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  • mistermuse 12:17 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: greed, , Henny Youngman, , income inequality, living wage, , , , price, ,   

    DOLLARS TO DOUGH-NUTS 

    Like a full moon, the mere thought of lots of money seems to make some people crazy. No doubt you’ve noticed with lotteries, for example, that the higher the jackpot, the more people play the lottery. I mean (leaving aside the astronomical odds against winning), what could you do with $500+ million that you couldn’t do with $250+ million — except maybe buy a sports team, put your money where your political ideology is (think Koch Brothers),  or build a Trump Tower-like monument to your ego?

    So I found it refreshing to read recently about a guy who not only didn’t let dough go to his head, but stood income inequality on its head: Dan Price, a successful Seattle business owner who decided to help the people who helped him grow his business, by lowering his almost $1 million annual salary to $70,000 and increasing the salary of his 120 employees to that same level. According to Bloomberg Business data, America’s CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000% (to a ratio of 300+ to 1) since 1950. Price believed he could make the ratio 1-to-1 without raising prices or decreasing services to customers, and Price was right. Employee morale grew even stronger and business thrived. As a result of this heresy, he was named 2014 Entrepreneur of the year by Entrepreneur Magazine. I suspect it’s not a magazine run by conservatives.

    As entrepreneur of this blog, I will now attempt to improve your morale by turning the remainder of this post over to the musings of others on the matter of money and affiliated subjects:

    Where I was brought up, we never talked about money because there was never enough to furnish a topic of conversation. –Mark Twain

    Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to shop. –Bo Derek

    The chief ingredient that makes expensive merchandise so expensive is profit. –Evan Esar

    I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock. –Henny Youngman

    The only thing wealth does for some people is to make them worry about losing it. —Antoine Rivarol

    Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men. –Sydney J. Harris

    The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated. —H.L.  Mencken

    The definition of a living wage depends upon whether you are getting it or giving it. –Evan Esar

    I spent a lot of money on booze, broads and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. –George Best

    The leaders of the French Revolution excited the poor against the rich; this made the rich poor, but it never made the poor rich. –Fisher Ames

    There are two classes of people: the have-nots and the have-yachts. –Evan Esar

    Greed is not a money issue. It’s a heart issue. –Andy Stanley

     

     

     
    • Don Frankel 6:52 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Call me a cynic but maybe this guy did this after 20 years of banking a million a year. Maybe?

      I don’t play lotteries or dream of a lot of money because I’m old enough to know that a lot of money only gets me in trouble. You can quote me on that Muse.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:57 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, the guy began his business in his college dorm in 2004 at age 19, so he probably didn’t start banking a million until 2005 (just joking – it may have been 2006 or 2007, ha ha).

      Glad to hear you don’t dream of a lot of money, Don. After all, there are a lot of other ways to get into trouble!

      Like

    • literaryeyes 3:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This Evan Esar sounds interesting. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Evan Esar is the author of a 1968 book titled 20,000 QUIPS & QUOTES (both his and those of others). I think you can still buy it online, if interested.

      Like

    • arekhill1 9:51 am on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Money is the root of all evil,. they say. Personally, I can’t afford all the evil I want, so it may be true.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:30 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not buying that, Ricardo – I hear you wouldn’t kill a fly (unless it was hovering around your glass of brew).

      Like

  • mistermuse 2:59 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baccarat, blackjack, cards, , casinos, gambling, , Henny Youngman, , , poker, , Steve Allen, ,   

    WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE 

    Do you know what day it is today? Of course you do — April 5 is GO FOR BROKE DAY. “Going for broke,” I suppose, could be spun several ways, but as the subject of this post, it’s a day for the (w)ages. I’m putting my hard-earned money on gambling, and I’m betting that you”ll treasure these quotes on the subject. If not, they come with a funny-back guarantee, so what have you got to lose?

    There is an easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one. -Jack Yelton

    I like to play blackjack. I’m not addicted to gambling, I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle. -Mitch Hedberg

    Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math. -Unknown

    Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. -Steven Wright

    I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That’s how I lost my mind. -Steve Allen

    I bet on a horse at ten-to-one. It didn’t come in until half-past five. -Henny Youngman

    I don’t gamble, because winning $100 doesn’t give me great pleasure. But losing $100 pisses me off. -Alex Trebeck

    Nobody has ever bet enough on a winning horse. -Richard Sasuly

    You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people. -Will Rogers

    Someone once asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men and I gave the commonsensical reply that we don’t have as much money. That was a true but incomplete answer. In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage. -Gloria Steinem

    Money can be lost in more ways than won. -Evan Esar

    Baccarat is a game whereby the croupier gathers in money with a flexible sculling oar, then rakes it home. If I could have borrowed his oar, I would have stayed. -Mark Twain

    Of course, no discourse on gambling would be complete without this:

     
    • Don Frankel 5:23 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Oh Monsieur Rick, Monsieur Rick.” The girl from Bulgaria.
      “He’s just a lucky guy.”

      Like

      • mistermuse 8:14 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Love that scene, Don….and the previous one, and the next one, and every one..

        Like

    • arekhill1 7:33 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Duly noted, Sr. Muse. Do you happen to know when it will be “Go for Baroque Day?”

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:24 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If you’re referring to Barack’s older brother, Baroque Obama, I think his day is long past. Come to think of it, Barack’s days are dwindling down to a precious few too. Maybe Hillary will return the favor when she’s elected President and appoint him Secretary of State.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 9:06 am on April 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The one thing I learned in Las Vegas was how to roll quarters into the slot machines. This skill helped me when vending machines used to take small change. Now the soda pop and snack vendors only collect the green stuff. No fun trying to roll dollar bills into the slots and those darn macines won’t give you your change anyway.
      I am also waiting for a Baroque Day. I nominate April 20. Which is also the birthday of Adolph Hitler, who absolutely went Baroque trying to conquer Russia.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:58 am on April 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Now that you mention Hitler, I can’t think of one time in CASABLANCA that his name was mentioned. I wonder if that was a deliberate decision by the writers, not to pay him that “honor.”

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 6:38 pm on April 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I remember correctly mistermuse, I think that the mention of Hitler or any referemce to Nazism was deliberately omitted from the film CASABLANCA. One of my favorites also.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:42 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, I’ve just watched CASABLANCA again, and I was mistaken about Hitler’s name not being mentioned. Near the beginning of the film, when Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca and is greeted by Captain Louis Renault, they exchange “Heil Hitler”s. But that is the only time, so I was close but no cigar.

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    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:48 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That was a long reach since the heil to Hitler was just a greeting. The film was finally released to theaters after many delays. It seems the beginning of World War II coincided with the making of CASABLANCA. I think Hollywood did not want to make create a movie that relied on the timeline of that war. which now makes the film fit in with any generation. It is timeless. Good attempt to correct your misgivings but no still cigar for you, mistermuse. 🙂

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    • mistermuse 6:17 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I already said “close but no cigar” – so I’m not sure what you meant by that, Michaeline. In any case, the story of the making of CASABLANCA is interesting in itself, and no matter how many times I see the film, I never tire of watching it

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    • Michaeline Montezinos 7:20 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I meant no harm and no foul, mistermuse. However, I did feel a bit overlooked when I wrote about “Hitler going for Baroque in trying to conquer Russia.” So, now I guess we are even and you were very close in deed by mentioning “Heil Hitler.” Most of us probably missed that greeting but you did catch it, so kudos to you! By the way I must admit that my birthday is also on April 20th. Hopefully I turned out better than aforementioned dictator.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:59 pm on April 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Michaeline, I often don’t congratulate readers like Ricardo & others on their witticisms (and vice versa) because I think there’s an understood appreciation of each other’s writing ability, and explicit praise seems unnecessary…even embarrassing or awkward. So take it as a compliment that I think your writing has reached a point where your “gems” no longer need (ap)praising. 🙂

        Like

    • Mélanie 10:55 am on April 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Bogie and Claude Rains… “o tempora, o mores!” I still watch “Casablanca” called in French “film-culte”, each time it’s on a TV channel…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:39 pm on April 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In America, a cult film is generally regarded as a film with an extremely enthusiastic, but relatively limited, following. By that definition, CASABLANCA is too broadly popular to be considered “film-culte.” Personally, I like the term and think it suits almost any truly classic film, regardless of its mass appeal.

      Speaking of classic films, “o tempora, o mores” is spoken by the reporter (according to Wikipedia) in INHERIT THE WIND, the Spencer Tracy/Fredric March-starring drama based on the Scopes MonkeyTrial. I’ve seen that movie a few times but don’t recall hearing that classic phrase, so I’ll have to watch/listen for it the next time it’s on TV.

      Like

  • mistermuse 9:42 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Annie Dillard, , , , , Henny Youngman, , Peter O'Toole, ,   

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS? 

    ATHEIST HAS REPEAT NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

    Never.
    Again.

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Although not an atheist myself, I believe they exist, and I’m not above quoting them….and what better day to do so than April Fool’s Day, a day of dubious origin and God-awful jokes? So, without further a-Dieu, I bring you the word(s) of Godless mortals:

    I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. -Georges Duhamel

    When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion. -Robert M. Pirsig

    I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up — they have no holidays. -Henny Youngman

    If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God? -George Deacon

    Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?
    Missionary: No, not if you didn’t know.
    Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
    -Annie Dillard

    I admire anyone who’s genuinely trying to achieve spiritual enlightenment and live a peaceful life. But religious dogma is a barrier to that. The last thing a dogmatist wants is for anyone to be enlightened, any more than a pharmaceutical company wants anyone cured. -Pat Condell

    When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself. –Peter O’Toole

    Christianity, as many religions, was just dreamed up by a couple people with really good imaginations, a lot of time on their hands, and even some “herbal” help. I mean, who would dream up half of that crap without being totally baked? -Jillian A. Spencer

    Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. -Ambrose Bierce

    There ain’t no answer. There ain’t going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer. -Gertrude Stein (when asked about God)

    Oh, well. We’ll always have Paris.

     

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 9:54 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve proposed Darwin Day as an atheist holiday for many years now, Sr. Muse, but so far a groundswell of popular support for the idea has failed to materialize. Coincidentally, my meditation tomorrow will be on the power of prayer.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:24 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Although Darwin was at one time a deist and later an agnostic, there seems to be some dispute as to whether he died an atheist. So why not make Darwin Day a holiday for believers in any of that holy trinity? I’m up for it.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:15 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To correct an earlier commentary, I do believe in a God who is a Creator. And I think that Christianity, among many other pagan and non pagan (how do we tell the difference?) religions was built upon the major earthly and atronomical events. Like the Vernal Equinox which heralds the arrival of Spring. Thus we have Easter and Passover. Both are a celebration of overcoming the fear of mortal death.

      The idea of a Darwin Day makes more sense to me than Christmas, Mid Summer’s Eve and Easter combined. I vote we incorporate it into the calendar.

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    • mistermuse 7:03 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I “tried” Christianity once upon a time, but (to paraphrase my little poem at the top of the post), “Never again.” To quote the late journalist Herb Caen, “Born again Christians are an even bigger pain the second time around.”

      Like

    • Don Frankel 9:27 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “I remember it well. The Germans wore gray. You wore blue.”

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:55 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, thanks for remembering it well. Actually two movies brought my post’s closing line (We’ll always have Paris”) to my mind: not only CASABLANCA, but also MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, the Woody Allen film in which one of the characters in 1920s Paris is Gertrude Stein (who lived most of her life in Paris and provided the last of the post’s ten quotes).

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 1:27 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Some great quotes. My philosophy is to do what works for you. If you feel you’re happier and healthier not believing, do that. If you are feel you’re happier and healthier believing, do that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:03 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like a good philosophy to me, though for some, I think it’s more a matter of coming to a rational conclusion rather than what makes them feel happier and healthier. In other words, they have no choice but to accept wherever the search for “truth” has led them.

      Like

    • Mélanie 1:53 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I do NOT believe in atheists, but in… myself! I do respect all believers as long as they respect me… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:25 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As a deist,
      the leist
      I can do
      is respect you.
      🙂

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:30 am on November 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Henny Youngman, home, , , , , , Wm. Hazlitt   

    HOME IS WHERE THE OLD FART IS 

    No doubt you’ve heard this old familiar saying:

    Home is where the heart is. -Pliny the Elder

    As much as I loved to travel (50 U.S. states & 9 foreign countries) in my pre-Elder days, home, even then, was where the heart is; it was always good to return home and get back to work (well, at least, to return home). Although those days are now beyond return, being a senior homebody has its own pleasures….not the least of which is having time to reflect on what the hell the world is all about. Of course, I am far from the first to think along these lines:

    I should like to spend the whole of my life traveling, if I could borrow another life to spend at home. -William Hazlitt

    A man’s home is his castle. -Sir Edward Coke

    A girl phoned me the other day and said, “Come on over, there’s nobody home.” I went over. Nobody was home. -Rodney Dangerfield 

    Just got back from a pleasure trip: I took my mother-in-law to the airport. -Henny Youngman

    A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. -Charles Spurgeon (perhaps referring to political attack ads)

    The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff. -Britney Spears

    Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. -Ernest Hemingway

    Home is heaven for beginners. -Charles Henry Parkhurst

    There’s no place like home plate. -mistermuse, batting for Yogi Berra

    There’s no place like home. -Judy Garland:

     
    • arekhill1 1:06 am on November 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Was that Pliny the Elder? I thought it was Dale Evans.

      Like

      • mistermuse 7:36 am on November 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Lucky for me, it was Pliny the Elder, because “in my pre-Evans days” (post’s next sentence) wouldn’t have made much sentence – er, sense.

        Like

    • ladysighs 6:18 am on November 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      ” Of course, I am far from the first to think along these lines”
      They are good lines no matter who thought of them. 🙂
      And worth repeating. Thank you!

      Like

    • Don Frankel 1:56 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I was just reminiscing with my Cousin about the Wizard of Oz, one of the all time great movies.

      Just remember when you are at home plate, “You can’t think and hit at the same time.” And if you get a 3 and 0 count. “Some guys don’t like to swing on a 3 and 0 pitch, because they swing.” Both Yogisms.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 1:56 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh yeah and this Sir Edmund Coke here, is he one of those Coke brothers we hear about?

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:15 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I learned after Googling Sir Edmund Coke that his last name is pronounced “Cook,” as in too many Cooks spoil the stupid. Speaking of spoiled and stupid, what are we to make of that Britney Spears quote? OK, I’ll be nice – she just isn’t well edumacated.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 7:17 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love to buy hats of all kinds. I also like to travel. So to me, “Where I hang my hat is home.”

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:34 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Then you should love this, Michaeline:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe0x_QHUwdA

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 6:30 pm on November 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, mistermuse, for having Barbra sing to me that song. I also listened to the one she sang from “Color me Barbra.” I liked both of them. 🙂

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:37 pm on November 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome, Michaeline. For the record, “Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home” was composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

      Like

  • mistermuse 10:41 pm on February 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buzzie Bavasi, coins, , , , Henny Youngman, , Kin Hubbard, Lydia, , Massachusetts, , , , ,   

    ON (THE) MONEY, TO COIN A PHRASE 

    I rob banks because that’s where the money is.  –Willie Sutton

    The history of money is a fascinating subject, if you can afford the time to check into it. According to my Ye Olde Encyclopedia, early people had no system of money, probably because they had to spend all their waking hours hunting, eating, painting caves and avoiding being stepped on by dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. These pre-historic people, known as the Earlyites, used either the barter system of trading, or the no-holds-bartered system of robbing and killing, to get what they wanted. Some things never change.

    Speaking of change, the first coins were made in the 600’s B.C. in Lydia, the Tatooed Lady — I mean in Lydia, the extinct country, in what is now western Turkey. In America, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first to make coins; an English court allowed them to do so in 1652 before permission was withdrawn shortly thereafter. But Massachusetts continued to issue coins for 30 more years by dating all coins 1652 regardless of when made. Apparently England couldn’t make heads or tails out of why Massachusetts never ran short of 1652 coins, so they made the best of it by increasing the Colony’s taxes. Needless to say, this did not suit the Tea Party, so they threw the British into Boston Harbor, declared independence and took control of Congress before you can say New England, which on a clear day you can see from Alaska if the sun doesn’t get in your eyes.

    But enough about what I have to say, money-wise. Let us see what others have had to say about money:

    The only problems money can solve are money problems.  –Kin Hubbard

    Lack of money is the root of all evil.  –Mark Twain or George Bernard Shaw (you pays your money and you takes your choice)

    If a fool and his money are soon parted, why are there so many rich fools?  –Evan Esar

    Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.  –Robin Williams

    If you would know what the Lord God thinks of money, you have only to look at those to whom he gives it.  –Maurice Baring

    There is an easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.  –Jack Yelton

    We live by the Golden Rule. Those who have the gold make the rules.  –Buzzie Bavasi

    Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won’t be reporting it. The thief spends less than my wife did.  –Henny Youngman

    Women prefer men who have something tender about them — especially the legal kind.  –Kay Ingram

    I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves.  –Joe Louis

    I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.  –George Carlin

    That money talks/I’ll not deny/I heard it once/It said, “Goodbye.”  –Richard Armour 

     

     
    • Don Frankel 9:15 am on February 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I thought I left a comment it seems to have disappeared or I didn’t hit the right button. Imagine the first guy who showed up at the market with his vegetables expecting to return home with a nice fat chicken but only wound up with a few pieces of metal with some noble’s who he didn’t like face on it.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:54 am on February 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Returning home with pieces of metal instead of a chicken must have been hard to swallow, Don. Even the last residents of Lydia ended up half a Turkey better off than that.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:19 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      To lucindafer: I note that you clicked the “Like” icon on this posting and I thought I’d see if I might reciprocate, but for some reason I can’t “find” you, although you apparently have a new blog (the blurb that goes with your photo indicates you have a blog but no readers). I will be happy to read what you have to say if you’ll let me know how to get there.
      Good luck with your writing.

      Like

    • pendantry 5:00 am on March 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      On the subject of money: are you aware of Positive Money?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:52 am on March 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not, but I’m pretty sure Willie Sutton was (judging by the quote which opened this post).

      Like

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