My Fellow Tribesmen

KILL BUSH? Worry about Karl Rove? Fix Afghanistan? Remove the homeless from public libraries? Wow, you guys have a lot of mental energy! I am starting to feel like maybe I’m not part of the tribe. I’ll agree that the world has a few issues, but nothing like the nightmare occurring at Chez Walden right now.
arch.jpgMy resident bachelor and I decided recently to spice up our lives by adding some color to the house. We planned to paint three archways in the living and dining rooms in bold colors. After much cajoling by him (I tend to like beiges and grays) and many hours spent at Sherwin-Williams, we settled on Martha Stewart’s Old Copper Kettle (kind of a turquoisey thing) and Russet Rose. [A little background info….ever since I explained to the bachelor the ins and outs of “insider trading” and how rich people do it all the time and how retarded it is that it’s illegal, he’s been slightly obsessed with Martha. He understands the steep price she’s paid to appease the common man and is grateful for her selflessness.]

So, we got our supplies and taped everything off and yesterday was paint day. Here’s where it starts to get ugly. I was happily painting away, picturing myself in Morocco riding a big sexy camel, when not one but two of my children, at separate times, came up to say, “Cool, Mom. Looks like La Casita.” Eeeeeek! Not at all the look I’m going for! Talk about pinking shears through the heart!

So during my day today, instead of traveling to Washington to kill Dubya as I’d planned, I’ve had to call in my faux finish people, wait for them to arrive and fix the mess that I’ve created. I’m sorry that I’m letting everyone down. I promise, if George W. shows up at my door I’ll give him a good slap, I’ll pull his hair. If I’m feeling really plucky, I’ll give him an Indian burn. But right now I have to call and cancel the rainbow awning. Mea culpa.

11 thoughts on “My Fellow Tribesmen

  1. Marie, it’s not having a ‘lot of mental energy’ per se, so much as it is having multiple compartementalized personalities inside us. There is the angry Kill Bush mode, the raise the kid gently mode, and the zombie at work mode, amongst many others. Under capitalism, we are not allowed to have fully integrated personalities, but must assign various segments of our personalities to their own varying work shifts and salary ranges! Some are overworked, and some others are on welfare at times. It’s a sorry system for sure.

  2. You idiot socialist bastard, Tony! Don’t you realize that capitalism is the only moral economic system? You have no clue what capitalism really is….a system based on individual, personal freedom, that recognizes YOUR rights to act as you will, so long as you do not try sacrifice the rights of others to your own ends….a system that has allowed the technology to develop for you to place these blogs…..a system that allows YOU to keep the fruits of your own productive labors, and mental effort. Would you really prefer a system that makes the state its deity, and puts a limosine liberal like Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton in charge of the distribution of the wealth that has been created by the heroic and unthanked efforts of free men and women? How integrated are the personalities of the socialist Europeans? Check your premises, Tony…..

  3. “the steep price she’s paid to appease the common man…” Surely, a joke. She ordered her stock dumped on the market to keep from losing money on insider information knowing it was illegal. She worked in the industry early in her career and new the risks of getting caught. She tried to have someone LIE FOR HER TO COVER UP HER CRIME. She knew what she did was WRONG. She got off easy. Think about the people whoSE 401K purchased the stock and took the hit – goodbye retirement, another mini Enron quake.

  4. Michael, thanks for taking some of the heat off me for supposedly using indelicate language on this site. I believe that you have helped put that issue in perspective once again.

    As to your believe that ‘capitalism is the only moral economic system’? Well how is that? I don’t feel particularly free, even as you preach to me about how capitalism has given me freedom and liberty. All around you there is squalor, unhappiness, despair, and yet you have just closed off your eyes to this reality apparently. Instead, you call it moral, this econmic system based on piracy and looting of the poor. One that is constantly fueling its wars around the globe to make the rich yet richer from the profits made in blood. And do you really think that it was socialism that has produced this bombed out, looted world we live in, Chump? No, it has been capitalism that caused it.

    The psychological wonder of idealogues like you, Michael, is that the world is being brought into absolute chaos and economic collapse due to capitalism, and all the while there still are millions of you American Right Wing dittoheads, all screaming out against Democratic Party based liberals, and blaming the disaster all on them while calling these pro-capitalist folk commies and socialists. So who’s the ‘idiot bastard’ here, Michael?

    I don’t think you would recognize true freedom if it was staring you in the face. You are too focused on your binary world of Satan vs God, and the Democrats versus Republicans gameshow. But capitalism is like a cancer, and if it is not replaced, it will eat away the econmic/ ecological base of this planet. Then where will your so-called ‘freedom’ be found?

  5. Tony, has there ever been a society actually based on capitalist principles in the history of the world? The essence of capitalism is the free, voluntary exchange of goods and services. You grow wheat, I make widgets. Your wheat has more value to me than you, and you need some of my widgets. We decide to make a trade, and decide on the exchange rate ourselves (the free market). Each of us has achieved a net gain in value, thereby increasing the total amount of wealth in the world. How is that wrong? Expanding that to a national, or a worldwide market doesn’t make it any more wrong. But what is the progressive, socialist ideal? “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”. This puts the less fortunate in the position of a beggar, who has to prove up his need. This puts the producer in the position of a sucker, who is punished for his abilities, by having his goods confiscated to “feed the poor”. And there stands Hillary, ready and eager to redistribute these goods among the village, according to her own agenda.

    Look at the history of the world. We’ve had tribalism, monarchies, theocracies, fascist and socialist dictatorships, none of which ever allowed men freedom. The US Constitution, based on the truly liberal (in the original meaning of the term) principles of the Enlightenment, finally and for the first time, allowed men to work for themselves, to have the dignity of free traders. But then come the “progressives” of the early 20th century, enamored by the bold socialist experiment of Marxism, and “plans” abound to “regulate” capitalism….especially FDR’s New Deal. And what have these socialist experiments proved? Only that they inevitably lead to famine, gulags, totalitarianism, the enslavement of millions. Men are only free when the fruits of their labor belong to them, to dispose of as they please; and only free men can be productive men.

    No, I do not believe that the conservatives are completely right, either. They are also afraid to try laissez-faire capitalism….and religion provides no proper philosophical basis for either nation or economy. Reason is the only basis that works, and reason demands that men be free to exchange the products of their volitional consciousness and labor voluntarily. That is what capitalism is really about.

  6. Michael, this subject is a long and hotly debated one, and I think it deserves its own thread of commentary. I will start it off and title it… Capitalism, or Not?

    But here, I will just briefly reply to you that, IMO, unfettered capitalism is what it is and not what you and some others of the Libertarian persuasion might personally want it to ideally be. And because unfettered capitalism is so destructive, that is what has given rise to so many movements to either abolish it, to regulate it, or transform it, through a variety of different ways.

  7. Patricia, the information came from Martha’s lover! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a naked clinch with one CEO or another and in between earlobe nibbles a little nugget like “We didn’t get the Imclone patent” sneaks into the sweet nothings. Am I truly expected to pretend I didn’t hear?

  8. Marie,
    “You who are on the road
    Must have a code that you can live by
    And so become yourself
    Because the past is just a goodbye
    Teach your children well…”
    Martha heard and she made a choice to violate her fiduciary duty and knowingly cause harm to others. Wow, what a standard for ethics. Bear in mind, the choices we live by are how the next generation learns from and judges us. If we make these kinds of choices how can we expect anything else from them. “Do as I say and not as I do” has never worked. Besides, no matter who I happen to be in a clinch with, I still have to sleep with my conscience.

  9. Patricia,
    To say that Martha violated a fiduciary duty shows a gross misunderstanding of the term. I, as a former auditor of Fortune 100 companies, understand better than many what a fiduciary is. The dictionary defines a fiduciary duty as one “relating to a holding of something in trust for another.” What, exactly, did Martha hold in trust for another? Her Imclone stock? That was held personally by her for her benefit alone. And how did she knowingly cause harm to others? It is nearly impossible for a single investor, no matter how large, and Martha was not large by any stretch of the imagination, to unilaterally impact the stock market. The indisputable truth is that Martha harmed absolutely no one by selling her personal stock.

    Your previous example of the Enron pension plan does illustrate a violation of a fiduciary responsibility. In that case, the boys in charge were managing stocks and making decisions that impacted thousands of people. Their poor decision to invest a good chunk of the retirement funds placed in their care in Enron stock, which ultimately became worthless, was definitely a violation of trust and they deserve to be punished for lots of reasons that I don’t feel like going into. But I still contend, Martha should be left alone. She is teeny tiny potatoes and harmed no one by ordering the trade. I’m not saying that she wasn’t unethical, especially in ordering a cover up, but the sale she made shouldn’t be considered illegal. There was no crime committed.

    I’m totally in agreement with you about being able to sleep with my conscience. I have a lot more trouble with that after an extra-marital naked romp than I do with a little benign trading of my personal stock holdings. Maybe I need counseling to help clarify my thinking!

  10. Insider trading is not benign. It’s a crime because it violates the law. It’s cheating the system and making a profit at somebody else’s loss. It’s stealing the investment others have entrusted in the system.

    You equate coveting thy neighbor’s goods with extra-marital trespass?

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