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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Monday, July 28, 2008

"A Mussolini Presidency"

I previously said that I would not post any more about Ben Stein, so this is submitted without comment.

"Ego deficit problems." I'm holding my tongue on this comment.

Oh, and by the way, the economy continues to be hunky dory.

Incidentally, I just became debt-free. It certainly wasn't by following the words of Benjamin Stein.

UPDATED: Not all debt is bad debt. You need a credit history, after all.

UPDATED: Charles Krauthammer - until now I had respect for you. Have you lost your mind?

Am I the only person who thinks we are rather fortunate in this election to have two candidates who at least have some class? Granted, McCain is a big disappointment to me for embracing Bush, plodding down Baghdad streets with armored soldiers while asserting that all is peace, and pandering to the "agents of intolerance" he once had the balls to challenge - but he is still head and shoulders above the rabid dogs like James Dobson who can't accept him, and insist upon embarrasing him. Is it too much to ask that the talking heads in the media can the "terrorist/too old/African mumus/black love child/missing thesis" BS and focus on the issues?
SUFFALUPAGUSDATED: I'm Ben Stein, and I've Erred Financially.

But I have some consolation! Yes, I lost money. But I didn't lose billions the way the top dogs at some banks did.

And neither did most Americans, you twit. (Boy, that's real consolation.)

I didn't borrow tens of billions from my depositors and lose it in subprime mortgages.

Dude, I thought you said there was no subprime mortgage crisis? When did it suddenly become real to you?

I didn't make my stockholders pay me bonuses and options worth hundreds of millions - only to lead my stockholders to ruin.

You didn't ruin any of your financiers? What are the numbers for Expelled again?

How could I have made so many idiotic mistakes? [Um...] How am I ever going to explain myself to my son that his inheritance disappeared?

"Inheritance"? Ben, I thought you said in your book to make your kids pay their way through college and to not give them anything?

How will I ever pay for my livelihood when I'm older and grayer?

I think that's a question a lot of people who didn't grow up with the toys and the privileges that you did are asking, Ben. Are we supposed to feel sorry for you?

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Anonymous Janine said...

Please inform me when Obama marches his troops on Washington DC with the consent of The Vatican.

July 28, 2008 7:45 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

By torchlight, to the tune of "ID Uber Alles."

July 28, 2008 11:27 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

"Who can tell me where I lost my shit? Anyone? Bueller? ... Ok, I want a five page paper on the pros and cons of cleaning your neckties with carbon tetrachloride."

July 29, 2008 7:15 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Thank goodness I don't have chronically dry eyes. Obviously that Clear Eyes(tm) stuff seeps into your brain and does serious damage. Oh, yeah, and I'm going to stay away from any Alaskan seafood too.

July 29, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Hey, Kristine! Congrats on being debt-free! =D

(I believe I've still got a year or two before I hit that point, myself, but I'm getting there...)

July 29, 2008 8:58 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thanks, Jason. I must admit that I love Alaskan salmon. (As long as they’re not cleaned with carbon tetrachloride.) ;-)

Let me explain my attitude about Stein’s financial advice: even when he’s right, he’s wrong (and he was definitely not right in his latest column – or in any of the columns that he’s written for the Times.) It’s not that I don’t think Ben Stein is right to say, “Pay off your credit card(s) every month.” Certainly, if you have as many credit cards as he does (he has a wad 2 inches high) and make as much $$ as he does, that’s a very good idea – but the average person does not make that income, and so should use credit cards as little as possible.

Don’t cut them up, just don’t use them – unless you have an emergency or need to make some small purchase to stave off a fee/penalty for not acquiring interest (man, what piranhas the credit card companies are!). He doesn’t talk about the real lives of people who cannot and should not live off credit cards, as he does. He has much farther to fall before hitting bottom than most people, but he doesn’t recognize that. What do you do when you’re making meals from scratch and cutting out all non-necessities and still end up putting your expenses on credit cards so that you can delay paying for what is beyond your means? Stein isn’t helpful here.

With his Times columns, and his carny circuit about evolution/Obama/Mark Felt/Clinton/Senator Craig, he is making no sense at all. The information in his financial advice books make sense – but they’re written from the point of view of a rich guy who can’t see that his recommendations have no practical use for the average American.

For example, get a load of this.

What if you can't afford an education? What if you are willing but don't get good grades? (I'm not talking about me here.) What if you're in an abusive marriage and need a divorce? Gee, if life were only so easy!

And what constitutes a "good education"? Teaching intelligent design in schools? Not likely.

The guy is confused - because he can afford to be! He was born rich! (Guess at what socio-economic level most creationists end up - except for the few for whom it's a meal ticket.)

July 29, 2008 2:51 PM  
Blogger llewelly said...

Kristine, please see how McCain makes stuff up about energy policy , McCain's multitudinous lies and deceptions on climate and energy policy, Dobson's support for McCain , and McCain's daughter wears a 'terrorist' keffiyeh .

July 30, 2008 12:26 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Hurray to you for being out of debt!

Now, we are all in debt to you for posting about Herr Stein Uber Alles, although I think that thousands of Ben Stein Clones in their little shorts and soft pudgy bodies is not going to make anybody Fear The Creep er that is Ben Stein.

ps: I just re-peaked at the Darwin Exhibit Pics - Still Cool!


July 30, 2008 8:04 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Llewelly, don't worry, I'm aware of that stuff (the keffiyeh thingie is another absurd distraction) and I'm certainly not voting for McShame. I just don't find him as obnoxious or personally distasteful as I do Romney, or Brownback (mostly because McCain is bland with a capital BLA). The fact that I traitorously chuckled when McCain belted out Barbara Streisand songs on Saturday Night Live (I just loathe Babs, nothing political) will not make any difference when Obama becomes President.

Let me tell you something about ANWAR - we are not going to drill there. (This came up in 2000 - hasn't happened yet, has it?) It would take 6-10 years to develop; and the same goes for more offshore drilling. Teh oil companies just want to sit on more land leases, but they're sinking all their tax credits into stock buybacks. Why drive down prices by drilling?

As for Dobson, yes, I and Ed knew he was always for McCain - it's just amusing to see a rabid dog learn to beg (because Dobson's withdrawal of support didn't exactly give him the leverage he was bargaining for).

Of course, McCain's verbal stumbles (esp. on that Iraq-Afghanistan border) aren't going to halt the age jokes.

July 30, 2008 2:43 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Hi Kristine!

I'm going to go further and say this about McCain:

The only reason that McBush is even considered vaguely sane is because freakjobs like Huckleberry and Dobson and Phreaky Phred Phelps have dragged the "center" so far to the right of sanity that McBush only seems remotely sane in comparison.

He's just less nutso than really extremely completely and utterly nutso.

July 30, 2008 3:38 PM  
Blogger llewelly said...

Kristine, I (and Joe Romm, based on the links I presented earlier) agree that oil companies are far more likely to use their leases to drive oil prices up than to drill for more oil. And I agree with Janiebelle that the hard-right reactionary frame-pushers make the illusion that McCain is closer to the center than he really is.

July 30, 2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Mussolini was an atheist.

No question about it.

Old Coot

July 31, 2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Janine said...

And Mussolini and The Vatican used each other to bolster each other's power.

No question about it.

July 31, 2008 2:40 PM  
Blogger jeffox said...

I thought Mussolini was what happened when Bullwinkle got drunk. :)

July 31, 2008 8:12 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

If Mussolini was an "atheist," then all televangelists and most preachers are "atheists," too (and the Pope).

The answer is to simply stop following them and giving them $$. No question about it.

August 04, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Belly Dance UK said...

Excellent blog and enjoyed readiong your posts so far.

August 07, 2008 8:11 AM  

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