Well, sir, here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding

Gutman Sydney Greenstreet.JPG
How to – The Book Of Cool, which begs the question; if you have to read a book or watch a video to learn how to be cool, are you ever going to be cool. Since part of being truly cool is not giving a damn about being cool. There are scooter tricks, football slight of hand and head, pool tricks -always useful, gun tricks- which has nothing to do with turning out your gun for money, and the not always but sometimes dangerous card tricks -disclaimer, try these card tricks at a betting table in Lake Tahoe and you risk loosing two inches in height. Just from the site itself you could learn something about cool site design. It is possible to be too cool, so cool in fact that you become somewhat inaccessible, see Miles Davis.

I like movies about conmen, Confidence and The Grifters for example. As viewers we're safely removed from the action. We're not the ones caught up in the sting or the consequences. While these two examples are thankfully not pure morality tales, they do contain some lessons worth learning. From the safety of our overstuffed sofas we can even empathize with some of the characters, in Confidence especially. In surreal real lives conmen/conwomen are some of the very same people that swear an allegiance to values, and one assumes that honesty is still a value. With honesty as our part of our guidelines which includes foresight and prudent judgement one could say that many of our fellow citizens and their elected representatives are trying to pull a fast one when they harp like spoiled millionaires at a Holiday Inn without room service that tax cuts are the holy grail of a healthy economy, National debt is destroying us

Our rapidly growing national debt is a serious national crisis, yet it is hardly mentioned in this newspaper.

If more citizens knew the facts of about our debt and what the consequences are likely to be, Congress might be forced to act responsibly.

The national debt will exceed $8 trillion by the end of this year. More than $2 trillion of this debt is owed to foreign governments. Last year the $400 billion interest payment on the debt was the third-largest part of the federal budget, just behind Defense and Health and Human Services.

How does the government pay the interest on this debt? They borrow it of course! It is estimated that they will borrow an additional $600 billion in to pay the ever-increasing annual interest payment!

How long do the president and Congress think they can continue this fiscal disaster?

So far the president's only remedy has been to print huge amounts of new money to help pay the debt. In the past this practice has always led to high rates of inflation, double-digit interest rates, and economic recession.

Like their disastrous foreign policies, we the people will be left holding the bag for conservative tax policies for not just a few years, but possibly for the next generation. Since I'm not running for office, nor am I anywhere near being a top tier blogger I would also blame a large part of the American public. We're seeing a pyramid scheme of a tax scam. The movers and shakers of conservatism have convinced many people that their economic prosperity is endangered by taxes, people the next level down buy this scheme and sell it to others. meanwhile all the levels of the pyramid pay fewer taxes, but keep using the same level of services that taxes were meant to provide, from street lights, highways, libraries, police protection, subsidized flood insurance to disaster response, schools, medical research, and our military and so on. So who is to blame for this perpetual pyramid scheme; there is plenty of blame for those at the top, but its the millions of Joe and Jane Sixpacks at the bottom that really keep the con going. Tax cuts are never going to make Joe and Jane rich no matter how many bumper stickers they put on their car that say otherwise or how often one of the professional liars at Fox or the op-ed page at the WSJ say so. We've become a nation of tools for a false promise that you don't have to chip anything in, but you can keep making withdrawals. Maybe even more then the big lies about Iraq being a threat to America, the tax con is the biggest sucker play of our time.

Interesting service, Housing Tracker

Real Estate market statistics (including median asking prices and home inventory numbers) for cities/metros across the United States.

GUTMAN:(purring) We begin well, sir. I distrust a man that says “when”. If he’s got to be careful not to drink too much, it’s because he’s not to be trusted when he does.

-Spade takes the glass, smiling. The fat man raises his glass, holds it against the window’s light, nods approvingly.

GUTMAN: Well, sir, here’s to plain speaking
and clear understanding. (he regards Spade shrewdly)
You’re a close—mouthed man?

SPADE:(shakes his head) I like to talk.

GUTMAN:(exclaims delightedly) Better and better. I distrust a close—mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously unless you keep in practice.

-He picks up the box of cigars, holds it out to Spade. Spade takes one, trims the end of it, lights it. The fat man pulls another plush armchair around to face Spade’s, takes a cigar from the box, lowers himself into the chair. His bulbs stop jouncing and settle into flabby rest. Gutman smiles comfortably.

GUTMAN:Now, sir, we’ll talk if you like, and I’ll tell you right out that I’m a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk.

SPADE:Swell… Will we talk about the
black bird?

-Gutman’s bulbs ride up and down on his laughter. His pink face is shiny with delight.

GUTMAN:You’re the man for me, sir. No beating about the bush but right to the point. Let us talk about the black bird by all means… But first, sir, answer me a question. Are you here as Miss O’Shaughnessy’s representative?
Spade frowns thoughtfully at the ash-tipped end of his cigar.

from the screenplay The Maltese Falcon by John Houston


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