Archive for February, 2014

Punt, Pass And Kick: The End Is Far (February 24, 2014)

Posted in Bail In, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Gold Standard, Kleptocracy, Money on February 24, 2014 by

. . .

C2        “An unsustainable system is sustaining itself.  Somehow.  Yet, in the end, an unsustainable system is unsustainable.”

C1        “Everyone is engaged in a grand ‘punt, pass and kick’ game to punt his or her personal or professional responsibility, pass the buck, and kick the 55 gallon rusty drum down the pot-holed road and over a structurally unsound bridge, yet the system is stumbling and bumbling along.  They continue to build ‘bridges to nowhere’ and allow existing ‘bridges to somewhere’ to decline and decay.”

C2        “To build a sustainable bridge, we must do something as simple and foresighted as using stainless steel rebar to support the structure so that it does not rust and rot from within.”

C1        “When the 55 gallon oil drum is empty, it will be much heavier and harder to kick down the road.  We may not make the bridge.  Will time expire on the ‘punt, pass and kick’ game without a possibility of overtime.”

C2        “We may get ‘sudden death’ overtime, although we may be deceased.  We cannot argue with success.”

C1        “As long as you succeed.”

C2        “Some folks will argue with failure, but it may be too late.”

. . .

C1        “We cannot peer behind drawn curtains or peak behind closed doors.  At best, we may observe some developments while trying to assemble a puzzle with only a few random pieces operating in the dark with one hand tied behind our back.”

C2        “On a good day.  We interpolate and extrapolate with little information and confront an active effort by a variety of folks to mislead and deceive.  A conspiracy requires too much cooperation, but a confluence of powerful interests responding to the same incentives and acting in concert to acquire lucre and power can cause mischief.”

C1        “What is today’s exchange rate between lucre and power?  A desperate cabal trying to stave off a large creditor or interest could loot the Treasury.  When there was some chatter about the United States not returning all the gold in the Federal Reserve vaults to Germany because the gold had been sold, little was said.  Big players do not air their tainted laundry in public.  What if the gold is not there?”

C2        “You could craft a movie around a discovery that all the gold in Fort Knox will not buy a twenty-five cent cup of coffee.”

C1        “Gold has mesmerized men through the ages, although it does not taste particularly tasty.”

C2        “Even with golden mustard.  And it does not wear well.”

C1        “If ‘He who has the gold makes the rules,’ what if there is no gold?” 

. . .

C1        “The Big Jolt may come when ordinary folks are spooked by something, rational or irrational, and try to withdraw their deposits from financial institutions.  When it first senses a possible problem, the Federal Reserve will send a directive in seconds to all financial institutions limiting withdrawals to a small sum and then, if that does not work, allowing financial institutions to print script of some kind on site to give to depositors seeking to withdraw their funds.” 

C2        “That script may not be acceptable.  At that point, the script would be backed by the half faith and hollow credit of the United States.”

C1        “An old banker reflecting on the start of the Great Slide looked out the window at depositors who demanded their money and felt an overwhelming sense of terror.  Their terrified look triggered his terrified look.”

C2        “Their terrified look may trigger more than a terrified look.”

C1        “Look out.”

. . .

C2        “A ‘Bail In’ is likely to trigger the same reaction unless it is done very slowly with little publicity so that no one notices.”

. . .

C1         “Something may be done or may happen to jeopardize the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency.  That will have a bad ending.  Try to explain what has happened and will happen to the ordinary citizen.”

. . .

C1        “I am convinced that the clearest lesson in American history is the absolute conviction that no one in the banking and financial industry who loots and robs the public will ever be convicted let alone even indicted for a crime.”

C2        “We might as well enshrine it in a constitutional amendment – the Kleptocracy Amendment.”

C1        “Because of our actions and inaction, we are fundamentally in worse economic shape now than we were in September of 2008.  What do you think, three more years or ten more years or could the ‘punt, pass and kick’ game sustain for thirty more years.”

C2        “A riot could become a rebellion and then an insurrection.  Enough people and places are festering and percolating to spark and provide the tinder.”

C1        “The catalyst may not be economic or financial.  A computer virus could go viral or a virus could go viral.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled Beans and Bullets (April 6, 2009) and Bailouts: Out; Bail Ins: In; Slowly Boilin’ The Frog (April 15, 2013) and those collected under]

Bumper stickers of the week:

You can argue with failure

Crime pays in America, but only big crime

Something that cannot go on forever will not go on forever

Federal Reserve Note legends on dollars, 1928 and 1934 and 1953 and 2014 and ____:






Writin’ (February 17, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Book Reference, Plastic, Slavery, Writing on February 17, 2014 by

. . .

W1       “Read and write and read and write and read and write and read and write and rinse and repeat.”

W2       “Learn to juggle all the words in the English language and a few other languages behind your back in the dark with ease.”

W1       “And recognize the nuances of education, location, geography, employment, religion, politics, race and class.”

W2       “Develop an eye for detail and an ear for dialogue.”

W1       “Subtly appreciate and acknowledge the true nature and flow of actual daily discourse and conversation.”

W2       “And understand and capture the smell and feel and taste of a person, place and thing.”

W1       “Write what you know.  And know much.”

W2       “Go beyond knowing and write what you understand.”

W1       “And understand much.”

W2       “Go beyond understanding and write about and with wisdom.”

W1       “Then write what terrifies you and satisfies you and mystifies you and pacifies you.”

W2       “Show.  Do not tell.”

W1       “Tell a great story by showing a great story.”

W2       “Show and tell may be the most revealing show and tell.”

W1       “It is often easier done than said.”

W2       “It is only said if it is done.”

W1       “It is only done if it is done.”

. . .

W2       “Celebrating one’s love for language is another way to celebrate the day.”

. . .

W1       “Are ‘Doonesbury’ and ‘Prairie Home Companion’ the Great American Novels?”

W2       “A novel notion.  The Great American Novel is not a novel after all but rather a visual depiction in “Doonesbury” and an oral transmission in “Prairie Home Companion” depicted and transmitted in dollops over the decades.  They reward those with an eye for detail and an ear for dialogue.”  

W1       “Devoid of all the insecure male posturing that seems to be deemed the sine qua non of the GAN.”

. . .

[See the article at seeking to address microscopic beads that get into the water supply.  See the “e-ssays” under that are part of “Project Plastic.”]

[From the New Confederacy in Utah and Oklahoma to the Old South in Virginia, hate is on the run, on the retreat, and on the retrograde.  See the e-ssay” titled The Sea Change Is Now A Tsunami (March 11, 2013).  For those who are troubled by slavery in all its forms and permutations, the vote in Tennessee, a charter member of the Old South, on unionization at the Volkswagen plant is disappointing.]  

Bumper stickers of the week:

Observe, Listen, (smell, feel, taste), Question, Comment

Art for art’s sake is somewhat uninspired and uninspiring.  Exquisitely superb art that promotes positive political, economic and social purposes is the most inspired art.

“No one deserves it.” (February 10, 2014)

Posted in Estate Tax, Personal Stories Series, Personal Story, Pogo Plight, Taxation on February 10, 2014 by

. . .

C          “No one gave me anything.  I worked for everything.  I had three jobs and did not even get the minimum wage for one of them.  They expect everything.  They have already spent it many times over.  I am not even dead yet.  I feel that way.  They act that way.”

L          “I understand.  You are among a small group who really did it the old-fashioned way by taking risk and working hard.  And it is yours.  In your eyes and in the eyes of the law.  It is also your decision.”

C          “I didn’t build my business out of a garage.  I didn’t have a garage.  We hardly kept a car on the road.  We built it from our dinette table.  They’ll sell that Formica® table for a few dollars at a yard sale.  If they even have the gumption to have a yard sale.  What if I don’t give it to ‘em?”

L          “It is yours to give or not to give to them or to someone else.”

C          “That would be givin’ it to ‘em.  Know what I mean.”

. . .

L          “Probate and estate issues like this are among the most frequent legal matters and concerns for older folks.  Trillions of dollars are transferring to the next generation.”

C          “I heard someone call it ‘entitlement’.  I don’t know who’s entitled to my money, but I know it’s not those kids.”

. . .

L          “Probate is not evil.  However, probating a will is expensive, protracted and public.  By putting your assets in a trust, you create a legal entity that survives you and eases transfer.  The process is cheaper, shorter and private.  Many trusts are designed not just to ease the transfer but to elude creditors and avoid taxes.  Many of the trusts designed to avoid taxes are legal theft, but that is where America is in the arc of this country.  This basic trust is simply a mechanism to make the transfer simpler with some tax portability and a layer of creditor protection.”

C          “That all sounds good, I think.  So you think it’s a good idea.”

. . .

L          “You could set up a foundation.  The goal is usually virtuous, yet the smaller personal foundations usually do little more than feed an ego and pay administrative expenses.  The folks on the payroll are pleased to have the job and the paycheck.  I was impressed that Warren Buffett did not establish his own foundation and instead gave most of his assets to the Gates Foundation.  That approach saves on administrative costs and focuses efforts.”

C          “What group should I give it to?”

L          “Which group do you want to give it to?”

C          “I don’t know.  That’s what I pay you for.”

L          “I am here to determine what you want to do.”

. . .

C          “What if I give it to you.  You said it’s mine to give to anyone I want to.”

L          “With a very important proviso.  You cannot give your money to your attorney who is obligated to represent your interests.”

C          “Then I’m not absolutely free to give to anyone I want to.”

L          “For these purposes, I am you.  You cannot give it to yourself.  And I cannot take it under rules that are in your best interest.  For what it is worth, there was a time or two when you were reluctant to pay attorney’s fees that were earned twofold.”

C          “I figure that if you are not able to make sure that you get paid then you are not able to make sure that I get paid.  I’ll throw nickels around like manhole covers until the day I die.  You know me.”

. . .

C          “Those kids didn’t have to work very hard to be entitled to my hard-earned money.  But they don’t want to work.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” under]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Easy come, easy go; Hard come, easy go; Hard come, hard go.

Boycott Futball? (February 3, 2014)

Posted in Boycott Series, Consumerism, Football, Hypocrisy, Pogo Plight, Sports on February 3, 2014 by

. . .

F1        “Are you crazy?  Apple pie and motherhood are as American as futball.”

F2        “Soccer Moms wielding mini vans hold the keys.  Will they make a motherly pitch to the kids and drive them to the pitch or accede to pressure and deposit them on the gridiron.”

. . .

F1        “Watching it for the ads seems akin to buying a girlie magazine for the articles.” 

F2        “Spectacles are always spectacular.  A brand is a story.  This year the brands really tried to tell stories over a number of ads throughout the extravaganza.”

F1        “Seemed to be fewer ads for ED medication and the usual number for EtOH self-medication.”

F2        “Capture the audience and then captivate the audience.”

. . .

F1        “The NFL is the big winner.  They scored non-profit tax-exempt status long ago.  The public pays for the millionaires to play for the billionaires.”

F2        “And the public finances most of the coliseums.  The teams are tantamount to unregulated public utilities.”

F1        “Perhaps citizens should pay a monthly bill for water and sewer, telephone, gas, and for futball.”

. . .

F2        “Football is counterproductive because it destroys so many gladiators along the way.  Society is left weaker.”

. . .

F1        “Sports has always provided every society with a forum to train warriors and titillate the populace.”

F2        “ROTC with colorful, multi-color uniforms, cheerleaders and beer.”

F1        “Tiddlywinks simply does not train warriors or titillate the public.  Few aspire to a career in the NTA – National Tiddlywinks Association.  Our need for blood sports is hard-wired into our dna.  Coursing is coarse, but the desire courses through our blood.”

F2        “Auto racing appeals to our love of speed and lust for a crash.  The most skilled drivers are at the wheel to maximize the speed and minimize but deliver the inevitable and cherished crash.”

F1        “Satisfying our need for immediate gratification led them to accelerate the process and fashion the ‘demolition derby’ that provides what the fans really desire – a string of premeditated crashes – without the wait.”

F2        “Rather than going in circles, they go right at each other.  Perhaps football could be reduced to fifteen minutes of uncontrolled mayhem with the gladiators going right at each other.”      

. . .

F1        “The ideal winter sport is the biathlon . . . shoot and ski in the winter and then run or bicycle or pogo-stick in the summer to stay in shape.  The ideal summer sports are soccer and women’s rules lacrosse.  Men’s rules lacrosse is for insecure sissies.”

F2        “Men’s rules lacrosse is the outdoor version of ice hockey.  Is there women’s rules ice hockey?”

F1        “What about co-ed inner tube water polo played indoors in the winter and cricket played in the summer?”

F2        “Moms may need to select among competing pitches.  Cricket Moms would emerge as another target demographic for advertisers.”

. . .

F1        “What would happen to Monday morning quarterbacking?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

“Is Dylan a Cadillac shill or a Chrysler shill?  . . . . . . .  or a Ford shill?”  “I think he was a Victoria’s Secret model.”