Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Doq on KROQ just reported that there are 270,000 students waiting to enroll in California Universities (Cal State and UC). Could this be right?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Zuckerberg and Facebook stock price means what?

Facebook stock price reflects integrity of Zuckerberg? 

Maybe, just maybe Facebook creator and Genius In Chief, 

Mark Zuckerberg has stuck to his guns to keep Facebook 

free forever. Like he has always said: "Always had it. Always 

will." Perhaps his new partners, the rich-since-before-the-

pilgrims class takes some exception to this "stand by your 

work and your word" policy of MZ. Maybe he is getting

hammered to charge fees and produce revenue now, in this 

quarter, by doing things he swore he never would. Social 

Network plotlines notwithstanding, those close to 

Zuckerberg since before going public have no response to 

allegations that large investors are pushing HARD to charge 

fees NOW. MZ's flat refusal may have prompted Peter Thiel, 

one of Facebook's early investors to bail and dump his 20M 

shares, settling for a mere +$400,000,000.00 sale price. 

News of insider trades dumping large holdings seem to 

support idea that Mark is not making the New Money happy 

on the business page, on the street, and in the board room. 

Cause for cheer? Well, like the farmer said, "Maybe yes, 

maybe no."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I love my family

Just now I was weeping for joy seeing the arc that has run from my grandmother through my father through me to my nephew. I always say that if just one person is changed by my work than all the sweat and confusion is worth it and right now I see that it is. Thank god for my family. Who knew?;postID=305422875730419129

Saturday, August 18, 2012

500 U.S. military bases in Iraq are ghost towns?

See, part of my struggle with stories like this is this:

I still feel like a passenger on a plane. I trust that the pilot doesn't want to crash, because he wants to go home and slam some Boone's Farm with his new boyfriend.

In the same way, I still trust that there are people in positions of power who do want the country strong and just. That our TREMENDOUS investment in Iraq and Afghanistan has not been totally insane. That some logic does apply. That we have done some good; that the world without this intervention would be a very different place. That we took a stand. I am done with most of my chest-pounding and flag-waving; I am much more curious and less trusting than in years past; I am actually working to get answers to my questions about military, economy, society, et al.

I have left the Republican party. I have joined Occupy. I am writing. I am blogging. I am broadcasting a weekly radio show on BlogTalkRadio. All these things come from my curiosity with the question: WTF is going on?

Please tell me what you think. Or tell a neighbor, family member or friend. We are going to need every resource we have to not only make a strong choice in November, but after that, when the work begins, to be vigilant and a little self-righteous. To see if we like the country the way the Constitution and founders intended it, or if we need to wipe clean the white board and start anew. Or something in between.

This is your reminder from me that it is all our work. And that there is no "them." We are all in this together, and if we want answers to why we build 500 military bases in Iraq, we have to chase them down ourselves. If we want to know if they are really ghost towns, we have to do some work.

I am going to start by reading this article.
 ·  ·  · about a minute ago · 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul and camping

Bob Schiefer (CBS news) says that Paul Ryan is a nice guy and is well-liked on Capitol Hill.

Well, that is great. I am all for civility in and out of the smoke-filled back rooms. Wait, IS there smoke in those rooms anymore? With Ryan being a listed power-player who claims to have eight percent body fat, I doubt it. Probably filtered water and bible verses for sustenance.

Anyway, Ryan is under the microscope and on the megaphone right now as his weekend announcement for vice-Mitt status is out and free-ranging the infonet.

I just bristle when I see his disturbingly blue eyes telling me that what we need now is another republican. That the guy in the chair is doing EVERYTHING wrong. That President Barack Obama has NO RECORD to speak of in Washington and therefore attacks Romney because of the vacuum that is his own resume. That Romney's public record is one of building hope for the common worker and their family. That Bain Capital's business statement was something like: "We will serve the common man even if we lose money." That Mitt Freakshow Romney is the proper choice for the lead-crystal-teeter-totter-high-wire balancing act that is the world economy right now. That Governor Romney has any idea of diplomacy, representing people he disagrees with, and not pouring petrol on pyres.

Representative Ryan is probably a good guy. I bet he is a hard worker, who pours himself into protecting the world he sees and the people in it. I bet he knows a lot of stuff I don't. He may even know about team-building and compromise. How else do you have friends on both sides of the aisle?

I bet he would be a good guy to have on a camping trip. He would have a good tent and his kids would be well-behaved. He would chop wood, haul water and lend a hand when needed. And this IS a camping trip we are all on. And we are all needed to make this a good process and a good camp. Campsite Pennsylvania Avenue is under siege within and without. Our president and our country need our support right now. And by support I mean we ALL should take five or ten minutes EVERY WEEK UP UNTIL NOVEMBER FIFTH, to be good citizens and really look at our choices and the recent history. Three and a half years ago we elected our first black president and he was given what is in an ordinary year the hardest job on the planet.

But for him it was worse. If it was a relay race he was a middle-legger with a bad handoff. Bad as in the baton was lit on fire and thrown out of the stadium bad. And what he did -- well spoken and with a big smile on his face -- was he got that baton, he put out the fire, he got on the track and he finished the race. I believe in a hundred years Barack Obama will be seen as one of our best presidents. I am not so sure of  his predecessor's status. And Mr. Ryan is telling us we need more republican ideology, whatever that is. I just know that I am going to pour everything I have into convincing anyone who will listen that he is NOT the best choice in November.

I am glad he is well-liked in Washington. I will dig a little and see what his constituents in Wisconsin have to say about him. Maybe he will be an easy target like the AWOL governor of Alaska was last cycle. But I doubt it. The race is tight, according to the polls, and the voters are scared. Many, MANY of them -- of us -- believe that President Barack Obama has been a terrible president and that ANYBODY would be an improvement. Given that AnyBodyButBarackdotcom mentality, Romney looks okay, I guess.

But I think Mitt Romney would be a LOUSY guy to have in your campsite. I think he would make stupid mistakes. I think he would smile and have a clean shirt and NO CLUE of what was needed in the camp. I think he would hurt himself chopping wood and have to be rescued. I think the water he pulled out of the river would need to be boiled twice. He would get blisters on the hike and have to turn back. Drop his food in the dirt and need to share yours. Nice but out of place. Just like he is on every stop on the campaign trail that isn't a board room.

Good luck Representative Ryan. You have hitched your wagon to an interesting horse. Good luck to both of you gentlemen. Please run the good race. Please understand and acknowledge that the guy you are running against has been in the chair for a long time now and we all are still here. Good luck Mr. Ryan. As far as I can tell, you are not off to much of a start. Good luck to us all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Old Farmer Story

Leaning on the stone wall separating their properties, one farmer says to another:

"My son didn't come home last night." To which the neighbor responds, "That's terrible! I am so sorry! That is too bad!"

"Well, maybe yes, maybe no."

"What do you mean? You have no other workers! Without your son, you can't bring in your crop! You and your wife will starve. This is terrible!"

"Maybe yes, and maybe no. Hey look, here he comes now!" Son rides up on horseback with a bunch of other horses.

"Dad! Look at all this! I found seven wild horses! No brands or anything! I already checked the local stables, and no one is missing anything! They are all ours! We are rich! Isn't this great?"

"Well, maybe yes and maybe no."

"What do you mean, maybe?! This is amazing! We can sell two of the horses and pay for a new barn. We can rent out the others, or work our field in one day instead of one week! We can sell two and buy a new field! This is great! You see that, right, dad?"

While the farmer is answering, the son falls from his horse and breaks his arm BADLY.

Later, after helping to dress the wound, the neighbor and farmer are again leaning on their shared wall, ruminating on the day and the world.

Neighbor: "Well I am so sorry. Could be your son will never have much use from that arm again. At best, it will take weeks to heal, and he won't be able to help you on the farm much. This is really a terrible break for you."

"Well, maybe yes and maybe no."

"Oh, come on, sunshine! You are just trying to get under my skin, now! There is NO WAY that this is not bad news for you! I mean, I am sorry, I will help you all I can, but this is the worst news a father can get, right? Really?"

As the father is responding in his typical way, an army of men on horseback enters the little valley.  It is the king's men. They arrive in force and announce that " royal decree, all healthy and able young men must come immediately and join the royal army to fight a distant war. Few will return. All must serve."

Predictably, the neighbor is aghast. "Oh my god! This is terrible! The village will lose a hundred young men! How awful!"

You know what the farmer said?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Skunks almost never get used for Satanic ritual killings

Okay, I am just going to blurt it out and be done with it.

Every year, thousands -- maybe millions -- of pet owners worry about their black cats around late October. Black cats are stolen and tortured by the score and that may not change for a while. Instead of putting a lojack on your animal, or sending them to Gstad for the season, why not dress them up for a party and save the drama?

Imagine you are a skinny, whitey, trashy, stupid shit looking for a black cat to grab for your latest misguided adventure. You see a jet black animal with a bold, dramatic white stripe all the way to the tip of the tail. Whadaya think?

Run for the tomato bath! It's a skunk!

Who cares that you don't smell anything. Get the hell out of there and do it quick!

It's okay, it's okay. None of them can read anything but emo-posts and hate mail.

So as to the how to get a real-looking stripe on your pet that won't let you get withing 10 feet, I dunno. To quote Murray in Scrooged : "Have you considered staples?"

Now get back to work!

Facebook at 22 and climbing!

Facebook's latest stock climb may not be the "dead cat bounce" that doom and gloomers were forecasting for Mark Zuckerberg's little start-up business.

Full disclosure: I do own Facebook stock.

More disclosure: You should buy some right now. It opened at 38 and was so wildly popular that they broke NASDAQ, the market they were sold in. This is the same portal through which sail Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Sun, and every other tech stock that has made more instant millionaires in the last twenty years than the earth has ever seen. It is sort of like having a concert at the Coliseum so popular that the stadium is in ruins after the show. Pretty freaking hot. Now, months later, you can pick it up at 22 (that is $22 per share). Do it. Be a leader and not a follower.

And talk about "too big to fail." This shit is EVERYWHERE! I am watching the KTLA morning news. Most popular local news in the biggest and best city on earth. Bottom right corner, and what is there? FB logo. Turn on the Olympics, more. Go to ANY popular (or not) website and there it is, a link to Facebook. Now I know that they haven't figured out how to get money from you, but they will and the stock will shoot way past 60. Don't be on the sidelines for this story. Oh, by the way, there will be no story. This will be one of those quiet, tiptoey trips up the charts for Mark and his partners. Today you can be one for $22.

Another reason I push this on all my students, is that this (or any stock) is a great way to stretch your perception of saving money. Now I know I am pissing in the wind a little here, but you should be saving more money. Most of my students save zero. I myself am deep in the red due to the worst timing in the history of real estate. But I am digging my way out, and trying to save anybody that will listen from suffering any more than necessary. Put some money away somewhere.

Whether you are the "bury it in the mattress" type, or you like a savings account that you can get to any time you want, do it. Put some money away somewhere so it will be there tomorrow. And if you can wait until next year, maybe it will be more money. In the passbook a/c you can get 1% or so, so for every dollar you put in will gain a penny by this time next year. I know it doesn't sound like much. Fact is, as any old fuck will tell you, time just keeps going by faster and faster. Where were you last September? Anyway, with a stock purchase or interest-bearing bank account, while that time is rocketing by, you are making money. Who cares if it is only a little?

Oh, and more disclosure: Stock prices can go down, too. That is why the people that bought FB at 50 are sore now. A share of stock is a share of stock is a share of stock. When you buy a share of FB that is what you get. Whether you pay $22, $50, $38 (or $80 in a year), you will have a single share in your hand.

Most of my people are not too comfortable with that, but just wait till one of your friends quits his job and buys a Bentley 'cause he bought the right stock at the right price and cashed in. You will get comfortable real quick. And baby steps DEFINITELY count. So google "stock broker your zip code" and grab your phone. In a few minutes you will have found somebody that will take your $30 and give you a $22 share of Facebook (fees and transaction charges get smaller the more you trade). Don't use online services and credit card numbers until you KNOW you are dealing with someone you trust.

Oh, and "dead cat bounce" refers to a stock that drops in value and then gains value unexpectedly. Just because a dead cat bounces when you drop them on the floor doesn't mean they will jump up and get in your lap and make you happy. FB is NOT a dead cat bouncing. It is a wounded, but healing super beast!

Now get back to work!