Books Self Most Wants to Have

. . .  after perusing the December Vanity Fair’s “Hot Gifts” :

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, the complete boxed set ($100 from

Quote of the Day: “Wall Street Lays Another Egg”

“This year we have lived through something more than a financial crisis.  We have witnessed the death of a planet . . .  In 1990 there were 610 hedge funds.  At the end of 2006 there were 9,462.”

—    Niall Ferguson, in an article on “Planet Finance” in the December Vanity Fair

Self Makes Like a Pundit

Self conks out at 9, wakes at 2 a.m., begins blogging (Heroic).

Although no one read her latest post, such is self’s dedication to spreading the word about Israeli movie “Beaufort” that she will leave it up, there to languish until some intrepid soul, wandering the internet in search of a really good war movie, discovers it.

In the meantime, here’s the thing about the 15-billion-dollar auto bailout: it’s a really, really, really bad idea.

Stocks went up immediately after the bailout was announced, so evidently most people do not agree.

The reason self knows it is a bad idea is this:  she stayed up during the entire drive home from San Luis Obispo and chatted with hubby (Usually she conks off, but she was so charged up after watching Cal Poly Christmas concert that all her nerve endings seemed to be on fire), and though hubby is usually in front of the TV set watching a game, now he was uncharacteristically chatty.  And what he wanted to talk about was the economy.  And self discovered quite a few things, one of which is that hubby feels that the auto companies in Detroit should be allowed to go belly up.  Why?  Because California is where all the research into green technologies for cars and such is taking place.  And any money that is used to bail out Detroit means all the money for start-ups, for research into green technology that is already happening in California, all of that, will be funneled to Michigan and the unions.

Wow!  Is that brilliant or what?  Last night, when the auto company bailout was being debated on Larry King Live by John Stossel, Robert Kennedy, Jr. (who has a very tinny voice, like that of an old old man, but who looks fit and hale, like a forty-something), and two others, self found herself agreeing with John Stossel, who claimed that the 15 billion that was now going to Detroit would be “money down the drain,” and that if the auto companies were so into exploring new technology (as they claim to be), why did they have to wait for a 15 billion handout to do it?  Why weren’t they already doing it, seeing as everyone from Al Gore on down could see the handwriting on the wall?

An older gent protested that the auto companies’ hands were tied because of regulation —  self thinks he said something like, “If you taught, you would know that.”  Perhaps the older gent was from Harvard?  Cut to close-up of John Stossel, who seemed sytmied and did not respond.

Well, self agreed with John Stossel!  Because hubby works for a start-up.  And though hubby’s start-up recently scraped up funding that will take them through at least next year, there are many many others that are at this moment foundering.  And that is a sad, sad day for California.  For the country.  For the world!  You saved 3 million auto-workers jobs in Michigan, but how many jobs are being lost in California?  Big companies like Sun and HP are laying off by the hundreds of thousands, but it’s the little ones that are doing the technology that will carry us through the next century, that’s where the real loss is.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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