Justice Matters Most?


Just Make Money.

It’s incredible what the writers of Better Call Saul do. Is it a master plan that they’ve had in place that allows them to come up with things such as they did in last night’s episode, for example, using Jimmy McGill’s initials on his briefcase to demonstrate his transformation to the dark side? Or, even better, to illustrate that metamorphosis by having him go off on Howard Hamlin in the episode’s final scene exactly like he did the very first time we saw them together, only that this time Jimmy’s not goofing when he goes all Ned Beatty in Network on Howard? This time he’s sincere?

And even that shot above, where we see him contemplating his total abandonment of scruples in favor of fame and fortune? Astounding. Seriously, how do the writers do it? Has it all been blocked out from before Season 1 or are they just very good at thinking on their feet and using what has come before? It looks so seamless.

As for Jimmy, we’ve finally lost him completely to Saul. As I wrote last week, there was always a Robin Hood aspect to him in the past. Sure, he took short cuts and flat-out committed fraud, but it was always to help the little guy, be it little old ladies in nursing homes or Kim Wexler. When he and Giselle would scam a d-bag at a bar, they never actually cashed the check.

That’s over now. Jimmy just committed fraud in a courtroom (not a single reporter in court for a high-profile murder in Albuquerque? I don’t think so) in order to get a cartel member out on bail. And Howard, who we told you wasn’t that dumb, just called him on his bullsh*t. And both Howard and Jimmy know that Howard didn’t kill Chuck; Jimmy killed Chuck, if anyone did.

S’all good? Hardly.

No Poop For You

We love the idea of Larry David’s spite store, “Latte Larry’s,” recusing itself from having defecation facilities. What we don’t understand is how Mr. David (unless he did so in the season finale, which we have yet to watch) failed to have some fun with arguably the most renowned catchphrase in Seinfeld history by making a “No poop for you!” reference. Maybe a sign outside the restrooms?

Bidet Day*

*The judges will also accept “Geyser Will Helm”

Wondering if the toilet paper shortage (Mike Huckabee suggests a corn cob, Susie B.) will persuade Americans to finally fall in love with the bidet. Invented in France in the 17th century—there is no known single inventor; no one wants to take credit for it—the torrent of water module has never caught on here in America. But maybe now? To paraphrase a line from scripture, “Love your enemas as yourself.”

Market Watching

We thought about some of the comments on Friday’s item, about how most people didn’t have capital available after 2008-2009 to invest in the stock market and pull themselves back up. Here’s what we think: most people, and this may just be intentional by the (mostly) men who populate Wall Street, are intimidated by the stock market and never bother to learn it.

In the past decade I’ve worked with dozens of people who are incredibly hard workers but don’t have an advanced degree. Many don’t have a college degree. And almost none of them are in the stock market. Now, I know plenty of them (and this applies particularly to sports writers) who know their way around a gambler’s den—parlays, over/unders, +300 or -220, or even how to play craps—but if I mention the stock market, it’s always either, “No” or “I have it in a mutual fund” or “I leave that to my 401K.”

The same people who gladly spend half an hour a day in the fall tracking their fantasy team(s) in a league where first prize will earn you $500 are scared off by, or uninterested in, the prospects of making themselves “a 36-bagger” as our Faithful Reader has with her Amazon stock.

It would be nice if everyone was given a rudimentary education in the stock market in high school. The basics aren’t hard to understand at all. The first step in making the field of play more even is to demystify the way the top 5% remain the top 5%.

Tall Tale

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is 6’3″

Learned an interesting fact yesterday that we thought we’d share. Only 4% of men in America are 6’2″ or taller. And yet 36% of American CEOs are 6’2″ or taller.

I’ll never forget a very intelligent and decent man I worked with at SI, who was closer to 5’6″, telling me, “If I were six-feet tall, I’d be running this place.” And he should have. By the way, when I was there are managing editors (de facto CEOs of the editorial side) were 6’4″ and 6’2″.


Prine Time

Musician and songwriting legend John Prine is, as of this writing, in critical condition due to COVID-19. Here’s a clip from three years ago of he and Stephen Colbert performing “That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round.” Best wishes to Prine, 73, that he can beat it.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I think the biggest misconception is that these millionaire hedge fund managers are geniuses, because they went the route of the Ivy Leagues (which is a different discussion). Any trader that doesn’t have an ego the size of the Atlantic Seaboard will tell you they trade more so on rudimentary details than actual fundamental analysis.

    First we need to educate people on the concept of debt and its ability to cripple you for your entire life. You can’t play the game if you’re stuck outside held hostage by the bouncer. Next we can talk about proper money management and get them interested in investing for retirement. THEN we can have some fun with individual stocks.

    My dad was a construction worker his entire life. As blue collar as can be, and he has this sense of failure because he thinks he is dumb because of the #s in his bank account. I’ve worked with Ivy League graduates and have spent my fair share of time with high net worth individuals. THEY ARE ALL NOT GENIUSES. People get into Wall Street because of greed, not because of intellectual ability.

    Not sure where I am going with all of this, but just pulling a Susie B. this AM…

  2. Last Friday, I was talking about an Emergency Fund, which is some sort of cash-equivalent savings, NOT an investment account. However, I agree with both you & Jacob – our citizens need to be educated in money management & investing! But trying to convert the masses who want “IT” & want it “RIGHT NOW” will be the hardest thing of all. You would think that all the folks making at least 6 figures or more would have a networth of millions, but you’d be wrong – the majority spend as much or more than they make & NOT on investments.

    I don’t know if I agree that the average American should get involved with investing in individual stocks; if you don’t put in the time to learn and understand what you are doing, you will probably LOSE all your money. And as I mentioned above, so many Americans want everything right now & don’t want to put in the effort, especially if they aren’t intensely interested.

    I just want Americans educated about money, debt, saving & investing (index & mutual funds are totally acceptable for the majority) for a longterm goal & most of all, the necessity of having an Emergency Fund. BTW, when I was younger, I also did NOT have an adequate emergency fund & overall, I was LUCKY my biggest “emergency” was that some idiot girl ran a redlight & totaled my 2-yr old car. I was thankfully, mostly unhurt but I had not yet started saving up for my next car so had to dip into my mutual fund savings to buy that next car. You would THINK that was when I “learned my lesson” but no, it too another 10 years and, er, more than $20K in credit card debt AND the 2008 Economic Armagedon before it finally sunk into my brain! I am now like a “reformed smoker” trying to teach one & all the evils of tobacco or in my case, the evils of DEBT & not having savings & investments. “Save a buck, save myself, save the world!: 🙂

  3. Also, my dad spent less than a month in college, left & never went back. His dad (my grandfather) never went to college. Both invested in stocks in eras long BEFORE the internet & online discount brokerages & while all the farmers in our area either had to go into massive debt to keep their farms going or went totally broke due to occasional years of drought, etc, we were ok, thanks to the investments. However, not all their picks were winners! After my grandfather died, my Aunt found tons of stock certificates of now non-existent companies among his “papers” & were worthless. Overall though, both came out far ahead. So, you don’t need a college degree. 🙂

  4. And ahem, my AMZN is a 54-bagger. 🙂

    BUT, my investments in the “energy sector” keep me ‘humble’ 😉 …. that is, over half are DEEP in the RED! And some were wiped out between 2015-2017 & at least a handful of others will be this year. Just like Pap (my granddad), I won some & have lost some!

    Stock Investing Rule #1 – if you can’t stand the heat, don’t even bother going into the kitchen!

  5. You don’t need to invest in individual stocks to be a millionaire. It’s not rocket science: spend less than you earn and invest the rest. Burn more calories than you eat. Don’t be an asshole. Some life lessons are just common sense.

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