by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

S’tat You On The Statue?

Beginning around 3 p.m. yesterday, the Fourth of July, Therese Okoumo began scaling the outside of the Statue of Liberty on one of its busiest days of the year. Okoumo, who did so as a protest of this administration’s immigration policies, made it past the base and to the bottom of Lady Liberty’s robe. That’s when, after a 3-hour standoff, police finally nabbed her.

The NYPD neither shot nor Tase’d Okoumo, who is black, so as a nation, look at us! Making progress.

2. Is Jake Fromm Insured By State Farm?

Georgia’s starting quarterback, Jake Fromm, who led the Dawgs to within a couple plays of the national championship last January as a true freshman, breaks his left (non-throwing) hand in a 4th of July wake boarding accident. Oops. You gotta be woke when you wake.

That was not smart, thinks Kirby. A reminder that Fromm Wally Pipped a five-star Dawg starter last September, Jacob Eason, who has since transferred to Washington (he’s a Seattle native). And Georgia has a true freshman in camp this summer, Justin Fields, a Peachtree State native like Fromm, who was considered the NUMBER ONE quarterback recruit in the nation last winter (and No. 2 overall player). Could get interesting in Athens this August.

3. Is Bitcoin Trust Trustworthy?

Jordan Bellfort

In January we made Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) our MH Stock Pick of the Year. Then by late June it was down to one-third of its New Year’s Day value and we raised the white flag, conceded defeat. Then of course of Monday the stock rose 20% in one day.

So the question, independent of whether or not you believe Bitcoin is ultimately a fraud, is, Can you still make money on Bitcoin and How? By buying long or short-selling? On July 2nd, the same day GBTC was spiking 20%, CNBC ran a story in which Jordan Bellfort, the shamed Wolf of Wall Street, advised investors to avoid Bitcoin at all costs because he of all people knows a scam when he sees one. “Get out of Bitcoin if you don’t want to lose all of your money,” said Bellfort, echoing the admonitions of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger.

Bellfort talked about the principle that made him rich, the “Greater Fools” theory. That theory says that it’s fine to buy a worthless stock as long as you can find a greater fool who will pay more for it than you did. Our rejoinder to that is that Bitcoin has come down so far from its December highs that it will either ultimately vanish altogether or rebound. So where do you place your bet on either of those two outcomes.

The hard-core Bitcoin proponents, and these are men who wear suits and have big Wall Street jobs (and of course, also, the Winklevi) promise that Bitcoin will be up 300% by the end of the year. Surely, they’re wrong. But what if they’re right? Name another equity that’s going to give you a 300% return in the next 6 months.

4. Nordic Skier Wins Mount Marathon

Jessica Yeaton, an Australian Nordic skier who lives in Anchorage, was the first female up-and-down in the annual Mount Marathon 5-K in Seward, Alaska, yesterday. It was her first time scaling the mountain. David Norris was the men’s champion, his second win in the past three years. Neither broke the course record.

Denali Foldager-Strabel, whom we mentioned yesterday here, finished in 2nd place, :30 behind Yeaton. We are assuming Allie Ostrander, defending women’s champ, did not enter.

5.  Look “Hoo”‘s Doing Time at Riker’s*

*The judges have dismissed “Jailbird” as “too easy.”

A snowy owl showed up at the Riker’s Island jail in New York City on Sunday (it’s that jail you see as your plane is landing/taking off at LaGuardia, and yes, we are sorry you had to fly into/out of LaGuardia). The best part is that the owl, whom staffers have named Lorax, was captured and is now, I guess you can say, incarcerated until officials release it to a rehab center—a halfway house!— in New Jersey before ultimately releasing it back into the general population.

The bird is understandably upset, as it wishes to assert its white privilege and not be confined with other known talons.

Music 101

I’ve Got The Music In Me


A year later Kiki Dee would become better-known to Americans as half of a duet with the world-famous Elton John for “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” but here she is fronting the Kiki Dee Band for a tune that would hit No. 12 on the Billboard chart in October of 1974. Dee, real name Pauline Matthews, was born and raised in Yorkshire, England.

Remote Patrol

The Blob

8 p.m. TCM

As a kid in the Tri-State area, Channel 9 (WOR) used to air a Saturday night movie show called “Creature Feature.” They’d air old Hollywood horror films, which is where I first saw this classic, which scared me as a five year-old but will probably seem hilarious now. Besides, back then I was too young to appreciate the mid-Fifties symbolism of The Blob being the “Red Scare.” I guess you could remake it now to be viewed as the “Red-State Scare.”


6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Er, Bernie Madoff wore a suit & had a “big Wall Street job” too. 🙂 You already made a bunch of money on GBTC, don’t you think YOU night be going to the well once too often if you, cough, “invest” again?

    I loved item#5. It ALMOST made the black-wearing, grief-stricken, mourning & moaning, sad susie smile. Especially that last sentence. 🙂

    And to answer Okerland’s query from a few days ago, no, I won’t be rooting or even watching the Super Villains! Not even when they bulldoze/crush their next stooge/victim in 2019’s Finals. The only way that won’t happen is if both Durant & Curry can’t play in the playoffs due to injury.

    At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll be watching any NBA next year. If Kev stays on the Cavs, I may look in on them (& I hope he has a HUGE season wherever he plays), but my exuberant fandom is at an end at least for now. Partly in preparation for what I believed was coming & partly because I was just so pissed off, I had already pulled back : last season I watched less than half the regular season’s LBJ games than I had the previous 6 years. Plus, the money is getting ridiculous in this & the other “Big 4” pro-sports in this country. $35 MILLION, soon to be $41 MILLION for the very top players? Over $15 million for AVERAGE players when I am scared shitless I won’t be able to pay for f*ckin health care once I am retired? I don’t care if millionaires & billionaires want to pay thousands of dollars to see a game in person but these INSANE salaries increase the cost to the NBA’ s TV carriers which pass it on to ME in my friggin cable bill & no, I will NOT give up cable, it’s the ONLY thing I haven’t sacrificed the past 10 years (although I only have HD on 1 TV & no DVR, can’t afford it!)

    And I promise jdubs, not to beat this dead horse too much longer, but can you or anyone explain WHY the GOAT (or GOAT runner-up) of a sport, THE BEST & most famous player of his sport in the entire world for at least the last 10 years & who already has a networth allegedly close to half a billion dollars would leave the team of his home area where he is not just admired as the King of Ohio but ADORED & BELOVED as a family member to join a team where he will NEVER be the King & in fact, not even a “facecard” as there are so many, many ‘royals’ before him? To Laker fans, LBJ is seen either as savior or usurper. To the former, if he does not win at LEAST one championship in the next 4 years, he will be booed every time he steps on his home court. To the latter, it won’t matter how many ‘chips’ he wins, he will never be seen as great as Magic, Kareem or Kobe. And for this, he spurns his home state fans, his team, the Eastern Conference, & the entire USA east of the friggin Mississippi? I don’t get it! I have NEVER seen the allure of the Lakers, even when they were the 1st NBA team I rooted for (Wilt was handsome!). Beyond being angry, I’m just so very disappointed. 🙁

    • Uh-oh…Are you one of those people that complains about the salaries of professional athletes?

      It is entertainment. People pay for it. If you don’t like it, stop watching it. The money doesn’t appear out of thin air.

      • I’m angry partly because it INCREASES MY CABLE BILL whether I watch ANY sports or not! And FYI, the jump in salaries in the mid-late 90s is part of the reason I stopped watching the NBA in 1997 & did not start again until Xmas Day 2011. As I said above, if the millionaire/billionaires want to throw their money around to sit in thousand dollar seats, I could care less. It’s MY FREAKIN BILLS I care about!

        BTW, I realize the player salaries are just a part of the ever increasing cost to consumers. The OWNERS take the biggest cut.

    • Susie B.

      Now, I’m saying this with love and affection, but what surprises me (and I bet a few others) is why you’re “disappointed.” This is and always has been who LeBron James is: extraordinarily talented player, hardworking dude, but as a person he’s just never understood where his place in the world is. He’s constantly in turmoil within, which explains his itinerant ways, his searching for happiness and fulfillment in a literally geographic quest. To wit…

      1) Starts out in Cleveland, something over which he had no control. But it was basically home, so he felt good about it but also enormous pressure to produce.

      2) After 5 or 6 seasons, whatever it was, he saw that this was never gonna work out for an NBA Finals, that as a team the Cavs were hopelessly middle class (yes, I know they made one Finals). He felt his personal destiny was to win an NBA championship, even if he had to build a team himself. So he went to Miami to win his two championships (and lose 2 others; and if it weren’t for Ray Allen, he might’ve lost 3).

      3) With that square circled, he decides to come home and get back to being “Beloved Home Town Guy.” Screw you, Thomas Wolfe. It works out mostly, but he has problems with a coach, problems with an owner. It’s not enough to be the best player, he needs to control everything. And he has the misfortune of running into the best team the NBA has seen since the 1990s Bulls, if not the ’80s Lakers or ’60s Celtics.

      4) So he runs away again. Because this is who he is. No doubt he’s the most talented individual player since Jordan (even though he’s more like Magic or Len Bias; Kobe is more like Jordan and I might take Kobe over LBJ if it’s for one game; Kobe has nuts of steel), but there has always been something missing there. Maybe it’s just a lack of joy. A lack of camaraderie, the closest of which he ever came to was with Dwyane Wade.

      Even now, he’s making mistakes in LA, picking up players for his Banana Boat Brigade who don’t necessarily fit on the court with him. You watch, the Lakers will try to make a deal for Kyle Korver midseason.

      All the best. Go, Supervillains!


      • I’m disappointed for many reasons. Which is partly odd because I’ve been expecting/dreading/panicking over this very future since he bought that 1st damn house 3 years ago. On one hand, it’s, er, rust-belt Cleveland with COLD winters & hot/humid/buggy summers & where you can never, EVER forget where you came from (i.e. poor), since it’s half-hour away from your front door. How can you compare that with sunny, HUMID-FREE, almost bugless L.A. where you’re not the only super-rich guy with a fancy, schmancy house & you can live in splendor among your new socioeconomic pals? And then the asshat owner (whom you respect as much as The Sociopath…) goes & dismisses the GM (a guy you liked & respected) right before last year’s Draft AND signs off on letting one of the NBA’s top 7 players leave your team 2 YEARS early & go to your biggest East coast rival in a horrendous trade that got back a mouthy/disabled player that would not fit in AT ALL. And since your one last remaining b-ball goal is to be recognized what everyone has told you was your destiny since you were 14-15 : to be the GOAT & the media & fans now all count RINGS, RINGS, & MORE RINGS (who are these people, Gollum?) as the ONLY quantifiers , well, I understand the intense, overwhelming pressure to do whatever it takes to WIN MORE RINGS. I get all that, I really do.

        So, why am I so disappointed? It mostly comes down to that damn letter. The Letter about why he supposedly went back “home” to Cleveland. If you remember, I was not, er, thrilled that he dumped Miami “early”. BUT, I came around because of his desire to go “HOME”. And raise his kids at HOME. And he acknowledged how much he meant to those people, yadda, yadda, yadda. I BELIEVED IT. Other people, shall we say more cynical or mistrusting folk, said it was all a ruse to complete the REHAB of his image. How dare those people… well, now it’s blatantly obvious they were right! And I’m mad as hell. And disappointed that MY Sweet Pea (sniff, sniff) could be such a f*ckin liar. (Sorry about the language). And that I was conned.

        But even with all that, I could have rationalized my way around accepting his 2nd abandonment if he had NOT gone to the ONE PLACE that makes everyone else feel they are not & will never be good enough : L.A. @^$%^&@%$.

        • Susie B.,

          I respect the fact you realized that you were conned, that you were blinded by your adoration of him. Some of us (call us cynical, if you want; cynics are just idealists who’ve been around the block) saw through this all along.

          And maybe going forward you’ll have more empathy for MAGA types. You know first-hand how easily it is to be fooled when you want to believe something with your heart even though your head is trying to tell you something different.

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