I have two alternatives: Stop reading the newspapers, or learn to manage my anger. It's clear the world is not going to get any better. In fact, what's bad remains bad and what was once sort of okay seems to be getting worse. I'm going to do a rundown of things that pissed me off this morning. You probably have your own, but I don't care about yours.
- Matthew Lee, the guy who alerted Lehman Brother's accounting firm Ernst & Young to the fact that the firm was stashing billions of debt off their balance sheet, was fired when he did so. The firm disguised it as a garden variety layoff. The Ernst & Young auditor told the people who did the recent report on Lehman, which is quite damning of everybody involved, that he didn't recall Mr. Lee ever bringing up the subject of the accounting abuse called Repo 105. Yeah. Like fun he didn't.
- According to the LA Times, 24% of people who live in California don't have health insurance. I'm gonna compare that to the 100% of Republican congressmen and people who watch Fox News who don't care about that.
- Moody's Investor Service on Monday noted that American debt, while still "stable," is now closer to being downgraded. My reaction to that is that Moody's should go outside, salute the flag, and unless they're actually getting anywhere near to downgrading T-Bills, be quiet.
- Then there's the article in the Wall Street Journal about efforts now being made to alter people's memory. It's cast as a good thing for folks who have had traumatic experiences, but you can see the implications. Fortunately, stories of success in the area are interesting, mostly for what it says about what classifies as a newspaper story these days. One guy, for instance, was robbed at gunpoint and hit on the head. He was terrified of going out afterwards. After intense memory-manipulation therapy, with drugs involved, he was able to resume a normal life... two years later. The article doesn't speculate on whether he would have been fine in two years anyway. Two years is a long time. But that would have spoiled the article. I'll be honest with you. My bad memories are part of who I am. I wouldn't remember most of my career if I didn't have them. And I don't like the notion of behaviorists messing with my brain pan. It annoys me.
- A German priest who was convicted of molesting little boys 30 years ago was permitted to continue working with children until yesterday.
On the other hand, Silvio Berlusconi is being investigated again! That's nice!