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I mock Joe the Plumber and Blockbuster, clarify Bee Gees lyrics, write about Tibet, support Hillary then Obama, and dispense sage investment advice—in time for the 2008 Crash.
Obama's tax plan is better
According to the November, 2008 issue of Money magazine, Obama's tax plan would lower taxes for 95% of us, and raise taxes on those who can most afford it, the wealthiest 5%. Even among those wealthy 5%, only the super-wealthy would see much of a tax hike: among people clearing $226,919 to $603,402 after expenses, the average tax hike would be only $121.

See the chart for yourself, and more that I have to say on this, here.
posted October 24, 2008, 9:10 am

Obama's tax plan is better.

Two songs
Now being the time to O.D. on 70's nostalgia, what better song to do it with than the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive," which, as it's come to my attention, appears on the Internet with incorrect lyrics. "Staying Alive," which, despite its
The "Stayin' Alive" dance sequence in "Airplane!"lampoonability, won a 1977 Grammy and is #189 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time," is not about having "wings of heaven" on your shoes (barf!) but, as Robin Gibbs said, "about survival in the big city—any big city—but basically New York." (I've posted corrected lyrics here.) And just when contemporary popular music seems to have exhausted itself in a now-obligatory video drudgery of boobs, botox, and bling, there's Coldplay's stunning new "Vida La Vida," which I discovered thanks to WFNX's astute Clarissa. Its lyrics sound, to me, full of a man's nostalgia for his lost youth when he used to "rule the world." See a heavily intense live video of "Viva La Vida" here.
posted July 28, 2008, 9:41 pm

The Blockbuster Video Museum
This amusing video summarizes the hardships formerly braved by video store customers.
A Blockbuster store re-enactor.Created by The Onion ("America's finest news source" — to fool the Chinese), it depicts an historical museum portraying a Blockbuster Video store, complete with actors performing historical roles: "I am a Blockbuster customer named Kathy," one of them says, enunciating clearly to reach the back of the tourist group: "Two times a week, I travel six miles to rent and return videos." You can see the video here. Read more about the two dozen logistic hassles faced by Blockbuster store customers on my "Netflix Rules!" page here, now — thankfully! — updated with a link to this important historic video.
posted May 16, 2008, 5:28 pm

Tibet thoughts
This circuitous post summarizes Panjak Mishra's
review of Pico Iyer's book about the Dalai Lama. The 2008 summer Olympic torch, extinguished five times before being hidden on a bus by frantic officials, has come to symbolize China's failure to paint over its mistreatment of Tibet, overrun in 1950 when the Han Chinese invaded. Although Tibetan history includes, contrary to romantic misconception – like the nearly unwatchable 1937 Frank Capra film "Lost Horizon" – brutal episodes of its own, such as the blinding of reformist politician Lungshar (by religious decree, Mishra notes, yak bones were pressed on both his temples in traditional Tibetan manner to pop out his eyeballs), Hanna Arendt presciently wrote, in 1957, that the new globalism will require our renunciation of nationalism if we want to survive. Renounce nationalism with Banco de Gaia's Tibet-inspired "Last Train To Lhasa" (track 4, "Amber," contains a sound sample from "2001: A Space Odyssey": "My god, it's full of stars", see a video of the title track here). Or see Kundun, Martin Scorsese's 1997 film about a boy, appointed to the throne of a thousand-room palace, to become a spiritual leader who, as Mishra wryly comments, "has a large carbon footprint and often seems as ubiquitous as Britney Spears," yet follows studies daily and advocates a nonviolent path for Tibetans that has saved them from ruin and war. It occurs to me that had America likewise followed a nonviolent path after 9/11, it might too have saved much that has since been lost, including our power to influence China to improve its human rights record, or even to trade fairly: as Bill Clinton has astutely noted, China holds the loans that finance America's record debt.
posted May 10, 2008, 10:28 am

Hillary or Obama!
We are unquestionably lucky to have two terrific presidential candidates whose issue positions are virtually identical, and who have the intelligence, commitment, and courage to take us beyond the multiple
Bush disasters.

An addendum from May 7th's The New York Times: "There are few policy differences between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama. But there is a vast gulf between Mr. McCain and the two Democrats — and far too little difference between Mr. McCain and President Bush." Size up candidates on the issues here.
posted May 7, 2008, 2:48 pm

I bring you my nine-step guide to investing, because I like to think almost anything can be explained with a nine-step process. My strategy, based, at least, on several well-regarded
investment books, so far has beat the S&P 500—which should warn the more seasoned reader that the strategy therefore is bound to return to the mean. Nonetheless, here it is.
posted January 1, 2008, 10:25 am

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