Saturday, 24 May 2008

Envy of the Rich?

The Financial Times did a country-by-country study...to find out how bad folks are envious of the rich. The score?

Japan — 77%
Spain — 65%
Germany — 64%
U.S. — 62%
China — 60%
Italy — 59%
U.K — 56%
France — 51%

This is a fascinating situation. Most of these countries have a very high level of folks who'd like to tax the rich....even if they are already taxing the rich to a significant degree. More so....would be the best analysis. The fascinating thing is that most of the rich are at a point where they know they have to hide their wealth or face persecution (as humorous as it sounds). Its almost like being a Christian in the Jesus-ages or a Jew in Nazi Germany.....you gotta pretend to be only so-so rich, and not filthy rich. You need a large house, but not a ;mansion. You need to go out of country to enjoy your riches but still feel as though you are actually in your home country.

I see schools and training seminars in the future...where you are teaching Johan how to be maxed out on wealth but not to show much of it. Johan needs to drive a fancy car, but not a $500k Italian sports car. Johan needs to dress well...but wearing German clothing is preferred over fancy Rome-designed clothing. Johan needs a trophy wife, but a simple Polish or Russian gal is sufficient, and not one of those princess gals from Italy or France. The sad truth is that Johan will eventually turn sad and depressed over this lifestyle in "lacking", but the truth is that he doesn't need to show off the vast empires he's acquired. This way, he gets to keep it all instead of giving to the government who decides to build a opera house in the middle of Bavarian village where they all yodel instead of enjoying opera.

Monkey Republic


The fella on the right is Than Shwe, a fine outstanding dictator from Burma. To be honest...there is a hunta there, but for all practical purpose, Than is the fella who kinda tells the Junta what is hot and what is not. This week, Than had to meet with that UN guy....Ban Ki-moon. It was a very friendly meeting. You have Ban who'd rather not be there and have to deal with a bunch of idiots. You have the shy and incompetent general Shewe who hates guests and visitors.

In the thinking of republics....where you have a banana republic (such as Panama), the Texas republic (well....Texas of course), raghead republics (like Yemen), the Irish Republic (which is mostly one giant bar where you can whine), the Republic bar in Tasmania (where Blue Juice & Paper Scissors played last night), the Republic Bar & Grill (in Corpus Christi, which is a step above my standard), and finally in Burma....you have a Monkey Republic, where general Than Shwe runs a moderate but 1-star Junta operation.

The thing about Than...is that when he slips into military garb for visitors...there's about two pounds of starch used to press his uniform and prepare it for observation by the guests. Than has a thing about impressing the folks who visit.....a guy in uniform....is like Pamela Sue Anderson in a bikini....he's hot.

Its hard to find another country in the world that would classify as a monkey republic. You have to have idiots running the place that limited in intelligence and scope. You need a junta that is more concerned with the number of stop signs in the country than the number of jobs. You need family members in the junta who know they are filthy rich and don't even think about it. Its a tough life and I'm pretty sure most of us would be utter failures at running a monkey republic.

Sect with the Sun Setting

So this week, the Texas courts announced that there wasn't a good enough reason to hold those 400-odd kids from the sect. The state has a couple of days to come back and explain itself, but I have serious doubts about this.

End of the episode.

Everyone can go home. The good part of this story is that some guys are going to get their thirteen year old wife back (well, at least spiritually, she's his wife). I can see a big welcome sign at the door, with old Bubba holding his princess and pronouncing the great defeat of the evil in Austin (lots of evil there but half of it is alcohol-related or named Wanda).

If I sound sarcastic....the entire story is like some Mel Brooks script. I can see the movie already. It has Texas Rangers, Texas political hacks, LDS ministers of questionable intelligence, women in long cotton dresses running around to get back their kids while dad isn't in the picture, TV figures who want the discuss the damage to the kids, social workers who talk of the "recovery", dynamic nightly hosts who talk on and on about the "Waco mentality" displayed, Texas judges who are a bit outside of their league, women from the "View" who share their pity, cafe hostesses who share their moral view of the sect to some hopeless reporter who is lost between San Angelo and Midland but just needs 45 seconds of feed for the nightly coverage, and lawyers who argue that a sect is unto itself and not to be governed by some state officials...even if a 15-year old girl was married to a 45-year old guy. HBO could make this into a 12-episode series and probably win various awards, except in Texas.

As for the young girls under 18 who had kids already....well....the last time I looked...there are around 1,000 in the Houston area who fit that profile....and I don't see the cops swarming around Houston to take up custody of that 1,000. Sadly, life goes on.

If the sect was doing something wrong....its kinda fixed now. And if we are unhappy....just flip the channel over to the Bass Fishing Channel and get some tips on frying fish.