In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

• We muster all this fuss and media attention over a gambling endeavor, PowerBall, and we can’t generate even a tenth of that for the decrepit nature and outdated policies of inner city schools? Are we simply raising kids with the hope that someday they’ll hit a zillion-to-one shot? • Say what you want about Ted Cruz, he’s the first person to put The Donald in his place in public, and brilliantly so, in last night’s debate. • The “great” …


2015 Enigmas

Amy Schumer is bold, off-color, risk-taking—and not very funny. After hearing so much about her, I watched her HBO special (directed by Chris Rock, no less, but how do you “direct” a standup comedy routine?). I laughed three times over the course of an hour. When will the other candidates realize that Trump grabs headlines because he’s refreshingly different in a process where everyone is vanilla and bland? Who on earth thinks that automated phone calls will convince someone to …


Get Rich Quick (Or Maybe Not)

I recall the old multi-level marketing (Ponzi Scheme) pitch that went: “I’m making more money part time today than I did in my full time job. Come to our meeting tomorrow night.”  At the meeting, some guy with a diamond pinky ring and an ostentatious Caddy showed us how we could make money selling detergent or phone cards—oh, and also by recruiting new members. Today, we’re asked to subscribe to series of videos and seminars to learn what? To learn …


When I was young, my friends and I spent a lot of time trying to stay OUT of trouble. Our parents would yell from the windows if we played ball in the streets (we’d move around the block), or if we were in a fight, or if we were making too much noise, or whatever. Our teachers would scold us for talking in class, sending notes, not completing assignments, making fun of classmates, and so on. Store owners would warn …


The Controversial Column

Global warming (AKA “climate change) represents to me a large group of people who see capitalism and growth as a threat and are using the environment as an excuse to curb it. The voices are loud, the science is weak and, like all zealots, they launch personal attacks on those who contest the point. Airport security is largely symbolic as represented by the TSA. The main threat comes from the trucks and supplies being delivered in cargo areas and on …


Meta-Worry

Some people talk about talk, which can be healthy. A psychologist would call it “meta-talk,” examining the words and phrases you use to talk to a spouse, for example. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We can call that meta-fear. I find that many people are engaged in meta-worry. They worry about worrying. They become consumed by their worries: financial obligations, social responsibilities, job requirements, non-financial debts owed, child-rearing, and so on. They can …


CBS News in New York

I’m up early looking over Manhattan arising, the most powerful city on earth. In a center of commerce, culture, and culinary arts, you’d think the media would set the standard for excellence. AT 5 am the CBS news has a blown-dry male host who makes pointless jokes, which are laughed at hysterically by the female host who has a completely inappropriate low-cut dress, raccoon-like eye makeup, and puffy lips. Six people must have worked on her hair. The weather guy, …


Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump

The Wall Street Journal reported a study yesterday that showed that if Donald Trump had taken his own proclaimed net worth about 15 years ago and invested it in a simple index fund that tracked the market, he would be worth 4-6 times what he claims to be worth today, demonstrating that his business and investment acumen leave a lot to be desired. My prediction continues: Trump will find a way to withdraw from the race when he realizes he can’t win …


The Customer Isn’t Always Right Or Even Close

I was talking to an entrepreneur who had established a terrific retail business. He was making money, obtaining strong word-of-mouth, and had wonderful employees. “There’s only one unexpected problem,” he told me, “and that’s dealing with the public!” Recently, a guy writes to tell me that I keep sending him a newsletter to which he’s unsubscribed repeatedly. He is snarky and rude. I told him that his address was not anywhere on my system, and further investigation showed that it …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

Are you telling me that we can create particle accelerators to find elements that exist for a nanosecond, but we can’t create a sealed product that can be easily opened with just a pull on a tab? It takes a peregrine falcon to open a package of blueberries. Did the people who produced True Detective’s first season have talent removal surgery prior to producing the second season, which is ludicrously bad, with more unintentional zombies than the Walking Dead? If …