EppsNet Archive: Money

Read My Lips: No New Frackses

 

My fellow Americans – This Biden fellow is the biggest liar on two feet. I heard him on last night’s debate saying “I never said I oppose fracking.” “You said it on tape,” President Trump replied. “Show the tape!” Biden said angrily. “Put it on your website!” OK, first of all, here’s the tape: View this post on Instagram A post shared by President Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on Oct 22, 2020 at 10:59pm PDT Second, Biden knows he said it, he knows he said it on tape . . . I’d seen the tapes many times myself. Why on God’s green earth would he stand there and not only lie about it but insist that his opponent produce a tape of him lying about it? It’s the most shameless thing I’ve ever seen! Given the audacity of it, do I believe he’s taken millions of dollars from foreign entities?… Read more →

Traffic Stops and Swimming Pools

 

We know that people can maintain an unshakable faith in any proposition, however absurd, when they are sustained by a community of like-minded believers. —Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow When I was younger (we’re all very well-behaved now 🙂 ), I had several friends and family members who had unpleasant run-ins with police, where they were cuffed or arrested or beaten, the common thread being not that they were black (they were all white), but they were all wise-asses who didn’t respect authority and couldn’t find it within themselves to be compliant to a police officer. One day my 9th-grade gym teacher told us (again, all white boys) to be excessively polite to police officers — yes sir, no sir — have your day in court if it came to that, but better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. In my experience, the narrative that only… Read more →

Be Prepared

 

An ad comes on the radio for a lawyer offering to sue the Boy Scouts on behalf of anyone molested by a scout leader . . . “I was in the scouts. I wasn’t molested though. Or maybe I was molested so traumatically that I’ve blocked it out of my mind. What was that guy’s number again?” “What are you talking about?” “I like to ‘Be Prepared’ for financial opportunities.” Read more →

Four Existential Questions

 

Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Can it kill me? Can I buy it at a discount? Read more →

On This Date: Settling Clergy Sex-Abuse Cases

 

On this date, July 15, in 2007, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles announced it was settling clergy sex-abuse cases for $660 million. Some people, including some in my own family, will tell you that America started going down the drain when we took God out of schools, whatever that means. Call me a skeptic but we haven’t taken God out of churches and yet we still have $660 million worth of child rape. In one archdiocese! Pass the collection plate, Padre! Read more →

We Giveth But We Also Taketh Away, Just Like God

 

“As driving behaviors evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic, XYZ Insurance Company is working to reduce auto rates in every state. The national average for those rate reductions is 11%, saving customers a total of approximately $2.2 billion. “‘Current driving data and claims experience show a considerable decline in miles driven and fewer accidents,’ said XYZ Senior Vice President Kristyn Cook-Turner. ‘As a result, we’re looking for ways to continue supporting our customers while we monitor and adjust to trends.’ “‘On the flip side, we’ve also noticed that a lot more of our customers are getting sick and dying,’ Cook-Turner continued, ‘so we’ll be correspondingly increasing premiums for health and life insurance.’ “‘You win a few, you lose a few.’” Read more →

A Couple of News Items Out of USC

 

Students from U.S. families with an annual income of $80,000 or less with typical assets will attend USC tuition-free. The Trojans cancelled the scheduled Sept. 4, 2021 football game vs. UC Davis. UC Davis is the kind of FCS (i.e., minor league) program that SEC schools love to load up their non-conference schedules with. The only three FBS schools never to have played an FBS program are USC, Notre Dame and UCLA. To me, that is a point of pride. I was very disappointed when I heard they scheduled the game and I’m glad they cancelled it. Read more →

EppsNet Restaurant Reviews: Sasabune

 

The innovation is the warm, vinegar-flavored rice and the wide, almost circular cut of the fish. Also, unlike Oshima (in this reviewer’s opinion, the best sushi establishment in Orange County), the chef did not have such a pronounced accent that I couldn’t understand what he was saying when he presented the fish. Try to maintain your equanimity when you see the bill, which for us came to about $120 per person (no sake or other beverages), so you don’t look like a rube. Rating: Read more →

How Much Would You Pay For a Watch?

 

I got an oddball email today from Amazon . . . Hello Paul Epps, We found something we think you might like. And what they thought I might like was the item on the right, a Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38mm Steel & Red Gold – Silver Watch, which retails for $4,284.50 (free shipping included!). I do like it — click through on it, it’s a real beauty — but “liking” a $4,000 watch and having any intention of buying one are two entirely different things. Why they thought I’d be a good target customer for this email I have no idea. I’ve never shopped for watches on Amazon, nor have I ever bought anything anywhere close to a $4,000 price point. It’s the weirdest thing Amazon’s done since the time I was browsing for a book on software development principles and they suggested that I might also be interested… Read more →

Fake Populism

 

I have no objection to populist rhetoric and no more objection to wealthy politicians than non-wealthy politicians, but phony populist rhetoric from wealthy politicians is too much to bear. Read more →

The Problem With Van Gogh is He Did Not Know What Sells

 

Here’s an article by some artistic nobody on the subject of Art That Sells: Top Themes, Subjects, and Mediums for Best-Selling Art. “As an artist,” he says, “I like to know what sells.” Right! Leave the starving artist shtick to some other starry-eyed clod. The article delivers on its promise, enumerating the most popular genres, themes, subjects, media, colors, sizes, etc. “Sizes”?! Heck yeah, sell ’em by the yard. Van Gogh, to my knowledge, did not sell a single painting in his lifetime. He did not “know what sells.” Iy saddens me to think that if only we could reverse the hands of time and make the information in this article available to him, perhaps he could have made something of himself and still been alive today. Read more →

What Can USC Students Tell Us About Inequality?

 

Well, according to the New York Times, some USC students jet to Bali for spring break, while some of their classmates work overnight shifts to pay for books! Instead of inequality, think of it as diversity. So now it’s a good thing! The Times for some reason writes USC as U.S.C., even though nobody does that. I’ve noticed the Times always measures life outcomes in terms of money, like that’s the only possible criterion. What ‘s so great about jetting to Bali anyway? What are you going to do, lay on a fucking beach? There are 50 beaches within two hours of USC. It’s the same sun up in the sky. You’re the same person with the same problems in Bali as you are here. You jet to Bali, you jet home, absolute waste of time. Read more →

Arizona is the Next California?

 

Unfortunately, my experience in Arizona … has been that people have zero ability to correlate specific elements of public policy with particular outcomes.  In particular, people who flee California because it is too expensive and dysfunctional come to Arizona and immediately begin voting for exactly the same policies that made California expensive and dysfunctional. Coyote Blog Read more →

Is Toxic Femininity Also a Thing?

 

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, quoted in the New York Post: The past year I’ve gotten three insanely high settlements for consensual sex as sexual harassment. I think I may be some kind of savant. I get a case. And then I ask a set of lawyers who only do this kind of work what is the best settlement I could hope for. And then I triple it. I made $2.9 million for a 24 year old girl who had a consensual sexual relationship with her boss. Read more →

Buy a $1.7 Million Mansion for $25

 

Homeowner selling $1.7M mansion for $25 and ‘compelling’ essay NY Daily News Here in Southern California, $1.7 million doesn’t buy what I’d call a “mansion,” but this is definitely a mansion, almost 4,000 sq.ft. of living space on a one-acre property. Those interested in the house, located in Alberta, Canada and boasting scenic mountain views, must pay a $25 entry fee and submit a one page essay about themselves and why they should win the contest. It can be no longer than 350 words. Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Priorities

 

When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. — Albert Shanker, President of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and President of the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) It’s a problem in my profession that the number of schools that want to teach computer science far exceeds the number of computer science majors who want to teach computer science. The opportunity cost is too high. Computer science majors can earn a lot more working as software engineers than working as teachers. I volunteer a couple mornings a week to help with computer science instruction at a local high school. This school has a teacher, originally hired as a math teacher, who must be well into her fourth decade of teaching.  She now teaches computer science classes — poorly, but she teaches them. Because of her professional longevity, she makes a six-figure income with… Read more →

The Interests of Schoolchildren

 

More than 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike this week. LAUSD serves 640,000 students and is the second biggest school district in the country. The mean annual wage for LAUSD teachers is $75,000. In the local reporting I’m seeing on the strike, teachers and union reps are unanimous in saying that they’re striking for the benefit of the schoolchildren. I’m reminded of something Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say: When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. I can’t say for certain that the LA union reps are being disingenuous but it does make sense that they’d be representing the interests of the people who are paying them. Read more →

How the Bezos Divorce Rewrites the World’s Richest People List

 

Current Jeff Bezos, $140 billion Bill Gates, $90 billion Warren Buffett, $84 billion Bernard Arnault, $72 billion Mark Zuckerberg, $71 billion Future Bill Gates, $90 billion Warren Buffett, $84 billion Bernard Arnault, $72 billion Mark Zuckerberg, $71 billion Jeff Bezos, $70 billion MacKenzie Bezos, $70 billion Read more →

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?

— Thomas Sowell

Student Loan Debt Sets Record

 

U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession — Bloomberg What happened to parents saving up to pay for college? Is that not a thing anymore? I don’t find it morally defensible to encourage a kid to incorporate academics into his or her life from an early age, to emphasize the importance of education, then when the kid is admitted to college to say “Congratulations, here’s your student loan application. Have fun paying that off till you’re 60.” Read more →

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