The Trouble With Wall Street Is……

The trouble with Wall Street is well, Wall Street. Those folks in New York City, especially Manhattan, think they are the center of the universe.

Lets move our financial institutions to Omaha Nebraska.  That will give them more common sense than they would ever be able to gain on that little island in New York.  Warren Buffett has done pretty well with himself by staying there all these years. He has weathered most of the melt-down in pretty good shape. He doesn’t let the flashy lights of fame and fortune cloud his judgment.

The people who live in or near New York City don’t really have any idea of what the rest of the country is about or what our priorities are. I lived in that area for four years waiting to finish out my corporate life before claiming my pension and leaving soon thereafter.  When many in that area learned that I was from Indiana the first question they asked was  “what is there to do out there in the Midwest?”. To them anything outside of  their area is simply a “cornfield with lights”. They don’t understand that there is life without having to live packed together with millions of other people.

I won’t reserve this mentality for only those in the Northeast as those California folks think much the same way but on a different topic. They can’t understand the changing seasons have an appeal to some of us. They can’t understand why any of us would want to live where it gets cold or where there is no ocean.

So, getting back to the original premise of this post lets move our financial district to Omaha. Maybe some saner minds would then prevail for the very fact that not many of those Manhattan folks would follow their jobs to the “cornfield with lights”. But then again maybe I am wrong about that.  Greed is a powerful thing…

But what do I know….

And He Went Home One Night….


I, like so many others was saddened to see the death of Whitney Houston. She became famous just before I went deaf so I sort of remember some of her songs. She indeed had a rare talent. It sounds like from the initial reports that her death was at least partially caused by her addition to drugs and alcohol. Of course Elvis, and quite a few other rich and famous people have had a similar ending.

I’m sure Whitney had an entourage of people constantly around her to grant her every desire. She was certainly rich beyond what anyone of us common folks can even imagine. Why is it that so many with so much end up with tragic deaths? This brings to mind a song by one of my most favorite groups from the 1960s which was  a Simon and Garfunkel They had a song entitled Richard Cory.  Even after almost fifty years I can still recite much of those lyrics about how a poor guy who is struggling just to get along couldn’t understand how Richard Cory could be so unhappy to take his own life. I recently learned that this song was actually based on a poem written in the late 1800s by Edwin Arlington Robinson. Here is his poem.

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,  We people on the pavement looked at him:  He was a gentleman from sole to crown,  Clean-favoured and imperially slim. 

And he was always quietly arrayed,  And he was always human when he talked;  But still he fluttered pulses when he said,  “Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked. 

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,  And admirably schooled in every grace:  In fine — we thought that he was everything  To make us wish that we were in his place.  So on we worked and waited for the light,  And went without the meat and cursed the bread,  And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, 

Went home and put a bullet in his head.

The fact that Richard, Whitney, Elvis, and many others had tragic endings is an affirmation of the old say “Money does not buy happiness”.  Those of us who by comparison have very little simply can’t understand how those much richer than us can be so unhappy.

How to call the police when you’re old, and don’t move fast anymore..

I just got this from a niece and wanted all you seniors to learn the correct way to call the police 🙂  This is supposed to be a true story.

George Phillips, an elderly man, from Walled Lake, Michigan, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?”  He said “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.  Then the police dispatcher said “All patrols are busy. You shouldlock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available” George said, “Okay.” He hung up the phone and counted to 30. T

hen he phoned the police again.  “Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both, the dogs are eating them right now.” and he hung up. Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ residence, and caught the burglars red-handed. One of the Policemen said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!” George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!” 

The Uncounted Deaths of War…..

Source:  NYT: Risks of Afghan war shift to contractors – World news – The New York Times –

This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. Many American generals and diplomats have private contractors for their personal bodyguards. And along with the risks have come the consequences: More civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.

American employers here are under no obligation to publicly report the deaths of their employees and frequently do not. While the military announces the names of all its war dead, private companies routinely notify only family members. Most of the contractors die unheralded and uncounted — and in some cases, leave their survivors uncompensated.

So from this article we find that the there are more than twice the U.S. citizens death in Afghanistan than are reported by the military. Some how or another the military finds it unnecessary to report the private citizens they hire who are killed in that war.  Of course there are also many many people killed as “collateral damage” meaning innocent citizens of Afghanistan who are killed while our soldiers go after the “bad guys”. This ten year war just keeps getting sadder and sadder. When will we have enough sense to get out of it?

Foggy Morning….


THis picture was taken a few weeks ago off my front porch. It is looking into the foggy woods with the rising sun.  The picture doesn’t really capture the true sense of the moment but it does give you an idea of  its majesty.