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  • mikiesmoky mikiesmoky Feb 4, 2004 2:08 AM Flag

    CHARLIE REESE - February 4, 2004

    Take The Cat Job

    If I had a choice of catching 1,000 feral cats or bringing democracy to Iraq, I'd take the cat job in a New York second.

    The Shiites want immediate elections; the Sunnis have just organized themselves and oppose immediate elections. The Kurds want autonomy, but the Turks have warned that they'll cause big trouble if the Kurds get it. On top of all of that is an ongoing guerrilla war that, despite the claims of success by the United States, continues to take a steady toll of American and Iraqi lives. Unemployment is still close to 60 percent.

    Some say it would not take much of a spark to set off a civil war, and you can bet the guerrillas will be more than happy to strike that spark if they can.

    In the meantime, back at the ranch, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney remain in denial, refusing, it seems, to accept the fact that there are no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, nor were there any when they led us to war.

    Sooner or later it will sink into the minds of the American people that more than half a thousand Americans have been killed, about 2,500 have been wounded, and $200 billion has been spent on false pretenses, and there is no end in sight.

    David Kay, who just quit as the chief weapons searcher, now says there are no stockpiles and probably never were any. Loyal as a lap dog, however, he has given Bush an out by blaming the CIA. The amazing thing is that Bush doesn't have the smarts to take the hint. He keeps insisting he "did the right thing based on good intelligence."

    That's so typical of an ideologue. When the facts contradict the theory, ignore the facts and stick with the theory. Bush apparently intends to keep the search going until after the November election so he can always say the issue hasn't been settled.

    Yeah, I know that the Bush administration says it plans to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis this summer, but you can't believe anything the Bush administration says. We'll have to wait to see how the administration defines sovereignty. My guess is it defines sovereignty as an obedient Iraqi government that will allow large numbers of American military forces to remain in the country.

    Whether Iraqis will agree to that kind of "limited sovereignty" remains to be seen. If the past is indicative of the future, Iraqis will view the government as a front for the United States and eventually overthrow it and kill off the leaders. In that case, all the lives and limbs lost, all the billions of dollars poured down a Middle East rathole, will have been in vain.

    It's too bad we elected a president who had no knowledge of foreign policy, but far worse had no interest in or curiosity about it. Richard Perle, one of the neocon architects of the war, has said in public print that Bush knew nothing. That's why he became a willing victim of the neocon ideologues he put in his administration. They saved him the trouble of having to think, and that is apparently what he likes most: not having to think. Don't ask me to think or make decisions, he seems to say; just tell me what I should do and say, and I'll read the teleprompter.

    That would have been all right if he had surrounded himself with wise and experienced people, but he chose a pack of mad-dog ideologues with delusions of grandeur who are itching to impose American will on the rest of the Earth and are fanatically committed to their theory, the facts to the contrary be damned.

    Let's hope that Bush's replacement will be somebody with a functioning and engaged brain who is more interested in solving problems for the American people than in keeping fit, dressing sharp and reading quips somebody else wrote at carefully staged photo ops.

    � 2004 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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    • REGARDING: Thus there is a place for both shorts and longs, I do both, simultaneously.

      RESPONSE: Please contact me regarding the handling by your brokerage firm of your short positions.


      Michael Z.
      LAST: $51.50 UP 51 cents witht the DOW down 18 points

    • It would have been best if he had posted, "I was a moron."
      no, that doesn't quite delineate his character, uh,
      "I was a stuntwanker".
      nah, too childish, and it might mislead some of the gay lurkers into thinking he's a player.
      How about, "I was born without a cerebral cortex!"
      It explains alot.
      It acts as a one sentence Bio for future lurkers.
      It lets his constituent morons off the hook.
      It removes any chance of offending actual shorts.
      I love it!

    • You "dedicated short" idea had a half life of about two days - like ALL your ideas. Ralph Waldo Emerson would have a field day with you, who maintained a foolish consistency all the way to the end. It would have been better if'n you'd just posted I WAS WRONG one hundred times on the message board. I would have read every one of them.

    • That is both a solid and prudent investment strategy. Many would learn a lot from your simple paragraph. May your research and analyis work out well.


    • You are correct, no one who invests is 100% optimistic or 100% pessimistic.
      Mark Twain said "The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little. "
      Thus there is a place for both shorts and longs, I do both, simultaneously. I almost always have a larger long position than an short position. So on balance I guess on would say that I'm an optimist; When I say short, I include purchased put options.
      Without going into a lot of pedantic detail, shorting is a valuable investment tool.
      Thus if one believes in junk foods as an investment, it seems prudent to take a long position in the one that appears strongest and a short position in the one that is weakest.
      narrower markets, riskier books.
      Thus I tend to short KO and buy PEP.
      Thus if I get broadsided by a general bad news item about the business, I'm hedged, if the market grows, I gain because my long is in the less risky position, IMHO.

    • I have had a problem focusing on my main point; i.e., that DEDICATED shorts tend to have a certain mindset, just as dedicated longs, dedicated gold buyers, dedicated non-equity savers, etc. tend to think in ways that carry over into other areas of their personal lives.

      So I see investing style as one aspect of personality/character and a good indicator/predictor of happiness and success, even if nothing is gained or lost from the investments selected.

      I view myself as a diversified investor, with some liquidity but preferring to go long (meaning holding more than one year and commonly many years), but not as a sheep or in any way threatened by speculators.

      This exhausts my interest in the dedicated short personality subject.

      Take care,

    • "Delineate" is only appropriate when it's used in a technical analysis of prose, and then only in the controlled setting of a classroom with all the safety guidelines (to prevent spitball fights) in place.
      BTW: NO ONOMATOPOEIA!! (shrug shrug)
      PS: NO ALLITERATION!! (ditto)
      PPS: Your attitude will not help you get published, young lady.

    • You put a lot of work into that, so I will regard it with twice my usual respect--

      shrug, shrug.

      I have rather liked "delineate" since hearing an old university professor describe William Shakespeare's excellence at delineation of character.


    • You asked for it:
      Grade: F
      Review: You barely make one point, yet you used four full paragraphs. There are hopeless problems with all the paragraphs, but lets just take a look at one, which begins, "The dark expectations must be viewed as innate."
      This passive expression is awkward at best. "Must be viewed" is too vague and extraneous. "As innate" is equally meaningless, as the confluence of adverbs, modifiers, and indirect objects defy comprehension.
      "And thus ingrained in personality." is redundant yet it seems incongruous because it's too formal when compared with the indecipherable premise of the sentence. Never use the word "THUS" unless your Shakespeare, or John Wilkes Booth.
      I'm trying so hard not to use the "M" word. I know you know that's true.
      "Because they are deeply ingrained" is awkward because you started the sentence with "because". That's a structural no no. You cant recover from a beginning like that. It's like starting a chess game with the bishop's pawn. There's more repetition in this sentence. You practically beg the reader to loose interest.
      "the same attitude, reasoning process, and other personality traits carry over into non investing thoughts and actions." This is the only phrase that's structurally sound, yet it contains too great a leap of logic to have merit.
      You would need teams of writing tutors working around the clock at the university level in Cambridge to solve all of your bad habits.
      Cant you just write from the heart? Just say it. Dont try to sound clever or well read.
      Dont try to overthink a phrase. Use as few words as possible. Dont use middle school vocabulary words-ever. (like portentous, or delineate)
      Stick to Subject, Verb, Object. Get to the point immediately. Dont qualify any phrase with modifiers, or adjectives. Just say it.

    • Ouch! Hard to get happy after that one!
      It's hurts bad, pa. He got me clean through the gizzard.
      What the hell are you talking about? 30 desks? 28 smiling faces? Huh?

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