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Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/2 - A Snap

President Trump is considering ending the National Endowment for the Arts. The Fast Takes column in today's NY Post points out that the NEA handed out $148 million in 2015, while private entities doled out $17 billion. That's a good argument for termination. Another is that the profits from Sesame Street would go a long way toward financing PBS. Expect sharp resistance. As the saying goes: "Nothing lives forever except a government program."

The ferocity with which Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being attacked convinces me he is the right man for the job. Unfortunately, he may not survive the onslaught.

NYC experienced the lowest February crime rates in the past 25 years. Kudos to law enforcement. Given this and the fact that the city's tax coffers have been bulging for years, it's truly amazing that Mayor Bill de Blasio's hold on office is tenuous.

Stock in Snapchat (SNAP) became available to the public today. I put in an order to buy 100 shares at a limit of $18. It opened at $24, broke through $26, and ended the session above $24. Since it has bypassed me, I'm certain it will be a big winner, unlike Twitter, which has lost almost half its value since I bought it. My trading history on individual stocks is mediocre. My accounts are hitting all time highs as a result of the almost idiot-proof mutual funds I own and those few no-brainer stocks that have been big winners for me, such as Coke, Merck, GE, Dupont and Comcast, which have offset big losses in bank shares. I've been expecting a huge market correction for a long time. It's one of the reasons I'm not rich.

Who knew? There's an up side to depression. In an article in the Post, Crystal Ponti cites research that claims "depression may help one let go of unattainable goals." Sounds like a message to all struggling artists, one I should have heeded before today's session of the floating book shop, which yielded zero sales. Fortunately, a visit from Bad News Billy lifted my spirits. He just received an invitation to the 50th reunion of the undefeated 1966 St. Francis H.S. football team. In a refreshing bit of candor, he once told me he played "third string, end of the bench." One cold, windy day a limousine pulled up to McCarron Park, where the squad held its practices. A man emerged, surrounded by a large security detail. It was Robert Kennedy Jr.. He observed, standing right beside Billy, who was tongue-tied. RFK was holding a styrofoam cup in which he was dipping a tea bag. He conversed with legendary coach the late Vinnie O'Connor. He dropped the tea bag on his own shoe. Billy quickly bent and removed it. Thanks for the story, my friend.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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