Ah … a religious joke one can share

I went to an Inter-Religion Integration Seminar.

The Bishop came, laid his hands on my hand and said, “By the will of Jesus Christ, you will walk today!”

I smiled and told him I was not paralysed.

The Rabbi came, laid his hands on my hand and said, “By the will of God Almighty, you will walk today!

I was less amused when I told him there was nothing wrong with me.

The Mullah came, took my hands and said, “Insha Allah, you will walk today!”

I snapped at him, “There’s nothing wrong with me”

The Hindu sadhu came and said “Beta, you will walk on your legs today.”

I said “Babaji – nothing wrong with my legs”

The Buddhist Monk came, held my hands and said, “By the will of The Great Buddha, you will walk today!”

I rudely told him there was nothing wrong with me.

After the Seminar, I stepped outside and found my car had been stolen.

I believe in all religions now …

The Millionaire

Every morning, the CEO of a large bank in Manhattan walks to the corner where a shoe shine is always located.

He steps up on the armchair, examines the Wall Street Journal, and the shoeshine gives his shoes a shiny, excellent look.

One morning the shoeshine asks the Executive Director: “What do you think about the situation in the stock market?”

The Director asks in turn, arrogantly: “Why are you so interested in that topic?”

“I have a million dollars in your bank,” the shoeshine says, “and I’m considering investing some of the money in the capital market.”

“What’s your name?” asks the Director.

“Fred Smith.”

The Director arrives at the bank and asks the Manager of the Customer Service Department, “Do we have a client named Fred Smith?”

“Certainly,” answers the Customer Service Manager. “He is a highly esteemed customer. He has a million dollars in his account.”

The Director leaves the bank and approaches the shoeshine.

“Mr. Smith, I’m asking you this coming Monday to be the guest of honor at our board meeting and tell us the story of your life. I am sure we will have something to learn from you.”

At the board meeting, the Executive Director introduces him to the board members.

“We all know Mr. Smith, who makes our shoes shine so brightly in the corner. But Mr. Smith is also our esteemed customer with a million dollars in his account. I invited him to tell us the story of his life. I am sure we can learn from him.”

Mr. Smith began his story: “Well, I came to this country fifty years ago as a young immigrant from Europe with an unpronounceable name. I got off the ship without a penny. The first thing I did was change my name to Smith. I was hungry and exhausted. I started wandering around looking for a job but to no avail. Suddenly I found a coin on the sidewalk. I bought an apple. I had two options: eat the apple and quench my hunger or start a business. I sold the apple for two dollars and bought two apples with the money. I also sold them and continued in business. When I started accumulating dollars, I was able to buy a set of used brushes and shoe polish and started polishing shoes. I didn’t spend a penny on entertainment or clothing, I just bought bread and some cheese to survive. I saved penny by penny and after a while, I bought a new set of shoe brushes and ointments in different shades and expanded my clientele. I lived like a monk and saved penny by penny. After a while, I was able to buy an armchair so that my clients could sit comfortably while cleaning their shoes, and that brought me more clients. I did not spend a penny on the joys of life. I kept saving every penny. A few years ago, when the previous shoe shine on the corner decided to retire, I had already saved enough money to buy his shoeshine location at this great place.

“Finally, three months ago, my sister, who was a prostitute in Chicago, passed away and left me a million dollars.”

Burning Man

The stimulus checks they have kept the system from exploding are now in limbo, as the senate is out of town on a 3 day weekend. We have to believe they know how urgent and volatile this – of course they do.

Turns out the Democrats and the Republicans cannot reach an agreement. And surely a halfwit could have seen this train smash coming. Looks like politics is the order of the day, with both parties playing high stakes games with each other. They knew this deadline was coming, and I can imagine there are now millions of Americans more anxious than ever. And make no mistake, the rest of the world is going to feel it too. If America burns we will all suffer.

Sustaining the entire US economy is currently about unemployment checks and putting money in the hands of Americans, so they can spend. This is what the news keeps telling us.

The word “desperation” is something else that comes to mind, and it is bad for everyone, including you and me. Leadership in America is lacking.

Simply extending the stimulus is not a sustainable solution but right now, as you read this, they need to do something. Too many Americans are out of work, and the job market is bad bad bad. The number of job applicants for each job available is accelerating. There are more people looking for jobs then there are jobs on offer. People are typically not lazy and waiting for their stimulus checks. They are trying to survive and right now millions could be evicted and very soon without money for food. And the government leaders have gone away and we are all left wondering. What about the urgency. Again, they must know this. So, WTF?!

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we are in the thick of things. The economy is getting hammered. Where is the vision, and long term view. This is not about people waiting for unemployment benefits. Sure, there will be some tales of people who are  getting more than their actual previous salaries, but that is not the story here. The story is that the GDP dropped more in the last quarter than ever before in America’s history, and tens of millions of Americans may soon have no money for food. Big shit is coming. To everyone.