While tourism and health jobs increased over the past decade in 
San Diego, manufacturing and construction jobs plummeted.
  • While tourism and health jobs increased over the past decade in San Diego, manufacturing and construction jobs plummeted.
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Over the past two years, the economy and stocks have generally gone in opposite directions. In the economy, we have suffered the steepest downturn and the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, but since early 2009, stocks have doubled.

In short, stocks have zoomed as the economy sputtered — or because it sputtered. As statistical measures of the economy sagged, the Federal Reserve, our central bank, kept handing money to banks at 0 to 0.25 percent interest and using other techniques to flood the financial system with money and credit. Hedge funds borrowed from the banks at very low rates and gobbled up stocks. Other institutions, including the banks, did the same.

Thus, Wall Street thrived because Main Street starved. Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, even said that the Fed’s nostrums were working: one index of highly speculative stocks had soared, he boasted. Huh? The Fed is supposed to worry about keeping inflation and unemployment low. Now it wants to keep stocks high. Trouble is, the economy has to stay weak to give Bernanke an excuse to keep short-term interest rates near zero. That’s been the market’s propellant.

In late June, the Fed mournfully predicted that the American economy will grow by only 2.7 percent this year. Just two months earlier, the Fed had pegged growth at 2.9 percent. Similarly, a gloomier Fed said in late June that the unemployment rate would be 7.8 to 8.2 percent this year — far worse than the bank’s April forecast of 7.6 to 7.9 percent.

So, following these dolorous predictions, the stock market soared upward, gaining more than 5 percent that week, although there were other factors involved. What happened is that the Fed had given a covert signal to Wall Street: “Let ’er rip, boys and girls!”

Bernanke has stressed for a considerable time that as long as unemployment remains high, he will keep interest rates around zero. Wall Street would much rather have low interest rates than a healthy consumer. Bad economic news is good investor news: the Fed will keep the spigot flowing. What’s more, companies are not hiring, so as unemployment stays high, profits boom — also boosting the stock market.

Action on Friday, July 8, made the point. Early in the day, the government reported that the economy had had almost no job growth in June; the unemployment rate had gone up. Stocks initially plunged, but by day’s end, they had sliced their losses by well over half and were up for the week: the pros knew that Uncle Ben Bernanke would squirt more liquidity their way.

There is general agreement that the Fed’s $600 billion program to buy Treasury paper boosted stocks but not the economy. In late June, the Fed ended that purchasing program, but it said it would continue buying Treasury paper — about $300 billion worth over a year. That was a liquidity signal: Bottoms up! On July 13, the market celebrated when Bernanke said he was ready to roll out his water hose if the economy suffered. The next day, he seemed to back away from the commitment, and stocks wilted.

Generally, rich people make spending decisions based on how their stocks and bonds are doing. But the richest 10 percent has 70 percent of financial wealth (stocks and bonds); the lower half has a mere 5 percent. Most people plan their consumption around the value of their homes. Those values are down more than 30 percent nationwide, 38 percent in San Diego. Families are no longer borrowing off the equity in their homes.

Meanwhile, banks are lending only to the chosen few. “High-net-worth individuals are able to receive loans, but lower-net-worth individuals are still struggling,” says Bank of America Merrill Lynch. And the middle/low-income folks are getting almost no return on their savings accounts.

Jim Welsh: household debt 
is soaring

Jim Welsh: household debt is soaring

Even with the economy seemingly getting stronger, people won’t do much borrowing. North County investment advisor E. James Welsh notes that between 1985 and 2008, household debt as a percentage of disposable personal income (spendable money after taxes) soared from 62 percent to 135 percent. Last year it dropped to a still-scary 120 percent, mainly because of defaults on mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans.

Arthur Lipper: tide not lifting all boats.

Arthur Lipper: tide not lifting all boats.

The bottom line: these years of Wall Street feasting off Main Street’s misery have caused severe long-term afflictions. “We are past the point of a high tide lifting all boats and are increasingly in a zero-sum game of what’s good for one group is bad for another,” says Del Mar’s Arthur Lipper III, a member of one of Wall Street’s most famous families and an international investment banker. “The chasm between the haves and have-nots is widening.”

That’s bad: consumer spending is more than 70 percent of the economy. But Lipper sees another ominous threat resulting from the wealth and income disparity: “There is a widening educational gap,” he says, lamenting “the undereducation of our younger workforce and high school students.” Countries that compete with the United States have “a better educated and more highly motivated workforce.” Long-term, that is a threat to America’s hegemony. Domestically, “Nothing good can come from the shrinking of our middle class.”

W. Erik Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, points out that in America today, 74 percent of people with college degrees are employed, while only 54.6 percent of high school grads have jobs. In San Diego, workers in life sciences, clean technology, and wireless telecom — generally better educated — have suffered only “mild discomfort” in the post-2007 economy, while others have been reeling.

Between 2001 and 2010, San Diego gained 23,200 jobs in leisure and hospitality — hotel and restaurant jobs, for example. This was the biggest employment rise in the county, but the pay is 20 percent or more below average. By contrast, manufacturing jobs declined the most: 26,600. These are high-paying jobs — at least 20 percent above average.

The only high-paying sector that gained jobs between 2001 and 2010 was professional, scientific, and technical, the ones generally requiring the most education. This category gained 16,200 jobs. One of San Diego’s main tasks is seeing that growth in tech industries benefits those without college degrees, says Bruvold.

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Comments

Javajoe25 July 20, 2011 @ 10:42 a.m.

Nice article, as always, Don;

You are right on about having 30% of your portfolio in the market right now, although I do wish I had more in during these recent rises. I trimmed things when the budget talks started, thinking it would push the market down and as usual, I missed the boat. Not sure what to expect from the market in response to the final budget deal. Care to make a prediction?

As to jobs, the best route for many right now is to get into a technical training program at one of the community colleges or something through the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Those two are partnered up and offer the only affordable (if not free) training appropriate to the times.

High tech and Health Sciences seem to be the two industries offering decent pay and job stability, although the tech field may require one to be prepared to jump ship for another outfit should circumstances (and profitability) go south. I've heard way too many regrets from those who made the mistake of signing on to a private "college" or training program only to end up owing $30K or more for something as basic as a pharmacy tech certificate, which most often turns out to be nothing more than a cashier job at $8.00 and hour.

While living in a vacation destination has its benefits, hotels and restaurants are not going to put workers back in shape to score a mortgage, and consequently put our local economy back on track. This is going to be a long road.

Keep up the great work.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 1:22 p.m.

Bonds have been in a bull market since 1981 -- an almost unprecedented ride. Stocks began a bull market at about the same time but have suffered two huge plunges in the last eleven years. With very few exceptions, I buy stocks yielding about 4% or more -- mostly utilities. I don't think stocks will react much to the final budget deal. I believe Wall Street will never let Congress thwart the lifting of the debt ceiling. Who makes most of the money selling bonds? And Wall Street owns Congress as well as the administration. Wall Street and corporations also own the Supreme Court. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2011 @ 6:16 p.m.

Bonds have been in a bull market since 1981

The US bond market is going to implode-and when no one buys our debt the end will be here.

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nokomisjeff July 21, 2011 @ 6:34 a.m.

Then you ought to be short bonds. The Sep 30 year T-Bond is going for 125 12/32 and the Sep 10 year note is going for 124 18/32 on my Bloomberg right now.

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2011 @ 8:55 a.m.

No thanks, I am not in the gambling business!

But if I were, short is the only bet I would make.

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nokomisjeff July 21, 2011 @ 9:11 a.m.

If you are certain of something, it's not a gamble. I always say that money talks and BS walks. FWIW, I'm short bonds a little higher from here.

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lshaw7878 July 20, 2011 @ 1 p.m.

What would we all do without our financial insight, Don? One can't find these thoughts anymore in the local rag (SDUT) and all the publications I read on a regular basis (Money mag., Kiplinger, Fortune, Forbes, etc.) seldom address the chasm between Wall Street and Main Street. So keep it up....we need your weekly thoughts to offset the spin doctors on CNBC, etc.

And by the way, I'm about 30% in stocks beause I have been following the old-fashioned rule of dividing your investments determined by your age. I'm 72 so I have around 28% in stocks. This formula being: age - 100% = stock. It has served me very well as a conservative investor for the past 50 years.

And, yes, another principle I follow: only invest in broad-based equity indexed funds.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 1:25 p.m.

I agree with that rule of thumb, although I am 75 and have 30% in stocks. However, when I was 40 and 50, I had at most 30% in stocks. Best, Don Bauder

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clockerbob July 20, 2011 @ 1:32 p.m.

"“The chasm between the haves(CHINA) and have-nots(USA) is widening.” iF YOU'LL NOTE IN THE DEBT CEILING DISPUTE THE ONLY THING THAT BOTH the Republicans and Democrats agree on is that we will pay the interest on our national debt before we pay social security, medicare, our armed forces etc. How many trade deals or mineral resources has China brokered while we've been debating our budget?

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 2:46 p.m.

When Lipper refers to the haves and have-nots, he is not talking about China and the U.S., although he is clearly worried about our future. I see your point, however. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2011 @ 6:21 p.m.

"“The chasm between the haves(CHINA) and have-nots(USA) is widening.”

By clockerbob

Cina's economy is 1/4 the size of the USA.

BUT- China today exports MORE in a day than they did in the entire year 1978.

America today is the largest debtor nation in the world, in 1980 America was the largest creditor nation in the world. Ronnie Raygun started this slide in his first term in office (1980-84) with HUGE, TWIN sprialing deficits-trade and budget. We have been going down that slippery slope Ronnie put us on ever since.

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clockerbob July 21, 2011 @ 2:52 p.m.

"Cina's economy is 1/4 the size of the USA."

Ok then Hilary Clinton says we can't move on China because they are our bank.

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Dennis July 20, 2011 @ 3:09 p.m.

Our lack of manufacturing jobs will continue to hold SD and the rest of the country back. There are large numbers of people in this country that will never become rocket scientists, tech experts etc. Manufacturing jobs used to provide those people with good wages and benefits that allowed them to buy houses, cars etc. Construction was the fall back employment for the less educated and now that's in the tank and or taken over by immigrant labor.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 10:05 p.m.

We lost our manufacturing base because of corporate greed: our companies were trying to jack up short term earnings, partly so top executives could rake in obscene pay. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2011 @ 10:29 p.m.

Our lack of manufacturing jobs will continue to hold SD and the rest of the country back.

Manufacturing is the backbone of any prosperous country, and why America did so well in the 1940's.50's and 60's, and halfway thru the 1970's. / / Construction was the fall back employment for the less educated and now that's in the tank and or taken over by immigrant labor. =================== Construction trades have been taken over 95% by illegal immigrants, and that started at least 20 years ago, possibly 25 or 30 years ago.

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2011 @ 6:17 p.m.

Del Mar’s Arthur Lipper III, a member of one of Wall Street’s most famous families and an international investment banker. “The chasm between the haves and have-nots is widening.”

Arthur Lipper, meet Captain Obvious.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 10:06 p.m.

Lipper has made the observation before. Best, Don Bauder

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Radical Uterus July 20, 2011 @ 8:52 p.m.

I have one thing to say,"now is the time to take a risk if you have nothing to lose."

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Radical Uterus July 20, 2011 @ 8:58 p.m.

Now I will elaborate. This is the time when the poor have the power to lead the economy out of the mess that the uber-stupid have led us into.

War is bad for everyone. Greed is not good. Creativity is valuable. We have people who are GED educated, and are genius'.

I wish I had the seed money to give every motivated person one hundred dollars and the permission to take a risk on themselves. I challenge Americans to create their own employment.

Wall Street does not own me. Radical Uterus

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 10:08 p.m.

I've been waiting for Americans to storm the Bastille for years. But they seem apathetic to how they are being taken to the cleaners. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 24, 2011 @ 11:50 a.m.

Ok, it's the genius' turn, but which one? I ain't no genius, but I strongly suspeckt that it are gonna be the job of many geniuses to steer the ship of human destiny to just miss the iceberg of greed.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2011 @ 10:07 p.m.

But if you have nothing to lose, where do you get your capital for risk-taking? Best, Don Bauder

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Radical Uterus July 20, 2011 @ 10:22 p.m.

Poor people usually have more time than money. Pick up cans, enlist your family and friends in collecting cans. Take that can money and hit some yard sales and buy some re-saleables. Resell those pieces at swap meets, craigslist, or e-bay.

Take that can money and invest it in an idea that creates a service or product or training for a new skill. Look for mentors who will let you watch. There are other ways of getting an education than going to an expensive school.

This is what being an entrepreneur is all about. Creating something from practically nothing.

Do not underestimate the power of human energy,ideas,and determination.

All many people want is permission to take that risk on themselves.

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Fred Williams July 21, 2011 @ 1:46 a.m.

Emergency Business Plan

Start up costs less than $100

  1. Buy a box of plastic "No Soliciting" signs with pre-drilled holes.

  2. Buy/borrow a rechargeable lightweight drill. Buy small screws that fit the holes in the signs.

  3. Wear nice clothes, put on a big smile, knock on any door that doesn't already have a "No Soliciting" sign, and offer to install one on the spot for a "suggested donation" of five dollars.

3a. If they say yes, install the "No Soliciting" sign and smile, with your hand out for five bucks. (If they don't pay, take back the sign and screws, and they've got holes in their door for messing with you.)

3b. If they say no, smile and tell them you'll knock again tomorrow...since there's no sign telling you not to. (You needn't do this. Just follow around some magazine sales people...you'll sell out in no time.)

  1. Be careful with your cash. Don't tell anyone about your business...it's too easy to copy. Enjoy the freedom, healthful exercise, and income from your bootstrapped business.

  2. Get discovered by the city and end up having to get a solicitor's license...ironically enough. (Don't bother to get one until they warn you it's needed.)

Best,

Fred

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Radical Uterus July 21, 2011 @ 6:20 p.m.

I was at the store today and a woman stopped to ask me about my mobility scooter. We chatted a bit. She lost her husband and he used to do all the home maintenance. She is a widow with a good income who needs help around the house. I could have started a bootstrap business right then if I were not already overwhelmed.

Find a need and fill it.In this case I found a business while making a trip across the street.

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Twister July 22, 2011 @ 2:19 p.m.

Hey, Fred, don't you have to wear some kind of solicitor's ID to knock on doors, or are those just for "charity" scammers?

Love the irony.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ 11:58 a.m.

You have entrepreneurial zeal. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 12:57 a.m.

Writing up ideas is easy...it's actually doing it in the real world that proves to be quite difficult. :-)

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Twister July 24, 2011 @ 11:51 a.m.

We, the genius' don' need not stinkin' permission!

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Radical Uterus July 22, 2011 @ 10:46 a.m.

One may think of risk in terms of money. Money is not the only way to measure the value of something.In my personal experience I have eschewed money in favor of personal dignity and I've paid a price for those choices.

What I have now is more valuable than any dollar bill and that is my sense of worth. I know that each day I make choices and those choices affect others. I know that my life matters because I see that value reflected in my community.

I'm willing to fight for my values. Because at the end of my life that's all I take with me to on my next journey.

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SurfPuppy619 July 22, 2011 @ 3:53 p.m.

Money is not the only way to measure the value of something.

You got that right-Wall Street is Exhibit #1.

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Twister July 20, 2011 @ 9:45 p.m.

Frugality or poverty--them's yer choices.

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2011 @ 10:35 p.m.

There was only ONE MAN that could have fixed the problems America has, and he was a kook-but ak ook who could have done what was needed, if given the opportunity.

And that man is right here (2.5 minutes of must see TV);

. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkgx1C... .

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ noon

In retrospect, Perot had a lot of things right. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 21, 2011 @ 2:01 a.m.

When we look at history, and economic collapses, one of the conditions that makes things worse is a separation between those making the decisions, and those who have to carry out the decisions.

Today, in America, there's a tiny sliver that controls most important decisions, whether economic, social, or political. These same decision makers are insulated from the rest of us. They go to different schools, have different expectations, even experience reality in a different way from us.

They look down on us, when they deign to notice us at all.

When their bad decisions hurt us, they can laugh and look away. After all, we are not the same as them so they have no instinct for empathy toward us. Even when they don the mantle of philanthropy, a lot of times it's either a tax dodge or ego trip.

So we see that we are right now experiencing the conditions that students of history know lead to dire consequences.

It would be brave to ask, "So what do we do about it?" I admire all those who stand up and dare to speak against this state of affairs. But I'd be kidding myself to say that this is likely to work. Sure, we must speak out...but we know we're going to be ignored and we're objecting mostly to salve our own conscience.

We are, in a sadly real way, spectators and commentators when it comes to economics and politics in America. This is especially true in San Diego where the separation between those who truly make the decisions (hint: usually not elected officials) and those who bear the brunt of these decisions has never been greater or more obvious.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. We can hope our overlords are wise, but since we've seen little evidence of this lately it's prudent to plan how to endure, or better escape, their realm of influence.

Best,

Fred

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nokomisjeff July 21, 2011 @ 11:44 a.m.

Fred, you are the one who truly understands.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ 12:03 p.m.

Fred has always understood. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 1:03 a.m.

Don, from you that is very high praise indeed. Thank you.

If only I were also rich, telegenic, and willing to explain my viewpoint in such a way that it doesn't offend the ordinary sensibility...I might have more influence.

Looking at the calendar I see it's about time for my yearly re-reading of Candide by Voltaire, to remind myself that I really ought to be tending my own garden. :-)

Best,

Fred

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ 12:02 p.m.

Those overlords are only wise when it comes to lining their own pockets. They are NOT wise in matters regarding the society at large. Best, Don Bauder

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nokomisjeff July 21, 2011 @ 6:39 a.m.

One thing about the stock market is that it's not meant for the general public. The public is always wrong and the second best way to make money in the stock market is to find out what the general public is doing and fade them. The way the game is rigged, it is essential for the public to fail, buy at the top, sell at the bottom, buy at the bid, sell at the offer.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ 12:04 p.m.

It's even more true in commodities. Best, Don Bauder

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politicky July 21, 2011 @ 8:51 a.m.

Mr. Bauder,

Thank you for doing what you do, I appreciate it :)

I don't know if you have read Ellen Brown's Web of Debt - http://www.webofdebt.com/

I'm reading chapter 33 right now, and I can't find direct quotes online but the title of the chapter is Maintaining the Illusion: Rigging Financial Markets.

Have you read the book? I am finding it fascinating.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2011 @ 12:05 p.m.

I haven't read it, but I should. Best, Don Bauder

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clockerbob July 21, 2011 @ 2:50 p.m.

"Cina's economy is 1/4 the size of the USA."

Ok then Hilary Clinton says we can't move on China because they are our bank.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2011 @ 8 a.m.

China finances us. Do they own us? Good question. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 21, 2011 @ 7:02 p.m.

"So what do we do about it?" --Fred Williams

First, you catch the rabbit.

What most fundamentally stands in the way is our egocentrism. Getting rid of egocentrism is each of our “rabbits.”

We have endured culture for so long we've forgotten how to truly cooperate. We think reconciliation, but we do consensus-making. That is a fundamental error. “Fair and balanced” is not “equal time” or “representing the other side” (e.g., “against the liberal media”), and it is not the middle of the road (where, as Jim Hightower claims, “there are only yellow stripes and dead armadillos”).

The reason Fred feels deflated is that he is inflated; disappointed because he had expectations and the world didn’t flip overnight. He is truly casting the pearls of his wisdom before swine, but that’s the way reality is. I used to write inflammatory op-eds. I don’t do it anymore—not because, as I once felt when there were no angry wails to the editor calling for my crucifixion in response to them, but because the blogosphere is now our wailing wall. I didn’t even get paid for my last piece, from a major metro rag. I’m ragging on Fred because I just ragged on him worse off-blog. I don’t bother ragging on folks I don’t like. (“The opposite of love is not hate—the opposite of love is indifference.” –Oscar Wilde)

I don’t hate Fred, of course, but I’m gonna keep hammering on him until he tells me to #^@* off. (“’Tis friction’s brisk, rough rub that provides the vital spark!” --A. R. Martin) “We” have to get a lot thicker-skinned, all of us. And, we have to be a lot more courageous. I should talk. My life is a failure by those standards. But those aren’t my standards.

Them’s my two cents for now . . .

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Don Bauder July 22, 2011 @ 8:02 a.m.

When Fred tells you to *&%# off, he will do it so subtly you may miss it. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 1:14 a.m.

Master Chief Petty Officer Charles O. Gaylor of Fighter Squadron 211, the Fighting Checkmates, is my model for performing the black arts of profanity, calumny, and sarcasm.

The Master Chief, a short, bald, fat cigar chomping salt with 40 years on his sleeve could convert a strapping young recruit into a blubbering infant in less time than it takes to launch the alert birds.

So today, in honorable memory of this great man, I invoke his spirit to pass along these words of wisdom:

"God*it sailor, I guarangod*doubletydogtee that I will have your up in front of a *ing son of a who will cut off your * shred it in a ing propeller and then ram it up your god *ed mothering *hole, which you will then regurgitate each morning to yourself with, regretting the unfortunate night your syphilitic parents drunkenly *ed resulting in your sorry excuse for a *ing ."

(Let's see if that gets through the filters...admin, please don't delete me, I'm just kidding here!)

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Don Bauder July 23, 2011 @ 6:22 a.m.

I only spent six months on active duty, but never ran into any sergeant with the articulation skills of Master Chief Petty Officer Gaylor. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 22, 2011 @ 2:14 p.m.

Oops! Those are my standards. I meant to say I'm a hypocrite. They don' call me "Twister" for nuthin'.

I shall ". . . pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend . . . to assure the survival and success of . . ." Fred. And yea, though I am not into subtleties, I shall remain ever vigilant with respect to his hints.

They don' call me "Twister" for nuthin'.

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 12:56 a.m.

Twister 'n me's tight, y'all...he my dawg! I be knowin' he got my back, aight?

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Don Bauder July 23, 2011 @ 4:41 p.m.

Fred, you sound like you are from Arkansas. Would you consider running for president? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2011 @ 6:23 a.m.

I'll bet Twister is too young to remember the song, "Baby, Let's Do the Twist." Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 23, 2011 @ 4:26 p.m.

If ur refering to Chubby Checker, it's just "The Twist". It was a cover of a song someone else did earlier, but it was always just "The Twist".

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Don Bauder July 23, 2011 @ 4:39 p.m.

I bow to your expertise. I do remember the name Chubby Checker now. FYI, I was in high school when rock 'n roll came in (was it Bill Haley and the Rockets or Comets?) and I was in college when Elvis emerged. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 12:54 a.m.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd wrote a song ("Home", Radio Kaos) with these lyrics:

When they overrun the defenses A minor invasion put down to expenses Will you go down to the airport lounge Will you accept your second class status A nation of waitresses and waiters Will you mix their martinis Will you stand still for it Or will you take to the hills

When the cowboys and Arabs draw down On each other at noon In the cool dusty air of the city boardroom Will you stand by a passive spectator Of the market dictators Will you discreetly withdraw With your ear pressed to the boardroom door Will you hear when the lion within you roars Will you take to the hills

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Don Bauder July 23, 2011 @ 6:25 a.m.

Alas, for most Americans, the answers to all the queries is "Yessir!" Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 23, 2011 @ 5:06 p.m.

I gotta make the apogee of apologiees! I dunno whut's got intuh me, but I done backslid sumpin' auful frum m' own princupules when I danged to break the Reader rules and git offun da issue and git persunal.

Well dog nabbit, I are only a LITTLE over ten, so I shud be xcused fer pour spelin' and bein' a brat--or tuk out to the woodshed, I reckon, bein’ backward. However, I feel most at home in the 19th century, with the likes of Mark Twain, Henry Wheeler Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and George B. Shaw, even though I like to live in a future of my own making. I’ll bet that Don, he be so old that he’s done forgot “I Won’t Dance.”

I din' mean to be mean and be moan Fred, an' most abskerlutly din' mean to incernate that he be puffed up--on the contrary I felt so comfortable with him that I slipped up and got off the track. I think he are a boy genius, and many of the others who gravitate to Bauder's stuff. Heell, I, too, was sufferin' frum disconsolation, dissassappointment, melanchology when I tried to con him and sole him.

Yrs. in sackcloth and ashes, Twister

PS: I oz goin’ t’ th’ hills, whar my kinda lyin’ b’longs. An’ I hope I’ll fin’ y’all there when I does. ‘Course, D.B., he be thar already . . . Put a pronghorn on the spit, Don, it won’t be long a’fore we’re all thar with r ears to the door and our noses on the frosty pane.

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 9:27 p.m.

Twister, I shall respond with the nadir of negations...

I don't see anything you've written to or about me that is offensive. I've gone back and tried my best to take umbrage, but failed.

So you have to try harder! Don't you know how commenting and forums work, especially for the anonymous? I recommend the following:

  1. Ad hominem. Sure it's Latin, but just cause you're too stupid to understand it doesn't mean the rest of us don't know what it's for. Dummy.

  2. Straw man. You say the world is in a bad way. But when I looked out the window this morning the sun was rising and birds singing. Your argument is therefore baseless.

  3. Repetition. You're a poop. You're a poop. You're a poop.

Please, Twister, do yourself a favor and in the future limit yourself to these three methods of proper argumentation. Your conduct so far on these boards has been abominable, neglecting to demean others, refusing to write rubbish, steadfastly resisting strawmen...time to shape up, son.

Now get out there and write some appropriate comments for our day and age! Enough with your literate, intelligent, thoughtful approach to the issues. I expect less, much less, from you in the future.

Regards,

Fred Williams (an obvious pseudonym)

:-)

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Don Bauder July 24, 2011 @ 7:08 a.m.

Fred, you and Twister should go on stage in a new Abbott-Costello routine. Or Charlie McCarthy and W.C. Fields. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 24, 2011 @ 11:43 a.m.

R U inceneratin' dat we be deadwood?

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Don Bauder July 24, 2011 @ 7:05 a.m.

Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain. Not to mention Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Wagner, Verdi -- yes, it was a helluva century, the 19th. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 23, 2011 @ 11:01 p.m.

Very well. However I must insist that there shall be, in future, no derogatory mention of mothers, agreed?

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Don Bauder July 24, 2011 @ 7:09 a.m.

I can't even denigrate Casey Anthony? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 24, 2011 @ 11:41 a.m.

Not unless you believe in The Media to the exclusion of the Justice System.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 4:54 p.m.

Both the media and justice system have their problems. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 24, 2011 @ 12:03 p.m.

Next to women, the most dissed and pissed-on group of people in the country are those with a southern accent. It is THE Hollowood symbol for stupidity because the liberal PC police thus decree. Forrest Gump, for example (they are endless). Perot was a plain talker. That's the kind of prejudice that sank Perot (not to mention the threats to his family--and yes, he vacillated between running the risk and sacrificing them, then duty to country, then back to his family's welfare. I would have made the same choice. He made is pitch and lost--and took it like a man.) You wanta git a laff? Just tell the truth. But you won't be elected dog-catcher, much less President.

Re: There was only ONE MAN that could have fixed the problems America has, and he was a kook-but ak ook who could have done what was needed, if given the opportunity.

And that man is right here (2.5 minutes of must see TV);

. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkgx1C... .

By SurfPuppy619 10:35 p.m., Jul 20, 2011

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Fred Williams July 24, 2011 @ 10:47 p.m.

So-called, "trailer trash" is the only demographic left which can be openly ridiculed today.

Unfortunately, it's also the demographic in which I was born and raised. I had to work like a dog to get out of the trailer park trap, join the military, get an education, build a professional career. Curiously, though there are far more poor whites in America, there are propotionately fewer scholarships and other opportunities for them to escape poverty than other groups who are also protected by hate speech laws from public ridicule.

So I got that wonderful combination of social contempt and no hand out growing up. It made me what I am today, which is self-reliant and rather wary of official propaganda. Perhaps it also led to me having a sense of humor and thick skin. Having been kicked by the best of them in real life, hostile online commenters are little more but paper tigers waiting for my match to burn them up.

So when I employ the hick accent, (surprisingly difficult to do in writing), I mean no disrespect to the hard working people who live in manufactured housing...they're lives are already pretty tough, and mostly invisible to the decision makers of the world.

'nuff said.

fred

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 4:57 p.m.

And the Hahvahd accent works in your favor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 7:37 p.m.

There are a lot of nice mobile homes these days, too. Best, Don Bauder

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moleman619 July 25, 2011 @ 11:09 a.m.

let's just call the bluff of the wealthy and rich. raise income and inheritance taxes so no one can grow up with money. if they want to move to Europe or Dubai, then so be it.

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SurfPuppy619 July 25, 2011 @ 12:59 p.m.

let's just call the bluff of the wealthy and rich. raise income and inheritance taxes so no one can grow up with money. if they want to move to Europe or Dubai, then so be it.

================= This is so wrong-yet things today are so upside down it seems to be the lessor of two evils.

I have to admit I agree.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 7:40 p.m.

Would you rather be the lessor of two evils or the lessee of two evils? Hard choice. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 26, 2011 @ 4:24 a.m.

Hard choice, indeed......lessor, lessee? Hmmmm, less, er.....les'see.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 7:39 p.m.

Yes, we should raise the taxes of the upper 2 percent. In tonight's speech, Obama led off by saying the rich and corporations should share in the sacrifices. Then in the next breath he said he favored the Reid compromise in the Senate, which has no revenue increases (in short, capitulates to the rich and to companies that get enormous tax breaks). I wonder if Obama will get away with this one. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 25, 2011 @ 4:36 p.m.

The economy is SO bad . . .

How bad IS it?

It's so bad that nobody can even afford to buy the lesser of two evils--they have to lease them from the lessors.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 7:45 p.m.

Entrepreneurial lessors deal in more than two evils. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 25, 2011 @ 4:46 p.m.

Oh Fred, I can one-up you there--I lived in a (converted) chicken house after I got kicked out at age eighteen. That was after I shoveled chicken shit for a living, worked in a slaughter house, picked cotton, and several other such jobs--but I learned a lot. I moved up to a trailer a few years later.

How am I doin'?

Twister

PS: "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." --Albert Einstein

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Don Bauder July 25, 2011 @ 7:46 p.m.

If you can shovel shit for a living you should be in Congress. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 26, 2011 @ 9:22 p.m.

At least you had a chicken shed...

:-)

Seriously, my senior year of high school I slept for awhile under the oleander near the fences of the campus. A chicken shed would have been warmer, but oleander smells nicer.

fred

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Twister July 26, 2011 @ 10:24 p.m.

I take it you didn't use it for a roasting stick . . .

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Don Bauder July 26, 2011 @ 5:51 a.m.

You can't handle Congress shoveling it or Congress can't handle it? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 25, 2011 @ 10:42 p.m.

If it's dry, you cough it up and snort it out all night; if it's wet, the ammonia gets you. Those were the bandanna days--no OSHA. But running a construction wheelbarrow of wet chickenshit (speaking of Congress and bureaucracy in general--ESPECIALLY the "private" [zero restraint] kind) up a plank into a truck was good training for when I rose higher in the world--as a mason's tender . . . (Match THAT, Fred!)

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Fred Williams July 26, 2011 @ 9:30 p.m.

Digging ditches in the San Bernardino summer, no shade, dull shovel and pick, rock and clay dirt...and that jerk never did pay me!

:-)

-- or --

Burn bags. In the Navy, classified documents must be incinerated. On the Kitty Hawk and Carl Vinson, because I was the most junior guy in the squadron with a secret clearance, the job fell to me. Raking flaming paper back and forth so it's all gone, deep in the bowels of the ship, 90% humidity...and some idiot put map books into the burn bag. Any idea how difficult it is to burn bound books?

Well, this is fun, Twister, comparing our awful work histories. But truly, it's only important because it gives me perspective on how good things are for me today. (Sadly, the rest of the world seems to have deteriorated considerably during the same time.)

fred

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Twister July 26, 2011 @ 10:33 p.m.

First real job: Slaughter house.

Military: >TS ops. No burning though.

Post-military: Dig cesspool, eat weeds.

At least you know how the rest of us have to live; that's way more than can be said for most people who have made it big financially. Your recent essay on this subject proves that.

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Don Bauder July 27, 2011 @ 6:58 a.m.

Those who live under the conditions you describe have to get out and vote, and harass politicians who are in the pockets of Wall Street. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 27, 2011 @ 6:55 a.m.

Fred, if you have so much experience destroying critical documents under difficult conditions, there are plenty of openings in Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 27, 2011 @ 6:59 a.m.

Miraculous conception? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:37 a.m.

I refuse to comment. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 27, 2011 @ 6:44 p.m.

These discussions have a way of going off like Roman Candles, and that's good--PROVIDED we get back on track eventually. One of the biggest downsides of such freewheeling banter is loss of focus. So I'm going to paste one of Fred's posts here, because I think we need to focus on the crucial fundamentals that it points out.

The first fundamental principle is that the real "decision-makers" behind the puppets we call "leaders" REALLY don't give a damn about the rest of us. They are the pathological egocentrics, the prima donnas, the spoiled princes and princesses of excess who control our destinies.

The second principle is that while we do get discouraged because we sensibly expect the same kind of moral behavior we expect of ourselves, we've got to GET OVER IT! Not gonna happen, as George Bush senior would say. We have got to come to realize, that while our little posts may seem impotent, they all add up eventually. Eventually, the bucket fills up to a tipping point. We live in a giant Rube Goldberg gadget, so let's get after it, dropping more and more drops, and not worrying about the instant gratification of huge volumes of feedback. We CAN take 'em on! Seriously. Or humorously. But with well-crafted, well-focused, strategic constancy.

If we want to get really serious, let's work together to draft publishable articles right here. Maybe they'll be picked up by others who will pass around links, maybe they'll make it into one of the major national websites or publications, maybe not. One place to start could be with Fred's recent post; I respectfully submit it now for your consideration:

On Wall Street Thrives on Main Street Pain Posted on July 21 at 2:01 a.m.

When we look at history, and economic collapses, one of the conditions that makes things worse is a separation between those making the decisions, and those who have to carry out the decisions.

Today, in America, there's a tiny sliver that controls most important decisions, whether economic, social, or political. These same decision makers are insulated from the rest of us. They go to different schools, have different expectations, even experience reality in a different way from us.

They look down on us, when they deign to notice us at all.

When their bad decisions hurt us, they can laugh and look away. After all, we are not the same as them so they have no instinct for empathy toward us. Even when they don the mantle of philanthropy, a lot of times it's either a tax dodge or ego trip.

So we see that we are right now experiencing the conditions that students of history know lead to dire consequences.

It would be brave to ask, "So what do we do about it?" I admire all those who stand up and dare to speak against this state of affairs. But I'd be kidding myself to say that this is likely to work. Sure, we must speak out... [cont'd.]

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:40 a.m.

And when the decisions turn out to be disastrous, even for the puppeteers, nobody will take responsibility for having made the decisions. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 27, 2011 @ 6:45 p.m.

[continued from previous post] . . .

but we know we're going to be ignored and we're objecting mostly to salve our own conscience.

We are, in a sadly real way, spectators and commentators when it comes to economics and politics in America. This is especially true in San Diego where the separation between those who truly make the decisions (hint: usually not elected officials) and those who bear the brunt of these decisions has never been greater or more obvious.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. We can hope our overlords are wise, but since we've seen little evidence of this lately it's prudent to plan how to endure, or better escape, their realm of influence.

Best,

Fred [Williams]

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:41 a.m.

Fred is so right: the problem exists in every metro area, but it is worse in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams July 27, 2011 @ 9:39 p.m.

Thank you, Twister, again, for the kind words.

When you describe the indiference of the so-called leadership class, I'm reminded of the tale of the scorpion and the frog.

We shouldn't be surprised that scorpions act like scorpions.

I'm currently reading Harry Markopolos'"No One Would Listen". Harry, you may recall, warned the SEC 5 times in detail about the Madoff Ponzi scheme and was ignored.

We're in a similar situation in San Diego. The truth is obvious, the insiders know the game is riggeed, but no one in a position of real power is willing to be the first to call. So the stakes just keep getting higher and higher.

Eloquent writing and speaking, I think, are over rated. This isn't a Little Rascals short where we can put on a play to raise money for camp. I actually believe attention has been paid to many of these issues, and still there is no action.

Matt Taibbi, Radley Balko, Don Bauder...among others not so well known, ARE writing the articles and getting them published.

What I think prevents action is the fact that most of us realize it's probably too late...Pandora's box is open, the evil spirits are loosed, and only hope remains (and perhaps the cruelest spirit of all is hope).

Twister, if you would like to reprint or reuse my comments, you have my permission. I'm gratified. I'll keep writing them.

I'm not interested, however, in the work of getting editors and other gatekeepers to publish me more widely. If you're willing to take that on, you've got a deal!

Best,

Fred

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:45 a.m.

Fred, I sense you are right: Pandora's box is indeed open. After waiting decades for some kind of revolt against the Wall Street/Washington DC nexus, I smell it coming. But I don't know when it will come. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 28, 2011 @ 2:55 p.m.

Yeah, I agree that "eloquent" writing and speaking are overrated; here you go again, making my point better than I could.

But cutting through the BS and writing and talking plainly need not gather dust in some little corner of cyberspace if it is potent enough to be voluntarily circulated by enough people. Maybe "elegant" is not the right term either, but time was, simplicity WAS the soul of elegance. You, I'm sure, being more up-to-date that I, can come up with a better term.

I'm for integration, not disintegration, so while I may quote you on occasion, that's not what I was suggesting.

However, I shall respect your refusal to flock.

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:47 a.m.

All my life I have confronted those on the distaff side who refused to flock. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Aug. 3, 2011 @ 7:59 a.m.

We gotta get you a plane ticket to TJ right away!

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2011 @ 9:51 a.m.

If I can't make it in Tijuana, I guess I can't make it anywhere. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Aug. 3, 2011 @ 12:34 p.m.

False modesty, particularly when it comes to the kind of flocking to which you originally referred, usually conceals a trap for unwary librarians, who are won't to reveal their hidden talents as well . . . I'll bet you keep your hog and stiffened Levis well-hidden too.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2011 @ 2:31 p.m.

I wear my Levis to the library. Without success. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2011 @ 8:44 p.m.

If the excitement, or non-excitement, is in a library, better to write a book. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams Aug. 3, 2011 @ 9:25 p.m.

Don, Twister, All:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/drunken-ben-bernanke-tells-everyone-at-neighborhoo,21059/

Finally, the truth is told...by America's Finest Source for News, The Onion.

Most vivid scene:

"He stumbled up to the urinal and started mumbling on about the depressed housing sector or something," said Kampman, who claimed Bernanke had to use both hands on the wall to steady himself. "Then after a while he just sort of stopped and I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying."

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2011 @ 7:24 a.m.

Marvelous satire. I love the line that he refused to pay in dollars, acknowledging that our currency is worthless. The Onion (launched, I must boast, by University of Wisconsin alums) is a great publication. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Aug. 4, 2011 @ 10:12 a.m.

Oh, BITTER irony!

"Money is meant to CIRCULATE is DEAD."

Money is NOW meant to URINATE!

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Don Bauder Aug. 5, 2011 @ 9:40 a.m.

Yes, America has been p*ssing away money for decades. Best, Don Bauder

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