieces quiveringly prosper from racial and social as well as gender and even generational divisions.)
Those unwilling -- mostly those unable -- to execute their own simple legal documents, or bring a cause to Small Claims, are ordained to suffer the advocates' immemorial pal, Delay, and to pay evermore.
(Be your own counselor. Get yourself to nolo.com and learn enough of the lawyering trade to mend yourself.)
You grander felons may indeed cede much of your ill gotten swag to the vulturous and bloated, who will attend and fawn so long as they are copiously fed.
Two common legal shakedowns come to mind.
Ever observe how the shysters place prominent ads in urban papers seeking claimants for class action suits of all hues? Hell, they're simply harvesting names for a more lengthy and impressive brief with which to enrich themselves at your expense.
You might eventually get a two dollar coupon for your trouble as a putative plaintiff in one of these con games.
Ever wonder why wills are relatively cheap to have drawn? And why living trusts are so expensive?
These scum are out to profit handsomely by your death, but you do get to decide whether to pay the bastards up front for the trust or subject your heirs to a costly probate.
These humbugs are as numerous as the lawyers who voodoo them.
There are schemes within shenanigans within scams without end.
But since we can't just kill off these sows, we can only avoid them as adroitly as we can.
The rant appears on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
Resolved: Given the hellholes that the public schools have become with violence, death, indifference to learning, inattention and high decibel levels,
That school attendance after age 14 (arguably, even younger) be completely voluntary.
Public schools exist primarily to provide lettered members of the lower middle class with a modicum of income.
No one should pretend anyone is actually educated there.
(In 2000 20% of adults 25 and over were without a high school degree. This figure seems suspiciously low to us.)
And we once overheard, in a college faculty dining room, this observation: "This would be a great school if it just weren't for the students." This attitude seems common at all levels of the academy.
Turn loose the unmotivated, uninterested, indifferent, disruptive and dangerous "students" compelled unhappily to attend school.
Not on my street, you'll protest.
We urge the generally inept police (whose number should be vastly increased anyway) to confront vigorously the gangs we so quaintly called "juvenile delinquents" decades ago.
The teachers, administrators, counselors, dieticians, janitors and security officers can no longer endlessly struggle with teenage arrogance, rebellion and callousness in their public schools (yes: theirs, not ours).
Anti-intellectualism and an ingrained reverence for ignorance permeate America's cultural history. And these traditions are too well entrenched to unearth them.
And if we're going to effect voluntary school attendance, we should be consistently civil and lower the drinking and age of consent to 14 as well.
These kids will need some way to pass the time they would have spent in school.
The rant appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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