My Novels

Monday, February 04, 2002

It was really cold here early this morning, around 30 degrees, but I still went on the bike ride. In fact, I rode farther and longer than usual; the brisk air was so invigorating! It's sunny too, and made for a nice ride in the park.

One of the books I got the other day at the library is by Gavin De Becker and titled, "The Gift of Fear" -- Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence. He runs a private security firm for celebs and other famous folk, but in this book he gives some sound advice about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of violence. It's amazing, in that he also describes some of the stalkers/stalking of celebs, and I had no idea that there were literally hundreds of nutcases after celebs. It's enough to make you NEVER want to become famous! However, the author also makes some excellent points about violence in America; here's an excerpt:

Violence is a part of America, and more than that, it is a part of our species. It is around us, and it is in us. As the most powerful people in history, we have climbed to the top of the world food chain, so to speak. Facing not one single enemy or predator, who poses to us any danger of consequence, we've found the only prey left: ourselves.

Lest anyone doubt this, understand that in the last two years alone, more Americans died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend. Our armed robbery rate is one hundred times highter than Japan's. In part, that's beccause we are a nation where 20,000 guns enter the stream of commerce every day. No contemplation of your safety in America can be sincere without taking a clear-eyed look down the barrel of that statistic. By this time tomorrow, 400 more Americans will suffer a shooting injury, and another 1,100 will face a criminal with a gun. Within the hour, another 75 women will be raped....

While we are quick to judge the human rights record of every other country on earth, it is we civilized Americans whose murder rate is ten times that of other Western nations, we civilized Americans who kill women and children with the most alarming frequency. In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn't equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year.

We all watched as bodies were carried away from the Oklahoma City bombing, and by the end of that week we learned to our horror that nineteen children had died in the blast. You now know that seventy children died that same week at the hands of a parent, just like every week -- and most of them were under five years old. Four million lucker children were physically abused last year, and it was not an unusual year.

I highly recommend this book!

On the stock market front, I found this article very interesting:

Waiting for the next shoe to drop

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN/Money) - The disturbing question on everyone's mind these days has a frighteningly simple answer. Will there be another Enron? Yes, of course, there will be.

The more tantalizing questions: Who will be next to crack, and when will we find out? The identity of the next Enron is tough to know. Short sellers will speculate, of course. But disasters like Enron tend to explode like bombshells, meaning that everyone but insiders will be surprised when the cataclysm occurs.

"The interplay of the relationship between issuers (of stock) and auditors for every public company this year will occur under the cloud of Enron," says Boris Feldman, a litigator with the Silicon Valley law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Roasati. "Every auditor in America is having a near-death experience," he says.

With Enron's auditor Arthur Andersen in mind, no firm wants to find itself in similar straits. The result: "There will be either adjustments or restatements (to past year's results), or, more likely, a very high level of detail in the footnotes," Feldman.

We shall see, but I'm glad I sold most of my stocks for profits last year!

That's it for today!

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