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Posted by DMC on 2 July 2011 in Diary |

The first of the two-day national strike of public sector workers went off rather like squib only four out of the 28 public sector trade unions took part and it was mainly the schools which reflect so thousands of parents were inconvenienced and the children lost today’s education, for what effect? I suppose we should be grateful that at least it was a peaceful demonstration unlikely Greeks who seriously rioted causing a great deal of damage to property and injuring a number of their police force. The British economy is tenuous enough without the additional strain of rolling strikes from its public sector. Perhaps the strikers should be more grateful that they have a job and that, for example, they do not work for Lloyds bank and become one of the 45,000 who have, or will, lose their job over the next year so.

 

Ladies semi-final day at Wimbledon saw the favourite Sarakova and Kvitova goes through to Saturday’s final. In the junior boys section, young Broady creditably played himself into the semi-finals.

While all this was going on my Alice had a tea party with another Alice (Everard), one of ‘my lovely’s’ best friends, who sadly recently lost her dear husband George, and Liz ‘Moon’, a friend from early childhood. Two very interesting ladies. They joined me in the study which is nice for me to be able to join in the conversation . Alice number two is bravely continuing to teach English to high-powered overseas students who come to England to attend the Cambridge summer schools. She brought her beautiful lucher, Amber, with her as well as a very generous bottle of champagne/for me and some lovely white roses for ‘my lovely’.

As I say ‘the Moon’ is a very talented artist who Alice commissioned to paint a conversation piece for my 70th. birthday which now hangs in my office/Liz was really clever in that she has managed somehow to reflect aspects of out daily life in the reflection of the office windows. The main house is shown in one of these reflections with Miles, Chloe and the grandchildren standing outside. Another reflection shows ‘my lovely’ feeding the donkeys Also included in the picture is the ‘running” postman (he used to compete in national athletic meetings) and, of course, our splendid long serving gardener, Peter. Through the open door oF the office I can be seen at my desk flanked on the other side by my secretary. On the front step on the office, Woody, my beloved Labrador, now alas no longer with us, is shown being flirted with by Pandora – our black and white cat. It is such a fun piece of work and one which gives me a great deal of pleasure. Incidentally Moon is Liz’s ‘nom de plume’, chosen because she married an astronomer.

For your amusement I have included a copy of a letter and lady received from the Canadian authorities a response to higher letter questioning our they dealt with any terrorists within their control. I do hope I do not give offence to any of my readers who happened to being gauged in the business of terrorism!!

ADOPT A TERRORIST A lady Canadian libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She received back the following reply:

National Defense Headquarters
M Gen George R Pearkes Bldg, 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2
CANADA

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern at the treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in the Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa.

You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself; we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defence, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint.

It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommend in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.

We understand that you plan to offer counselling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers.

We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group.

He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.

This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will “recommend” as more appropriate attire.

I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time.. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember we’ll be watching.

Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially,
Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defense

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30 June 2011

Posted by DMC on 2 July 2011 in Diary |

The first of the two-day national strike of public sector workers went off rather like squib only four out of the 28 public sector trade unions took part and it was mainly the schools which reflect so thousands of parents were inconvenienced and the children lost today’s education, for what effect? I suppose we should be grateful that at least it was a peaceful demonstration unlikely Greeks who seriously rioted causing a great deal of damage to property and injuring a number of their police force. The British economy is tenuous enough without the additional strain of rolling strikes from its public sector. Perhaps the strikers should be more grateful that they have a job and that, for example, they do not work for Lloyds bank and become one of the 45,000 who have, or will, lose their job over the next year so.

Ladies semi-final day at Wimbledon saw the favourite Sarakova and Kvitova goes through to Saturday’s final. In the junior boys section, young Broady creditably played himself into the semi-finals.

While all this was going on my Alice had a tea party with another Alice (Everard), one of ‘my lovely’s’ best friends, who sadly recently lost her dear husband George, and Liz ‘Moon’, a friend from early childhood. Two very interesting ladies. They joined me in the study which is nice for me to be able to join in the conversation . Alice number two is bravely continuing to teach English to high-powered overseas students who come to England to attend the Cambridge summer schools. She brought her beautiful lucher, Amber, with her as well as a very generous bottle of champagne/for me and some lovely white roses for ‘my lovely’.

As I say ‘the Moon’ is a very talented artist who Alice commissioned to paint a conversation piece for my 70th. birthday which now hangs in my office/Liz was really clever in that she has managed somehow to reflect aspects of out daily life in the reflection of the office windows. The main house is shown in one of these reflections with Miles, Chloe and the grandchildren standing outside. Another reflection shows ‘my lovely’ feeding the donkeys Also included in the picture is the ‘running” postman (he used to compete in national athletic meetings) and, of course, our splendid long serving gardener, Peter. Through the open door oF the office I can be seen at my desk flanked on the other side by my secretary. On the front step on the office, Woody, my beloved Labrador, now alas no longer with us, is shown being flirted with by Pandora – our black and white cat. It is such a fun piece of work and one which gives me a great deal of pleasure. Incidentally Moon is Liz’s ‘nom de plume’, chosen because she married an astronomer.

For your amusement I have included a copy of a letter and lady received from the Canadian authorities a response to higher letter questioning our they dealt with any terrorists within their control. I do hope I do not give offence to any of my readers who happened to being engaged in the business of terrorism!!

ADOPT A TERRORIST A lady Canadian libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She received back the following reply

M Gen George R Pearkes Bldg,
15 NT Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0K
CANAD

Dear Concerned Citizen,
Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern at the treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in the Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa.

You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself; we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defence, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommend in your letter. Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome these character flaws.Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.

I understand that you plan to offer counselling and home schooling.Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers.We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will “recommend” as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time.. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember we’ll be watching.

Good luck and God bless you.

.Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defense

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1 July 2 011

Posted by DMC on 2 July 2011 in Diary |

Men’s semi-final day at Wimbledon, fortunately a beautifully bright dry sunny day so there was no interruption from rain. However, these two matches did not start until the afternoon and in the meantime, early-morning I had an appointment for another remote assist session with the Dragon voice activation people as this latest version is simply not working as a efficient as the previous ones. For the second time running the Dragon people miss the appointed time and with out to reschedule it. This is very frustrating. Predictably the tennis authorities tantalisingly kept the Murray match to be played after the first of the semi=finals between Tsonga – who I believe is the dark horse who could win it – and Djokovic.

In the event, Tsonga beat Djokovic and Murray lost to the world number one, Nadal, by three sets to one but it was a very hard fought game. Had he got through Murray would have been the first Englishman in the final since 1936. I’m sure he will make it sometime.

The ‘flying’ Dr. Michael arrived this afternoon from Australia en route to Sweden. He seems to take the enormous amount of flying he does in his stride. For example, he e-mailed me and said that over the past week he has been really busy ranging far to Perth, Brisbane and Sydney plus a few other places like Port Macquarie. Tomorrow, Thursday I am up at 04.30 AM so I can work in Sydney, then back to Melbourne to pack for London. I arrive at Heathrow at about 13.30 on Friday and will then probably train to you and turn up I expect in time for our drink and your cigar. Next day my flight leaves Stansted at 11.15 but then I will be coming back on the 7th as planned.

Piles of reports to do but plan to do those in Sweden.

 

A pretty punishing schedule for a man who is only a couple of years younger than I am. The reports he refers to are legal medical reports, generally for insurance companies, where claims had been made against them for disability following some sort of accident. I gather on this occasion he has 15 such reports to write. How long he can go on at this pace I know not, but I really would like, my old friend to take life a little easier.

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3 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 4 July 2011 in Diary |

I spent the day at Lord’s watching the third One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka which ended with a comprehensive win, for Sri Lanka by six wickets, putting them to do one up in this series of five. Apart from centuries by Cook for us and a very creditable 107 from Chandamal, that young newcomer for Sri Lanka, to be honest the the cricket but not brilliant althoughthe weather was perfect and I had great company. My two nephews, Tom and Francis Grand kept me well plied with a and champagne. My good friend Paul Newman, who. as ever, to control of the l visit to the disabled lo in fact, Paul is the anyone but as has real confidence in when I’m at Lord’s . Then there was the ubiquitous James (Barnett) (has he ever missed a major Mac at Lord’s in the last 30 years? and Anthony Baines Walker. During the afternoon Bruce Brodie popped over for a drink and then very generously, returned later, bottle of champagne. As always was a great day coupled with the added bonus of beautiful weather. I had to leave at 5.00 before, the end -although the end result looked inevitable at that stage – as I had already been in the electric chair for 8 ½. hours (10 ½. By the time I got home. The chair is surprisingly comfortable since they fitted the special Roho cushion.

As a result of being at Lord’s I missed the Men’s Final at Wimbledon and will have to watch on my laptop but knowing the result will not be the same as watching the match live. Against the odds Djokvic beat the world number one, Nadal, by three sets to one. From what I can gather Djokvic played out of his skin and deserved to win. So we have a new Wimbledon champion-it’s nice to ring the changes.

I forgot to mention Sri Lanka’s staggering score of 309 for the loss of five wickets, the second of the ODI’s at Headingley, last week, beating England by 69 runs, levelling the series which made today’s match at Lord’s that much more exciting.

Today marks yet another milestone for me as well, I bought the tickets for Lord’s at the beginning of the season but had no idea whether I’ would be fit enough to attend. The next milestone will be the three consecutive days of the test match against India, towards the end of this m


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4 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 5 July 2011 in Diary |

Another day, another outing, this one to the golf club for the geriatric golf day. SMonday this week instead of Tuesday due to some other match having been arranged for tomorrow. Anyway, it’s probably just as well because today it was fine and sunny, in fact, it was rather too hot (27°C), and tomorrow rain is forecast. Many of the usual gang were the, Griggsy having returned from holiday; John Gray; Karl Creasey et al. Karl, although a relatively new member and therefore a recent friend. has taken it upon himself to look after me, not only fixing up my cigar before lunch but also donning on my apron and feeding me. What a splendid fellow. I have offered to give him a references a carer any time!

When I arrived with George there were four people sitting outside having a pit stop drink after their first ninr holes. I joined them at the same time as the pro-, Richard Beadles, was passing by. I asked him about an umbrella mount which I could attached to my wheelchair in case I got caught out in a shower.

He produced something from his shop but did not have the right clamp to fit it to the chair. As it happened one of the four members sitting there,, Tim Lawson, sparked up and said that he had one in his car which he never used and I would be welcome to it. He very kindly produced it and within seconds it was fitted to the wheelchair. I can now confidently go out on days when the weather is a little uncertain and if I get caught in a shower would be able to be protected with my large umbrella held in this vertical tube mount as, of course, I am unable to hold it myself. What an incredible piece of luck that Tim just happened to be sitting there when I approached the pro and generous offered to give it to me.. Such is the nature of our members. One of the main reasons why I love going to this club.

When I got back, Paul, ‘Jane the sheep’s’ lodger was here to babysit as Jane is on holiday. Paul has been working out a simple way for me to embed videos and pictures into this blog and hopefully when he comes on Wednesday he would have cracked it. In the meantime watch this amazing video about a dog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeKSiCQkPw

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5 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 6 July 2011 in Diary |

A sad day. Our cat, Lucy, had to be put to sleep. She been under the vet for some time and had been losing weight and condition. In the event. the vet said her heart was in a bad way and there really was no possibility of her recovering, so poor Alice, had to take the decision to put her down. The loss was not quite so heartrending as that of, Mouse, Henrietta’s companion and the last of our two donkeys, who also suffered the same fate, and earlier this year. Mouse, who had come from the Wood Green Animal Shelter, had been with us for around 20 years whereas Lucy was a stray that Alice had taken save that pity on.

A short while ago, after watching the BBC television programme Choosing to Die, (see 15 June entry) featuring Sir Terry Pratchett, I was musing on its content and I decided that it was very one sided and wondered if Mr Smedley, who went off to Switzerland to Dignitas die in front of the television viewers, had really given sufficient consideration to the hospice alternative Having said that, in complete ignorance of what a hospice really it is, I have already told my palliative care doctor, Dr Margaret Saunders, that I want nothing to do with hospices. To me it’s another name for a place to go and die, and that fairly soon.

It seems that this is a misconception and I’m told that they are wonderful places and many terminally ill patients are much happier there than they would be at home. As I find this extremely hard to believe it seems to me that the Choosing to Die programme is screaming for a sequel, educating the public what a hospice is really all about. To this end I contacted the makers of the original programme, KEO films and spoke to the director, Craig Hunter. He agreed that the programme was perhaps slightly one-sided as it dealt specifically with the right to die, as offered by Dignitas, in Switzerland. At the time I did not float the idea of the sequel to Mr Hunter but subsequently, having tried to speak to him again, was told that he really didn’t feel that a sequel by KEO Films would be necessarily attractive to BBC..

Accordingly I contacted his office again and asked if they would be kind enough to give me the name and contact details for the executive at the BBC who commissioned the original programme. My intention being to put it to this executive that they should consider commissioning a sequel so as to educate the world at large as to the true function of hospices so they would hold no fear for anyone finding themselves consigned to one. As Sir Terry Pratchett seems as ignorant about hospices as I am, I wondered whether he would agree to accompany me and learn together s about their true function. This then was to be my proposal should I get to speak to the right person at the BBC.

I received a call back from Craig suggesting that I sent an e-mail to him, setting out my suggestion – which he would pass on to the appropriate BBC executive – just explaining quite succinctly why I thought such a sequel would be attractive. To be fair he did not hold out a great deal of hope as such documentaries are planned months ahead and there may already be plans a foot, or even in train, for such a sequel, as the BBC received over 1000 letters or e-mails following the original programme. Anyway, nothing ventured nothing gained so ,on receipt of Craig’s email address, I did as you requested and now await a response via him from the BBC.

 

 

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Boner

Posted by DMC on 6 July 2011 in Jokes, Videos |
Boner

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6 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 8 July 2011 in Diary |

A media storm has been brewing over the past few days concerning unscrupulous journalists hacking into the mobile phones of politicians, celebrities (whatever that means!) and people in the news. What seems to have emerged is that journalists, or one journalist, from the News of the World newspaper, has been hacking into various telephones including those of Millie Dowler, the 13-year-old schoolgirl who disappeared last year. even before she had been found. The journalist deleted some of the messages on the phone to give more space for incoming calls and gave his reasons for doing so was that by hacking into the mobile phone and ascertaining if it was being used or had received messages from someone, he would be able to assist the police in finding her. It rather backfired when the parents of the missing girl noticed that various messages have been deleted and their hopes were raised that she was still in possession of the telephone and still using it and therefore still alive which, in the event, she was not.

Daily, more and more stories are emerging of people whose telephones may have been tapped, the latest of which was one of the fathers of the two girls who were abducted and murdered in Soham, some nine years ago, for which, eventually Peter Sutcliffe and his girlfriend were charged and imprisoned for life

Quite apart from the privacy element, which is bad enough in itself, the distress caused to the victims families noticing that the telephone was being used and therefore hoping above hope that this was evidence that their loved one was still alive and using the telephone, is immeasurable and quite beyond the true comprehension of those of us who have not suffered such distress. I believe the government will need to step in and pass some legislation making hacking into private phones a crime, punishable by imprisonment.

At present, I believe they can only be charged with invasion of one’s privacy for which they will be liable to pay damages

I had an excellent three-hour session with Paul this afternoon and I believe he has cracked the problem of embedding pictures or videos into the blog, into their respective categories and with a click link to access them through the diary entries. We are having another session together next week when he will show me how he believes it can be done.

I have also commissioned Paul to go back to last October and search through to the current date to find out any missing videos or pictures and add them in.

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7 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 8 July 2011 in Diary |

The media storm is now raging over the so-called telephone hacking. Everyone from the Prime Minister and the proprietor of News International, the Australian media mogul, Rupert Murdoch , are condemning the practice as wicked and totally unforgivable. Of course, Murdoch and the editor of the News of the World at the time, are denying any knowledge of the unorthodox methods used by this particular journalist. Of course, there will be a full enquiry into the action of this man and many others involved and I would not be surprised if it is shown that the editor and perhaps others at the top of the pile, knew, or just turned a blind eye to what was going on. There is a suggestion that both police officers and prison warders were being paid for information, such as supplying telephone numbers. We certainly have not heard the last of this particular matter.

The day started with yet another nine o’clock call from the Dragon people. This time, as I was able to give them the code to access my computer, we went straight into the session. Sayana, the softly spoken representative, spent an hour or so tinkering with the Dragon settings in the hope that the programme will be more obedient to my commands in the future. We have scheduled a checkup meeting next Monday morning.

The fourth of the ODI’s against Sri Lanka, produced a decisive victory for England by 10 wickets leaving the series 2 all with the decider next Saturday.

Michael, the flying Dr, arrived back in Sweden this afternoon to spend a couple of days with us to allow Alice to go to Cambridge or London, as she wishes. It was a very kind gesture of his considering he was here only four days ago. We welcomed him with the usual champagne – the least we could do – but no cigar as it was rather chilly and windy outside and if I get it into my electric wheelchair at six o’clock I have to remain in it until the carer comes at 9.30 as Alice has been advised not to use the hoist on her own.

The wife of one of my carers, Craig, had had a baby son, Joshua, a strapping lad of 8 ½. Pounds, two weeks ago. Welcome to this world Joshua. Statistically you will live well into the 21st-century and, God willing into your early hundreds. What sort of world will it be in 100 years hencei ? I can only hazard a guess but I do know that it will be entirely different from the world into which my dear mother-in=law was born into, and, if all goes well, will celebrate her hundredth birthday in two months time .

To see the sort of all electrical gadgets that Joshua and his generation will take as normal as well as futuristic bathrooms, kitchens and offices just click on the icon below and scroll down to see the next picture.

I

Unfortunately you cannot access this PowerPoint slide yet from this icon but I hope to be able to fix that by next Monday stop

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8 July 2011

Posted by DMC on 9 July 2011 in Diary |

A quiet day ahead. The carers have the and done their staff, leaving me in my study in front of laptop.’ My lovely’is enjoying a rare day off and has gone to Cambridge to shop and to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum to see their current exhibition on Italian Art. The Good Doctor slts in the sitting room/bedroom above me – now known as Michael’s room – working on his reports and cocking an ear to the pager which alerts him to my needs some attention (usually a pee) .

The big news this morning is that Rupert Murdoch has pulled the plug on the News of the World newspaper and closed it down – this for a newspaper which has going for I65 years – in order not to prejudice the Monopoly Commission’s decision concerning his media empire swallowing up BskyB, or perhaps his motive was to take the heat off the CEO of News International, who was the editor of the News of the World, when the alleged hacking took place. In any event, this so-called newspaper, was no better than a scandal rag and, will not be missed except by its 1 million or so readers!! In any event,. no doubt, Murdoch, will relaunch something similar, under a different name, probably the Sunday Sun!

Rupert Murdoch is probably the greatest media mogul the world has ever seen, sadly in the UK and particularly so if you manages to take over BskyB. Will he survive this current storm and over the phone hacking or any other scandal that is media empire throws or will he end up like some of the other greatest moguls in their own fields. Here are some examples.

In 1923 who was:

      1. President of the largest steel company?
      2. President of the largest gas company?
      3. President of the New York stock Exchange?
      4. Greatest wheat speculator?
      5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
      6. Great Bear of Wall Street?

These men were considered some of the worlds most successful of their days..

Now, 80 years later, the history book asks us, if we know what ultimately became of them..

The Answers:

1. The president of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died a pauper.

2. The president of the largest gas company, Edward Hopson, went insane.

3. The president of the NYSE, Richard Whitney, was released from prison to die at home.

4. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cooger, died abroad, penniless.

5. The president of the Bank of International Settlement, shot himself.

6 The Great Bear of Wall Street, Cosabee Livermore, also committed suicide

However, in that same year, 1923, the PGA Champion and the winner of the most important golf tournament, the US Open, was Gene Sarazen.

What became of him?

He played golf until he was 92, died in 1999 at the age of 95.  He was financially secure at the time of his death.
/

The moral is to Hell with Work play golf !!  

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