Tasty Tidbits 10/17/11

  1. Dragon Mom.
  2. Mark Cuban talks sense to OWS.
  3. The Two Millennial Commandments.
  4. Private vice and the public interest.
  5. Harold the Heretic is at it again.
  6. Idols of our day.


Ronan has given us a terrible freedom from expectations, a magical world where there are no goals, no prizes to win, no outcomes to monitor, discuss, compare.
But the day-to-day is often peaceful, even blissful. This was my day with my son: cuddling, feedings, naps. He can watch television if he wants to; he can have pudding and cheesecake for every meal. We are a very permissive household. We do our best for our kid, feed him fresh food, brush his teeth, make sure he’s clean and warm and well rested and … healthy? Well, no. The only task here is to love, and we tell him we love him, not caring that he doesn’t understand the words. We encourage him to do what he can, though unlike us he is without ego or ambition.

(Emily Rapp, Notes from a Dragon Mom) Ronan, the author’s 18-month-old, was was born Tay-Sachs, and likely will die before he’s 3.


Mark Cuban apparently blogs, and he took the opportunity Friday to offer some unsolicited advice to Occupy Wall Street/OWS:

2.  Push to Make All Financial Institutions Partnerships
We should make all investment banks become reporting partnerships (meaning they still have the same reporting requirements they have today ). I would have no problem with our government loaning money to the partners of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and other Too Big To Fail Institutions so that they can buy back all public shares of their stock. Of course all those  partners would become personally liable for repaying that money back to the government.  It would probably be about 120B dollars in total to take these 2 companies private. That is far, far less than a possible bailout would cost.
Those personal guarantees would change EVERYTHING in the banking industry. It would change the decision making process across the board.   There would be a moral hazard to every decision. Today , a wrong decision and they vacation on their yacht. As a partner,  the wrong decision and they are protesting right next to the OWS crowd as a 99pct er.  It would be the definition of having “skin in the game”

Don’t overlook this one. A lot of reckless crap went on at least because the risk of loss was so minimal compared to the chance of gain. This is the whole point of Corporations and LLC’s: to limit risk of loss to one’s investment – and not one cent more than one’s investment. That has driven a lot of innovation, but as the State has grown, guarantying To Big To Fail, and in cases like Solyndra (and many others) fronting a bunch of money, the odds shifted dramatically in favor of high-rolling recklessness for the chance of huge private profit.

Where do you think the financial sector’s “1-percenters” are making their money?  0.75% compound interest!?

In a world of High Frequency Trading and black box trading that does nothing but create a platform for “financial hackers” to turn the market into their own proprietary financial playground, we need to figure out a way to revert the Stock and Bond Markets, and the derivative instruments created from these equities, back to their original purpose, a place to raise capital for growing business.

Cuban proposes a tax-per-share on every trade to reduce computerized speculation that raises no capital.

Pretty good stuff. My CFO brother admired the blog, too.


The Millennials’ Two Commandment:

  1. Have fun.
  2. Be successful.

(Quoted or paraphrased by Father Thomas Hopko)


Theorists of public morality—from the ancient Greek philosophers and Roman jurists on—have noticed that apparently private acts of vice, when they multiply and become widespread, can imperil important public interests. This fact embarrasses philosophical efforts to draw a sharp line that distinguishes a realm of “private” morality that is not subject to law from a domain of public actions that may rightly be subjected to legal regulation.

So Robert P. George kicks off Pornography, Public Morality and Constitutional Rights

[T]he public interest in prohibiting or restricting pornography … is not, fundamentally, in shielding people from shock or offense. It is something much more substantial: the interest of every member of the community in the quality of the cultural structure that will, to a large extent, shape their experiences, their quality of life, and the choices effectively available to them and their children in a domain of human affairs marked by profound moral significance.

As usual, George is though-provoking.


This is not The Onion. Harold Camping, have bombed on his 100% guaranteed calculation that the world would end May 21 now says

We’re not going to be passing any more tracts or put up any more billboards or advertising in any way about judgment day – that’s all done. The world has been warned – we did our little share and boy, did the media pick it up. Now the world has been told that it’s under judgment.
The great earthquake and rapture and the universe melting in fervent heat will be happening on the last day – October 21 2011… It’s all going to happen on the last day…The great earthquake didn’t happen on May 21 because no-one will be able to survive it for more than a few days or let alone five months to suffer God’s wrath because everything will be levelled and destroyed after that earthquake and there will be no food or water to keep everyone alive.

In a lighter vein, Mashable has photos. I’m partial to this one:

Bear in mind: Harold Camping was a mainstream, if not prominent, Evangelical broadcaster. Tiny errors at the beginning can take one way off course.


Our spiritual situation today is similar to what happened in the days of idolatry. Back then, if you reviled the idols, they would stone you or put you to a miserable death. Now in our times, every passion has taken the place of an idol. And if you reprove or criticize the passion that you see overcoming each person, they all shout, “Stone him, because he has reviled our gods!”

Paraphrasing Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959)

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Bon appetit!

To save time on preparing this blog, which some days consumes way too much time, I’ve asked some guy named @RogerWmBennett (weird name) to Tweet a lot of links about which I have little or nothing to add. Check the “Latest Tweets” in the upper right pane or follow him on Twitter.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.