MW Current Events May 11th through July 17th, 2002
July 11th, 2002: Our Sad Public Schools
During my nine years of Mr.Mom/semi-retirement I was blessed to have the time to do many things parents never get a chance to do. One thing I recall is when I went down to the award winning finest school in our state, Craparral High School. I found that unlike the private school my children attended, I was 100% ignored after entering the gymnasium sized office. This despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars my corporation had paid in property taxes during the preceding two decades. I was just another nameless, faceless, powerless taxpayer. I also was shocked by the fact that the Scottsdale Police Department has a permanent parking space just outside the entrance. Since my existence would rarely be acknowledged, I often wandered off to trudge the halls of academia, just to get a whiff of the place and its daylight inhabitants. Judging from the posters I witnessed on the walls, the most pressing concerns of the administration of Craparral High were, Amnesty International and Homophobia. During parent-teacher conferences I was floored by the clear fact that my daughter's math teacher was trippin' pretty damn strong on some, no doubt prescription, hallucinogens. Knowing that the children of individuals living in the million-plus dollar manses populating the district attended this particular school, I was once again amazed on the day all the new text books were laid out for interested parents to view. When I wandered by in the late afternoon, I was applauded as being the first parent that day who had bothered to visit the depository and actually crack open some of the text books the students would soon be sleeping in. (Wait until the ink dries children.) Of course, history has been rewritten in these same volumes. And we will no doubt suffer through generations of adults basing their decisions on an American and World History convincingly presented through the prism of a touchy-feely form of Marxism. The pages of these history books were inhabited by individuals barely given mention in my Dick and Jane era public education. Individuals not chosen mainly for their accomplishments but for the race they were born to or their political party. (The really bad guys were, of course, all evil conservatives, usually Republicans, and America's sinless saviors were inevitably liberals of the Democratic party. They get around Abraham Lincoln by simply not mentioning he was a Republican.) I heard a radio commentator mention the other day that today's students know more about Harriet Tubman than George Washington. And now, according to poll results mentioned in the Wall Street Journal under their weekend 'Tony & Tacky' column, I once again am reminded why my son attends a private Christian school. The poll by the "National Association of Scholars and Zogby International reports that three-quarters of all college seniors believe that the difference between right and wrong is relative." (In other words, there is no right or wrong, kind of like Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.) And that "recruiting a diverse work force is a higher ethical priority for most students than providing clear and accurate business statements to stockholders and creditors." These students predecessors must already be populating the huge drug company Merck. Because today I read that the $15 prescription drug co-pay that you and I fork over to our local chain pharmacist has regularly been included in Merck's gross revenue figures even though the money is not owed to Merck (it belongs to the pharmacy) and Merck never sees the money and Merck has no claim to the money. Wonder if they have a diverse workforce?
July 8th, 2002: WorldCom Commits Manifest Fraud !
WorldCom officials claim that they just cannot explain why expense items were purposely transferred over to the capital expenditure column in their set of books. As is my want, your Mr. Wonderful will make this arcane bookkeeping travesty perpetrated by WorldCom into something so clear that you too will be shouting "Fraud!" and "Off with their heads!" In accounting terms an expense is an item that you pay for on an ongoing and everyday basis. For instance your water bill, phone bill, electric bill and your tab at the local country club bar would generate charges against income that would all be placed in the 'expense' column of your personal set of books. Because businesses receive special tax favors from Congress due to their sponsorship of thousands of lobbyists costing billions of dollars, they also have an option to 'capitalize' large purchases. Large purchases that a business might chose to put in their 'capital account' column could include vehicles, buildings, private jets, summer homes, yachts, forty-five foot Donzi boats or computers. Once in the Capital column, depending on the 'useful life' of the item, the cost of these large purchases can be split into anywhere from four to thirty pieces. In example, if a corporation were to purchase a computer hardware system that costs $1 million, their accountants can capitalize that expense and take that $1 million and split it into ten smaller parts of only $100,000 each and spread it over ten years of income. Why would they do this? So, among other things, they could still present themselves as a profitable corporation. For imagine if this company had purchased the $1 million computer in a year in which its income was only $400,000. If you were to minus the $1,000,000 cost of the computer from the $400,000 annual income you would show a $600,000 loss for that year. Whereas, if the $1 million cost were to be divided into ten pieces of $100,000 each and that first $100,000 was subtracted from the 'Year One' $400,000 income, the corporation could display a much happier figure of a positive $300,000. But here is what WorldCom's CFO (Chief Financial Officer) did. WorldCom, who owns MCI, was purchasing long distance capacity from other providers on a day-in, day-out basis. Much like the red-starred Heineken brewery must purchase water to create their golden beverage, WorldCom needed to purchase long distance capacity to create their product, that being providing long distance phone calls placed by their subscribers. Clearly, these long distance capacity purchases would always be treated as an expense. However, the CFO of WorldCom was purposely taking the cost of purchasing billions of dollars of long distance capacity and placing them in the capital expense column. He was capitalizing everyday expenses so that they were not subtracted from the income column, which in turn would allow WorldCom books to fraudulently reflect that the corporation remained profitable. Once revealed and these misplaced capitalized expenses of around $4 billion were again placed in their proper accounting column (beneath 'INCOME') it was immediately evident that WorldCom was losing money faster than Amtrak, the Post Office and Kmart combined. If this wasn't an act of fraud then Monica Lewinski's size twelve dark blue dress had the stains of warm and drippy Krispy Kreme frosting on it, rather than the spermatizized DNA of the President whose attitude and actions (and public and Senatorial approval of) engendered and enabled a decade of rampant corruption that seared its path across this nation. Corruption, like the scrubbed away blood of a murder scene, that is eventually being exposed by the Luminol of truth spraying from the mouths of honest employees risking their jobs and their future employment.
June 23rd, 2002: Arizona burns while Fed's Shovel the Manure !
Unless your cavemate goes by the moniker of 'Osama' you probably are aware that a large part of northeast Arizona is ablaze. As I type, the city of Showlow, Arizona, pre-burn population of 7,700, has been evacuated and is facing extinction by a monstrous fire fifty miles wide. What you may not know is that Arizona has a larger percentage of its land mass owned and managed by the federal government than any other state in the Union. Now we witness exactly what a fine job the USDA Forest Service has done. Nothing. They've done nothing over the past two centuries but erect towers from which to spot fires already burning and construct barricades to keep the average American citizen out of the forest he pays for. Of course, as citizens of the Grand Canyon state, we are already being subjected to a show of buck passing the likes of which haven't been seen since the Great Depression. But understand readers: These kinds of calamities are inevitable when un-accountable employees work for un-accountable agencies that are administrated by the un-accountable federal government funded by the vast and uncountable slurry of tax dollars that continue to flood Capitol Hill. These calamities occur on a regular basis within the federal government. But like an invisible alcohol fueled fire they are not viewed by the average citizen. Because, since the vast majority of federal employees cherish their cushy, mostly make-work jobs and realize that speaking out in the hopes of even microscopic positive change, would only positively place them forever outside the realm of federal employment - regardless of the nice sounding federal whistle-blower protections - they generally remain as mute as Jane Fonda at a Vietnam War POW reunion. So, while this very visible avoidable fire turns to elemental carbon billions of dollars worth of timber and disrupts the lives of thousands of fleeing citizens (who naively imagined the Great White Chief's on the Potomac were guarding them from just such an occurrence) we can all take solace, if somewhat sadly, in that this time, this calamity, again due to an agency of our federal government, is at least visible. So visible that, albeit, once again AFTER THE FACT (just like Pearl Harbor, just like 9/11) needed changes in the way the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service operates, just might actually come about within the lifetimes of those chased from their livelihoods, their communities, and their homes. Our prayers are with them and the fire fighters, pilots, police and others who are attempting to extinguish this 2000F degree conflagration.
June 8th, 2002: Mr.Wonderful threatens Mike Tyson !
In my position as a security officer I brush with all types of celebrities, some harmless, some deadly. While working a gate assignment in Scottsdale one evening, I was approached by a twenty-something young caramel-skinned gentleman comfortably ensconced behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade. He probed me with some vague queries about a famous female entertainer who he imagined lived behind my tightly closed nine foot cast iron gates. Not acknowledging a word he uttered, I excused myself and sliding the armored Arcadia guard house door closed I was immediately punching in the resident's number. She politely told me to turn the gentleman away, which upon re-cradling the portable phone, I curtly did. Minutes later she phoned down to "let me know" that that person was Mike Tyson's valet. Another busy night ensued, when around 2200 hours my phone was again chirping with a call from my famous female resident. Upon my answering, she breathlessly related to me how Mike Tyson, his valet and another male companion, after spending over an hour with her, had moments before, zoomed away from her residence. Her residence behind my closed cast iron gates! When I calmly asked her how Mr. Tyson had gotten into my community, she replied that since they were on motorcycles, they must have snuck in via one of the two other streets fronted with unmanned guard gates. I then exploded at her shouting, "Well, you tell Mr. Tyson, if he ever sneaks into my community again, I WILL KICK HIS ASS." Stunned silence. Followed by such a peal of uproarious laughter that I imagine my caller peed her thong panties. I get no respect.
June 1st, 2002: Internet Credit Card Fraud strikes Mr.Wonderful !
The day after payday last week (yes, I am paid such staggering sums that I am compelled, by Mr. Greenspan, to receive my salary once a week so as not to disturb the international monetary markets) I confidently laid my well-worn Titanium/Platinum/Black Visa issued debit card on the cool glass counter of my favorite Ritz/Kits/Wolf camera store. I had just popped in to pick up my $200 worth of photos I snapped earlier in the week. The normally mute clerk shortly informed me that his green display screen had projected the words, " USE AN ALTERNATE FORM OF PAYMENT." Confused, embarrassed, dejected, bewildered and ashamed, I retrieved my now shabby rectangle of formerly status-embued plastic and quickly retreated the two blocks to the location of the elegant Mr.Wonderful estate. Pulling up my banking account via my T3 internet link, I confirmed that my balance had been swollen by the electronic deposit of my weekly stipend. Returning to my Ritz/Kits/Wolf photo shop, I laboriously scrawled out an old-fashioned hand-written check, which, inexplicably, was accepted without side glance or question. Later, that same afternoon, as I was sorting through bundles of my sycophantic fan mail, one envelope, blazing with the return address of "Fraud Department" easily caught my eye.
Feeding it into my nuclear-powered-laser-beam-slicing letter opener, sorter and un-folder, I was soon grasping my postage stamp-sized cell phone/PDA chatting with bank detectives. After identifying myself I was informed that someone, in possession of the particular 19-digits embossed on my Titanium/Platinum/ Black Visa issued debit card, had attempted to wager thousands of dollars at an On-Line Betting Casino! The specialists at The Worldwide Bank of Wax assigned to monitor my financial accounts ( knowing that if I found the need to wager I would simply contact my close friend, Mr. Grimaldi, and within eighty three minutes be ripping a white tear across the simmering blue Arizona sky streaking my way towards the principality of Monaco cocooned within a 560 mph Gulfstream V-SP NetJets® personal airliner ) instantly realized that this gamble could not possibly be from their Mr.Wonderful and declined the request. Later that evening, when the saintly Mrs.Wonderful accused moi of charging porn on the internet, thereby leaving my card open to theft, I remembered that a Tempe, Arizona internet credit card clearing house had been hacked several weeks ago and that heist must have been where my C.C. number had been illegally harvested.
May 20th, 2002: The Headquarters of the Beast of the Revelation
Dateline the W.S.J. dated May 6, 2002, from an article written by Christopher Cooper, "Stockholm - At the central train station, a clerk pushes a subway pass and a small pile of change toward Abdirisak Aden - breaking INTERNATIONAL LAW as he does so. . . . Mr. Aden is on the United Nations list of those subject to economic sanctions." Mr. Aden can't make payments on his residence, no one will hire him, and his bank account is frozen. Being that your Mr. Wonderful is one of those 'right-wing whack-job Christians' you all can easily image what image flashed through my Coors impaired synapses the instant I read of Senor Aden's problems. The Mark of the Beast. (That's the Biblical prophecy that predicts any purchase any human makes would be allowed only if that person displayed The Mark of the Beast.) I've often wondered exactly how, on a world-wide basis, Satan, would implement the only purchasing plan more nefarious than the tax-evading bartering system but yet, here it is. It appears 'The Mark' will be administered through the auspices of the United Nations. A perfect choice since U.N. soldiers show no allegiance to any one country which enables and empowers them to be strict in their enforcement of United Nation decrees in all countries. Dare I ask my Senator if the United States honors the same United Nations international list that has without a trial, or a hearing or any semblance of due process, made Mr. Aden a pauper? Mmmmmmmmmm?
May 11th, 2002: Netherlands Assassination Exposes DeMedia Lies Again !
A few of you have probably heard about the May 6th, 2002, murder of Dutch political candidate Pim Fortuyn. Mr. Pim was described as openly gay and wore, as is the style of meat-pipe smokers, open-necked blouses and dark denims. Denims most likely fitting so tight one could make out the convex circular impression, not of an tin of 'evil' chewable tobacco, but of a super-jumbo prophylactic package squeezed into the right rear pocket. Candidate Pim vehemently put forth that Holland's culture, with same-sex marriages, euthanasia and where sucking on Bob-Marley-sized blunts is legal, was endangered by the flood of immigrants who reject these same values that are held by the native population of the nation dotted with more than one type of dyke. Regardless of his incredibly liberal views, the major media still found fit to label this Butt-Pirate "Far Right" and "Very Far Right!"