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October 2006

News flash from the professional journalists at ABC News: money isn't everything:

While Trader magazine may be filled with advertisements for $300,000 cars and $10 million yachts, the irony is that some of the people who can afford these toys rarely have the time to enjoy them.

"Most of the people have to work tremendously long hours and spend a tremendous portion of their adult lives to reach that level. Having the time to enjoy them is another matter," Barber said.

"Best and Worst Case Stock Market Investing"

Yesterday's post on the minimum wage drew an interesting comment. The commenter's Website, Political Calculations, is well worth visiting. The site offers ". . . the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, easy-to-use, simple calculators are created and presented to do math related to current events, in addition to more traditional analysis."

One tool that I think I'll use the next time I preach to high schools about saving money is "Best and Worst Case Stock Market Investing".

A small part of the soundtrack of my youth came from Saturday afternoon's Wide World of Sports and Jim McKay intoning that sports was about "the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat". Game 7 of the NLCS last week between the Mets and the Cardinals had, of course, both. Mike Lupica does a nice job writing about the poor Met pitcher, who after Endy Chavez's magnificent catch kept the Mets in the game, hung a change up to a hitter who was looking for it.

(Or you could read the inimitable Sports Guy's running diary of the game.)

And speaking of winning and losing, Joe Frazier still burns.

Fred Barnes correctly calls Republican voters to action:

If you suspect there are forces eager to suppress Republican turnout, you are right. Rarely has the press echoed Democratic themes as relentlessly as it has in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign. And the main theme is that Republicans are about to be blown away. The question now is whether this message will persuade Republican voters to stay home on Election Day. It shouldn't, so long as Republicans--and especially conservative Republicans--act like adults, not like petulant children angry over one thing or another that didn't go their way.

Yes, the Republican performance in the last two years has been disappointing. The Iraq war isn't going well. President Bush and the Republican Congress have spent too much of the taxpayer's money. They got nowhere on overhauling Social Security and only part of the way--beefed-up border security--on immigration reform. The list goes on. Still, the reasons given for staying home on Election Day are pathetically disconnected from the realities of politics and political power.

Last week was the 50th anniversary of chess's "Game of the Century" in which a 13-year-old Robert James Fischer proclaimed his genius.

Which prompts me to plug, once again, Searching for Bobby Fischer. One of the many superb moments in the movie is when Sir Ben Kingsley rounds on Joe Mantegna and chillingly snaps:

You have no idea what I want. What is chess, do you think? Those who play for fun or not at all dismiss it as a game. The ones who devote their lives to it for the most part insist that it's a science. It's neither. Bobby Fischer got underneath it like no one before and found at its center, art. I spent my life trying to play like him. Most of these guys have. But we're like forgers. We're competent fakes. His successor wasn't here tonight. He wasn't here. He is asleep in his room in your house. Your son creates like Fischer. He sees like him, inside.