Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Which one would be “cotton candy nothingness”
A) A broad diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, real estate and cash
B) A plan to get a $500 million dollar settlement
I think it would be fair to say that you take comfort with being aligned with powerful people and I take comfort with being on the right side of the History Train.
There aren’t enough powerful people in the world to persuade me to give up the benefits of being on the right side of the History Train.
And ten-thousand peer-reviewed studies showing where the History Train is headed are not enough to persuade you that people with wealth and power and influence can ever be overcome for the good of the overall society.
We’re like characters in a book around which a Great Drama is playing out.
I didn’t ask to be a character in a book. And I don’t think you did either.
But here we are. The drama is playing out around us whether we like the idea or not.
I am obviously not ever going to be willing to sell out my friends and the larger society to appease the powerful people whom you are trusting to protect you.
And you are obviously never going to be willing to let the harm being done to your friends and to the larger society persuade you to turn on the powerful people with whom you are aligned.
If there were some sort of compromise possible, I think it would be fair to say that your or me or someone else would have pointed to it a long, long time ago.
I’ve tried. I’ve bent over backwards in my efforts to make things appealing for every single person involved.
And you probably would say the same thing coming from the other direction. I don’t think you’ve tried very hard. But my experience with the humans is that people working different ends of a drama like this see just about everything differently.
I don’t see any possibilities that have not been explored. My take at this point is that the drama in which we are all enveloped is bigger than any of those caught up in it. No one knows what to do. I THINK I know what would work. But you appear to not have confidence in the merit of what I propose. And I obviously don’t have confidence in the merit of any of your suggested “compromises.”
So it is what it is, you know?
It’s not like I woke up one morning and said: “Oh, I know what I will do today. I will start a 12-year saga in which I will be banned from 15 different internet sites and thereby will come to co-author research showing million of middle-class people how to reduce the risk of stock investing by nearly 70 percent.” It all happened step by step. I questioned whether valuations should be accounted for in Greany’s study. Most community members felt that the debate that followed was the best we ever had in the history of the Retire Early Community. That made Greaney mad and he elected to burn the board to the ground. That convinced me that I was right and thousands of my fellow community members have supported me in amazing ways over the course of the 12 years and thereby have helped me to discover amazing things about how stock investing works that no one else has written about. And so you felt yourself forced to engage in more and more outrageous acts to keep the word from getting out.
I cannot walk away from the $500 million settlement payout that obviously goes to someone who has discovered such things under such circumstances.
And you cannot walk away with a prison sentence.
And I cannot do anything to be sure of eliminating the prison sentence (I believe that I can get it shortened a good bit but my sense is that that is not good enough for you). I cannot offer a compromise that you will accept because it is not me who will be assigning you the prison sentence. The only trading chip that you care about is not in my possession.
I hope that answers your question. I don’t want to go to prison under any circumstances. For obvious reasons.
My sense is that you don’t want to go to prison either. If I could trade that chip, I would. But I CAN”T. And I certainly am not even going to talk about something that lands me in prison as well. That’s obvious insane talk.
I didn’t go looking for a $500 million settlement. You Goons (with the cooperation of the Wall Street Con Men) forced that one down my throat. Please don’t complain to me now that you don’t fancy the idea.
And please don’t demand that I go back in time and change things that cannot be changed. The things that have happened have happened and it does no one any good for any of is to agree to lie about them. There are Post Archives. Even if I were to agree to deceptive acts here (and I won’t), I would be found out. So that line of thought leads nowhere.
The one good card that we’ve got is that the advance here is so big that it will make the millions of people who will be calling for your head very happy and less inclined to demand justice over mercy. If I were in your shoes, I would be exploring options for playing that card to my benefit.
But I am not you. And you are not me. And, if something like that was going to happen, it likely would have happened a long time ago. Things get harder to resolve with every passing day because with every passing day we see more financial losses as a result of our decision as a society to pretend that the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research doesn’t exist.
If that ever changes, I think that would be great. Obviously.
Do I think it is going to happen?
I once did. I don’t think the odds are with us re that one today.
It makes me sad.
Hang in there, man.