Cheer Bear v. Laugh-a-Lot Bear

Cheer Bear (Plaintiff) v. Laugh-a-lot Bear (Defendant)

Plaintiff Cheer Bear brings this suit against defendant, Laugh-a-lot-Bear, because plaintiff believes defendant is knowingly and willfulling infringing upon his identity and attempting to usurp key segments of his marketshare by laughing and being persistently merry in a way synonymous with Cheer Bear’s unique cheerful identity.

Plaintiff Cheer Bear further asserts that he is the original bear with purely cheerful attributes. He will provide evidence to establish that approximately one year after Cheer Bear’s successful launch and establishment of a million-dollar marketshare, Laugh-a-lot Bear started competing with this marketshare, driving down gross revenue for Cheer Bear in direct correlation to the increase in marketshare for Laugh-a-lot Bear. Indeed, Cheer Bears with the symbol of rainbows on their bellies are sitting on store shelves, while Laugh-a-Lot Bears, with their arrogant laughing yellow stars, are being sold by the truckload.

Plaintiff Cheer Bear seeks the removal of all Laugh-a-lot Bears and associated products from the market. In addition, Plaintiff seeks to recover $11 million in lost revenue due to Defendant Laugh-a-lot Bear’s interference in the correct course of his full marketing campaign. Furthermore, Plaintiff would like defendant to write a letter of apology to all the little children of the world who thought they were getting a pink bear with a rainbow on its belly, and instead received an orange bear with a sarcastic laughing star.

Reasons Why Wall Street Manipulators Need to be Prosecuted

As a small investor (and yes, I’m very small, probably laughably small to some) nothing burns me up more than to learn about all these ways that the big guys get to manipulate things. Between the flash orders and the dark pools and the giant servers whose orders cut in line and drive up the price of stocks, basically the little woman investor is screwed. From MSN:

3. Dark pools
Technology gives privileged insiders an edge in another way — by connecting big players inside exclusive electronic trading venues. Because they are private and trading is anonymous, these secretive venues are known as “dark pools.”

Inside dark pools — like one called “Sigma X” run by Goldman Sachs and another run by Investment Technology Group — huge amounts of stock are bought and sold every day at prices that outsiders may know nothing about until well after the fact.

This gives big players two advantages: lower fees on the actual trades and secrecy. When you’re making big moves, you don’t want competitors to notice what you’re doing.

Apparently the SEC is trying to decide if the 7% of trading that is estimated to be going on in these dark pools is messing up the whole “free market.” If so, they may apply an extra dollar or two to investigating and prosecuting this manipulation. How reassuring.

If there isn’t a decent effort to ensure the average small investor that he or she is able to safely invest in the stock market, the market is only going to get more corrupt.

I really wish Sheldon Whitehouse or Jack Reed would lead the charge on prosecuting white-collar Wall Street crime.

On Hartford Ave.

It’s not yet 6am and the brain isn’t awake yet, so here’s some quick impressions of last night’s Town Hall at the Johnston Senior Center.

I made a sign, ‘Health for America, Yes We Can’ in red, white and blue. I could have made one that said, ‘I would really prefer that a single-payer system like the Federal Employees insurance benefit enjoyed by Congress be made available to all but I’ll support an incremental reform like the public option now under discussion because I believe in harm-reduction and I’ll welcome any change for the better’. But the traffic whizzing by on Hartford never would have been able to read that.

The anti people had it easier. They had slogans like–‘No more taxes’. I’m sorry, I think this is dumb. We are going to pay taxes, our right and responsibility is to make sure the taxes are spent for the common good.

Anyway, since the strip of sidewalk at the entrance of the Senior Center was occupied by anti-reform people, I decided to plant myself there to make a visual statement of support–get some diversity out there.

I was next to an anti-tax guy, and I tried to start simple. ‘Do you think that every American should be able to access basic health care?’ He said the insurance companies needed reform. He started to consider that no one should be shut out of health care due to lack of money, but then backtracked. This was off the ‘no tax’ message, end of discussion. He moved to the other end of the sidewalk, and some time later another anti-tax guy showed up smoking what had to be the world’s biggest cigar. He looked real proud, I guess he had the tobacco equivalent of the Hummer. If he ever gets lung disease, are we supposed to tsk, tsk him about his ‘bad choices’? (a stupid sanctimonious phrase I hate. show me any human who never made bad choices.)

I was there about 2 hours. Passing cars honked but it was seldom sure who they were honking for. Two of us were holding signs for health care reform when a tall, blonde woman joined us with an anti sign. We eventually started talking. She complemented me on being capable of making a sign. “I didn’t know that liberals could make their own signs, I thought they just took what the Unions gave them.” We had a fascinating discussion.

She continued to use the word ‘liberal’ the way some use the word ‘queer’, that is, not in a good way. I’m still processing that having different politics would make me seem so alien to her. But I suspect she reads Ann Coulter.

I suspected other things about her. I’ve been baptized three times, never took. The most recent was in Apponaug Pentecostal Church. I have a sensitive nose for the odor of sanctity. I guessed that she was religious, and I came out as a Unitarian, just to be contrary.

She ended up telling me that the Holy Spirit told her I would accept Jesus into my heart as Lord and Savior. She was saying these words of love and holiness with eyes full of anger, with a voice high with rage. I would have been scared, but I’ve been through this before, at a much younger age. I have no use for generic love, especially when they hate everything I believe in.

The discussion stuck at the same point as all the others I’ve had at three Town Halls. Anti-tax, Christian, whatever, they say that if Americans have to die for lack of health care, that’s just how it is. They made bad choices, we can’t afford it, they should just go to the emergency room, that’s our safety net.

I left the sidewalk and checked out the Senior Center. Feelings were high, but it was an orderly question and answer session. Only one or two Larouchites remained to peddle their magazines, from a table outside the door.

Good people can disagree on how to make health care available to all Americans, but when we can’t agree whether, I don’t know what to say.

‘Yes We Can’ was the spirit that put a man on the moon. Yes, we are a great nation, and we can build a system that works well and effectively. ‘No We Can’t’ is the spirit of fear and retreat. Any action we take will be messy, will require investment today for rewards later. Inaction is worse. The least we can do is start bailing, what we really need is to patch up the holes.

Blogging from Johnston and Then Meeting up with RI Future’s New Owners

Nancy Green has dispatched herself to Johnston for some pre-community dinner hot discussions with some health care right wingers and some rallying for the cause of a strong public option. Then we’ll be meeting up at The Wild Colonial at about 8 pm to learn who the new owners of RI Future will be — a dramatic regime-shifting (or not) moment no blogger would want to miss!

Join us if you care to see how we look and act in real life. I’ll be pounding the ginger ales, as my stomach is feeling a little funny. But otherwise it should be a nice time to hang out with blogging friends old and new.

Ask the Neighbors

I don’t know where Sen. Coburn is coming from. He must be in a faith-based mode. He is a doctor, worked in family practice, delivered babies. Did he ever have a patient who couldn’t pay the bills?

His statements at a recent Town Hall sound more like ideology than realism. Government is bad, therefore the Vets Administration is bad. Self-help is good, therefore we should just pass the hat among the neighbors.

One woman, a military veteran, asked Coburn, “Morally, how can you deny Americans affordable insurance?”

Coburn was quick to respond.

“One of the reasons it’s not affordable is because government is in the market in the first place,” he said. “Why as a veteran do you have to go to the Veteran Administration (hospital) instead of anywhere else you want?”

After another woman cried as she spoke about a sick relative, Coburn said bigger government won’t lead to health care reform.

“What’s missing from the debate is us as neighbors helping people who need help,” he said.

“The idea that government is a solution to problems is a very inaccurate statement.”

This is such nonsense, such willful ignorance from someone who should know better as a doctor and a politician–I don’t know what to do with it.

Follow this link to for an inspiring account of neighbors helping neighbors, right in Warwick, RI. Hundreds have participated in fundraisers to help a little girl with severe cerebral palsy. This has enabled her parents to try a treatment not covered by insurance that they hope will improve her life.

However, from Cady’s birth and stay in the NICU, every hour of every day, she needs vigilant care and expensive treatment. That’s covered by insurance.

Even neighbors as good as Cady’s cannot raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year indefinitely. Even parents as devoted as Cady’s can’t spend all their time canvassing for help. They have more than enough responsibility just to care for their little girl.

To suggest that people who have medical needs should just pass the hat to the neighbors sounds as callous as ‘Let them eat cake’. I’m waiting for Sen. Coburn to ditch his evil Federal Employees Insurance plan and trust to God and the neighbors for himself and his family.

Life and Limb

I tried to explain to a pro-lifer at the Town Hall that the high infant mortality in the US means that for every baby who dies, there are many others who suffer unnecessary disabilities. What a price to pay, over a lifetime.

Thousands dead from lack of access to health care means that many more suffer from diseases that could be prevented or treated. Here’s one we see all the time. From AP…

Limb-salvage experts say many of the 80,000-plus amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that diabetics undergo each year are preventable if only patients got the right care for their feet. Yet they’re frustrated that so few do until they’re already on what’s called the stairway to amputation, suffering escalating foot problems because of a combination of ignorance — among patients and doctors — and payment hassles. [read the rest if you want a very informative article about the cost of diabetes]

That it’s labor-intensive to provide wound care is not a total loss. Money spent employs workers who pay taxes. Kind of stimulating. And if the Canadians ever attack, Americans are going to need two good legs to defend the border.