Saturday, November 29, 2008

Toxic Wife AKA "Trophy Wife Economics"

I wrote about Toxic Wives in the past, but referred to it as "Trophy Wife Economics."

Freaking hilarious to see not just the greedy scum bag business"men" who couldn't make a dime in profit, but to see their gold-digging wives actually having to face the prospects of finding (dun dun dunnnnnn)

A JOB!

NOOOO!!!!!!

Lesson to be learned;

Always lease a depreciating asset. Never buy.
29 Nov 08

I'm in a Play Tonight in Manchester

I am going to be on stage tonight at the mercy of extreme clowns who have put together a short play based on their uniquely-warped interpretation of my prison experiences.

Here are the clowns:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lfD5kYk5CMY&feature=related

If you viewed that link, you can see I'm getting into something that may leave long-lasting psychological damage. In the prison shower scene, I drop the soap and have to bend over to pick it up. The female clown, Kunst Bride, will be wearing a strap-on. I just pray they go easy on me. In handcuffs, it's going to be hard keep my clothes on and defend my honour.
I hope to have pics and video footage I can put on the Internet.

I figured this was the best way to conquer stage fright before I start my job speaking to audiences of youths.

It's at the The Deaf Institute in Manchester. There are a few acts, and I’m expecting to be on with the extreme clowns around midnight.

Here’s the info for anyone interested in attending:

The UK’s Premier Ladies’ Organ Quartet - The Sisters of Transistors

Extreme clowning and anarchic play, courtesy of the Dirty Honky Frathouse. Starring Alexis Milne, Richard Shields, Sue Fox and writer (and ex-convict) Shaun Attwood.

DJs Jayne Compton, Debbie Jump and Dolly P & The Beacon of Hope.

The Deaf Institute
135 Grosvenor Street
Manchester
M1 7HE
Tel: 0161 276 9350

http://www.thedeafinstitute.co.uk/

Doors 10 – 3 am £5/6

WE ASK YOU TO COME TO THE GIG IF YOU DARE! Strictly transgressive content.

The Sisters of Tranistors are an organ quartet performing surf symphonies, baroque disco and horror film sound tracks.

The Sisters of Transistors, Graham '808 State' Massey's latest musical project, has been much-touted of late. And much of said touting has been done by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford, who picked them as his Favourite New Band in the NME and featured them on Simian's recent Fabric mix.

Alexis Milne - Dirty’s Frathouse
"My experience within the Graffiti art movement was one of ritualized anarchy and rebellion, which provided an outlet for powerful, destructive emotions. Clowns have traditionally had a license to push boundaries and express human paradox in a social arena, which is why I have chosen to explore the clown alter-ego in performance."
http://www.thefuturecanwait.com/2008-alexis-milne-artwork1.htm

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

28 Nov 08

Question Time With A Blood (Part 4)

Bones of the South Side Posse Bloods is serving sixteen years for leading a gang, assisting a crime syndicate, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

LX wrote: I worked as a volunteer math tutor at an inner city school before and I was struck by how much stock those kids put into the hopes of becoming a professional athlete. I think it's sad and very indicative of the hopelessness and disenfranchisement of ghetto culture. They don't realize how unrealistic it is that they could become a professional athlete (the odds are overwhelmingly against any individual). They don't have many realistic role models that appeal to them and their culture.

Bones responded: It’s obvious that your work as a volunteer tutor has given you a spectator’s view of life in our communities. And I’m not sure that limited view affords you the real depth of what we are living through. Yeah, maybe my hopes of becoming a professional athlete spoke of hopelessness to you, but how do you tell a young man born in the hood not to dream as big as he can. If you believe my hood lacks role models, please accept my invitation to become one. Like one of my role models said, “From the cradle to the grave, life ain’t never been easy living in the ghetto!” – 2 Pac

Anonymous wrote: Regarding Bones: Once a sociopath, always a sociopath. Time and place don't matter.

Bones responded: Yeah, maybe you’re right, maybe I am mentally ill or just unstable. But the judge didn’t think so, because instead of sending me to a mental hospital he gave me sixteen years. But I’m trying to change somewhat.
Or maybe it’s just that I wasn’t born with a golden spoon in my mouth! Because where I grew up gangs have been around for years and it was either punk or get punked, whup ass or get your ass whupped, kill or get killed. This is the real world I live in! How about you? You probably grew up with a maid and a chauffeur.


Dirtos wrote: As for me, I'd be totally up for getting a bullet in my gut for the road and pavements and houses where I live. It's a lovely road, it lets me drive on it and park my car on it, the pavement lets me walk on it, the houses protect me from the wind and my own house keeps me warm at night because I can go in it. Big up to my hood, it's keeping it real, and has been representing for the last 300 years. Bring it on all you haters.

Bones responded: Dirtos, don’t pull my chain and be sarcastic about the gang life.

Bones wrote:

Before I leave I’d like to say a few things.
First, to those people that have never been in a gang or lived around gang life. You may think we are sociopaths and are not normal or live normal lives, but what is normal or a normal life to you? Is that someone who goes to school, gets a high school diploma and goes to college for a degree? Then gets a job as a doctor, governor or becomes a senator?
Then as time goes on we come to find out what they can’t hide anymore.
Like a doctor, who instead of saving people who are dying, kills them because of the color of their skin.
Or the mayor involved in a sex scandal with hookers or a drug smuggling ring.
Or the governor having sex in public restroom and not with his wife but with other men.
Or how about the multimillionaire businessman from a good family, well educated, with a big house, white picket fence, wife and kids, who gets busted molesting kids.
Is this what you consider a normal person?
Other peoples’ lifestyles are no different than ours, they just hide things better.
They arrested a police officer in Phoenix that had worked for the police department for 26 years, for having child pornography in his house. So he was probably molesting kids too. How would you like that officer to take your kids out in a police car? Showing them what’s right and wrong.

And let me give my opinion to anyone that claims South Side Posse Blood Gang.
Once you join a gang it’s something you join for life not for a few years. I’ve seen a lot of gang members that put in major work for their hood all of a sudden decide to get out of it after several years, just to hear that they caught two in the chest and one to the head while they were with their wife and kids.
Remember other gang members don’t forget the pain and grief you caused them when you were gang banging several years ago. Yeah, there are always consequences for your actions, so think before you act.
So if you ain’t down for taking ass whuppings and giving ass whuppings or doing prison time maybe for the rest of your life, or putting in work for your hood by making worm food out of people, then stay out of the gang!
I ain’t talking to the wannabees that were quick to get in the car and drive off when the shit hit the fan. I’m talking to you down-ass Bloods that was quick to swing and blast on fools.

I would also like to give my opinion on the way Posse members are nowadays. I hear you guys are strong but not as strong as you could be. And that’s probably because you got 7st, 35th Ave, 7th Ave, 10 st…South Side Posse groups fighting with each other. All of you need to put your differences aside and unite as one. If you guys can do that, you’ll see that other hoods will think twice before messing with that South Side Posse Blood gang like the way we sued to do it back in 1987-89. I remember that when all the homies “all small groups” used to roll to events like Cinco de Mayo, car shows, nightclubs and house parties, no one really wanted to fuck with us. And when someone did, they usually ended up getting medical attention.
Yeah, that shit was fun. A lot of people say the EME [Mexican Mafia] didn’t like us because of the drive-by shootings and yes the fact that we were mostly Mexicans claiming a black thing, Bloods. Well it is what it is and it’s a change of the times.
But my personal opinion is that the EME didn’t like us because we didn’t play by their rules, they saw us as a threat to them, and realized we were becoming so big that there was not one gang that could stop us in Phoenix.

And to all of the homies that are locked up or been locked up or going to be locked up. Yeah, it’s cool to be down for your race whether it’s the Raza, black or white in prison. But remember the hood you are from and where your loyalty is supposed to be at.

Also, to all Posse members, remember Posse is Posee no matter what your group you’re from, 35th Ave, 19th Ave, 7th Ave, 3rd Ave, 7th Street, 10th Street, 16th Street Posse etc. Because to another gang it don’t matter to them what Posse you’re from, whether it’s streets or avenues. Because if they see you flamed up, they don’t care what group you’re from, they’re going to try to take you out.
So don’t divide your strengths, increase them.

B-up to all true Red Riders. South Side Posse for life. Shouts out to Chapo, Bartman, Laz, Chris Para, Jerry Gilmet, Joey V, Robert, Jason Moore, Ramon Bernal, Michael Gabriel Robles, may all of you rest in peace. And to those who have fallen representing the hood that I don’t know, may they rest in peace. In my eyes you guys didn’t die for nothing. S.S.P 4 life Blood!

B-up Doggs

Bones

P.S. You Bloods need to stop doing major drugs and start stacking your chips and counting your bread. I know I am.

Click here for Question Time With A Blood (Part 3)

Email questions or comments for Bones the Blood to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity. Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Shaun P. Attwood

X-Box Sucks

If you are not a game aficionado, that's alright. All you have to do to be one is repeat after me;

X-Box sucks.

See, now you know pretty much what every other gaming aficionado knows.

Long story short, if you are thinking about buying X-Box for your kids or for that matter any Microsoft product, forget it. The problems are not worth it. The thing overheats, the thing freezes up and then when you get it repaired, THRICE, and call up Microsoft again, "Oh, well it's no longer under warranty so that will cost you $99.00."

So, let me save all of you economists out there a little bit of your finite lives.

It's not worth the time, let alone the money you will have to spend constantly resuscitating your X-Box 360. It's not worth the time having to mail the thing into Microsoft, let alone the hours you're going to spend on the customer service line. Just do yourself a big fat favor and get a Playstation or a Nintendo.

So if that helps anybody make their decision for what to get for Christmas, god bless 'em.

In the meantime I'm getting myself a Mac from hence forth and never a PC.

Oh, and to Sarah, the Microsoft customer "support" person, be happy in knowing I've cost Microsoft way more than the $99 you wanted to charge me to repair something that should have been working properly in the first place.

Enjoy being in a distant 3rd place when the next gaming console generation comes out.
26 Nov 08

What Comes Around (by Shane)

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.

“Back up to the trap and put your hands out,” the sergeant told me.
I backed up to the tray slot built into the door, hands behind my back. The sergeant handcuffed me.

The sergeant was there because just minutes earlier a guard had a called for assistance to remove me from my cell. The guard had said he’d kick my ass if I didn’t want to listen to him. In response to his shameless attempt to provoke me, I told him to “pack a lunch.”

After ensuring I was cuffed tightly, steel cutting into my wrists, the sergeant removed me from the cell. Walking me down a hallway toward the cellblock’s backdoor, he told me, “Come on tough guy,” and yanked on the cuffs sadistically.
“Take these cuffs off, and I’ll show you a tough guy, you bitch!” I barked, hiding my pain under anger.
He led me outside, into a fenced area used for lockdown recreation. He slammed me face first into a chain-link fence, and punched me in the side.
“That’s it? That’s your best?” I asked him.
After ten minutes of beating me – bruises on my sides and arms, face scratched from the fence – he took me back to my cell.

After his shift ended, I went to Medical to document what had happened.
I also told the lieutenant that the sergeant and I had a conflict and I would not be treated that way again.
The lieutenant said he would “look into it.” Meaning he’d do nothing.

The next day, not ten minutes after the sergeant came on shift, he arrived at my cell. “Cuff up!”
“No! Come on in and cuff me up!” I yelled back at him.
“I’m giving you a direct order to cuff up!” he yelled, outraged.
“I’ll cuff up, just not for you! Where’s your back-up ’cause if you’re coming in this cell you’re gonna need it!” I yelled, pacing, my face hot, palms sweaty and ready to rock ’n’ roll.
He walked away from my cell door, radioing for back-up.
Satisfied I’d made him sufficiently angry, I watched him go down the stairs. I readied myself.

Minutes later, he returned to my cellfront. “I’m giving you a direct order to cuff up,” he said calmly, his eyes seething.
Looking over his shoulder, I saw four guards clad in black, with helmets and pads on their knees and elbows.
Shit, he’s got the tactical security team with him.
He smiled at me, a sinister grin that angered me. Little did he know I was ready for them.
Key in my door. A pepper-spray canister at the trap. Ready to suddenly storm my cell after spraying me.
His eyes widened when he saw me tie a damp shirt around the lower half of my face and step back away from the door ready to fight.
In one fluid motion, the sergeant opened the trap, fired his pepper spray and tried to rush into my cell. In slow motion, I watched the stream of spray leave his canister, hit the transparent sandwich wrap I’d stretched and taped over the trap and deflect back into the hallway, at the exact same time the door began to open inward.
Realizing his mistake, but far too committed to enter my cell to stop, he smashed his face into the door, as I front-kicked it shut.
They coughed cussed, and stumbled around on the other side of the door. Then as the noise faded away, I approached the door cautiously, spying them all staggering down the stairs.

Twenty minutes or so passed by uneventfully, except for the “Fuck ’em up, Shane,” or “Get yours, youngster,” occasionally shouted through the pod of fifty convicts. “Here they come again, Shane!” a lone voice of an Aryan Brother shouted.
As I ran to the door, I saw the same tactical team led by the same sergeant trying to sneak up to my cell. I knew they’d get me this time.
Opening the trap, they grabbed the wrap, pulling it out. They sprayed me in the chest and stormed my cell, the sergeant leading the charge.
First in the door, first on the floor – the sergeant caught my first punch on the cheek and went down. Before I could gloat over knocking him out, they were on me.
A riot shield on top of me and two suited-and-booted guards on top of that, I could barely make out the sergeant’s unconscious form. There were other guards on top of him, who’d tripped and piled up.
Eyes watering and burning, chest on fire, coughing, and completely immobile, I was ziptied and dragged to the hole.

There was a brief investigation locally, and they threatened to charge me. I threatened to sue. I was asked to take a polygraph. I asked to speak to an attorney. An “attorney” was called and asked to speak to me. When I asked who it was I was speaking to, the attorney revealed he was a county prosecutor. I agreed not to sue, if they agreed not to file charges. They didn’t charge me. I sued, but I didn’t know what I was doing and my case was dismissed on procedural issues.

That sergeant never bothered me again.
It was fun till you got knocked the f**k out, eh, Sarg?

Email comments on Shane’s story to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity. Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Shaun P. Attwood

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And These People Have the Right to Vote



I'm angered that my vote is somehow canceled by theirs.

ht to Kate again (she's got some good stuff!)

Another Reason Not to Move to Canada

C R I P E S

ht to SDA

A Distubing Trend

I know, I know. We're not socialist.

I know, I know. The democrats are not for socialism.

And I know, I know, the republicans cannot gear up the gall to call them that.

But if you look at government spending as a percent of the economy, you'll realize that (bar times of war) the overall trend in government spending has been to go up.


The problem is this chart only shows FEDERAL government spending and does not include state and local spending as well. If these are considered, overall government spending is at about 37%.

So the question I post to all you aspiring, junior, deputy, official and otherwise economists out there is, fine, we may not be socialist now, but if the democrats and Obama were to have their way (which they will) will you admit we WILL be a socialist nation?

This debate rages between me and my Obama supporting friends. That I am a "fool" a "moron" to suggest we're going to become a "socialist" nation. You fool, you do not know of what you speak. To which I respond "yes, the one economist in the group does not know what he's talking about. Oh sure, the sax player and the admin assistant and the lifetime student in journalism, they know what they're talking about when it comes to taxes and fiscal policy, but I am the moron of the group when it comes to these things." But that doesn't change the fact at what point, what level of government spending is a country deemed a socialist nation?

It's an important question to ask because if the republicans are "going to get tough" like they say they are, are they going to gear up the gall to call the democrats what they technically and economically would be considered; socialists?

This would be a brilliant PR campaign. They wouldn't be lying. They would be calling the democrats what they are. And (for once) they could make a clear, distinguishable difference between them and the democrats (not to mention a track record that will be against everything Obama does from hence forth and will come in handy come 2012).

Of course, relying of the current strategerists in the republican party to realize and recommend this would be like them fielding a candidate like Reagan again. But one can hope.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How the Current Account Deficit Explains What's at the Core of the Current Financial Crisis

I like to make things simple. And the reason I like to make things simple is not because I'm trying to dumb them down or provide a simplistic explanation of things, but ultimately when boiled down, things really are that simple. And this current financial crisis is no different.

Talk about mortgage brokers, SWAPs, bailouts all you want, what is ultimately driving this crisis is the fact that Americans are not producing enough to warrant the prices of our assets. Housing, stocks, you name it, all derive their value from the profits or income that can be produced from them. And if there is no profits or income, then there is no value in those assets.

For example, housing. Housing rose to unrealistic heights based on temporary and flighty demand as sub prime slime who could not afford those houses long term, flooded the market only to go bankrupt 3 years later. The problem is rents, the thing that ultimately gives property its value, did not go up. This is why a bubble formed and you are now experiencing dropping property prices. The markets finally realized that housing cannot "always go up" unless there is a corresponding increase in the rents, which never happened, ergo why Case Shiller is showing plummeting housing prices.

Stocks are another perfect example. The stock market, for decades, has been flooded by basically Baby Boomer and Gen X retirement money based on the principle that we should religiously and always invest in the stock market for our retirement. The problem is we are no longer investing in the stock market for the profits the firms generate, but rather because we were told by the government to use them as a retirement vehicle. Now, as corporations report horrendous corporate earnings, not to mention practically all of the financial services industry is filing for bankruptcy or a taxpayer bailout, the market is realizing that the ultimate driver of value of stocks (PROFITS) are non-existent, and ergo, why should those stocks have any value.

The problem, however, is that while the stock market and housing market are certainly very important to the economy, it does not address the overall economy. ie-the American people. How much "wealth" or "production" do we produce as an economy. And not only how much do we produce, but how much do we spend. ie- are we net producers or are we net parasites?

Take a guess which one we are.

The metric by which this is measured is the current account balance. It shows, simply, how much more or less do we produce versus consume. It basically looks at the national accounts, measures how much we made, and then how much we spent. And for the past 20 years, we have been spending more than we made.


Going from just a 0% of GDP balance in 1991, we have persistently and continually spent more than we made in this country, more recently spending 5% more each year than we made.

Now, I know that it is blasphemy to criticize or critique the Neo-American past-time of spending more than we make. That it is a crime punishable by death to suggest people be responsible and live within their means. But that still doesn't change the fact that Americans have essentially been becoming progressively "economically lazier" as time has gone on. We work less, spend more, and don't give a damn about how to pay for it, let alone ever have the intention to pay for it.

It is this that is causing asset prices all over the place to collapse. Stocks, housing, the dollar, as nobody, Americans or foreigners, are willing to invest their money in assets that are ultimately reliant upon Americans to churn profits out of them. We're too busy watching American Idol. We're too busy campaigning for Barack Obama. We're too busy majoring in sociology to hopefully become a "community organizer." None of which produce one ounce of GDP, income, or profits.

Meanwhile, I suggest you take a look and see what the Chinese, Arabs and Russians are majoring in, in college. And then take a look at their current account balances.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hours Worked Per Year

The Baby Boomer phenomenon is not just a US creation. Most western nations have a Baby Boomer generation and thusly are faced with the same legacy issues in terms of social pensions (social security) and health care (medicare).

What's scary though is that instead of working more to pay for what is guaranteed to be 7 years of financial famine, the western world seems to be working less.



Additional nots is that Korea is doing quite well, though still declining and the world's "best" country according to the UN and other self-back-patters, Norway, works the least of us all (then again they do have oil).
23 Nov 08

Mentored (Part 1)

Thanks to the Koestler Trust, I am now being mentored by Sally Hinchcliffe, a published author with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of London, taught by Julia Bell and Russell Celyn Jones.

My first session with her went extremely well. Now that I have a professional pointing out the errors in my writing and coaching me on getting published, I am confident of making progress.

After reading the draft of my autobiography, Sally offered a variety of advice. She said I need to rethink the structure of the book, as running the jail story in the odd chapters and the stockbroker/rave story in the even chapters is too confusing. She wants me to remove any characters and anecdotes that do not further the story, with a view to the book totalling 125,000 words or less.

She provided detailed feedback on Chapters 1 to 5, which some of you have read. She wants me to provide more background on the main characters such as Wild Man. To add more of my thoughts, feelings, motivations, and reactions, so I’m not so much a bystander. To describe things using all five senses, particularly the sense of smell. To provide more details about the environment, especially the prison buildings and cells. To simplify my prose and stop trying to be “showy,” for example, getting rid of all of my references to the classics, which she calls “cultural name-dropping” – we had a good laugh over that one. To increase my paragraph size – difficult for me as I find large paragraphs cumbersome. To stop italicising my thoughts because italics are better used for emphasis.
She asked me to summarise the book in one sentence. I replied, “It’s the story of my rise, fall and redemption.”
She asked me to write a brief synopsis, and recommended I read these two memoirs, Lucky by Alice Sebold and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and these two prison memoirs, Forget You Had a Daughter by Sandra Gregory and A Life Inside by Erwin James.

When I told Sally about my high hopes of getting published as soon as I got out of prison, she said that if I am seeking immediate results, I need to find another occupation. Getting published takes years and my book must be presented in the right way because I only have one shot with each publisher, and in its present format my story would be rejected.

Our friends inside who are aspiring writers – Jack, Shane, Warrior – have asked I keep them posted on what I learn from my mentor. So I’m providing the first two pages of my autobiography, with my mentor’s constructive feedback in bold, in the hope it will be of benefit to them, and anyone else studying writing. Other than the specific points in bold, she asked me to insert more of my thoughts and feelings, and to try and write some bigger paragraphs.

Chapter 1

“Tempe Police Department! We have a warrant for your arrest! Open the door immediately!”
The stock quotes flickering on the computer screen lost all importance as I rushed to the peephole.
Bang, bang, bang, bang!
Wearing only boxer shorts, I dashed to the bedroom. “Claudia Wake up! It’s the cops!”
“Tempe Police Department! If you refuse to open the door, we will use force to enter!”
Claudia scrambled from the California king, her long blond hair tousled. “What should we do?” she asked, anxiously straightening her pink pyjamas.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!
“Open the door! This is your last warning!”
We searched each other’s faces.
“Let’s open it,” I said.
Claudia clung to my arm. We hastened to let them in and – boom! – the door leaped off its hinges.
Pointing submachine guns, a small army of SWAT blitzed through the doorframe, and fanned out with military precision. Рfeels like a clich̩, also, how did having guns pointed at you make you feel?
“Get on the fucking ground now!”
“On your bellies now!”
“Hands above your heads!”
“Don’t fucking move!”
Crushed by hands and feet, I could barely breathe. Cold steel snapped around my wrists. I was hoisted like a puppet onto my feet.
As they yanked Claudia up by the cuffs, she pinched her eyes shut; when she opened them, tears spilled out.
– make into a longer paragraph, save the short ones for when you need them

“I’m Detective Reid. You’re a big name from the rave scene, English Shaun. – why did he tell you this? How did it make you feel? I’m sure this raid will vindicate the charges.” Detective Reid was a tall burly man with long scraggy hair and an intimidating presence. His gaze probed my inner self.
Dazed by shock, my mind struggled for an appropriate response. “There’s nothing illegal in here.”
He smirked knowingly, then read my Miranda and consular rights.
I wanted to put my arms around Claudia to stop her trembling. “Don’t worry, love. Everything’s going to be alright.” I said, concealing my fear.
“Don’t fucking talk to her! You’re going outside!” Detective Reid took a dirty T-shirt from the hamper and threw it at me. “Take this with you!”
“I’m exercising my right to remain silent, love!” I yelled as they pushed me out of the apartment.
“I told you not to fucking talk to her!”
Yelling over each other, they shoved me down the stairs.
“Stand by the stairs and keep fucking quiet!” Detective Reid left me guarded by a policeman.
The punishing heat of the sun rising over the Sonoran Desert soon engulfed me.
They locked Claudia into the back of a Crown Victoria. It sped off with my girlfriend of one-and-a-half years. – exposition, best either done explicitly or left out altogether
Police in state uniforms, federal uniforms, and plain clothes swarmed our Scottsdale apartment, their eyes burning with a mechanical zeal for Рclich̩ the administration of justice.
Every so often, Detective Reid and a short bespectacled lady conferred.
Neighbours gathered:
“What’s all this about?”
“Some kind of drug bust.”
“Drug bust up there!”
“I know. They seemed so quiet.”
“You never can tell these days.”
– did you really hear them say this? It needs to be explained somehow?
Sweat streamed from my armpits, trickled from my crotch. I thought about Claudia. What will they do to her? Will she be charged? – don’t italicise thoughts, unless you want to emphasise an important thought
Detective Reid approached me. “What’s in the safe, Attwood?”
“A coin collection and documents like my birth certificate.”
“You’re full of shit! Where’s the key?” Detective Reid asked, the hostility in his voice increasing. “You might as well just give the drugs up at this point.”
“The key’s on my key chain, but it needs a combination as well as a key.”
“What drugs are in it?”
“None.”
“Don’t play games with us, Attwood. Don’t force me to call a locksmith.”
“I’m not playing games.”
“We’ll soon see about that.”
I was about to volunteer the combination, but he whipped out a cell phone, and dialled a locksmith.
“Get in the back of that car over there,” said a policeman in his late forties with a rugged face. He looked the type not averse to taking a detour on the way to the police station to teach certain criminals a lesson.
New to manoeuvring in handcuffs, I fell sideways on to the back seat.
He threw a pair of jeans at me – how can you put jeans on in handcuffs? Need to explain more what happened and secured the door. In the driver’s seat, he donned Electra Glide in Blue motorcycle-cop sunglasses, mouthed a stick of gum, and blasted a hard-rock radio station. Tapping the wheel, he bobbed his head slightly as he drove.
The sense of being on the road to losing my liberty increased my dread and helplessness.
“Looks like we’re gonna be waiting outside,” he said, parking near Tempe police station.
Sealed in the Crown Victoria for what seemed like an eternity, I mulled over my predicament. Cuffed. Cramped. Sweaty. – good
“Bring him in,” someone radioed.
He parked by a mobile police unit, and escorted me to a man sat at a desk.
“Fill this out.”
NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, HOME ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, WORK ADDRESS…
“I’m exercising my right to remain silent,” I said.
“You must fill this out, or else we’ll book you in as a John Doe, and you don’t want that.”

Here’s my revised version of the first two pages, incorporating her feedback.

Chapter 1

“Tempe Police Department! Open the door, we have a warrant for your arrest!”
The stock quotes flickering on the computer screen lost all importance as I rushed to the peephole – it was blacked out. Boots thudded up the outdoor stairs to our Scottsdale apartment.
Bang, bang, bang, bang!
Wearing only boxer shorts, I dashed to the bedroom. “Claudia Wake up! It’s the cops!”
“Tempe Police Department! Open the door! We have a warrant!”
Claudia scrambled from the California king, her long blond hair tousled. “What should we do?” she asked, anxiously fixing her pink pyjamas.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!
“Open the door! This is your last warning!”
We searched each other’s faces.
“Let’s open it,” I said, figuring not letting them in would make matters worse.
With Claudia clinging to my arm, I was hastening to let them in when – boom! – the door leaped off its hinges.
Toting submachine guns, a small army of SWAT blitzed through the doorframe. I froze in place. Terror-struck. In an instant, they surrounded us like a mechanical hand. Accompanying every gun aimed at my body was an avid squint behind tactical goggles. I braced myself to be shot at any moment.
“Get on the fucking ground now!”
“On your bellies now!”
“Hands above your heads!”
“Don’t fucking move!”
As I dropped to the floor, they fell upon me. Crushed by hands and feet, I could barely breathe. Cold steel snapped around my wrists. I was hoisted like a puppet onto my feet. As they yanked Claudia up by the cuffs, she pinched her eyes shut; when she opened them, tears spilled out.
“I’m Detective Reid,” said a tall burly man with long scraggy hair, and an intimidating presence. “English Shaun, you’re a big name from the rave scene. I’m sure this raid will vindicate the charges.” He had a condescending look in his eyes, and a self-satisfied edge in his tone of voice, as if he were savouring a moment of great triumph. He seemed dangerously childish.
Dazed by shock, I fumbled around for an appropriate response. “There’s nothing illegal in here.”
He smirked knowingly, then read my Miranda and consular rights.
I wanted to put my arms around Claudia to stop her trembling. “Don’t worry, love. Everything’s going to be alright,” I said, concealing my fear.
“Don’t fucking talk to her! You’re going outside!” Detective Reid took a dirty T-shirt from the hamper and threw it at me. “Take this with you!”
“I’m exercising my right to remain silent, love!” I yelled repeatedly as they pushed me out of the apartment.
“I told you not to fucking talk to her!”
Yelling over each other, they shoved me down the stairs. They briefly removed my cuffs, so I could slip the T-shirt on.
“Stand by the stairs and keep fucking quiet!” Detective Reid left me guarded by a policeman.
The heat of the sun rising over the Sonoran Desert soon punished me.
They locked Claudia into the back of a Crown Victoria, which sped off.
Police in state uniforms, federal uniforms, and plain clothes swarmed our place.
Every so often, Detective Reid and a short bespectacled lady conferred.
Neighbours assembled, fascinated, saying things like:
“What’s all this about?”
“Some kind of drug bust.”
“Drug bust up there!”
“I know. They seemed so quiet.”
“You never can tell these days.”
Sweat streamed from my armpits, trickled from my crotch. I thought about Claudia. What will they do to her? Will she be charged? Tired of being outdoors, I worried about where they might take me.
Detective Reid bounded down the stairs, his air of triumph gone. “What’s in the safe, Attwood?”
“A coin collection and documents like my birth certificate.”
“You’re full of shit! Where’s the key?” he asked, raising the hostility in his voice. “You might as well just give the drugs up at this point.”
“The key’s on my key chain, but it needs a combination as well as a key.”
“What drugs are in it?”
“None.”
“Don’t play games with us, Attwood. Don’t force me to call a locksmith.”
“I’m not playing games.”
“We’ll soon see about that.” He sounded desperate.
I was about to volunteer the combination, but he whipped out a cell phone, and dialled a locksmith.
“Get in the back of that car over there,” said a policeman in his late forties with a rugged face. He looked the type not averse to taking a detour on the way to the police station to teach certain criminals a lesson.
New to manoeuvring in handcuffs, I fell sideways on to the back seat. I straightened myself up, and he threw a pair of jeans on my lap.
In the driver’s seat, he donned Electra Glide in Blue motorcycle-cop sunglasses, mouthed a stick of gum, and blasted a hard-rock radio station. Tapping the wheel, he bobbed his head slightly as he drove.
The sense of being on the road to losing my liberty increased my dread.
“Looks like we’re gonna be waiting outside,” he said, parking near Tempe police station.
Sealed in the Crown Victoria for what seemed like an eternity, I mulled over my predicament. Cuffed. Cramped. Sweaty.
“Bring him in,” someone radioed.
He parked by a mobile police unit. He uncuffed me, told me to put my jeans on, and escorted me to a man sat at a desk.
“Fill this out.”
NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, HOME ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, WORK ADDRESS…
“I’m exercising my right to remain silent,” I said.
“You must fill this out, or else we’ll book you in as a John Doe, and you don’t want that.”

Click here for Mentored Part 2.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arianna Huffington Post

I'm going to explain this to you all so you understand.

Posers like Arianna Huffington have to rely on people aside from themselves to make themselves relevant.

Arianna, if memory serves me correctly, was married to a REPUBLICAN politician and then upon divorce all of the sudden decided to become a raging liberal. Was this because she genuinely believed in socialism?

No, of course not.

It was merely expedient and self-serving to her. She could find a career in socialism even though she genuinely may not have believed in it.

Just like Hillary Clinton, former college Republican, didn't believe in socialism either.
Her husband cheats on her, and unlike her intellectually honest feminist brethren, she sticks with the infidel none the less for political purposes even though deep down in side I'm willing to bet she damn well knows capitalism is the only way to go. Ergo, this the point I'm trying to make; these people are posers.

You must understand that not only do these people have no substance on their own, but therefore must parasite off of others. Their primary motivation is nothing as noble as "informing the people" or "advancing the rights of women" as much as it is "putting money in Arianna's/Hillary's pocket book" under the guise of "women's rights" or "social justice." And in this regard I truly pity their followers.

Did you really believe all the BS on the Huffington Post? Did you believe the founder had some kind of intellectual, ideological strain in common with you?

You fools!

You're just as dupable as Republicans who believed Bush would be a conservative.

You have to understand the Arianna Huffington is basically an old hag version of Paris Hilton.

No intelligence.

No ability.

No substance.

But, boy does she like other people's money...because...well...she certainly can't make any of her own.

She is a fraud and a fake.

And, as free markets are prone to do, they have proven it.

She now has to rely upon charity and handouts because she is not genuine, she is not real, she is a charlatan. She has to rely upon handouts, just like the scum bag wall street investment banker brigade has to rely upon tax dollars to bail her out.

Now I don't expect things like free markets and competition to permeate the minds of leftists any time soon. Nor could I ever hope to dream of leftists seeing the merits and benefits of such ideals.

All I'm pointing out is that your "queen bee" needs a subsidy because she couldn't cut it on her own. And maybe, just maybe, politics aside, you might want to consider why that is.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas Shopping Advice from The Captain

Christmas shopping season is upon us and as this is where most of us will not only spend the most amount of money in the year, but also receive the most amount in gifts, I thought it would be wise to give all of you in a public service sort of way some economic pointers to help maximize your utility when it comes to your Christmas shopping.

1. SHOP NOW! This is the last weekend before Black Friday. If you wait until the day after Thanksgiving, you are guaranteed to spend more than 3 times the amount in lines, traffic, not to mention increase your risk of a heart attack by 58%. If you go this weekend you will be able to walk in the malls, void of slow old people blocking your way or little children you constantly have to avoid tripping over or SUV driving soccer moms who decide to stop in the middle of intersections as they consult their maps/Tom Toms and then SLOOOOOOWLY turn out of that intersection. It would even be in your economic interests to take a day off from work to get your Christmas shopping done.

2. Given the economic crisis occurring and the practical guarantee we're going to go into recession, think about sentimental gifts made with your very own hands. For example, men, a poem is a incredibly rare (and incredibly cheap) gift to give to your beloved. Even your cold hearted, evil meanie captain wrote poetry in his youth. Regardless, the point is a poem goes much further than flowers, chocolates or other consumables and will give your beloved timeless warm fuzzies. Ladies, you too can partake in the frugal Christmas by giving your beloved, ahem, "gift" certificates. Gift certificates to things like being served a martini by a girl in a French maid outfit. Or perhaps being served a cigar...in a French maid outfit. Heck, basically just walk around in a French maid outfit and you can barely fail.

3. Parents, LISTEN TO ME! When I am king I will make it a crime, punishable by death if you buy your children clothes for Christmas. I don't know how many billions of dollars are wasted, every Christmas when parents buy their poor kids a sweater, a shirt or something no kid in the history of Christmas ever wanted. You see, as a parent your responsibility is to clothe your kid anyway. So don't cop out on this and use Christmas as an excuse to do what you are legally obliged to do. Christmas is for Kids. And kids want toys. Now keep in mind you don't have to buy a LOT of toys. Buying just one big one is enough (like a Wii...boy a Wii sure would be great! Even adults like Wii's! Especially video game playing economists! Yep, they SUUUUUURE love Wii's!). In buying one big gift you not only probably save money over buying them multiple little ones, but also save yourself time. You can also knock out multiple kids in one shot, video game consoles are great for this as you buy one for your children, not one specific kid.

4. Cash is king. Let me point out something about older folk and how they are wise. When you get older and become a grandparent, why do you think they give the kids money? Because it never fails. See, wisdom comes with age and older folk know that instead of having to shop in the first place, just go to the bank, get a $20 or a $10, put it in an envelop and by golly, you are guaranteed to make the kid happy. I remember having my radio show and I put the question out there, what do think kids prefer to get; cash or a random gift. I bet my producer it would be cash. Sure enough we had this sweet little 5 year old girl call in (her dad called in, but put her on the phone because she had an opinion and wanted to share it) and sure as all get out she preferred cash. Cash is a beautiful gift in that it not only saves you time, but it is the most efficient gift in that 100% of it goes to what the person wants. So if you don't know what the person wants, don't spend hours trying to figure it out, you don't have time for that. Give them the gift of cash (or a gift card if you want to get all "sentimental.")

5. Jewelry. Oh yes, you didn't see that one coming did you, men? How could our Captain, our cold hearted, indifferent about women, Captain suggest such a thing? What did we do to deserve this? Well hold on there now, there's rhyme and reason. First, jewelry functionally is worthless. But if you yourself have a very capitalistic wife, she will understand that part of any well-balanced portfolio is a little bit of exposure to commodities or precious metals. Now you can't give a barrel of oil as a gift, but you can buy gold or platinum in the form of jewelry. If you have a particularly understanding wife, she will agree that the jewelry is there first and foremost as a hedge against economic collapse and should the economy collapse, the jewelry must be hocked and melted down. You don't have to buy a lot, you don't have to buy anything fancy, but instead of investing in boring ol' commodities through your brokerage, why not have it beautifully adorned on your beautiful wife's face, all the while knowing, "Yeah, I'm insured against economic Armageddon."

6. And finally, what says I love more than a book about the housing crash? Sure you could get your beloved jewelry or diamonds. Sure you could get your father a tie. And sure, you could get your little ones toys. But will their lives really be complete without knowing fully what happened to the housing and financial markets? Do you think the kids will REALLY enjoy playing Wii when in the back of their minds at night they ask themselves "how did house price to rents ratios get so high?" And while your wife will be reading the poem you wrote her as you adorn her with the new necklace you bought her, can you both really enjoy the moment as deep down inside both of you are yearning to understand the relationship between monthly housing starts and unemployment? Make your Christmas complete (and avoid lines). Order "Behind the Housing Crash."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

21 Nov 08

From Frankie (Letter 11)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me rubbing antifungal ointment on the bedsores on my buttocks at the Madison Street jail. He was there on murder charges he subsequently beat.

Nov 11-2008

Englandman My Friend,

Don’t let your panties get all in a bundle. I only asked if you didn’t want to write me no more cuz in one of your letters you said you write over 20 people.

Another thing, you seem to be forgetting who wears the pants in this relationship. Don’t you ever talk any caca on paper to me again. Ha ha!

As for me, ya sabes [you know] everything is all the same in here. Nothing changes but the days and date.
Anyway, I came out real good on my sentencing. The judge even told me that if he could give me lesser time that he would cuz he felt 4½ was a lot of time for what I got busted with and 4½ was the less offered to me. I was real happy with it cuz they gave me back time which only leaves me a couple of years to do.
I also got my time comp and my release date is a couple more years which ain’t nada. Yeah! I will walk right through them especially now that I was moved to a pod full of cheetos [transsexuals]. Damn, I have never seen so many in one pod. It’s like I party and I’m cumming all over their mouths.

My friend, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Get closer so I can apologize. I’m going to kiss you in the back of the neck and poke you in the butt at the same time while I’m saying sorry.

As for the guy from your hometown I met in prison, he himself couldn’t believe that I knew someone from your hometown. Anyway, I left him at SMU [a supermaximum prison in Florence] but he should be here soon. He goes by the name of Sic Boy and he’s real good people.
My friend, I want you to understand something, just cuz you’re in England doesn’t mean that I can’t reach you…as always, I’ll dee-cide! Yes, I can reach you with my new friend Sic Boy, he has family there. In fact his mother was over here last month on vacation. I know he’s from there cuz he was telling me about a lot of things there. He was asking his mom where your street’s at.
Anyway, he’ll be here soon and I’ll take notes so you’ll know what’s up.

So how did everything go with Royo Girl? I hope you stepped up to the plate and handled that cuz I would hate to read in the Internet that you couldn’t handle her. And don’t try telling me you had sex all night and didn’t get much sleep cuz if you did stay up all night it was only cuz you were watching movies..
If you take the letter R off Royo, it leaves Oyo Girl. Look and see what oyo means in Spanish. Tell her she don’t need to go that far. I’m a lot closer and I’m real good in what I do and she will love every bit of it.
Ain’t nothing changed, Royo Girl still gots to go through my approval and she better be looking hot.
Plus you need to start taking pictures so that I can have them in my photo album, not no computer copies. So stop being lazy and look out for a homie.

It would be nice if you do start work traveling the country speaking to youngsters. That would be nice and lots of pictures. Que no?

What’s this BodyCombat class that you’re taking?

I also seen Xena. She looks okay but I only talked with her for a few minutes.

On my next letter I’ll write you a story in which some piece of shit threw shit on me at SMU.

Well, my friend, don’t sweat the small things cuz Frankie is happy with what he got. Plus he’s got big nuts and can handle it.

Take care and as always say hello to your familia…

Much love and respect,

Mr. Frankie!

Email comments and questions for Frankie to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity. My friends in prison really enjoy reading your comments.

Shaun P. Attwood

Horses are Evil

What did I tell you about horses???!!!!

There is something there, I'm telling ya. Don't know what it is, but I damn well know now to steer clear of women with horses.

The "Depression" Index

A thing the media likes to do is measure the occurrence of one word or another to see if it's likely to come true. The most common example of this is the "Recession Index" where the word recession tends to predict actual recessions. However, what is interesting is "depression" is being cited more in the media ("media" consisting of The New York Times, the WSJ and the London Times) than even during the Great Depression.



This is just one of what is now an increasing number of charts showing various things out of whack MORE than they were right before the Great Depression.

P/E Ratios.

Total debt.

Housing prices to rents, etc.

All currently at higher levels (or at least before the stock and housing markets started to tank anyway) than what they were before the Great Depression.

To this day what I cannot understand is with these figures how it took Wall Street, economists and various other finance professionals to take until 200-freaking-8 to predict a recession. I was almost angry that the economy didn't go into a recession in the first half of 2008, let alone 2007 which is when I was predicting the economy would (arguably as early as 2006, but I'd have to check my posts).

Regardless, nobody listens to poor Cappy. And only if Wall Street did, would they, along with the rest of America be avoiding this current financial crisis.

Good for Spain

God bless 'em;
20 Nov 08

Fox Reality Channel to Air Sheriff Arpaio’s Reality TV Show in December.

Article in Phoenix New Times:

Say you're sick of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's aged, authoritarian blowhole? So much so that the mere sight of his flaccid turkey neck and oily pate causes the sudden need to blow chunks and an insatiable desire to kick a puppy in the nads?

Well, the nudniks over at the Fox Reality Channel are eager to bottle that Joe fatigue and sell it to an unsuspecting nation, with their latest dumbass reality series Smile...You're Under Arrest! This surefire Emmy-bait features penny-ante busts performed by Sheriff's Office goons. Suspects with outstanding warrants are suckered in by promises of modeling gigs, movie extra roles, and whatever else it takes to get them in a spot where MCSO doughnut-chompers can nab 'em without putting their beige-covered asses in harm's way.

If you think you've heard about this pathetic hunk o' televised merde before, you have. Over a year ago, the local press reported that Fox TV was shooting the pilot with the help of our corrupt, publicity-addicted top constable and his slavish minions.

Apparently, it's such a genius piece of programming that Fox is airing the first episode in this three-part series a couple of days after Xmas, according to a press release issued this week. A three-parter, huh? Sounds like a real winner, boys.The irony, of course, is that there are 40,000 felony warrants outstanding in Maricopa County because lazy-ass Joe and his tribe can't get it up to do their jobs. For some reason, I'm guessing that little factoid won't be mentioned anywhere in the Fox broadcasts.

As this is only a three-parter, no doubt producer Scott Satin (that's "Satin," not Satan) will be looking for more reality show spinoffs from Joe's jails. Here's one there's already footage for: Smile...You've Just Been Murdered by a Member of the Aryan Brotherhood! Channel 5 scored the video of that beat-down of MCSO inmate Robert Cotton. And now, New Times has secured footage of the naked body of Juan Mendoza Farias, who went into Joe's medieval hell-hole for a DUI and ended up -- you guessed it -- stiff as freshly cut pine.

Thing is, the video footage, which was recently released by MCSO lawyer Michelle Iafrate, isn't complete. As New Times scribe John Dickerson wrote in a recent blog post:

The video ends before Farias was shoved by 11 guards into another jail cell. There, about 11:08 p.m. according to incident reports, the guards pinned Farias facedown, with his hands cuffed behind his back. They eventually noticed that he wasn’t breathing. When they rolled him over, the mask covering his mouth was filled with blood. Guards initiated CPR on Farias between 11:15 and 11:20 p.m., according to written incident reports.

None of that – the entire purpose for the records request and lawsuit – was in the footage provided to New Times.

But maybe Scott Satan, sorry, Satin, could secure that missing footage from his buddy Sheriff Joe. I'll betcha Joe'd be willing to part with it as long as he can get his decrepit, wrinkled puss on cable for a few minutes.

Better even than Smile...You're Dead in Joe's Jails! would be the reality series, Smile, Joe, You're Being Hit with a Big Ole Indictment by Arizona's New U.S. Attorney! But we'll have to wait for Barack Obama to get sworn in, and a new Justice Department for that one to get filmed.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How Obama Got Elected

You just look up into the sky and say, WTF.

ht

Lamest... Christmas... Present.... Ever

Ug.

The people who actually buy this thing and give it to somebody as a gift are those people who hand out fruit and apples to kids on Halloween.

I can only see buying this as a means to insult a liberal friend and make them eat their own medicine.

In the meantime, do your children, friends and family a favor and don't buy them that "green card."

Buy them this instead.

(Because what kid doesn't love a book on economics?)

How Horses are to Blame for the Housing Crash

In my days in banking if there was one thing that went hand in hand with rich men applying for loans, it was horses.

If you had a shady real estate developer, there was a horse.

If you had some rich doctor or lawyer, there was a horse.

If you had some trust fund baby now slowing watching his parent's fortune erode, there was a horse.

And the reason there was a horse was not because they came riding into town on one, or were racing them, but their wives, without fail bought them.

This manifested itself on the personal financial documents of the people applying for loans. Typically what you'd see was a rich man making all the money (or at least borrowing all the money) and the wife, who was literally doing nothing, running some token business on some money her husband gave her to keep her out of his hair (I affectionately referred to this as "KHOMA" money - Keep Her Off My Ass - in m book). So what you'd see is the husband listing an AGI (adjusted gross income) of say $560,000 and the wife showing a perpetual loss on "Frieda's Farms" or "Heather's Horses" or some such dumb name on their schedule C.

Now while for the most part, if the husband was bringing in a decent amount of cash, I could see it definitely being worth dropping a couple grand on some horses to keep the wife out of his hair so he could effectively run the real business while she lost a grand or two on her horse hobby and play "Make Believe Businessman." But what was scary was just how many times I saw the horses (combined with other consumer spending on the part of the wife) that actually crippled and threatened the man's financial solvency.

One guy was an overweight guy and without a doubt had essentially bought his wife because he was too physically unattractive to find one. Naturally the wife, along with children, would rack up credit card bills that would wipe out what he earned, almost penny for penny. And of course
the single largest expenditure was her "horse business." So when he came in for a loan for his wife's "horse" business I was curious and started asking questions;

"So does she breed the horses?"

"Uh no."

"So she races them then?"

"Uh no."

"So she uses them to teach riding?"

"Uh no."

"Well, what does she do with them?"

"Well, she rides them and maintains them."

Meanwhile he wanted us to lend against this never-profitable operation.

Another hilarious instance was when one guy actually wanted to use his wife's horses as collateral. That if he defaulted on his business loan, then we could go and repossess the horses and sell them to recoup the money.

Well "yip yip yip yip yahoo."

Just what banks and bankers wanted to do.

Repossess on a "horse," feed it, store it, and then try to sell it.

What is sad though is that because horses were so prevalent when it came to dealing with the upper classes, they inevitably became collateral for more real estate deals than most people realize. Through the personal guarantee of the borrower, sometimes they would put up "All Business Assets" as collateral for the loan. And not just all business assets, but all personal assets as well. And though horses were never intended to be the primary form of collateral, invariably they did boost personal financial statements enough to make it look like the borrowers were solvent enough to guarantee the loan.

Alas, big dumb animals were tangentially backing up various real estate and other business deals.

Ultimately what I found is that horses are more or less a tell tale sign you're dealing with a "Bon Fire of the Vanities" type couple. The wife typically cares more about the horses than her husband. The husband is feverishly working to support his wife's spending habits and keep her loyal to him. And both are so vain about their appearances that every bit of asset and property is borrowed against and leveraged to the hilt.

But what gets me about the horses is "why horses?"

What is the freaking pull?

I suppose I could be asking the same question on any kind of frivolous consumer spending such as;

"Why shoes?"

"Why purses?"

"Why a boat you'll never use?"

But there is something about horses and trophy wives that I can't put my finger on, but I know is there.

Alas, perhaps the aspiring, junior, deputy, official or otherwise economists can tender some theories.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Big 3 Bailout Would Just Bailout the Unions

Here's your real problem;

ht to Dr. Perry.

War Deaths < Battle Deaths

I love when I get people who cite the 4,000 people who have died in the Iraq war and point to that as some kind of atrocity and that we should tuck tail and run. These are deaths in single BATTLES. Not wars;

Just providing a little needed perspective.

I Guess I Wasn't "Off"

I woke up this morning at 1030 AM with no particular obligation.

And the reason I have no particular obligation is because I do not have children. If you don't have children you don't have obligation.

Additionally I have lived very frugally driving nothing by my 1990 Chevy and my 1996 VW. I only bought rental property to ensure I do not bear the full costs of my mortgage. I do not splurge on large ticket items, and though I do permit myself to indulge in a cigar and some finer booze, in the grand scheme of things I probably spend less money than people below the poverty line.

Ergo, my only real obligation today is to teach dance class later on tonight.

In between now and then I plan on using that time to work out, smoke a cigar, write this little post here, go running with a blue eyed babe and perhaps picking up the Captain's Bachelor Pad a bit (only on account my X-Box 360 is on the fritz, in which case I would have played some gamage for a couple hours before class).

Ergo, it's a great life. It's a wonderful life. It's a life most people wish they had. And even though the country is turning to a more socialist bent, in the grand scheme of things, I am still happy and content.

The same cannot be said for Lori Gottlieb.

Lori is a single mother, 30's I presume, and this recently-sent-to-me article confirms that I am indeed onto something and not just blowing smoke or running a self-pity run. The market for honorable, good and decent men is drying up faster than credit did during the housing/financial crash. I will say it again, as I have predicted other crashes before and then maybe someday, somebody, people will listen to the poor ole Captain, but men are exiting the market. They are leaving the game. The market is on the precipice of a crash.

This is sad as the timing of it could not be worse for women. As men have started their exodus, it is NOW (?) when they're in the 30's, perhaps with a couple kids, women start to realize that some semblance of attention has to be paid to what men want? You mean you can't just burden the guy with demands of having 4 children, the means to finance them and afford some discretionary income on top of it? You mean you just don't go to the grocery store and pick out your guy? You mean the guy also picks out you?

For Lori Gottlieb and her previous similarly-minded followers, it's kind of realizing in late 2007 that, "Wait, you mean property values don't always go up? I can't always take out money from my home equity line? You mean rents ultimately drive housing prices?" And thus the crash ensues.

However, I don't see it getting better, let alone a bottom to this particular market crash. The reason I say this is based on my past couple of posts and discussing with those of you who have participated, I see people are operating from the premise that it is presumed men want what Ms. Gottlieb wants; Marriage.

And here's where the bad news, gets worse;

The premise is false for a lot of guys.

Men are leaving the market. And this is the overall point I'm trying to make. They're gone. They're out of the club. They've left the party. The cats are out of the bag. The cows are out of the barn and making a run for the border. Elvis has LEFT the building. Which means they no longer care to get married. If they still did, the cats would still be in the bag, the cows in the barn, Elvis in the building, and the men in the market. I listed my itinerary at the top not to brag, but to show you that the alternative to a married life is not dreary, and dull, and lonely or lifeless. The bachelor life is actually quite easy in that men don't really need a fancy SUV to pick up the non-existent children. The bachelor life is affordable in that we throw in a pizza, maybe go out on happy hour to avail ourselves of some great-price apps, or perhaps we go out and treat ourselves to a fine dinner with our buds (and may I point out only have to pay for one dinner).

It is this that the Lori Gottlieb's of the world have to realize. They're not competing against other women for a dwindling supply of men. They competing against the bachelor lifestyle. They're battling the gravitational forces of a content, happy, and above all, a financial secure bachelor lifestyle. Void of divorce, void of having to support a family, void of any responsibility aside from oneself. It is an incomprehensible amount of freedom for a man to pursue and do whatever he wants, and in the literal sense allows them to be man-children (except now we have lot's of great new toys!)

Now I know those of you out there who are trying to help the good ol' Captain. I know those of you out there, and I agree with you, that there are good people out there. I know that.

However, my point is not a personal one, and certainly not one that applies to everybody. It is a generational and generalized one in that this is a trend. An economic observation that has ramifications for society at large. And all I am trying to point out is that when I see these "where is my knight in shining armor" stories, I find it necessary to point out a rapidly increasing percentage of the knights have hung up their armor and are now playing Call of Duty 4.

The question is whether the majority of love/marriage-lorn 30 something women realize that too.

Ah, There's Your Problem

Happened upon this as I was cleaning out my old computer files;

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Economics of Conventional Courtship

There is a somewhat steaming debate occurring that I wasn't aware of, and I didn't realize that I hit that much of a nerve, but it is over more or less this idea of men (for lack of a better description) dropping out of the race or the "game" of dating. I'm not talking nerds or guys who got their first kiss when they were 30. I'm talking a trend I see of more and more "normal" guys just exiting the market and choosing not to marry let alone date.

This is just a comment I made to a poster which I wasn't intending on posting here, but after second thought, deemed it worthy of its own post.

Do realize that I do not tolerate any hatred or male-bashing. You either accept this is happening or at least is the opinion of thousands of men or not. And if you don't and start up with the victimization of sexism and misogyny BS your hours wasted on writing a response will be rejected;

...Having said that caveat, perhaps the best way to describe it is this;

The basic fundamentals, the basic laws and principles on which human attraction and courtship have been based, have been violated in that I think arguably for the first time, there is a progressively larger and larger percentage of the male population that no longer cares to pursue romantic or sexual interests. Be it because the proposition of chasing women in today's world is no longer appealing or that the alternatives of X-Box 360, cigars, cars, riches and never being poor due to too many "capitas" in "income per capita," are all that much more attractive, the basic rules of the game have changed with no real emotion or passion or desire having anything to do with it.

Men simply quit or are quitting in greater numbers. It's, again cold as this may sound, an economic decision.

The ramifications of this for conventional American courtship are quite earth shaking in that it more or less obsoletes it. If one of the sexes no longer cares to pursue the other, then the game is literally over. No more bar scene. No more marriage. No more children. No more family. No more divorce. None of it.

This is even more earth shaking when you think of the sociological/demographic ramifications. Declining birth rates is just one bit of evidence I think that eludes to this. Divorce rates would be another. But the consequences I would contend reach as far as the ultimate end of a generation/nation/culture/society as we know it. America will cease to exist in it's previous Cary Grant/John Wayne/Clint Eastwood form and turn into something we haven't seen yet nor can I fathom.

So for all the Megans and romantics out there, you have to understand, this isn't a choice, let alone anything anybody particularly likes. It's just what it is and people are responding to it. And not until the environment changes do I see a stop of the flood of men out of the market and back into traditional roles of father/husband, provider/bread winner.

The economics of it just isn't there.
18 Nov 08

Real Prison Fight: Warrior v Big E. (by Warrior Part 4)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce.

Part 3 left off with Warrior defeating Big E. with a chokehold.

Holding his throat, Big E. hacked. He gave me a dirty look, then stormed out, back to his cell.
I’d noticed his left eye was bloodshot from a popped vessel. His upper lip was bloody, and he was bruised around his eye sockets.
I began to leave as well, but Gangster stopped me: “Hey, loco, you gotta wash the blood off.”
I hadn’t realised how badly cut I was. Blood was trickling out of my cheek onto my chest. I touched the gash, and blood covered my fingers. “Fuck!” I went to the showerhead and turned on the water. I rinsed myself off, shook JJ’s hand, and then headed to my cell with Gangster in tow.
The C.O. hadn’t noticed a thing.

I entered my cell, and reached for my mirror to assess the damage.
Gangster sat on my bunk, all excited. “Damn, dawg! That was some down-ass shit! Where you learn all that! That some UFC shit right there!”
“I use to mess around and fight my brothers a lot growing up.” I didn’t want anyone to know I knew a thing or two, so I tried to downplay it.
“Nah, you bullshitting. That’s some Bruce Lee shit right there!” he said.
To change the subject, I said, “How does my cheek look?” I was cut below my right eye, a good half inch. It was starting to bruise into a black eye. “That’s gonna leave a mark,” I said jokingly.
We both laughed.
“It’s deep, huh?” I said.
Gangster rose to take a look. “It looks like it needs stitches. Hey, at least chicks dig scars.”
“Fuck, man! Hey, homey is there any superglue around here?”
“Nah, what for?” Gangster asked.
“It’ll close the cut.”
“No shit!”
“Yeah. Long as it ain’t too deep. What about Band-Aids? You got some?”
“Yeah, I’ll go get ’em.” Gangster got up to retrieve them.
“Hey, do you got some of that state-issue Freshmint toothpaste too?”
“Yeah.”
“Bring that too.”
“Aiiight.”

Gangster returned with everything.
I broke apart a disposable razor blade to cut the Band-Aids into little butterfly strips. I cleaned then closed the cut. Then put a smidge of toothpaste where I thought I’d bruise.
“What’s the toothpaste for?” Gangster asked.
“It lifts the color out of the bruise.”
“Right, right.”
I fixed myself as best as possible. When I find myself battered and bruised, I always tell myself it could be worse. This time was no different.
Gangster and I chatted for a little bit. Then he went to his cell.

I caught up with Gangster later that day at chow. He said the fight was the talk of the yard. I’d earned not only respect, but the reputation as a good fighter. I also found out that Big E. was so upset about losing, he wanted to go a second round with some steel (shanks), but a couple of OG’s stepped and told him to take his beating like a man, and if he made a move on me again, his ass would feel steel. Big E. humbled himself after that.

I always reflect on the day’s events as each one comes to a close. On this day, I laid on my bunk, mirror in hand, staring at my wound. All I could think about was how when I was younger, all I wanted to do was to continue in martial arts to be a cage fighter.
Then I remembered something I heard somewhere, exactly where I can’t recall: Always be careful what you wish for because it just might come true.
Not always how we imagine though, everyone can vouch to that.

Email comments and questions for Warrior to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

A Tale of Two Cities in Education

On my latest economic project to predict where your money is safest from the now closing clutches of socialism in the US, I came across some education statistics at the OECD. Now of course we know that education is broken here in the US with no hope whatsoever of it ever being repaired as education is primarily used as a means to employ people and not educate children, and dare you ever suggest or demand some semblance of improvement or efficiency or fiscal austerity, you are immediately branded as hating children. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that in the end our children, despite the US being a first would country, are woefully and inadequately educated when compared to our international peers.
But what stood out to me the most was another country; Korea. Korea is one of the highest scoring countries on the PISA tests (the international standardized test scores put out by the OECD). But it's not so much that Korea scored well, but two other things that stood out.

One, they spend barely half the amount per student we do in the US (again confirming something we've always known; that more money does not equal better students, just richer teacher union members)


Two, and perhaps even more interesting, is that in Korea the teachers spend the least amount of time actually teaching their kids. Again, just half the amount of time as what is spent here in the US;

It was this statistic, that got me thinking and more or less corroborated something I already knew;

The problem of poor education results in America is not so much the teachers, as much as it is the parents.

Oooooo! He didn't just say that, did he?

Yes, he did.

You see, culture plays an immense role in these figures on many different levels. First, if the children are only being taught with half the time as in the US, it suggests to me Korean parents are quite adamant AND A PRESENT FORCE in the education of their children. They make sure they do their studies, finish their homework, attend school and behave. Based on my experiences substitute teaching as well as seeing my generation starting to have kids, I realized an unacceptably high percentage of American parents treat the schools as a massive baby sitting program where they can dump off the kids and outsource the education to the public schools and take no further interest in their childrens' education. They think that there's no parental responsibility in their childrens' education aside from hounding them occasionally about doing their homework. Ergo, mom and dad make sure junior gets C's and D's, and doesn't really bother sitting the kid down and explaining to him the importance of not only doing well, but behaving as well.

Second, by the sheer level of efficiency where Koreans can outscore their American counterparts with HALF the budget and HALF the teaching time, suggests to me there are very little "problem students" in the class. ie-the kids show up and they actually are there to study and take their education seriously. The teacher does not have to constantly discipline, stop lecture, stop writing, etc. to deal with class clowns, disobedient children and other interruptions that not only take away from the serious students' education, but takes more time and resources to accomplish the same amount of teaching. In other words, in Korea the children go to school, in America they go to a large day care facility with the half-hearted guise of it being a school or a place of learning and treat it as such.

Of course, I could be wrong. There could be other factors as I am not an expert on the Korean education system. All I know is that as a single guy with no kids, but still having to pay property taxes to fund the schools, I'm getting mighty sick and tired of being asked for more money for what without fail always guarantees to be more failure and a slightly larger day care operation. And perhaps if spending more results in no better or worse results, then maybe we should cut the public schools' budgets in half and start to emulate a more Korean style of education.

Pricing Themselves Out of the Market

#1. It's a lengthy article.

#2. I DID NOT WRITE THE ARTICLE. A woman did. So don't go biting my head off.

#3. Notice the economic themes of things like "opportunity cost" and people pricing themselves out of the market.

#4. The question I tender to all of you, does an American man today have any option but to be a man child?

You may read it here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peter Schiff

So here's my question to all the big time head honchos at all the banks;

Are you going to hire this guy (and guys like him) or are your egos so shattered and completely devastated you don't have the temerity or cajones to do so?

16 Nov 08

From Warrior (Letter 3)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce.

10-27-08

Shaun,

Hey, man…I just received your letter. It’s good to hear from you! I am glad you are OK and thriving.

Good luck on the new job. Man, that’s cool that you’ll travel telling your story, dissuading kids from drugs. I am happy to hear that! You’re giving back to society, and that’s what life is all about. It’s our responsibility to make a difference, especially when we are blessed with the mental faculties to do so. To hear that gives me more hope for myself. I have to thank you for that.

Please keep me posted on how your attempts to get your books published are going. I read what you sent me recently from your autobio. That was really good. I was impressed. My cellie and I are the biggest readers in our pod. He read it and said you have good skills. He was impressed too. You’ve improved since the last sections you sent me. You captured the moments, feelings, and texture of each event. I thought I was in the county jail with you. I could picture everything.

I’m going to do what you suggested, play with sentences and practice restructuring them. I’m going to check out some Pulitzer Prize winners like you suggested too. I need to improve on capturing details. I dig the way you express the details. I appreciate all of you advice and guidance on the writing craft. You know your stuff, so I take it as a compliment when you mention I am coming along. When you get your first mentor session, I’ll mentor underneath you. A mentor with a mentor. Ha ha ha.

I wouldn’t mind submitting one of my stories to a contest or a magazine. How would I go about something like that?

As for me, I’m cool. I was in a little dark cloud for a minute. My girl split on me. I had to shake it off. Hey, it happens, as that’s life. I’m doing the Internet thing too right now. I jumped on two pen pal websites, and MySpace. Trying to keep my pen busy with some needy, crazy, jealous, overbearing cuties to write. Ha ha ha. Can’t live with ’em or without ’em right.

I’ll get at Xena and show her your autobio chapters. Xena’s a trip ain’t she, cool people though. I’m sure you heard about the home surgery. I was in the pod when Xena did that. I’ve seen some crazy things in my day, but that right there wins the cake hands down.

Other than the usual monotony, I’m just trying to study all the basics in writing. I’m trying to relearn the fundamentals. Reading a lot too.
Well buddy, I’m glad you’re well and doing excellent. Hunt that “Rhinoceros Success.” It’s your time to shine. We’re proud of you this way. Create your legacy.
I wish you and your loved ones the best.
Keep your head to the sky.

Love & Respect,

Warrior


Jose in San Diego wrote:

Warrior,

This is Jose in San Diego. How much time are you down and how much to go? I am piquing interest in your current situation. Are you more into self-preservation in terms of growing spiritually, or do you still tow the line and put in work? Do you handle your own number now or still roll with the car? After so much time, I would think you changed and decided to lay down the sword as you stated. I walked that linea before, and I gather that you are taking into consideration what the veterano Doc and Shaun have told you. Also, do you have a wife or a lady and kids waiting on you? I wish you the best and cuidate.

Jose in San Diego

Warrior responded:

Jose,

I’m doing 14, 8 down already. About 4 to go, give or take a year.
As to whether I’m into self-preservation in terms of growing spiritually or tow the line and put in work. Nowadays it’s about me growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally. Instead of being the toughest guy on the block, I’d rather be the smartest or wisest. But I still have to pick and choose my battles like everyone else, and if I have to put in work, I won’t hesitate. I embrace, understand, and accept what I have to be here, that’s reality. I do my own number now. Unfortunately, when you do your own number, you battle carloads. But I’d rather stand alone as a man, than amongst a herd of jackasses.
I have kids, but no lady.

L & R,

Warrior


To read From Warrior (Letter 2) click here.

Coming next: Warrior V Big E. (Part 4)

Email comments and questions for Warrior to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Die Hard Celebrates It's 20th Year Anniversary

That's right folks. If you want to feel old AND be part of Gen X, Die Hard turned 20 years old this year.

It was 1988, I was in the 8th grade, and there I saw what was hands down the best movie I had ever seen and is still to this day. I had never had a "hero" I much looked up to like my Dad's generation had Buck Jones or Roy Rogers. That is until my generation got John McClane. And did we get a hero. A normal guy like Indiana Jones who could take a beating and kill terrorists and above all in what was becoming a progressively politically correct country.

I even dressed up as him for Halloween my sophomore year in high school (notice all the things that were permissible back then which would have landed me in jail today)


Regardless, a very Cappy Cap salute to John McClane and Die Hard's 20th Anniversary.